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The Villa of Dreams by Lucy Coleman | Book Review Tour 

I am delighted to join the blog tour for The Villa of Dreams by Lucy Coleman today! My thanks to Rachel’s Random Resources for my stop and the review copy!

About the Book

The Villa of Dreams

‘Beautifully written, comforting and utterly uplifting, Lucy Coleman’s stories are the perfect tonic when life is a little grey.’ Holly Martin

Seren Maddison left behind a rainy Britain to follow her dreams and live and work in Lisbon. The vibrancy, the beautiful scenery and the sunshine, made her fall in love and she knew, instantly, that it would be her forever home.

International artist Reid Henderson has homes in Lisbon and London. Following his painful divorce, his dream is to turn his luxurious home into an art school and gallery.

When Seren and Reid first meet there is an instant attraction, but they are both people who have been hurt, and each have dreams that are so far apart, they aren’t even on the same page.

Can they enjoy one summer of happiness together, as life bestows a gift of memories to cherish for the rest of their lives? Or is their destiny to chart a path into the future, in a home where dreams can come true.

Seren and Reid may be about to discover that love is as much about what you are prepared to give up, as what you are prepared to keep hold of.

Let Lucy Coleman transport you away to sun-drenched Portugal where true love really can conquer all, and home is where the heart is. Perfect for all fans of Trisha Ashley, Holly Martin and Sue Moorcroft.

Buy The Villa of Dreams from Amazon UK here

My Thoughts

My first book by Lucy Coleman was warming, gratifying and highly entertaining, bringing absolutely no disappointments.

When Seren Maddison leaves drizzly Britain to move to sunny Lisbon in Portugal, she knows she has made the right decision and she has found her perfect place to settle. Following a work meeting with Reid Henderson, an artist, they click immediately but both are wary of becoming too involved because they have been hurt in previous relationships, and they have very different goals. Seren and Reid discover whether their time together is a happy summer holiday romance or some lessons in love.

With its realistic, brilliantly drawn characters this was such a lovely story and the perfect choice of novel as the weather has turned distinctly wintery already. Lucy Coleman’s tremendous writing and descriptions of Lisbon made me think I was there myself, in the pockets of Seren as she explored the heart of Almada. This author really knew how to set the scene, from the views to delicious sounding foods, art, architecture, and traditions, making The Villa of Dreams so great. I was totally swept along with the well- paced, delightful storyline. Moving to a new country can be a daunting experience for many and this came across very well. With a dominant theme of self-development and a will-they/won’t-they trope, The Villa of Dreams was a riveting, heartwarming read that really raised my spirits.

Romance readers who like to be transported to another country for some escapism will enjoy this one. Very highly recommended!

Thank you to Lucy Coleman, Boldwood Books, NetGalley and Rachel’s Random Resources for a complimentary copy of this novel at my request. This review is my own unbiased opinion.

Brianne’s Book Reviews Rating | Five Stars

About The Author

Lucy Coleman is a #1 bestselling romance writer, whose recent novels include Summer in Provence and Snowflakes over Holly Cove. She also writes under the name Linn B. Halton. She won the 2013 UK Festival of Romance: Innovation in Romantic Fiction award and lives in the Welsh Valleys. Keep up to date with Lucy via her  websiteTwitterFacebook, Instagram and Bookbub.

 

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Christmas at Moonshine Hollow by Angela Britnell | 5 Day Mini Blog Blitz and Book Review 

I am delighted to join the 5 Day Mini Blog Blitz for Christmas at Moonshine Hollow by Angela Britnell today! My thanks to Rachel’s Random Resources for my stop and the review copy!

About the Book

Christmas at Moonshine Hollow

Mistletoe and moonshine: a Christmas match made in heaven?
Moonshine Hollow’s famous ‘Lightning Flash’ might be an acquired taste, although the same could be said for moonshine distillery owner Cole Landon, what with his workaholic habits and ‘Scrooge’ tendencies when it comes to all things Christmassy.
But when Jenna Pendean from Cornwall pays a visit to Cole’s family-run distillery in Tennessee during the holiday season, will Cole’s cynicism about the existence of Christmas miracles be put to the test?

