Thursday, 16 November 2017

The Betrayals by Fiona Neil

None of them would forget that week on the wild Norfolk coast.

Best friends Rosie and Lisa's families had always been inseparable.

But that summer, Lisa had an affair with Rosie's husband Nick.

And now, after years of silence, she sends Rosie a letter begging for help. A letter which exposes dark secrets.

Daughter Daisy's fragile hold on reality begins to unravel.

Teenage son Max blames himself for everything that happened that long hot summer.

And Nick must confront his own version of events.

Lisa has betrayed her best friend Rosie in the worst possible way, she has stolen her husband.

The two couples and their children holiday together every year until the year when Lisa and Nick develope a liking for each other. 

Rosie's daughter Daisy has anxiety and OCD and these events are the start of a downward spiral for her  and it nearly kills her mother coping with it. Her brother Max has always been her protector but as he gets older he realizes that by helping her he is also enabling her continue with her OCD.

Years later and Daisy is well again but a letter that comes in the post from Lisa to her mum sets off her illness and no one feels able to cope with it all over again.

This story is told from four different viewpoints so we get perspective on how things are interpreted by each person. I learned quite a lot about O.C.D which must be horrific to live with. Nick,in the story is doing research on memory and how it works and it fitted in with the story well as we learn about false memory and how people who recall everything in great detail from the past aren't always right.

I sympathized with Max and the heavy weight that his sister's illness has placed upon him as well as his own grief over his parent's divorce. 

I did find this hard to put down and I enjoy books where I learn something. It also has a surprising ending. This is the first book I've read by this author but she has a few published on Amazon. 

Out in paperback or kindle .

Friday, 10 November 2017

The Snow Globe by Judith Kinghorn

As Christmas 1926 approaches, the Forbes family are preparing to host a celebration at Eden Hall. Eighteen-year-old Daisy is preoccupied by a sense of change in the air. Overnight, her relationship with Stephen Jessop, the housekeeper’s son, has shifted and every encounter seems fraught with tension. Before the festivities are over, Daisy has received a declaration of love, a proposal and a kiss – from three different men. Unable to bear the confusion she flees to London and stays with her elder sister. 

By the following summer, Daisy has bowed to the persistence of the man who proposed to her the previous year. When the family reunite for a party at Eden Hall and Stephen is once more in her life, it is clear to Daisy she is committing to the wrong person. Yet she also believes that family secrets mean she has no choice but to follow her head instead of her heart. Will love conquer all, or is Daisy’s fate already written?

Daisy, daughter of the big house thinks her father is wonderful but when she overhears that he has had a mistress for years her life suddenly feels very different. The treasured snow globe given to her by her him and put on display at Christmas becomes an object of loathing. Things escalate when  her father's mistress is invited for Christmas dinner and three men make Daisy the object of their affection. 

As Daisy's mother leaves for an extended European trip,Daisy,not wanting to be left with her father and deciding between the three men runs to her sister in London where more secrets are revealed to her.

If you're missing Downton Abbey then this book could be for you. The rich owners,the servants, the class system, adultery and of course,love are all there in this book. 

A great read by Judith Kinghorn. This is the first of her books I have read. I don't know why she has escaped my notice as I love books set during the war as are hers. I better sort that out right now. 

Out for kindle £1.99

Ella's Journey by Lynne Francis

Ella is trying to put the past behind her, but the past won’t always stay hidden.

The truth is, Ella is hiding from a scandal. A scandal that drove her family out of their beloved Lane End Cottage in the tiny Yorkshire village they had lived in all their lives. A scandal that her sister Alice was blamed for.

But Alice is no longer here. So it’s up to Ella to pick up the pieces and do the best she can for the family she loves so dearly.

Ella’s luck finally changes when she gains work in service at Grange House, a gentleman’s residence on the outskirts of York. But can Ella keep her position there? Or will she follow in her elder sister’s footsteps…

I love a good trilogy, it means I can revisit the characters in a book I have grown to love. Ella's Journey,a debut novel by Lynne Francis is part of a trilogy called The Mill Valley Girls and I'm looking forward to the second book.

Set in Yorkshire just before,during and after the First World War this book is a story of love,injustice,class, but most of all it's about families. 
Leaving her mother and siblings behind in their small Yorkshire village  Ella has to take up a position in a big house on the outskirts of York. Ella's family is poor,living in a small cottage and relying on money sent back to them from Ella. 

She can't believe the grandeur of the big house as she is shown the rooms she will clean and lay fires in. I almost felt I was there myself while reading the description of the house. I could feel Ella's sadness at missing her family and being thrust into a strange environment. She settles in but fears that the scandal her sister was implicated in back home may be found out by her employers.

War comes along and changes things. Male servants  leave to fight, females join the land army or leave to work in munition factories for better pay. The rich families are having to learn that they can't have it all their own way any more as class barriers are broken down.
I really enjoyed this story. It did take a few chapters for me to settle into it but after that I couldn't put it down. Quite a surprising ending rounded it off for me.
 A really great first novel by Lynne Francis and I'm looking forward to book two in the trilogy. 

In Kindle ...99p..... and paperback

Sunday, 22 October 2017

The Pool House by Tasmina Perry

A Summer To Die For

To Jem Chapman, it's the chance of a lifetime. An invitation to join a group in an exclusive Hamptons house-share, who could say no? But when she discovers what happened last summer, Jem can't help but feel a chill.

A young woman was found drowned in the house's pool. The housemates said Alice was troubled. She'd been drinking. She couldn't swim...

A Secret To Kill For

As Jem gets to know her glamorous new housemates, she realises each has something to hide. What really happened last summer? And who would go to any lengths to keep a person quiet?

