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

AMZ: https://amzn.to/3yjUyMO

Kobo: https://bit.ly/36678DF

Apple: https://apple.co/36aBHI5

Blurb

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: http://www.kileydunbar.co.uk/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCI8wM4Fmkbyg4S_XGSnfUCA

Twitter https://twitter.com/kileydunbar

‘Kiley Dunbar Author Book Page’ on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/KileyDunbarAuthor/

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.

Love

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16-Sep 	Book Escapes with BabsW67 	Bookescapes.home.blog 
Matchmaking at Port Willow 	16-Sep 	Library_of_lucyg 	www.Instagram.com/library_of_lucyg 
Matchmaking at Port Willow 	16-Sep 	Being Anne 	www.beinganne.com 
Matchmaking at Port Willow 	17-Sep 	BreakfastAtShelbys 	http://breakfastatshelbys.co.uk/ 
Matchmaking at Port Willow 	17-Sep 	Bookmadjo - Mad About Books 	bookmadjo.wordpress.com 
Matchmaking at Port Willow 	17-Sep 	Instagram.com/Kirsty_Reviews_Books 	kirstyreviewsbooks.wordpress.com 
Matchmaking at Port Willow 	18-Sep 	Books, Life and Everything 	bookslifeandeverything.blogspot.com 
Matchmaking at Port Willow 	18-Sep 	@theweebookworm 	https://www.instagram.com/theweebookworm/ 
Matchmaking at Port Willow 	18-Sep 	Kelly T’s Space 	https://kellytsspace.wordpress.com/ 
Matchmaking at Port Willow 	19-Sep 	Books and Bindings 	http://booksandbindings.com/ 
Matchmaking at Port Willow 	19-Sep 	Splashes Into Books 	http://splashesintobooks.wordpress.com 
Matchmaking at Port Willow 	19-Sep 	From Under the Duvet 	https://fromundertheduvet.co.uk/ 
Matchmaking at Port Willow 	20-Sep 	Captivated Reading 	http://www.captivatedreading.com 
Matchmaking at Port Willow 	20-Sep 	Eatwell2015 	https://eatwell2015.wordpress.com/ 
Matchmaking at Port Willow 	20-Sep 	Ginger Book Geek 	https://gingerbookgeek.wordpress.com 
Matchmaking at Port Willow 	21-Sep 	htdk2002.reads 	https://htdk2002blog.wordpress.com/ 
Matchmaking at Port Willow 	21-Sep 	BetweenTheLines 	http://betweenthelinesbookblog.com 
Matchmaking at Port Willow 	21-Sep 	This Hannah Reads 	Www.thishannahreads.wordpress.com 
Matchmaking at Port Willow 	22-Sep 	Bobs and books 	https://bobsandbooks.wixsite.com/bobsandbooks 
Matchmaking at Port Willow 	22-Sep 	mrsljgibbs 	https://www.instagram.com/mrsljgibbs/ 
Matchmaking at Port Willow 	22-Sep 	Jav Bond Blog Tours 	https://javbondblogtours.blogspot.com 
Matchmaking at Port Willow 	23-Sep 	Love the Smell of a Book 	www.lovethesmellofabook.com 
Matchmaking at Port Willow 	23-Sep 	Ceri's Little Blog 	https://cerislittleblog.home.blog/ 
Matchmaking at Port Willow 	23-Sep 	Bookish Jottings 	bookishjottings.wordpress.com 
Matchmaking at Port Willow 	24-Sep 	Wrong side of forty 	https://wrongsideoffortyuk.wordpress.com/ 
Matchmaking at Port Willow 	24-Sep 	Tizi’s Book Review 	http://tizisbookreviewmusic.wordpress.com 
Matchmaking at Port Willow 	24-Sep 	Berit Talks Books 	https://berittalksbooks.com/ 
Matchmaking at Port Willow 	25-Sep 	A Little Book Problem 	www.alittlebookproblem.co.uk 
Matchmaking at Port Willow 	25-Sep 	Little Miss Book Lover 87 	https://littlemissbooklover87.wordpress.com/blog-posts/ 
Matchmaking at Port Willow 	25-Sep 	Victoria Wilks Writes 	https://victoriawilkswrites.wordpress.com/
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Book Review: Freckles by Cecelia Ahern

It’s been a while since I’ve read a Cecelia Ahern novel and have several one my TBR pile, but I was excited to be invited to this tour for Freckles not only because the cover is stunning and the blurb sounded different but relatable. Scroll down to see if they lived up to my expectations.