Buy Christmas at Moonshine Hollow: https://tinyurl.com/yyn5c56k

My Thoughts

This, my first book by Angela Britnell was a most rewarding experience! Jenna Pendean has travelled to Moonshine Hollow in Tennessee from Cornwall ostensibly for a holiday at Christmastime. The highlight of her visit is to be a family run distillery owned by the Landons, famous for a brew named Lightning Flash. Landon Hollow Distillery is run by Cole Landon IV who is well known for his hardworking ethos and scrooge-like tendencies. On a tour of the distillery Jenna meets Cole who’s acting as the tour guide during the busy festive period. This fabulous Yuletide story follows both Jenna and Cole.

The story has a very intriguing plotline as it hooked me in from the opening chapter. I really enjoyed reading about Jenna and her family and the situation arising from her Great Grandad, “Tucker” Richards’ lifetime with the Lightning Flash. The combination of an inquiring family and the allure of a small-town Christmas celebration created the perfect scenario for some stirring romance.

Cole was something of an acquired taste but he made this sterling tale all the more interesting in my view, and I warmed to him. I loved Cole and Jenna together, their spark and their banter, and right from the start the pair came across as a believable couple.

Christmas at Moonshine Hollow was a delicious cocktail of emotional romance and lighthearted Christmassy overtones. I immensely enjoyed this transatlantic romance, with everyone’s differing personalities and secrets. A quick read, there was a lot jammed into the pages with plenty of festive cheer, loads of sparkle and mistletoe if that’s your thing, though there was heartbreak, grief and forgiveness, too. A well deserved five stars!

Thank you to Angela Britnell, Choc Lit and Rachel’s Random Resources for a complimentary copy of this novel at my request. This review is my own unbiased opinion.

Brianne’s Book Reviews Rating | Five Stars

About The Author

Angela grew up in Cornwall, England and returns frequently from her new home in Nashville, Tennessee to visit family and friends, drink tea and eat far too many Cornish pasties!

A lifelong love of reading turned into a passion for writing contemporary romance and her novels are usually set in the many places she’s visited or lived on her extensive travels. Thanks to over three decades of marriage to her wonderful American husband she’s a huge fan of transatlantic romance and always makes sure her characters get their own happy-ever-after.

She is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, the Romance Writers of America and the Music City Romance Writers. Her first novel ‘Truth and Consequence’ was published in 2006 and she’s now had over 30 novels published internationally and several short stories in women’s magazines.

If you’d like to find out more of what Angela gets up to (Advance warning: this may include references to wine, dark chocolate, Poldark and the hunky Aidan Turner) check out www.angelabritnellromance.com or follow her on www.facebook.com/angelabritnell , www.twitter.com/angelabritnell and on Instagram as Angela Golley Britnell.

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The Tokyo Bicycle Bakery by Su Young Lee | Book Review Tour 

I am delighted to join the blog tour for The Tokyo Bicycle Bakery by Su Young Lee today! My thanks to Rachel’s Random Resources for my stop and the review copy!

About the Book

The Tokyo Bicycle Bakery

Fluttering cherry blossoms, gorgeous kimonos and sweet and sorrowful love.

For cake-loving college girl Hana, Japan was the romantic destination of her dreams. With boyfriend Jin, she planned an exciting new life in the hustle and bustle of Tokyo. But when she finally arrives after months of planning, Jin isn’t there. 

Hana is left broken-hearted on a rainy Tokyo street. Jin left no note. One day he just walked out of classes and disappeared. 

Hana begins her new life alone. Watching cherry blossoms fall into the Tokyo river. Working hard and delivering her lovely home-baked cakes by orange bicycle. Then she meets handsome young farmer Hikaru and glimpses a new way forward – in an alien place where she doesn’t know a soul.

The Tokyo Bicycle Bakery is a sweet romance with a hint of magic realism. It’s a perfect book to carry with you and read on holiday or weekends.

My Thoughts

The Tokyo Bicycle Bakery tells a lovely emotional story of love and life.

I adored Su Young Lee’s portrayal of Hana who, despite travelling to Tokyo to start a new life with the love of her life, Jin, and finding that he wasn’t there, was sunny, upbeat and nearly always positive. The plot was intriguing and the pacing was zippy and brisk. Hana searched for Jin but when she drew a blank she threw herself into her work, delivering her home-baked cakes by orange bicycle. She embarked on another journey, this time one of self-discovery and the reader was privy to her adventures as she met the locals, took language classes, and shared her love of baking. Everyone was keen to lend a hand and Hana harboured very little resentment towards Jin, even though he had let her down badly.

