#Book review #The End of Her by Shari Lapena

Synopsis:

In upstate New York, Stephanie and Patrick are adjusting to life with their colicky twin babies. The girls are a handful, but Stephanie doesn’t mind being a stay-at-home mom, taking care of them while Patrick does the nine to five to pay the bills.

When a woman from Patrick’s past drops in on them unexpectedly, raising questions about his late first wife, Stephanie supports her husband wholeheartedly. She knows the car accident all those many years ago was just that–an accident. But Erica is persistent, and now she’s threatening to go to the police.

Patrick is afraid his job–and his reputation–will be at risk if he doesn’t put an end to Erica’s questioning immediately. And when the police start digging, Stephanie’s trust in her husband begins to falter and Patrick is primed to lose everything he loves. As their marriage crumbles, Stephanie feels herself coming unglued, and soon she isn’t sure what–or who–to believe. Now the most important thing is to protect her girls, but at what cost?

****

My thoughts:

Shari Lapena’s new thriller focuses on an old, timeless, and unfailingly relevant question. Is it possible to really know the person you marry? or might they have different sides (faces): caring and tender because they love and adore you and your children, calculating and selfish, or even worse, once you start doubting their intentions….

Stephanie and Patrick are extremely exhausted. People always underestimate how hard it is to cope with a new born baby, let alone twins. Add a never-ending colic and endless crying, and you get barely functioning sleep deprived parents who are losing their mind. They don’t know what is causing the colic or when it will stop or whether the industrial quantities of coffee they are consuming are helping or just making them even more tired. Patrick is a successful architect, but he’s been unable to focus and give his full attention to his clients’ projects, so, understandably, his work is suffering. Stephanie’s social life is non-existent, she lost all contact with her colleagues and acquantainces after her maternity leave, apart from seeing their neighbour Hanna who has a baby of her own. It is Hanna who notices a young woman checking out properties in the area and looking curiously at Stephanie and Patrick’s house. She is young and pretty, but something is off about her. Then the same woman appears in Patrick’s office and interviews for a vacancy there.

And just like this Patrick’s former lover Erica Voss is back in his life. Incidentally, she is also Patrick’s first wife’s best friend. Now Erica wants money in exchange for her silence about what happened to Lindsey. Patrick always maintained it was a tragic car accident, although Stephanie never knew the details. As he refuses to pay Erica, it is time to come clean and talk about his past with his unsuspecting second wife, who also happens to be quite rich.



There are two other couples who also feature in Erica’s opportunistic schemes: Patrick’s partner and his wife, and the couple who adopted Erica’s child nine years ago and have been lovingly raising him. Erica is manipulative, greedy and ruthless. Still, is there a chance that she might be telling the truth and some people just set themselves to get used by somebody who is confident, observant, smart about human nature and motivations, and totally devoid of scruples?


What I like about Shari Lapena’s novels is that they have a limited number of characters, but every single of them is shown to have their own agenda, motive and opportunity. She just keeps you guessing until the last chapter and sometimes even until the last paragraph. Nobody is entirely innocent (apart from the babies, colic isn’t a crime, whatever the effects of prolonged sleep deprivation on their long-suffering parents might be), so there is a sense of urgency to solve the mystery before another disaster strikes or another crime is committed. We don’t really get the background story or an explanation why the villains behave the way they do, although we do get a glimpse into what was really happening and their cold detached feelings.

If you are a fan of domestic thrillers, this is a book for you. It is quick, tense, and dark. A perfect marriage turns into a crime scene, a friend turns into somebody who is only watching out for themselves, ordinary family life turns into a series of narrow escapes (did she leave that frying pan on fire or did she not?), even a much beloved childhood story takes on a very sinister meaning.

Shari Lapena is my auto-buy author and I know I can rely on her to write a compelling story with a complex plot. She knows how to tap into very common fears, exaggerate and turn them into a real page-turner. Her endings are spectacular and his one is just a point in case. It is quiet, almost too quiet after all the tension and relentless pace, but it does leave you with surprise and a new set of questions to ask.

Recommended? of course! It’s Shari Lapena.

Thank you to Edelweiss and Pamela Dorman Books for the ARC provided in exchange for an honest opinion.

