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Thursday, 17 January 2019

#TheManIFellInLoveWith @katehaswords

About The Man I Fell in Love With 

After twenty years of contented marriage, no one is more surprised than Mary Black when her husband announces he’s leaving her… for another man.

For the sake of the children, Mary has no choice but to pick herself up and start again. She hosts family meals that include Leo and his new partner. She copes with the kids wanting to spend less time with her and more time with their ‘fun’ dads. But one thing she can’t quite ignore is Leo’s gorgeous brother, who has just come back to town…

After living a life of sliding doors and missed opportunities, can Mary finally put herself first and take a chance that could change everything?

A wonderfully uplifting novel full of wisdom, spirit and charm. This is a love story with a difference, perfect for fans of Jill Mansell and Heidi Swain.

My review of The Man I Fell in Love With

The Man i Fell in Love With is a very beautiful, emotional and uplifting read. This book managed to break my heart and then slowly and gently placed it back together again.

Once I began to read I became fully immersed in Mary's story. I couldn't help but empathise with her. I too have been married for twenty years and I couldn't imagine what she must be going through. The fact that her husband, Leo, left  her for another man could have been her undoing. It could have destroyed her family. But what we find here is an unbelievably strong and stoic woman who will do anything for her family. Luckily, she has a good support network in the form of her mother-in-law (Audrey) who lives next doordoor, her own mother who lives in an extension in the garden and her best friend Daisy. I admired Mary and her strength. I admired that she realised her marriage was over and that Leo deserved to be happy.

But what about Mary? Mary is a wonderful mother, friend, daughter and daughter-in-law. But, what about Mary as a woman? I wanted Mary to be able to see that she too was deserving of love and that she too could have a meaningful and happy relationship. This is what is at the core of this book. One woman's search for her own identity as she begins her life again, and it is both breathtaking and beautiful to read this change that takes place.  

This is a love story with a difference, and it's one that I thoroughly enjoyed. It's uplifting, it's thought provoking and it made me smile. 

The Man I Fell in Love With is a  delightful and heartwarming story about love and belonging and that there is someone out there for everyone. It's a gorgeous, romantic read and I loved Mary and everything that she stood for. What this book shares is that sometimes love just finds a way, even in the most difficult of circumstances. It's a story about second chances. A feel good book that I could not put down. Loved it!

With thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the Advanced Reader Copy.

The Man I Fell in Love With is published on 7 Feb by Avon. 

Tuesday, 15 January 2019

#TheFlightOfCorneliaBlackwood @sewelliot

About The Flight of Cornelia Blackwood

What has happened to Cornelia Blackwood?
She has a loving marriage. But she has no friends.
Everyone knows her name. But no one will speak to her now.
Cornelia Blackwood has unravelled once before. Can she stop it from happening again?

From a supremely talented storyteller, The Flight of Cornelia Blackwood is a powerful novel of motherhood, loss and loneliness and how we can make damaging choices when pushed to our emotional edge. A paperback bestseller with her debut novel, The Things We Never Said, and nominated for an RNA Award in 2014, Susan Elliot Wright has written a truly important novel that explores the dark depths of psychosis with honesty and sensitivity.

My review of The Flight of Cornelia Blackwood

The Flight of Cornelia Blackwood is a story about motherhood. One that is not often told. The darker side. From the moment I met Leah (Cornelia) I instantly connected to her character and her story. I found myself fully immersed in what had happened to her and what was yet to come.

This is a beautifully written story. We  move backwards and forwards in time with ease. We learn about how Leah meets her husband and the path that then leads to now. We read her unravelling, and although uncomfortable reading, it is beautifully told. 

This is a tale about motherhood and about postpartum psychosis. A mental
health illness that I knew very little about. It was only after reading this book that I read more about this on the NHS website. Leah's  story highlights this mental health illness and this I feel can only be a good thing. This is what lies at the core of the story, a woman who was at risk and a woman who was ultimately let down by everyone.

