Sunday, 21 November 2021

The New Wife - Sue Watson

 You can never truly know what goes on behind closed doors…


My darling son, Sam, is marrying his childhood sweetheart and I couldn’t be prouder of the man he’s grown into. Walking out on his abusive father all those years ago was the best thing I ever did. And today he stands, tall and handsome, saying ‘I do’ to my dream daughter-in-law. If I hadn’t pushed them together all those years ago, he might never have found a girl as perfect as Lauren. It’s true what they say, mother always knows best.

But weeks later, Lauren is dead and police cars fill the driveway of their idyllic countryside home. As they question Sam, I sense he’s hiding something. Why won’t he look me in the eye? And who does he rush off to meet as soon as the police are gone?

Desperate, I do what every good mother would do: I let myself into Sam and Lauren’s bedroom. What I see, I will never be able to forget. My son’s beautiful new wife was hiding a dangerous secret. Can I clear my son’s name? And could my life be in danger now too?

A completely gripping, utterly twisted thriller that will leave your jaw on the floor. Perfect for fans of Gone Girl, The Wife Between Us and The Woman in the Window.

Author Bio:

Sue Watson was a TV Producer at the BBC until she wrote her first book and was hooked.

Now a USA Today bestselling author, Sue explores the darker side of life, writing psychological thrillers with big twists. Originally from Manchester, she now lives with her family in leafy Worcestershire where much of her day is spent writing – and procrastinating. Her hobby is eating cake while watching diet and exercise programmes from the sofa, a skill she’s perfected after many years of practice.

For more info visit Sue's website; http://www.suewatsonbooks.com/

Sue would love to meet you on FaceBook at https://www.facebook.com/suewatsonbooks

Follow Sue on Twitter @suewatsonwriter


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My Review

The New Wife tells the story of Georgie who's son is a newlywed, a few months after his marriage his wife is found dead seemingly after falling down the stairs. In the aftermath of the death, Georgie starts to learn things about the people she thought that she knew. The perfect couple that were her best friends and Lauren's parents aren't everything that they seemed to be and everyone seems to have secrets.
I enjoyed this thrilling read that had plenty of twists and turns. It's told from the point of view of Georgie as she finds out the truth behind her son's marriage and the friendship that she has had for the last twenty or so years. I enjoyed the read, but I did find Georgie to be incredibly naive. She really doesn't seem to question anything, even after it becomes clear that Lauren's death was not an accident. I know that it might be hard for someone to accept that nothing is what they thought it was, but she does just accept everything she is told without question. Her relationship with Lauren's parents is also very weird, but each to their own I suppose.
This was a really good read that kept me turning the pages to see if I'd figured it all right or not. There was plenty going on.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own and given voluntarily.





Wednesday, 17 November 2021

The Cranberry Inn - Barbara Josselsohn

 An unputdownable, feel-good Christmas romance about fresh starts, the importance of family and learning how to follow your heart. Perfect for fans of Mary Alice Monroe, Rachel Hanna and Carolyn Brown.


As twinkling lights go up and snowflakes begin to fall, Laurel Hanover and her eight-year-old son are going
home to the Cranberry Inn in the heart of the Adirondack Mountains. Laurel can’t wait to leave New York behind to help her father run the family business, and make snow angels with her son, even if it’s just for Christmas. But when she walks through the door, she’s shocked to find the inn in disrepair, and a letter saying her father will be gone until Christmas Eve…


No one in town knows where Laurel’s father is, and she doesn’t know whether to be worried or angry – but she won’t let the inn go under, and nothing will get in the way of the perfect Christmas for her son. Seeing the worn-out wooden bannisters, bare of festive lights, she immediately recruits her childhood friend, brooding local carpenter Joel Hutcherson. They might disagree on whether any walls actually need to come down, but each rip in the carpet makes Laurel more concerned for her father, and Joel is a welcome distraction. And when he admits that Laurel was his first crush, she realises she’s falling for him.

