Book Review: The Quiet People by Paul Cleave

It has been a while since I have read a crime thriller, so the invite to this tour for The Quiet People by Paul Cleave  came at just the right moment and, with a blurb offering a writer-based mystery, I had high expectations for this book. Scroll down to see if these were met.

Book Review: The Quiet People by Paul Cleave

The Quiet People by Paul Cleave

Title: The Quiet People

Author: Paul Cleave

Publisher: Orenda books

Genre: Crime, Thriller

Release Date: 25th Oct 2021

Purchase: Amazon UK


Cameron and Lisa Murdoch are successful New Zealand crime writers, happily married and topping bestseller lists worldwide. They have been on the promotional circuit for years, joking that no
one knows how to get away with crime like they do. After all, they write about it for a living.
So when their challenging seven-year-old son Zach disappears, the police and the public naturally wonder if they have finally decided to prove what they have been saying all this time… Are they trying
to show how they can commit the perfect crime?

Multi-award winning bestseller Paul Cleave returns with an electrifying and chilling thriller about family, public outrage and what a person might be capable of under pressure, that will keep
you guessing until the final page…

My Thoughts

When a group of writers get together, there is usually a conversation about what would happen if the police ever looked at their Google searches. Sometimes writer’s questions ask can lead to dark places and could be incriminating if seen under the wrong light. This is what happens here and it raises the question where does the author persona and stories they write end and reality start. A flippant comment said at a reading event is taken to heart by the police and media, forming the basis of a police investigation when Cameron and Lisa’s son, 7-year-old Zach is missing.

You’re thrown into the action from the start with a heart stopping moment which hooked me in and I was not released until the final page. This is a thrilling novel full of jeopardy, suspicion and action that led me to question everything and the motive of every character. It is told mainly in Cameron’s point of view but with many unexpected twists and turns, and glimpses into the investigation from DI Rebecca Kent’s perspective, there was always an edge of how reliable his narration really is. The suspicion and tension didn’t let up until the big reveal.

I loved it despite it being unrealistic and gung-ho in places. The New Zealand location made it a refreshing read. Maybe I’ve been watching too many UK based detective series recently where a family liaison officer is put in place at the family home as soon as a crime of this nature occurs, but I kept questioning where one was. It was a tiny niggle that soon passed when I became immersed into the plot. It is a good read for a long wintery evening.

Would I recommend?

Yes, if you want a thrilling read with a fast turning, twisting plot to keep you up at night urging you to read just one more chapter.

Author Biography

Paul Cleave
Paul Cleave

Paul is an award-winning author who divides his time between his home city of Christchurch, New Zealand, where most of his novels are set, and Europe. He has won the New Zealand Ngaio Marsh Award three times, the Saint-Maur book festival’s crime novel of the year award in France, and has been shortlisted for the Edgar and the Barry in the US and the Ned Kelly in Australia. His books have been translated into over twenty languages. He’s thrown his frisbee in over forty countries, plays tennis
badly, golf even worse, and has two cats – which is often two too many.

Follow Paul on Twitter @PaulCleave, and his website:

Thank you Random Thing Tours and Orenda Books for inviting me to this tour and providing an advanced copy for me to review and give my honest and unbiased opinion.


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Book Review: Flora’s Travelling Christmas Shop by Rebecca Raisin

Book Review: Flora’s Travelling Christmas Shop by Rebecca Raisin

Book cover for Flora's Travelling Christmas by Rebecca Raisiner
Flora’s Travelling Christmas by Rebecca Raisin

Title: Flora’s Travelling Christmas Shop

Author: Rebecca Raisin

Publisher: HQ Digital

Genre: Festive Romance

Release Date: 28th Oct 2021

Purchase Links

Amazon US:

Amazon UK:

Amazon AUS:


‘Tis the season for mulled wine, mince pies, and magic under the mistletoe…

Flora loves Christmas more than anything else in the world, so she’s gutted when her Scrooge-alike boss fires her from Deck the Halls Christmas emporium. But now she finally has a chance to follow her dreams – and what better place to start than the home of Christmas?

Before she can say ‘sleigh bells’, Flora’s on her way to Lapland in a campervan-cum-Christmas-shop. She can’t wait to spend her days drinking hot chocolate and taking reindeer-drawn carriage rides, but something Flora didn’t expect was meeting Connor, a Norse god of a man who makes her heart flutter and snowflakes swirl in her stomach. There’s just one problem: Connor hates Christmas.

Can Flora convince Connor of the joys of Christmas – and will she find a festive romance along the way?

