Just Another Summer Review Bundle

Review Bundle

Poppy’s Place in the Sun by Lorraine Wilson

Sometimes you need to lose yourself to find your way home…

With only her trusty dogs Peanut, Treacle and Pickwick by her side, Poppy Kirkbride could be forgiven for having doubts about her move to a quiet village in rural France. But as the sun shines down on her ramshackle new home, Poppy knows she’s made the right decision. A lick of paint, and some TLC and her rustic farmhouse will be the perfect holiday retreat – Poppy’s dream come true.

Poppy is welcomed by her fellow villagers, except for brooding local vet Leo Dubois, who makes it clear Poppy isn’t welcome in his village – or his life! Leo might be gorgeous, but Poppy won’t be told what to do by an arrogant Frenchman – no matter how kind and gentle he is to her dogs!

Determined to stay, Poppy tries to understand the enigmatic Frenchman better. But as the two get closer, Poppy sees another side to Leo – a man with heartbreak of his own. Falling in love with Leo is easy, but can he ever return Poppy’s love? And what would this mean for her dream life and place in the sun?

Review: This is a wonderful book to get lost in. It is one of those books full of great characters that fills you with hope and happiness. It is also brilliantly written and puts you in the mood for Summer. I loved it.

Paper Ghosts by Julia Heaberlin

My Sister disappeared. I know who took her. Now I’ve taken him. ———- Carl Louis Feldman is an old man who once took photographs. That was before he was tried for murder and acquitted. Before dementia and his admission to a Texas care facility. Now his daughter has come to see him, to take him on a trip. Only she’s not his daughter, and, if she has her way, he’s not coming back . . . Because Carl’s past has finally caught up with him. The woman driving the car is convinced he’s guilty, and that he’s killed other young women. Including her sister Rachel. Now they’re driving across Texas, following his photographs, his clues, his crimes. To see if he remembers any of it. To discover what happened to Rachel. Has Carl truly forgotten what he did or is he just pretending? Perhaps he’s guilty of nothing and she’s the liar. Either way, in driving him into the Texan badlands she’s taking a terrible risk. For if Carl really is a serial killer, she’s alone in the most dangerous place of all . . 

Review: This book intrigued me, you only have to read the blurb and you interested straight away.  However, I think it was over written and has a plot that is a little to busy. It has good story telling in the fact that the story is told from different view points which I like in this kind of book. Overall, however I was not satisfied.

Secrets of the East End Angels by Rosie Hendry

London, 1941. The East End Angels – Frankie, Bella and Winnie – are settled into life as ambulance crew members at LAAS Station Seventy-Five. The threat of air raids and other atrocities are a constant worry, but life continues regardless and the weight of responsibility weighs heavy on each of them.

Frankie’s grandfather is unwell and she promised him she would always look after Ivy, her step-grandmother, but things between the two women are becoming increasingly strained. And then Frankie discovers something that turns everything she thought she knew about herself on its head.

Winnie’s natural leadership puts her at the forefront at the station and she’s soon making the difficult decisions on call-outs. As she is exposed to a higher level of war and destruction, she begins to wonder how much more London can take – and how much more can she take?

Bella is beginning to drive the ambulances, she is growing closer to James and her love for writing is opening up new doors for her. Then she receives devastating news about someone close to her and things begin to unravel.

Life and war may keep testing the angels but love will always find a way to shine and the strength of their friendship will see them through the darkest of times.

Review: This is a delightful read. A lovely cast of characters that continues as this is the second in the series. I adore stories like this that get you hooked into the lives of the characters during war. A great read.

The Road Trip by Susanne O’Leary

Maddy and Leanne are in need of a miracle.

Maddy can’t bear to wash another pair of her husband’s Y-fronts and if he continues to drone on about golf she might just scream. 

Leanne can’t stand living with her overbearing mother for a second longer and she’s one disapproving eye roll away from a nervous breakdown. 

But their luck changes when they win the lottery.

Setting off from Dublin, Maddy and Leanne lease a red convertible, winding through Europe and heading for the sun-drenched French Riviera. 

But the pair have their own reasons for their adventure. Maddy has never forgotten her summer romance of twenty years ago with a gorgeous Frenchman and Leanne plans to track down the father who abandoned her as a child. 