But then Laurel uncovers a card with beautiful, ornate writing amongst her father’s things and learns the real reason he disappeared. And it changes everything. Worse still, she thinks Joel knew the truth all along.

Laurel thought this was going to be the perfect Christmas – that maybe she had found her happy. But now there’s nothing to stop her from running back to New York the moment the baubles come down… is there?

Author Bio:

Barbara Josselsohn is an award-winning journalist and novelist who loves crafting stories about strong protagonists facing a fork in the road. Her novels center around second chances, family relationships and, of course, romance. She is the author of the Lake Summers series set in the fictional town of Lake Summers, nestled in the Adirondacks Mountains, which includes the books The Lilac House and The Bluebell Girls. Before joining with Bookouture, she published The Last Dreamer, a women’s-fiction novel from Lake Union Publishing, along with hundreds of articles and essays in major and regional publications about family, home and relationships. She lives just north of New York City and enjoys escaping to the beach or the mountains whenever she can. Other than writing, her biggest passion is her family: husband, her three kids, and her indefatigable shih-poo!


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The Cranberry InnThe Cranberry Inn by Barbara Josselsohn
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When it comes to a Christmas read, what you want is something that leaves you feeling warm and fuzzy at the end. Of course, the best books like this take you on a journey to get there, which is exactly what The Cranberry Inn does.
Laurel and her son Simon travel to the family Inn in order to help her father out for Christmas. While she is living there and running the place for him, she learns how he really sees her and what she wants out of life, along with connecting with her teenage crush Joel.
This was a fun read and I enjoyed following Laurel as she made her mark on the family business and sorted out what it was she really wanted out of life. Having a son added an extra dimension to the story and I thought that it worked quite well. I did get a bit confused about his age as he seemed to be around four or five with his behaviour and the way that she treated him and then at other times seemed a bit older.
This was a great Christmas read with a lovely and satisfying conclusion. I for one really enjoyed it.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own and given voluntarily.

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Tuesday, 16 November 2021

Wild for me - Tam DeRudder Jackson

Wild For Me
Tam DeRudder Jackson
(Balefire Series, #3)
Publication date: November 18th 2021
Genres: Adult, New Adult, Romance

Dakota

Annabelle Stewart, all tight leather skirt and hot lace panties, thundered into my life for one night after a rock show and calmly drove away the next day. She should have been like any other one-night stand I’ve had over the last ten years touring with Balefire. But she wasn’t. At odd moments, I catch myself thinking about her, wondering if I made as big an impression on her as she did on me.

Then I walk into the rehearsal for our drummer’s wedding, and who’s standing with the bride? The hottie who keeps me awake with thoughts of our one night together. Beautiful, smart, and sassy as hell, Annabelle sets me on fire with her kisses and leaves me hanging. But I’ve got plans for her.

Annabelle

I never expected to see him again. Two years after hooking up with Dakota Perri after a Balefire concert, I’d convinced myself that night was a fantasy. But the way he looks at me during Jack and Clio’s wedding, like he remembers every second of our one-night stand, lights me up. Too bad I blew it.

Then I score a management internship with the band, an opportunity guaranteed to land me a scholarship with a top graduate program—if I don’t earn a reputation for sleeping my way to success. Which is a problem. I see Dakota every day. Every time we’re together, the sparks fly faster and hotter. If I want to achieve my goals, I have to resist him. But how can I resist a man as panty-meltingly hot as Dakota Perri when he says he’s wild for me?