My Thoughts

Straight talking Flora loves Christmas and excels at spreading the Christmas spirit so is the ideal person to work in a Christmas shop. As a Christmasphile myself, I connected to her immediately and adored the descriptions of Deck the Halls. It reminded me of my favourite shop, Käthe Wohlfahrt in York where I’d love to work. I understood her motivation to own a Christmas shop and travel to Lapland, another one of my dream places to visit. She is zany and over the top in many ways but has a heart of gold which gives the novel warmth and cosiness you need for a Christmas read. Connor was a great character and the vision of him in an elf suit made me chuckle and the idea of van life was intriguing and made this novel different to others.

Would I recommend?

Yes, this is an enjoyable escape to Lapland for some festive romance and fun with a Christmas loving heroine. You can’t help but feel in the Christmas spirit when reading and it makes you want to put your tree up already.

Author Biography

Photo of author Rebecca Raisin
Rebecca Raisin

Rebecca Raisin is a true bibliophile. This love of books morphed into the desire to write them. She’s been widely published in short story anthologies, and in fiction magazines. And now she is focusing on writing romance.

Rebecca aims to write characters you can see yourself being friends with. People with big hearts who care about relationships and believe in true love.

Social Media Links –

Thank you Random Thing Tours for inviting me to this tour and providing an advanced copy for me to review and give my honest and unbiased opinion.


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Book Review: The Post Box at the North Pole by Jaimie Admans

I’m excited to share my second festive novel review this week, The Post Box at the North Pole by Jaimie Admans. Again this is a new author for me but as someone who dreams of visiting the North Pole and a sucker for a vibrant festive book cover how could I resist agreeing to this blog tour. Scroll down to see what my visit was like.

Book Review: The Post Box at the North Pole by Jaimie Admans

The Post Box at the North Pole by Jaimie Admans

Title: The Post Box at the North Pole

Author: Jaimie Admans

Publisher: HQ Digital

Genre: Festive romance

Release Date: 18th Oct 2021

Purchase Links

Amazon UK:

Amazon US:


Dear Santa,

I wish I could believe in magic again.

From, Sasha.

Sasha Hansley hates Christmas. As a child, it was her favourite time of year, but ever since the tragic death of her mother, it has completely lost its magic.

But when she gets an unexpected phone call from her eccentric estranged father, she’s forced to dust off her snow boots.

He has been running a Lapland-style Christmas village in Norway and after suffering a heart attack, he is on strict doctor’s orders to slow down. Eager to reconnect with her dad, Sasha books the next flight out there. Only she has never actually been on a plane before, let alone to the Arctic Circle.

 Met at the runway by drop-dead-gorgeous Taavi Salvesen, they sleigh ride through the snow with the Northern Lights guiding their way.

 When Sasha uncovers sacks of unopened Santa mail – letters that children and adults from all over the world write to Santa every year – she realises that she can send a little bit of magic out into the world by replying to some of them.

 With Taavi on hand to help, will Sasha rediscover her own excitement for Christmas and find love among the letters?

The Post Box at the North Pole is like one big romantic mug of hot chocolate with extra whipped cream and a splash of Christmas magic! Fans of Holly Martin, Sarah Morgan and Heidi Swain will love this novel!

My Thoughts

Oh heck! What a Christmas novel, it’s like a perfect festive movie, full of cheer, snow, emotion and everything I love about them.  Not only is the stunning location a character itself and I could imagine myself there happily Sasha is easy to relate to and Taavi with his childish wonder at the Christmas season took my breath away. I loved the descriptions of the North Pole village and as the story unfolded my love for it grew but it was the chemistry between Taavi and Sasha, and her troubled relationship with her father that drew me in. I needed to know how things could be resolved.

Despite being full of warmth, festive spirit and sprinkled with the magic of nisse, there is an undercurrent of deep emotions, secrets and darkness throughout. Without this depth, the idyllic nature of the scenery and theme of this novel could have veered towards sickly sweet but instead was a joy to read.

Would I recommend?

Yes. I’ve still have a few festive books in my stash but this is an exquisite journey to a magical place with a swoonsome love interest and realistic heroine to relate to. With a stunning location that oozes the seasonal magic, this is pure Christmassy escapism with romance, family drama and Santa. It  has to be one of my top festive books on my forever shelf and I’ll be visiting Taavi, the nisse and the North Pole again and again.

Author Biography

Jaimie Admans

Jaimie is a 36-year-old English-sounding Welsh girl with an awkward-to-spell name. She lives in South Wales and enjoys writing, gardening, watching horror movies, and drinking tea, although she’s seriously considering marrying her coffee machine. She loves autumn and winter, and singing songs from musicals despite the fact she’s got the voice of a dying hyena. She hates spiders, hot weather, and cheese & onion crisps. She spends far too much time on Twitter and owns too many pairs of boots.
She will never have time to read all the books she wants to read.

