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Cover reveal: Love Uncovered by Laura Barnard

Love Uncovered, the second standalone book in the Babes of Brighton series is now available for pre-order!

Love Uncovered Cover

Please note that the cover image leads to a pre-order Amazon link for the book

Synopsis

Independent woman to her core, Brooke Archer has always been happy to hit it and quit it with the men in her life. But when her beloved Nan suffers from poor health, Brooke realises just how precious life is and decides to it’s time to face her daddy issues and seek out her estranged father. Without so much as a name or photo, and a cagey Mum withholding vital information, it’s going to be no easy task.

Nicholas Parker is a relationship guy and always has been. Abandoned by his mum when he was seven he craves love and security. But finding a woman who can conquer his trust issues is no easy feat. Brooke is exactly the kind of woman he doesn’t need.

Pulled together by some invisible force, can Brooke and Nicholas overcome their differences to uncover true love?

Add it to your Goodreads shelf here

If you’d like to catch up with book 1, Excess Baggage, read it here

The book will be available to read for FREE via Kindle Unlimited from 28th September.

Connect with Laura

laura

Laura Barnard lives in Hertfordshire, UK and writes romantic comedy or ‘chick lit’ as its so often described. In her spare time she enjoys drinking her body weight in tea, indulging in cupcakes the size of her face and drooling over hunks like Jamie Dornan, Ryan Gosling and Leo Dicaprio.

She enjoys wearing yoga pants and reading fitness magazines while sitting on the sofa eating chocolate. She’s a real fan of the power nap, loves setting her friends up together and of course READING!

She writes not to get rich or famous, but because she LOVES writing. Even if one person tells her they enjoyed her book it makes the midnight typing worth it!

She’s an Amazon best seller and also the winner of Favourite British Author 2016 – Two Peas in a Pod Reader’s Choice Awards and Favourite Romantic Comedy Author 2016 – Obsessed with Books Indie World Awards.

Website

Goodreads

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The Breakdown by @BAParis @StMartinsPress

 

thebreakdown

Length: 337 pages

As usual the cover image leads to a universal Amazon buy link for the book

What they say: It all started that night in the woods.

Cass Anderson didn’t stop to help the woman in the car, and now she’s dead.

Ever since, silent calls have been plaguing Cass and she’s sure someone is watching her.

Consumed by guilt, she’s also starting to forget things. Whether she took her pills, what her house alarm code is – and if the knife in the kitchen really had blood on it.

Bestselling author B A Paris is back with a brand new psychological thriller full of twists and turns that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

The Review: To this, and a book that is probably on every single review website that I follow. I had heard so much about this book,  mixed reviews, with a lot of people saying it was a standout book for them and so I pounced. I have to say I did really enjoy this. This is very much a book for those who don’t like too much toughness or gore but enjoy their suspense. The beginning of the book IS probably a standout for me, despite all the thrillers I’ve read since I can still remember the weather, the torrential rain pouring as Cass tries to get home to her husband, Matthew. You know when the rain gets so bad that you’re staring in horror at the windscreen, thinking that anything could happen because you can’t see a thing? Well this is what happened to Cass, in the dark of night, and so she makes a choice that will change everything for her.

‘I veer off to the left, taking the shortcut that Matthew didn’t want me to take. A horn blares angrily behind me and as the sound chases me down the pitch- black lane into the woods, it feels like an omen. Even with my headlights full on, I can barely see where I’m going and I instantly regret the brightly lit road I left behind. Although this road is beautiful by day-it cuts through bluebell woods- its hidden dips and bends make it treacherous on a night like this.’

