2020, Author Love, Publication Day, Review, Uncategorized

Book Review: Dark Corners By Darren O’Sullivan

A thrilling fast paced read.

Blurb: It’s been twenty years since Neve’s best friend Chloe went missing. Neve has never recovered and promised herself she’d never go back to that place.

But secrets can come back to haunt you

When Neve receives news that her first boyfriend Jamie has gone missing, she’s forced to return. Jamie has vanished without a trace in a disappearance that echoes the events of all those years ago. Somebody is watching and will stop at nothing until the truth about what took place that night is revealed …

Review: Most of you who know me know that Darren O’Sullivan’s debut novel Our Little Secret pulled me out of some of my most darkest moments during ankle gate. I’m so pleased to have read and to now be reviewing his fourth book. Darren we are on book four and wow what a rollercoaster ride it’s been not only your latest novel but your journey. I couldn’t be prouder of you.

I had seen a few writers who had read early copies stating how this was Darren’s best and I was sat there thinking but I’ve loved all of his books in different ways. I knew I would love it but I didn’t know the emotional journey I would go on in reading it. It’s such a weird place in the world right now but being immersed in this fast paced thriller sure has helped me to say the least.

Dark Corners is so aptly named but you won’t even realise that until right near the end of the novel. It’s a story about a group of childhood friends who go through a lot together and when tragedy strikes they all cope in different ways.

Neve is our main character and the story revolves around her, we have parts of her story from now and parts from back in 1998 when Chloe went missing. I loved getting the back story although it didn’t always make sense and it’s safe to say it’s hard to review without explaining any of the plot.

What I will say is Darren weaves a good tale and right up to 80% in I was still sitting there with not that many answers there were a number of OMG moments. I was shocked even if it made sense when you stepped away from the story. The perfect tale to read during these strange times we are living in- I was swept away on Neve’s rollercoaster ride where she wasn’t sleeping, heavily relying on booze and distancing herself from pretty much everything.

This is out today so go grab this beauty because this book really does deserve to fly….Here

2020, Author Love, Uncategorized

Book Review: One Perfect Summer By Paige Toon

Alice & Joe have well and truly stolen my heart.

Blurb: Do you still love him?’ Every second of every minute of every hour of every day…Alice is 18 and about to start university while Joe’s life is seemingly going nowhere. A Dorset summer, a chance meeting, and the two of them fall into step as if they have known each other forever. But their idyll is shattered, suddenly, unexpectedly. Alice heads off to Cambridge and slowly picks up the pieces of her broken heart. Joe is gone; she cannot find him. When she catches the attention of Lukas – gorgeous, gifted, rich boy Lukas – she is carried along by his charm, swept up in his ambitious plans for a future together. Then Joe is there, once more, but out of reach in a way that Alice could never have imagined. Life has moved on, the divide between them is now so great. Surely it is far too late to relive those perfect summer days of long ago?

Review: I’ve said it before and I will say it again I got into Paige Toon seriously late with The Last Piece of My Heart being the first of her books that I read. But I’m not saying that was a bad thing I loved the heart and soul of that read and I remember finishing it in the early hours of the morning with a tear stained face but with an extremely happy heart and from that moment on I was a fan and was eager to lap up anything and everything Paige had written.

So in doing this read along with Catriona I’ve loved delving into her back catalogue. I have met Joe and Alice before in previous books but I hadn’t read their own story. Oh my….how has this beauty been on my shelf and on my kindle for ages although I totally forgot I also had the digital version. That could have sped up my reading time…

This book is in a few sections with The Summer, six months later and then a few years on and on. The Summer in Dorset where Joe and Alice meet is intense and all consuming. The chapters are quite short so it’s easy to be like just one more just one more…It never felt false or rushed their love story blossomed quickly and intensely, it swept me along and consumed me, which was exactly what I needed with the world going crazy right now.