#Book Blitz #Falling for the Innkeeper by Meghann Whistler @Xpresso Book Tours

Book & Author Details:

Title: Falling for the Innkeeper
Author: Meghann Whistler
Published by: Harlequin Love Inspired
Publication date: July 21st 2020
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Synopsis:

She’s the home he never expected to find.
A battle for a charming Cape Cod inn…
But what happens when romance checks in?

Single mom Laura Lessoway won’t accept her mother’s plan of selling her late grandmother’s inn without a fight. But when big-city attorney Jonathan Masters arrives to arrange an offer from his client, she’s drawn to him. And working together as he helps with repairs only brings them closer. With his career and her home on the line, can they ever find common ground?

Goodreads

Purchase Links:
Amazon   /  B&N  / iBooks   /   Kobo

About the author:

Meghann Whistler writes sweet Christian romance novels that WON’T make your grandmother blush.

A hopeless romantic who met her husband on a blind date, Meghann recently left her marketing career to pursue her lifelong passion of writing sweet, inspirational stories that demonstrate the power of love and grace.

Before settling down with her rocket scientist husband and raising three rambunctious boys, Meghann earned a B.A. in English from Amherst College and an M.F.A. in creative writing from Emerson College.

She loves to hear from her readers, who can reach her at www.meghannwhistler.com.

instagram twitter  /  facebook  /  goodreads

GIVEAWAY

Blitz-wide giveaway (INT)

  • $25 Amazon gift card

#Book Review #He Started It by Samantha Downing

Beth, Portia, and Eddie Morgan haven’t all been together in years. And for very good reasons—we’ll get to those later. But when their wealthy grandfather dies and leaves a cryptic final message in his wake, the siblings and their respective partners must come together for a cross-country road trip to fulfill his final wish and—more importantly—secure their inheritance.

But time with your family can be tough. It is for everyone.

It’s even harder when you’re all keeping secrets and trying to forget a memory—a missing person, an act of revenge, the man in the black truck who won’t stop following your car—and especially when at least one of you is a killer and there’s a body in the trunk. Just to name a few reasons.

But money is a powerful motivator. It is for everyone.

(From the blurb)

*****

My thoughts:

There’s nothing like an old-fashioned road trip to make or break a relationship’. It might be true for all sorts of families. It is undoubtfully true for Eddie, Beth and Portia Morgan. Especially since they’ve done it twice.


When Eddie, Beth and Portia’s rich grandfather died, he left them millions of dollars on one condition: they have to re-create the road trip they took as a family in 1999. The story is told from the point of view of Beth, but we know from page one whatever she says or sees has to be taken with a pinch of salt. If you love an unreliable narrator, this book is definitely one for you.


Eddie and Beth are joined by their respective spouses Krista and Felix, so the Morgan siblings can’t say much in the open. All of them have their own secrets, some of which are shared and go long way back in time.


Now they zig-zag through the states, visiting creepy sights off the beaten track, staying in seedy motels and re-living their childhood memories until it becomes apparent they are not on their own. A black truck seems to follow their car and a song, a blast from the past, appears from seemingly nowhere and plays games with their minds.


As Beth’s Mom used to say ‘nothing is what it seems at first’ and we know that. We get plenty of foreshadowing, and yet, twists and reveals come left, right and centre, which by the way, makes it extremely hard to keep this review spoiler-free.


Needless to say, the characters are well-written and well-developed. We know what they look like, what they like to eat and what their bad habits are. The weird thing is that we know only what they let us know and there is an awful lot of things they choose to keep to themselves.

Morgans’ favourite childhood game was Risk and they did learn a lot about setting goals, making alliances and annihilating their enemies from that strategy game. They learnt how to risk everything and how sometimes nobody wins.


The book is wonderfully addictive. Once you go on this road trip, you want to see it through. I am often tempted to have a glimpse of the last chapter or just the last page. With this one, I wanted to experience the events as they unfolded and didn’t want to miss a single thing. The ending? oh, it didn’t disappoint, but I won’t give anything away, you just have to be there and make up your own mind.


One of the most compelling and atmospheric books I’ve read this year, He Started it is definitely to be recommended to anybody who loves psychological thrillers with dark family secrets and doesn’t mind a bit of madness on the way.

Thank you to Edelweiss and Berkley for the review copy provided in exchange for an honest opinion.

#Book Review #Blog Tour: New Rules by Lily Hayden @rararesources

Thank you to Rachel from Rachel’s Random Resources for my place on this tour!