Hook, line and sinker. I was totally in. What happens then is horrible but so realistic (in a way, if you know what I mean, I don’t come across this sort of stuff myself, but it could happen!) Cass sees a girl sitting in a car at the side of the road. She wonders should she get out, is the car broken down or is the girl just waiting out the rain like herself? and has that pull of conscience we all experience at times, she wants to get home to the safety of her own house, but doesn’t think it’s right that she should leave. Of course she justifies driving off (with justifications I’d have used myself) and everything trickles into motion for a book thats ridden with guilt and uncertainty. As you can see from the blurb above, Cass is what you call an unreliable narrator, we don’t know if we can believe her version of events and to cement this we get a story that deserves a special mention, that of her mother, which had me shed a tear at the story of Cass’ mother and which gave it an added edge over other thrillers.

I really really enjoyed this book, with its many characters, that did keep you guessing. I had an idea what had happened earlier on, but didn’t guess the finer details. I did think it could have been slightly shorter, there was a bit of repetition for me in the middle, and conversely the ending felt like it was thrust at you too quickly and to be honest was just an ickle bit far fetched. Saying that, as a read in its totality I didn’t want to put it down, I was glued in a way I’ve only been for a handful of reads. All in all very much recommended (and I will be recommending it!) and I look forward to reading Behind Closed Doors. Thanks to the lovely people at St Martins press and Netgalley for the book in return for an honest review.

Rating: Even with my issues, I think it’s got to be a 5/5 !

 

About the author

baparis

B.A. PARIS is the New York Time, USA Today, and internationally bestselling author of Behind Closed Doors. She grew up in England but has spent most of her adult life in France. She has worked both in finance and as a teacher and has five daughters.

Find her on twitter @BAParisAuthor

Saven Deception (Saven Series book 1) by Siobhan Davis @siobhandavis

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Length: 437 pages

Please note that the cover image leads to a universal buy link for the book

Another day, another person from the Imagine, Write Inspire Group that I am so lucky enough to be a member of (it’s led by the brilliant Carmel Harrington). And my word, what a person! Here was a USA Today bestselling author who was focused, motivated and super duper talented, but also incredibly, incredibly helpful and ready to give advice on all things writing and publishing to all who needed it. Her books (see them here ) were charting high and being gushed about by people I held in very high regard and so I jumped straight in. I’d actually never read a science fictiony, young adult book before The True Calling Series (I will get to them another day, needless to say I was fully grabbed by them), but with every syllable I was hooked. After such an experience where one of the first books I recommended to people was said series, I wondered whether I could possibly like these as much. There was no need to worry- this book (and series!) is EPIC (jumps about excitedly!!). By the way I feel I have to point out, she’s a book blogger too!! (Her blog is http://myyanabookobsession.com/ )

Note: I apologise for all gushing and exclamation marks used within this entire post, but I do feel they’re warranted(!;)) Also, I generally give a note with books I’ve received from the author to say I received it in return for an honest review. I bought this myself, but as you can guess I am wowed and in awe of Siobhan, and know her well from social media and have met her a number of times, so although ALL of my reviews are ALWAYS 100% HONEST, I feel I have to re-iterate that here, because I know people can have their doubts when it comes to people reviewing authors they have met/ know/ are inspired by ( a pity, but I don’t blame them.)

What they say: THE TRUTH DOESN’T ALWAYS SET YOU FREE

I’ve fallen hard for an alien, but he’s harboring secrets.
Massive secrets that threaten the very essence of humanity.
How can I give him my heart when his race plans on taking my future?

Sadie Owens has been slowly dying inside. Bit by bit, piece by piece, day by day. Trapped in a life she hates, she relies on only one person–herself.

Despised by her family and betrayed by an unscrupulous government, Sadie dreams of a different life. When she is chosen to participate in the government’s new social experiment, she is ecstatic at the prospect of spending six months in Thalassic City, the shiny new city under the sea.

Immediately drawn to Logan Chandler, Sadie is captivated by the beautiful boy with the ocean-blue eyes. Logan seems to embody everything that has been forbidden, but he isn’t all he appears to be.

Confused over Logan’s true intentions and concerned when best friend Jenna starts transforming in front of her eyes, Sadie partners with newcomer Jarod in a bid to uncover the government’s real agenda. The truth is more shocking than anything she could ever have imagined.