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo


Author Bio:

Tam DeRudder Jackson is the author of the paranormal romance Talisman Series and the contemporary romance Balefire Series. Her favorite “room” in her house is her back patio where she dreams up stories of romance and risk. When she’s not writing her latest paranormal or contemporary romance, you can usually find her driving around with the top down in her convertible or carving turns on the slopes of the local ski hill. The mom of two grown sons, Tam likes to travel, attend rock concerts, watch football and soccer, and visit old car shows with her husband. She lives in the mountains of northwest Wyoming where she spends most of her free time trying to read all the books. Her TBR piles are threatening to take over her office, and she’s fine with that.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Instagram / Newsletter


My Review

This is the second book in the Balefire series that I've read, but the third book in that series. You don't need to have read the previous books as each one works well as a standalone. (Having said that, there has been a character in both books I have read that causes problems and I don't really understand why they keep him around, perhaps some reason for that was given in the first book or will be in the next.)
Annabelle and Dakota hooked up a couple of years ago after a concert and although they never saw one another again, neither could get the other out of their mind. Now, Annabelle is working as an intern for the management of the band and as much as she wants to keep things on a professional footing between them, she just can't resist him. They both think that what's happening between them is just a temporary thing, even if no one else does.
I did like the development of the relationship between Dakota and Annabelle. She matches his wild side, but also gives him the security and stability he's always wanted, even if he didn't realise that.
This was a fun read and if you enjoy rock romances, then I think that you will like this one too.

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Saturday, 13 November 2021

The Widow - K.L. Slater

 My husband was not a monster. No matter what they say…


The day my husband, Michael, stepped in front of a lorry after being questioned by the police, my world fell apart. He was devoted to me and our six-year-old daughter. But they’d connected him to the disappearance of a young mother from our tiny village.

Now I stand at Michael’s funeral, clutching my little girl’s hand, with tears in my eyes as I insist to all our friends that he died an innocent man. Yet the questions have started, and nothing I say will stop them digging for the truth.

But none of them can read the secrets in my heart, or know about the phone I found hidden in his toolbox…

I’m determined that my daughter will not remember her father as a monster. I will erase any hint of wrongdoing in this house whatever the cost.

Because to keep my daughter safe, the last thing I need is for people to start looking at me…

A completely gripping psychological thriller from the author of the number one bestseller The Marriage. If you like Gone GirlThe Girl on The Train and The Wife Between Us then you will love The Widow.

Author Bio:

For many years, Kim sent her work out to literary agents but never made it off the slush pile. At the age of 40 she went back to Nottingham Trent University and now has an MA in Creative Writing.


Before graduating, she received five offers of representation from London literary agents which was, as Kim says, ‘a fairytale … at the end of a very long road!’


Kim is a full-time writer and lives in Nottingham with her husband, Mac.


https://klslaterauthor.com/

https://www.facebook.com/KimLSlaterAuthor/

https://www.instagram.com/klslaterauthor/

https://twitter.com/KimLSlater


Buy Links:

My Review


The WidowThe Widow by K.L. Slater
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When you've been married to someone for a long time and had a happy marriage with them, you can feel that you know all of the secrets and everything about them. But what if they suddenly started acting strangely and rumours were appearing about something that they might have done. Before you get a chance to get to the bottom of what's going on, they die. Can you still trust that the person you thought you knew was the same? That everything you believed about them is true? That's what Kate faces.
The widow is full of twists and turns that will leave you guessing until the end. The disappearance of a young polish woman is just the start of the story with plenty more to come out as old secrets start to be uncovered. The whole book is told from multiple points of view, which helps to layer the story as we learn more.
There are heaps of twists in this book. I will admit I had guessed some, but certainly not all by the time I got to the end. This is a gripping read that will have you thinking you've got it solved one minute and then change your mind a second later. Good stuff!
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own and given voluntarily.

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Wednesday, 10 November 2021

The Orphan's Secret - Shirley Dickson

 England, 1940: A tear-jerking wartime tale of an orphaned baby who needs a home, and the woman who risks everything to provide it. Fans of Before We Were YoursWives of War and Diney Costeloe will be utterly swept away by this heartbreaking – yet beautifully hopeful – World War Two page-turner.