Book Review: Freckles by Cecelia Ahern

Book cover of Freckles by Cecelia Ahern
Freckles by Cecelia Ahern

Title: Freckles

Author: Cecelia Ahern

Publisher: Harper Collins

Genre: Fiction, women’s fiction

Release Date: 2nd September 2021

Blurb

‘Freckles is a beautiful, hopeful book when the world needs hope most. Cecelia has written a novel about our search for our authentic selves in a crazy world. Like all her novels, it’s inspiring, life-affirming and full of insight’ CATHY KELLY


You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with…


When a stranger utters these words to Allegra Bird, nicknamed Freckles, it turns her highly ordered life upside down. In her current life as a parking warden, she has left her eccentric father and unconventional childhood behind for a bold new life in the city. But a single encounter leads her to ask the question she’s been avoiding for so long: who are
the people who made her the way she is? And who are the five people who can shape and determine her future? Just as she once joined the freckles on her skin to mirror the constellations in the night sky, she must once again look for connections.

Told in Allegra’s vivid, original voice, moving from Dublin to the fierce Atlantic coast, this is an unforgettable story of human connection, of friendship, and growing into your own skin.


Five people. Five stars. Freckle to freckle. Star to star.

My Thoughts

Freckles is unlike the other Cecelia Ahern’s novels I’ve read for its lack of the signature quirky otherworldly elements, but it grabbed me from the beginning with Allegra connecting her freckles on her arms to form constellations. This simple image connected me to her despite her character being someone who is hard to get close to initially. Feeling disconnected from everyone including her beloved father, Freckles as she is known has been hurt multiple times and keeps everyone at arms length including the reader. Her chosen career choice as a traffic warden which she loves for its rules and routine she follows with precisely was guaranteed to put a barrier between those in her new town and any relationships she may have. Freckles is a complex and authentic personality with many traits to indicate that she is neurodivergent, making her feel out of step with those around her. She says things as they are and sometimes cause offence without meaning to. As a neurotypical reader, I felt this was a good representation of a neurodivergency and gave an accurate glimpse into her world but with all books with neurodivergent characters the true test is how those with autism feel.

When she hears the quote telling her people’s personalities are made up of five people around them, she longs to meet those who will improve her lot. Her innocence in how she sees the world is refreshing and tugged at my heart especially when it leads her to situation you know she may get hurt. I felt a maternal love for her and longed to jump in and steer her in the right direction with some of the choices she makes on her pursuit to find herself and happiness. It made me reflect on my own life and pinpoint my five, while reading her emotional but uplifting journey.

All the characters around her are well developed and have interesting backstories to help push this character driven story forward. It tackles some heavy topics including self-harm and dementia in a sensitive manner.

Would I recommend?

Yes, behind this beautiful cover is a beautiful, warm and thought provoking book which may have a slow pace but it has depth and introduced me to Freckles who on her quest to find her five slipped into my heart and on to my forever shelf for a reread.

Author Biography

Photo of Cecelia Ahern
Cecelia Ahern

Cecelia Ahern is one of the biggest selling authors to emerge in the past fifteen years, having sold more than 25 million copies worldwide in over 50 countries. Two of her books have been adapted as major films and she has created several TV series in the US and Germany. Her novel PS I Love You was a New York Times bestseller and huge #1 bestseller in Ireland and the UK. In 2007, it was made into a major film starring Hilary Swank and Gerard Butler and most recently, Cecelia wrote the sequel- Postscript which was an instant bestseller. Cecelia has written13 bestselling novels including two YA novels and a critically acclaimed collection of short stories, ROAR which is being produced by and starring Nicole Kidman. Her novels have resonated with readers everywhere through their thoughtful, unique and inspiring storytelling and have won numerous awards.