This is a beautifully dark and consuming read. It's powerful, it's moving,  it made my heart heave.  It is also such a very brave book in tackling such a sensitive subject. I also feel that this is a book for women and for mothers, no matter what their past  experience of motherhood or birth. Sometimes their stories are not heard and this book gives them a voice. 

The last few lines will haunt me forever, as will this beautifully sad and poignant story about motherhood and loss. Written with sensitivity and warmth and compassion. 

With thanks to the publisher and Becky McCarthy for the Advanced Reader Copy 

The Flight of Cornelia Blackwood is published by Simon & Schuster UK as a  Paperback Original on 21 Feb.

Saturday, 12 January 2019

#DirtyLittleSecrets @SpainJoanne @QuercusBooks

About Dirty Little Secrets

Six neighbours, six secrets, six reasons to want Olive Collins dead.

In the exclusive gated community of Withered Vale, people's lives appear as perfect as their beautifully manicured lawns. Money, success, privilege - the residents have it all. Life is good.

There's just one problem.

Olive Collins' dead body has been rotting inside number four for the last three months. Her neighbours say they're shocked at the discovery but nobody thought to check on her when she vanished from sight.

The police start to ask questions and the seemingly flawless facade begins to crack. Because, when it comes to Olive's neighbours, it seems each of them has something to hide, something to lose and everything to gain from her death.

The new psychological thriller from the bestselling author of The Confession, perfect for fans of Liane Moriarty.

My review of Dirty Little Secrets

Oh my! When you pick up a book by Jo Spain you just know that you're in for a treat and Dirty Little Secrets is no exception. This psychological thriller kept me riveted from the opening pages with its disturbing, dark and sinister goings on.

Olive has been dead in her home for three months. That's the shocking truth at the heart of this story. In a gated community, where the neighbours all know each other, this is completely shocking. How was her death unnoticed for so long? This sets the tone for the entire story, that of feeling desperately sorry for this woman who lived and died alone. 

We are then introduced to the neighbours in turn, all of whom have their own stories and secrets to share, as does Olive.

Emma and Frank are the two detectives who have been drafted in to solve the case, and I loved these two characters, especially Frank. I had a soft spot for him. They are the people asking the difficult questions. Was Olive's death a tragic accident or was she murdered? It's a psychological tiller and a murder mystery all rolled into one as you don't find out until the final pages what actually happened.

Along the way I had my potential suspects named, but my thoughts kept shifting as more secrets were unearthed. All of the neighbours had their own reasons for disliking Olive and therefore all  were  potential suspects.

Olive is a victim. But, although a victim and I knew I should have felt empathy towards her, I didn't particularly like her. The neighbours are also a colourful bunch with flaws and likeability, just like us all. I enjoyed reading about their secrets and what they really thought about their lonely neighbour.

Dirty Little Secrets is a hugely enjoyable book that  tells the truths about human nature and what it means to live in such close proximity to others. It explores the need for privacy, how we communicate and interact with our neighbours and that nobody, no matter what the circumstances, should have to die alone.

Jo Spain has simply gone and done it again. This was a book that I simply could not put down. Then once I had finished reading I found myself thinking  about Olive. Such an amazing book and a highly addictive read.

With thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the Advanced Reader Copy. 

Dirty Little Secrets is published by Quercus on 7 Feb.

Wednesday, 9 January 2019

#RedSnow @willrdean @PtBlankBks

About Red Snow 

Red Snow is the eagerly awaited follow-up to Dark Pines, selected for ITV's Zoe Ball Book Club


One suicide. One cold-blooded murder. Are they connected? And who’s really pulling the strings in the small Swedish town of Gavrik?


Black Grimberg liquorice coins cover the murdered man's eyes. The hashtag #Ferryman starts to trend as local people stock up on ammunition.


Tuva Moodyson, deaf reporter at the local paper, has a fortnight to investigate the deaths before she starts her new job in the south. A blizzard moves in. Residents, already terrified, feel increasingly cut-off. Tuva must go deep inside the Grimberg factory to stop the killer before she leaves town for good. But who’s to say the Ferryman will let her go?