She is the author of several romantic comedies for HarperCollins – The Chateau of Happily Ever Afters, The Little Wedding Island, It’s a Wonderful Night, The Little Vintage Carousel by the Sea, Snowflakes at the Little Christmas Tree Farm, The Little Bookshop of Love Stories, The Wishing Tree Beside the Shore, The Little Christmas Shop on Nutcracker Lane, and The Post Box at the North Pole.

Social Media Links –



Thank you Random Thing Tours for inviting me to this tour and providing an advanced copy for me to review and give my honest and unbiased opinion.


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Book Review: Under the Mistletoe by Sue Moorcroft

I know we haven’t had Halloween yet but it is never too early to read a festive book and I’m excited to share my review for Under the Mistletoe by Sue Moorcroft. To my shame, I had never read a Sue Moorcroft book before but I’d heard great things about them so how could I resist when I was offered a place on this blog tour. Scroll down to see whether this novel reached my high expectations.

Book Review: Under the Mistletoe by Sue Moorcroft

Under the Mistletoe by Sue Moorcroft

Title: Under the Mistletoe

Author: Sue Moorcroft


Genre: Romance, Christmas

Release Date:

Purchase Links

Amazon UK:

WH Smith:


Apple Books:



Christmas. A time for family, friends – and rekindling old flames…

When Laurel returns to the village of Middledip, she’s looking for a quiet life. Adjusting to her recent divorce, she’s ready to spend some time getting back on her feet amidst the glorious snow-dusted countryside.

Yet, life in Middledip is far from straightforward. Coming to the aid of her sister, Rea, as she navigates her own troubles, Laurel barely has a moment to think about where her own life is going.

However, time stands still when she sees her old flame, Grady Cassidy – and it’s soon as if they’ve never been apart. But through her happiness, Laurel remembers why she left the village all those years ago, as she recalls a dark night and Grady’s once-wayward brother, Mac…

Can Laurel learn to forgive and forget? Or will her chances of Christmas under the mistletoe with Grady remain a dream?

An enchanting, festive read, perfect for fans of Sarah Morgan and Carole Matthews.

My Thoughts

This is my first visit to Middledip, and I loved it as a setting. It epitomised everything a reader wants in a festive tale – a good sense of community, a great and memorable cast of characters and the village was delightful to visualise especially coated in snow and Christmas decorations. It provided the ideal backdrop for this story. Laurel was an easy character to relate to as she comes back to help her sister who has agoraphobia. This isn’t the only heavy topic covered. It also dealt with sexual assault and bullying. All of these were dealt with sensitively and with compassion. It is the consequences of the sexual assault that is focussed on throughout and how it not only affected the person involved but those around them despite years past. This may be triggering for some and I did find it harder to relax into this book as much as I usually do with festive novels for this reason but I adored Sue Moorcroft’s style, depth of character and warmth so I will be reading some more of her work especially the festive ones. Art and craft played an important role in the novel and the descriptions of Laurel working alongside the villagers and Grady, her love interest, were magical and made me want to join in and be part of the action. Her paintings were exquisite and easy to envisage and if I could have the dancing woman on my wall I would. The theme and motivation behind it resonated with me so much. The relationship and chemistry between Grady and Laurel felt authentic and I was routing for both of them to overcome all the obstacles in their way. It was a delight to meet them and be part of their journey.

Would I recommend?

Yes, Sue Moorcroft has a warm and thoughtful style that is ideal for festive romantic novels. The village atmosphere and cosy community is a joy to visit, and the art described creeps into your soul. Laurel and Grady have a special place in my heart.

Author Biography

Photo of Sue Moorcroft author
Author Sue Moorcroft

Sue Moorcroft is a Sunday Times bestselling author and has reached the coveted #1 spot on Amazon Kindle UK as well as top 100 in the US. She’s won the Goldsboro Books Contemporary Romantic Novel Award, Readers’ Best Romantic Novel award and the Katie Fforde Bursary. Sue’s emotionally compelling, feel-good novels are currently released by publishing giant HarperCollins in the UK, US and Canada and by other publishers around the world. She’s also well known for short stories, serials, columns, writing ‘how to’ and courses.

Born in Germany into an army family, Sue spent much of her childhood in Cyprus and Malta but settled in Northamptonshire, England aged ten. She loves reading, Formula 1, travel, time spent with friends, dance exercise and yoga.

