Featured

Dark Days for the Tobacco Girls by Lizzie Lane | Book Review & Blog Tour 

I am delighted to join the blog tour for Dark Days for the Tobacco Girls by Lizzie Lane today! My thanks to Rachel’s Random Resources for my stop and the review copy!

About the Book

Dark Days for the Tobacco Girls

Nothing will stop the The Tobacco Girls, not even war…

BRISTOL 1940.

The Tobacco Girls cling together as they realise that the clouds of war are turning dark, the world is becoming more dangerous and their lives more unpredictable. 

Bridget Milligan’s big, happy family fragments when her siblings are evacuated to North Devon, then a letter from America further fills her with dismay.

Maisie Miles safe haven from both Eddie Bridgeman and her father is jeopardised and she is forced to move on, but where too this time? 

Phyllis Mason is struck down by tragedy and her life spirals downwards into despair until a new horizons beckons, but also perhaps great danger…

Regardless of the rationing, shortages and an ever-worsening situation, The Tobacco Girls all pull together and hope for better days to come.

Buy Dark Days for the Tobacco Girls from Amazon UK here

My Thoughts

Set in 1940s wartime Bristol with peeks at North Devon, the reader dips into the lives of three young women. This is the second book in the series and though I have yet to read the first, The Tobacco Girls, I still enjoyed this story a great deal. Lizzie Lane includes occasional reminders here and there as to what happened to the young women previously, so I didn’t feel particularly lost or at sea. The women are Bridget Milligan, Maisie Miles and Phyllis Mason, known as the Three Ms. Bridget and Maisie are working at the W. D. & H. O. Wills tobacco factory whilst Phyllis, recently married, is expecting a baby. Robert Harvey, Phyllis’s husband works away and Phyllis lives in his family’s home, with her domineering, unpleasant mother-in-law. Bridget is part of a large family and her six siblings are evacuated to North Devon. Bridget hopes every day that her American beau, Lyndon O’Neill remembers her and has written. Maisie who is the youngest of the Three Ms, works at the Llandoger Trow pub as well as the tobacco factory and for her, life is reasonably good, until she finds herself looking over her shoulder when her stepfather, Frank is released from prison.

In Dark Days for the Tobacco Girls, readers get to see the effects of the horrors of war such as food rationing, bombings and buildings crumbling, through the author’s terrifically evocative writing. There are dashes of delight scattered throughout the tale as well, in terms of treasured friendship, support and love. An atmospheric, heartwarming but also heartbreaking read with a tantalising ending, I now find myself desperate to catch up with book one as well as wondering what’s in store for the Three Ms in the third instalment.

Thank you to Lizzie Lane, 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

Lizzie Lane is the author of over 50 books, a number of which have been bestsellers.  She was born and bred in Bristol where many of her family worked in the cigarette and cigar factories.  This has inspired her new saga series for Boldwood The Tobacco Girls, the first part of which will be published in January 2021. Keep up to date with Lizzie via her Newsletter, TwitterFacebook, Instagram and Bookbub.

Don’t forget the other stops on the tour!

Until Next Time, 

Featured

Local Woman Missing by Mary Kubica | Blog Tour | Book Review 

Thank you to the publisher, Harlequin Trade Publishing/ Park Row, for inviting me to be a part of this exciting Blog Tour for Local Woman Missing by Mary Kubica, and for the eARC of this title via NetGalley.

Local Woman Missing

Mary Kubica

On Sale Date: May 18, 2021

9780778389446, 0778389448

Hardcover

$27.99 USD, $34.99 CAD

Fiction / Thrillers / Psychological

352 pages

My rating: 5/5

🖤 🖤 🖤 🖤 🖤

Book Summary

People don’t just disappear without a trace…
Shelby Tebow is the first to go missing. Not long after, Meredith Dickey and her six-year-old daughter, Delilah, vanish just blocks away from where Shelby was last seen, striking fear into their once-peaceful community. Are these incidents connected? After an elusive search that yields more questions than answers, the case eventually goes cold.
Now, eleven years later, Delilah shockingly returns. Everyone wants to know what happened to her, but no one is prepared for what they’ll find…
In this smart and chilling thriller, master of suspense and New York Times bestselling author Mary Kubica takes domestic secrets to a whole new level, showing that some people will stop at nothing to keep the truth buried.