The time Hana spent at the guest house accommodation where she stayed and the shops and general locale all provided a wonderful backdrop for this sweet story. Working in a vegetable shop, Hana met the vegetable supplier’s son, Hikaru who was interested in organic farming. For me, though, the icing on the cake was definitely the mouthwatering and scrumptious sounding foodie references! There were so many that I kept on changing my mind as to which sounded the most appealing, but I eventually settled on the Toshikoshi soba (buckwheat noodles) and shrimp tempura. I also liked the sound of the warm bags of Taiyaki (fish-shaped pancakes) filled with chocolate custard.

The Tokyo Bicycle Bakery is not a standard romance, but it is offbeat, and magical and reading it was loads of fun!

Thank you to Su Young Lee and Rachel’s Random Resources for a complimentary copy of this novel at my request. This review is my own unbiased opinion.

Brianne’s Book Reviews Rating | Five Stars

About The Author

Su Young Lee is a Korean romance author who lived in Tokyo, Japan for 10 years and now lives in London, England with her husband and two lovely cats. 

Su works in academic publishing and loves baking, playing piano and working on her calligraphy.

Check her blog here. 
https://suyoungleesblog.wordpress.com

Buy: The Tokyo Bicycle Bakery

 Amazon US here / Amazon UK here

 

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What If? by Shari Low | Book Review Tour 

I am delighted to join the blog tour for What If? by Shari Low today! My thanks to Rachel’s Random Resources for my stop and the review copy!

About the Book

What If?

The book that started it all! A classic retro romcom from #1 bestselling author Shari Low.

1999.
Carly Cooper is 30, single, and after coming close to saying ‘I Do’ to six different men, she’s wondering if she accidentally said ‘goodbye’ to Mr Right.

But there is a problem.

Her ex-boyfriends are scattered all over the world and Carly lives in 1999; an era before Facebook, Google, smartphones, 4G and Broadband, when it was impossible to track people down with a few clicks of a mouse.

On a mission to discover if she walked away from her ‘happy ever after’, Carly quits her job, her flat, her whole life and sets off on a quest to track down all the men she has ever loved.

Her Mr Right is out there, but can she find him?

And what if he’s moved on from the ex-girlfriend who said goodbye? A wonderful classic 20th-anniversary re-release.

My Thoughts

Carly Cooper is 3o, single, and is currently living in Richmond, London where she is earning a living as an Accounts Manager for a tissue paper product company, but she doesn’t like her job. She loves her nights out with the girls and thinks she has already met her ideal man, ‘the one’, having been engaged on five, nearly six, occasions. Now, Carly feels that one of the men that got away might have been perfect for her, but which one? However, there is another problem – the chaps are scattered across the world, thus, Carly gives up her job and embarks on a mission to track them all down…

I’m so pleased that I chose to read this new edition of Shari Low’s first novel What If? Set in the 90s, this romance was reminiscent of the days before the explosion of social media, smartphones, and Google. The first part of the book is mostly concerned with Carly’s romantic mishaps, told through flashbacks which I found highly entertaining. The second part followed Carly as she tracked down all of her exes to see if she ought to have left them. I loved Shari Low’s characterisation, particularly of Carly herself, who was confident, independent, witty, and outgoing. Her loyal, eccentric friends were a large feature of the story and I also liked that chapters included a reference to a song from the era.

This was a nostalgic, delightful, and funny story that saw a younger Carly fall in and out of love with a succession of young fellows. Her experiences involved a lot of boozing, and her searches took her from Glasgow to Hong Kong, and others in-between.

A sequel is coming in early 2021 called What Now? and I am very much looking forward to being with Carly again.

Thank you to Shari Low, Boldwood Books and NetGalley for a complimentary copy of this novel at my request. This review is my own unbiased opinion.

Brianne’s Book Reviews Rating | Five Stars

About The Author

Shari Low is the #1 bestselling author of over 25 novels, including One Day In Summer and My One Month Marriage and a collection of parenthood memories called Because Mummy Said So. She lives near Glasgow.