Amongst glorious sunsets and buckets of bubbly, Leanne and Maddy are searching for answers after years of wondering ‘what if?’. But there might just be some surprises in store along the way… 

Review: This is a fun easy read great for a quick relaxing weekend read. Has you laughing, crying and hiding behind you face nearly all at the same time. A good book.

The Almost Wife by Jade Beer

Jessie has always known she doesn’t belong, but she thought that would change when she met Adam. But pretending to be someone you’re not isn’t easy… and she’s already cracking under the pressure of keeping her past a secret from Adam’s uptight family. 

Dolly works hard to keep up appearances – but what’s the point of only eating salad when her boyfriend Josh always seems distracted. Dolly is sure he’ll change once they’re married with a family; Josh did say he wanted those things… didn’t he?

Emily couldn’t be happier: she’s got funny, loving parents and a job she looks forward to. And then her boyfriend Mark proposes… just as some shocking news sends her life spiralling out of control. 

 Perfect strangers on the first page, Jessie, Dolly and Emily’s paths will cross in the most unexpected of ways. And as their stories collide, their lives will take a turn you’ll never predict.

Review: A book that I loved by reading the blurb. I was not disappointed. We follow three girls who are all planning their wedding but their lives cross paths throughout the story which is fall of interesting twists and turns. This is a great read and one I would highly recommend, its is written well and keeps the pages turning.

The Lost for Words Bookshop by Stephanie Butland

Loveday Cardew prefers books to people. If you look carefully, you might glimpse the first lines of the novels she loves most tattooed on her skin. But there are some things Loveday will never, ever show you.

Into her hiding place – the bookstore where she works – come a poet, a lover, and three suspicious deliveries.

Someone has found out about her mysterious past. Will Loveday survive her own heartbreaking secrets?

Review: What an interesting blurb!

Loveday sounds like a character I could relate to. After reading I still think that. This is a brilliant read and very well written. This is an author I have not read before so did not know what to expect. I was delighted that I found a really good read. This book makes you feel every emotion through the words. A must read.

Springtime at Wildacre by Lucy Daniels

Mandy Hope is on cloud nine. Hope Meadows, the animal rescue and rehabilitation centre she founded, is going really well. And she’s growing ever closer to handsome villager Jimmy Marsh. What’s more, James Hunter, her best friend, is slowly learning to re-embrace life after facing tragedy.

But when an unexpected crisis causes Mandy to lose confidence in her veterinary skills, it’s a huge blow. If she can’t learn to forgive herself, then her relationship with Jimmy, and the future of Hope Meadows, may be in danger. It’ll take friendship, love, community spirit – and one elephant with very bad teeth – to remind Mandy and her fellow villagers that springtime in Yorkshire really is the most glorious time of the year.

Review: We are back at Hope Meadows! I adore this series as it brings back some great reading memories as a child. Again this is well written and has all the elements you would expect from an animal ark story. A joy to return to a childhood memory but in an adult world.

Once Upon A Heartbreak by Cassie Rocca

Liberty Allen used to be a hopeless romantic, that is, until Zack Sullivan unwittingly broke her teenage heart.

Fifteen years later, Liberty has her life together in New York City, running a successful business and engaged to be married in just a matter of months. But something just seems to be missing…

All of a sudden, Liberty runs into Zack out the blue, forcing her to question everything she thought she knew about her life, her happiness, and even her feelings on true love…

Review: This a contemporary romance and very enjoyable. This is about a girl who had a difficult time when young but when she bumps into someone from her past she has changed. One Upon a Heartbreak will have you laughing and crying and hoping the best for Liberty. A lovely cast of characters. Overall a great read I loved it.

What Holly’s Husband Did by Debbie Viggiano

Holly Hart has been married for fifteen blissful years to hubby Alex. Well… if you don’t count last Christmas, when she accidentally found a load of flirty texts on Alex’s phone. But every marriage has its ups and downs and Alex had a perfectly reasonable explanation… so why can’t Holly forget what she saw? 

With the help of best friends Jeanie and Caro, as well as their handsome neighbour Jack, Holly resolves to settle her mind once and for all with a bit of sneaky detective work. So what if her husband isn’t exactly Brad Pitt? He’s hers, and if someone else is trying to steal him she wants to know who… But the truth is way more shocking than Holly ever anticipated. Can Holly, let alone her marriage, ever recover from what she discovers?

