Sunday, 30 April 2017

The Woman Who Met Her Match by Fiona Gibson. Blog Tour and guest postby the author.

What if your first love came back on the scene . . . 30 years later?
After yet another disaster, Lorrie is calling time on online dating. She might be single in her forties, but she’s got a good job, wonderful children and she’s happy. This, Lorrie decides, is going to have to be enough.
That is, until she receives a very unexpected request from France. Antoine Rousseau, who had once turned a lonely French exchange trip into a summer of romance, wants to see her – after thirty years.
But Lorrie is a responsible woman. She can’t exactly run off to Nice with the man who broke her teenage heart . . . can she?

I'm delighted to be today's stop on the blog tour for Fiona Gibson's latest book and to host a guest post written by the author herself especially for my readers. 

First my review.

Lorrie is such a lovely character pushed into dating by her children who sign her up to an online dating app. As you might expect she meets some crazy people and despairs of ever finding love again until out of the blue her first love Antoine finds her on Facebook. She's not the young girl she was when they had a holiday romance in France she's thirty years older with two children and a lodger.

Stu, the lodger is her best friend. He has started a business called Parsley Force, where he is on call for people who have forgotten an ingredient for cooking. Parsley Force will find the ingredients that are missing and deliver them to the customer's door. How many times have you wished for such a service? If none exists I think the author has hit upon a great business idea.

There's a lot going on in this book,romance, a demanding mother who's getting married, a job that's not going very well and strange men on a dating site, all handled with Fiona Gibson's trademark humour which shines through from cover to cover.

It's great to reader a book about an older woman coping with everything life throws at her as well as trying to find her own personal happiness. 
I did predict what would happen but that made no difference to the story as the fun was finding out what everyone went through to get to their happy ending.
There is something really comforting in Fiona Gibson's  books,you just know they will cheer you up and leave you with a satisfied smile on your face.
Fiona is now going to tell us what to do if like Lorrie from the book a long lost boyfriend gets in touch.
Read on.......


In The Woman Who Met Her Match, Lorries first love, Antoine - whom she met on a trip to France at age 16 - gets in touch out of the blue, and wants to meet. As its 30 years later, her life is very different… but why not have a drink, for old times’ sake? Never mind that she broke her teenage heart and left her devastated. 

Having a former love resurface like this would be hugely unsettling for most people - but sort of thrilling too, especially if it has that unfinished business’ aspect about it (Im talking about the reappearance of an alluring ex here: not the one with the teetering ashtray beside his bed, who happily wore the same pair of mustard Y-fronts flu days in a row). In fact, as social media makes it so easy to track down exes, its entirely possible that it could happen. So heres my guide to what to do. 

Donfreak out. His intention is probably not to storm back into your life in a any major way. People get in touch after a long hiatus for a variety of reasons - with simple curiosity generally topping the list. 

Do conduct a little research yourself before accepting an ex as a friend. Check him out on other social media platforms. Possible warning signs that you might be better leaving well alone: an over emphasis on him being a lonely single dad looking for love; being pictured with his mother - and no partners/friends, ever - in his holiday photos; a picture of him cradling a massive gun. 

Dont feel bad if you decide not to message back. I know it can be difficult; my generation (Im 52) tends to have that inbuilt politeness that belongs to the days of proper old-fashioned letters and RSVPs. My 17 year-old daughter thinks nothing of blocking a person - whereas, I view it as on a par with standing someone up outside the Odeon in the pouring rain. Block him,’ she commanded when a man - not an ex but a stranger - started posting slightly odd messages on my Instagram recently. But wont that upset him?’ I wittered. Hes probably a perfectly nice person…’ ‘BLOCK HIM!’ she insisted. The man was duly blocked (I still hope hes okay about that). 

Do, however, look at it positively. If your memories of being with your ex are mainly happy ones, then why not meet? That first boyfriend particularly is one you never forget. One friend of mine ended up back with her old college love, 15 years on, in her late thirties - another ten years later, they have two children and are blissfully happy. Another friend in her 40s has just hooked up with her first love - they hadnt seen each other since 1997. We were idiots then,’ she told me. Its so much better now were proper grown ups.’ 

Dont worry about looking older. Of course you do - and so does he. 

Do considering meeting up just for the laugh. If nothing else, youll be able to see for yourself what he looks like without that Adam Ant make-up, and with no hair - and have a top-class night reminiscing. 

Fionas new novel, The Woman Who met Her Match, is out now (Avon) 

Thank you Fiona for the advice. I think if that happened to me I'll take your daughters advice a just block,block,block.

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

The Returning Tide by Liz Fenwick

Two sisters and one betrayal that will carry across generations . . .
In wartime Cornwall, 1943, a story between two sisters begins - the story of Adele and Amelia, and the heart-breaking betrayal that will divide them forever.
 Decades later, as the generations gather for a wedding at the rambling family home on the Cornish cliffs, the effects of one reckless act still echo - but how long will it be until their past returns?