Follow Shari :

Newsletter sign up:  http://bit.ly/ShariLowNewsletter

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/sharilowbooks/

Website – http://www.sharilow.com

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/sharilowbooks/

Twitter @ https://twitter.com/sharilow

Buy What If?

Amazon UK  

 

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What She Saw by Diane Saxon | Blog Tour | Book Review 

I am delighted to join the blog tour for What She Saw by Diane Saxon today! My thanks to Rachel’s Random Resources for my stop and the review copy!

What She Saw by Diane Saxon 

Publication Date: September 22, 2020

Publisher: Boldwood Books

ISBN: 9781838892685

My rating: 5/5

🖤 🖤 🖤 🖤 🖤

Book Summary

‘An addictive 5* read that kept me guessing. Diane Saxon’s DS Jenna Morgan series is brilliant’ – bestselling author, Ross Greenwood.

Perfect for fans of Cara Hunter
Why does someone want the Lawrence family dead?

The Lawrence’s were the perfect family; successful, beautiful, and happy until one night their whole world was ripped apart. 
Detective Sergeant Jenna Morgan is called to investigate the suspected arson attack and death of the Lawrence family at the charred remains of their stunning home, Kimble Hall.
The case takes a sinister turn as the body count fails to tally.
Suspecting that someone may have survived the inferno, DS Morgan and her team need to discover whether they have a witness, or someone far more dangerous.
Who set the fire? Who wanted this family extinguished beyond recognition?
As the case progresses, DS Morgan realises she has a calculating, cold-blooded killer on her hands, and the race is on to track them down before they kill again.

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I Thought…

What She Saw is the third instalment in the Detective Sergeant Jenna Morgan series, set in Shropshire, England. Even though I have yet to read the first two books, I jumped at the chance to read this one, and I’m so pleased I did!

The story opens with teenager, Poppy, lying on her bedroom floor along with her dead boyfriend, Aiden, looking at her father who has just shot them. As Poppy plays dead, her father continues his mission to kill the rest of the Lawrence family before setting fire to their home – Kimble Hall.

This exciting start set the tone for the whole book and I was totally hooked. DS Jenna Morgan lives with her sister, Fliss, who is currently dating Jenna’s work partner, DS Mason Ellis. As Jenna and Mason investigate, Diane Saxon strikes a great balance between the crimes and Jenna’s personal life and both are compelling to read. This captivating police procedural is very well plotted and paced and I found Jenna to be a likeable protagonist, though she was certainly not perfect.

With numerous twists and good use of misdirection throughout, What She Saw held my interest. As the tension levels peaked, the shocking revelations left me reeling. A magnificent very highly recommended read.

Thank you to Diane Saxon, Boldwood Books, Rachel’s Random Resources and NetGalley for a complimentary copy of this novel at my request. This review is my own unbiased opinion. 

About the Author:

Diane Saxon previously wrote romantic fiction for the US market but has now turned to writing psychological crime. Find Her Alive was her first novel in this genre and introduced series character DS Jemma Morgan. She is married to a retired policeman and lives in Shropshire.

Social Links: Author WebsiteTwitter * Instagram * Facebook * Goodreads * Pinterest * Bookbub * Newsletter sign up 

Purchase at: Amazon 

Until Next Time, 

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Starry Skies Over The Chocolate Pot Café by Jessica Redland | Book Review Tour 

I am delighted to join the blog tour for Starry Skies Over The Chocolate Pot Café by Jessica Redland today! My thanks to Rachel’s Random Resources for my stop and the review copy!

About the Book

Starry Skies Over The Chocolate Pot Café
 
Cosy up with a mug of hot chocolate for some festive sparkle from bestseller Jessica Redland.

Everyone is getting into the festive spirit on Castle Street – snow is falling, fairy lights are glistening and Christmas shopping is underway.

But for Tara Porter, owner of thriving cafe, The Chocolate Pot, this is the most difficult time of the year. From the outside, Tara is a successful businesswoman and pillar of the community. Behind closed doors, she is lonely.

With a lifetime of secrets weighing on her shoulders, she has retreated from all friends, family and romance, and shut her real self away from the world. After all, if you don’t let them in, they can’t hurt you. She’s learnt that the hard way.

