Wednesday, 13 November 2019

Dark Deception by Amanda James

Kerensa and Leo are a happily married young couple who live in Cornwall. Leo works part-time in London as an investment advisor to wealthy businessman, Paul Donaldson. The couple hope to start a family soon and life couldn’t be better.  
But Leo has been stealing from Paul and Paul isn’t the sort of man you steal from.  

When Leo realises that Paul knows what he’s done, he has no choice but to resort to drastic measures.  
Meanwhile, after discovering she is pregnant, Kerensa can’t wait for her husband to return home so she can share her news. But she soon discovers he’s gone missing.  
After receiving a threatening phone call from Paul, Kerensa realises how much trouble her family are in.  

Kerensa and Leo seem to have the perfect life. He has a good job,a house in Cornwall by the sea and Kerensa has opened a shop to sell her artwork. She thinks it could be time to plan for a baby. All seems perfect but Leo wants more and he doesn't care what he does to get it.

Then Kerensa's  perfect life is shattered and she has to build a new one on her own.
When other people enter her world and she makes new friends she may have to assess who she can trust and who she can't. She never imagined her life would ever become this complicated.

Wow! What an explosive first chapter to a book! I was almost afraid to read anymore.
We are taken on a roller coaster journey through this book and never know what to expect around the corner. I am not going to say any more about the story because it would just spoil it for you.
Amanda Jame's books just get better and better. The descriptions of Cornwall make you want to move there tomorrow although you will have to hope you don't bump into any of the strange and dangerous  people that the author writes about. Now that would be a nightmare.
Dark  Deception is Amanda Jame's best book yet and it's published today !

Out in paperback and kindle (99p) Here

Monday, 21 October 2019

Holiday Reading

I haven't been posting any reviews lately as I've been on holiday. None of my holiday reading was for review and they were all on my kindle apart from one audio book.
I was away for three weeks and read 14 book which I thought I would share with you on two posts {so you won't get bored}. I 'm not going to say too much about each one but I'll give you a link to the book. I think most of them were 99p for kindle, a few may have cost another pound or two.

Gone by Leah Deakin

Four strangers are missing. Left at their last-known locations are birthday cards that read:

The police aren’t worried – it’s just a game. But the families are frantic. As psychologist and private detective Dr Augusta Bloom delves into the lives of the missing people, she finds something that binds them all.
And that something makes them very dangerous indeed.
As more disappearances are reported and new birthday cards uncovered, Dr Bloom races to unravel the mystery and find the missing people.
But what if, this time, they are the ones she should fear?

ME/  This book kept me on the edge of my no one!
99p for kindle PB £7.99

The Secret Letter by Debbie Rix
Germany, 1939. A tumbledown farmhouse, on the outskirts of a close-knit village in the heart of the rolling hills of Bavaria. A once happy family home torn apart by Nazi rule. And one young girl who refuses to give up on what she believes in…

ME/ You will see from most of my book choices that I love books set during wartime and this one didn't disappoint. A hard read at times as it always amazes me how cruel people can be to each other but then there's always one shining star amongst the darkness. Cried my eyes out!
£1.99 for kindle or free for kindle unlimited. PB £8.99

The Woman Upstairs by Ruth Heald
You’d be lost without her…

She’s the shoulder you cry on when the father of your children disappears.
She’s the person you turn to when he comes back, begging for forgiveness.
She’s by your side when you discover his guilty secrets.
She helps rock your babies to sleep when they cry.
She’s your friend when you have no one else.
She’s the woman upstairs, whose feet you hear treading above as you drift off at night, thankful you aren’t alone.

But what if you’re about to lose everything because of her?
ME/  Good read. I was so desperate wanting one person to be found out for what she was while wanting to strangle the main character myself for her stupidity. 
£1.99 for kindle PB £8.99

A Postcard From Italy by Alex Brown
Grace Quinn loves her job at Cohen’s Convenient Storage Company, finding occasional treasure in the forgotten units that customers have abandoned. Her inquisitive nature is piqued when a valuable art collection and a bundle of letters and diaries are found that date back to the 1930’s.
Delving deeper, Grace uncovers the story of a young English woman, Connie Levine, who follows her heart to Italy at the end of the Second World war. The contents also offer up the hope of a new beginning for Grace, battling a broken heart and caring for her controlling mother.

