2018, Blog Tour, Book Snippet, extract, Uncategorized

Blog Tour: Madam Love, Actually By Rich Amooi

So sorry for the lack of updates on Hayley Reviews it’s been quite a crazy week in terms of my life. Works been chaotic to say the least and I’m an auntie to two more beauties. That’s enough about me although there will be a post that may seem like moaning, rambling but I think that it’s now came to a time when I need to make some changes to my blog and my well-being.

Today on Hayley Reviews I’m pleased to share with you an extract from Madam Love Actually.

In this scene, the radio host is trying to talk Madam Love and Lance into getting together for a reading to find him his soulmate.

“Welcome back! I’m Elaine Stewart and we’ve been talking with bestselling author Lance Parker about his new book Your Soulmate Doesn’t Exist. We also have Madam Love on the line with us. She’s a fortune teller who specializes in finding her clients’ soulmates. Are you still with us, Madam Love?”

“I’m here,” Madam Love answered.

“Great. Before the break I was chatting with Lance about the possibility of visiting Madam Love for a consultation to find his soulmate. He doesn’t believe in them, but Madam Love is confident he does have one. They both said it was a bad idea. Funny, but our listeners disagree with both of you.” Elaine scrolled down the page on her computer monitor. “We have a poll on Facebook and Twitter asking if Lance should visit Madam Love. So far, ninety-nine percent of our listeners say yes!”

Lance let out a nervous chuckle. “Out of how many people? Three?”

“Over four thousand people have weighed in so far.” She kept her eyes on the monitor. “Hang on . . . it’s up over five thousand and climbing.”

What the hell?

Peter scribbled DO IT! on a piece of paper and handed it to Lance.

Lance pushed the paper aside and mouthed no to Peter.

“Madam Love, you mentioned there was a soulmate waiting for Lance at this moment,” Elaine said. “How sure are you?”

“I’m certain,” Madam Love answered, then laughed. “Hard to believe, right?”

“Not funny,” Lance grumbled.

“The truth hurts, darling,” Madam Love shot back.

Elaine was watching her monitor. “We now have over twelve thousand listeners who want Madam Love to give Lance a reading and find him his soulmate. That’s ninety-four percent of those polled.”

“Twelve thousand people?” Madam Love said.

“Yes,” Elaine answered. “Amazing, considering the poll hasn’t been up on Facebook and Twitter long. Wait, we’re up to almost fourteen thousand listeners in favor.”

“I’ll do it,” Madam Love blurted out. “I’ll take the challenge.”

Thank you once again Rachel for including me and to Rich Amooi for this fabulous extract. Be sure to check out the rest of the tour.

Purchase Links:

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07C9RYRHY

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07C9RYRHY

Amazon CA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B07C9RYRHY

Amazon AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B07C9RYRHY

Author Bio –

Rich Amooi is a former radio personality who now writes romantic comedies full-time. He is happily married to a kiss monster imported from Spain. They live in San Diego, California with their very hairy daughter, a mini goldendoodle puppy. Rich believes in public displays of affection, silliness, infinite possibilities, donuts, gratitude, laughter, and happily ever after.

Social Media Links –

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/author.richamooi

Twitter: https://twitter.com/richamooi

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2018, Blog Tour, Publication Day, Review, Uncategorized

Blog Tour: Forgive Me Not By Samantha Tonge

Blurb: How far would you go to make amends?

When Emma fled her home at Foxglove Farm, she’d let down and hurt those who cared for her most. But now, two years later, she’s ready to face up to her past; she’s ready to go back.

But Emma’s unannounced return causes more problems than she could have foreseen. The people she knew and loved aren’t ready to forget, let alone forgive. And the one person she wants to reconnect with the most, her mother, can’t remember who she is.

Just as Emma starts to rebuild trust, an uncovered family secret and a shocking past crime threaten her newly forged future…

Sometimes simply saying sorry isn’t enough.

Review: Now I can’t say I have read all of Samantha Tonge’s back catalogue but what I have read I have really enjoyed.

