A lovely treat through the letter box in Clare Fisher’s All the Good Things. It was a rainy Monday and my kindle battery had died so I looked to my unread book shelf and this caught my eye. From page one I was hooked in Beth’s story – at 21 years old she is in prison, and can only see the bad in herself. When her psychiatrist suggests writing down all the good things she remembers Beth feels she will struggle. Soon however she has remembered her job at the Odeon, Orange Wednesdays, being friends with Chantelle and “your dad”.
It’s not revealed until the end of the book why Beth is in prison, but I felt from reading you could probably begin to get an idea from reading between the lines. In writing her notebook you become immersed in Beth’s life – her struggles with an absent mother, being passed through the foster care system and in believing she’d found love with a married man. When she is pregnant she has little money and becomes embroiled in debt.
It’s difficult not to feel for Beth and by the end I was a little teary at her story – probably had more effect on me being a new mum myself that I could have more of a connection in that way to the character.
A great little page turner for a rainy day!
All The Good Things
Penguin - Viking
Twenty-one year old Beth is in prison. The thing she did is so bad she doesn't deserve ever to feel good again.
But her counsellor, Erika, won't give up on her. She asks Beth to make a list of all the good things in her life. So Beth starts to write down her story, from sharing silences with Foster Dad No. 1, to flirting in the Odeon on Orange Wednesdays, to the very first time she sniffed her baby's head.
But at the end of her story, Beth must confront the bad thing.
What is the truth hiding behind her crime? And does anyone - even a 100% bad person - deserve a chance to be good?
Holly Martin is back with another delicious read that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy. We are once again back on the gorgeous and idyllic Hope Island, this time with the focus on Freya and Roma; both of whom appeared in Spring at Blueberry Bay. We also meet up with some of our old favourites and get to see what has happened since we last visited.
Freya arrived on Hope Island following her relationship break down, she finds a job with Rome and discovers a love of working with glass. Her whole life becomes entwined with Rome and Hope Island. Rome is her best friend and despite knowing from past experience that she shouldn’t have all her eggs in one basket, Freya is drawn to Rome. But as her feelings blossom she is unsure of Rome’s feelings for her and begins to second guess the briefest of touches and the looks. WIll Freya get her happy ending? Rome comes with some painful baggage and is he ready to open his heart again?
I loved Summer at Buttercup Beach, from the beginning I was drawn in to the beautiful beach setting and the beautiful Hope Island. Holly creates a magical atmosphere where it feels as though anything is possible. I loved being able to revisit the Island and its picturesque setting. Holly’s description are so beautiful and paint such a vivid picture I could easily imagine the scenes.
The characters as always are easy to love, I love meeting old and new characters and discovering their pasts. We met Freya and Rome previously so it was nice to have that back knowledge but then building on that information and discovering this whole other side to the person. I love the fact that Holly uses dual perspective, enabling me as the reader to see the story from both sides and discovering little gems of information.
I loved Freya from the start, she had this likeable quality to her and I felt the need to protect her. I could see early on she had feelings for Rome and I was desperate for her to act on these feelings and hopefully get her happy ending. It was clear he adored her but her vision was clouded by her past. As for Rome, oh man he is literally a god. He is the man of my dreams. Rome, like Freya has a past which has left him heart broken, but it was clear early on that him and Freya were destined to be together. I was desperate for them to realise this fact and that both had feelings for each other.
But things are never simple! Holly has a plot which flows beautifully, building suspense and throwing in some wicked plot twists which kept me on the hooked and desperately reading on late in to the night, desperate to see where their story would take me next and whether they would finally both get the happy ending they deserved.
Summer at Buttercup Beach is a beautiful summer read, perfect for those long summer days. This book delivers on every level, with suspense and plot twists, as well a magical romantic feeling weaving its way through the pages.
Holly is one of my favourites authors and never fails to put a smile on my face. I hope to catch up with Hope Island and its residents again soon.