When Sadie finally understands why the Saven walk among us, will it be too late to save her heart and the human race?

The Review: I have to admit that I somewhat dropped the ball here, I should be quoting and quoting and quoting, but when I get fully invested in a book one of two things happen, either I highlight practically the whole book, or I forget to highlight and add notes altogether and next thing I’m a bit stuck, obviously, number two happened in this case, apologies.

The book opens with a definition of the word ‘conscience’ and a doctor, leaving her office. The scene is set immediately.

‘Dr Evan Taylor locked her office door and walked briskly out of the building. Tugging the collar of her brown cashmere coat over the nape of her neck, she strode across the empty parking lot, the wind whipping her long copper coloured hair in a mass of tangles over her face.’

There is an incident and we’re left with no doubt that Evana has been dealt a terrible, terrible hand, with no choice but to comply with people who have decided she is to be their teacher.

Next we move to the first person voice who has escaped where the toil she is supposed to be undertaken, and apprehended by the Robo-police who is – ‘part human, part-robot, and not one of the pure cloned kind’ who informs us that the escapee is

‘Sadie Owens. Seventeen years of age. Sector Fourteen. Medi-Tech employee’

who is out twenty three minutes before curfew. Now all the curiousity/ attention grabbing buttons were well and truly pressed. We are shown how life is divided in terms of class and we also see Sadie’s life outside of work, with a family that weren’t exactly showering her with love. As a result when she is told she is to take part in the government’s pilot programme ‘The Experimento’ where she is to be moved to a settlement under water she leaves quick smart, her only worry being leaving her beloved sister behind.

I cannot gush enough about this book. The pacing was amazing, with action suddenly hitting you between the eyes to make you sit up even straighter, the romance is perfection, captivating, but stopping before the over the top swoony stuff can occur, the characters all excellent in playing their necessary parts (you know, you like the ones you should, are deliciously shocked by those you don’t) and the way the scenes are set play like a film- I could see every mode of transport, every room, every setting with such clarity. Just to cement how much I liked this-after reading on Kindle Unlimited, I bought the boxset of 1, 2 and 2.5 and read all straight way ( I have just seen that the full set is available to pre-order on Amazon- due out this month!). Epic, epic, epic (and you all know how overused I think that word is!) Ridiculously highly recommended.

Rating: 5/5

Extract: Pot Love 2 The Sinking Chef by Sylvia Ashby @bysylvia_a

So, apologies to everyone, as this is days late, but, as promised, here is an extract from the brilliant Pot Love 2- The Sinking Chef (review here) which I adored.

First off, though, a reminder of the book:

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Length:339 pages

Please note that the cover image leads to a universal Amazon buy link for the book

What they say: Bridget Jones meets Burnt in this delightful comedy novel about a talented YouTuber and the guy who keeps trying to bring her down. Although part of a series this book is completely standalone, as are all other novels in the Pot Love Series.

In Belsize Park, London, Ashley works hard on her daily YouTube channel “The Sinking Chef”. It’s filmed right in her kitchen, so she doesn’t go out much.

James is a gruff British TV director, turned publisher, who Ashley had a crush on ages ago. She has moved on but when he calls with an offer to take her out to lunch she doesn’t say no. It’s only lunch – what can go wrong?

The day Ashley meets James for lunch and he promises her a book deal, she makes the worse decision in her life – to hide the book deal from her boyfriend, Giacomo. As things progress Ashley’s secrets mount up and other things in her life unravel. Is there a connection? And how is she going to get out of this without losing Giacomo and the life she loves?

Set in the heart of fast-paced London, The Sinking Chef is a charming story of love, recipes, secrets, and the determination to do thinks right by those you love most in your life.

The Extract:

I stare at the screen exasperated.

Am I being pressured by a bunch of women I’ve never met before into having a baby asap? Isn’t that like the most important decision in your life? One that you don’t take lightly but think about long and hard? Preferably with your partner. Haven’t these women ever heard of family planning?

