2020, Author Love, Buddy Read, Cover Reveal, debut novel, ebook, Fitness, New Author to me, novella, personal, Publication Day, Review, running, Uncategorized, update

Weekly Update #9

Well it feels like only yesterday I was penning last weeks update. In some ways the weeks are flying by in others they really aren’t. So Happy Saturday I hope you are well and safe wherever you are in the world right now.

I’m sorry that this update has come later in the day than usual. As I stated this morning in finishing Annette’s debut I was compelled to write and post that as I have commitments tomorrow and I didn’t want it to wait until Monday.

So it’s been another week of running I finished week 5 and started week 6. Wednesday saw my longest run to date with a 20 min run. It was tough going but I loved every single second of it.

Monday week 5 Run 2
Wednesday week 5 run 3 after my 20 min run
Week 6 run 1

So the last week on Monday, Wednesday and Friday I ended up running into Lewisham and treating myself to a Starbucks I sure had missed them but I was also kind of on edge on the days when I was there later and more people were around.

What have I read this week???

I finished these beauties.

What’s been on the blog this week??

There wasn’t a post on Sunday I believe I was reading and time ran away with me, this sentiment baffles me in a way as at the moment it feels like we have so much time on our hands.

On Monday I posted my thoughts on Santa Montefiore’s Here and Now this was my first Santa read and what a book you can read my post Here.

On Tuesday I wrote my mid year update well it’s mostly my lockdown reading update it’s a long one with a whole host of links to the 47 lockdown reads at the time. You can read that Here.

On Wednesday I was sharing one of my most favourite posts it’s a gorgeous cover reveal and you can see it Here.

Thursday was dedicated to Holly Hepburn – I stopped what I was reading to devour this beauty and here are my thoughts.

On Friday I was swayed from writing a review to writing about a new found love you can read my piece on Running Here.

So as well as this post which I’ve come to really enjoy writing, although I wish I had prepped it more. As obviously I was finishing and reviewing Annette’s novel and I’m powering through a different read for a blog tour tomorrow so watch this space. Here is Annette’s gorgeous debut once again you can read my thoughts here.

It’s been an interesting week I could have juggled my reading and writing a little better but we live and learn.

I don’t believe I’ve purchased anything additional this week. I was asked to show my hauls or buys I mean I have overly clicked here and there on 99p reads. I haven’t finished my current audiobook from the library as I wanted to organise my blog tour and Netgalley commitments.

If there is anything else you would love to see on Hayley Reviews do get in touch? Also if you’re an author or blogger who would like to be featured I would love to host you.

2020, Author Love, novella, Publication Day, Uncategorized

Book Review: Dangerous Tides 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: I feel like whenever a new Holly Hepburn novella arrives I’m fully consumed by it. I probably should have stayed up and read from midnight as for some reason I slept in later than I have recently it must have been cooler and I now feel like I’ve been in and out of this throughout the day.

My one complaint is the waiting time in between parts. My problem is I’m so attached to the characters and the setting that I want to read instantly meaning I read it in novella form but I’m left gasping and wanting more. I really enjoyed parts one and two setting the scene and introducing the characters but it’s always the third part that gets me.

Omg this has been my favourite and yet most frustrating part to read. I loved seeing Merry at her best and at her most vulnerable. This instalment was full of atmospheric Orkney I loved the history the sights and the run. I started running at the beginning of June and it made me smile hearing Merry talk on her run although I haven’t done any runs that long. I don’t want to spoil any of the story but this rollercoaster instalment had a few bumps in the road – we also see Merry go through a number of emotions including being reunited with her best friend Jess.

Part three gave me a lot more Niall and Magnus time although as much as I appreciate both of them I’m definitely team Niall. There’s something about that bookish brain and that aloof good looks – just the treat I’m needing right now.

What I will say is why oh why oh why have you left me hanging like that Holly. Although that turn up I was not expecting. Thank you for taking me away when I can’t go anywhere I’m longing for a view a bay and a sexy librarian.

2020, Author Love, ebook, Enid Blyton for Grown Ups, novella, Uncategorized

Book Review: Five Go Absolutely Nowhere By Bruno Vincent

Blurb: Ah! This is the dream!’ says Julian one morning. ‘With good old British common sense and community spirit like this, there’s no reason that we couldn’t exist on the island like this for the rest of our days!’

What could possibly go wrong . . .?

Anne has gathered Julian, Dick, George and, of course, Timmy, together for a last nostalgic jaunt in the countryside together before grown-up responsibilities take the four cousins off in different directions. It’s only natural that they find their way onto Kirrin Island for a look around, as this might be the last time they’re here together as a group. 

They are planning just to spend the night there and come home the next day, perhaps with a little exploring in the dungeon for old time’s sake. But that night they hear the country has gone into lockdown. They are not allowed to leave.
With their usual resourcefulness, they are determined to make the best of it, and remain cheerful and healthy. As Anne keeps saying: They’re lucky, really, to have all this countryside and fresh air at their disposal!