Jem and her husband Nat are living the dream. They have moved from London to an apartment in New York. Nat has a good job with a magazine and has a great social life. They have just been offered a share in a holiday house in the Hamptons, so...what's not to like? 

Well the fact that the couple who house shared before them dropped out because one of them,Alice drowned in the pool at the house. Why hasn't Nat explained this to the unsuspecting Jem? 

I'm always in for a good read when I pick up a book by Tasmina Perry. Nothing is ever straightforward in her books. Her last few books were of slightly a different genres and now with this book we're back to the writing style of her first books. No matter what, I've enjoyed every book of hers I've read and I enjoyed The Poolhouse too.

As Jem decides to find out why Alice went near the pool when she couldn't swim and had been drinking she discovers that some people would rather she stopped asking questions,is Nat one of them? 
Get yourself a glass of wine and a big bar of chocolate and curl up at the fire in a comfy chair and just....ENJOY!

Out in paperback in all bookshops and supermarkets or download it for kindle for 99p! You couldn't even buy a fancy coffee for that price!

Friday, 13 October 2017

The Man I Thought You Were by Leah Mercer

One fine autumn evening, Anna returns from work and starts making dinner, eager to welcome home her husband, Mark. It’s just like any other day in their ten-year, Pinterest-perfect marriage—until he says he’s leaving her.

Discovering that the man she thought she knew better than anyone else is capable of abandoning it all sends Anna reeling. She believed the life they’d built together—and the bright future they’d imagined—counted for everything. How can he walk away?

The truth is Mark is battling secrets of his own—secrets Anna knows nothing about. A painful past and an uncertain future threaten to bring his life down around him—and he’ll do anything not to expose her to that.

But unravelling the past is lonelier than Mark could ever have imagined and, as the days turn to months, Anna worries the separation will break them forever. Can she bring him back from the brink of self-destruction before it’s too late, or will she discover that she never really knew him at all?

Anna's husband Mark tells her he's leaving her after ten years of marriage. Anna has no idea why and Mark offers no explanation,he just leaves.

When we find out why Mark has left  I felt annoyed with him. I realise there were hidden events in his life that made him act the way he did but I still found his reasoning difficult to understand.

I liked Anna's character and the journey she takes us on trying to find where her husband is and the real reason why he left. I even liked Mark's father, although he knew he had made mistakes in the past he admitted the and was ready to be a better dad.

I didn't gel with Mark throughout the book until near the end of the story, but I never quite forgave him for what he put Anna through.

Another good read from Leah Mercer who's books keep getting better and better. If you haven't read her before,give her a try.

Out in kindle or paperback. Kindle download is £1.98

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Nineteen Letters by Jodi Perry

The 19th of January, 1996 . . . I'll never forget it. It was the day we met. I was seven and she was six. It was the day she moved in next door, and the same day I developed my first crush on a girl.
Then tragedy struck. Nineteen days after our wedding day, Jemma was in an accident that would change our lives forever. When she woke from her coma she had no memory of me,of us,of the love we shared.
That's when I started writing her letters. The stories of our life. Of when we met. About the happier times, and everything we'd experienced together.

What can I say about this book? It grabbed my heart and squeezed every emotion it could find from it.
Jemma and Braxton have been neighbours and friends since childhood. They have been married for nineteen days when tragedy strikes and Jemna is left in a comma. Braxton is devasted and stays by her bedside until she awakes. 

When Jemma comes round from the comma she has no memory of who she is or of the life she had.
Braxton's world collapses again when Jemma orders him out of her hospital room. He has no idea how to get throught to her,then someone suggests writing his feelings down in letters to her. This becomes the first of nineteen letters he sends to Jemma, nineteen is a significant number to them.
We hear their story through the letters and what a beautiful story it is, but can Jemma ever find her way back to Braxton and the life she lived? 

The other characters in the book have good sub plots too, Jemma's parents,Braxton's father,and two of Jemma and Braxton's friends.
Set in Australia this story is so beautifully written it will break your heart and stay with you long after you have closed the book.

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

The House by Simon Lelic

The heart-stopping thriller about a husband and wife who are hiding something from each other, and from you...This book won't let you go until you've found out the truth. Perfect for fans of Erin Kelly, Gillian Flynn and Fiona Barton.

Whose story do YOU believe?
Londoners Jack and Syd moved into the house a year ago. It seemed like their dream home: tons of space, the perfect location, and a friendly owner who wanted a young couple to have it.
So when they made a grisly discovery in the attic, Jack and Syd chose to ignore it. That was a mistake.
Because someone has just been murdered outside their back door. And now the police are watching them.

I'm delighted to be today's stop on the blog tour for The House by Simon Lelic.
Jack and Sidney bid for a house in London. The have tried to buy one many times before but because of the London house market have always been outbid for a property.
This time is different. Despite there being many bids for the house and despite their bid not being the highest it is sold to them.
The house is sold as seen and is full of the vendor's possessions. It seems he found love and moved to Australia to be with his girlfriend leaving everything behind..
Jack and Sidney are too happy to care but Jack does have a nagging doubt that everything is not as it seems.
They have forgotten the saying that,if something is too good to be true it probably is.

Jack and Sidney's problems all begin with the house and now the find themselves accused of murder.
They decide to write down everything that happened since they bought the house. Each telling their side of the story in alternate chapters.
This book held my interest all the way through. There is a sub plot when Sidney meets a young girl Elsie who reminds her of herself. Trying to help the girl Sidney tells her the story of her childhood and we are drawn into the lives of this woman and young girl.

So much happens in this book,it twists and turns and you don't know who is doing the twisting.
Can Jack and Sidney's relationship survive someone determined to destroy it?
This is the first book I have read by this author and I really enjoyed it. I thought at first it was a ghost story, which it isn't but it's full of nervous tension and keeps you on the end of your seat.

find it on Amazon here