When I’m not writing, you’ll find me with a book or two on the go. I love finding a book to get lost in; the sort you just can’t put down. I always write reviews and place on Amazon because I know how important they are to the author and other buyers and I share good books on my Facebook and Twitter pages.
I read and review for net galley but I’ll only add my FAVOURITE reads from net galley onto this page when the books are due to be published. If you enjoy women’s fiction with a touch of romance or a thriller, you’ll find the best of my bunch listed and rated here.
Feb 2019 – out in March
Knowing Me – Samantha Tonge ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
I thoroughly enjoyed reading Violet’s story. I couldn’t put the novel down and felt for Violet and her struggles with friendships and men. It was a well written and realistic portrayal of the pressures that a woman can face in today’s society and it ended in a satisfying place although I was left wondering about how Violet would get on with her life. I haven’t read anything by Samantha Tonge before but I will certainly look out for her novels now. She writes with empathy and has an eye for detail and creates wonderful warm characters. A great read!
Tell me a Secret – Jane Fallon ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
A book full of lively characters that is difficult to put down. Jane Fallon has taken office politics to another level with this highly entertaining story about Holly, newly promoted into a managerial position, and the mystery colleague who is trying to sabotage her career. Holly thinks she knows who the culprit is but does she? It takes a lot of twists and turns with some dark moments and the help of her friends, Dee and Gavin, before Holly discovers the truth. The trouble is, will her boss believe her? As we live though Holly’s nightmare, we get to know her daughter, her lodger and her two closest friends as well as the office crew. I was keeping this for a holiday read but opened it and just had read it all!
First read of 2019
Christmas Secrets By The Sea – Jane Lovering ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
I am a fan of Jane Lovering and always enjoy her writing style, her humour and her quirky characters. This is another great read that warms your heart and entertains with great skill. The characters of Tansy, Davin and all of the people in the novel, along with the dogs, leap off the page and the author, as always, provides a good plot with an uplifting resolution. A wonderful read to cosy up with whether it’s Christmas or after. “Christmas Secrets by the Sea” is about the struggles of life and how love can win through. Loved it!
Best reads of 2018
The Wife Between Us
Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
I devoured this entertaining page turner in two days. I couldn’t wait to find out what happened next and whether there would be another twist. I can’t go into the plot because of ‘spoilers’ but I can tell you the characters are compelling and this is a tightly plotted thriller with no annoying loose ends. Every bit of back story is part of the journey and all is revealed in the end. Brilliant!
I Let You Go Clare Mackintosh ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
A thriller and police procedural with twists to keep me enthralled. I loved this book and stayed up late to finish it . It had mixed reviews and I was so glad to find that the characters and their actions were credible yet it was exciting. I bought this late in its day but well worth it and I’m now a fan of Clare. Glad there are more to read!
You Me Everything Catherine Isaac 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
Jess is bringing up William on her own but, to please her mother, she agrees to take him to France for his tenth summer to encourage his father to bond with him. Adam isn’t a hands on father and it seems the plan isn’t working. What can Jess do to bring about a change? Does she really want to? I warmed to Jess and enjoyed this novel about whehter to make single parenthood work or whether to rekindle a relationship and the friend and family dilemmas were woven into the story with skill to add to the whole novel. A great read.
The Perfectly Imperfect Woman by Milly Johnson 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
I enjoyed this perfectly delightful story of imperfect characters who were full of surprises and drew me into their village life. I’ve eaten several slices of cheesecake whilst reading it and would love to taste a sample of Marnie’s with its secret ingredient.. I raced through the book enjoying it’s twists and turns and ,I won’t include spoilers, but I loved the uplifting ending. Millie Johnson can tell a great story and her characters are always compelling and heartwarming.
The Man Who Didn’t Call by Rosie Walsh 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
Sarah is in her late thirties when she falls deeply in love and has a few perfect days with Eddie. They both know it is something special but then he doesn’t get in touch as he promised. She has been ‘ghosted’ yet she is sure their connection was genuine. What can have happened? Can she take heed of her friends’ advice to move on? Of course not! Sarah and Eddie involve us in their story of love, secrets, grief and dilemmas and have us rooting for a happy ending. Thanks to net galley for this copy.
Faking Friends – Jane Fallon ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Amy and Mel have been friends since
they were kids. Or have they? Is Mel capable of friendship? Does Amy make too many excuses for Mel?
This story is told mainly from Amy’s point of view with a few chapters given over to Mel which give insights into her selfish devious mind. It tells of a broken romance and a toxic friendship but shows how getting even with best friend Mel and her fiancé Jack is not as rewarding as Amy thinks it will be. Can Amy cut the ties with Mel, find freedom and find true friendship?