Forgive Me Not is a brand new novel from Samantha with Canelo it’s a whole new direction for her and all I can say is wow.

I took part in a readathon at the weekend and for once I didn’t do too badly. (More on this later) but I knew I was due to review Forgive Me Not today so it was definitely on my TBR and it kept me transfixed. I was working over the weekend but every spare minute was spent truly devouring Emma’s story.

Emma is such an interesting character although at times I felt frustrated at her and on behalf of her. As the story unfolds you’re taken back and forth on her journey. There’s so much to Emma and her story isn’t as clear cut as it seems at times. I loved seeing the twists unfold and the terror and shock of what she discovered. It’s remarkable how secrets and lies can shape your whole existence – well this is definitely part of Emma’s story and I’m pretty sure there are many people out there that will agree if certain events in their lives had been different their journey would have been different. This sentiment made me question how we are towards others around us. It’s all well and good being sorry but actions do speak louder than words and Emma learns the hard way.

If you have read Samantha’s work wipe away any misconceptions as this novel is a one off a stand alone that will stay with you long after the final page.

This novel seemed to come to me at the right time. I’m penning a post that will link nicely to this book but I don’t want to give too much away the gist I will say is that every single person you meet is fighting their own personal battles and appearances can be deceptive. Sometimes we automatically judge people when we have no right. Anything can change our way of life, a difficult childhood doesn’t mean you’ll turn out a tearaway, and coming from money also doesn’t mean you’ll never experience hardship in some way shape or form.

I could share so many quotes from this epic tale but I really liked this “she’d concluded that all being normal meant was being happy with yourself.” This speaks volumes to me and right now in a good place on my Slimming World journey I finally feel happier in myself.

Forgiving comes easy to some but Emma’s sister isn’t ready to forget and on Emma’s journey as she starts to heal she realises where her family are coming from. I truly believe this sentiment will be an eye opener for most.

This story has so much to deal with and it’s done so well. I don’t want to elaborate too much as it’s a special journey and each and every reader will see different signs and triggers. Sadly in the world we live in there’s still a stigma around mental health and depression. On the flip side they are just two aspects and thanks to authors like Samantha these everyday real life battles are being spoken about more.

If you want to read a book that’s going to entertain, intrigue and teach you something then go grab Forgive Me Not and join Emma on her rollercoaster ride. My final words are Never judge a book by its cover, appearances can be deceptive and think before you judge another.

2018, Blog Tour

Blog Blitz: The Second Cup By Sarah Marie Graye

Today here at Hayley Reviews I am apologising to Rachel as I completely forgot about my spot on this tour yesterday. So without further ado.

Blurb: Would your life unravel if someone you knew committed suicide? Theirs did.

FAYE knows her heart still belongs to her first love, Jack. She also knows he might have moved on, but when she decides to track him down, nothing prepares her for the news that he’s taken his own life.

Faye is left wondering how to move forward – and whether or not Jack’s best friend Ethan will let her down again. And the news of Jack’s death ripples through the lives of her friends too.

ABBIE finds herself questioning her marriage, and wondering if she was right to leave her first love behind. Poor OLIVIA is juggling her job and her boyfriend and trying to deal with a death of her own. And Jack’s death has hit BETH the hardest, even though she never knew him.

Is Beth about to take her own life too?

Sarah Marie Graye joins me on Hayley Reviews to talk about multiple voices as part of her debut novel’s first anniversary blog blitz. And I’m so so sorry that my gorgeous post is a day late.

The book is told from the point of view of four different friends, interspersed with third-person flashbacks. Today, Sarah Marie is talking to us about why she took such an unusual narrative approach.

The Second Cup follows a group of friends – Faye, Beth, Abbie and Olivia – as they come to terms with the news of a suicide.

Around 15 years ago, the friend of a friend killed themselves. Even though I’d never met the person who took their own life, the event had a huge impact on my life for two reasons.