Social Media Links –


Facebook profile 

Facebook author page

Twitter  @suemoorcroft

Instagram  @SueMoorcroftAuthor


Thank you Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to this tour and providing an advanced copy for me to review and give my honest and unbiased opinion.

Happy reading and stay safe!


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The Secrets of Hawthorn Place by Jenni Keer: Extract

Today, I have something different to share; an extract from Jenni Keer’s new release, The Secrets of Hawthorn Place and a giveaway. I love Jenni Keer’s previous novels and can’t wait to discover more about this one

The Secrets of Hawthorn Place by Jenni Keer

Title: The Secrets of Hawthorn Place

Author: Jenni Keer

Publisher: Headline Accent

Genre: Historical, dual timeline

Release Date: 14th Oct 2021



Love will always find a way… Discover the intriguing secrets of Hawthorn Place in this heartfelt dual-time novel, filled with warmth and charm, perfect for fans of Lucinda Riley and Cecelia Ahern.

Two houses, hundreds of miles apart…yet connected always. When life throws Molly Butterfield a curveball, she decides to spend some time with her recently widowed granddad, Wally, at Hawthorn Place, his quirky Victorian house on the Dorset coast.

But cosseted Molly struggles to look after herself, never mind her grieving granddad, until the accidental discovery of an identical Art and Crafts house on the Norfolk coast offers her an unexpected purpose, as well as revealing a bewildering mystery.

Discovering that both Hawthorn Place and Acacia House were designed by architect Percy Gladwell, Molly uncovers the secret of a love which linked them, so powerful it defied reason. What follows is a summer which will change Molly for ever…


So now we’ve been tempted by the blurb, I’m excited to share an extract from The Secrets of Hawthorn Place to whet readers’ appetites where Percy Gladwell, a well-respected Arts and Crafts architect, is meeting the husband of his new client for the first time. He’d previously been totally bewitched by Violet Marston, is frustrated by her indifference towards him, and curious about the man she married. The year is 1894.

Prior to Edward’s appointment, I had made discreet enquiries about him, curious to know of his background. Perhaps, if I am honest, keen to investigate Mrs Marston’s choice of husband – if indeed there had been any choice in the matter.

Edward had made his fortune on the railways – not the building of the lines, for that was largely complete – but had instead inherited a large engineering works and was involved in the ongoing supply and repairing of rolling stock. The company had been established by his father, but in the decade since his death Edward had overseen substantial company growth. It was ironic to me that he spoke of supporting the craftsmen of this country when it was his livelihood that had gone some way to destroying it.

As international trade routes expanded and the railways dissected our land, goods were shipped far and wide in journey times that had previously been unthinkable. The building of factories continued, and mechanisation replaced honest working men on the fields and in the towns. Inevitably, we had witnessed a decline in quality of goods and working conditions, and a growing number of us refused to embrace these changes. Was it right that Welsh roof slate tiles should be used in areas where they did not belong? That fittings could be mass-produced in factories but resulted in inferior quality products? Or, conversely, items too perfect, so that each one produced was identical to the one before?

Right or not, being a part of our industrial advancement had enabled this wealthy young man to secure the hand of the enchanting Mrs Marston, but I doubted it was a love match. Edward’s wealth was new money. His family name was not recorded in the annals of history. The marriage to Violet Marston brought legitimacy, and now he wished to design a country house because it was what those of his new-found status did.

‘You have come to the right man, Mr Marston. Rest assured, I will be commissioning locally sourced, handmade items, from the timber and brick of construction, to the hinges and latches on every door. But be aware such items come at a price.’

He waved an indifferent hand in my direction, as another stream of smoke was expelled from his lips.

‘Money, while not in limitless supply, is not my greatest concern. It is of the utmost importance Violet is happy with this house. She will be persuaded you are the best man for the job. My wife has an artistic soul and great sympathy for your movement, even though she was not as taken as me with the York house,’ he continued. ‘She thought it somewhat queer, preferring to spend her time roaming the grounds. But then it has always been hard to please our Violet.’ He rolled his eyes and puffed at his pipe.

There was a stab to my heart as he talked of Mrs Marston’s indifference. Not that this young woman was in any way qualified to judge my skills as an architect, but I was disappointed she found me lacking.

‘My wife and I are very different people,’ he said. ‘I am up at five every morning, restless and pacing. She rises at nine. Whilst I am constantly seeking meaningful pursuits and lively social engagements, she is sedentary, and seeks out nature, content to sit staring out to sea, or while away an hour dead-heading her precious flowers. The land we have secured will suit her well. She longs to be near her mother and brothers, and has fond memories of her summers along those shores as a child. Two years residing in London with me has only accentuated those feelings. I am city and she is country and coast.’