Then it dawns on me. I know what’s happening here. This is cyberbullying. It’s when people use social networks in a deliberate manner to harass other people. I’ve read a lot about this on the internet. There’ve been suicides. Jobs have been lost over this.

I just never thought it’d happen to me.

I rub my nose with the back of my hand. I brush against the mug of tea, which I’ve put too close to the edge of the table. It shakes perilously. A few droplets splatter over Giacomo’s beige shagpile rug.

‘Shit!’ I jump up and rescue the mug from toppling over. I run to the kitchen for some paper towel and dab the droplets until they dissipate.

‘Phew!’ I plonk back in the chair. Where was I?

I peer at the screen.

SkinnyMumof2: But if u are not pregnant and u don’t have kids and u are not necessarily trying what are u doing on mumsnet AshleyPiccolaMia?

She has a point.

What exactly am I doing on Mumsnet? On a non-bank holiday Monday. When everyone is hard at work milking the cash cow or saving the world.

I can’t tell the truth. Because… thing is… the reason I’m online so much and spend all this time talking to people on Mumsnet and Gay.com (it only happened once! I was curious…) is because I’m bored.

Ever since I moved my cookery show online I don’t get out much. The TV crew I work with comes to the house to do the filming. It’s cheaper that way, and Giacomo’s kitchen is way more swanky-looking than most of the studios’ ones out there.

I’m terribly, mind-numbingly, tear-jerkingly bored.

I get all my groceries delivered.

I don’t have a pet to keep me company. Not even a goldfish—

AshleyPiccolaMia: Finding new friends I guess *smile*

SkinnyMumof2: On mumsnet of all places…

PinkBear87: How has it come to this? To look for friends online? You should be going out there. You should be meeting with real people…

TatianaTopBanana: Honestly, AshleyPiccolaMia you should get a life.

SkinnyMumof2: Yeah. Why don’t you go out instead of lurking online?

PinkBear87: No offence AshleyPiccolaMia but that sounds a bit weird… like stalking…

I gasp. Lurking? Stalking? It’s not like that at all.

AshleyPiccolaMia: That’s not what I’m doing!

But everyone has left the chatroom.

‘Well, that went well,’ I say to nobody in particular. My voice echoes in the empty room. I put my hands to my face. My cheeks are flaming hot. Whatever. I don’t need to talk to people. There are lots of things I could be doing instead.

 

About the author:

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Three random facts (from her lovely website): SAshby

I graduated university with a Graphic Design degree and spent my twenties working in advertising. Never did it occur to me that my degree would come in handy when I start publishing books.

In my early thirties, I was a shop owner. I owned four shops, one of which was in St. Christopher’s Place London W1. I was doing everything from buying the collections to submitting monthly PAYS. It was madness. I’m so glad the economy crashed in 2008 and I had to give up retail.

Then I started writing. It felt like the first conscious decision I’ve ever made in my life. I felt a sense of belonging. The thought “I could be doing this for the rest of my life” didn’t scare me half to death. Four years and four books later I still feel the same way. This is love, home and vocation wrapped in one.

My first book, Pot Love, was about food and love.
My second, The Treachery of Trains, is about finding love in unlikely places.
The third book I wrote is actually Pot Love‘s second instalment. It’s called The Sinking Chef (Pot Love Book 2) and in it, my eponymous heroine Ashley is in even bigger trouble than she was in Pot Love. The two books are standalone and you don’t have to read them in order.
My fourth is The Offical Pot Love Series Cookbook and you can get it completely FREE.

Currently, I live in Belgium with my family.

Author page on Amazon

On Twitter @bysylvia_a

On Facebook https://www.facebook.com/sylviaashbywriter/

Or follow on Goodreads

Or her  blog (complete with reviews, book info and writerly stuff!)