When it got to six months later I found myself frustrated not by Alice or her emotions but by the lack of Joe. It brought me back to reading Eclipse enjoying the pages but longing for Edward to return to Bella. I loved meeting Jessie and the punting gang I had forgotten that I had also met him before in the One Perfect Christmas collection – after this I did re-read that with such love and a new found understanding for all the characters, and for their individual stories.

Which then brings me onto Lukas – there were elements of Lukas that I found sweet but I never warmed to him. I found him controlling in the weirdest of ways… even though in some ways he was good for Alice at that part of her life but I like Alice was still longing for Joe.

I shan’t be ruining the ins and outs of the story but I must say this read did give me a rollercoaster of emotions and left me with a bit of a book hangover and longing for a cuddle. I do love seeing how all these characters intertwine it’s like reuniting with old friends comfortable and like a warm hug.

If you want a Paige Toon to start with One Perfect Summer is a gorgeous introduction to an author who covers many real-life aspects in a way that keeps you informed and let’s you escape. I’m totally loving this read along with one of my closest friends even though she’s across the pond and one of my most favourite authors.

2020, Author Love, novella, Uncategorized

Book Review: The Cornish Cream Tea Summer – part two- Beauty & the yeast By Cressida McLaughlin

Blurb: Charlie, Delilah and their adorable cream tea bus have found themselves caught up in the filming of a lavish period drama on the Cornish coast and it isn’t long before Lila finds herself drawn to the handsome male lead.
But Lila has made a habit of making rash decisions and it’s one of the reasons she’s hiding out in Cornwall. Could this be one impulsive step too far for her, or is there the promise of something wonderful on the sea air…?

Review: Part two pinged through to my kindle at the right time. A much needed and welcome distraction to the craziness that is the corona virus. None of us could have predicted how this would effect and change our lives. For me this came through on day two with no work schedule, I love reading and having time to dedicate to my blog and to sit with family but I’m desperately missing the routine and day to day that work brings to my life.

In part two Lila is flying solo with the Cornish Cream Tea bus and she’s doing a smashing job of looking after the bus and fulfilling the needs of the cast and crew of Estelle. In this latest instalment Lila’s friendship with Keeley starts to flourish with the pair of them opening up over their separate worries.

Now I have to mention Sam – that sandy haired blue eyed beauty really does need to be on my doorstep especially on days like today. I found myself wholeheartedly embracing the romance of it all. I love how he can seem like two different people the confident actor and the shy guy. I loved seeing him cosy up to a certain someone it seemed to develop slowing but I was embracing it and full of such love – fully immersed in the story.

I don’t want to say too much about the story there is very little of Charlie and Daniel as they are off exploring San Francisco whilst Lila is switching up the coffees and embracing new ideas on the bus. She does get to do some cool stuff with the loveable Sam and Toby and seeing her friendships blossom with the cast and crew.

As her relationships are changing Lila thinks more and more about her fraught friendship with best mate Clara and in a conversation with Keeley she starts doubting herself. I love that the catalyst of that conversation has Lila desperate to prove she’s changed and learnt from her impulsive mistakes can she Sam and Charlie help change the fate of Estelle and the Cornish Cream Tea Bus.

I wasn’t particularly happy with how it ended as I just want to continue reading about the Cornish coast and their gorgeous residents. Part two was a welcome distraction that should have been read quite quickly but it allowed me to delve in and out of real life – during a time when I wanted and needed to escape. I’ve made another book boyfriend giving me unrealistic ideals but I can’t wait for Sam to come back into my life in part three.

Thank you Cressida for being the light in such an unpredictable time for of uncertainty.

