The Cottage On Lily Pond Lane-Summer Secrets (Book 2) by Emily Harvale

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Length: 140 pages

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

What they say: Escape to the seaside village of Little Pondale with Part Two of this heart-warming and romantic, four-part serial.

Mia Ward was amazed to inherit her great-aunt Matilda’s thatched cottage in the tiny seaside village of Little Pondale – especially as Mia didn’t know she had a great-aunt Matilda. She was even more astonished to discover she’d only inherit the place if she lives there for a year.

Now Mia and her friends, Ella and Garrick are embracing village life. Garrick’s also embracing someone in The Frog and Lily, so Mia turns her attention to one or two of her sexy, single neighbours. But great-aunt Matilda remains an enigma and Mia’s still determined to discover who she was.

When Mia’s mum, Lori arrives, she’s eager to see what the summer has to offer. There’s the Kite Festival, the Fête, the Frog Hill Run, but what really appeals to Lori, much to Mia’s horror, is the Midsummer Night’s naked bathing in the pond at Frog’s Hollow.

As sweltering days surrender to sultry nights, love is definitely in the air. And when an incident means Mia has to face her greatest fear, help arrives from a surprising source. But one thing is clear… someone is trying to make sure Mia doesn’t stay in Little Pondale…

The Review: Yup, I did what I said I was going to and ran straight to book 2 of this great series as we come back to Mia, who is still navigating her way through the mysteries of Little Pondale, including unwanted gifts from someone who obviously doesn’t want her to last the year and claim her inheritance. This was done expertly and I found myself backing away distrustingly from all asunder-thinking ‘hold on a second …’

The romance is upped in this book 2 and I fell into it, deciding almost immediately who I wanted Mia to end up with. Now I will admit there are a lot around vying for her affections, but we were told that there’s a lot of single men there, and Mia’s new, so fine! I flew through the book and enjoyed it thoroughly. It’s definitely something a little different and I’ve just finished book 3 this morning and will have the review of both that and book 4, which I’m reading now, with you in time for Halloween (book 3 is autumnal and book 4 is Halloween-y!)

Rating: 4.5/5

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The Cottage On Lily Pond Lane – New Beginnings (Lily Pond Lane Series Part 1) by Emily Harvale

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Length: 164 pages

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

What they say: Escape to the seaside village of Little Pondale with Part One of this heart-warming and romantic, four-part serial.

Mia Ward is amazed to be told she has inherited her great-aunt Matilda’s thatched cottage in the tiny seaside village of Little Pondale – especially as Mia didn’t know she had a great-aunt Matilda.

She’s even more astonished to discover she’ll only inherit the place if she actually lives there for one year. Mia’s a city girl at heart, not to mention she’s afraid of water, so the fact the cottage backs on to a sandy beach, is not, in her opinion, a bonus.

But Mia’s struggling to pay her rent since being fired for inappropriate behaviour at the office party, and her boyfriend’s also dumped her. When her best friend, Ella and Ella’s brother, Garrick offer to help her move and settle in, Mia decides to see this as a new beginning.

It may also be the start of an exciting adventure because now Mia wants to know just who, exactly, was great-aunt Matilda. And she’s determined to find out. But it soon becomes clear that someone is trying to make sure Mia doesn’t stay in Little Pondale….

The Review: From the second Mia Ward stepped  out of her new 4×4 and surveyed her new home, Sunbeam Cottage in Little Pondale, after losing ‘both her job and her boyfriend in rapid succession,’ and ‘feeling about as welcome to the south coast of England as the German Luftwaffe had been in the second world war’ I was quite sure I was all in.

Mia has been left cottage and an inheritance in the will of her great ant Matilda. Matilda has given a stipulation that Mia has to live there for a year before she can receive her due. I really enjoyed this, although I had a few mini issues, the colossal dumping of information and a bit of confusion character-wise- although given that this is the first of the series I’d say it isn’t something that bothered me too much. There were fabulously inviting settings and descriptions and mysteries of delicious proportions and given the amount of bloggers I’ve heard saying they love the series, I look forward to book 2, which is where I’m off to now!

Rating: 4.5/5

Anything You Do Say by Gillian McAllister

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Length: 390 pages

Please note that the cover image leads to a universal Amazon Buy Link for the book

What they say:

Would you run, or stay and call an ambulance, if it was you that pushed him?

‘A terrific premise, delivered with panache’ CLARE MACKINTOSH

‘Dark and intense . . . an exhilarating, hold-your-breath read!’ Prima

It’s the end of the night. You’re walking home on your own.

Then you hear the sound every woman dreads. Footsteps. Behind you. Getting faster.

You’re sure it’s him – the man from the bar who wouldn’t leave you alone.

You make a snap decision. You turn. You push. Your pursuer tumbles down the steps. He lies motionless, face-down on the floor.

Now what?

Call 999
Wait for the police to arrive. For judgement, for justice, whatever that may be. You just hope your husband, family and friends, everyone you love, will stand by you.