ME/  Story set before the war, during the war and present day. A mystery to be solved within the letters and diaries and a young woman who needs to get her life back. Good read.
99p for kindle £5.67 for PB

The French Photographer by Natasha Lester.
When Jessica May's successful modelling career is abruptly cut short, Vogue send her to war-torn Paris to cover the conflict as a correspondent. She's courageous and a fast-learner, but of course the military men make her life as difficult as possible.
Three friendships change that: journalist Martha Gellhorn encourages Jess to bend the rules; paratrooper Dan Hallworth shows her how to take pictures and write stories that matter; and a little girl, Victorine, who shows Jess how to open hear heart.
Australian curator D'Arcy Hallworth arrives at a beautiful French chateau to manage a famous collection of photographs. What begins as just another job becomes far more disquieting as D'Arcy uncovers the true identity of the mysterious French photographer... 

ME/  I have only just discovered this author and I am reading all of her books. I absolutely love her.
As you can see, another wartime novel. It was heart breaking. It also brings home to you how women were treated in the auxiliary forces during the war and heaven forbid if they tried to do a "Man's job" and do it better which of course they did. Loved this book but preferred the 1942 part to the 2005.
kindle is £4.99 and PB £6.47

The Girl in The Window by Rowan Coleman
A house full of history is bound to have secrets...
Ponden Hall is a centuries-old house on the Yorkshire moors, a magical place full of stories. It's also where Trudy Heaton grew up. And where she ran away from...
Now, after the devastating loss of her husband, she is returning home with her young son, Will, who refuses to believe his father is dead.
While Trudy tries to do her best for her son, she must also attempt to build bridges with her eccentric mother. And then there is the Hall itself: fallen into disrepair but generations of lives and loves still echo in its shadows, sometimes even reaching out to the present.

ME/  There is so much going on in this book. From a missing father, an eccentric grandmother, a crumbling haunted old house, Emily Bronte to a very strange neighbour. A great read curled up at the fireside on a dark night.
99p for kindle and PB is £5.75

Before and Again by Barbara Delinsky
Mackenzie Cooper took her eyes off the road for just a moment, but the resulting collision was enough to rob her of her life as she knew it.
Forced to start again, she moved to a small town under a new name - Maggie Reid - and her only goal is to stay under the radar. She's thankful for the few friends she's made, although she can't risk telling them too much about her previous life.
But Maggie isn't the only one in this peaceful town with secrets. When a friend's teenage son is thrust into the national spotlight, Maggie is torn between protecting herself or stepping into the glare to be at their side. Will she find the courage to face the world again

ME/ It's been years since I read a book by this author. I used to love her books. This is the one I had on audio and I sometimes find you can't get into the book the same way. The story was okay but it did annoy me that McKenzie's husband thought he could just walk back into her life after five years (I think) and expect her to welcome him. Not that riveting.
£4.99 for kindle and PB £5.75

Next seven coming soon.

Thursday, 29 August 2019

One Winter Morning by Isabelle Broom

On a winter morning she lost a piece of her heart. Can she find it again? 
Evangeline isn't feeling very festive this December. 
The frosty mornings and twinkling fairy lights only remind her it's been a year since she lost her adoptive mother, who took her in as a baby and raised her as her own. 
She's never felt more alone - until she discovers her birth mother's identity. And where to find her. 
A lifetime and thousands of miles have separated Evangeline and Bonnie. Now, travelling to New Zealand could be Evangeline's chance to confront the woman who gave her up.
But is she ready for what she'll find?
The answers she's been looking for, a new family to heal her . . . Or someone she could never have expected?

