With huge thanks to the publishers for allowing me an advanced Netgalley copy of this book prior to publication, having read the description of this new book by Helen Callaghan I was eager to get my hands on it ASAP and bump it to the top of my reading pile!
Sophia knows her parents, at least she thought she did but when she returns home to find the unthinkable has happened, her mum dead and her dead now in a critical condition she can’t believe how this could have happened. Her perceptions are challenged even more when she learns her mum was writing her book and the discovery of her hidden notebooks reveals to Sophia a whole hidden life her mum had before she was born, and the truth of that life could be dangerous to Sophia.
A bewitching novel about control and revelation – Sophia is a strong central character around which events unfold. In contrast her mother’s voice revealed through her notebooks is someone who seems to have been easily led and controlled, there are however parallels with Sophia’s own current situation at work, so the novel does show how control can take different routes. I found this to be a very powerful story with many twists and turns in its delivery, thought-provoking with a tight grip! Get this on your reading list now!
Everything is Lies
20 September 2018
What if your parents had been lying to you since the day you were born?
Sophia's parents lived quiet, ordinary lives. At least she thought so, until she came home to discover her mother hanged, and her father in a pool of blood.
Sophia is certain her mother didn't try to kill her father - but clearing her name will draw Sophia deep into a past she never imagined.
A past that hides a dark and twisted secret . . .
Because if everything you've been told is lies, then how dangerous is the truth?
Another book which was added to my to read pile on gifting from a relative, and the first Tom Thorne novel I’ve read. Although this is part of a series I had no problem in reading as a standalone – there are references to things which have obviously occurred earlier in the series, but missing the full history doesn’t impact on this novel.
Detective Inspector Nicola Tanner’s partner is murdered in their own home, and Tanner is sure the killers thought she was her. Tanner has been investigating a series of killings which she believes are connected as honour killings and her investigation has clearly got too close. Convinced her feelings about the killings are correct but being on compassionate leave means she can’t continue investigating herself (officially at least), she brings in Tom Thorne, someone with a reputation to not always follow the rules.
In the current age it could be difficult to deal with the subject matter at the heart of this story however I think Billingham has handled it with great care, producing a book which is considerate with the core subject but also believable. You are quickly a part of the story, and racing through to get to the conclusion and it’s clear that the author has done his research into this subject. I’m definitely happy to read more of this series!
Love Like Blood
Tom Thorne novels
8 March 2018
A BLOODY MESSAGE
As DI Nicola Tanner investigates what appears to be a series of organised killings, her partner Susan is brutally murdered, leaving the detective bereft, and vengeful.
A POWERFUL ALLY
Taken off the case, Tanner enlists the help of DI Tom Thorne to pursue a pair of ruthless killers and the broker handing out the deadly contracts.
A CONSPIRACY OF SILENCE
As the killers target their latest victim, Thorne takes the biggest risk of his career and is drawn into a horrifying and disturbing world in which families will do anything to protect their honour.
I’ll start by saying this is the first book by Anthony Horowitz that I’ve read and I was gifted the book by a relative. The word is murder is a cleverly written fictional murder mystery, when Diana Cowper walks in to a funeral parlour to plan her own funeral she ends up dead by the end of the day. So did she know she was going to die or something more sinister afoot? Investigating her death is Detective Hawthorne, a character it seems we are built up to dislike, he is rude, homophobic and has a high opinion of himself.
His “sidekick” however is the real interesting part of this book, because it is the author himself and it is this character that is also the narrator of the book. The events and story are all fictional however you do seem to become more lost in the story due to this fact and it’s easy to forget that this is fiction… I’m not going to lie I had to google to double check!
The plot is full of the twists and turns of any good murder mystery and I was taken by surprise by the discovery of the killer at the end. I found this a very compelling story made all the more real by the interesting character / author blur. If you are looking for a twist on the classic Whodunnit, this one is for you! More please!
The Word is Murder
19 April 2018
SHE PLANNED HER OWN FUNERAL. BUT DID SHE ARRANGE HER OWN MURDER?
A woman is strangled six hours after organising her own funeral.
Did she know she was going to die? Did she recognise her killer?
Daniel Hawthorne, a recalcitrant detective with secrets of his own, is on the case, together with his reluctant side-kick – a man completely unaccustomed to the world of crime.