New Rules

Synopsis:

Kate Miller has it all; a glittering career, a wonderful home life and a promotion in the bag. She knows the rules for success, and nothing will stop her from getting to where she wants to be.

Ellie Stephens, on the other hand, can’t catch a break; she’s trapped in a vicious circle of dead-end jobs and red-flag relationships until she’s paired with Kate in their company’s brand-new mentoring scheme.

Ellie just can’t seem to get to grips with Kate’s ruthless recipe for success no matter how hard she tries, leaving her wondering if she’s the problem. Two new men in her life, affable-but-mysterious Freddie and Kate’s drop-dead gorgeous ex Liam try to help her muddle through and figure out how to get ahead.

Meanwhile, Kate’s perfect life is unravelling and where once everything she touched turned to gold, it’s suddenly falling apart. Her work nemesis is throwing obstacles in her way at every turn, her home life is in tatters and her first love is suddenly back in her life. Kate is more confused than ever;
is it time to break the rules?

Purchase Links

Amazon UKAmazon US

 My thoughts:

Kate Miller is a workaholic. She has a beautiful house, handsome husband, two wonderful children and a job where she has to prove herself every single day. Just because she is a woman. Lily Hayden perfectly captures the double standards all too familar to working women. Worrying that if you stay too long at home during your maternity leave, your clients will forget you and you will have to start winning them from the scratch. Do lots of overtime working hard to finish a project and people judge you for not being a good mother and wife. Well, Kate is a fighter and she has a set of rules that have helped her to get on in life. Having said this, she might be losing sight of something very important – personal relationships.

Ellie Stephens is smart and creative, but perhaps a bit disorganised and lacking focus Kate has in abundance. She has an on and off-relationship with Josh who clearly doesn’t respect her at all. At work, she is given a series of mindless tasks and completely overlooked otherwise.
When an important client would like to see how inclusive and socially responsible Kate and Ellie’s company is, Kate and her Garth (her main competitor for an upcoming promotion) come up with a mentoring scheme for junior staff. While Garth has his pick of the brightest and most promising, Kate is stuck with Ellie.

I found both protagonists relatable. Yes, Kate comes across as very unlikeable and manipulative at times. Some of the things she said to Ellie and about Ellie were appalling. But then she goes through a personal crisis and realises how wrong her behaviour was. My heart was going to her when she was trying to juggle so many things and failing on all fronts with nobody to turn to for help. Both Kate and Ellie go through a lot of development. Ellie understands she doesn’t need to change herself or conform to other people’s ideas to be liked or respected. She has dignity, integrity and friends who care for her.

There are quite a few secondary characters (Kate’s husband, Ellie’s flatmates, an important client, Ellie’s ex and her new love interest), but the writing is very focused and they all serve to reveal something about the protagonists and move the plot forward.

I also loved the story being set in London. One of Ellie’s most important chance meetings happens on the Tube, while she is busy complaining about her train delay, praying she can still get to work on time.

The story kept my attention all way through and I found many parts of it very realistic. It is classified as chick-lit (the protagonist finds out more about herself, grows and eventually gets her Mr Right), but there are also some elements, mainly related to Kate’s story, which take it beyond the classic parameters of the genre. At any rate, it is entertaining, easy to read and has a happy ending.

I really enjoyed New Rules and now will be looking forward to reading more books by Lily Hayden.

Thank you to Rachel and Lily Hayden for the review copy provided in exchange for an honest and unbiased opinion.



Author Bio

Lily Hayden writes chick lit with a kick.

Modern day women want modern day heroines and Lily’s characters want sizzling romance, rewarding careers and equal partnerships, but like all of us, they face many challenges and it isn’t always easy.

A mother to four children, Lily graduated with a degree in Business in her hometown in South Wales and enjoyed a successful career in Financial Services before fulfilling a lifelong ambition to write books.

Her debut novel Butterflies, a heartwarming alternative to the traditional boy-meets-girl story, was released in 2018, reaching readers all over the world and she is the author of five books, including a Young Adult Dystopian novel Project Terra under the alias SJ Woods (because who doesn’t love a bit of action and defeating bad guys every now and again).

Follow Lily on social media for the latest releases, promotions and occasional photos of her dogs.