Cecelia lives in Dublin with her family. To find out more please visit www.cecelia-ahern.com


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.

A quick Dystonia Around the World challenge update, dystonia attacks and migraines have slowed down the reading but currently on book five. To find out more about the challenge click here.

Take care and happy reading!

Love

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Book Review: The Woman in the Wood by M.K Hill

Autumn has arrived here in Yorkshire and the evenings are drawing in earlier now we are in September. This is the perfect time to turn to thrilling reads, and with the title The Woman in the Wood and intriguing blurb, M.K Hill’s latest novel promised to be just that. Scroll down to see if it fulfilled my expectations.

Book Review: The Woman in the Woods by M.K Hill

The Woman in the Wood by M.K Hill

Title: The Woman in the Wood

Author: M.K Hill

Publisher: Head of Zeus

Genre: Thriller

Release Date: 4th March 2021

Blurb

A reality TV star becomes a suspect in an Essex murder case in the sharp, funny and moving new thriller from M.K. Hill.


Three years ago, Danny ‘Abs’ Cruikshank, star of reality show Laid in Essex!, was living the dream. And then, on the night of the party, everything changed. It was supposed to be an intimate weekend gathering. Just a few close friends in a remote cottage in Wales. But after a night of heavy drinking in the village pub, a local girl was reported missing,
presumed dead. Abs and his friends had been the last to see her alive.


No-one was ever charged, but the controversy destroyed Abs’s career. So now, three years later, the celebrity who once captured the heart of millions is opening Southend’s new branch of Quidstore. And then one of Abs’s mates is murdered. Does someone know what really happened that night in Wales?


DI Sasha Dawson and her team must race against the clock to find the killer before they strike again –
but first she must discover what happened to Rhiannon Jenkins on the night she vanished. Will the
truth set Abs free? Or bury him?

My Thoughts

The premise of this novel surrounds an ex-reality T.V star Abs, who is famous for his appearance on Laid in Essex, which is similar to a series we all know with a similar name, and what someone will do to make sure the secrets of the night a woman disappeared are never revealed. A murder of his friend triggers an investigation led by Sasha Dawson. As a central protagonist, I found her character intriguing and wanted to know more which is always good in a crime series because it meant not only did I keep turning the page to follow this investigation, I’ve added the previous book to my TBR and intend to keep an eye out for the next to see how the dynamics of her team and family relations develop with time. Abs was not an easy character to warm to, but I found it fascinating to see how he coped with his downfall from being a star and at times felt pity for him with his constant belief he could return to stardom. It is through his eyes we discover what happened in the past with his friends in the woods; the deeper I got into the mystery, the more I needed to know who did it and what exactly they did. I didn’t get much sleep when the pace picked up, events turned darker and I headed to the conclusion which I would never have guessed.

Would I recommend?

Yes, this is a strong, dark crime novel with many twists, well-developed characters and personalities throughout using the desire for fame as a backdrop.  Sasha Dawson is a detective to follow and I could easily see this adapted to television.

Author Biography

M.K Hill

Mark Hill was a journalist and an award-winning music radio producer before becoming a full-time writer.
The first novel in the Sasha Dawson series, The Bad Place, was described as ‘everything a police procedural should be’ by The Times, who also named it as their Crime Book of the Month. He lives in London.

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.

Love

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Book Review: The Beach Reads Book Club by Kathryn Freeman

Finally, I’m able to share the review for The Beach Read Club by Kathryn Freeman I was supposed to post a couple of weeks ago before a Kindle hiccup and life took over. With a bright, cheery cover it promised what the title suggests – a book suitable for reading on a sun lounger by the pool or on the beach. Scroll down to see if it lived up to its expectations.