His pipe died and he removed it from his mouth, tamped it down and lit it once more, a fresh billowing of smoke surrounding his face. I stifled an involuntary cough.

‘I have already appraised myself of your portfolio. The estate cottages at Bardenfield, the alterations made to the Steepleford parish church, and a growing collection of small country houses. Even my wife could not deny you made an excellent job of Steepleford; the west tower was a triumph. In your work, I see a simplicity and functionality that I find pleasing, yet an ability to embrace the imagination, which will doubtless appeal to the whimsy of my wife. I am more than satisfied and wish to go ahead with the project.’

‘In that case, my first request would be to visit the plot to assess the landscape and amenities. I will consult my secretary and we can arrange a date that is convenient to yourself. We can then discuss function and aesthetics.’

‘You misunderstand me, dear fellow. I will have very little to do with design and planning. I merely intend to provide the funds. I am a busy man, Mr Gladwell, and my business interests keep me in London. This house will be the primary residence of my wife, so it is she who must be consulted at every stage.’

I nodded my understanding and cannot deny my heart gave a tiny leap at the thought of further contact with the beautiful Mrs Marston…

What will happen when Violet is forced to work with Percy? And will they find common ground over the house design? I hope readers are curious to read more about their highly unusual love story, and see how present day Molly uncovers their startling secret, as well as finding love in her own life.

Author Biography

Photo of Jenni Keer author
Jenni Keer

Jenni Keer is a history graduate who embarked on a career in contract flooring before settling in the middle of the Suffolk countryside with her antique furniture restorer husband. She has valiantly attempted to master the ancient art of housework but with four teenage boys in the house it remains a mystery. Instead, she spends her time at the keyboard writing commercial women’s fiction to combat the testosterone-fuelled atmosphere, with her number one fan #Blindcat by her side. Much younger in her head than she is on paper, she adores any excuse for fancy-dress and is part of a disco formation dance team.

Jenni is also the author of The Hopes and Dreams of Lucy Baker and The Unexpected Life of Maisie Meadows.

Social Media Links –

FB Jenni Keer Writer

Twitter @JenniKeer

Instagram jennikeer

Giveaway to Win a Signed copy of the Secrets of Hawthorn Place, plus chocolate and a sparkly pen. (UK Only)

Giveaway prizes

For your chance to win a signed copy of The Secrets of Hawthorn Place, click here.*

Good Luck!

Thank you Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to this tour and Jenni Keer for sharing an extract. I have my copy waiting on my Kindle for me to catch up with a couple more books before I snuggle under the duvet with it. Watch this space for a review.


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*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

Book Review: Book Review Log Book by Jennifer Gilmour

Today I’m reviewing something different but could be the answer to a book lover’s prayers – the Book Review Log Book by Jennifer Gilmour. If you are like me you may record your books read on Goodreads or rely on memory to remember which books you’ve read and want to read. This book promises an alternative. Scroll down to find out more.

Book Review: Book Review Log Book by Jennifer Gilmour

Cover for Book Review Log Book by Jennifer Gilmour
Book Review Log Book by Jennifer Gilmour

Title: Book Review Log Book

Author: Jennifer Gilmour

Genre: Non-fiction, book gift

Release Date: 14th July 2021



Keep a track of your reading progress and your book reviews in one place:

  • Reading Goals
  • To Be Read List
  • Book Release Dates
  • Word Cloud
  • Your Reviews
  • Your Notes

My Thoughts

This book is a book blogger’s dream, especially for one as disorganised as me, but it is also a joy to use as a book lover. With a clear format, it does exactly what the blurb says and more. On each book review page, there is a space to record your favourite quotes from the current book, write a review, and add the general information about it. There is even a place to stick an image of the book cover, which is a pleasant touch. It is the extra bits I love because Jennifer Gilmour has thought of everything a book lover may want, including a place to jot down inspiring words (perfect for writers), a planner for future book releases and a to-be-read list in the form of a book shelf allowing you to be creative. There are also plenty of pages to add your own notes and to customise it to your heart’s content.

This log is highly accessible, made with consideration and love. I love using it. It provides a sense of satisfaction that is lacking in the digital places such as Goodreads. I can see myself ordering another copy once I’ve reached my 100 books.

Would I recommend?

Yes, this is a wonderful book to record books read and everything related to reading. It would make an ideal gift for a book worm or a useful companion for a book blogger thanks to its clear layout, space to record for the important things and the chances to customise it so it can become an individual record of books you loved and disliked.