The first was that my friend chose me as the person to lean on. The second was because I’ve battled with mental health problems since childhood. As my friend started to process what had happened and move on from the event, I found myself lagging behind, unable to do the same.

It made me realise that something doesn’t have to be at the centre of your life to affect you: that you can be thrown of guard by something because you interpret it differently from everyone else.

I wondered if, as someone with mental health issues, I was more aware of my own fragility and therefore my own mortality – so someone choosing to end their own life is something I can relate to more closely than most people.

What I wanted to capture in my novel is the impact of that awareness.

So although it’s Faye’s ex-boyfriend who has ended his life, it’s actually Beth who struggles the hardest with the news. Why? Because his death mirrors a recurring nightmare she used to have.

On one level, she can’t help but feel that he’s “stolen” her suicide – and so feels bereft. And she’s also aware that it could have so easily have been her.

The only way to capture Beth’s inner turmoil was going to be to write from a first-person perspective. But to highlight how different her reaction was compared to her friends – including Faye whose ex-boyfriend it was who died – I realised I needed to write the other chapters from the perspectives of the other characters. So the need for multiple first-person voices was borne out of necessity, rather than trying to use a clever narrative trick.

The sections in third person were there to represent a level of “truthfulness” that’s not always present in first-person narration. I wanted to make sure I could offer a measured voice for characters that were going through emotional turmoil – something I couldn’t realistically do within their first-person narratives.

As well being told from the point of view of different characters, my novel also has different threads and ideas that weave in and out of the main plot. The idea behind this approach was to increase the feeling of being unsettled in the reader. A suicide is not an easy event to recover from and I wanted to make sure the book echoed some of that discomfort.

By my own admission, The Second Cup is not an easy read. But it’s not easy on purpose. And I also hope the multi-narrative approach I’ve taken helps those who have never suffered from any mental health issues understand what it’s like to not be able to trust your own mind.

Do make sure you check out the rest of the blog blitz and Rachel thank you once again for including me.

Amazon book page: https://getbook.at/SecondCup

Amazon author page: https://author.to/SarahMarieGraye

Both Amazon links are “universal” links, so you can use the same link for both UK and US links on your blog.

Social Media Links

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sarahmariegraye

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SarahMarieGraye

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sarahmariegraye

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/sarahmariegraye

2018, Cover Reveal, Uncategorized

Paige Toon Cover Reveal – One Perfect Christmas and other stories

It’s always a brighter day when there’s a Paige Toon email that features a gorgeously festive cover and news.

I have a ticket for Paige’s almost sold out London event next week and I cannot wait to see her again and to finally meet Lindsey Kelk and Giovanna Fletcher. I’m a tad excited to say the least. I managed to pick up a copy of Lindsey’s new novel One In A Million yesterday although I’m not sure if I will get to it in time we shall see how I get on with this weekends readathon.

One Perfect Christmas and other stories will be released on 4th October and it can be pre-ordered Here.

I’m loving the fact I have so many options for blog posts at the moment. It had completely slipped my mind that Paige said that she would be posting. I’m already excited about her next novel If you could go anywhere – I know from the brief description this will very much be a Hayley drop everything book.

What are your thoughts on this fab update from one of my most favourite authors?

2018, Uncategorized, Wandering Wednesday

Wandering to the 1930s

Wandering Wednesday is a meme I created after returning from a holiday and longing for another. Of late there have been a number of books that have made me long to book a flight and I am hoping on making some bookish trips when I can, so watch this space they will be documented.

Today I had it in my head that I would be posting a review of a book I have truly loved but for one reason or other my time with said book has seemed a lot longer than expected. Alas that review will done this week I hope, but today I’m going back to the 1930s and I will miss my Nan terribly as this era especially in film would have been something I would have loved to have shared with her. I have such fond memories of Nan over feeding me and then her getting out the Milk Tray alongside a film, quite recently I was given a thank you certificate and chocolates from work and they were Milk Tray it felt like a nod from Nan.