Social Media Links
facebook  / twitter  /  instagram

If you would like to check what other bloggers thought of ‘New Rules’, you can see the full tour schedule here:

Thank you for stopping by and I hope you read and enjoy the book!

Guest Post by Jennifer Honeybourn #Blog Tour #The Do-Over by Jennifer Honeybourn@Xpresso Book Tours

Thank you to Giselle fromXpresso Book Tours for my place on this blog tour and thank you to Jennifer for her guest post in which she shares her thoughts on 2020 and some of her book favourites.

Guest post:

I think most people would agree that 2020 has been a strange, unsettling year, one that, if given the opportunity, many people would “do-over” (see what I did there? 😊).

In times of stress, I’ve always relied on books to distract me from the world — and certainly, I had plenty of time to read during quarantine — but for the first time in my life, I’ve found it really difficult to concentrate. I haven’t read nearly as much as I normally would, but I have picked up a few books and I thought I would share some of my favorites, for those of you who are able to concentrate. So here, in no particular order, are some of my recent five-star book recommendations:


We Used to Be Friends – Amy Spalding. This friendship breakup story is told in an interesting way, through dual timelines, one character’s timeline moving forward and one moving backward. I don’t think there are enough stories about the heartache of growing apart from a friend.

The Life (and Medieval) Times of Kit Sweetly – Jamie Pacton. Joust like a girl! Kit is a waitress at a cheesy medieval restaurant who wants to work as a knight, against the company’s lame policy that only guys can be knights. Funny and well-written.

Maybe in Another Life – Taylor Jenkins Reid. I am a big fan of this author (Daisy Jones and the Six is also one of the best books I’ve read lately, she is an instant buy for me). This is sort of a take on the movie Sliding Doors, in which the main character Hannah has two separate storylines, each telling what could have happened if she’d made a different decision.

Big Little Lies – Liane Moriarty. Okay, I’m late to the party on this one. I did watch the series first and that is what led me to the book, which I loved. And I appreciated that the series was faithful to the story.

Lucky Caller – Emma Mills. Emma Mills is one of my favorite authors of all time and I shout about how amazing she is to everyone I know. I love all her books and her latest, about a girl taking a radio broadcasting class and working on a project with her former friend/secret crush, is so great.

Book details:

The Do-Over
by Jennifer Honeybourn
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: July 14th 2020
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult

Synopsis:

In The Do-Over, a teenage girl gets the chance to redo her past in this smart and charming YA novel by the author of When Life Gives You Demons, Jennifer Honeybourn.
Emelia has always wanted to fit in with the A crowd. So, when Ben, the hottest guy in school, asks her out, she chooses him over Alistair, her best friend—even after he confesses his feelings to her.
Six months later, Emilia wonders how her life would have been different if she’d chosen Alistair instead. Haunted by her mistake, she finds a magical solution that promises to rectify the past. As a result, everything in her life is different.
Different, but not better.
What happens if her second chance is her only chance to make things right?

Goodreads:

Purchase:
Amazon /   B&N   /   iBooks   /  Kobo

AUTHOR BIO:


Jennifer Honeybourn works in corporate communications in Vancouver, British Columbia. She’s a fan of British accents, Broadway musicals, and epic, happily-ever-after love stories. If she could have dinner with anyone, dead or alive, she’d have high tea with Walt Disney, JK Rowling, and her nana. She lives with her husband, daughter and cat in a house filled with books.

Author links:

website  /  goodreads facebook  twitter instagram 

Giveaway:
Tour-wide giveaway (US only)

  • Print copy of The Do-Over

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I hope you enjoyed reading Jennifer’s guest post and will get a copy of her wonderful book!

#Book Tour # Cornish Dreams At Cockleshell Cottage by Liz Hurley @rararesources

Thank you to Rachel from Rachel’s Random resources for my place on the book tour for this charming  summer read!

Cornish Dreams At Cockleshell Cottage (Synopsis)

Sitting alongside the beach and just up from the gently lapping waves, sat a perfect cottage. She had found where she was going to live. Her own little cockleshell cove.