🔪🔪🔪🔪🔪🔪🔪🔪🔪🔪🔪🔪🔪🔪🔪🔪🔪🔪🔪🔪🔪🔪🔪🔪🔪

I Thought…

Local Woman Missing is another cracking thriller by Mary Kubica. This is my second novel by this bestseller author though I have had a few of her other books on my e-reader for quite some time, specifically, When the Lights Go Out, and Every Last Lie.

Local Woman Missing sees Shelby Tebow vanish, shortly followed by Meredith Dickey and her six-year-old daughter Delilah. When Delilah returns to the quiet Chicago neighbourhood eleven years later her family and the local community start to ask searching questions.

This thriller, with its mesmerising readability, is told from different perspectives; those of Delilah, Meredith, Kate, who is a neighbour of Meredith, and Leo, who is Meredith’s son. Some viewpoints are from the past and others are in the present. Meredith is a doula and yoga teacher and when she disappears Kate is hit hard by her absence and decides to look into Meredith and Delilah’s vanishing. Leo is struggling to believe that is his sister has returned as she is nothing like she was eleven years ago, and Leo is slow to trust that Delilah is his sister.

Mary Kubica’s novel follows a very intriguing, multi-layered story. Dark and chilling it is creative, inspired and the writing is flawless. Gripped by the perfect plotting and pacing, I found the suspense riveting. The author’s writing style is impressive and noteworthy and she is a gifted storyteller who can provide readers with thrills, sophistication and a story packed with substance. I like the way the story evolved, and for me, Local Woman Missing is a very highly recommended read that will be of interest to many readers.

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

About the Author:

Mary Kubica is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of six novels, including THE GOOD GIRL, PRETTY BABY, DON’T YOU CRY, EVERY LAST LIE, WHEN THE LIGHTS GO OUT, and THE OTHER MRS. A former high school history teacher, Mary holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, in History and American Literature. She lives outside of Chicago with her husband and two children. Her last novel THE OTHER MRS. was an instant New York Times bestseller; is coming soon to Netflix; was a LibraryReads pick for February 2020; praised by the New York Times; and highly recommended by Entertainment Weekly, People, The Week, Marie Claire, Bustle, HelloGiggles, Goodreads, PopSugar, BookRiot, HuffingtonPost, First for Women, Woman’s World, and more. Mary’s novels have been translated into over thirty languages and have sold over two million copies worldwide. She’s been described as “a helluva storyteller,” (Kirkus Reviews) and “a writer of vice-like control,” (Chicago Tribune), and her novels have been praised as “hypnotic” (People) and “thrilling and illuminating” (Los Angeles Times).  LOCAL WOMAN MISSING is her seventh novel.

Social Links: Author WebsiteTwitter * Instagram * Facebook * Goodreads

Buy Links:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Local-Woman-Missing-Mary-Kubica/dp/0778389448/ 

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/local-woman-missing-mary-kubica/1137387568  

Bookshop: https://bookshop.org/books/local-woman-missing/9780778389446 

IndieBound: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9780778389446 

Libro.fm: https://libro.fm/audiobooks/9781488211690-local-woman-missing 

Books-A-Million: https://www.booksamillion.com/p/Local-Woman-Missing/Mary-Kubica/9780778389446?id=8051055467945# 

Target: https://www.target.com/p/local-woman-missing-by-mary-kubica-hardcover/-/A-81225904 

Walmart: https://www.walmart.com/ip/Local-Woman-Missing-Original-ed-Hardcover-9780778389446/700252600 

Indigo: https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/local-woman-missing-a-novel/9780778389446-item.html 

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/local-woman-missing 

AppleBooks: https://books.apple.com/us/book/local-woman-missing/id1524947457 

Google Play: https://www.google.com/books/edition/Local_Woman_Missing/sKazzQEACAAJ?hl=en 

Until Next Time, 

Featured

Just Get Home by Bridget Foley | 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 Just Get Home by Bridget Foley, and for the eARC of this title via NetGalley.

Just Get Home by Bridget Foley

Publication Date: April 13, 2021

Publisher: MIRA Books

ISBN: 9780778331599

My rating: 5/5

🖤 🖤 🖤 🖤 🖤

Book Summary

When the Big One earthquake hits LA, a single mother and a teen in the foster system are brought together by their circumstances and an act of violence in order to survive the wrecked streets of the city, working together to just get home.