Summer at Buttercup Beach
Pull up a deck chair and bask in the beautiful sunshine on Buttercup Beach. The sand is warm, the sea is sparkling blue and romance is sizzling in the air…
For two years Freya Greene has hidden the fact that she’s totally and utterly in love with her best friend Rome Lancaster. It’s not been easy – they work together in his glasswork business, she lives above his workshop and, he’s completely gorgeous. But Rome has never shown any sign of returning those feelings. Until now…
Lately they’ve shared affectionate touches and words heavy with meaning. Yet Freya knows Rome has a damaged heart. After losing his fiancé in a tragic accident, he’s not allowed himself to fall in love.
Freya has already had her heart broken by a man who couldn’t let go of a past love. Can she risk it happening again? Rome and Freya have a friendship that could blossom into something more. Are they both brave enough to take that chance?
Fall in love on Hope Island with the perfect romantic story to escape into this summer. For fans of Miranda Dickinson, Sarah Morgan and Jane Costello.
Guilty is a deliciously gripping psychological thriller. Guilty begins with a prologue setting the scene and was from the off a book unlike any I have read in recent months. At first we are introduced to the Lawson family, consisting of Constance and her parents, her uncle Karl, aunt and cousin. Constance disappears following an argument with her parents over attending a concert with her Uncle Karl, who immediately becomes prime suspect in the case, thanks to the media frenzy created by journalist Amanda.
We then learn more about Amanda, discovering her secrets and learning more about the things which have motivated her and driven her in her role as a crime journalist. As the book continues we rejoin Amanda, but have skipped forward 6 years to see she has become a media star, married to a rich man and expecting a baby. Life should be perfect. But Amanda soon discovers she has made enemies who are out for revenge and plan on taking her and her idyllic life down. is it coincidental and does it have anything to do with the cold and chilling destruction of Karl’s reputation?
Guilty is a gripping, thrilling read which took me on a whirlwind of discovery. Plot twists and turns galore kept the book fresh and exciting. With realistic, believable and complex characters, such as the cold and calculating journalist Amanda and Karl, who couldn’t help but win me over as I discovered more about his marriage and the destruction caused by Amanda’s media slaying of him following the disappearance of his Niece Constance.
Guilty was a satisfying and enjoyable read which kept me hooked with its fresh take on the psychological thriller and the impact the media and social media have on our lives and the influences they have. I really enjoyed the search for Constance and the way this was handled and how suspense was built throughout, revenge is sweet. This is one heck of a page turner!
About the author
Laura Elliot is an Irish novelist and lives in the coastal town of Malahide, Co. Dublin. She loves travelling. The beautiful South Island of New Zealand was the inspiration for her setting in The Prodigal Sister. The Burren in County Clare became the mysterious setting for Stolen Child and the Broadmeadow Estuary behind her home provides the background for The Betrayal. She has worked as a journalist and magazine editor
For more details check https://www.lauraelliotauthor.com
It begins with a phone call. It ends with a missing child.
On a warm summer’s morning, thirteen-year-old school girl Constance Lawson is reported missing.
A few days later, Constance’s uncle, Karl Lawson, suddenly finds himself swept up in a media frenzy created by journalist Amanda Bowe implying that he is the prime suspect.
Six years later …
Karl’s life is in ruins. His marriage is over, his family destroyed. But the woman who took everything away from him is thriving. With a successful career, husband and a gorgeous baby boy, Amanda’s world is complete. Until the day she receives a phone call and in a heartbeat, she is plunged into every mother’s worst nightmare.
An utterly compelling psychological thriller that will keep you guessing to the very last page. Perfect for fans of The Girl on the Train, Gone Girl and Sarah A. Denzil’s Silent Child.
The Summer House follows lifelong friends Callie Weaver and Olivia Dixon as they buy and move in to the beach house of their childhood memories. Many summers Callie spent with Olivia and her family in the small seaside town of Waves. When the chance to buy an old guesthouse arises, the girls know they have to take the chance and plow all of their money in to buying and renovating the property so as to open the guesthouse again. The last thing on either of their minds is romance or falling in love, both have been hurt in the past. Not to mention all the work they need to do on the guest house.