Review: An amazing read. I am glad that I had the opportunity to read this book as it had so much going for it. Brilliant writing, an amazing plot and characters. The pagers seemed to turn themselves. I was surprised as I read each chapter and was sad when it ended.  Will be reading more from this author.

The Paris Cheese Shop by Victoria Brownlee

Heartbroken and on the cusp of turning 30, Ella decides to pack her bags and move to Paris, somewhere she had visited when she was a different, more adventurous person.

It’s on the streets of beautiful, romantic City of Light that she finds her heart’s true desire: cheese. For Ella, her local fromagerie becomes a safe haven and she finds herself being drawn back there day after day.

But in a strange city, being friendless and not able to speak the language, has she bitten off more than she can chew?

Review: This is the first part of a novel and I really enjoyed it. I was first interested as the story is set around a cheese job and Paris is a great location for a story and a possible romance.

It is written well and has left me wanting more. I felt like I was there in Paris. I was gripped from the first sentence. A refreshing book and cannot wait for the next instalment.

My Mamma Mia Summer by Annie Robertson 

Laurel hasn’t taken a risk her whole life. Now as the summertime dawns, she’s going to do something that nobody expects of her. As she and her grandmother, Marnie, always loved to, Laurel turns to her ABBA albums and her favourite film, Mamma Mia! She grabs her passport, dons her dungarees, and jets off to Skopelos for her own Meryl-inspired adventure…

Laurel books into the faded but charming Villa Athena and befriends its eccentric owner. As she explores the island’s famous sights, Laurel finds herself feeling strangely at home. So should she return to her life in London, or could this be where she truly belongs?

Review: This book had me at Mamma Mia, I love the films and so was excited to read this book.

It is written very well and has you engaged from the start. Full of hope and sunshine you cannot go wrong with this book.

A fun read which has you reaching for the ABBA CD’s and booking holidays to Greece.

Ottercombe Bay Part Four by Bella Osbourne

Escape to the Devon coast, with Part Four of a brand-new four-part serial from the author of Willow Cottage.

Daisy Wickens has returned to Ottercombe Bay, the picturesque Devon town where her mother died when she was a girl. She plans to leave as soon as her great uncle’s funeral is over, but Great Uncle Reg had other ideas. He’s left Daisy a significant inheritance – an old building in a state of disrepair, which could offer exciting possibilities, but to get it she must stay in Ottercombe Bay for twelve whole months.

With the help of a cast of quirky locals, a few gin cocktails and a black pug with plenty of attitude, Daisy might just turn this into something special. But can she ever hope to be happy among the ghosts of her past?

Review: This is a lovely finish to the four-part series, which I was lucky enough to have it sent to me. I cannot praise this book highly enough. Bella Osbourne has really created a brilliant novel here and I cannot wait to read it again when it is released as a whole book.

Ottercombe Bay (Part two and Part three) by Bella Osbourne

 

 

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In Your Defence by Sarah Langford

Her Mother's Secret by Rosanna Ley

Sarah Langford is a barrister. Her job is to stand in court representing the mad and the bad, the vulnerable, the heartbroken and the hopeful. She must become their voice: weave their story around the black and white of the law and tell it to the courtroom. These stories may not make headlines but they will change the lives of ordinary people in extraordinary ways. They are stories which, but for a twist of luck, might have been yours.

To work at the Bar is to enter a world shrouded by strange clothing, archaic rituals and inaccessible language. So how does it feel to be an instrument of such an unknowable system? And what does it mean to be at its mercy? Our legal system promises us justice, impartiality and fair judgement. Does it, or can it, deliver this?

With remarkable candour, Sarah describes eleven cases which reveal what goes on in our criminal and family courts. She examines how she feels as she defends the person standing in the dock. She tells compelling stories – of domestic fall out, everyday burglary, sexual indiscretion, and children caught up in the law – that are sometimes shocking and often heart-stopping. She shows us how our attitudes and actions can shape not only the outcome of a case, but the legal system itself.

Review: This book was sent to me to review and I would like to thank Poppy Stimpson and the publishing team behind that.

I was very intrigued by this book. There are 11 cases that Sarah writes about (All names and settings are different to where and who was actually apart of them) but are all true. As a barrister Sarah has a very interesting take on all the cases and they really stop and make you think about the law.