The dialogue sparkles, we see how Amy is attracted to the fun and lively side of Mel’s character so Mel is not a two dimensional ‘baddie’ and we meet other great characters such as Kat and Geoff. The plot twists and turns with an added love interest called Simon putting in an appearance to confuse the issue.
I was rooting for Amy to find a way out of the whole sorry mess she had landed in and loved the way she developed more backbone.
Another brilliant read from Jane Fallon.
Best reads of 2017
My Summer of Magic Moments Caroline Roberts 5⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
It is never too late for a romantic summer read and, as I was lucky enough to be in Spain during Octber, I took this along to read. I enjoyed Clare’s story immensely and, having experienced her cancer journey first hand, I like the way she moved on with her life.
When Clare takes a quiet break in the beautiful Northumberland coast she doesn’t expect to find a handsome hunk who enjoys skinny dipping at break of day as a neighbour. After a magical moment of dancing on the beach, do Ed and Clare fall for one another? True love never runs smoothly does it?
The Vanishing of Audrey Wilde Eve Chase ⭐⭐⭐⭐
An eerie story about a missing child is interwoven with two other stories of different timelines. Five years after Audrey Wilde vanishes, her cousins stay with her parents. Many years later, Jessie is enchanted by the house and wants to make it a family home for herself, her husband and daughter and her teenage stepdaughter Bella. What does Bella find out?
This is a beautifully written atmospheric novel and, at times, the plot drew me into the lives of the characters. I preferred the story of the sisters in the fifties to the present day story and this is unusual for me as I love contemporary fiction.
The Man I Thought you were Leah Mercer 5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
What makes a caring husband walk out and leave his wife, his job and his home? Anna doesn’t know but she’s determined to find out. Mark does not want Anna to find him but faces a difficult journey and a search of his own. This novel explores how well we really know our partners and their past history and reveals how secrets can return to haunt you as it tells the love story of Mark and Anna from both viewpoints. A sad yet uplifting novel full of engaging characters facing dilemmas and struggling to deal with them. I enjoyed reading this Leah Mercer novel as much as her first.
Last Seen Alive Claire Douglas 4 ⭐⭐⭐⭐
This one is for psychological thriller fans who like a page turner with twists right to the end. A well crafted tale where everything is not as it seems. When a couple decide to exchange properties and take a week long break in Cornwall what can go wrong? We become embroiled in Libby and Jamie’s story and, because their characters are well drawn we want to know more. It’s hard to say more without revealing parts of the plot.
The Break Marian Keyes ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
When Amy’s husband, Hugh, decides to take a six month sabbatical from their marriage it disrupts the entire family and the repercussions extend to Amy’s friends too. Amy finds that, in some ways, her whole life has changed but the stress of the daily grind remains the same. What brought their marriage to this point? Is Hugh the only one to blame for ruining their relationship? What is the impact on their three girls? How will Amy deal with the break and Hugh’s planned return? Can Amy love someone new? This is not just about Amy and Hugh and their relationship, the whole family of strong female characters, Amy’s colleagues and her friends play their own part in the drama. I have enjoyed all of Marian Keyes novels and find her characters live with you even when you put the book down. I’m sorry I’ve finished it.
When She Was Gone Lisa Jewell – 5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
I love Lisa Jewell’s writing and this lived up to all of my expectations. I highly recommend it without reservation.
Laurel, who has grieved for her missing seventeen year old daughter for years, goes through a turbulent time after a chance meeting with an attractive man in a cafe. As the story unfolds, we find out that things aren’t quite as they seem and Laurel may finally get the answers about her daughter, Ellie, she has been looking for.
Lisa explores the breakdown and the reformation of family relationships after a tragedy with insight and this draws the reader I into the family’s story. Laurel’s relationship with her daughter Hannah has been neglected and her marriage to Paul failed after her grief for Ellie, her golden girl, took centre stage in her life.
Floyd, a complex flawed character, is written with compassion. He is brilliant at Maths but struggles with relationships and we can see why he made the choices that result in a mess of tangled relationships. This novel springs surprises right to the end.
The Magic of Ramblings Kate Field 5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
I had to buy this when I saw that Kate had won the Joan Hessayon award for promising debut authors. I loved the setting of a Gothic old country house, the reclusive lady Frances who lived there and the way the community helped Cassie, who arrived to be Frances’ companion, to rebuild her self esteem and her life. The addition of a bearded doctor with a short fuse but kind eyes brought the perfect blend of tension and romance into the story . I’m sure you’ll love it and you’ll want to visit Ramblings .