Author Biography

Author Jennifer Gilmour
Author Jennifer Gilmour

Jennifer Gilmour is an author and advocate for women in abusive relationships, using her own experiences of domestic abuse as a catalyst to bring awareness and to help others. Jennifer has published two publications, Isolation Junction and Clipped Wings which have both been Amazon Best Sellers and received awards. Jennifer speaks at events across the UK and continues to raise awareness through her blog posts, public speaking, radio interviews and social media.

Most Informative Blogger Award 2018 (Bloggers Bash Annual Awards)
UK & European Award for using Social Media for Good 2019 (Social Day: Social Media Marketing Awards)

Jennifer says: “Together we are Louder”.

Social Media Links –





Amazon author profile;  

Goodreads author profile;  

Huffington post blogger profile;

Thank you Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to this tour and providing an advanced copy for me to review and give my honest and unbiased opinion.


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Book Review: High Blue Sky by Victoria Connelly

I usually adore Victoria Connelly’s novels and after reading the first one in this series, I was excited to read the next instalment, High Blue Sky. Thanks Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to this tour and providing an advanced copy to read so I could give my unbiased review.

Book Review: High Blue Sky by Victoria Connelly

Book Cover for High Blue Sky by Victoria Connelly
High Blue Sky by Victoria Connelly

Title: High Blue Sky (2nd book in the House in the Clouds series)

Author: Victoria Connelly

Genre: Women’s fiction, romance

Release Date: 5th October 2021


UK –

US –


What would you sacrifice to be with the person you love?

Summer has arrived and it’s over a year since strangers Abigail and Edward bought Winfield Hall at auction and restored it together. Now, two new tenants are about to join them at their beautiful Georgian home.

Workaholic Harry Freeman has forgotten what it is to relax so when he meets healer, Aura Arden, and learns to meditate with her, he can’t believe how good he feels and he soon finds himself falling for her. But, with her bare feet and crystal beads, Aura’s not a big hit with Harry’s old-fashioned parents, and he finds himself torn between the people he loves most in the world.

It isn’t just Harry and Aura finding love. Summer has woven its spell over Edward and his brother Oscar, and both are making a play for Abi. But Abi isn’t happy at having to choose between these two very different men and, when Oscar’s behavior spirals out of control, she realizes that some decisions can have devastating consequences.

High Blue Sky is the second novel in the heart-warming trilogy from the bestselling author of The Rose Girls and The Book Lovers series.

My Thoughts

This was a return to the idyllic location of Winfield Hall in Sussex to catch up with the owners, Edward and Abi. While it continued to follow the slow burn will they/won’t they theme between this pair and revealing more about the relationships they have with their respective siblings, the main focus was the newest residents, Harry and Aura. Harry is a workaholic feeling the stress of overwork and the expected high standards of his family and Aura is the opposite with her free-thinking attitude and love of crystals. It wasn’t long before the adage of opposite attracts came true and the chemistry between the two bloomed.

Victoria Connelly is the queen of immersive sensory descriptions as I discovered in the Book Lovers Series, and she used this in the scenes with Aura and her crystals. I found myself breathing in time with the characters as Aura instructed Harry on meditation and her calming influence leapt off the page. I imagine the audiobook would be even better for this, and it rekindled my fascination with the crystals I have dotted about my room. Her shared interests with me made her an easy character to like and though she may have come across as dreamy and hippy like, her backstory provided an emotional read about new beginnings, and transformations.

The conclusion made my heart race and left me eager to read the next one. It is going to feel a long wait.

Would I recommend?

So far I haven’t read a novel by this author I have not loved and all of them belong on my forever shelf. This one did not disappoint. Though it could be read as a standalone, the reader would gain more by reading the first one, The House in the Clouds, beforehand. With delightful characters, exquisite storytelling and a stunning location, these books never fail to be a joy to read and pure escapism for sunny days or cuddling under the duvet with your favourite beverage.

Author Biography

Photo of Victoria Connelly
Victoria Connelly

Victoria Connelly lives in a 500-year old thatched cottage in rural Suffolk with her artist husband, a springer spaniel and a flock of ex-battery hens. She is the million-selling author of two bestselling series, The Austen Addicts and The Book Lovers, as well as many other novels and novellas. Her first published novel, Flights of Angels, was made into a film in Germany. Victoria loves books, films, walking, historic buildings and animals. If she isn’t at her keyboard writing, she can usually be found in her garden either with a trowel in her hand or a hen on her lap.

 Social Media Links –

Instagram: @victoriaconnellyauthor

Facebook: @victoriaconnellyauthor

Twitter: @VictoriaDarcy

Other blogs on this tour

Happy reading!