But as the weight of her past becomes heavier and an unexpected new neighbour moves onto the street – threatening the future of her cafe – Tara begins to realise that maybe it’s time to finally let people back in and confront her history. It could just change her life forever…

Starry Skies Over The Chocolate Pot Café was originally released as Christmas at The Chocolate Pot Café. Now re-released with a new title and new cover, this version has been freshly edited and features several new chapters.

My Thoughts

Tara Porter is the owner the Chocolate Pot Café in Castle Street located in the North Yorkshire seaside town of Whitsborough. I met her in another Whitsborough Bay book, Christmas at Carly’s Cupcakes. Starry Skies Over The Chocolate Pot Café is complete in itself, and you don’t need to have read any of the others in the series to enjoy it.

The Chocolate Pot Café is always busy as it’s very popular and also does extremely well at Christmastime. However, Tara finds the festive period something of a struggle as it sees the return of painful memories – she split from her family on Christmas Day and married her ex husband, Garth Tewkesbury on New Year’s Eve. This year, the Café is the venue for wedding and engagement party, so Tara is going to be rushed off her feet, though she will spend Christmas day itself with her giant house rabbit, Hercules, for company. Adding to her difficulties and woes, Jed Ferguson, the former owner of the building that now houses her Café, is back in town…

I easily warmed to Tara who had a sad and harrowing past. She was reluctant to let people into her life as a result of previous hurts and humiliations, thus spending the last fourteen years practically living as a recluse with only Hercules for companionship, unwilling as she was to emotionally engage with others except whilst working in her Café.

I adored the charming setting of Castle Street in the North Yorkshire seaside town of Whitsborough Bay, especially as I have lived near the area myself. Tara’s Chocolate Pot Café was one of a group of shops on the street and the proprietors of them all complemented this delightful story. Jessica Redland’s descriptions were perfect and I dreamt of walking down the cobbles and popping into the various shops located there.

The Christmas theme was extremely enchanting with it’s festive allure and the story’s overall tone was mostly snug and magical, bringing with it all that delicious chocolatey goodness and sweet, heady aromas. Along with the pleasing characters, dashes of a smouldering romance and an abundance of scrummy sounding treats, there were also some quite dark and shady parts, heart breaking incidents, and touching moments. All in all, Starry Skies Over The Chocolate Pot Café is a lovely, heartwarming, as well as an emotional novel that I have no hesitation in recommending. I look forward to reading more from Jessica Redland.

Thank you to Jessica Redland, Boldwood Books and NetGalley for a complimentary copy of this novel at my request. This review is my own unbiased opinion.

Brianne’s Book Reviews Rating | Five Stars

About The Author

Jessica Redland is the author of nine novels, including The Secret to Happiness, which are all set around the fictional location of Whitsborough Bay. Inspired by her hometown of Scarborough she writes uplifting women’s fiction which has garnered many devoted fans.

Follow Jessica : Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | Website | Blog | Bookbub Mailing list sign up 

Buy Starry Skies Over The Chocolate Pot Cafe

Amazon UK  

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When I Was You by Amber Garza | Blog Tour | Book Review 

Thank you to the publisher, Harlequin Trade Publishing/ MIRA Books, for inviting me to be a part of this exciting Blog Tour for When I Was You by Amber Garza, and for the eARC of this title via NetGalley.

When I Was You by Amber Garza

Publication Date: August 25, 2020

Publisher: MIRA Books

ISBN: 9780778361046

My rating: 5/5

🖤 🖤 🖤 🖤 🖤

Book Summary

YOU meets FATAL ATTRACTION in this up-all-night psychological thriller about a lonely empty-nester’s growing obsession with a young mother who shares her name.

It all begins on an ordinary fall morning, when Kelly Medina gets a call from her son’s pediatrician to confirm her upcoming “well-baby” appointment. It’s a cruel mistake; her son left for college a year ago, and Kelly has never felt so alone. The receptionist quickly apologizes: there’s another mother in town named Kelly Medina, and she must have gotten their numbers switched.

