#BookReview – The Cornish Village School: Breaking the Rules by Kitty Wilson

The Blurb

Rosy Winter is definitely not looking for love.

Following heartbreak, Rosy has rebuilt her life in the beautiful Cornish village of Penmenna. Now headmistress of the local school, she is living by The Rule: no dating anyone in the village. Easy, right? But Rosy Winter has a new neighbour, handsome gardener Matt.

In Penmenna for his new gardening TV show, this guy next door will do everything he can to persuade her to break her rule and win her heart. Meanwhile, Penmenna Village School is threatened with closure and it’s up to Rosy to rally the local community and #SaveOurSchool.

Can she bring her worlds together and accept help from the most unlikely of sources?

My Thoughts

I appreciate that I am a little late to the party, but I loved this book and can’t believe I haven’t had the pleasure of reading Kitty Wilson’s books before now! I had barely closed the book before I was downloading Book 2 to my kindle to get started right away.

As a teacher in a small village school I could completely relate to so many aspects of the story. Kitty is either a teacher or has most certainly done her homework as there were so many small intricacies that rung true.

The story itself is rather predictable but that is what is so lovely about it, there are no big surprises it is just a lovely story with a happy ending. A very easy and enjoyable read that I will be highly recommending.

Buy your copy now…

#BookReview – We Are Not Like Them by Christine Pride and Jo Piazza

The Blurb

Not every story is black and white.

Riley and Jen have been best friends since they were children, and they thought their bond was unbreakable. It never mattered to them that Riley is black and Jen is white. And then Jen’s husband, a Philadelphia police officer, is involved in the shooting of an unarmed black teenager and everything changes in an instant.

This one act could destroy more than just Riley and Jen’s friendship. As their community takes sides, so must Jen and Riley, and for the first time in their lives the lifelong friends find themselves on opposing sides.

But can anyone win a fight like this?

We Are Not Like Them is about friendship and love. It’s about prejudice and betrayal. It’s about standing up for what you believe in, no matter the cost.

My Thoughts

This is most certainly a very current book that highlights all that the Black Lives Matter movement stands for. It is insightful and packed with so many themes that will promote some very intense discussions, making it an excellent Book Club choice.

Being co-authored is what makes ‘We Are Not Like Them’ so successful. Hearing the story from two different perspectives gave it so much more depth and meaning. I wasn’t quite sure how well the story would flow being written by two people, but it worked really well and both authors should be extremely proud of what they have achieved. Their different styles work well together and the book flows naturally.

There were a couple of aspects of the story that I found it difficult to relate to, one of which is that Jen seems very naive to the whole race issue and appears to be oblivious to the struggles of her so -called best friend, something that struck me as odd and not very plausible. In addition, Riley’s relationship was hindered because of an incident with her younger brother that is revealed near the end of the book. In my opinion, the incident was made into a very big event and I was surprised at how small and insignificant it was, it was a bit of an anti-climax.

Overall, this is an excellent read and I very much enjoyed it!

Buy your copy now…

#BookReview Call Me Mummy by Tina Baker

‘Call Me Mummy’ is a book I have been hearing about a lot and I was so excited to get started on it. I can safely say that it did not disappoint!

The Blurb

CALL ME MUMMY. IT’LL BE BETTER IF YOU DO.

Glamorous, beautiful Mummy has everything a woman could want. Except for a daughter of her very own. So when she sees Kim – heavily pregnant, glued to her phone and ignoring her eldest child in a busy shop – she does what anyone would do. She takes her. But foul-mouthed little Tonya is not the daughter that Mummy was hoping for.

As Tonya fiercely resists Mummy’s attempts to make her into the perfect child, Kim is demonised by the media as a ‘scummy mummy’, who deserves to have her other children taken too. Haunted by memories of her own childhood and refusing to play by the media’s rules, Kim begins to spiral, turning on those who love her.