Book Review: The Daughter’s Choice by S.D Robertson

Book Review: The Daughter’s Choice by S.D Robertson

The Daughter’s Choice by S.D Robertson

Title: The Daughter’s Choice

Author: S.D Robertson

Publisher: Avon

Genre: General fiction, woman’s fiction

Release Date: 30th Sept 2021



Is her whole life built on a lie?

Rose has always been close to her father. Her mother died soon after she was born, so it’s been just the two of them for as long as she can remember.

But a chance encounter days before she’s due to get married leaves Rose questioning everything she has ever known.

The man she trusts most in the world has been keeping a secret from her.

And the truth will leave her with an impossible choice…

My Thoughts

Rose is on a pampering weekend before her wedding to her childhood sweetheart when she befriends a stranger, Cassie. While Rose believes this is a spontaneous meeting and appreciates the fledgling friendship, Cassie and the reader know differently, giving this story the tension needed to keep my attention and desire to keep turning the page. Without the endless questions in my mind of Cassie’s motive and clue searching, it would have been easy to pass the beginning of this novel which focuses on Rose’s life as something I had read before where a girl has a close relationship with her father and is set to marry. But that insight and the anticipation of Rose’s life imploding made this story different and highly readable.

In contrast to Rose’s tale, Cassie’s life was full of adventure, freedom and secrets. I became immersed in her world despite not trusting her narration. Her recollections of places she’d visited and S. D Robertson’s ability to draw me in to these locations made me love the globetrotting experience and added extra places on my must-see places wishlist.

When secrets were revealed and further twists ensued, family loyalty was put under pressure and choices needed to be made. I enjoyed seeing all aspects of the truth and the satisfying conclusion.

Would I recommend?

This is the first book by S.D Robertson and am tempted to add his back catalogue to my TBR list based on the strength of this read. It’s an emotional, and intriguing novel that shows the depth of relationships in families and the consequences of decisions made. If you love family dramas with tension and twists, this is one to try.

Author Biography

Photo of S.D Robertson
S.D Robertson

Thank you Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to this tour and providing an advanced copy for me to review and give my honest and unbiased opinion.


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Book Review: Annie’s Autumn Escape by Debbie Viggiano

Hello October! Autumn is here with winds, rain and falling leaves so what better time to share my review for Annie’s Autumn Escape by Debbie Viggiano.

Book Review: Annie’s Autumn Escape by Debbie Viggiano

Annie’s Autumn Escape by Debbie Viggiano

Title: Annie’s Autumn Escape

Author: Debbie Viggiano

Publisher: Unicorn Publishing Ltd

Genre: Woman’s fiction, Romance

Release Date: 1st October 2021


Annie’s big birthday is looming.  Sixty!  She feels half that age, even if the mirror tells her otherwise.  Hubby Keith promises her a birthday to remember, and doesn’t let her down, but packing his suitcase to shack up with a forty-something isn’t quite the memory Annie wants to make.  Suddenly she’s single and – as an empty nester – very, very alone.  The Bucket List she and Keith had promised to work their way through is but a dream, until besties Bella and Caz rally around Annie and whisk her away for a trip that will be remembered for ever. Dubai. But it’s not all skyscrapers, bling, sand dunes and sheiks. As the sun sinks over the horizon of Jumeirah Beach… might there also be love?

Purchase Links

UK –

US –

My Thoughts

Eat your heart out Shirley Valentine. There is a new holiday romance to love and remember. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I began reading this, but the opening chapter’s clever observations of a long marriage tugged me into Annie’s life. It was great to see an older protagonist and though I’m only in my forties her menopausal rage, hot flushes and general clumsiness was highly relatable and provided many Brigit Jones-esque laughs, chuckles and drama in this story of self-discovery and escapism after a marriage breakdown.

Dubai must be the go to location at the moment as it’s the third book I’ve read this year using this setting, but I had not seen it presented in this light with the bling, touristy spots and over the top destinations. I wanted to go there to experience the luxury, the camels and the sunsets like the trio of friends and, of course, the potential love interest Mr Butler.

All the characters were well developed and relatable with realistic dialogue and banter. The trio of friends highlighted the need for friendships outside a marriage for support in times of need and when complications are thrown your way. The dementia storyline was tackled with care and showed the surreal nature of the disease and the chuckles it can provide alongside the heartache.

Would I recommend?

Yes, this novel is a great start to this autumnal season. It’s an enjoyable romp with a swoonsome hero, a stunning and blingy location, and full of humour adding to the chemistry in this second chance romance. Grab a copy when you need to escape these cooler and darker evenings.