Back to the point in hand these old films remind me of that time I’m so grateful we shared and when reading Holly Hepburn’s Brief Encounter at the Picture House by the Sea I was transported back to my Nan’s front room.

Brief Encounter at the Picture House by the Sea

I’m ashamed to say I haven’t seen the film and if I have I don’t remember it but when I saw that this would be on the stage I knew I had to see it. The show has a limited run and will now close on Sunday 22nd so today I decided that if I could get a rush ticket for the matinee I would go.

I tried to post this before I went into the cinema to watch an extraordinary piece of theatre and film but the signal was so bad so here it is after the event. Although I feel I have to write my review of my thoughts separately to this post. What I will say is I most definitely need to see the film and I felt like I was back at Once the musical with the pre show entertainment. Thanks to the usher for telling me to stay in the foyer it really did add to my experience and what a gorgeous way to spend a day off immersed in theatre/film and now I’m about to delve back into a book.

I may have also purchased a book that’s not officially out in paperback just yet apart from train stations and airports. I wonder what that could be. I will be attending an event where this book is linked next week.

Are there any other iconic films that I should have already seen?

2018, Top Ten Tuesday, Uncategorized

Top Ten Tuesday: Favourite Novellas/Short Stories

Top Ten Tuesday was created in June 2010 by The Broke and the Bookish and was moved to The Artsy Reader Girl in 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

I love reading memes from different bloggers and Fabulous Book Fiend aka Catriona regularly participates in Top Ten Tuesday. To start with I must admit I didn’t have a clue and I thought I just chose what to post, that is where I was wrong.

Recently I have either already had posts or had little to no motivation for the subject matter but Novellas/ short stories are definitely a subject matter I can get on board with.

Katey Lovell’s Meet Cute series are one of my favourite novellas. This is the last one I read and it was so different but extremely inspiring.

The latest Angela Britnell that I loved. This one brought characters from a previous novella The Reject Table – back and that warmed my heart.

This is a gorgeous start to a series and I hope to get back to these really soon.

I love Victoria Walters and I will share more of hers. I was in the middle of the Random Acts Of Kindness series when I discovered this short and oh my what a gorgeous gorgeous coffee break read go get it now.

Novellas are a favourite of mine and this weekend when the 24in48 readathon is on I’m hoping to dive into a few novellas maybe even finish the meet cute series.

I love novellas and if you know of one I may like feel free to leave a comment for me.

2018, Author Love, Guest Post, Uncategorized

Guest Post: Samantha Tonge – A kind of magic

Today I am pleased to have Samantha Tonge guesting on Hayley Reviews. I have loved her Monday motivation for a while and I was extremely grateful when she agreed to write something for me.

What I have read of Samantha’s I have loved and I will be reading her newest book Forgive Me Not soon as I’m part of the blog tour next week I believe. So without further ado I hand over to Sam.

Self-kindness is very important as an author. There are too many opportunities to doubt and criticise ourselves as we progress along our publishing journey. I’ve recently undergone counselling and one of the most important consequences is that I don’t beat myself up anymore about mistakes I might make or things I perceive as failures.

As if by magic this has made all the difference to how I view myself and my career.

And it’s a challenging career for anyone who has a tendency to judge themselves. From your very first publication date you are propelled into a world where you are continually ranked. On Amazon. In bookshops. By being shortlisted – or not – for awards. By the number of stars readers give you when they review. By the number of followers you might gain on your social media platforms. And that’s after years of struggling to find an agent or publisher.

It’s hard for self-esteem not to plummet if a one-star review comes in or a rejection from an agent. It’s easy to start the blame game and to tell yourself you should have done better.

So here are my tips on how ditch that negative inner soundtrack and replace it with a much kinder one.

It is what it is – and this applies to anything in life. If you can’t alter a situation then there is absolutely no point in stressing about it. That one star review is on Amazon for all and sundry to see? No matter. Every reader is entitled to their opinion. If you love your book, your agent loves it and your editor too then that is all that matters. Accept the things you can’t change – it’s extremely liberating.