Ever since the Byrne sisters – ArianaAsterClemPaddy and Nic – discovered they were heiresses to the vast Hiverton fortune, their lives have never been the same. No longer living in poverty in London, they now own an estate in Norfolk, a castle in Scotland and a picturesque village in Cornwall.
When sensitive Paddy, the baby of the family despite her successful career as a model, swaps the catwalks of Paris Fashion Week for the cobbled lanes of Tregisky on the beautiful Cornish coast, it’s time for her to stand on her own two feet.
Soon, she’s settled in her new home of Cockleshell Cottage overlooking the wild surf, the seals her closest companions.
And when she meets ex-soldier Hal, she’s instantly smitten. Funny, considerate, and not to mention drop dead gorgeous, he’s perfect in every way apart from one – he’s engaged. But after a misunderstanding brings the two together in ways they couldn’t have imagined, it seems like they might just change each other’s lives.
Will Paddy fall in love with more than just the glorious blue skies of Cornwall? Or are there storm clouds gathering ahead?
Escape to the Cornish coast this summer with this completely uplifting romcom – perfect for fans of Holly Martin, Phillipa Ashley and Milly Johnson.

Purchase Links
Amazon  /  Kobo  / Apple

My thoughts:


This is the second book in Liz Hurley’s sweet and charming series about the turn in fortunes of five sisters. Ariana, Clementine, Nicoletta and Patricia (twins) and Aster grew up in a family with lots of love and little money. Their mother was disinherited by her rich and noble parents, but chose to leave all her luxurious lifestyle for the true love of a good man. Then a tragedy struck. The girls’ parents were killed in a car accident. All of them dealt with the trauma in their own different ways. Ari became over-responsible and over-protective. Paddy got severely depressed. Her intense grief almost took the family apart, as there was a moment when the social services could have separated the sisters. Once Paddy got over the worst part of her grieving, she threw herself into work- modelling wasn’t easy, but it was a source of steady income and helped Nick and Clem to start their businesses and put Aster through university. Then the girls’ uncle died and Ariana inherited a title and several properties, including one in Cornwall. The sisters had to adjust to the circumstances, but they will always remember that family is the most important thing in life and their sisterly love is the biggest treasure.

All five girls are different with their unique dispositions and unique voices. In many ways, Paddy is the softest, the most vulnerable and emotional. She is kind and sees the best in everyone. On the downside, Paddy has a lot of insecurites. We meet her as she is going to oversee one of her sister’s properties, which, believe it or not, comes with its own village. Paddy needs to work out how to manage the big house and how to improve the life of her tenants. She moves into a small cottage decorated with cockleshells to be closer to the sea and go for her regular swims. A German TV crew is filming their show in the big house. And here a momentous thing happens. Paddy is given a small role of a bride about to get married. The groom, handsome Hal Ferguson, won his opportunity to play his tiny part in a charity auction (although he might have got the wrong end of the stick and bet on a wrong thing). Afterwards, Paddy and Hal go for a dinner and totally fall for each other’s charm. They avoid speaking about their private lives, so it is only the following day that Paddy discovers her lovely, funny, handsome companion is actually engaged to somebody else….

The book is full of interesting characters. I really enjoyed reading about the Byrne sisters. I hope every sister gets her own book! It was great to see Ari at her home, taking care of little boys and her new husband. Clem, Nick and Aster make their appearances, but of course, we concentrate on getting to know Paddy and her romantic life. From her dreams of having a lovely future family to the reality full of twists and misunderstandings. Hal is a bit directionless at the beginning and needs to become more focused and take on more responsibility. He has great friends who I hope might feature in the following books. There is a gold-digger or two in the book as well. My favourite secondary character was Beryl, a ninety year old inhabitant of Tregeskey, the village Paddy oversees.

It was interesting to get a glimpse of the world of modelling and the woes of the upper classes (from having to modernise the estate to keep up with the new government regulations to worrying about a potential romantic partner loving you for your money, not for yourself). I loved Paddy’s new friend Jemima and her husband’s idea to get a couple of geese to keep his wife company and scare off unwanted guests. There are also a few more serious moments thrown in, such as Hal’s charity for homeless. If you read a lot of romance, the twists Liz Hurley is throwing at you aren’t going to seem so surprising, but still it was great to see how exactly the protagonists are going to work out their misunderstandings. Bianca’s story, slightly exaggerated as it was, provided a bit of comic relief in the end.

Cornish Dreams at the Cockleshell Cottage is a clean romance and a light, entertaining read. If you like British sense of humour and are a fan of Austinesque stories, you will enjoy it and start waiting for the next book in the series.