OR:

Run
Stay silent. You didn’t mean to do it. You were scared, you panicked. And no one saw. No one will ever know. If you leave now. If you keep quiet. For ever.

The Review: Some time ago a thought entered my head that I needed to stop reading purely from titles I received from Netgalley and review requests, and to get to the books on my Kindle, bought simply because I saw them either on a blog or Twitter. And so I came to this, a book I’d read more gushes about than nearly any other. Rubbing my hands briskly together (it was cold;)), I began to read.

Anything You Do Say is the story of Joanna and her husband Reuben. They live a very modern, ordered yet chaotic life. They have a list of films they work from to watch tv and number their declarations of love for each other. Both are likeable, both appear content, Reuben more so than Joanna who is looking for something, she doesn’t quite know what.

One night Joanna is followed by someone who bothering her earlier that night. This scene is set the way the actual breakdown from ‘The Breakdown’ by B A Paris, is, you are there and terrified for her in a dark area at night with low phone signal and running footsteps behind her, taking every turn she does. As he reaches her she pushes him. He falls. The resulting story tells of two different possibilities-either she gets help for him or she doesn’t-she tells what happened or she doesn’t.

There are some books that absolutely blow your mind and you are constantly going ‘what the eff?!?!’ This is one such book. I will never be able to gush about it enough. I had shivers starting from my toes and moving up that rarely left me in a book where I just kept praying things were going to go okay for Joanna. There were twists I could never have seen coming, disappointments and shocks that held me in a vice grip and would not let go. I formulated opinions and was shocked that others went against them. Above all I wanted to know where the ending was going and then when it came I was gutted the ride was over. I recommend books to people based on what I think they might generally read but this is one I will most likely be recommending to everyone I can. Superb!

Rating: 5/5

#CoverReveal Bagging Alice by Laura Barnard

Today I’m thrilled to be back in action (was editing) with a cover reveal for Bagging Alice by Laura Barnard!
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This book releases on 1st November but is already available for pre-order – click on top image to pre-order

What they say: Alice is used to taking photographs for a living – not having intimate pictures of herself posted for all the world to see, thanks to a disgruntled ex-boyfriend. Now her clients are cancelling appointments, and she’s almost out of cash. What else could go wrong? Oh yeah, her room mate has scarpered leaving Alice completely out of luck.
Enter Tom ‘man whore’ Maddens. Having disappointed his father one time too many, he moves to Brighton, ready for a new start. And where better to begin it than in Alice’s newly-vacant spare room? And if he tries to seduce her at the same time? Well he’s just living up to his reputation isn’t he?

But then he didn’t bank on actually falling for her. Will his reputation as a commitment phobe put a stop to any sparks between the pair? Or can Alice put aside her trust issues and take a leap of faith for Tom?

Although a standalone, if you’d like to check out the first two books in the Babes of Brighton series here they are:
 
In the meantime add it to your Goodreads shelf  here
 
Follow Laura

Her Name Was Rose by Claire Allan

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Length: 353 pages

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

What they say:

Her name was Rose. You watched her die. And her death has created a vacancy.

When Emily lets a stranger step out in front of her, she never imagines that split second will change her life. But after Emily watches a car plough into the young mother – killing her instantly – she finds herself unable to move on.

And then she makes a decision she can never take back.

Because Rose had everything Emily had ever dreamed of. A beautiful, loving family, a great job and a stunning home. And now Rose’s husband misses his wife, and their son needs a mother. Why couldn’t Emily fill that space?

But as Emily is about to discover, no one’s life is perfect … and not everything is as it seems.

The Review: This was most definitely one of the most talked about and lauded books in Ireland this year. Every Facebook group I was on was raving about it, so many bloggers had read it, and it was all over Twitter so it was high up on my ‘to read’ list. While I must say I would definitely read the author’s work again, I have to say it wasn’t the standout I had hoped it would be, maybe it couldn’t have lived up to everyone’s praise of it, but, sorry, I digress.

So to start off with, what a premise! Emily is filled with guilt when she tells a young lady with a child in a buggy to go out in front of her one day. The lady is poised and perfect in Emily’s eyes, and when she is killed by a car, Emily is devastated, and begins to try to get to know everything about the woman. Emily is a weak character personality wise from the off, and was great in making the book that little bit more headachy, you know when you’re so engrossed in the lead that you kind of move along in a haze following every last action? I really enjoyed this aspect of the book and could actually see how she justified moving into Rose’s life.

Saying that there were some moments that made it head into absurd territory, and these were a pity. As well as this, me being pernickety as I am, I had some editing issues, the repetition of words being one, and also the method of writing to avoid use of pronouns by just cutting them out. I’m by no means a grammar expert, in fact the opposite, and I’m all for short punchy sentences, and actually not usually a fan of reviews that act as an editorial critique (sorry!), but this happened so many times I found myself subbing in words, which is not something you want to do when reading.

Saying that I never moved to put it down and did want to see what happened to Emily and enjoyed both settings and descriptions. So I suppose I’m putting myself on the fence here.