But as always seems to be the case, when you least it expect it, fate always delivers the hunkiest of men. In the case of Callie, this is Luke Sullivan, local millionaire. A chance run in when heading out for lunch leads her to a man who is determined to be in her life. Throw in to the mix a storm which threatens the existence of the guesthouse and the journal of the previous owner which contains some explosive secrets and you know you are on to a winner.
I loved The Summer House. It was the perfect read for a warm summers day. I was mesmerised through out as I became lost in Callie’s world, discovering her secrets and seeing her learning to trust again and open her heart. Callie, was a character who was easy to like and relate to, much the same as Olivia and Luke. I never had a moment throughout where I disliked any of them. Each were well formed and beautifully described. Luke literally sounds like the man of many womens dreams, it soon becomes apparent that there is much more to him than there first seems and that is where we discover this beautiful character.
Then we have the locations. I mean what could sound more wonderful than a beachfront guesthouse. The whole town and the building were described beautifully. I could vividly imagine the picturesque places, so much so I almost feel as though I had visited. It does now mean, however that I am gutted that this beautiful place does not exist for me to enjoy in real life. As far as I am concerned you can never go far with a beach set novel, to me there is no place more beautiful and magical than along the coast, something which Jenny managed to portray throughout this book.
Jenny manages to create a masterpiece, her words flow effortlessly from the page, weaving their spell and grabbing me and drawing me in. The plot was fresh and flowed easily, a compelling read which kept me on the edge of the seat as I waited to learn the secrets within. This was a beautiful book and I am sad that I have finished, it was such a delightful read, full of love, hope and friendships. Never a dull moment, an emotional rollercoaster from beginning to end.
The Summer House
Some summers will stay with you forever...
Callie Weaver and best friend Olivia Dixon have finally done it: put their life savings into the beach house they admired through childhood summers, on the dazzling white sand of North Carolina’s Outer Banks. They’re going to buff the salt from its windows, paint its sun-bleached sidings, and open it as a bed and breakfast.
Callie’s too busy to think about her love life, but when she catches the attention of local heartthrob Luke Sullivan, his blue eyes and easy smile make it hard to say no. He’s heir to his father’s property empire, and the papers say he’s just another playboy, but as they laugh in the ocean waves, Callie realizes there’s more to this man than money and good looks.
Just when true happiness seems within reach, Callie and Olivia find a diary full of secrets... secrets that stretch across the island, and have the power to turn lives upside down. As Callie reads, she unravels a mystery that makes her heart drop through the floor.
Will Callie and Luke be pulled apart by the storm it unleashes, or can true love save them?
The Summer House is an absolutely gorgeous, heart-warming summer romance, about the importance of family, not keeping secrets, and learning how to open your heart.
Save The Date is the latest instalment in Aven Ellis’ Chicago on Ice hockey series and is my favourite to date. As always Aven delivers us real and likeable characters which you grow to love as you uncover their stories. With every book I grow to love the characters more and more and this is no exception, Luca; need I say more?
Aven has a way with words which is quite literally mesmerising enabling her to form such beautifully description characters full of personality and with such full and intricate life stories it literally leaves me breathless. I love how she manages to entwine their lives and their backstories to create plot which are warm, funny and full of love and romance. I always know a book by Aven will leave me with a smile on my face and a warm fuzzy feeling and I am always eagerly awaiting the next instalment to catch glimpses of old favourites.
This is a sweet, warm and beautiful tale about Luca, a gorgeous, sexy hockey player who is so much more than meets the eye and is certainly my idea of the perfect man. I could literally weep that this man is not real 🙁 and Collin’s, as always we are left with the female I can’t help but love and hope for all her dreams to come true, and to share her journey to her happy ever after.