Though they are worlds apart, Mummy and Kim have more in common than they could possibly imagine. But it is five-year-old Tonya who is caught in the middle…

My Thoughts

What makes a good Mum? Having a nice house with a well manicured lawn? Wearing beautiful and expensive clothes? Money? At first glance ‘Mummy’, the woman who kidnaps Tonya, appears to be the woman who can give her a good life with her nice house, nice clothes and plenty of money. This is in comparison to her stay-at-home, violent and aggressive Mum Kim, who is an ex-addict. From the outset it was really difficult not to judge Kim, but as the book slowly scrapes away all of the superficial aspects of life we use to judge others, and delves deeper into her thoughts and feelings, we learn what Kim is really like as a Mum.

Call Me Mummy was gripping from the very first page! As a Mum of a toddler and a newborn my emotions ran high throughout. Never before have I willed my baby to wake up in the night so I could continue reading, eager to get to the end and praying it will end as I hope. I really liked the style of writing in that it is told through both ‘Mummy’ and Kim’s perspectives with a few snippets of what Tonya is thinking and feeling.

Call Me Mummy is extremely well-paced, gripping and an absolute page-turner. A fantastic debut! I cannot wait to see what Tina Baker comes up with next.

Buy your copy now…

#BookReview – The Maid by Nita Prose

The Blurb

I am your maid. I know so much about you. But what do you know about me?

Molly the Maid is all alone in the world. A nobody. She’s used to being invisible in her job at the Regency Grand Hotel, plumping pillows and wiping away the grime, dust and secrets of tae guests who pass through. She’s just a maid – why should anyone take notice?

But Molly is thrown into the spotlight when she discovers an infamous guest, Mr Black, very dead in his bad. This isn’t a mess that can be easily cleaned up. And so Molly becomes embroiled in a hunt for the truth, learning who to trust as she navigates the secret underbelly of the Regency Grand Hotel.

Escapist, charming, and introducing a truly original heroine, The Maid is a story about how everyone deserves to be seen, and how the truth isn’t always black and white – it’s often found in the dirtier, grey areas in between

My Thoughts

My favourite read of the year so far. Absolutely fantastic!

Molly the Maid reminded me so much of Eleanor Oliphant. Others see her as ‘odd’, ‘weird’ and ‘strange’ but she is simply an innocent and naive young woman who was heavily reliant on her late Gran to help her understand the world. With her Gran gone, she finds it difficult to read social situations and, as a result, gets caught up in an unfortunate set of circumstances leading to her unfair arrest.

Nita Prose teaches us through this book that happiness isn’t about how much money you earn or what clothes you wear, it is the simple things in life that bring us joy and Molly is a testament to that as she finds love and happiness in her simple ways of life.

Misunderstood and underestimated, Molly is such a well created and highly developed character that I will not be forgetting in a hurry. Nita Prose is certainly an author I will be watching closely and I can’t wait to see what she produces next.

A phenomenal read and a remarkable debut, an absolute must have book!

The Maid is out in Jan 2022.

Pre-order your copy now…

#BookReview A Slow Fire Burning by Paula Hawkins

The Blurb

THE SCORCHING NEW THRILLER FROM THE BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN and INTO THE WATER

‘What is wrong with you?’

Laura has spent most of her life being judged. She’s seen as hot-tempered, troubled, a loner. Some even call her dangerous. 

Miriam knows that just because Laura is witnessed leaving the scene of a horrific murder with blood on her clothes, that doesn’t mean she’s a killer. Bitter experience has taught her how easy it is to get caught in the wrong place at the wrong time. 

Carla is reeling from the brutal murder of her nephew. She trusts no one: good people are capable of terrible deeds. But how far will she go to find peace? 

Innocent or guilty, everyone is damaged. Some are damaged enough to kill.

Look what you started.