Author Biography

Photo of author Debbie Viggiano
Debbie Viggiano

Prior to turning her attention to writing, Debbie Viggiano was, for more years than she cares to remember, a legal secretary. She lives with her Italian husband, a rescued pooch from Crete, and a very disgruntled cat. Occasionally her adult children return home bringing her much joy… apart from when they want to raid the fridge or eat her secret stash of chocolate.
Tweet @DebbieViggiano or follow her on Facebook!

Social Media Links

TWITTER:   @DebbieViggiano


INSTAGRAM: debbieviggiano


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Dystonia Around the World readathon update:

The challenge is over with the end of Dystonia Awareness Month but 14 books were read and one I had to give up on. I wanted to read more but it seems dystonia has robbed me of my ability to read a book at least a day. You can support Dystonia UK and view my challenge here. Thank you all who supported me and shared/retweeted posts all month. Dystonia awareness makes a huge difference to fundraising, diagnosis and research.

Thank you Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to this tour and providing an advanced copy for me to review and give my honest and unbiased opinion.


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Book Review: Matchmaking at Port Willow by Kiley Dunbar

Today I’m excited to share my review for Matchmaking at Port Willow by Kiley Dunbar. I feel head over heels in love with The Borrow a Bookshop Holiday so jumped at the opportunity to get a sneaky read of this one. Scroll down to see if it met my expectations.

Book Review: Matchmaking at Port Willow by Kiley Dunbar

Matchmaking at Port Willow by Kiley Dunbar

Title: Matchmaking at Port Willow (Port Willow Bay book 2)

Author: Kiley Dunbar

Publisher: Hera

Genre: Romance, women’s fiction

Release Date: 16th Sept 2021

Purchase links





Beatrice Halliday has been working hard at the Princess and The Pea Inn, loved up with landlord Atholl and enjoying planning events for the locals. But at Christmas there’s a kick – as she realises she’s expecting.

Despite being fearful of the future, Beatrice is graced with a distraction: the prospects of helping a romance flourish when a married couple spend their first child-free holiday at the Inn – and it becomes clear they need some help rediscovering each other. In true Beatrice fashion, she cant help meddling.

Featuring the story of a first love, a new family, a marriage in crisis, and an octogenarian love affair, you’ll fall head over heels for this heart-warming rom-com.

My Thoughts

This is the second in the Port Willow Bay series and though it can be read as a standalone as I did, I believe you would gain a greater experience with reading the first one, Summer at Highland Coral Beach and knowing the backstory of Beatrice and Atholl.

The primary focus of this book is the continuation of the love between Beatrice and Atholl, Beatrice’s matchmaking and Nina who, after losing everything in one swoop, is sent to Scotland to prove herself to her boss. The contrast between the hustle of New York and the cosiness of the Highlands worked well and drew me into the story. I fell in love with Atholl so have moved up his story in my TBR; he knows just what to say in a time of crisis and supportive. Their story is emotional and uplifting.

With a large cast of characters, superb descriptions, especially why Burns’ night is celebrated, the Kiley Dunbar magic brought the village and Inn to life, so rather than being a spectator I felt like a friend popping by to catch up with the news. The culture of Scotland shines through this lyrical ode to the Highlands and traditional crafts. Port Willow Bay is somewhere I long to go in reality for the hospitality, crafts but most of all a stay in the Princess and the Pea room. This room is an inspiration and created a vivid image of luxury and romance.

Would I recommend?

Yes. Full of warmth, a spectacular location and a festive feel this novel is one to curl up under the duvet with and indulge in a hot chocolate with cream and marshmallows – deal for this time of year when nights are drawing in.

Author Biography

Photo of Kiley Dunbar
Kiley Dunbar

Kiley Dunbar writes heart-warming, escapist, romantic fiction set in beautiful places, with One Winter’s Night being shortlisted for the RNA Romantic Comedy Novel Award 2021.

Kiley’s five novels include: The Borrow a Bookshop Holiday (May 2021), One Winter’s Night (September 2020), Summer at the Highland Coral Beach (2020), Christmas at Frozen Falls (2019) and One Summer’s Night (2019).

Social Media Links

Website and newsletter:



‘Kiley Dunbar Author Book Page’ on Facebook

Thank you Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to this tour and providing an advanced copy for me to review and give my honest and unbiased opinion.

Dystonia Around the World readathon update: 8 books read so far – need to read so many more and update my page. You can support Dystonia UK and my challenge here. If you do look, a huge thank you. Dystonia awareness makes a huge difference to fundraising, diagnosis and research.


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