Review: I have said this before and no doubt I will say it again. Enid Blyton was one of my childhood favourites, even though I’ve managed to miss a few of her books which I’m rectifying as an adult. I don’t remember how I first stumbled upon one of Bruno Vincent’s parody short stories featuring the Famous Five. Although when I was working at the charity shop from time to time these beauties were given in and I would often purchase them and recommend naturally if I had already had it.

Five Go Absolutely Nowhere could have passed me by but in looking online I was chuffed to see one of these gorgeous stories available during this crazy time. It’s the first one I have read digitally although I will want a hard copy to join my collection. Before this one the last one I remember getting was gifted for me as it was released on my birthday and that was Five Forget Mother’s Day. I’ve reviewed a few already and I have a bunch awaiting my attention. I’m hoping to start squeezing in a lot more short reads alongside my general reading.

My thoughts on Five Forget Mothers Day. And my thoughts on Five Go Parenting.

Back to Five Go Absolutely Nowhere – what I really loved was half of their concerns during lockdown is just how we are although with their added wit. I also loved that the Secret Seven were also involved in this story even though their involvement was chaos but it added to the fun and really did make me think back to the Enid Blyton of my childhood. I’m also blown away as they sound how they did all those years ago but with modern life – it’s heartwarming to have these characters in my adult life too.

I’m so grateful that Bruno Vincent has created topical short stories using these fictional beauties. I’ve realised I’ve got more than I’ve actually read so watch this space for more Famous Five chitchat from me. Julian just has to be my fave he’s pretty clueless although he really does try…

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

Book Review: Meet Me at Pebble Beach Part Four Seas The Day By Bella Osborne

Blurb: Regan has been busy trying to tick everything off her lottery wish list: she’s started her own business, helped a worthy cause, and even sorted out a new home – albeit a temporary one. But she still has a couple of items to check off – including get a hot new boyfriend, and she knows justwhere to find one…

Will Regan and Charlie get their happy ending and sail off into the sunset – or does fate have other ideas?

Review: If you’ve been reading my blog you will know I have been fully invested in Regan’s story. In saying that I think that’s why it took me a while to read the fourth and final part – I’ve had it on my Kindle since publication day and I’ve only recently read it. Well as this is the final instalment it’s the time when all loose ends are tied up.

Regan sure has been on an emotional rollercoaster and the final aspects of her story are just as heartfelt. It’s been a pleasure to see her blossom due to that of gratitude and learning what’s really important in life. I’ve liked her as a heroine from the off but I’ve truly loved witnessing the change in her for the better.

In the final stages we get more from Charlie and his story I won’t say too much but there was so much uncertainty around Charlie and I loved seeing more of him and finding out more about him deep down.

Cleo & Penny have a lot more in this instalment and you see the rawness of them and what matters to them. I also liked seeing a different side to Bernice. Her story was completely heart wrenching. Before Bella ties up all the loose ends there are many dramatic aspects to Regan’s life and I thought I had worked it out but oh how wrong I was.

A gorgeous book that will take you along the seaside that will make you grateful for all you have in your life and will have you aspiring for more each and everyday. Love, loss and friendship in abundance – a book I will never forget. I hope Bella brings back some if not all of these characters at a later date. I think that was the first Bella Osborne that I’ve read I’m sure I have another on my kindle so I will be looking for more.

2020, ebook, novella, Uncategorized

Novella Review: Rescue Me By Cathy Bramley

Blurb: Fearne Lovage is living a neat and tidy life. Sure, the inner circle of people she opens up to is small – but it’s perfectly formed of people she loves. And when your heart is broken, feeling safe means everything. It’s not a time for risks.

But life has a surprise in store for Fearne – a hairy, scruffy, messy one. Soon Fearne finds herself saving the day, and getting rescued right back…

You’ll also meet the characters of Cathy’s upcoming new four-part ebook serial, MY KIND OF HAPPY – which follows Fearne on her search for true happiness. All parts are available to pre-order now.

Review: I must admit it’s been a while since I’ve read a Cathy Bramley book I’m either on it with four part serials or I completely forget. When I saw Rescue Me advertised as a free prequel to her next novel My Kind Of Happy I jumped at the chance to read it.

I’ve really loved delving into books that feature a cross over with the older generation and Rescue Me does just that with Ethel and Fearne. Both of the ladies in question are struggling with the odd bout of loneliness and they both have their own story which I shan’t spoil. The ladies need each other more than both know and from the off that’s apparent, the easy friendship between the two is heartwarming and I’m so pleased more authors are telling us these stories even if it does make me miss my grandparents terribly.

