Saturday, 9 June 2018

One Summer in Italy - Sue Moorcroft blog tour




When Sofia Bianchi’s father Aldo dies, it makes her stop and look at things afresh. Having been his carer for so many years, she knows it’s time for her to live her own life – and to fulfil some promises she made to Aldo in his final days.

So there’s nothing for it but to escape to Italy’s Umbrian mountains where, tucked away in a sleepy Italian village, lie plenty of family secrets waiting to be discovered. There, Sofia also finds Amy who is desperately trying to find her way in life after discovering her dad isn’t her biological father.

Sofia sets about helping Amy through this difficult time, but it’s the handsome Levi who proves to be the biggest distraction for Sofia, as her new life starts to take off…


Extract:


Picking up her pace, Sofia whisked through the utility yard and out the other side, taking the steps down to the low, staff-only gate that led to the strip of garden overrun by vine that disguised what Benedetta grandly termed the two ‘apartments’ beneath the terrace for the live-in staff. Hotel guests wandering about the sloping gardens below the terrace would have to approach

almost up to the fence of the utility yard in order to stumble upon the gate. The Morbidellis shared an apartment up in the eaves of the hotel and Sofia suspected it was not the kind best hidden behind a garden filled with rampaging vine.

Once through the gate, Amy’s accommodation lay behind the first faded green door and Sofia’s behind the second. She let herself into her room and breathed a sigh of relief at the drop in temperature that came along with stone walls, tiled floor and only one window. Despite it

being furnished economically, Sofia liked her room. The white walls made it airy, the bedclothes were pretty but simple in blue and white. There was enough room for the clothes she’d brought with her and the chest of drawers provided somewhere for her box of costume jewellery and makeup bag.

She stripped, left her clothes in a heap and stepped into the small shower room. The lukewarm water felt fantastic as it sluiced down her body and, defying Benedetta’s warnings about not wasting water, even though Umbria received more rainfall than most of Italy, she gave herself up to

the pleasure of being cool for several blissful minutes.

Finally, she stirred herself to wash. When dry, she teamed a white dress with shiny black flip-flops, then brushed her hair into a high ponytail and picked up her purse.

After retracing her route to the front of the hotel she cut across the car park to Il Giardino. From there she could see Amy hurrying through the tables wearing a set expression while Davide grinned slyly at her rear view. It looked as if Davide had bagged the centre section again and as the only empty table in the place was in that area, Sofia headed towards it.








Monday, 4 June 2018

Perfect Match by D.B. Thorne

Perfect MatchPerfect Match by D.B. Thorne
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

When Solomon's sister is found drugged and in a coma after an online date, Solomon can't believe this was just a terrible accident. Determined to find out what happened to his sister, and with the police unwilling to help, Solomon begins to investigate on his own. He soon uncovers a rash of similar cases of women who have been found brutally murdered or assaulted after an online date. There is a predator out there working the streets of London, preying on young women. Solomon sets out to bring him to justice, putting him on a collision course with a deadly killer who is fiendishly clever and more twisted than anyone could possibly imagine...


After reading the blurb of this one it really got me excited. We alive in a digital age now, where meeting strangers online for dates is the norm, so what actually happens then if/when something goes wrong? I am sure this is something most women in particular perhaps don't like to think about and being married, thankfully I haven't had to give online dating a second thought. Saying this, I was interest in the premise of the book and couldn't wait to get started.

Can I just say though, the image on the front of the book has absolutely nothing to do with the story, I kept reading thinking, surely there is going to be a domestic and someone will set fire to the house, no, this never happened. I am unsure why this was chosen for the front cover...

Tiffany has been admitted to hospital after a night out, one where she was meeting a potential date, she is in a really bad way after being found half drowned and is now currently in a coma. Solomon is Tiffany's brother and he wants the police to find out exactly what has happened and for the person responsible to be caught.

The book really is the journey of Solomon, we learn a lot about him, his past, how he has become the person he currently is and his backstory. It did feel at times like Tiffany's story was sidelined as we got to know more about Solomon and his brother. This was O.K and I did enjoy what I read, however it was not exactly what I was expecting.

Overall the story was O.K, it was very clever in places with the dates all being linked but just not what I expected.

I would like to thank the publisher for sending this in exchange for an honest review.

Saturday, 2 June 2018

Wilde like me - Louise Pentland


You’ll never forget the day you meet Robin Wilde…

Single mum Robin Wilde adores her six-year-old daughter and loves her job as a make-up artist's assistant. She has a wonderful best friend and an auntie who is bonkers, yes, but loves her to the moon and back.