My review of Red Snow

Red Snow is Scandi-noir at its absolute best. I could not put this book down. I  devoured Dark Pines and its claustrophobic community of Gavrik. Reading Red Snow was like being reunited with friends. This is one addictive, dark and all consuming read. It's brilliant.

Once again we are introduced to Tuva Moodyson who is serving her last two weeks on the local paper before relocating to Malmo in the south. I adore Tuva and everything that she stands for. Independent, career minded and likeable, I instantly warmed to her. She is at the centre of this story investigating the sinister goings on at Grimberg liquorice factory. All I can say is that I am so glad that I don't like liquorice. 

Gavrik is a small, isolated town and it's difficult to keep secrets buried for long, and this town has lots. Tuva is determined to solve the mysteries that lie within the factory and the Grimberg family before she leaves.

This is a dark and disturbing read, even more so than Dark Pines, and I loved it. The liquorice is dark, the days are dark and the people who inhabit Gavrik seen to carry their own burdens and emotional baggage. Tuva included, and we learn so much more about this young woman's past and her relationship with her mother. 

Red Snow is a dark murder mysery,  with a twisty plot and an end that I honestly didn't see coming. It's an extraordinary book and one that I thoroughly enjoyed. I'll admit that I'm now a huge Will Dean fan and can't wait for book three in the series. 

With thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the Advanced Reader Copy.

 Red Snow is published on 
10 Jan Oneworld Publication

Monday, 7 January 2019

#TheHopesandDreamsofLucyBaker @JenniKeer

About The Hopes and Dreams of Lucy Baker

Meet Lucy, aged 25, and Brenda, aged 79. Neighbours, and unlikely friends.
Lucy Baker is not your usual 25-year-old. She is more at home reading and knitting in her cluttered little flat than going out partying and socialising.

79-year-old Brenda is full of wise and wonderful advice, but when she’s diagnosed with dementia her life begins to change. Before her memories slip away for ever, Brenda is desperate to fulfil one last wish – to see Lucy happy.

Gifting Lucy the locket that helped Brenda find her own true love, she hopes to push her reticent neighbour in the right direction. But is Lucy Baker ready for the opportunities and heartbreaks of the real world? It’s about time she put her knitting needles aside and found out…

The Hopes and Dreams of Lucy Baker will be the most charming, heart-warming and feel-good novel you will read this year, perfect for fans of Ruth Hogan and Gail Honeyman.

My review of The Hopes and Dreams of Lucy Baker

The Hopes and Dreams of Lucy Baker is a gorgeous read that I devoured in a few short sittings. It's full of romance, hope, love and friendship. I loved it!

The story revolves around Lucy Baker, a young woman who lives alone. She knits, works for a toy PR company, and although happy with her lot, she knows that she could achieve so much more if she was brave enough to take a chance on life. Lucy is hugely likeable and I wanted her to take that chance. 

Her neighbour, Brenda, also knows this truth and so much more. She wants Lucy to find her true love and gives her a locket, the one that helped her in the past. Now, I adored Brenda. An elderly woman with so much to give. I also thought that the dementia storyline was written with sensitivity and understanding. I found this an emotional read.

Then we have the romantic element in the form of George, the blunt and standoffish next door neighbour who just happens to be incredibly handsome. I warmed to him instantly and wanted to learn more about him and why he had moved to the street.

This is a gorgeous romantic read with so much heart. It's a warm hug of a book that can't help but make you feel better. I fell in love with all three of these characters and the story that entangled them. A lovely read. 

With thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the Advanced Reader Copy.

The Hopes and Dreams of Lucy Baker is published by Avon on 10th Jan. 

Friday, 14 December 2018

#TheSilentPatient @AlexMichaelides @orionbooks

About The Silent Patient 


Alicia Berenson writes a diary as a release, an outlet - and to prove to her beloved husband that everything is fine. She can't bear the thought of worrying Gabriel, or causing him pain.

Until, late one evening, Alicia shoots Gabriel five times and then never speaks another word.


Forensic psychotherapist Theo Faber is convinced he can successfully treat Alicia, where all others have failed. Obsessed with investigating her crime, his discoveries suggest Alicia's silence goes far deeper than he first thought.

