2020, Blog Tour, Uncategorized

Blog Blitz: Vanishing Point By Vanessa Robertson

Blurb: A stolen painting.

A high stakes recovery operation.

A game of nerve.

Art advisor Kate Carpenter has an off-the-books sideline in art recovery, dealing with thieves and gangsters to reunite valuable artworks with their owners. But this time she’s taking it up a notch. Only a day after her ex-boyfriend was convicted of assaulting her, she’s off to Belarus on the trail of a priceless van Gogh with a posse of ex-soldiers riding shotgun. Right now, the buzz of securing the return of that painting is just what she needs.           

About the author: Midlander by birth, Scot by choice, Vanessa Robertson won Pitch Perfect at the Bloody Scotland Crime Writing Festival in 2015. Death Will Find Me, a crime novel set in 1920s Edinburgh featuring former spy, Tessa Kilpatrick is her first novel. Later in 2019, Vanessa will be launching a series of thrillers set in the world of high stakes art crime, and the second Tessa Kilpatrick book will be published in early 2020.

Vanessa lives in a cottage in the middle of a Scottish wood with her family and unfeasibly large dog. She enjoys wild beaches, Venetian cafes and wandering around art galleries. She dislikes celery, cheap notebooks and writing about herself in the third person.

When you sign up to Vanessa’s newsletter you will receive a special gift you can do so Here.

Review: Firstly, I want to thank Kelly at Love Books Group for inviting me to this blog blitz. It’s been a while since I’ve read a novella of an author I didn’t know. This probably wouldn’t be the sort of read I would instinctively choose but I enjoyed it all the same. Vanessa writes a compelling and intriguing read that had me wanting to know more from the off.

In some aspects Kate’s a victim but she’s also a professional businesswoman. I loved the fact she threw herself into her work and out of her comfort zone after the ordeal she had suffered she could have shied away from life yet she didn’t.

I loved the fake it before you make it confidence kate embodied. I also loved the unlikely friendships that come of the mission she was on. At the end of this novella there is a snippet of another Kate Carpenter read and I must say I’m intrigued by Don’t Blink and I would be interested to see where the unlikely friendship goes….there were a number of unanswered questions in this novella but a good introduction to an author.

2020, Author Love, Six for Sunday, Uncategorized

Six For Sunday: Books on your TBR because of recommendation…

It’s that time again….this weeks Six For Sunday prompt is books on your TBR pile thanks to a recommendation.

This one has popped up on this list a few times. I finally ordered a copy from Waterstones it arrived yday although cant start it yet.
This had been recommended a lot. I must say I have started this but then books got in the way I will be restarting this soon. It seems even more apt in these strange times.
A customer told me I had to read this when I was working in the charity shop I purchased said copy and I still haven’t read it.
How have I still not read this? That has to change.
Another charity shop find…man I spent a lot then ha.
Found a copy of this in a book shop on Charing Cross Road still remains on my shelf.

I would love to hear your thoughts on my choices on today’s prompt. Once we have finished the Paige Toon read along I’m definitely delving onto my shelves….

2020, Author Love, Buddy Read, Paige Toon Read Along, Review, update

Five Years From Now By Paige Toon

Blurb: What if you met the right person at the wrong time?

Nell and Van meet as children when their parents fall in love, but soon they are forced worlds apart.

Five years later, they find each other.  Their bond is rekindled and new feelings take hold, but once again they must separate.

For the next two decades, fate brings Nell and Van together every five years, as life and circumstance continue to divide them. Will they ever find true happiness? And will it be together?

‘One day, maybe five years from now, you’ll look back and understand why this happened…’

My thoughts on re-reading: It’s not really a review the second time around is it. It’s more on how your thoughts changed. Wow! I still remember all the emotions I went through in reading this novel, the first time I experienced the first few chapters twice as o read a sampler and inhaled the book around this time in April 2018 I can safely say the weather has been sweeter this time around. I was lucky enough to read the teaser chapters via Netgalley Sampler thoughts and then I was given a proof at the Spring blogger evening and I’m pretty sure I had the ebook and then I purchased a physical copy for a signing.

My thoughts from the first time around can be read Here. I just briefly read over my thoughts from before and a lot of those emotions were the same. I can say without spoiling that what Nell and Van went through with Geoff was similar to my experience with my Nan and the first time joining those dots floored me- this time around I was preparing myself when I remembered certain aspects but there were elements that I forgot how they came to be.