But Robin has a secret. Behind the mask she carefully applies every day, things just feel ... grey. And lonely. She struggles to fit in with the school mum crew. Online dating is totally despair-inducing, and she worries every day about raising her little girl with self-confidence, courage and joy.

What Robin longs for is someone (over the age of six) to share with - someone who's always on her team.

After 4 years (2 months, and 15 days!) of single-mum-dom, it's time for Robin Wilde to Change. Her. Life.

Exciting new opportunities are about to come Robin's way. Perhaps a man, perhaps the chance of a lifetime.

What will Robin do with the possibilities she creates for herself? And what potential will she unlock if she takes the leap?




Extract:
Opening my eyes very slowly, I’m greeted by the glare of the mini Christmas tree lights (which I forgot to switch off before I fell asleep) and a hot body pressed up against me, with one arm draped heavily over my chest and the other digging a little painfully into my back.

The first week of January is supposed to feel like a fresh start. This one really doesn’t. I’ve barely slept these last few days, even though I’m exhausted, and when I do close my eyes, I dream of falling into nothing and then wake up with a start.

As my bedroom comes into focus, I roll over and ever so gently stroke her hair. Her lashes are longer than mine but her little nose is the same. I watch her breathe for a few moments and wonder how someone like me managed to have such a perfect daughter. Six years feels like six months. It’s true what they say about them growing up too fast. I’m delving into thoughts of how this tiny person makes my life what it is when I’m jolted back firmly to reality. There’s a rustling in my kitchen.

I check my phone: it’s 7.45 a.m. I stagger downstairs, leaving a half-asleep Lyla where she is, to find my Auntie Kath in the kitchen surrounded by every single thing that lives in a cupboard or drawer. No longer in their assigned place, all my culinary possessions are strewn across every inch of counter surface available. This is a reasonable-sized kitchen and though the counters are scratched and the breakfast bar is a slightly wobbly stub of counter offcut and the dining table cost £4 in a charity shop, I love it. I love my cool mint tiles that Dad helped me put in last year (Granny, who lived here before me, had this waterproof floral wallpaper that even Dad agreed was hideous) and beach-themed art. In the summer, when the light streams in through the glass doors, this kitchen is the brightest, freshest room in the house. In the winter, when there’s less light and we string lights over the cabinet tops and make mulled wine (‘Mummy’s special Christmas Ribena’), it’s a great place to sit at the table and wrap presents or make cards. I love this space even more when everything I own isn’t stacked up on the worktops or in piles on the off-white lino (OK, my limited funds haven’t stretched yet to anything nicer, and, really who wants to spend money on flooring?).

Instantly I wish I hadn’t given Auntie Kath a set of keys. And I really should have wiped down the surfaces before I collapsed into bed.



‘My New Year’s Resolution is to declutter!’ Auntie Kath says, with way too much gusto for the time of day. It’s six days into the new year and Kath is ready to go. I’d love to be that ready for anything.




Wednesday, 30 May 2018

The Great Cornish Getaway by Fern Britton

The Great Cornish Getaway

The Great Cornish Getaway by Fern Britton

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


As the sun sits high in the sky over Cornwall, and the sea breeze brings a welcome relief to the residents of the seaside village of Trevay, a stranger arrives in need of a safe haven.
The fact that the stranger is a Hollywood heartthrob makes villagers Penny and Dorrie even more keen to help. They both know what it’s like to feel that you need a break from life, and they bring the village together to keep their stranger’s secret. It’s not long before he’s helping some of the villagers find the answers to their own problems. In return, they find a place for him in their hearts.
Pendruggan: A Cornish village with secrets at its heart
This delightful Quick Read from Sunday Times bestselling novelist Fern Britton is full of her usual warmth and wit. It is the perfect way to treat yourself to a gorgeous escape to Cornwall.

I love quick reads, they are perfect if you don't have a long time and want to get into something. 

I have never read a book by Fern so was unsure what to expect, this was a light summery story, set in a village that apparently features in one of her longer books.

Richard Gere is fed up with his Hollywood lifestyle and wants to get away from it all, so heads down to Cornwall, where he has links. Hollywood is going mad that he has gone missing and are on the hunt to find him.

It was an o.k read, not the best and I didn't understand why Richard Gere was the main character to be honest, perhaps he is mentioned in a previous book?

If you are looking for a quick light hearted read then give this one a go.


Monday, 14 May 2018

Guilt - Amanda Robson






Your sister. Her secret. The betrayal.

There is no bond greater than blood . . .

When the body of a woman is found stabbed to death, the blame falls to her twin sister. But who killed who? And which one is now the woman behind bars?

Zara and Miranda have always supported each other. But then Zara meets Seb, and everything changes. Handsome, charismatic and dangerous, Seb threatens to tear the sisters’ lives apart – but is he really the one to blame? Or are deeper resentments simmering beneath the surface that the sisters must face up to?