It is written well and is easy to follow despite the language of the law that is used. It had me gripped and really made you stop and think about each case and wondering how it would be solved and how things would turn out. What a very interesting but difficult job.

A brilliant read and I am very glad I had the chance to read this amazing book.

 

Writing a book – where do I start by Sue Moorcroft

One Summer in Italy

When Sofia Bianchi’s father Aldo dies, it makes her stop and look at things afresh. Having been his carer for so many years, she knows it’s time for her to live her own life – and to fulfil some promises she made to Aldo in his final days.

So there’s nothing for it but to escape to Italy’s Umbrian mountains where, tucked away in a sleepy Italian village, lie plenty of family secrets waiting to be discovered. There, Sofia also finds Amy who is desperately trying to find her way in life after discovering her dad isn’t her biological father.

Sofia sets about helping Amy through this difficult time, but it’s the handsome Levi who proves to be the biggest distraction for Sofia, as her new life starts to take off…

I would like to welcome Sue Moorcroft again to chellsandbooks it is an absolute pleasure. Sue kindly agreed to write a feature to celebrate her wonderful new novel One Summer  in Italy. 

About Sue Moorcroft:

Sue Moorcroft is a Sunday Times and international bestselling author and has reached the coveted #1 spot on Amazon Kindle. She’s won the Readers’ Best Romantic Novel award and the Katie Fforde Bursary, and has been nominated for several other awards, including Romantic Novel of the Year (contemporary).

Her short stories, serials, columns, writing ‘how to’ and courses have appeared around the world.

So I will hand over to Sue: 

“I’ve written quite a few posts about why I chose the Umbrian setting for One Summer in Italy so this time I’d like to talk about the rest of the book, and how I put it together.

I had a few ideas for different characters. Sofia, the heroine, was pretty clear to me from the start. She had to be a seasonal worker. I knew she was going to have one Italian parent so she could definitely work in Italy – I was a bit worried about Brexit derailing it, otherwise. But I wanted her to be seeing her dad’s home town of Montelibertà for the first time. What had kept her away until then? Why didn’t she know more about it? Where was her English mother? It’s common for me to think of a situation and then create a backstory to fit it so I decided Sofia’s had lost her mother when she was a child. Her father, Aldo, had been unwell for many years, so Sofia had become his carer. Why didn’t she know her Italian family at all? There had been a feud. How could I ensure that Sofia would do everything Aldo wanted to? I made each point a dying promise. I was about ready to begin Sofia’s thread.

Levi was easier in some ways but harder in others. I knew why I wanted him to be in Montelibertà – no, I can’t tell you! – so it was a question of getting him there. At the time I was planning the book I heard someone talking about travelling around Europe on a motorbike. He did it several times a year, he said. He was so full of enthusiasm that I decided to give Levi a motorbike too. His family’s as important to him as Sofia’s family is to her, but whilst hers are either gone or mysteriously hidden from her, his are very much present and at least he knows who’s who (doesn’t he?).

What I needed desperately to bring together Levi’s backstory with what happens in the book, was a ‘unifying factor’. I remembered someone from my teen years. He managed a garage on a corner and if teenagers tried to cut the corner via his forecourt he used to rush out to shout at them. (You can imagine that on a hot afternoon, this can be quite an amusing things for teenagers to do.) I made that man into Levi’s dad, Bryan ‘Bullet’ Gunn, known around the town for shooting out and ordering people off the forecourt.

The above formed the starting point for One Summer in Italy. There is more to the plot, of course, but without me knowing these things I don’t think the book could have worked.

I’m beginning to think about my summer 2019 book so any time now I’ll be searching out my pad and beginning work on the answers to a few questions …”

Sue Moorcroft can be found on: 

Website [www.suemoorcroft.com]

Blog [http://suemoorcroft.wordpress.com]

Facebook profile [Sue.Moorcroft.3]

Facebook author page [https://www.facebook.com/SueMoorcroftAuthor

Twitter  [@suemoorcroft]

Instagram [https://www.instagram.com/suemoorcroftauthor/] @SueMoorcroftAuthor

Google+ [google.com/+SueMoorcroftAuthor] +SueMoorcroftAuthor

LinkedIn [https://www.linkedin.com/in/suemoorcroft]

 

One Summer in Italy by Sue Moorcroft (Blog Tour)

The Summer Theatre by the Sea by T (2)

When Sofia Bianchi’s father Aldo dies, it makes her stop and look at things afresh. Having been his carer for so many years, she knows it’s time for her to live her own life – and to fulfil some promises she made to Aldo in his final days.