I know I keep saying it but this read along has let me discover the Paige I didn’t know and the characters I hadn’t read and it’s also let me reacquaint with a few friends along the way. Nell and Van’s story is definitely still one of my favourites even if it simple floors me. It has everything a breathtakingly beautiful novel needs, love, friendship, loss and coming of age. I always love reading of the innocence of children we should all embrace our inner child more. It’s been a joy to have Nell/Van and co back in my life letting me forget the sadness of the world right now.

If you haven’t read Five Years From Now By Paige Toon then why not? You can get a copy Here. Or via your usual book supplier.

2020, Review, Uncategorized

Book Review: Pretending By Holly Bourne

Blurb: April is kind, pretty, and relatively normal – yet she can’t seem to get past date five. Every time she thinks she’s found someone to trust, they reveal themselves to be awful, leaving her heartbroken. And angry.

If only April could be more like Gretel. 

Gretel is exactly what men want – she’s a Regular Everyday Manic Pixie Dream Girl Next Door With No Problems. 

The problem is, Gretel isn’t real. And April is now claiming to be her. 

As soon as April starts ‘being’ Gretel, dating becomes much more fun – especially once she reels in the unsuspecting Joshua.

Finally, April is the one in control, but can she control her own feelings? And as she and Joshua grow closer, how long will she be able to keep pretending?

Review: Pretending is by far the most important book I’ve read so far this year. In seeing this advertised almost instantly my interest was piqued. I’ve had Holly’s other adult novel for a while and after devouring this in a few sittings it’s definitely been pushed up my list.

This book is the book all women need to read whether you’re in your teens and just starting to think about boys or whether you’re in your 30s contemplating where your life’s taking you. Holly has literally listened to all of us young and old. All our thoughts, feelings and insecurities are mentioned. It’s such a raw and incredibly real book, even though April is a work of fiction she could be any one of us. There are parts of her story that will resonate with many women.

April could be any of every single one of us. Her worries and thoughts are just like us. I found myself thinking about my life and thinking of the lives my young nieces will lead and its definitely proved to me just how important of a message this book is. I don’t want to state too much but April’s thoughts take her on a rollercoaster ride and when she changes her thought process her life changes.

Holly takes on a number of beyond awful themes like rape and domestic violence just to name a few and she does it with such grace. I loved hearing about April’s job I worked for a charity although in a total different aspect.

This is a book I won’t forget and there are so many aspects that will come back to haunt me in the greatest of aspects. An important and chilling read and my fave gets a mention. Anyone that brings Ronan Keating in makes me smile.

2020, ebook, Netgalley, New Author to me, Review, Uncategorized

Book Review: Meet Me at Pebble Beach part two In Too Deep By Bella Osborne

Blurb: With a little help from some new friends in her seaside community – including one very handsome fireman called Charlie – Regan realises that when you hit rock bottom, the only way is up! She decides to start living her best life and attempt to make the changes she would have made if shehad won the lottery – on a budget, of course.

Newly determined and armed with a list of ways to change her life, Regan works hard and things start looking up – but is she out of the deep end yet?

Review: I really enjoyed part one and was desperate for the next instalment from the seaside town. Regan is loveable but her life is pretty much a car crash. I instantly warmed to her all the same….she was just starting to feel like she’d made progress yet she was hit with a bombshell at the end of part one. Part two is less chaos from Regan although her dads kitchen would say otherwise but she’s more productive and selfless in part two. I liked how her new friendships had her thinking more confidently and productively about her situation.

In this instalment we see a much more subdued Regan who is looking for answers and coming up short on most counts. I truly love how down she is but she’s still there for others a proper kind hearted woman. I must admit the cliff hanger of part one was nothing on that in part two. I literally had my heart in my mouth it felt like Regan was finally getting what she wanted and then within a split second that all changed.

I know the final two instalments are going to be gripping and have me on the edge of my seat. I just hope the sun is shining more for Regan she has a good heart and the best of intentions but she doesn’t always think, which puts her in hot water some of the time at least.

Bella Osborne has created a story that is humorous yet also extremely heart wrenchingly real. During a time when we’re all living for kindness this has been the perfect treat. I really must read more of Bella’s work I’m definitely a fan.