As the sisters’ relationship is stretched to the brink, a traumatic incident in Seb’s past begins to rear its head and soon all three are locked in a psychological battle that will leave someone dead. The question is, who?

Claustrophobic and compelling, Amanda Robson is back in a knock-out thriller perfect for fans of B.A. Paris and Paula Hawkins


Extract:

Miranda has been in bed all weekend. I’ve been into her room a few times to check up on her and find out how she is feeling. All she says is that she’s tired, that she wants to catch up on her sleep.



It is so unlike Miranda to be tired. She usually has so much energy. In the last ten years, as far as I know, she hasn’t had a day off work. Over the weekend while she has been incapacitated, Sebastian and I have been all over town. Saturday night supper at Luigi’s. Sunday lunch at Arnolfini; afterwards wandering about holding hands, admiring the artwork. But all our activities haven’t assuaged my worry. So on Sunday evening, getting ready for bed, I know Sebastian and I need to discuss this.



‘What’s the matter with her? This isn’t like her. Do you think she’s really ill? Do you think she’s all right?’ I ask as I struggle to pull off my skin-tight jeans.



His face solidifies. ‘I was waiting for her to tell you herself,’ he says. ‘She’s low. She’s in big trouble at work.’



His words cut into me like electricity. Miranda Cunningham. Big trouble at work. Miranda has always taken her career so seriously.



My jeans are finally on the floor. I sit on the edge of the bed in my top and knickers, looking across at him, wide-eyed.



‘But she loves her job. What’s happened?’ I stutter.

Friday, 27 April 2018

The Beloveds by Maureen Lindley

The BelovedsThe Beloveds by Maureen Lindley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

An exploration of domestic derangement in the tradition of Daphne Du Maurier s classic Rebecca, that plumbs the depths of sibling rivalry with wit and menace.
An exploration of domestic derangement, in the tradition of Daphne Du Maurier s classic Rebecca, that plumbs the depths of sibling rivalry with wit and menace.
Oh, to be a Beloved one of those lucky people for whom nothing ever goes wrong. Everything falls into their laps without effort: happiness, beauty, good fortune, allure.
Betty Stash is not a Beloved but her younger sister, the delightful Gloria, is. She s the one with the golden curls, sunny disposition and captivating smile, the one whose best friend used to be Betty s, the one whose husband should have been Betty s. And then, to everyone s surprise, Gloria inherits the family home a vast, gorgeous pile of ancient stone, imposing timbers, and lush gardens that was never meant to be hers. 

Losing what Betty considers her rightful inheritance is the final indignity. As she single-mindedly pursues her plan to see the estate returned to her in all its glory, her determined and increasingly unhinged behaviour aided by poisonous mushrooms, talking walls, and a phantom dog escalates to the point of no return. The Beloveds will have you wondering if there s a length to which an envious sister won t go.




Written in the first person from the central character who is our narrator Betty, The Beloveds is a dark sinister story of obsession and sibling jealousy out of control.

When Betty's mother dies she naturally expects to receive the family home, Pipits, as she is the eldest daughter and it is the way of things. She was never her mothers favourite, that honour went to her younger sister Gloria. So when the house is left to Gloria Betty is furious and vows somehow to get what is rightfully hers.

Bettys' jealousy started from the time Gloria was born. Gloria was such a good baby and developed into a charming child who everyone was attracted to. She had a pretty face and such a sweet character that everyone fell in love with. Betty sees has one of the 'beloveds' - those who manage to get everything in life they want and luck is always on their side.

Against Gloria Betty feels plain and never good enough. Every situation Betty sees as a criticism and so through the years she builds such resentment that she becomes to hate Gloria. Matters were made worse when Betty bought home her boyfriend Henry and once he meets Gloria she looses him to her and they marry. Another thing that gets added to Bettys list against her sister.
Gloria even manages to steal Bettys best friend Alice from her.Betty does marry and although Bert is much older than her it is a convenient arrangement on both their parts.

Betty has always loved Pipits and believes the house talks to her and is willing her to take it off Gloria and Henry and she makes it her mission to do just that at any cost.

This is a dark tale and at times a little voyeuristic because the reader becomes Betty and we spy along with her on those on her list that she wants to destroy. Betty is a psychopath where reasoning and acceptable behaviour don't exist, where she can plausibly justify her actions. She's not a likeable character but there's something that draws the reader in about her, possibly the need to know how far she will go to get what she wants.

Cleverly written with enough suspense to keep you reading and I give this one 4 stars.

I would like to thank the publisher for sending this in exchange for an honest review.