Book Review: The Beach Reads Book Club by Kathryn Freeman

The Beach Reads Book Club by Kathryn Freeman

Title: The Beach Reads Book Club

Author: Kathryn Freeman

Publisher: One More Chapter

Genre: RomCom

Release Date: 30th June 2021

Purchase Links:

UK AMAZON https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B0931Y5W12 US AMAZON https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0931Y5W12

BLURB

Welcome to the Beach Reads Book Club…where love is just a page away…

When Lottie Watt is unceremoniously booted out of her uptight book club for not following the rules, she decides to throw the rulebook out the window and start her own club – one where conversation, gin and cake take precedent over actually having read the book!

The Beach Reads Book Club soon finds a home for its meetings at Books by the Bay, a charming bookshop and café owned by gorgeous, brooding Matthew Steele, and as the book club picks heat up, so too does the attraction between Matt and Lottie.

If there’s anything Lottie has learned from the romances she’s been reading, it’s that the greatest loves are the ones hardest earned.

A love letter to chicklit, romance, romcoms, whatever you want to call them!

My Thoughts

I loved the premise of this novel, which focused on the friendships formed in a break away book group, where instead of the highbrow literature of the primary group, books read for fun are up for discussion. Lottie, the protagonist, was a relatable, friendly and as a book lover, I found an instant connection with her, especially because like me she owned a lovable and sometimes destructive dog.

The chemistry between her and the bookshop owner, Matthew, sizzled from the start and it was a joy to see the spark grow and progress through the upcoming chapters. Each chapter covered the particular book the group was reading, so not only did I enjoy this story, my TBR pile has grown too.

It is the type of book club I would love to join and the characters are the people I would love to spend time with, so this novel was like being surrounded by friends and gave the warm hug of friendship as I read it.

Would I recommend?

Yes, yes, yes! If you are a lover of romcoms and uplifting summer reads this is one to pack in your suitcase for your holidays or to read while soaking up the British weather in the garden or duvet, depending on whether the sun is shining or it’s chucking it down outside. Full of chuckles, romantic chemistry and feel good friendships this is one for my forever shelf so I can return to it again and again. It’s best read with gin or tea and cake, depending on the time of day.

AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY

Kathryn Freeman

A former pharmacist, I’m now a medical writer who also writes romance. Some days a racing heart is a medical condition, others it’s the reaction to a sexy hero. 

With a husband who asks every Valentine’s Day whether he has to buy a card (yes, he does), any romance is all in my head. Then again, his unstinting support of my career change proves love isn’t always about hearts and flowers – and heroes come in many disguises.

Social Media Links

Website:  http://kathrynfreeman.co.uk

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/kathrynfreeman

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/KathrynFreeman1

Thank you Rachel’s Random Resources for the invite to the blog tour which introduced me to this book. It was just what I needed to read.

Love

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Book Review: Dear Grace by Claire Swatman

Finally, it is my turn to share my review for Dear Grace by Clare Swatman. I’ve been wanting to tell you all about this book as soon as I closed it for the final time a few weeks ago. Scroll down to see why.

Book Review: Dear Grace by Claire Swatman

Dear Grace by Clare Swatman

Title: Dear Grace

Author: Clare Swatman

Publisher: Nielsen

Genre: Contempory fiction

Release Date: 25th June 2021

Purchase: Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Dear-Grace-Clare-Swatman/dp/1916906001/

  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1916906001
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1916906006

Blurb

The most unlikely friendship. The most unexpected consequences.

When Anna’s husband cheats on her, she’s sure she’ll never be happy again. But then she meets 94-year-old Grace. Despite an age gap of more than fifty years, the pair set out together on a life-changing journey halfway across the country in search of some answers.

Sometimes the only way to move on is to revisit the past. But will Anna and Grace be prepared for what they find?

A story about love, female friendship, heartbreak and learning to forgive.

My Thoughts

Oh my, where do I start? This book is phenomenal and one of the best examples of friendship fiction, the chemistry between Anna and Grace leapt off the page and showcased the depth of love that can exist between friends, whether they are new or old ones. Like in this story, age doesn’t matter; sometimes you meet someone and you just click like these two did.

Clare Swatman has captured realistic characters on the page and I instantly connected with them all but especially Grace with her fierce determination and meddling. She is the glue holding the other characters, Anna and Tom,  in place while they find their place in life. She made me chuckle on more than one occasion and I had to keep on reading when her past began to be revealed.