One day at a time – I took a mindfulness course as part of my treatment and it’s really taught me to live in the day and focus on the present. Yesterday I got a rejection? That was then. Forget it. Today offers new hope. What if my book launch tomorrow is a flop? Whoa, hold on! We aren’t there yet and you haven’t got a crystal ball so can’t predict a thing. Forget the what ifs – they are utterly pointless. What will be will be.

Don’t construct a story around your thoughts – the following example comes from a talk I attended at my local Buddhist centre. A woman takes a dog out for walk. They step out of the building. The dog thinks “we are going for a walk.” The woman, however, thinks, “we are going for a walk. It is cold. The weatherman got it wrong. It might rain. Perhaps I should get my brolly. We’d better hurry. Clouds are coming. What if we get wet? My new shoes will get ruined. They cost a lot of money. I shouldn’t have really bought them. What if…”

You get the idea. Be more dog-like if possible! So if, say, you book hasn’t jumped up to the top of the Kindle chart or an agent has rejected your submission, don’t overthink the situation. Don’t catastrophise. Don’t entertain such thoughts as “this must be a bad book, I will never achieve the success I want.’ All in good time. Any writer’s career is full of ups and downs whilst they learn along the way. Put it down to experience and focus on the positive. Getting your work out there or getting published is a massive achievement in itself. It took me eight years to get my first deal and sometimes I need to remind myself of how far I have come.

So be a little kinder to YOU. You deserve it. You are worth it. Be on your own side. Be your own best friend. Your own cheerleader.

It’s not about ego, it’s about self-belief and self-love.

As if by magic you’ll be so much happier.

Author Bio

Samantha Tonge lives in Manchester UK and her passion, second to spending time with her husband and children, is writing. She studied German and French at university and has worked abroad, including a stint at Disneyland Paris. She has travelled widely.

When not writing she passes her days cycling, baking and drinking coffee. Samantha has sold many dozens of short stories to women’s magazines.

In 2013, she landed a publishing deal for romantic comedy fiction with HQDigital at HarperCollins and in 2014, her bestselling debut novel, Doubting Abbey, was shortlisted for the Festival of Romantic Fiction best Ebook award. In 2015 her summer novel, Game of Scones, hit #5 in the UK Kindle chart and won the Love Stories Awards Best Romantic Ebook category.

Her latest contemporary romance novel, One Summer in Rome, was published May 2018 by HQDigital, HarperCollins.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/One-Summer-Rome-deliciously-uplifting-ebook/dp/B073TS2JDX/ref=la_B00FB6KDNC_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1529503699&sr=1-1

Her debut women’s fiction novel, Forgive Me Not will be released by Canelo on 23rd July 2018. Which can be pre-ordered Here.

Forgive Me Not Cover Reveal Post

One Summer in Rome Review

Author Post: The New Beginnings Coffee Club

The New Beginnings Coffee Club Review

Thank you Samantha for joining me here at Hayley Reviews I honestly cannot wait to read your women’s fiction offering and the rest of your back catalogue.

2018, Six for Sunday, Uncategorized

Six For Sunday: Books that made you angry…

Since discovering Six For Sunday – I have well and truly loved these bookish challenges. I wasn’t sure if I would participate in today’s offering but after seeing a few people’s post I thought come on Hayley you need to get on this.

Six for Sunday is a weekly meme set up by alittlebutalot you can find the latest updates Here. I have to say I love these posts and will try to do more of them in the future. I’m already planning my answers to next weeks offering.

There were certain aspects about this book that truly angered me but I cannot share my anger without ruining the story.

The Breakdown

The Escape this book had me on the edge of my nerves and I constantly felt for Jo.