But Kelly can’t stop thinking about the woman who shares her name. Lives in her same town. Has a son she can still hold, and her whole life ahead of her. She can’t help looking for her: at the grocery store, at the gym, on social media. When Kelly just happens to bump into the single mother outside that pediatrician’s office, it’s simple curiosity getting the better of her.

Their unlikely friendship brings Kelly a renewed sense of purpose, taking care of this young woman and her adorable baby boy. But that friendship quickly turns to obsession, and when one Kelly disappears, well, the other one may know why.

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I Thought…

There are two women named Kelly Medina living in the town of Folsom. The older Kelly is married to Rafael who is a Professor and they have a son, Aaron, aged 19 and at college. One day she takes a call from the paediatrician’s office about her son’s appointment. It soon becomes apparent that an error has been made and the two Kelly Medinas have been mixed up. But the older Kelly, with time on her hands now that Aaron has left home, decides to turn up for the younger Kelly’s appointment and the two women’s stories follow.

I devoured When I Was You and I flew through its pages, fully immersed in the obsessiveness of the older Kelly Medina and her fixation on the young mother and her baby, Sullivan. Her determination to befriend baby Sullivan’s mother and wriggle her way into their lives was shocking, but believable. With Amber Garza‘s excellent execution, the frequent surprises, alongside an extremely chilling atmosphere, events really turned disturbing in the second half. Written with precisely the right amount of drive resulting in a powerful, and engaging tale, When I Was You was an absolute pleasure to read.

This is the first novel I have read by Amber Garza and I am excited to see what she compiles next. For me, a fabulous, standout novel.

 A special thank you to MIRA Books, the author, and NetGalley for a complimentary copy of this novel at my request. This review is my unbiased opinion.

About the Author:

Amber Garza has had a passion for the written word since she was a child making books out of notebook paper and staples. Her hobbies include reading and singing. Coffee and wine are her drinks of choice (not necessarily in that order). She writes while blaring music, and talks about her characters like they’re real people. She lives with her husband and two kids in Folsom, California, which is—no joke—home to another Amber Garza.

Social Links: Author WebsiteTwitter * Instagram * Facebook * Goodreads

Purchase at:  HarlequinIndieboundAmazonBarnes & NobleBooks-A-Million / TargetWalmart / Google / iBooks / Kobo

Until Next Time, 

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Someone’s Listening by Seraphina Nova Glass | Blog Tour | Book Review 

Thank you to the publisher, Harlequin Trade Publishing/ Graydon House Books, for inviting me to be a part of this exciting Blog Tour for Someone’s Listening by Seraphina Nova Glass, and for the eARC of this title via NetGalley.

Someone’s Listening by Seraphina Nova Glass

Publication Date: July 28, 2020

Publisher: Graydon House Books

ISBN: 9781525836749

My rating: 5/5

🖤 🖤 🖤 🖤 🖤

Book Summary

You’re not alone. Someone’s waiting. Someone’s watching…Someone’s listening.

 In SOMEONE’S LISTENING (Graydon House Books; July 28; $16.99) Dr. Faith Finley has everything she’s ever wanted: she’s a renowned psychologist, a radio personality—host of the wildly popular “Someone’s Listening with Dr. Faith Finley”—and a soon-to-be bestselling author. She’s young, beautiful, and married to the perfect man, Liam.

Of course Liam was at Faith’s book launch with her. But after her car crashes on the way home and she’s pulled from the wreckage, nobody can confirm that Liam was with her at the party. The police claim she was alone in car, and they don’t believe her when she says otherwise. Perhaps that’s understandable, given the horrible thing Faith was accused of doing a few weeks ago.

 And then the notes start arriving—the ones literally ripped from the pages of Faith’s own self-help book on leaving an abusive relationship. Ones like “Secure your new home. Consider new window and door locks, an alarm system, and steel doors…”

Where is Liam? Is his disappearance connected to the scandal that ruined Faith’s life? Who is sending the notes? Faith’s very life will depend on finding the answers.

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I Thought…

Someone’s Listening is an extremely suspenseful story and kicks off with a tantalising prologue. The reader is first introduced to Faith Finley, a talented psychologist with a flourishing career, a bestselling author and the host of a popular local radio program, Someone’s Listening. One icy winter’s night she is travelling home from a book launch party, then wakes up in hospital having been in a car crash. Happily married Faith asks for her husband Liam, but he appears to have vanished… into thin air. The police aren’t listening to Faith’s concerns, but then she starts receiving threatening messages.