And if she speaks, would he want to hear the truth?

My review of The Silent Patient 

The Silent Patient was an energising, shocking and addictive read. I kept telling myself, just five more minutes, but this inevitably stretched out to an hour. It's that good. I couldn't put it down.

This book works on so many different levels. It's a chilling thriller of a read, in that we do not know why Alicia shot her husband five times. This in itself is both shocking and disturbing, but as we read Alicia's diary and Theo's thoughts, we learn even more disturbing facts. I was on the edge of my seat as I was drawn deeper into this deeply disturbing tale.

We also have two engaging central characters. Alicia is the silent patient, but we learn about her from her diary entries and what is said about her by the doctors and other patients in the secure psychiatric hospital. Although her actions are unthinkable and barbaric, I felt great sympathy towards Alicia. I knew that I should not feel this way, as the woman we read of In the diary entries is a juxtaposition to the woman who killed her husband. I too, wanted to solve the mystery.

We then have Alex, the psychotherapist, 
and it was him that I found most interesting. He becomes obsessed with the case and making Alicia speak. He is convinced that he is the only one who can make her talk and this is his driving force. Here is a man with his own secrets and troubled past which influence his decisions today I found him most fascinating and the scenes between him and Alicia simply fizzed with tension and unease on the page. I found myself holding my breath. 

This is one disturbing and gripping read. Why did Alicia kill her husband? Did she kill her husband? Why will she not speak? I had so many theories that  came and went as I progressed through the book. And I was shocked as to what had really happened. The ending blew me away. 

The Silent Patient is a clever; unique and disturbing thriller. Believe the hype. This book is already huge.

With thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for providing a review copy. 

The Silent Patient is publushed by Orion on 7th Feb. 

Wednesday, 12 December 2018

#ThePromise @TeresaDriscoll #BookReview

About The Promise

The chilling new psychological thriller from the #1 bestselling author of I Am Watching You.

It was their darkest secret. Three schoolgirls made a promise – to take the horrible truth of what they did to the grave.

Thirty years later, Beth and Sally have tried to put the trauma behind them. Though Carol has distanced herself from her former friends, the three are adamant that the truth must never come to light, even if the memory still haunts them.

But when some shocking news threatens to unearth their dark secret, Beth enlists the help of private investigator Matthew Hill to help her and Sally reconnect with estranged Carol ­– before the terrible act they committed as teenagers is revealed.

Beth wishes she could take back the vow they made.

But somebody is watching and will stop at nothing to ensure the secret stays buried. Now, with her beloved family in peril, can Beth still keep the promise?

My review of The Promise

I thoroughly enjoyed this dark and brooding psychological thriller. The premise of a dark hidden secret and a promise to keep that secret between three schoolgirls instantly grabbed my attention. I needed to find out what had happened and how this  secret and the promise they made had impacted all of their lives.

The writing simmered with unease as I followed Beth's story. Now a married mum, it was evident on the page that her past and the shared secret still had an impact on her life today.

Throughout the story we catch glimpses of what happened in the past between Beth, Sally and Carol. But it's not until the very end that the truth is revealed and it did shock me. It is this secret that binds the story together and which made me race through the pages in my need to discover the truth.

I loved Beth. She's a likeable character and was very real to me. I found her relationship with Sally fascinating, learning how the two girls had bonded over this shared secret and whose relationship continued to grow through into adulthood. Beth's struggle to keep the secret at all costs, and to reconnect with Carol were completely understandable.

We then have the additional storyline involving Matthew, the private investigator,  who helps Beth and Sally in their search for Carol, knowing that there is far more to the story. I loved the interaction between these three characters and the fact that Matthew had his own secret.

The Promise is an unsettling and entertaining read. Packed with tension, dark secrets and a truth that will shock. The author tackles a sensitive subject with empathy and understanding.

If you love psychological thrillers with characters that you deeply care for and a griping plot, then you'll enjoy this book.

With thanks to the publisher for the Advanced Reader Copy  for review purposes.

The Promise is published by Thomas & Mercer on 7 Feb. 2019.