So there’s nothing for it but to escape to Italy’s Umbrian mountains where, tucked away in a sleepy Italian village, lie plenty of family secrets waiting to be discovered. There, Sofia also finds Amy who is desperately trying to find her way in life after discovering her dad isn’t her biological father.

Sofia sets about helping Amy through this difficult time, but it’s the handsome Levi who proves to be the biggest distraction for Sofia, as her new life starts to take off…

Review: First I would like to thank Sue Moorcroft and Avon for letting me be apart of the blog tour for One Summer in Italy and what a perfect escape it was. On closing the last page of this book it was like returning from a holiday. I could feel the warm rays of the sun and taste the Italian food.

In the beautiful setting of the Italian mountains we meet Sofia and Amy who are looking for a fresh start. Sofia has been caring for her father for some time and Amy had some upsetting news about her father, they discover each of in Italy and hope a fresh start is what they need, but amongst the mountains there are family secrets and a certain handsome man.

Perfect read for the summer. Written so well the pages keep on turning, I am a big fan of Sue Moorcroft’s storytelling. I cannot wait until her next book.

 

 

The Gorgotten Guide to Happiness by Sophie Jenkins (Blog Tour)

Faded Fall

You can lose your memory, but you never forget how to love…

Lana Green has a talent for pushing people away. As a writer, she’s perfectly happy to be left alone with her books. But when she meets Jack Buchanan and Nancy Ellis Hall, Lana’s solitary life will change for ever.

Nancy has dementia, and social services believe this makes her vulnerable. But Lana can see the funny, brilliant woman underneath the illness.

As Lana and Jack struggle to keep Nancy out of a care home, Lana starts to question everything she ever thought mattered.

Because what’s the point in stories, if there is no one to share them with?

Review: I would like to thank Avon for letting me review this book and for sending me a book in the post. This book first off looks amazing the cover is great and secondly sounds amazing from reading the blurb. It sounded very different to many books I have read recently and intrigued me.

Lana Green is a writer who has lost the man she loves but is reluctant to let go and move on. When she ends up in a situation where she has no choice but to move on she finds herself meeting a new man and taking on new challenges.

I really enjoyed this book and following the development of Lana’s life and her book. I particularly enjoyed reading about the writing elements of the story, a great touch to the story. Sophie Jenkins writes about a topic that can be quite worrying but in the story it is not seen as something to worry about. She makes you think of life in a different way as Lana finds out.

A brilliant read. One not to miss.

 

 

Interview with Rosanna Ley (Blog Tour)

Interview

Today as part of the blog tour for Her Mother’s Secret we have Rosanna Ley feature in my blog. I got the chance to ask her a few questions so I hope you enjoy. 

Hi Rosanna, thank you very much for taking the time to appear on my blog

My pleasure!     

Please tell us a little about Her Mother’s Secret and where the idea for the book came from?

The idea for the book originated from the themes of loss and making amends. I also wanted to write about islands – it’s interesting to me that an island can be a place to escape to (artists, writers and actors have ‘escaped’ to Belle-ile-en-mer…) but also a place to escape from when that island is perceived as insular and lacking in fun and opportunity.

From these themes I started looking around at islands I might like to explore and I came upon a travel article about little known French islands. One of these was Belle-Ile and the rest of the story grew from there.

Colette left the island when she was only eighteen but when she is pulled back there by her mother’s illness, she finds herself drawn again into the landscape of the past. Her mother Thea left Cornwall to escape from a love affair that went wrong, and other characters too have ambivalent feelings about the undeniable magic of Belle-Ile.

How do you develop your plot and characters?