My Thoughts

Another great read by ‘Paula Hawkins’, I was thrilled that my wish was granted on Netgalley. The characters are generally not very likeable and all have their own issues which make them prime suspects in the murder of Daniel, whose body is found on the house boat he is living in. That being said, I had so much sympathy for Laura, she clearly has her own physical, mental and emotional issues to deal with and it is clear that she puts so much effort into trying to behave in a way that is considered ‘normal’. Although this is a real challenge for her and she makes some very wrong decisions along the way, finding it impossible not to share exactly what she is thinking.

‘A Slow Burning Fire,’ is well written and very well developed. So many stories weaved together and although it is a slow burner as the title would suggest, it is dark and full of suspense making it well worth sticking with.

A Slow Burning Fire will be released on 31st August 2021. Pre-order your copy now!

#BookReview You Again? by Nick Spalding

The Blurb

From the bestselling author of Dumped, Actually comes a hilarious, heartfelt story about marriage, divorce and what the hell happens next.

Amy and Joel’s honeymoon in the Maldives was the perfect week of love, sun, sex and a free minibar…but unfortunately, it was also the high point of a marriage that quickly descended into an absolute disaster zone.

Eight years on, they’re back in paradise, trying to recreate the magic with new partners. What a crying shame they’ve picked the same week to do it…

Trapped together on an island small enough to spit across with the wind behind you, Amy and Joel pick up right where they left off: at total loggerheads. And so begins a hideous week of rivalry, one-upmanship and score-settling—as each tries to prove they’ve now comprehensively won at life.

The thing is, hurt and pain are strongest where there was once love. And what if being back in this island paradise, with all its wonderful memories, sets sparks flying in more ways than one?

My Thoughts

I really like Spalding’s style of writing and sense of humour having read quite a few of his books and so I was excited when my Netgalley request for ‘You Again?’ was accepted. The story switches between Amy and Joel’s point of view, which I enjoyed as it allows the reader to find out more about the characters and get into their head a little. I definitely did not like Amy at the beginning but as the story progressed I warmed to her. But I really need to mention Ray, Amy’s fiancé, as he was by far the most likeable, insightful and mature character. I just loved him!

I can’t deny that ‘You Again?’ is extremely predictable but I don’t think it is meant to anything else. It is full of humour and is an easy and highly enjoyable read. Another triumph for Nick Spalding!

Buy your copy now…

#BlogTour The Lies I Tell by Joel Hames

The Blurb

SHE’S WATCHING YOU, 

BUT WHO’S WATCHING HER?


From the bestselling author of Dead North, a tense, claustrophobic psychological thriller perfect for fans of Lucy Foley, Claire McGowan and Clare Mackintosh.

Meet Polly.
Meet Emily.
Meet Belinda.


They’re all me.

My name is Lisa and I’m an identity thief. If I’m not inside your system stealing your money, I’ve probably already stolen it. I’m your friend. I’m a thief. I’m gone. I’m in control.

Only now, the tables have been turned. I’m in danger. My son is in danger. And I don’t know where that danger’s coming from.

Any friend.
Any enemy.
Any stranger.
Anyone from the past I’ve been trying to outrun for years.


NOBODY CAN BE TRUSTED.

My Thoughts

Psychological thrillers are my favourite genre and so I was really keen to read ‘The Lies I Tell’ as, at first glance, it seemed different from others I have read. I can safely say it was very different and was highly relevant to what is going on in the world today with everyone’s social media presence and the increase in identity fraud. It was extremely engaging and made me think about my own online presence.

To fully appreciate and enjoy the story I think you need to have an interest in social media and computers or it might go over your head a bit. It appeared that the author knows about computers and identity theft or had simply done his homework as I was drawn in by the knowledge of the main character Lisa, whom I felt sorry for, but also felt she deserved to be punished for her crimes.

Overall, it was an enjoyable read and one that drew me in and kept me guessing.

About the Author

A Londoner in exile, Joel Hames lives in rural Lancashire with his wife and two daughters.