2020, Author Love, novella, Publication Day, Uncategorized

Book Review: The Cornish Cream Tea Summer: part one All You Knead is Love By Cressida McLaughlin

Blurb:Everyone’s favourite bus goes on a summer adventure full of sunshine and the promise of romance…

Charlie has a new helper on her bus, her free-spirited and loveable cousin, Delilah, who’s paid a visit to the charming Cornish village of Porthgolow and is helping out on Charlie’s adorable cream tea bus.
When the Director of a new TV series filming further along the coast tells Delilah that the bus would be the perfect addition to their onsite catering, she takes him a bit too literally, and before long she and the bus have taken a rather unexpected journey…

Review: So if you’re not new to the blog you will remember I was hooked on the first Cornish experience – where I first met Charlie. Who instantly stole my heart and then alongside Charlie I also fell wholeheartedly for Daniel. The rollercoaster ride of the will they won’t they had me itching for the next instalment.

So when Cressida said she would be returning to the Cornish coast, my interest was already piqued. It’s great to have Charlie and the gang back although in this first instalment we meet her loveable cousin Delilah Lila to her friends.

Today is publication day of the second instalment of this story and for me it’s a much needed distraction in a crazy world right now. I loved going back and I’m loving seeing Lila open up to Charlie and in seeing her confidence change. I’m also loving seeing the story of the TV show and in the blossoming friends and romances. I can’t lie it’s also good to have the loveable Daniel back…..

Right without further ado I believe it’s time to put my current book down and to get back to the bus and see what Lila is up to right now….if you’re lucky I maybe back with another review shortly.

2020, Author Love, Buddy Read, Paige Toon Read Along, Uncategorized

Book Review: Pictures of Lily By Paige Toon

I fell for Lily and Ben long before I knew their full story…

Blurb: Ten years ago when Lily was just sixteen, she fell in love with someone she really shouldn’t have fallen in love with. Now, living in Sydney and engaged to another man, she can’t forget the one that got away. Then her past comes back to haunt her, and she has to make a decision that will break her heart – and the heart of at least one of the men who love her.

Review: So most of you know that I became a fan of Paige Toon kinda late, which means I have a fabulous back catalogue to delve into. Alongside the fabulous Catriona we have been buddy reading Paige’s books in order. Although due to my birthday, work and a brief cold on my side I haven’t actually finished reading Chasing Daisy but I wanted to get back on track with Cat and during the early hours of this morning I finished reading Pictures of Lily.

I had met Lily and Ben before in the One Perfect Christmas collection and in re-reading that now I’m smiling at remembering first reading that and now that I fully understand their story I’m full of such love for them and their story.

Lily is another of Paige’s gorgeous women who I instantly connected with, the intensity of her feelings and her passions are inspiring and intoxicating. This is a classic story of the one who got away? But what happens when they return. I loved seeing Lily become herself and in doing things she loved- it was heartbreaking to see her feelings so torn but eventually her heart won out.

An emotional rollercoaster that had me from start to finish. Once again an eclectic group of characters and even when you didn’t like them they were still an important part of Lily’s story….

As I had read the short from One Perfect Christmas I found myself thinking of what I knew of their story but it didn’t ruin my enjoyment in finding out all the details. Paige really does have a way of conveying every single emotion that both parties go through.

I would love to have Lily and Ben back again someday….

2020, Author Love, Book Snippet, Uncategorized

An update plus Rosie Blake goodness.

I’m so sorry I had started drafting a rather good World Book Day post whilst on my way to work yesterday morning. My break seemed to fly in the blink of an eye and I was out for a colleagues birthday so I apologise.

When I returned home I had received a parcel but said parcel wasn’t opened until this morning.

I’ve been such a fan of Rosie Blake since falling in love with her writing in her debut How to get a Love Life? Since then I’ve loved her other novels How To Find your (first) Husband? How to Stuff up Christmas? And the Hygee Holiday. So when the lovely lady herself sent me a message asking if I would love a super early copy the answer was always going to be YES.

I simply adore the cover and you can see it’s an August release by the colours…

Blurb: Lottie is always in a hurry, rushing through her days ticking tasks off her to-do lists. Teddy is worried about his granddaughter – and he knows that his late wife, Lily, would have known exactly what to say to make things better. Now that Lily has gone, it’s up to Teddy to talk some sense into Lottie.