 

 

 

While You Were Sleeping by Kathryn Croft

whileyou

Length: 326 pages

Please note that the image leads to a universal Amazon buy link for the book

What they say:
Tara Logan adores her perfect little family: husband, Noah, and two children, teenager Rosie and eleven-year-old Spencer. 

But her happiness is shattered when she wakes up one morning in her neighbour’s bed, with no memory of how she got there or what happened between them. And worse – he has been stabbed to death.

Convinced she didn’t kill Lee and scared of losing everything she cares about, Tara flees home and stays silent, holding her breath as the investigation grips the neighbourhood.

But as her daughter spirals out of control, and her husband becomes increasingly distant, Tara starts to wonder if someone in her life knows what really happened that night. When the police turn their questions towards her, Tara realises she has to find out.

But what will it take to uncover the real story, and can she survive the truth?

The Review: Okay. So anyone who’s read this blog for a while knows of my love for all books by Kathryn Croft. (The Girl You Lost’s review is here while The Girl With No Past’s review is  here

This was another book designed to keep you guessing as to who (if not Tara herself) was involved in the murder, this read featuring the demise of her neighbour Lee. From the off I was pulled straight in, as always the characters are everyday people next door types, with varying personality traits that have you wondering what they themselves know, and as a result I was basically suspecting everyone. Throw into the mix her issues with her husband Noah, a very difficult daughter, Rosie, who was the one person I hoped hadn’t been involved in the crime, and the addition of characters as you went on and you were pretty sure it could have been anyone! Central to the story was that Tara couldn’t remember what had happened and had no idea how she woke up next to a dead body and so you didn’t know if she was involved or not.

While You Were Sleeping kept me gripped, and waiting for the ending, but I think a problem was that there were a few too many unlikable characters. Saying that, I kept reading on, being thrown from one conclusion to the next with my head all jumbled, waiting to see what happened. A really enjoyable read, although I have to admit it didn’t quite grab me in the same way as the two books I’ve named above.

Rating: 4/5

Freebie and Giveaway! Heath, Cliffs & Wandering Hearts by Laura Barnard

laurabarnardPlease note that the image leads to a universal Amazon buy link for the book

FREEBIE!! GIVEAWAY!! To celebrate Laura Barnard’s birthday week (happy birthday, Laura!) she’s put Heath, Cliffs & Wandering Hearts FREE – myBook.to/Heathcliffs To win a SIGNED PAPERBACK and £5/$5 Amazon Gift Card just head on over to her facebook page (here).

WINNER of Best Young Adult Book 2016 – Jo & Isa Love Books Reader’s Choice Awards

Life for sixteen year old Savannah Franks has just been turned upside down. Her Mum’s business has failed and they’re forced to move into a maisonette in the rough end of town.

She doesn’t want anyone to know her dire situation, not even her besties. So when the rest of the money for the school ski trip is due she can’t be seen not to attend. Everyone is going! She just needs to find a job. Add that to the list of getting a boyfriend and losing her pathetic virginity.

But working every spare hour in a job she hates on top of school work and mounting secrets doesn’t prove easy. Soon she’s keeping so many she’s not even sure herself what’s true and what’s not.

The only person she can lean on to tell the truth is her best friend Heath.

Only…did he get hot recently? That won’t make things awkward between them…right?

 

About the author

laura

 

Laura Barnard lives in Hertfordshire, UK and writes romantic comedy or ‘chick lit’ as its so often described. In her spare time she enjoys drinking her body weight in tea, indulging in cupcakes the size of her face and drooling over hunks like Jamie Dornan, Ryan Gosling and Leo Dicaprio.

She enjoys wearing yoga pants and reading fitness magazines while sitting on the sofa eating chocolate. She’s a real fan of the power nap, loves setting her friends up together and of course READING!

She writes not to get rich or famous, but because she LOVES writing. Even if one person tells her they enjoyed her book it makes the midnight typing worth it!