Rating: Unfortunately a 3/5

Sweatpants at Tiffanies by Pernille Hughes

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Length: 262 pages

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

What they say:

Tiffanie Trent is not having a great week. Gavin, her boyfriend, has dumped her unceremoniously on their tenth anniversary, leaving her heartbroken and homeless.

Frank Black, the owner of Blackie’s boxing gym and where Tiff has been book-keeper for the last decade, has dropped dead. He’s not having a great week either.

And if that wasn’t enough, Mike ‘The Assassin’ Fellner, boxer of international fame and Tiff’s first love, is back in town and more gorgeous than ever. Tiff can’t seem to go anywhere without bumping into his biceps.

When she discovers Blackie has left her the gym, Tiff, with her saggy trackies and supermarket trainers, is certain she’ll fail. Can Tiff step up and roll with the punches, or will she be down and out at the first round?

The Review: There’s times when you read a blurb and it catches you by surprise and you go ‘geney mac I have to read that!’ And so it was with this, a book about Tiffanie, who is living with a guy who is probably one of the best literary examples of an a**hole that there is (!), dumping her. Tiffanie is shocked but doesn’t quite see what we’re seeing and is set on winning him back. Struggling on, we are hit with another shock, Blackie, the owner of the gym Tiffanie works at as a bookkeeper, dies. It is very wrong to think ‘oh well done’ to the way he dies, but as a writer, I’m afraid I did nod and think that (what is wrong with me?!)

I really enjoyed this book. ‘Laugh out loud’ was exactly how to describe it as there was indeed a number of moments where I actually spluttered! It deals with, as you would guess, a male dominated area where a number of men, in particular one who thinks he has designs on the gym, try to force Tiffanie out. I loved her ideas for the gym and the way not everyone was against her, there were a number of lovely characters that were brilliant in their support. The romance and heat was very well done and I read this in one sitting at the fire with a box of Pringles (just setting the scene!) and really enjoyed (both book and Pringles). Thanks so much to Bookouture and Netgalley for the book in return for an honest review.

Rating: 4/5

The Warning by Kathryn Croft

Kathryn Croft

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

What they say:My little boy’s room was empty, his bed neatly made. Alarm bells should have rung immediately. Then the knock on the door came. All I remember is a thick fog wrapping itself tightly around me. This couldn’t be happening to us.

Three years ago, nurse Zoe’s son Ethan was found drowned in a muddy river by their home, along with his best friend Josh. With no witnesses, their deaths were ruled a tragic accident.

Heartbroken, Zoe and her family, move away from her home. They’re just beginning to get back to some kind of normality, when, out of the blue, Zoe receives an anonymous email:

You need to find out the truth about what happened to your son. Don’t let this rest. Don’t believe the lie.

Shaken, Zoe starts an obsessive hunt for the truth. But why is her husband so reluctant to help?
And why is Josh’s mother so determined not to believe her?

The Review: When people ask for recs for psychological thrillers, quoting that they liked ‘Gone Girl’ or the like, I always turn their heads towards Kathryn Croft (pretty much all of them are on this blog if you want to do a quick search-apologies internet is not good enough today to reference them all!). To me her books are excellent examples of edge of your seat stuff, with leads you’re gunning for, and a race to a finish that generally surprises.

So we join a number of characters, most notably Zoe, who has been trundling through the days with her husband, Jake, and son. I warmed to each of the characters straight away, really feeling for them as they tried not to let the death of the character of the house ruin them. Added to the tragic circumstances of Ethan’s death were two things: first that they didn’t know he was out of the house that night,  and second, that his friend drowned too. Enter his friend’s mother, a woman who’s living with a secret but who is first and foremost, the mother of the teenager killed that night at the river. I felt for her throughout, wanting her to find some sort of life in an  existence where she had to put up with a despicable husband who she no longer loved, and who very obviously had no warmth for her.

So the two come face to face again when Zoe begins to get messages telling her that her son’s death was no accident. At the start we are trying to figure out if these messages are meant as a help or if they serve as warnings to her and her family, and we soon find out! This book is about the hunt to find out what happened that night, why it happened and who was involved and it most definitely kept me reading.

I had a fair few niggles, which was disappointing, the end of so many chapters were cliffhangers and there were so many characters’ viewpoints that it took away the shock factor after a while as you had to be put back to the surprise after a few chapters of different people talking. I’m afraid I did a lot of page flipping to remember who the smaller (and sometimes very important) characters were (yes this is ironic the post after another post where I said I am always ready for books with multiple povs!). Saying that I never wanted to put the book down and looked forward to finding out who the menacing character who told their own story was and I was lead up down and back around the garden path a number of times and couldn’t leave it down. Do make sure to check out all of her books though, you honestly will not be disappointed (I recommend starting with The Girl With No Past- review here and moving on from there!). Thanks to Netgalley and Bookouture for the book in return for an honest review.

Rating: 4/5