2020, Author Love, Review, Uncategorized

Book Review: Sea Breezes at Brightwater Bay By Holly Hepburn

Blurb: On paper, Merina Wilde has it all: a successful career writing the kind of romantic novels that make even the hardest hearts swoon, a perfect carousel of book launches and parties to keep her social life buzzing, and a childhood sweetheart who thinks she’s a goddess. But Merry has a secret: the magic has stopped flowing from her fingers. Try as she might, she can’t summon up the sparkle that makes her stories shine. And as her deadline whooshes by, her personal life falls apart too. Alex tells her he wants something other than the future she’d always imagined for them and Merry finds herself single for the first time since – well, ever.

Desperate to get her life back on track, Merry leaves London and escapes to the windswept Orkney Islands, locking herself away in a secluded clifftop cottage to try to heal her heart and rediscover her passion for writing. But can the beauty of the islands and the kindness of strangers help Merry to fool herself into believing in love again, if only long enough to finish her book? Or is it time for her to give up the career she’s always adored and find something new to set her soul alight?

Review: Ever since I discovered Holly Hepburn I’ve been an avid fan and her series’s are light relief from my life. I read part one back in January and I’ve been itching to go back to Brightwater Bay. I had pre-ordered this so it pinged through onto my kindle on publication day. On the day in question I had gone to bed in the early hours having read another book released on the 16th but as soon as I got up I made a coffee and got reacquainted with Merry and co.

Now Holly has a habit of taking us on a journey to a location you can only long to visit. Seeing as we can only go as far as a walk it’s a welcome distraction from the craziness of the world right now. So in part one we met Merry and co and Orkney has inspired Merry to write, something she had been struggling with in the beginning of this story.

The locations are simply divine and I’m not a massive whiskey fan but reading about the distillery had me intrigued. Although I’m not sure I would drink a hot toddy just as a social drink although the lemon made it sound nicer. Merry gets herself tangled up in a number of situations but that of a Viking and a librarian make happy reading I couldn’t stop laughing at the drunken singing….

Holly writes so effortlessly letting us feel like we are actually in Orkney I would love to go and sit and read….I cannot wait for the next instalment I’m eager to see where the story takes us and how she does on her half marathon. Another triumph Holly, I’m just hating the waiting…I must admit I’m swaying towards Niall…le sigh

2020, Author Love, Six for Sunday, Uncategorized

Six For Sunday: Books on your TBR that you predict will be 5*

It’s Sunday again and here’s the latest Six for Sunday, and today’s prompt is Books that I predict to be 5 🌟

Need I say anymore I’m so annoyed though as I’ve had a few of these for a while. I would have devoured Strangers when it pinged in but I was just getting over my headaches. The plus from that is it slowed me down and made me realise one I need to go back to drinking more water which I am now and two I can’t do without books. Hoping to read a short and then I’m diving into Strangers today. I very nearly did last night but I needed some time after re-Reading my first ever Paige Toon read it was a moment I needed to take a breather…do let me know your thoughts on any of these beauties.

2020, Author Love, Uncategorized

Book Review: The Last Piece Of My Heart By Paige Toon.

Now this isn’t my first time reading this beauty, this was what brought me to be a massive Paige Toon fan and you can read my first thoughts Here it’s mad to think o first read Paige in 2017 and I met her in 2018 and here in 2020 I’m re-Reading and discovering the books I hadn’t read alongside my good friend Catriona.

I still stand by my first thoughts but it’s funny to think Bridget dates back to a number of Paige’s earlier novels yet this was my first introduction to her. I still stand by she feels like a friend but I feel like she’s come full circle I’ve seen fun, easy going and confident Bridget and in The Last Piece of my Heart she’s older more self assured and completely different. Having read the older ones recently I found I struggled a little at the beginning as it didn’t feel like the Bridget I knew but as I got into the heart of the story just like the first time I simply couldn’t put it down.

Paige Toon took me on a rollercoaster ride to both Cornwall and Thailand and she completely broke my heart all over again. Our next re-read is Five Years From Now although I’m not sure when I will start seeing as I’m wrecked from that emotional rollercoaster.