As the novella ends I was fearing the worst but in being able to read a snippet of My Kind Of Happy I think the outcomes aren’t necessarily as sad as first thought. I love the sense of wonder and hope of My Kind Of Happy and I’m looking forward to what comes next for Fearne and that of her bestie Laura. Although I do hope there’s more of Ethel too.

A gorgeous introduction to a new serial with a short read that could easily accompany a good coffee and a cake a perfect treat in an imperfect world. I’ve pre-ordered the first instalment of My Kind Of Happy which thanks to this novella I’ve read the first few chapters just hoping the world is a lot more settled and kinder when this pings through to my kindle.

2020, New Author to me, novella, Uncategorized

Book Review: Meet Me at Pebble Beach part three Sink or Swim By Bella Osborne

Blurb: Regan has just started to find her groove when tragedy strikes – threatening to send her right back to square one. But with her new market stall confirmed, she has plenty to keep her busy… and that’s before you add a hot fireman, a new four-legged friend and some sticky situations to the mix. But business is slow, and Regan is starting to doubt whether this is the right path for her after all…

Can she get her new business out of troubled waters?

Review: I’ve really loved this series but part three was the hardest part of the book to read. In saying that so much happened which I knew it would as we are fast approaching the end of the novel. It was thrilling and all encompassing although I also didn’t want it to end.

In parts one and two a lot happened to and around Regan and part two ended with a heartbreaking cliffhanger. So in knowing that I knew that part three wouldn’t all be plain sailing. Just as Regan was turning a corner fate had other ideas, although saying that she’s definitely come a long way from the wayward girl we met at the beginning of this story.

In part three we see more of Cleo and in branching out on her own she’s definitely had a much needed confidence boost. It was great to see the best friends reunited and it was a lot smoother than Regan anticipated.

I also liked the fact we got to know Beanstalk a little more. The sense of friendship is huge in this novel and seeing the variations of friendships and expectations was heartwarming although it makes me apprehensive of what’s to come in the fourth and final instalment.

There were a few aspects that I had guessed but I didn’t know how they would pan out so it was a pleasant surprise. I’m not sure what to expect in the final instalment but I’ve loved my trip to Brighton Beach…seeing as there more than likely won’t be any actual beach time this year.

2020, Author Love, ebook, novella, Uncategorized

Book Review: The Cornish Cream Tea Summer – part four Muffin Compares To You By Cressida McLaughlin

There were tears….

Blurb: Being left in charge of the cream tea bus has been full of surprises for Delilah, she’s made new friends and discovered more about herself than she could possibly have imagined. But there are some things that any amount of jam and clotted cream tea can’t solve, and Delilah needs to be brave and face some of her fears, if she’s to hold on to happiness…

Review: Oh Cressida where do I begin.

I had hoped to start reading this the instant it pinged onto my kindle with a beverage but I was in the midst of something else, with the hope of reading it that evening I was then plagued with a headache, which meant my reunion was shelved for another day.

In saying that as much as I’ve been eager to know what happened I also didn’t want to say goodbye to the Cornish seaside once again. As I said on my last review for part three I had loved the original trips to Cornwall when Charlie first emerged but there really has been something about this second outing that’s got under my skin.

From the off the overly dramatic Lila has been a favourite of mine, anyone who can not only create award winning and amazingly sounding coffees but can describe them in the easy fashion that she does is a friend for life. She may get some things wrong but her heart is always in the right place and her intentions are always good. Throughout this novel she’s always put others first and in the final instalment it’s time for her to grab her own happiness by the scruff of the neck. Her friendship with Keeley was heartwarming and lovely to see especially as Keeley had felt like a fish out of water and Lila helped restore her confidence. Seeing Lila and Clara have a deep and meaningful conversation and in restoring their friendship was pretty something and was one of my hopes for Lila before the series ended.

The final instalment is always the catalyst for tying up all the loose ends. For anyone who read my last thoughts you will know there were a number of tears well in the final stages there were a lot more tears.

I have to mention Sam Magee now for anyone who knows me you will know I have a bit of a soft spot for an Irishman. With many of my friends believing that I will end up with an Irishman not that that’s come true as yet. Sam is charming, handsome and a little on the shy side. I don’t want to say too much without ruining the story but let’s say this handsome man does bring me to tears and I hope it’s not the end of Sam Magee.

2020, New Author to me, novella, Review, Uncategorized

Book Review: Meet Me At Pebble Beach – Part One Out of the Blue By Bella Osborne

Blurb: PART ONE: Out of the Blue

When Regan’s lottery numbers unexpectedly come up on a rollover, she can’t believe her luck. Having spent the past few years coasting along in the slow lane of life, this is the break she’s been waiting for – and she wastes no time in making some big life decisions.

But Regan’s plans for a life of sipping cocktails on her own private island come crashing down when she discovers that the winning ticket was a bad prank – and she’s now jobless, boyfriendless, and homeless to boot.