Genie's adoptive mother has died and Genie can't move on from it. She blames herself and is carrying the guilt like a ton weight. Nothing seems to help. Nearly a year later her father tells her he knows where to find her birth mother.
Eventually after a lot of thought about what she will find when she gets there, Genie is on the plane to New Zealand, the other side of the world.
It is a big step for Genie to come face to face with her birth mother, wondering if she'll even want to see her.
When her birth mother is not there Genie gets to know other people connected with her and is accepted by them.
This is the place where eventually Genie will begin to heal.
A really lovely story in a beautiful setting. I wanted to get on a plane ,and and fly to New Zealand to experience the delights described in this book.
I think this story calls for a sequel.

Out now in kindle,paperback and audio format.

Tuesday, 27 August 2019

The Golden Oldies Guesthouse by Dee MacDonald

Tess and Simon Sparrow may have a few more grey hairs and wrinkles than they used to, but that doesn’t stop them being swept up in a whirlwind romance and starting over again. Swapping their city lives for an escape to the countryside, they fall in love with a crumbling hotel and impulsively buy it as their forever home to grow old in together…

Renovating the glorious, wisteria-clad property on the gorgeous cliff-tops of Cornwall was meant to be a delightful retirement project. But the dream soon turns into reality and practical Tess and optimist Simon are faced with leaky bathrooms, creaky stairs and a roof that’s just about holding up.
Running out of money fast, the couple decide to rent out a few rooms to save their new home.

Along come mysterious Celia, hapless romantic Benedict and tarnished, lovelorn actress Titania – all looking for a fresh start. Everyone in this eclectic group has their own reasons for being in Cornwall and across the summer they each go on a journey of self-discovery at The Golden Oldies Guesthouse as they realise there is still plenty of time for love, life, friendship… and a few unexpected surprises.

When you fall in love with a house you're hooked no matter what. This is what happens to Tess and Simon when they see a huge house for sale in Cornwall. The magnificent views of the sea from the house and the quietness surrounding it seals their fate.

They are ready for the next stage of their lives which is retirement but buying this house means running it as a B&B.
Lots of hard work and-renovations later the four bedrooms are ready for rental.  Five people each wanting to escape from normal life or do something different or sort out problems descend on the house.
Tess and Simon have to get used to strangers being in their home as well as cater to their individual needs.
In the course of a few weeks people's lives will change, some for the good and some for....well wait and see.

What a lovely story and good to see strong older women being portrayed in a way that I didn't even give their ages a thought.
Tess and Simon are great characters and I loved the scene where Simon went to the pub when the doors wouldn't close in the house. Tess's reaction was so real. I would have felt and said exactly the same.

I didn't realize there is a book before this one with Tess's friend Orla in it ( she appeared in this one too). This didn't make any difference to reading this story as it can be read on it own merit. I will be downloading the first one to read more about Tess,  Orla and Simon.

Thursday, 8 August 2019

The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell

In a large house in London’s fashionable Chelsea, a baby is awake in her cot. Well-fed and cared for, she is happily waiting for someone to pick her up.

In the kitchen lie three decomposing corpses. Close to them is a hastily scrawled note.

They’ve been dead for several days.

Who has been looking after the baby? 
And where did they go?
Two entangled families.
A house with the darkest of secrets.
A compulsive new thriller from Lisa Jewell.

Well what can I say about this book apart from, you won't want to put it down.

Libby has always known she was adopted but not the circumstances. On her 25 th birthday she inherits a house in Chelsea. When she goes to see it she finds out it has been empty for years and has fallen into disrepair.
A mystery begins as to why she has been left the house and who were her birth parents.

We find out the story of a fashionable house with rich parents who had two children, a boy and a girl. A life full of parties and plenty until the arrival of a man and a woman who come to stay in an upstairs room. This is where it all begins.

I can't say much more for fear of spoiling it.
Lisa Jewell is at her best in this book,mystery,suspense and all human emotions rolled into one. Don't miss it!

Ask Again Ask by Mary Beth Keane.