She’s an Amazon best seller and also the winner of Favourite British Author 2016 – Two Peas in a Pod Reader’s Choice Awards and Favourite Romantic Comedy Author 2016 – Obsessed with Books Indie World Awards.

Goodreads

After The Fall by Julie Cohen

afterthefall

Length: 390 pages

Please note that the cover image leads to a universal Amazon buy link for the book

What they say: From the author who brought you Dear Thing, Julie Cohen, comes After the Fall–a poignant, beautifully heartbreaking novel about what it means to be family, the ties that bind us, and the secrets that threaten to tear us apart.

When an unfortunate accident forces Honor back into the lives of her widowed daughter-in-law, Jo, and her only granddaughter, Lydia, she cannot wait to be well enough to get back to her own home. However, the longer she stays with Jo and Lydia, the more they start to feel like a real family. But each of the three women is keeping secrets from the others that threaten to destroy the lives they’ve come to know.

Honor’s secret threatens to rob her of the independence she’s guarded ferociously for eighty years.

Jo’s secret could destroy the “normal” family life she’s fought so hard to build and maintain.

Lydia’s secret could bring her love–or the loss of everything that matters most to her.

One summer’s day, grandmother, mother and daughter’s secrets will be forced out in the open in a single dramatic moment that leaves them all asking: is there such a thing as second chances?

The Review: Funnily enough I had actually seen the opening line for this book on a weekly meme where the blogger in question (I’m so sure I know who posted, but I’ve been searching and searching and I honestly cannot find the post. It’s driving me loco so if anyone can help I’d beyond appreciate it and will update this post) puts the opening line of a book out there to see if people would find it enough of a hook to reel them in and make them read. My answer was a resounding ‘yes!’ (exclamation mark very much necessary)

‘The last stage of Honor Levinson’s life began at the top of the stairs in her home in North London.’

Honor, or ‘Doctor Levinson,’ as she prefers to be known, is a strong, feisty, independent eighty year old, who detests shows of emotion or weakness of any kind and so does not take kindly to playing the part of elderly patient after a fall from the top of the stairs (brilliantly done) in her home. Honor was an excellent character, who had me from the start, pointing out the realities of getting old, where you feel exactly how you did when you were younger, but those around you treat you as they would a child, or worse than. This was skillfully backed up by a trip back in time, and some old letters, where we found out Honor’s tragic backstory.

We were treated to numerous point of views, all in third person, always a plus for me; that of Honor of course, then Jo, her daughter in law, who’s putting a brave face on the absence of two father’s for her children, one passed (we are put on tenter hooks to find out how), one who has run off with the twenty one year old au pair. Jo learned from her mother, who had MS, that one should always grasp onto the silver linings for dear life, and the result is a positivity of magnanimous proportions, and some ‘mom-lit’ type incidences which provided respite in a book that erred on the slightly greyer side at times. Jo has two young children from her second marriage, and also the lovely Lydia, who tells her story with the accompaniment of a diary that shares how difficult a time she is having as a teenager having not yet come out. Her thoughts, insights and actions really made me feel for her, they were beautiful and heartbreaking and I worried.

After The Fall is the story of a family that was collapsing in on itself, where each woman (or girl), was an island, struggling to find their place, not realizing who they need to help them. I enjoyed it and looked forward to seeing what would happen when secrets were revealed and everyone had to face up to their issues. I especially enjoyed the second half of the book, where things evened out for me, not even in terms of becoming more positive, but just where there seemed to be a little more action, although I have no doubt some people will disagree. I know this is probably an odd review, but it’s a difficult book in that respect, as I enjoyed it as I read, and looked forward to what was going to happen, but found it difficult to place, possibly as I read so many out and out romantic comedies. As well as this it didn’t leave a lasting impression after I finished, which surprised me. It will, however, be a real treat for some out there, with excellent characters, tangible descriptiveness and a storyline that carries you with it. Thanks to St Martin’s press and Netgalley for the book in return for an honest review.

 Rating: 4/5