This compelling début had me hooked from the very first paragraph, and Faith made a very good, if unreliable protagonist. In this chaotic whirl of lies and duplicity, the abundant wicked twists and turns kept me guessing from the start. The complex characters and arresting dialogue helped to make Someone’s Listening a riveting read. For me, the cherry topping was the obvious ability of Seraphina Nova Glass as she probed ever deeper into the psyches of her characters, creating some fascinating, though alarmingly troubled souls. I read it in one day and was left dumbfounded after the astounding, fast-paced conclusion. Very highly recommended to fans of the genre.

 A special thank you to Graydon House Books, the author, and NetGalley for a complimentary copy of this novel at my request. This review is my unbiased opinion.

About the Author:

Seraphina Nova Glass is a professor and Playwright-in-Residence at the University of Texas-Arlington, where she teaches Film Studies and Playwriting. She holds an MFA in playwriting from Smith College, and has optioned multiple screenplays to Hallmark and Lifetime. Someone’s Listening is her first novel.

Social Links: Author WebsiteTwitter * Instagram * Facebook * Goodreads

Purchase atHarlequin / Barnes & Noble / Books-A-Million / Amazon / Powell’s 

Until Next Time, 

Birdie & Jude by Phyllis H. Moore | Blog Tour 

@phyllishmoore @rararesources #Birdie&Jude

I am delighted to join the blog tour for Birdie & Jude by Phyllis H. Moore today! My thanks to Rachel Gilbey at Rachel’s Random Resources for the chance to join and the wonderful review copy!

Book Summary

A moving novel of loss, regret, denial, and discovery on Galveston Island, from the author of Opal’s Story and The Ember Months.

Birdie has lived to regret many of her decisions, but she doesn’t regret offering a stranger, Jude, shelter from an approaching hurricane. Their serendipitous meeting will form a bond that will change their lives forever.

In a character driven story with memories of the protests and inequality plaguing the 1960’s, Birdie’s reached middle age and questions her life. Jude is striking out on her own, but has been derailed by a fatal accident claiming her only friend. Although their backgrounds and lives are vastly different, they recognize something in the other that forges a friendship.

As their relationship solidifies, they share glimpses of their pasts. Birdie is a product of the ’60’s, an aging hippie, with a series of resentments. She had a sheltered childhood in an upper class family. Her parents longed to see her make the Texas Dip at the Mardi Gras ball. Jude, however, entered foster care as an infant. Her parents, victims of a murder/suicide, left her and her siblings orphaned and separated.

There is something about their connection that strikes Birdie as familiar. Can souls know each other in different lives? Birdie struggles with the awareness that she has had regrets and hasn’t lived an authentic life, while Jude faces an uncomfortable truth about her own. It has all the feels.

Purchase Links

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07BLMR63Y

US – https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07BLMR63Y

I Thought…

Birdie and Jude was a lovely though emotional and heartbreaking story about two women who meet by chance on the beach just before the arrival of a hurricane. What followed was an incredibly moving novel about the difficulties each of them has had to face in life and how these events have shaped them, as well as an exploration of their new found friendship since their meeting.

Written in alternating chapters, I loved Phyllis H. Moore’s writing style which was very easy to read. Both characters were well portrayed and very engaging but I felt more of an affinity with Birdie than with Jude. I understood Birdie more whereas there were times throughout the book that I found myself doubting Jude and certainly there was more of a mystery about her. This feeling continued until all became clear towards the end.

The book dealt with some difficult subjects with sympathy and clarity, but never diminishing their importance. It briefly touched on issues of sexuality, racial prejudice, inequality, self-doubt and loss among others. The author’s exquisite writing had me in tears, in parts, but there were also humorous moments to balance these.

I was engrossed in the story-line right until the fulfilling, though bitter-sweet ending which was something of a surprise, although all of the clues were there. This was a wonderful page-turner with a real warmth to it. I highly recommend this very worthwhile read.

I received a complimentary copy of this novel at my own request. This review is my own unbiased opinion.