As always Aven has delivered the perfect read, one I devoured and was left bereft when I finished as I wanted to much to be back in this warm and fuzzy world where all is good. As always the hockey is on point and really adds to the drama and sexiness of this book.
Save The Date is a book which doesn’t disappoint and delivers on every level. So stop what you are doing right now and slip in to this beautiful story and enjoy the pure escapism.
About the author:
I live in the Dallas area with my family. I enjoy clipping out recipes I will never get around
to trying, working out, and chatting with friends on social media. I’m a hockey nut (Go
Stars!) and watch as much as humanly possible. I also love shopping and fashion and admit
to being obsessed with whatever the Duchess of Cambridge is wearing. In addition to be
obsessed with the Duchess, I’m equally obsessed with any show or cookbook featuring
Save The Date
Chicago on Ice Series Book 3
Soul Mate Publishing
Chicago event planner Collins Brady knows how to make the magic happen for her clients. From elaborate weddings to cute baby showers, Collins knows what to do to make an experience breathtakingly perfect. In her mind, she adds the sparkle that makes everything shine.
If only she had that same sparkle in her personal life.
While she’s good at her job, her true career dreams lie elsewhere. If she could do anything, it would be to become an equestrian riding instructor. That dream, however, is shelved due to practicality. And that’s not the only thing Collins has shelved. After ending a relationship with her college sweetheart, Collins has taken her heart out of the game, too. She wonders if that magical kind of love can exist. But maybe it’s only a fantasy.
Or is it? All of that changes the night she meets Luca Ballerini, the rookie goalie for the Chicago Buffaloes. Passionate and fiercely determined, Luca has only made time for hockey in his life—until he meets Collins. Her spark hasn’t escaped him, and now Luca wants something other than his hockey career.
But following their dreams and hearts isn’t always easy. Can Collins and Luca find a way to live their dreams with each other?
Will love get past them? Or will this goalie make a perfect save of Collins’ heart?
Dead Woman Walking is the latest book from best selling author Sharon Bolton and boy was I not disappointed. Dead Woman Walking is an astonishing dark and thrilling read, with plenty of twists and a fantastic plot to make this a truly compelling read.
We follow sisters Isabel and Jessica, two strong and interesting woman. We discover early on that Isabel is a nun. Isabel and Jessica have a history and issues through which they must work through, The story was not told from the perspective of one character; all main characters had their voice and their perspective of the events as they unfolded. This allowed for me to view the situation from many different angles and view points; making the book more intriguing, and more enjoyable to read. I felt like I developed a real in depth understanding and picture of the main characters and their role within the plot.
Dead Woman Walking is a cleverly and well written novel which travels effortlessly between the past and present. Twists and turns in the plot kept me guessing and on the edge of my seat. The characters are developed and built throughout the book in a descriptive and intricate way which I really enjoyed and really added to the depth of the plot and the circumstances. All the stories and character view points come together and everything ties up nicely leaving me feeling satisfied.
The short and suspense filled chapters made this an extraordinary and compelling page turner. Sharon Bolton has an easy to read writing style which made this an enjoyable and easy read. Dead Woman Walking is a mind blowing complex crime thriller, with an exceptional plot and incredibly detailed characters. This is a book not to be missed, I was on the edge of my seat, second guessing but never really knowing where the plot was going thanks to the twists and suspense, Bolton has weaved effortlessly throughout.
An enjoyable and compelling, dark and twisty novel which left me feeling at times slightly spooked.
Dead Woman Walking
'Bolton is a gripping storyteller with fine, haunted characters' Peter James
Just before dawn in the hills near the Scottish border, a man murders a young woman. At the same time, a hot-air balloon crashes out of the sky. There’s just one survivor.
She’s seen the killer’s face – but he’s also seen hers. And he won’t rest until he’s eliminated the only witness to his crime.
Alone, scared, trusting no one, she’s running to where she feels safe – but it could be the most dangerous place of all . . .