The descriptions of the seascape and locations are perfect, and atmospheric; I could visualise being on the beach and felt every lap of the ocean on the shore, and this along with the depth of emotion layered in this beautifully written tale immersed me into the trio’s lives. I didn’t want it to end.

Dear Grace is full of humour, love and stunning use of words and it is more than just a novel about friendship, it’s about living your life and loving those you meet.

Would I recommend?

If you have read the above, you know the answer. This is a must read of the year. It’s uplifting and heart-breaking and grabs your soul, making you want to reread it again and again. This is one for my forever bookshelf to be treasured. I now need to read Before You Go.

Author Biography

Clare Swatman

Clare Swatman is an author and journalist. She has had two previous novels published, with her debut, Before You Go, selling in 22 territories around the world. She has also spent 20 years writing for women’s magazines in the UK.

Her latest novel, Dear Grace, is inspired by her love of Lowestoft, the town where she spent many happy holidays with her late grandparents.

Clare lives in Hertfordshire in the UK with her husband and two boys. Even the cat is male, which means she’s destined to be outnumbered forever.

Facebook at Clare Swatman Author, Insta @clareswatmanauthor, and twitter, where she’s @clareswatman

Why not pop to other blogs on the tour?

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.

Love

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Book Review: A Gingerbread House by Catriona McPherson

Book Review: A Gingerbread House by Catriona McPherson

A Gingerbread House by Catriona McPherson

Title: A Gingerbread House

Author: Catriona McPherson

Publisher: Severn House

Genre: Psychological thriller

Release Date: 1st July 2021

Purchase Links

US Amazon link https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0727850016

UK Amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/Gingerbread-House-Catriona-McPherson/dp/0727850016/

Severn House: http://severnhouse.com/book/A+Gingerbread+House/9193

Blurb

An invitation you can’t refuse. You should . . .

When shy, lonely Ivy meets a woman who claims to be her long-lost sister, she knows it’s too good to be true. She decides to trust Kate anyway. She wants a family. She wants someone to love.

She’s making a mistake.

Ivy enters Kate’s fairytale cottage, deep in the heart of Scotland . . . and she doesn’t come out.

She’s the first to go missing.

She won’t be the last.

Meanwhile, in another part of the forest, Tash’s journey is just beginning . . .

My Thoughts

This novel is split into two distinct threads; one following Tash who discovers a disturbing family secret and the other is the disappearance of three women. Tash’s story has a gangster-type feel as she conspires to expose her findings but in her own way while the other women’s tales are disturbing, eerie and give the story a darker fairytale-like quality which made me keep turning the pages until the end. The characters were distinct from each other but were all inflicted with the feeling of something missing in their lives allowing them to be manipulated in meticulous ways.  I wasn’t sure how the threads would collide but when they did the midway, the story picked up speed towards the thrilling and satisfactory conclusion.

Would I recommend?

Yes, this is a new author for me but I enjoyed the story they weaved to produce this unique, thrilling psychological thriller set in a Scottish landscape. I’m excited to add Catriona McPherson back catalogue.

Author Biography

Catriona McPherson

Born in West Lothian and educated at Edinburgh University, Catriona McPherson has been a full-time fiction writer since 2001. She is the multi-award-winning author of the Dandy Gilver historical mysteries, the Last Ditch mysteries and a number of standalone psychological thrillers. She lives in northern California.

Social Media Links –

http://catrionamcpherson.com/

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Catriona-McPherson/171725286218342

https://twitter.com/CatrionaMcP

Other blogs on the tour

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

Love

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Book Review: Invite Me In by Emma Curtis

Today, I’m thrilled to be sharing my review for Invite Me In by Emma Curtis. It’s been a while since I’ve jumped into a psychological thriller so I was excited to be asked to be part of this tour. Scroll down to see whether it was as creepy as the simple but effective cover dictates.