But even Hawthorne isn't prepared for the twists and turns in store – as unexpected as they are bloody...
I am a massive fan of Holly Martin and I have been eagerly awaiting her latest book. Coming Home to Maple Cottage takes us back to Sandcastle Bay, this time we follow Isla and Leo. Isla moved to the seaside village following the tragic death of her brother Matthew, in order to care for his young son, her nephew Elliot. Leo was Matthew’s best friend and god father to little Elliot. Leo has spent much of the last year proposing to Isla, offering to take care of her and Elliot. But Isla wants the real deal, love. Isla and Leo spent a night together 4 years previously and Isla has loved Leo ever since, but knows Leo doesn’t feel the same. But unbeknown to Isla, Leo very much has feelings for Isla.
As friends and relatives meddle, in order to try and bring Isla and Leo together, their lives become more complicated and tangled. Throw in the return of Leo’s birth mother and we know we are in for a cracking read.
It was great being back at Sandcastle Bay and meeting up with all the characters we had met over the previous books in the series. Isla and Leo’s story is one which I have been particularly looking forward to. We have had glimpses at their relationship throughout the previous books and know their relationship is complicated. I loved how Holly explore their relationship and the use of the dual narrative, allowing myself as the reader to hear the story from both Leo and Isla’s perspective. Both valued their friendship and both felt a great deal more than they led the other to believe in order to protect their own hearts, following their past relationships. Most of the story seems to stem from the night they spent together at Elliot’s christening.
Throw in Elliot, this gorgeous, happy little boy whom I wanted nothing more for than for him to be happy. He is desperate for Isla and Leo to be his parents, following the death of this father Matthew, and being abandoned at 1 years old by his mother Sadie. Isla is in the processing of trying to legally adopt Elliot, nut things aren’t always as easy and straightforward as one would hope. Throw Leo in to the mix and the untimely return of Sadie and we know we are in for some heart stopping roller coaster moments.
Coming Home to Maple Cottage is Holly back at her best, drawing us in to her world with her beautifully descriptive settings and relatable and likeable characters. I was quickly lost among the pages of this incredible story, laughing and crying as I followed the Leo and Isla through their story. I couldn’t get enough and before I knew it I had devoured the whole book. I certainly can not wait to see what comes next, but for now I will deal with the bittersweet feeling of being sad I’ve read and finished the book already but delighted to have experienced Sandcastle Bay and it all it has to offer.
Coming Home to Maple Cottage is a fabulous and heart warming book, which is there to be devoured. So make sure when you do pick it up, you have no plans that day….
Holly lives in a little white cottage by the sea. She studied media at university which led to a very glitzy career as a hotel receptionist followed by a even more glamorous two years working in a bank. The moment that one of her colleagues received the much coveted carriage clock for fifteen years’ service was the moment when she knew she had to escape. She quit her job and returned to university to train to be a teacher. Three years later, she emerged wide eyed and terrified that she now had responsibility for the development of thirty young minds. She taught for four years and then escaped the classroom to teach history workshops, dressing up as a Viking one day and an Egyptian High Priestess the next. But the long journeys around the UK and many hours sat on the M25 gave her a lot of time to plan out her stories and she now writes full time, doing what she loves.
Holly has been writing for 8 years. She was shortlisted for the New Talent Award at the Festival of Romance. Her short story won the Sunlounger competition and was published in the Sunlounger anthology. She won the Carina Valentine’s competition at the Festival of Romance 2013 with her novel The Guestbook. She was shortlisted for Best Romantic Read, Best eBook and Innovation in Romantic Fiction at the Festival of Romance 2014. She is the bestselling author of 18 books
Follow her on Twitter @HollyMAuthor
Coming Home to Maple Cottage
This utterly addictive new novel from bestselling author Holly Martin will make you smile until your cheeks hurt, sob tears of pure joy and fall head over heels in love with a totally unforgettable romance…
Isla Rosewood is creating a new life for herself and her sweet nephew Elliot in their cosy, yellow-brick family cottage, brimming with special memories. Living in Sandcastle Bay was never part of Isla’s plan but, after her brother Matthew’s tragic accident, her whole world changed as she unexpectedly became a mother to the little boy she adores so much.
Leo Jackson was always known as Matthew’s fun-loving and wild best friend. But now Matthew is gone, it’s time to put his colourful past behind him. His role as Elliot’s godfather is the most important thing to him. And even though Leo and Isla are two very different people, they both want to give Elliot the childhood he deserves.