Dessa, a single mom, is enjoying a rare night out when a devastating earthquake strikes. Roads and overpasses crumble, cell towers are out everywhere, and now she must cross the ruined city to get back to her three-year-old daughter, not even knowing whether she’s dead or alive. Danger in the streets escalates, as looting and lawlessness erupts. When she witnesses a moment of violence but isn’t able to intervene, it nearly puts Dessa over the edge.

Fate throws Dessa a curveball when the victim of the crime—a smart-talking 15-year-old foster kid named Beegie—shows up again in the role of savior, linking the pair together. Beegie is a troubled teen with a relentless sense of humor and resilient spirit that enables them both to survive. Both women learn to rely on each other in ways they never imagined possible, to permit vulnerability and embrace the truth of their own lives.

A propulsive page-turner grounded by unforgettable characters and a deep emotional core, JUST GET HOME will strike a chord with mainstream thriller readers for its legitimately heart-pounding action scenes, and with book club audiences looking for weighty, challenging content.

🏡🏡🏡🏡🏡🏡🏡🏡🏡🏡🏡🏡🏡🏡🏡🏡🏡🏡🏡🏡🏡🏡

I Thought…

Dessa, mum to three-year-old Olivia, hasn’t had a night out for ages. She receives an invitation to go for dinner from her friends Heidi, Gretchen and Laurel. The women met in Venice Beach, California, while they were students at University. The evening is a hen night for Heidi who is soon to be married and after their meal, they head off to a club for dancing. Sipping her drink and realising she is drinking her cocktail more quickly than she should be she heads outside and takes a call from her babysitter, who relays the news that Olivia is sick. Dessa rings Joe, Olivia’s father and starts to walk home when a devastating earthquake strikes. The earthquake has immediate calamitous effects that threaten to overwhelm Dessa, but she remains focused on getting to Olivia. Meanwhile, streetwise Beegie, fifteen, wakes up in a world where everything has turned white and someone is calling her Queen Elizabeth. She had been travelling on a bus to avoid the foster home she lives in but is badly treated in the hours immediately following the earthquake. Both Dessa and Beegie continue to experience gross abomination as they deal with the earthquake’s after-effects.

Set In LA, main protagonist Dessa, a single mother working full time, has a complicated relationship with Olivia’s dad. The other main character is spirited teenager Beegie who is wise beyond her years and has been in many foster homes. A lot of hurt has arrived at her door from her various foster caregivers, and she is a traumatised young woman. The reader meets her as she is deciding to take the night off from her domineering foster mother, Barb. Beegie has been through some dreadful experiences in her young life and endured other life-changing events such as the death of those dear to her.

Dessa and Beegie meet and support each other throughout the days after the earthquake. A novel about relationships, some weighty topics are mixed into the melting pot and I couldn’t put this book down. There was always something going on, along with some truly terrifying episodes and Bridget Foley’s portrayal of Beegie and Dessa’s gamut of emotions were so well portrayed that I felt as though I could envision what these characters were living through. A super, compelling, engrossing and highly affecting novel that, in my opinion, is a must-read.

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

About the Author

Originally from Colorado, Bridget Foley attended NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and UCLA’s School of Theater, Film & Television. She worked as an actor and screenwriter before becoming a novelist. She now lives a fiercely creative life with her family in Boise, Idaho.

Connect with Bridget

Website | Instagram | Goodreads

BUY LINKS:

HarlequinAmazon | Apple Books | B&N | BAM | Google Play | Kobo | Target | Walmart

Until Next Time, 

Featured

Tell No Lies by Allison Brennan | 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 Tell No Lies by Allison Brennan, and for the eARC of this title via NetGalley.

Tell No Lies  by Allison Brennan

Publication Date: March 30, 2021

Publisher: MIRA Books

ISBN: 9780778331469

My rating: 5/5

🖤 🖤 🖤 🖤 🖤

Book Summary

New York Times bestselling author Allison Brennan’s newest thriller again features an edgy young female LAPD detective and an ambitious special agent, both part of a mobile FBI unit that is brought in to investigate the unsolved murder of a college activist and its alleged ties to high stakes crime in the desert Southwest.