Book Review: Invite Me In by Emma Curtis

Invite Me In by Emma Curtis

Title: Invite Me In

Author: Emma Curtis

Publisher: Penguin Random House

Genre: Psychological thriller

Release Date: 22nd July for ebook and 2nd September 2021 paperback

Blurb

‘Emma Curtis is the queen of the unputdownable thriller’ – Nuala Ellwood

The heart-pounding new domestic thriller from Emma Curtis, the acclaimed author of ebook bestsellers One Little Mistake, The Night You Left and Keep Her Quiet.

To those who think they know her, Eliza Curran has it all: two healthy children, a stunning home and a wealthy, adoring husband. No one would guess the reality of her life: trapped in an unhappy marriage to a controlling man, she longs for a way out. When she takes on a new tenant, her life changes unexpectedly. Dan Jones is charming and perceptive, and quickly becomes a close friend to the whole family. But Dan’s arrival threatens to tip Eliza’s fragile world out of balance. And when someone has as many secrets as Eliza does, the smallest slip could destroy everything . . .

Readers are loving INVITE ME IN:

‘An absolutely captivating read, this is a superbly plotted thriller that will keep you guessing right until the end…highly recommended’

‘A rollercoaster ride to the very end. I can’t imagine how the author plotted it all out, there is so much brilliance in the final chapters’

‘Invite Me In is sensational, gripping with plenty of twists and turns to keep you reading long into the night’ ‘A cut above other thrillers’

My Thoughts

This novel jumped in with a strong start where Eliza met the good looking, empathetic and likeable Dan and it promised to be a thrilling read when tension and questions instantly built along with her nerves of arriving home late. Her husband, Martin, is controlling and a classic villain to hate but with Eliza’s own secrets and unreliable narration, and other manipulative characters this book kept me on edge with the insecurity of not knowing who to trust and where the story was leading.

I connected with Eliza and was emotionally invested in her happiness and longed to rescue her from the grips of her unhappy and abusive marriage to give her the happy ending she deserved. I guessed part of the conclusion early on but there were enough unpredictable twists and turns for this not to interfere much with my enjoyment of the book.

It has many threads and themes, including alcohol and emotional abuse which are dealt with effectively and with accuracy.

Would I recommend?

Yes, this well written psychological thriller with intriguing characters would be enjoyed by fans of Sophie Hannah. I’m thrilled to have Emma Curtis’ back catalogue to explore and add to my to-be-read list.

Author Biography

Author Emma Curtis

Emma Curtis was born in Brighton and now lives in London with her husband. After raising two children and working various jobs, her fascination with the darker side of domestic life inspired her to write her acclaimed psychological suspense thrillers One Little Mistake, When I Find You, The Night You Left and Keep Her Quiet.

 Find her on Twitter: @emmacurtisbooks

Other blogs on this tour

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.

Love

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Book Review: Meet Me in Another Life by Catriona Silvey

It’s a new week and I’m excited to share my review for Meet Me in Another Life by Catriona Silvey. This novel’s blurb made me jump up and down with excitement as it sounded different and I wondered how the author would tackle a potential complicated premise. Books like these make me feel privileged to be a book blogger and able to discover new authors regularly. Scroll down to see if this novel met my expectations.

Book Review: Meet Me in Another Life by Catriona Silvey

Blurb:

Joyful, devastating, and profound, Meet Me in Another Life is a story of love and connection in every possible form

 Thora and Santi have met before…

Under the clocktower in central Cologne, with nothing but the stars above and their futures ahead. They will meet again…

They don’t know it yet, but they’ll meet again: in numerous lives they will become friends, colleagues, lovers, enemies – meeting over and over for the first time, every time; each coming to know every version of the other. But as they’re endlessly drawn together and the lines between their different lives begin to blur, they are faced with one question: why?

They must discover the truth of their strange attachment before this, and all their lives, are lost forever.

Title: Meet Me in Another Life

Author: Catriona Silvey

Publisher: HarperCollins

Genre: General fiction, fantasy, sci fi

Release date: 8th July

My Thoughts

This novel wasn’t what I expecting but it was breathtakingly beautiful and exceeded my expectations by miles. With an unimaginable and unforgettable ending, this has to be one of the most original reads I’ve read for a long time. I think I’d have to go back to Barbara Erskine’s Lady of Hay for its uniqueness when time slip novels weren’t a genre of its own thirty years ago.