Massive question! There are so many ways… My starting point is often different (from the above answer). I might already have the story idea in my head and then develop the branching points and drama by asking myself ‘What if..?’ and ‘Why..?’ A plot can take me a long time to create and develop, but I try to include an exploration of a relationship, at least one journey and some mystery and intrigue…

As for characters, they are the right ones for whatever story I want to tell. So, if I want to explore a mother/daughter relationship then I think about both characters, what they are like, what has happened to them in their lives, how they dealt with that and what went wrong. I try to make them complex and three-dimensional because people are and I am drawn to writing about creative people. I write from their viewpoint and explore their dreams and their secrets. Eventually I will hear their ‘voice’ and then I’m ready to begin!

Location plays a big part in this story, how do you choose your locations?

Sometimes the location chooses me… I am drawn to places that have interesting cultures and histories and which I want to visit and explore. Sometimes there is a ‘right’ location for a story – for example in ‘Return to Mandalay’ in which I was writing a fictional version of a real-life story from my husband’s family past. Or in ‘Bay of Secrets’ where certain atrocities committed during the Spanish Civil War fitted with my story of adoption. (I love that kind of synchronicity!) Other times, settings come into my life through a film, an article, a book, a talk with a friend and I realise that I want to write a story in that place. The setting could also follow a theme from the story, or be led by a character or even a dream!

Did you learn anything from this book while writing it?

I certainly learned a lot about the island of Belle-Ile and also about Porthleven in Cornwall and its history. When I visited Porthleven I was lucky enough to come upon an exhibition of photographs from the 1950s and ‘60s which was invaluable, and also a helpful book about past Porthleven businesses written by a local resident. I learned about flowers, about running a flower shop and about the healing uses of flowers as Colette takes over her mother’s flower shop and about oyster farming in Locmariaquer, Morbihan. I found out how to make animals out of driftwood and I went to visit some! Every novel is a learning experience in other less tangible ways.

Her Mother’s Secret is going to be made into a film, who would you like to cast?

Oh, that’s kind of you!! Just what I always wanted… Marion Cotillard would be great for Colette, as she has the right looks but is not quite the right age(!) Léa Seydoux has the perfect look for the dreamy driftwood artist Élodie and Catherine Deneuve could be Mathilde. Helena Bonham-Carter would make a fabulous Thea. I was a bit spoilt for choice when I looked for French male actors around 30 as so many of them were attractive enough to be Étienne… But I’ve chosen Gaspard Ulliel – he definitely has that certain je ne sais quoi…

What are your future projects?

I’m currently working on my next novel which is set in the glamorous Italian Riviera and is called ‘The Lemon Tree Hotel’. It is about a family of strong women who run it and who all want the hotel to be something different. And then everything changes when two unexpected guests check in…

Thank you again for appear on my blog and taking the time to answer these questions?

It was a complete pleasure, Michelle and thank you for your great questions.

Rosanna x

 

The Bakery at Seashell Cove by Karen Clarke (Blog Tour)

Faded Fall (2).png

Meg Larson thought she had everything she wanted: she works in the local bakery, she’s months away from marrying her high-school sweetheart, and home is beautiful, sunny Seashell Cove, where the sky is blue, the sea is turquoise and the sand is golden.

Except that the bakery is up for sale and her fiancé Sam’s more interested in bikes than their relationship. When Meg receives shocking news about her family, he’s on a cycling tour and ignoring her calls – and posting selfies on Facebook with a female cyclist he looks far too cosy with…

Luckily the bakery’s estate agent, Nathan, is understanding and funny, and as the summer goes on an unexpected friendship blossoms. When the bakery is given a second lease of life under a mysterious new owner, Meg realises a change might be exactly what she needs too.

Will Meg find the happy-ever-after she dreams of in Seashell Cove? 

Review: I would like to thank Bookouture for letting me review this book and be apart of the blog tour. I loved the first book in this series see review below and could not wait to read the next visit to Seashell Cove.

The Cafe at Seashell Cove by Karen Clarke

In The Bakery at Seashell cove we follow Meg who we think has it all, that is how it seemed when reading The Cafe at Seashell Cove. However, the bakery is up for sale and with no money to buy it she has to hope that whoever does buy the bakery will take her on to, that is if they keep it as a bakery. Meg is also marrying her childhood sweetheart but something is not right there either. When some shocking news enters Meg’s world will she find her happy ever after ending in Seashell Cove with her friends?

This is a book that must be read if you like a very good feel good summer read full of love and hope with the bonus of tasty treats.

Karen Clarke has very quickly became one of my favourite authors.