When the going gets tough, can Regan stay afloat?

Review: Now I had hoped that this would be one of my final reads in March before its publication on 2nd April. Due to unfortunate headaches that wasn’t to be. I had awful head-pain for just over a week and this was my first read once the headaches had departed.

From the very beginning I liked Regan although from the off I did wonder why she was with Jarvis. He was constantly extremely negative to her and had me wondering why the pair of them chose to put each other through the misery.

Alex & Regan had a somewhat comical relationship. I don’t want to go into this too much as I will end up revealing the plot and I want you to have the same thoughts, feelings and OMG moments as I did.

The hug in a mug cafe sure does sound like my sort of coffee shop. Reading this novella whilst the world is going crazy outside of our four walls, has literally had me eager to get back in a coffee shop with a book and a cake. I wouldn’t even be contemplating not having the cake. I must admit I’m smitten with a book that has a good coffee shop storyline although it is making me miss the bustle of it all.

There is so much to this novella in such a short read including homelessness, unhappiness, loneliness and mindfulness just to name a few of the themes that encompass the brilliant first instalment of this story. There’s so much more I had wanted to say but I also think sometimes too much could spoil the story.

Isolation has been a testing time for all of us but now more than ever I’m embracing simple pleasures and not being able to read for just over a week was horrendous. I had struggled and the escapism in a book was more often than not saving me from my worries and stopping me from overthinking.

Regan is quite simply a whirlwind of chaos and anyone who knows her would feel her madness would tip you over. As much as she’s a handful she also has the best of intentions and I found her world a bit of a rollercoaster but it’s been both real and surprising. I’m really looking forward to where this story goes.

I can’t believe I’m saying this but I think I’ve only read maybe one of Bella’s books before this. Do let me know what I’m missing out on.

2020, Author Love, beauty, ebook, novella, Uncategorized

Book Review: The Cornish Cream Tea Summer – part three – My Tart Will Go On By Cressida McLaughlin

Part three both calmed and broke me.

Blurb: Charlie has left Delilah in charge of the cream tea bus and she is making new friends while getting caught up in the excitement of the filming of a TV period drama. However, not everything is as rosy as it seems and soon Delilah is called on to help a friend in need.
Delilah also finds her feelings for actor Sam hard to ignore – she thinks it would be crazy to fall for one of the country’s hottest new talents. It can only end in tears and Lila’s got no intention of having her heart broken…

Review: Today is publication day for the third instalment to The Cornish Cream Tea Summer and as we are nearing the conclusion this segment is right at the heart of the action. After part two I was left bereft and not only wanting but needing to know where the story would go. It’s safe to say after part three I’m left absolutely broken and there were a significant number of tears.

As I’ve stated in this second series with Charlie and the gang I loved Lila from the minute she arrived on her cousins doorstep with her tale between her legs not knowing where to turn. Lila is a breathe of fresh air and just the sort of whirlwind heroine I need in my life in this current climate we’re experiencing. Lila then takes me onto Sam oh Sam, sweet sam is just the book boyfriend to tear me away from the madness in the world right now. I must admit I was pretty much taken with coy Sam from the very beginning of this trip to Porthgolow.

So as I say part three is thrown straight into the action with action stations from Lila who is desperate to prove to Keeley how wanted she really is. In part two Lila had got herself involved in the action as so to speak and now she was worried that it would all come crashing down – thankfully the hapless heroine needs more faith in her own abilities.

Gertie – Hal’s bus of dreams also reaches his one year anniversary it was lovely to see all the residents that made Cressida’s first Cornish book a firm favourite with me back in full on party mode. It also made me as a reader reminiscent of when I first met each of them who slotted in nicely with the new additions including my favourite in the delectable Sam Magee. I must say Sam producing a bottle of fizz was just what the celebrations needed.

There are many friendships and relationships that blossom in this segment and seeing each of them made my heart swell with pride. The Porthgolow clan really do look after each other and the film crew are also just as lovely.

I don’t want to delve deep into the heart of the plot but I will say it’s another bumpy ride for Lila. She’s so warm hearted and deserves the best but along the way her Mum and her best friend Clara’s unkind words seemed to have dampened her sparkle and her faith in herself.

As always this segment ended with the cliffhanger of all cliffhangers. The end of April can’t come soon enough although having said that I will really miss this second trip to the Cornish coast I think it’s safe to say I fell hard. At a time when the world is all over the place this little escape has done me the world of good even if there were a number of tears. I loved that Hal’s sentiment of learning from mistakes and Charlie’s live in the moment were mentioned it’s definitely something that we all need right now.

Thank you Cressida I hope this isn’t the end of this bunch as I’ve grown awfully fond of them. I didn’t think Daniel could be topped he still holds a place in my heart but Sam is what I need right now.

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.