Twins, Adele and Amelia,as alike a two peas in a pod and so close one knows the thoughts of the other.
When both join the wrens in 1943 it's no wonder that although they miss each other they also relish being separate people with their own identity instead of just being "the twins." 
Amelia is a driver in the Wrens  and Adele trains to be a telegraphist,their paths very rarely cross during the war years.
The story is told from 1943 /45 and 2015 and from Cornwall,England  to Cape Cod Massachusetts.
One wrong decision leads to betrayal and a lifetime of heartbreak. A heartbreak kept secret for years until the younger generation demand answers. A suitcase in the attic filled with unopened letters, a blurred wedding photo and a bridal veil. Only one person knows it's story and time is running out for her to tell it.
I love reading books set during the war and this has been one of the best I have read. I'm almost annoyed at having finished it as I was enjoying it so much. These young men and women were losing so many of their friends on a daily basis it was hard for them to take a chance and fall in love and then worry if their loved one would survive. The jobs they had to do were so vital to us winning the war so they had to put their worry and heartache to one side and just get on with it.
Although a love story Liz Fenwick didn't hide the true horrors of war especially one incident which Adele has to cope with which was heartbreaking and I later learned from Liz's notes that it came from a true story. Such was the secrecy at the time that she couldn't even discuss it with her co workers or her superiors. Men and women went to their graves never discussing events that they were involved in.
The powerful descriptions of war time London and beautiful scenery of  Cornwall made it easy for me to imagine what life was like for Amelia and Adele. 
The author kept me waiting until the last few pages before I knew what really happened during the war to the sisters. I had guessed what it was but not how it came about,needless to say it was cleverly done. Of course I shed tears, for Amelia,for Adele and others concerned who I have not mentioned as I don't want to spoil such a good read for you. 
This is the first novel I've read by Liz Fenwick. I love her writing style. Lots of research has gone into this book as the historical facts prove. I think she has captured the atmosphere of  wartime and weaved a story around it good enough for the reader to never want it to end.
This book is out in paperback or for kindle. The paperback is large and very thick so a good buy.

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

An Independent Woman by Anna Jacobs


Can she find freedom against the odds?
As the Great War ends Serena Fleming is due an inheritance that could free her from a bullying father. But little does she know how far he will go to prevent her leaving home. Or how desperate he is to limit her and keep his secrets hidden. When she turns thirty, Serena must risk everything to escape his iron rule. 
Meanwhile, Marcus Graye’s life has also been changed by the War. His injuries may heal, but his elderly aunt and a crumbling old house are now in his sole care. When he saves Serena from a kidnapping, his life will take an unexpected turn, one that may bring him love but will put his life in danger.
Can they survive a wicked man’s attacks? And can Serena at last fulfil her true potential?

Oh what a story! I could have placed my hands around Ernest Fleming's neck and squeezed hard. 
What a vile horrible man. He had other vile men willing to do his dirty work for him while placing himself as a pillar of the community. Thankfully the book is more about his daughter Serena and her bid to escape from her tyrant of a father who was out to keep her money from her.
Serena had to wait until the age of thirty to legally do what she wanted. I was astonished at that and how far we have come from those bad old days when men ruled over woman. Women are also allowed to vote but only if they are over thirty. I wonder who made up that magical age? 

Marcus is the hero,a lovely man who has been damaged by war. I feared for both him and Serena's lives at times throughout the book as Ernest tried to get the better of them.
I couldn't put this book down. It was one of those books that you want to reach the end but you don't want it to end either.
I think this is the first book I've read by Anna Jacobs but I will be reading more of them in the future.

Monday, 3 April 2017

The Bomb Girls'Secrets by Daisy Styles

In the Phoenix Munitions Factory everyone has their secrets . . . 
As WWII rolls across Europe, Kitty boards a ship set for England; leaving her cruel father for war work in a munitions factory. She hadn't wanted to leave Ireland, but the money sounded too good to resist. And money is what she really needs right now, what with tiny baby Billy back in Dublin without a father.
In Lancashire Kitty settles into the hard work and soon makes new friends; the dazzling Gladys who is a talented musician, and the beautiful but nervous Violet who seems to be nursing a secret of her own. And then there is motherly Edna at the local chippy, always there for a cup of tea and a good natter when she yearns for home.
Working hard in the day and playing in the Bomb Girls Swing Band by night, on the surface, life seems to be looking up. But Kitty has kept a secret from her friends. Something she needs to figure out. And when a letter arrives from home, she realises she might need their help before it's too late and she loses her baby forever . . .

When I knew I would be reviewing this book I bought the first one, The Bomb Girls. Although I enjoyed the book I quickly discovered that The Bomb Girls'Secrets is not a sequel but a stand alone story.
I'm sure I'm right in saying that this story takes place in the same factory but is about a different group of women. I only recognised one name from the other book but there may have been a mention of others that I missed.
What I love about books like this is first of all the friendship that is formed between the women. Women from all walks of life whose paths would never have crossed if it wasn't for the war.
The job in munitions is a dangerous one for all involved. These women were so brave and yet they still have time for fun. I loved the swing band they formed and I could hear the music of the time in my head as I read. 
A few of the girls have secrets they are afraid to share in case they will be judged by the others. 
Each of the women are so well described that I felt I knew them. There were a couple of men I loved to hate and hoped they would get their comeuppance.
Edna is a lovely character who works in the village. She is a kind motherly person who looks out for the women and I would have liked to know more about her story.
There are plenty of moments that had been biting my nails wondering what was going to happen next. 
I feel both The Bomb Girls and The Bomb Girls'Secrets deserve a follow up of their own. I'm wondering what the girls from both books did after the war. I would definitely buy those books.
The author has written another book in the Bomb Girls Series called The Code Girls which is another stand alone story.

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...