As the three of them enjoy time together watching fireworks, baking cakes and collecting conkers, Isla begins to see a softer side to charming Leo, with his twinkling eyes and mischievous sense of humour. And, despite herself, she begins to fall for him.
But does Leo feel the same way? Isla knows their situation is complicated but is it too complicated for true love… or will the year end with a happy new beginning for them all?
A glorious, feel-good romance that will make you want to snuggle up under a warm blanket with a hot chocolate and the one you love. If you enjoy reading Sarah Morgan, Jenny Oliver and Lucy Diamond this book is for you.
I’d seen this book advertised on my journey to work and was very intrigued, even more so when I heard it had been selected for the Richard & Judy book club, from which I’ve found many a favourite read. So I was very excited when I finally managed to lay my hands on a copy of this book, and I’m pleased to say not disappointed!
Jess and her boyfriend Adam split up a few months after their baby son William was born, following a series of events that showed Adam to be a womaniser who couldn’t make it to the birth of his own son and has spent the last few years lying about where he was that night. But William is now 10 and Jess’ mum is very ill and it is her wish for William to have a relationship with his dad. So this is how it comes to be that William and Jess are off to spend the summer at Adam’s Chateau in France.
From the first moment of being reunited it’s clear that despite the anger Jess has towards Adam there is very much a spark remaining between them, one which she spends a long time fighting against. I don’t want to spoil the plot of this book too much so I won’t post any spoilers in this post other than to say the reason that Jess fights that spark so high isn’t just related to the past events with Adam.
All of the main characters in the book are instantly likeable and there are moments of joy and sorrow as the plot moves on. There are parts near the end of the book where I was genuinely moved to tears. It’s one of those books that does make you think about life and living every moment! 5 out of 5 stars!
You Me Everything
Simon & Schuster UK
26 July 2018
Jess and her ten-year-old son William set off to spend the summer at Château de Roussignol, deep in the rich, sunlit hills of the Dordogne. There, Jess’s ex-boyfriend and William’s father, Adam, runs a beautiful hotel in a restored castle. Jess is bowled over by what Adam has accomplished, but she’s in France for a much more urgent reason: to make Adam connect with his own son. Jess can’t allow Adam to let their son down because she is tormented by a secret of her own, one that nobody - especially William - must discover.
By turns life-affirming, heart-wrenching and joyful, You Me Everything is a novel about one woman's fierce determination to grab hold of the family she has and never let go, and a romantic story as heady as a crisp Sancerre on a summer day.
Erin is in a pretty good place, she’s about to marry the man of her dreams – banker Mark and is starting to film her biggest documentary to date about prison releases and has been granted exclusive access to a notorious gangster who has never agreed to be interviewed like this before. But when Mark suddenly loses his job things start to change, he snaps easily and Erin is unsure how to help him. However a few changes to their wedding plans they manage to tie the knot and head off on their exotic honeymoon, when a trip out to sea brings an unexpected discovery of a suitcase which could answer their money problems, but also could test their relationship to it’s limits.
This was a gripping plot of twists and turns and unexpected surprises, the development of Erin throughout the novel was brilliant. On starting the book you can find yourself relating to her and warm to her, but as they book goes on and she gets caught up in the mystery of the suitcase her character changes, but at the same time you continue to root for her. You’re never too sure which side of the line Erin will end up by the end of the story, or indeed which side the other characters are on but that adds to the intrigue and makes this a real page turner.
This is definitely the perfect book for those rainy summer evening or those cold winters ones! Put this on your reading list now!
Something in the Water
Simon & Schuster UK
26 July 2018
Erin is a documentary filmmaker on the brink of a professional breakthrough; Mark a handsome investment banker with a bright future. They seem to have it all, until Mark loses his job and cracks start to appear in their perfect life.
But they’re determined to make it work. They book their dream honeymoon and trust that things will work out – after all, they have each other.
On the tropical island of Bora Bora Mark takes Erin scuba diving. Mark is with her – she knows he’ll keep her safe. Everything will be fine. Until they find something in the water.
Erin and Mark decide to keep their discovery a secret -- after all, if no one else knows, who would be hurt? Their decision will trigger a devastating chain of events... which will endanger everything they hold dear.