With the help of Arjun, Geoffrey and Howard, the elderly reprobates who make up his Gin O’Clock Club, Teddy makes a plan to help Lottie find her way back to the things that really matter – family, friendship and love. But as Lottie balances a high-powered job with her reluctant attendance at whist drives, ballroom dances and bingo, Teddy wonders if she’s really ready to open up her heart to the possibility of true happiness…

I’m in the middle of a Paige Toon readathon plus I have a few other books half started so I cannot start this yet. However it has been bumped up my list so it could slot in very soon watched this space, I opened the book read the gorgeous quote and then proceeded to read a letter. Omg barely two pages and I can safely say this beauty has stolen my heart once again….

You can pre-order The Gin O’Clock Club below

2020, Author Love, event, Uncategorized

Simon & Schuster Spring Blogger Event

I have to start by saying it’s always a pleasure and a privilege to be invited to Simon & Schuster HQ, not only are they the hardest working bunch but they are the nicest people who always host an impressive event.

Whatever day week or month of the year it is I always want to be there. Not only do they make me feel valued I always leave feeling motivated and ready to accomplish anything, whether it be within my bookish realm or other aspects of my working or personal life and I will always thank them for that. It’s also a time for me to catch up with a number of my blogger pals, there’s a few of us who constantly say we will catch up more but it’s not always possible although as I had the day off I managed to meet Laura aka @grumpygirlie for food and a beverage before proceedings which was lovely and well overdue to say the least.

During the event…we were part of the gorgeous exclusive reveal of Caroline Scott’s next novel.

I haven’t read her first novel yet but what she spoke about from this one has really moved me so I’m sure it will get pushed up my list although this isn’t released until October.
I shamefully didn’t take many pictures of the fabulous authors as I was too busy getting lost in their words…and during the signing session I was talking a lot.

There was a quiz on all things Simon & Schuster and I was lucky enough to be on the winning team. We were accompanied by the stunning Santa Montefiore and this was my prize…

I’m such a Lindt fan I may have already devoured two of these beauties.

How gorgeous are these flat lays for the stunning books.
I haven’t read any of Santa’s books but this one I’m definitely pushing further up my pile.
Anstey’s debut was one of my favourite reads of last year so I cannot wait to read this one.
I devoured part one of this in January and I’m eagerly awaiting the next instalment.
I was convinced this bad boy would be in my goodie bag. I was wrong but in a way I’m glad As temptation would have won over and I’m in the middle of a readathon of Paige’s books.
This is a debut that sounds so fun and Sara was super lovely…
I read this book a while ago and I will get my thoughts together ASAP it’s gorgeous and Christina is lovely.
I haven’t read anything like this in forever and it really will happen soon.
A Simon & Schuster event always has stunning cakes and here they are again.

I always have such envy over the gorgeous Shelves. Even though mine are pretty good they don’t look like this.

I know you’ve eagerly scrolled to see my goodie bag so without further ado here is what I received and from the additional shelves I was good only taking one extra book.

Thank you as ever to SJ and the fabulous team for a truly fantastic evening surrounded by inspirational women. I cannot wait to dig in to this varied selection of reads. I swear I always leave wanting to instantly read them all.

2020, A thought? A question, Author Love, Uncategorized

What did I read in February….

I’m drafting a separate post which I had hoped to have posted the other day in regards to the Paige Toon read-along but today I feel like I need to look back on February.

February is my birthday month and it’s always a special time for me….even though the weather can be super cold.

Lucy in The Sky my beloved Paige’s debut how had it taken me so long to have read it. You can read my thoughts Here

Awww Johnny & Meg this book has all the feels another one that it’s taken me ages to read and this ones a signed book.
I’m a massive fan of novellas and so far this is the only one of this years quick reads I have devoured.
More time spent with Johnny Meg and co. This one had a very different feel to it but I loved it and it had me on the edge of my seat all the same.
I loved this short and as I started reading it I realised I already knew part of this story as it’s a crossover to Jessie Jefferson. Still feeling the love for this bunch and this ended my February.