His works of fiction include the bestselling Sam Williams trilogy Dead North, No One Will Hear and The Cold Years, and the standalone psychological thriller The Lies I Tell.

When not writing or spending time with his family, Joel likes to eat, cook, play the piano, and make up excuses to avoid walking the dog. There’s the MMA thing, too, but he doesn’t like to show off.

You can find out more about Joel and sign up to his mailing list through social media or his very own website:

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/joelhamesauthor/

Twitter  https://twitter.com/joel_hames
Website:  http://www.joelhamesauthor.com

Buy your copy now…

#BookReview The Liar Next Door by Nicola Marsh

The Blurb

We live in a close-knit community. Thirty houses surrounding a square of garden that is perfect for our kids. We congregate here on major holidays, each family bringing a plate and sharing food and conversation. It’s in the garden that I first met her. The woman who would worm her way into my family and piece by piece tear it apart…

I should have known something was wrong from the very beginning. She seemed perfect in so many ways: she floated through the baby shower, a warm smile on her face, chatting to strangers with ease. At first I thought it was sweet that she offered to help me, that she made an effort to get to know us, that she brought over games and knew Luna’s favorite foods… I had no idea that I couldn’t trust another mother…

I should have known that someone would eventually discover the secret in my marriage. Why I never believe a word my husband says—and why he shouldn’t believe me. But how could a woman I only just met be the one to find it out?

If I’d known, I’d have called the police sooner.

And maybe I’d have prevented that dreadful scene. Every neighbor peering through their curtains as the sirens wailed in our street.

I could have protected my family.

I could have stopped what happened next…

My Thoughts

The Liar Next Door is fast-paced with a plot full of twists. The story centres around three very strong and relatable female characters whose lives and secrets are weaved together, although they don’t know it until it is too late. I really warmed to Frankie and sympathised with her but found Celeste and Saylor less likeable and was suspicious of their motives from the outset.

Easy to follow and well written, The Liar Next Door was enjoyable to read and despite finding it predictable in parts, there were still some surprises along the way.

The Liar Next Door is released on 23rd August 2021.

Pre-order your copy now…

#BookClub Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

Why was this book chosen?

This book was chosen because of the hype surrounding it. We had all heard of it but no-one had read it yet and we were intrigued. The fact it was a completely different genre from our previous book club book by Tracy Bloom was also a selling point as we wanted to try something different.

First Impressions

As I read the first few chapters, I wasn’t sure it was a book for me.

A Brief Review

I Loved it! After I got passed the first few chapters and into the author’s style of writing, I was hooked. The author’s descriptions, particularly of the marsh, were vivid and allowed me to visualise clearly. Throughout the book the main character Kya experiences racism, violence, discrimination and prejudice all of which make this book a great book club choice as there are so many talking points.

Buy your copy now…

#BookReview Rock, Paper, Scissors

The Blurb

Adam and Amelia are spending the weekend in the Scottish Highlands. The remote location is perfect for what they have planned.

But when their romantic trip takes a dark turn, they both start to wonder – can they trust the one they’re with?

Because every couple tells little white lies. Only for Adam and Amelia, the truth is far more dangerous.

My Thoughts

This is my first Alice Feeney book and I was excited to get started as I had heard lots of good things about ‘His and Hers’. I have to admit that the story started off relatively slow and it did take me quite a few chapters before I was hooked but hooked I was.

It was clear from the very beginning that something wasn’t right and there was a distinct feeling of unease and suspicion. Feeney definitely knows how to create an atmosphere. Adam’s ‘face blindness’ is a condition completely unknown to me and I found it extremely intriguing.

The twist at the end was a complete surprise and made me want to go back and read the whole thing again as I’m certain it would read very differently.

Rock, Paper, Scissors will keep you on your toes. A great story full of tension and twists!

Rock, Paper, Scissors will be published on 19th August 2021. Pre-order your copy now…