Thank you to Rachel from Rachel’s Random Resources and Hera Books for a review copy provided in exchange for an honest opinion.

About the author:
Heroines with grit, gumption and good old-fashioned gorgeousness!
Liz Hurley writes exciting and heart warming stories that will make you cheer and laugh.

Social Media Links
website / facebook  / twitter

If you would like to find out more about the first book of the series, just click on this link:
A new Life for Ariana Byrne by Liz Hurley

Thank you for stopping by and reading the post!

Blog Blitz: A Cornish Daisy’s Kiss by Laura Briggs @rararesources

Thank you to Rachel from Rachel’s Random Resources for my place in this Blog Blitz.

A Cornish Daisy’s Kiss

Weeks after boarding a train to Paris in pursuit of her writing dreams, aspiring novelist Maisie Clark is right back where she started: on the idyllic shores of Port Hewer in Cornwall, luggage in hand and heart filled with anticipation for what lies ahead. Except that nothing seems the same as Maisie left it, from her place among the staff at the hotel Penmarrow to her budding romance with groundskeeper Sidney Daniels, who isn’t quite ready to overlook the painful consequences of her sudden departure.

Losing Sidney would be unbearable, but Maisie can’t help fearing it might be true if the rift between them proves too deep to heal. She knows her feelings for him are unchanged, but whether he feels the same remains to be seen—particularly since she stopped him from expressing them in the first place. And to make matters worse, her position at the Penmarrow has been filled by another, there’s nowhere for her to live in the village, and her savings are finally dwindling to a pathetic number – with her book still unpublished after her startling discovery about the author helping guide her towards success.

But one thing which hasn’t changed is the drama and excitement at the hotel Penmarrow, where the staff is awaiting inspection from the dreaded owner Ms. Claypool. Stirring up trouble in the meantime is the owner’s special guest ‘Mad Ludwig’, an eccentric architect whose demands are definitely driving everyone on the staff a little crazy. And then there’s the hotel’s mysterious new desk manager, whose behavior ignites Maisie’s suspicions and causes her to become entangled in yet another form of intrigue—one that could unwittingly jeopardize the future of the Penmarrow and everyone who works there, unless Maisie can find a way to undo the harm.

With everything that matters to her most at stake this time, Maisie faces her biggest challenges yet…and her deepest question of the heart as she confronts the reason she returned to Cornwall and the Penmarrow in the first place.

Purchase Link

My thoughts:
I am a big fan of Laura Briggs, so when I see that her new book was coming out and there was going to be a book tour for it, I jumped at my chance to participate!


A Cornish Daisy’s Kiss is Book Six in A Little Hotel in Cornwall series. If you’ve read the previous books, you know how delightful the setting of the little sleepy village of Port Hewer is. I imagine it full of tender sunshine and spectacular views. Of course, the disadvantage of living in such a small place is that it isn’t easy to find a job or a place to rent, unless you come from the village originally. Why would our protagoinist Maisie Clark need these things? Isn’t she chasing her dream of writing and publishing her own book in Paris and London? Six weeks after Maisie confessed her feelings to Sidney and left Cornwall, she is back. Of course, the only place she can think of where she can stay is the Penmarrow Hotel. Her job and her little room in the attic have been given to somebody else, so Maisie is staying as a guest. It was great to meet the familiar cast of the hotel employees and village inhabitants.


Maisie knows Sidney needs time to forgive her for leaving so suddenly after telling him she loved him and there are still too many secrets between them or rather things to discover. So there is charming romance in a Cornish Daisy’s Kiss. There is also a mystery to solve as Maisie accidentally discovers that the new desk manager Frank isn’t exactly who is pretending to be. Why is he in the hotel and what is his secret agenda?


Maisie is such a lovely protagonist. She is adventurous, honest, kind and supportive. It was great to see the inside workings of writing a book, drafting and re-drafting endless times from an author’s perspective. I love the way she decided not to take any shortcuts with her book by riding somebody else’s famous name, but earn its existence with hard work. She is also a very fair and loyal person,as we can see from her interactions with the hotel owner, mysterious Ms Claypool, who comes to PenMarrow on one of her awe-striking inspections.

Laura Briggs never fails to entertain and A Cornish Daisy’s Kiss is another charming addition to her lovely series which already has a lot of fans. A great summer read!