With the war raging, Lily has learned not to take life for granted. In a time of such tragedy, every day is a gift. Her husband is a soldier, fighting to save their country, and she prays that she will survive – to one day welcome him home.

One sweltering July night, bombs rain down. Lily and her dear friend Ethel, who is nine months pregnant, seek refuge in a shelter. Miraculously, a baby girl is born to the sound of ear-splitting shrieks and explosions in the distance. Once the raid quietens, Lily races into the house to find the newborn a blanket. But then the unthinkable happens, planes thundering right over the rooftops…


When Lily rouses, finding herself amongst broken glass and crumbled brick, she is devastated to discover that Ethel has been killed – leaving little Joy behind. With tears rolling down her face, Lily makes a split-second decision.

To save the orphaned child, Lily must tell a heartbreaking lie, a secret that she holds close to her chest for years. But when the truth comes out, whose lives will be destroyed? And will she ever be forgiven?

Author Bio:

Shirley Dickson was born and grew up in the seaside town of South Shields. She left school at fifteen and can’t remember a time when she didn’t write. She entered her first short story competition in ‘School Friend’ when she was eleven. After Shirley retired from auxiliary nursing, she was able to devote her time to writing.


After living in various locations, she settled under the big skies of Northumberland and has lived with her husband in the same house for over forty years. Shirley has three daughters and four grandchildren and likes nothing better than family gatherings.


https://twitter.com/ShirleyDWriter


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Audio Links:


The Orphan's SecretThe Orphan's Secret by Shirley Dickson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

**Content warning for this book. Miscarriage, stillbirth and infant loss are dealt with.**
As you might guess from a book called the Orphan's secret. This book is one that will play on your emotions and pull on your heartstrings. From the blurb, you might be thinking that the main characters in the book are Ethel and Karl. While they do feature in the story and play important roles, this is really John and Lily's story. In fact, we don't meet either Ethel or Karl until we are around halfway through.
This novel is set in wartime and much of the hardships that our characters face are due to that. Dealing with husbands sent overseas, women finding their role in this strange world of the home front, bombing and rationing. A lot of the action also takes place with the lumberjills, the young women who went out to fell trees for the war effort. While I had heard of and knew a little about the women's land army, this is the first time that I'd come across the lumberjills. Really, what a lot of our women folk faced during that period is hard to comprehend.
I don't want to give away too much of what happens in this book, but it is certainly one that sends you on an emotional rollercoaster. I had an idea of what might go on and in some ways, I think that helped. Although I was emotionally invested in the characters, guessing what was coming helped make it less upsetting.
This was an interesting and gripping read and one that I really enjoyed.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own and given voluntarily.

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Thursday, 4 November 2021

The Second Marriage - Jess Ryder

 ‘They’re lying,’ my little stepson whispers, his blue eyes shining with tears as I tuck him into bed for the first time. ‘They think I’ve forgotten, but I remember everything. I know my mummy is still alive.’


My best friend warned me that it was too soon to marry Edward, a widower with an adorable but troubled little boy. She said we were moving too fast. But all I could see was a kind, loving man, struggling with grief, who needed my help.

Yet as storm clouds gather above our small wedding ceremony, my hopes and dreams fall apart. None of my husband’s family turn up to support us. Instead of a honeymoon, we have a quiet night in. My wedding bouquet is placed on his first wife’s grave. And then my new stepson tells me he’s sure his mother is still alive.

What does Noah remember and why is his father trying to make him forget? Have I been completely wrong about my husband? What happened to the woman who came before me, and how far will he go to stop me finding out the truth?

An utterly unputdownable, gripping, twisty psychological thriller, perfect for fans of Before I Go To SleepThe Girl on the Train and Gone Girl.

Author Bio:

Jess Ryder is the pseudonym of Jan Page, author, screenwriter, playwright and award-winning television producer. After many years working in children’s media, she has recently embarked on a life of crime. Writing, that is. So she’s very excited about the publication of her debut thriller Lie to Me. Her other big love is making pots.