2020, Author Love, Uncategorized

A book I’m simply excited for…One By One By Ruth Ware…

I cannot wait for this…

Blurb: A real spine-chiller that confirms Ruth Ware as the true heir to Christie’s crown. Ingenious plotting sees the body count rise and multiple suspects eliminated until we’re left with breathless game of cat-and-mouse’ Erin Kelly, bestselling author of He Said, She Said

**The unmissable new thriller from the queen of the modern-day murder mystery.**

Snow is falling in the exclusive alpine ski resort of Saint Antoine, as the shareholders and directors of Snoop, the hottest new music app, gather for a make or break corporate retreat to decide the future of the company. At stake is a billion-dollar dot com buyout that could make them all millionaires, or leave some of them out in the cold. 

The clock is ticking on the offer, and with the group irrevocably split, tensions are running high. When an avalanche cuts the chalet off from help, and one board member goes missing in the snow, the group is forced to ask – would someone resort to murder, to get what they want?

This morning I woke up kind of early but did not want to move. During these weird times extra hours means I’m more than likely to grab for snacks I don’t really need. I had remembered seeing Ruth had posted a piece on her Facebook that linked to an extract from her up and coming new novel. The downside for me is I have to wait until November to read this treat from the queen of thrills. I mean she literally sends shivers down my spine in the best of ways. I was simply hooked on the extract any of you in America you’ll be lucky enough to read this in September…If like me your itching to go on another adventure with Ruth you can pre-order it Here

2020, Author Love, Publication Day, Review, Uncategorized

Book Review: The Switch By Beth O’Leary

Blurb: Eileen is sick of being 79.
Leena’s tired of life in her twenties.
Maybe it’s time they swapped places…

When overachiever Leena Cotton is ordered to take a two-month sabbatical after blowing a big presentation at work, she escapes to her grandmother Eileen’s house for some overdue rest. Eileen is newly single and about to turn eighty. She’d like a second chance at love, but her tiny Yorkshire village doesn’t offer many eligible gentlemen.

Once Leena learns of Eileen’s romantic predicament, she proposes a solution: a two-month swap. Eileen can live in London and look for love. Meanwhile Leena will look after everything in rural Yorkshire. But with gossiping neighbours and difficult family dynamics to navigate up north, and trendy London flatmates and online dating to contend with in the city, stepping into one another’s shoes proves more difficult than either of them expected.

Leena learns that a long-distance relationship isn’t as romantic as she hoped it would be, and then there is the annoyingly perfect – and distractingly handsome – school teacher, who keeps showing up to outdo her efforts to impress the local villagers. Back in London, Eileen is a huge hit with her new neighbours, but is her perfect match nearer home than she first thought?

Review: First off I finished reading this during the early hours of publication day and slept with a happy heart. I loved The Flatshare so when The Switch was announced it was one of my must reads for April. As soon as I was introduced to Eileen and Leena I was hooked on their stories.

I loved the dual narrative in The Flatshare and just like that in The Switch at the end of each characters chapter your itching to know more which means you keep turning those pages.

Leena – From the off I liked her but I wanted to know more about her and her story. It’s weird as until the Coronavirus hit us I had never really struggled with anxiety until now and seeing Leena deflate made me want to know what made her tick. I loved the stark contrast between London life and rural countryside. I’m a London girl but I can wholeheartedly appreciate the quiet of a town.

Eileen – I love how Eileen is 79 but has so much life in her. I truly loved her sense of humour and her determination, she’s a woman to be reckoned with one who doesn’t take no for an answer.

It’s heartwarming to read a story where the seniors are also living life. There were a few laughs as I can safely say I’ve not had those sort of conversations with my Nan’s although neither of them are here today for me to enjoy those sort of chats. I must say she did have me thinking about my Nan June and how she’s given the women in my family some of her spirit, and that made me smile.

When I read Leena is too young to be stuck and Eileen is too old to start over I knew that just like Beth’s debut that The Switch would turn that sentiment on its head and create a gorgeous book and I wasn’t wrong. It was nice to see both females finding friendships with the opposite generations and seeing how that changed both their outlooks on life and on people. The experience that came as a bit of fun at the start helped both ladies realise their worth and what truly matters in life.

There were so many lovingly supportive characters that made this story what it is and as ever there were a few that I disliked but they got their karma ha.

The Switch is the perfect escapism during these testing times it’s also a novel that makes you realise that each and everyone of us should step out of our comfort zone from time to time and reach for the stars.