Something mysterious is killing the wildlife in the desert hills just south of Tucson, Arizona. When Emma Perez, a college-intern-turned activist, sets out to collect her own evidence, she too ends up dead. Local law enforcement seems slow to get involved. That’s when the mobile FBI unit goes undercover to infiltrate the town and the copper refinery located there in search of possible leads. Costa and Quinn find themselves scouring the desolate landscape that keeps on giving up clues to something much darker—greed, child trafficking, other killings. As the body count continues to add up, it’s clear they have stumbled on more than they bargained for. Now they must figure out who is at the heart of this mayhem and stop them before more innocent lives are lost.

Brennan’s latest novel brims with complex characters and an ever-twisting plotline, a compelling thriller that delivers.

🔪🔪🔪🔪🔪🔪🔪🔪🔪🔪🔪🔪🔪🔪🔪🔪🔪🔪🔪🔪🔪🔪🔪🔪🔪

I Thought…

Golly, this impressive second instalment in Allison Brennan’s series centring on the FBI’s Mobile Response Team turned out to be a little gem! This newly formed part of the FBI consists of highly specialised agents who are top in their field, be it forensics, crime scene specialists or investigators. They are operational primarily in rural areas and in Tell No Lies the team is undercover in Patagonia, Arizona as they investigate a murder that leads to the local copper refinery possibly dumping toxic waste in the desert. FBI special agent Mathias (Matt) Costa has LAPD Detective on loan to the FBI, Kara Quinn working as a bartender in the local bar where the refinery workers and townies socialise. Michael Harris, a former Navy SEAL, takes a job at the refinery and the refinery owner’s son becomes an informant. When another dead body is found, the case becomes much more complicated as they realise the quiet town has links to several other criminal activities.

Kara is such a fiercely independent, strong and unique protagonist with a strong sense of justice. There is chemistry between her and Matt, and they also share a mutual respect for one another however, their growing connection is not the main focus of this book. Matt himself is shrewd, level-headed and makes a marvellous leader.

The mystery element in Tell No Lies is magnificent and totally engaging. The tight time-frame keeps the plot rolling, with no opportunity to become mired in tediousness. The procedural aspects are solid with the coordination and teamwork of the investigators coming through winningly. Tell No Lies is wonderfully written in a style I relish and I was in my element reading this dark and gritty tale. This is a great second instalment in what has so far turned out to be a stellar series. I enjoyed Tell No Lies so much that I’m reading the books from Allison Brennan’s other series and cannot wait for her next in this one.

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

About the Author:

ALLISON BRENNAN is the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of over thirty novels. She has been nominated for Best Paperback Original Thriller by International Thriller Writers and the Daphne du Maurier Award. A former consultant in the California State Legislature, Allison lives in Arizona with her husband, five kids and assorted pets.

Social Links: Author WebsiteTwitter * Instagram * Facebook * Goodreads

Buy Links:

Bookshop.org: https://bookshop.org/books/tell-no-lies-9780778331469/9780778331469

Indie Bound: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9780778331469

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/tell-no-lies-allison-brennan/1136909250;jsessionid=BE5869D36ACCCEF44F21FF4A05BC5D62.prodny_store01-atgap04?ean=9780778331469 

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0778331466/httpwwwalli0f-20

Books A Million: https://www.booksamillion.com/product/9780778331469

Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B087JTYYSY/httpwwwalli0f-20

Nook: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/tell-no-lies-allison-brennan/1136909250?ean=9781488077142

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/tell-no-lies-16

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Allison_Brennan_Tell_No_Lies?id=RHDeDwAAQBAJ

Ibooks: https://books.apple.com/us/book/tell-no-lies/id1509698872

Until Next Time, 

Featured

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.

 

Don’t forget the other stops on the tour!

Until Next Time, 

Featured

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.

Don’t forget the other stops on the tour!

Until Next Time, 

Featured

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

 

Don’t forget the other stops on the tour!

Until Next Time, 

Featured

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  

 

Don’t forget the other stops on the tour!

Until Next Time, 

Featured

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.

🔪🔪🔪🔪🔪🔪🔪🔪🔪🔪🔪🔪🔪🔪🔪🔪🔪🔪🔪🔪🔪🔪🔪🔪🔪

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, 

Featured

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  

Don’t forget the other stops on the tour!

Until Next Time,