Tubing was an interesting debut I really got angry with Polly as a woman why the hell did she put herself in such a dangerous position. I felt like I kept getting annoyed with her. Tubing review

The Perfect Girlfriend is another debut that I truly enjoyed. What angered me about Juliette is how little she thought of herself. She was basing her whole existence on a man. I’m very much about independent women. The Perfect Girlfriend Review

I love this fella I went to the book signing in Milton Keynes for this and I must admit I haven’t finished reading it. As a huge Westlife fan who has had the pleasure of meeting them a number of times I was deeply saddened and angered by how Shane was made to feel for some of his time in Westlife. I have always loved this guy he’s been a star and an inspiration as well as a genuine guy towards me and as much as I loved some of the fab memories the sadness was upsetting me. I will make time to either start again or finish where I left it.

I love Ruth Ware – I still haven’t finished penning my thoughts on this one. I must admit though I didn’t love the lady reading this audio and because of that it took me longer to devour it. I started it then it was left aside and when I went on holiday I was in a gorgeous setting on a beach and restarted it. Lo is a character you can’t help but love and I truly adore Ruth’s way with words.

I hope you have enjoyed my offering I would love to see the books that have angered you. In some way.

2018, Author Love, ebook, novella, Quick Reads, Review, Short Story, Uncategorized, update

Novella Review: The Boy with the Board By Katey Lovell

Blurb: A gorgeously romantic short story, part of The Meet Cute series.

When her beloved mum dies suddenly, Helena escapes to sunny California. Determined to live for the moment, she puts aside her fears and signs up for the surfing lessons she’s always dreamed of – with the added distraction of hunky instructor Ashton.

Review: I have said it before and here I say it again these meet cute stories are perfect tea break escapism from day to day struggles.

For me The Boy with the Board has a totally different feel from the other meet cutes I have devoured. Helena’s Story is tinged with sadness but from a saying her mother used to say she decides to take caution to the wind and get out of her comfort zone. There is something awe inspiring in reading a story where a seemingly average young woman decides to make a life-changing decision. In that I am envious of Helena she saw a chance to change and grabbed it.

Although on a personal note I have made some life changes that have surprised and inspired me in my self and my own motivation. I’m proud of the woman I am becoming it’s like I have got back a little of the confidence I once had. Saying that I’ve never totally felt overly confident but I do feel like the changes I have made are adding to my day to day self confidence.

Reading has always been a passion of mine and following my studies I’m so glad I got back into reading for pleasure as it gives me so much joy. In escaping I’m discovering more about myself, who I want to be and where I want to go. I’m hoping to make some trips based on bookish love so watch this space…. I have two meet cutes left and I’m hoping to participate in the 24in48 readathon next weekend and o think finishing this beautiful series will be the icing on the cake.

Back to the Boy with the Board – there is just something about a guy with confidence and wet hair eh. This tasty treat should be snapped up whilst the weather is still smoking. Katey Lovell I’m saying it again I WANT more Meet Cutes please…

2018, Blog Tour, Book Snippet, Uncategorized

Blog Tour: Blind Justice By Alex Tresillian

Today I am pleased to share an extract from Blind Justice thanks to the lovely Kelly Lacey at Love Books.

Blurb: Superstar Paralympian Fiona Mackintosh Green retires from the track to set up Forward Roll, a charity helping disabled people achieve self-respect through sport. But is she all she seems? How is her charity spending its money?

Niall Burnet, visually impaired journalist, is sent in undercover to find out. What he discovers is a trail of illegal performance-enhancing drugs that leads from the charity to its major backer, global pharmaceutical giant Prince Rajkumar.

All too soon, Niall finds himself surrounded by key players who will stop at nothing to protect their interests. When a former athlete is found dead, he knows that one wrong move could be his last…

Without further ado I give you the extract.

@THEBLINDBOXER tweeted: Domestic bliss: not all it’s cracked up to be.