Gillam, upstate New York: a town of ordinary, big-lawned suburban houses. The Gleesons have recently moved there and soon welcome the Stanhopes as their new neighbours. Lonely Lena Gleeson wants a friend but Anne Stanhope - cold, elegant, unstable - wants to be left alone.
It's left to their children - Lena's youngest, Kate, and Anne's only child, Peter - to find their way to one another. To form a friendship whose resilience and love will be almost broken by the fault line dividing both families, and by the terrible tragedy that will engulf them all. A tragedy whose true origins only become clear many years later . . .
A story of love and redemption, faith and forgiveness, Ask Again, Yes reveals the way childhood memories change when viewed from the distance of adulthood - villains lose their menace, and those who appeared innocent seem less so. A story of how, if we're lucky, the violence lurking beneath everyday life can be vanquished by the power of love. 

Francis and Brian both Irish immigrants and both working for NYPD move into neighbouring  houses with their wives and families. Francis has three girls and Brian one boy.
Francis's daughter Kate is best friends with Brian's son Peter but his mother,Anne doesn't approve of the friendship and does everything possible to keep them apart.

Anne is jealous,unpredictable and could be dangerous. Her husband has lived with this for years,has seen how she treats her son and ignores it,does nothing about it and that is the main reason everyone's lives fall apart.

After a catastrophic event we follow the lives of Kate and Peter and of their parents. We see how they come to terms with events and if there can ever be any kind of forgiveness.

This was such a good story. My feelings for Peter changed during the book. 
First, I liked him,felt sorry for him then I lost my patience with him. Kate was a strong girl who turned into a strong,loyal woman. 

The other events in the book, mental illness,alcoholism are dealt with sensitively. 
Are there some things we can't forgive? Do we just accept that and get on with our lives? Why do some people run away and begin new lives while others stay and face up to what they have left to deal with.
I asked myself all those questions at the end of the book. Some were answered.
Good story,good ending. 

Published today 8th Aug for kindle and hardback  I do think kindle download is expensive so I would wait for paperback. 

Tuesday, 30 July 2019

The Secret Hours by Santa Montefiore

Arethusa Clayton has always been formidable, used to getting her own way.   On her death, she leaves unexpected instructions.   Instead of being buried in America, on the wealthy East Coast where she and her late husband raised their two children, Arethusa has decreed that her ashes be scattered in a remote corner of Ireland, on the hills overlooking the sea.
All  Arethusa ever told Faye was that she grew up in a poor farming family and left Ireland, alone, to start a new life in America as did so many in those times of hardship and famine. But who were her family in Ireland and where are they now?  What was the real reason that she turned away from them?  And who is the mysterious benefactor of a significant share of Arethusa’s estate?  
Arethusa is gone. There is no one left to tell her story.  Faye feels bereft, as if her mother’s whole family has died with her.  Leaving her own husband and children behind, she travels to the picturesque village of Ballinakelly, determined to fulfil her mother’s last wish and to find out the reason for Arethusa’s insistence on being laid to rest in this faraway land.

I have read a few books by Santa Montefiore but I didn't know before I started this one that it was the fourth in a series of books about the Deverills. This didn't detract from the story as I had no idea there were other books but I now want to to back to book one and read them all. It seems a fifth one is to follow.

Faye is an American housewife with grown up children  staying in an unhappy marriage for their sake. When her mother dies she leaves a diary for Faye to read and wants her ashes scattered in Ireland where she was born. Faye and her brother know nothing about her mother's childhood in Ireland or why she came to America and while Faye is desperate to fulfill her mother's last wishes her brother and husband are violently against it.
Faye decides to go against their wishes for the first time in her life and much to everyone's surprise she travels to Ireland on her own.

A whole new world and new family opens up for Faye and she is distraught when she has to leave. Will she follow her heart or do what is expected of her?

I loved this story. It had a few twists and turns before the end. We learn what happened to Faye's mother and why she left her family to go to America and what the family were told. There is also a lovely present day romance which added to the whole ambience of the book.
Santa Montefiore never fails to deliver a cracking  good story and this is one of those.

Dark Deception by Amanda James

Kerensa and Leo are a happily married young couple who live in Cornwall. Leo works part-time in London as an investment advisor to weal...