Wow! I really am slacking my thoughts have been penned for one of my February reads. I will change that. Tomorrow I’m going to a blogger event – it’s been a while and I sure do love those evenings so I will have the phone charged and a portable charger and I will be documenting the event so keep your eyes peeled on Hayley Reviews.

Until next time….

2020, A thought? A question, Author Love, Uncategorized

Monday doesn’t have to be dull….

Afternoon all…so in light of just how hard life can be let’s all do all we can to be kind. In every single situation think before you act. Our actions speak far louder than our words ever will. Once upon a time here on Hayley Reviews I had a segment called Monday motivation and smiles and now I just want and need more Monday kindness. It’s half term this week so I know there are a number of frazzled Mums and Dads out there. Hang in there guys you’re doing a great job.

This morning I managed one item off my to do list and I was lucky enough to spend some time at our local coffee shop with my sis and my nieces and nephew. Although my oldest niece was off playing games in the other room it was nice to be able to help my sis even for a short while now I’m awaiting my transport to work.

It’s week three of mine and Catriona’s Paige Toon readathon and I’m loving every single second of this back catalog so far they have all been fresh reads for me as I didn’t get into Paige until The Last Piece of my Heart.

Whatever you do Be Kind…You never know may even post a review later too…

2020, Author Love, Readathon, Review, Uncategorized

Book Review: Lucy in the Sky By Paige Toon

Blurb: Settling down for a 24-hour flight to Australia, Lucy finds a text message on her phone – not from her boyfriend James, as she fondly hopes, but from a woman claiming to have slept with him four times in the past month. Trapped on the plane, she questions everything about her relationship with James. She finally calls him and he reassures her: it was only his mates playing a silly joke.

James is a lawyer, persuasive and gorgeous and Lucy adores him. So why, at the wedding in Sydney of her best friend Molly, does she have niggling doubts, and find herself attracted to Molly’s brother-in-law Nathan? The sooner she gets back to her regular life in London, the flat she shares with James, her job in PR, the better. Nathan is a happy-go-lucky surfer boy, with no prospects, no place to live, an almost-girlfriend in tow. And the other side of the world…

Lucy – a girl caught between two distant continents – and two very different men…

Review: Today sees the second book in mine and Catriona aka www.fabulousbookfiend.com Paige Toon read-along. For Catriona Lucy in the Sky was a re-listen for me it was a first read. I’m a huge Paige Toon fan but I first discovered her books when I read The Last Piece of my Heart – and from that moment I was hooked. This year I decided I will still be reviewing new books but I also want to read more for me this year and so far I’m having a good reading yeah. Saying that after finishing this beauty I was a little book hungover and reeling from Lucy’s story.

Lucy in the Sky is Paige’s debut novel and I’m so annoyed that it’s taken me this long to devour it. I have both a paperback and an ecopy of this book which was great for whilst I was eating and stuff as I could continue to read.

As ever Paige kept me on my toes and had me hooked from the off. From the beginning I adored Lucy yet I was sceptical over James and throughout I was left hooked but what way the story would change. I loved seeing Lucy reunited with her childhood friends and her going back to Australia.

Paige always manages to have very real situations and Lucy’s conundrum is something that can and does happen to many people. I hated how James always had a way of belittling her – when in reality Lucy is an awesome woman with lots ahead of her. The friendships, the love and the laughs really make this book. Nathan and Lucy are fantastic I really enjoyed the bad jokes which even had me thinking of some of my best male friends over the years new and old.

A tale of confusion, love, friendship and trust and lack of. I simply adore Paige Toon and going through her back catalogue is going to be an emotional rollercoaster I loved and loathed Lucy at times. There were times when I had to stop reading and I was simply so angry or overjoyed which meant reading this book was effortless yet it left me a little bereft at the end which is why I haven’t read anything else in between. Shortly I will be starting Johnny Be Good and I cannot wait.