The Blind Boxer regularly tweeted aphoristic statements about life and the state of the world. He also sporadically wrote a blog, but across the two platforms he had few followers. Some- thing about pearls and swine came to mind. Niall Burnet had been completely blind from the age of ten, but he had never boxed. He had lashed out. Connected with numerous walls and the occasional idiot who riled him, but he had walked into more people than he had knocked out. But, he had always loved “The Boxer” by Simon and Garfunkel; completely irrationally identi ed himself with the guy in the lyric; and he felt that metaphorically he boxed against life. Life had put him on the canvas more than once, and each time he had got back up and carried on ghting. And once in a blue moon he felt for a while that he was winning.

As he had felt six months ago when he was close to exposing a fraud that had caused a suicide and relieved innocent members of the public of money donated to charity in good faith; a quest that had become personal when Hugo, Niall’s long-suffering guide dog, had been left with half his skeleton shattered in a hit-and-run. Hot on the trail and love blossoming, he had envisioned a golden future. So often life attered to deceive. He had winged the fraudsters but not destroyed them, and the contribution that he had made to the reporting of the story in The Mirror had been well paid for but had not kick-started his freelance journalism career as he had hoped. Now he was back in the small garden at in Telford he had been determined to escape, drifting from day to day collecting disability bene ts and tweeting to a world that wasn’t really interested.

But he still had the girl. Blossoming love had become domestic bliss. Which (as aforesaid) wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. Not that it was Miranda’s fault. Not that he didn’t still really love and fancy Miranda. It was just – well – living with someone. Who was a girl. Who could see.

And, of course, that was really ironic because when he met her she had been blind. She had been about to undergo the world’s rst complete binocular eye transplant. Blind, she had fallen for him, and once she could see she had stubbornly refused to use her eyes to see through him. She had clung to him and especially Hugo when her new eyesight started to fail, and he had clung to her because it was the deliberately engineered failure of the transplant that was the fraud he was investigating. Then he was her hero for saving her eyes and she had left her family home in Surrey to move in with him in sunny Shrop- shire, a stone’s throw from his thankfully unprotective mother.

They had had problems with sex from the get-go: she was a virgin and hung up about the whole business; he was inex- perienced and apparently inept. They managed to force their way through the barriers of their combined incompetence but it always felt routine rather than great, and they neither of them showed any inclination to talk about it.

For the rest, Niall found it really frustrating that everything could be ne one minute and then unravel the next because of something he had unguardedly said or done. If there was one thing he was really good at, it was the un-thought-through tact- less remark. But the point was that he never meant it, and she should know that and be able to get over it once he apologised and admitted he was a total boor. He also felt that his inde- pendence was being compromised because Miranda’s instinct, now being sighted, was to do everything. To cook (abysmally), to tidy, to clean; to turn his bachelor pad into something like a presentable home. She was loving playing house and that was sweet but sometimes he longed for the opportunity to make a mess or blow the roof of his mouth off with a hot and spicy pizza delivery.

And then there was the whole business of seeing. Once upon a time, he had been able to see. He had (he thought) come to terms with the fact that he couldn’t; but when he had rst met Miranda and they had both been blind he had been able to introduce the idea of seeing to her, to persuade her – when she was very unsure – that the sighted world was one she would want to inhabit. Now she did inhabit it, had become very comfortable with it, almost, he thought, took it for granted, as if her blind life had belonged to somebody else. And looking after him, as she now did, felt patronising and had stood their relationship on its head.

But she was kind and funny and loving and loyal and none of it was her fault. On balance they were doing OK. Only he was feeling emasculated and a failure. He trailed to the fridge and counted the cans of Guinness on the top shelf. Four. That wasn’t going to get him through more than one day. He was drinking more now than he had at any time since he left school, and he knew it wasn’t good for him but at this moment he found it dif cult to care. Miranda was off swimming with his mum. The two of them had become great pals. Niall thought his mother probably took Miranda out to give her a break from him: from toxic conversations about the future and what they were both going to do with their lives. For all that she was in her twenties, Miranda had been able to see for less than a year. Prior to that her life hadn’t been going in any particular direc- tion, largely thanks to parents who thought it didn’t matter.

If that’s left you itching for more then follow this link and get stuck in. Blind Justice