Brianne’s Book Reviews Rating | Five Stars

About The Author

Author Bio – Phyllis H. Moore wants to live life experiences more than once: doing it, writing about it, and reading about it. The atmosphere of the south draws her in and repels her. The characters are rich with dysfunction and redemption, real. She’s had two careers and two retirements.

 Both careers gave her inspiration for her novels: The Sabine Series, Sabine, Billy’s Story,  Josephine’s Journals and Secrets of Dunn House, Opal’s Story, Tangled, a Southern Gothic Yarn, and The Bright Shawl, Colors of Tender Whispers, The Ember Months, Birdie & Jude, and an anthology of spooky short stories inspired by real places and events, The Bridge on Jackson Road. In 2018 she also released a new genre for her, A Dickens of a Crime, a Meg Miller Cozy Mystery. She has authored one nonfiction book, Retirement, Now What? Phyllis has been published by Caffeinated Press in the anthology, Brewed Awakenings 2, Fifteen Tales to Jolt Your Mind Awake. She blogs on her web site http://www.phyllishmoore.com. Follow her on Pinterest and Facebook.

Phyllis is a retired social worker and former owner/operator of a small bed and breakfast. She’s lived in the rural areas and cities of south Texas. She currently lives on Galveston Island with her husband, Richard.

 Social Media Links – https://www.facebook.com/phyllishmooreAuthor/

https://www.pinterest.com/corazone/

http://www.phyllishmoore.com

@phyllishmoore


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A Modern Family by Helga Flatland | Blog Tour 

@helgaflatland @orendabooks @annecater @randomthingstours
#amodernfamily

I am delighted to join the blog tour for A Modern Family by Helga Flatland today! My thanks to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for the invitation to join and the wonderful review copy received from Orenda Books!

Book Summary

When Liv, Ellen and Håkon, along with their partners and children, arrive in Rome to celebrate their father’s seventieth birthday, a quiet earthquake occurs: their parents have decided to divorce.

Shocked and disbelieving, the siblings try to come to terms with their parents’ decision as it echoes through the homes they have built for themselves, and forces them to reconstruct the shared narrative of their childhood and family history.

A bittersweet novel of regret, relationships and rare psychological insights, A Modern Family encourages us to look at the people closest to us a little more carefully, and ultimately reveals that it’s never too late for change…

Pub date: 21 June 2019 * Paperback * Price: £8.99 * ISBN 978-1-912374-45-8

Click here to buy A Modern Family from Amazon UK now

I Thought…

This book is a beautifully written and very deep exploration into the thoughts and feelings of a family, following the split of a married couple who are divorcing after forty years of marriage.

Like many others, I am currently fascinated by Scandinavian novels and it was a refreshing change to read one that wasn’t crime based.

Helga Flatland’s skills as an author were second to none. A Modern Family was written from the perspectives of three family members, Liv, Ellen and Hakon. These three were the offspring of Sverre and Torill, the aged parents who have had some time to get used to their life-changing decision to split. When they make their announcement to their family, all are shocked.

Liv is the oldest sibling with Ellen as the middle child and the youngest is Hakon. Helga Flatland examines the fallout from the announcement with intelligence and sophistication. The author has an extremely intense writing-style which I found was very befitting to the story.

The complex relationships that exist between siblings, mothers and daughters and fathers and their children were wonderfully and intricately examined and the power of this book was brilliantly executed so that, at times, it took my breath away.

A Modern Family was so incredibly moving and absorbing and for me it is a possible contender for my best books of the year.

I received a complimentary digital copy of this novel, at my own request, from Orenda Books via Random Things Tours. This review is my own unbiased opinion.

Brianne’s Book Reviews Rating | Five Stars

🖤 🖤 🖤 🖤 🖤

About The Author

Helga Flatland is already one of Norway’s most awarded and widely read authors. Born in Telemark, Norway, in 1984, she made her literary debut in 2010 with the novel Stay If You Can, Leave If You Must, for which she was awarded the Tarjei Vesaas’ First Book Prize.

She has written four novels and a children’s book and has won several other literary awards. Her fifth novel, A Modern Family, was published to wide acclaim in Norway in August 2017, and was a number-one bestseller. The rights have subsequently been sold across Europe and the novel has sold more than 100,000 copies.


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Until Next Time,