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Audible:

My Review


The Second MarriageThe Second Marriage by Jess Ryder
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Second Marriage is a thriller that I just couldn't put down. It opens with Lily being proposed to by her employer and boss, Edward. After she began working for him, they had a whirlwind romance, despite the age difference of fifteen years. Once she begins to settle into married life however Lily begins to wonder if Edward is all that he seems to be and what really went on in his life before she arrived on the scene.
I enjoyed this gripping read. Lily is a little to trusting at times, certainly far more than I would be, but perhaps she needs to be in order to move the story along. There is plenty here for her to find out, with quite a few surprises as the story unfolds. Nothing as it first seems in her life with Edward and it isn't long before Lily finds herself questioning everything that he has told her.
The only thing that slightly annoyed me with this book was that forty-five was made out to be really old a couple of times. Yes, Edward is old for Lily as a partner, but the idea that he was too old to have an eight-year-old son or that Noah (said son) was a late in life baby, just seemed really strange. He would have been 38 when his son was born. (The average age for first-time fathers in the UK in 2019 was just under 34.)
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own and given voluntarily.

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Friday, 29 October 2021

Blind Date - Wendy Clarke

 When Mel is set up on a blind date by her best friends Chris and Simon, she’s as anxious as any woman would be. Her divorce came as such a shock and she’d been feeling lost and lonely, but that didn’t mean she was desperate to date again. It was a terrible day at work that made her say yes: it could be a bit of fun, a distraction at least. What did she have to lose?


When Mel meets Malik, she knows instantly that they could have more than just a fling. She tells him her deepest, darkest secrets and it doesn’t make him run away. He makes her feel wanted for the first time in years, and when she wakes up in his bed in the early hours she feels completely content.

Until she notices that he’s no longer lying beside her.

She’s tangled up in his sheets alone in his bedroom and she can’t remember how she got there.

And then she hears the metallic scrape of a key in the door and realises that Malik has locked her in. Is her dream man going to turn into her worst nightmare?

Thrilling and gripping until the final page, Blind Date is a dark and unsettling story about deception and how much we can trust the people we love. For fans of Gone Girl, The Girl on the Train and anything by Lisa Jewell.

Author Bio:

Wendy Clarke was a teacher until the small primary school where she worked closed down. Now she is a writer of psychological suspense but is also well known for her short stories and serials which regularly appear in national women’s magazines.


Wendy has two children and three step-children and lives with her husband, cat and step-dog in Sussex. When not writing, she is usually indulging in her passion for dancing, singing or watching any programme that involves food!


https://wendyswritingnow.blogspot.com/

https://www.facebook.com/WendyClarkeAuthor/

https://www.instagram.com/wendyclarke99/

https://twitter.com/WendyClarke99


Buy Links:

My Review


Blind DateBlind Date by Wendy Clarke
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

If you are looking for a thrilling read that will keep you n the edge of your seat, with plenty of twists and turns, then you won't go far wrong with Blind Date. It tells the story of Mel, a recent divorcee who suddenly finds that her career is also on the line.
She gets shifted from the radio breakfast show (you know, those relentlessly cheerful and "funny" radio shows that you get on local radio) to the graveyard shift. The show is very different and it's not long before Mel starts to get drawn into the lives of some of the callers that contact her. When she meets a man that her friends have set her up with, who seems to be quite mysterious, even though she can't avoid the draw to him, everything starts to blur together and Mel finds herself at a loss to know who to trust.
There are plenty of twists and turns in this book. Some of them I saw coming and I did know who was behind the various things that Mel was facing. It wasn't that they were overly obvious, but there were certainly some hints if you were looking for them.
This was a gripping read and one that I was reluctant to put down. Interestingly, not all of the questions were answered, but that didn't really detract from the storyline, if anything it added to the interest and enjoyment of the read.
Overall this was a great book and one that I would recommend.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own and given voluntarily.

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