Tuesday, 18 February 2020

The Stolen Child by Jennie Felton

Will anyone believe her baby is gone?
When Stella Swift is discovered holding a shard of broken glass near her newborn baby boy, fears that she might harm William result in her being taken to Catcombe - the local asylum. Although the regime is not as harsh as it once was, it's not somewhere that Tom wants to send his wife - but he has no choice.
Turning to his kind-hearted sister-in-law Grace for help taking care of his other three children whilst he keeps working at the mine seems like the simplest solution until Stella is well - if only there wasn't the shared history between Tom and Grace...
At first Catcombe seems to offer the respite Stella needs - until one day she becomes convinced that the baby the nurses have given to her is not William. Is Stella losing her mind? Or is it true that a mother will always know her own child?

This book is set in 1911. This was a time when women could be sent off to the asylum by men who didn't know what else to do with them. The reasons could be as simple as, being an unmarried mother, a daughter being disrespectful to a rich father, perpetual  fever ( post natal depression) and I suspect any other reason that a man could make up. Some women were never released.

Luckily, Catcombe,the asylum in the story is run by good people who believe in more modern methods than the people who ran it before them.
We meet a vile but powerful man who makes everyone do his bidding even if they don't agree with what he is asking.  Money and position spoke and the poor and lowley could do nothing to fight it.
There are also good men in this story,men who love their wives and family.
We meet women in the asylum who are as sane as you or me but are stuck there.

Jennie Felton takes this as a background and weaves her story through it. She transports us to 1911 with her descriptions of the village, the house in which people live and the sights and sounds of their daily lives.

As the title says there is a stolen baby. An injustice that is committed that seems impossible to put right. Anyone who suspects is scared of the consequences if they speak out. And one women's intolerable pain when no one believes her is heartbreaking.

I found myself very emotional reading this book. My heart was breaking for a few of the characters and the anger I felt for a few of them knew no bounds.
I trusted the author (having read all of her books) that she would sort out the horrible vile people and make everything okay.  And yes, it had a lovely ending.

I haven't said too much about the actual story itself as I feel that many reviews I read more or less tell the whole book and I don't agree with that.
If you're looking for a good book that's hard to put down then this is it.
Jennie Felton is one of the best story tellers around today. Once you slip inside one of her books you can be lost in her world for hours.

Out in hardback,paperback and kindle 

Friday, 7 February 2020

The Two Lives of Lydia Bird by Josie Silver

What if you could live your great love story again?

Lydia and Freddie. Freddie and Lydia. They've been together for almost a decade, and Lydia thinks their love is indestructible.
But she's wrong. Because on her 27th birthday, Freddie dies in a tragic accident.
So now it's just Lydia, and all she wants to do is hide indoors and sob 'til her eyes fall out. But Lydia knows that Freddie would want her to live her life well. So, enlisting the help of his best friend and her sister Elle, she takes her first tentative steps into the world and starts to live - perhaps even to love - again.
Then something unbelievable happens, and Lydia gets another chance at her old life with Freddie. But what if there's someone in her new life who wants her to stay?

I'm so pleased to be today's stop on the blog tour for this really unique book. I've never read a story quite like it. You will cry but there is humour and hope  along the way too. I hope you love it as much as I did. 

Freddie and Lydia have been together since high school. They are engaged and planning their wedding. Life stops for Lydia when Freddie dies in an accident on her  27th birthday. Lydia blames Jonah who was her and Freddie's best friend. 
Lydia's sister Elle and her mum are a great support to her, helping her through her grief.
When she returns to work we see what lovely workmates she has. None of them know what to do or say to her but somehow they do it right.

At some point Lydia knows she will have to meet with Jonah again and try to hide the angry feelings she has for him. Jonah is grief stricken too and doesn't know how to move on.

Then something happens that propels Lydia into a new life, a life with Freddie in it.
As Lydia embraces this new life what about her old one,the one without Freddie. How long can her mum and sister put their lives on hold to help Lydia? At some point their lives will move on too. Lydia has to be brave and let go,but can she do it? 

This is a beautiful story. Lydia is grief stricken,fragile but brave too. Elle, her sister is the sister we would all love to have and her mum is just lovely. There are many simple  things she does in the story that prove how good a mum she is.

This is a story of how Lydia works through her grief. It lets us see how everyone finds a different way and in the end it's whatever gets them through each day. 
Yes it's sad but it's also full of  of love,humour,friendship and escapism. And what a beautiful ending.

Tuesday, 3 December 2019

Six Steps to Happiness by Suzie Tullet

When Ronnie’s husband, Nick, leaves her for their next-door neighbour, Gaye, Ronnie’s life starts to fall apart. 

Devastated by the break-up of her marriage, Ronnie is desperate for Nick and Gaye to set up home elsewhere. But Nick and Gaye won’t budge.
To add to her problems, Ronnie’s daughter and mother-in-law decide to stage an intervention. With her family keeping a close eye on her, Ronnie is forced to become more devious in her actions to get rid of Nick and Gaye.
But just how far will she go?
And is moving on ever that easy?

If your husband said he was leaving you on the day of your silver wedding, you would think that was the worse that could happen. How would you feel if you found out he was only moving next door to be with your neighbour Gaye,the woman he has left you for?
Understandably Ronnie is livid. How can she get over this break up with her husband living next door with his floozy? She wants revenge. She wants them out.

Ronnie loves her house and she doesn't want to move so they will have to.
All the small things don't seem to work. Sending pizzas for them to pay for etc , and only end up with Ronnie being in trouble with the police. She has to think big, she has to scare Gaye into wanting to sell her house and she knows just the way to do it.

I thought Ronnie was totally mad and over the top in what she was doing but I could understand the annoyance of her husband living next door. I think really she lost her sanity for a while. I enjoyed the dynamic between Ronnie,her daughter, Willow and her mother-in -law. What lovely caring people they were.
With Ronnie out for pay back it looks like she may spoil her chances at finding love again as she concentrates on revenge and can't see what's staring her in the face.
Her daughter and mother-in -law devise a six steps to happiness plan which Ronnie reluctantly follows, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't but it eventually edges her towards her new life.
Absolutely loved this book. Plenty of laughs along the way and a real good feel good ending. If you're an avid reader sometimes you just need a book like this, a glass of wine and some chocolate.

Get it Here

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 seat....trust 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.


The Stolen Child by Jennie Felton

Will anyone believe her baby is gone? When Stella Swift is discovered holding a shard of broken glass near her newborn baby boy, fears...