 About Laura Briggs:
Laura Briggs is the author of several feel-good romance reads, including the Top 100 Amazon UK seller ‘A Wedding in Cornwall’. She has a fondness for vintage style dresses (especially ones with polka dots), and reads everything from Jane Austen to modern day mysteries. When she’s not writing, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, caring for her pets, gardening, and seeing the occasional movie or play.

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Thank you for stopping by and reading the post!

  • Have you read any books by Laura Briggs? If yes, did you like them?
  • Do you like the small village/hotel setting?
  • Is it easy to come back to the person you said you love after you left to chase your dreams?

#Book Blitz # New Witch on the Block by Louisa West @Xpresso Book Tours

Book & Author Details:

Title: New Witch on the Block (Midlife in Mosswood, #1)
Author: Louisa West
Publication date: June 30th 2020
Genres: Adult, Paranormal

Synopsis:

She thought she was running away from her past, not catching up with it.

Rosemary Bell just wants to live a quiet, happy life and raise her daughter as far away from her toxic ex-husband as she can get. But when they move into a decrepit cottage in the woods of Mosswood, Georgia, Rosie realizes her life will never be simple.

A gang of meddling neighborhood do-gooders want to run her out of town. The vicious laundromat machines keep eating her spare change. Not to mention her buff Irish stalker who insists that he’s a Witch King and that it’s her royal destiny to be his Queen.

And to top it all off, strange things keep happening around Rosie when she least expects it…

She could deal with it all, but her ex won’t rest until he tracks her down. When her ability to protect her daughter is threatened, Rosie shows them all that nobody messes with the new witch on the block.

Practical Magic meets Bridget Jones’ Diary in this fun, heart-warming short novel about starting over, putting family first, and finding love when you least expect it.

Goodreads 

Purchase
Amazon Amazon CA  /  Amazon UKAmazon AU

About the author:
Author by day, Netflix connoisseur by night.

Louisa likes Pina Coladas and gettin’ caught in the rain. Determined to empty her brain of stories, she writes across several genres including fantasy, speculative fiction, contemporary and historical fiction, and romance.

She lives in Mandurah, Western Australia, and drinks more coffee than is good for her. When she’s not writing or researching projects, Louisa enjoys spending time with her family, and Harriet The Great (Dane). Hobbies include playing video games, watching copious amounts of tv, and various craft-related initiatives.

She strongly believes that the truth is still out there.

website  /  instagram  /  facebook  /  goodreads

GIVEAWAY

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#Thriller Thursday #Book Review of Left For Dead by Caroline Mitchell

A victim on display. A detective on the rails.

Shopping with her sister, DI Amy Winter is admiring a Valentine’s Day window display of a perfect bride encrusted in diamonds and resplendent in lace—until she notices blood oozing from the mannequin’s mouth.

This is no stunt. A post-mortem reveals the victim was left to die on her macabre throne for all to see. When a second victim is found, it emerges that both women were ‘Sugar Babes’ arranging dates with older men online—and Amy finds herself hunting an accomplished psychopath.

As she tracks down the killer, Amy’s instincts go into overdrive when the charismatic head of the agency behind the display makes no attempt to hide his fascination with her serial-killer parents. What exactly does he want from Amy? With her own world in freefall as her biological mother, Lillian Grimes, appeals her conviction, Amy pushes the boundaries of police procedure when a third ‘Sugar Babe’ disappears…Is she as much at risk as the killer’s victims?

****

My thoughts:

This is the third book in the DI Amy Winter series and my first book by Caroline Mitchell and …I’m hooked!


DI Winter has a lot of things on her plate. DCI Hazel Pike retires and is replaced by DCI Donovan. Once they shared a fleeting moment of understanding and camaraderie, but now Donovan is asked by the superiors to watch her every step and make sure she does things by the book. Amy is dealing with her father’s devastating dealth, frail health condition of her mother Flora and her biological mother Lillian Grimes’s court appeal. The public might see Amy as a serial killer hunter, ‘psychopath whisperer’, but the truth is a lot of her insight comes from growing up alongside unimaginable darkness of her parents’ horrible crimes.

On her shopping trip with her older sister Sally-Ann, Amy notices something off with the beautiful mannequin in the shop window. Amy’s instincts turn out to be right- the body of a drugged and tortured young woman was left there on public display for hours.


Thorough as usual, Amy has an interview with the owner of the company responsible for the display design. To Amy’s shock, this turns out to be one of the most bizarre and disturbing conversations she’s had. Amy is convinced she has her killer, but can she prove it? and can she save other young women from becoming victims of the Lover Heart Killer?

I loved the protagonist and the whole cast of secondary characters that were well-drawn. Amy’s personal life struggles do not take away from the main plot, but rather enhance it as the killer is obsessed with Amy’s biological parents and their crimes. I even learnt a new word from this book ‘hybristophilia’- an attraction for people who have committed really dark crimes. Amy herself needs to accept where she comes from and who she is.

The book is a compulsive page-turner with its tight plot and relentless pace. There is something about Caroline Mitchell’s writing style that keeps the reader’s attention engaged throughout the book.
I will go back and read the previous two books, because I want to get a bit more perspective on Amy’s family issues, but it is possible to start following the series from this one as well.

Thank you to NetGalley and Amazon Publishing UK for the ARC provided in exchange for an honest opinion.

#Book Review # A Springtime Heart by Marta Perry

A second chance at love blooms in the quaint Amish community of Promise Glen, from national bestselling author Marta Perry.

Dorcas Beiler’s reckless teenage years are far behind her. She’s serious and responsible now, and the good people of Promise Glen trust her with the education of their children. But when her first love returns after years of exile from the community, her past comes rushing back. Thomas is the only one who knows her secret, and despite his careless charm and teasing manner, she refuses to let her guard down.

Thomas Fisher has plans. Plans to start a construction company and prove himself a success to all those who doubted him, and plans to find the woman he left behind. His chance comes when he lands the opportunity to rebuild the stable and shed at the community school. He won’t be paid for his time, but he’ll be able to showcase his abilities…and spend time with Dorcas.

Scenting love in the air, Dorcas’s young pupils make excuses to bring them together. As old feelings stir, Dorcas and Thomas wonder whether their first love might also be their last.

(From the synopsis)

*****

My thoughts:

A second chance love is one of my favourite tropes in romance and Marta Perry does it brilliantly!

Dorcas Beiler is a serious and thoughtful teacher, dedicated to her scholars and their progress. She also has a secret she’s been keeping since her teenage years. When Thomas Fisher, minister Fisher’s son, comes back ome after having spent several years working alongside his uncle in a distant Amish community in Ohio, everybody is quick to remind Dorcas that they used to be great friends. They did and then something happened. One night, coming back from an Englisher party where teenagers drank alcohol and behaved wildly, Thomas got arrested by the police. Needless to say, his father was extremely disappointed and ashamed. Afraid that people will question his ability to provide parental guidance to his own children, he sent Thomas away. Now at his mother’s insistance, the prodigal son is back, but is his father ready to accept him? and how will his siblinngs and other inhabiatants of Promise Glen react to Thomas’s return?

Schoolchildren may think that Dorcas is an old maid. She did put on hold her life to be there for her mother and her brothers after their father’s death. Now her mother seems to be much stronger. However hard Dorcas is trying to be tactful and understanding with her sister-in-law Betsy, she can’t help thinking that Betsy is supposed to take a more active role in running the household. Perhaps she is a bit intimidated by her mother-in-law? There are also tender moments when Dorcas holds her little nephew and we get to see how much she would like a family of her own.

Somebody is spreading gossip in their little village of Promise Glen and this somebody is out there to close the school. Storms have damaged the building roof and the repairs will cost money, but surely the school board must see that the children are better off staying in their own village? Thomas has a brilliant solution: he will repair the damage for free and this work will allow him to showcase his construction skills and hopefully get employed by other people. This little project will also mean that he and Dorcas will see each other more. There is nothing untoward in their conversations, although not everybody in the village might see it the same way.

With secrets from the past, gossip, happy new mothers, misbehaving siblings that need a bit of friendly advice, and the long-awaited Mud Sale , Paradise Glen is a lively place and a great community full of interesting characters that are mindful of each other’s feelings and always willing to help out if necessary. Plus, there is a sweet romance between two former friends who have become more responsible and can appreciate each others steady trustworthy character much more.

I really enjoyed this story and I hope that Marta Perry continues adding new books to this series.

Thank you to Edelweiss and Berkley for the ARC provided in exchange for an honest opinion.

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