The novel offers snapshots of Thora’s and Santi’s lifes; each one set in Cologne where a broken clock tower watches over them. Sometimes they’re lovers, other times they are friends or child and teacher; the novel shows endless relationship possibilities but both characters know things they shouldn’t, and see constellations that are out of sync with the ones they see in the sky. Each lifetime reveals something more about the characters and are captivating with the emotions conveyed. The small cast of characters were cleverly weaved into each life and though different, they never lost the true personality and essence of themselves. They made me keep turning the page as did the mystery connecting the Thora and Santi together. Was it fate as gentle Santi believed? Or all about choice as spiky Thora believed? When I finished the last page, I longed to begin the story again to hunt for all the clues leading to the ending I never anticipated but found so satisfying.

The limited location of Cologne worked well and as I got to know Thora and Santi through their lives, I also felt connected to the place. It has made me add Cologne to the places I want to visit. 

Would I recommend?

Yes. Read a copy, absorb it and then find some fellow bookworms to chat to about it because it’s too great to keep to yourself, and the themes and plot needs unpicking and discussing. It’s a highly imaginative, captivating and emotional read with many threads to discuss making it perfect for book clubs or balmy summer days when you need a novel with depth, and uniqueness that gets your neurons zinging with joy and intrigue.

Author Biography

Author: Catriona Silvey

Catriona Silvey was born in Glasgow and grew up in Perthshire and Derbyshire, which left her with a strange accent and a distrust of flat places. She overcame the latter to do a BA in English at Cambridge, and spent the next few years there working in scientific publishing. After that she did a PhD in language evolution, in the hope of finding out where all these words came from in the first place. Following stints in Edinburgh and Chicago, she returned to Cambridge, where she lives with her husband and a very peculiar cat. When she’s not working as a researcher studying meaning in language, she writes. Her short stories have been performed at the Edinburgh Literary Festival and shortlisted for the Bridport Prize.

Thank you Random Things Tour for inviting me to this tour and the advanced copy for read so I could give my honest and unbiased opinion.

Happy reading!

Love

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Book Review: Small on Motherhoods by Claire Lynch

I’m excited to share my review for this unique book, Small on Motherhoods by Claire Lynch. Sometimes as a blogger a book is offered that grabs you for its subtle cover, and blurb. These are books you may not notice in a bookshop unless you were looking for them, but once seen they pull you closer urging you to read them. Scroll down to see if this book met my expectations.

Book Review: Small on Motherhoods by Claire Lynch

Small on Motherhoods by Claire Lynch

Title: Small on Motherhoods

Author: Claire Lynch

Publisher: Octopus books

Genre: Memoir, LGBQT, pregnancy

Release date: 24th June 2021

Blurb

Babies who are this small, he says, have a good chance of survival. Small is not good for babies. It is not whimsical or cute or the cause of admiration. It is the first time it occurs to us that they might not survive. Babies die from smallness.”

Claire Lynch knew that having children with her wife would be complicated, but she could never have
anticipated the extent to which her life would be redrawn by the process. Female same-sex couples and single women are said to be disproportionately impacted by these policies, which require that they self-finance costly, and less effective, artificial insemination (in some cases for at least two years) before becoming eligible for funded IVF.
A dazzling literary debut exploring female loss, fertility and queer motherhood.
small begins with the smallest of life’s substances: the microscopic cells subdividing in a petri dish in a fertility
treatment centre. Claire moves through her story in incremental yet ever growing steps, from the finger nail sized pregnancy test result screen which bears two affirmative lines to the premature arrival of her children who have to wear scale-model oxygen masks in their life-saving incubators. small explores what it means to be seen and simultaneously ‘unseen’ as parents in a same-sex relationship. It creates space for parents that don’t feel represented in forms, antenatal classes or in bookshelves. Devastatingly poignant, profoundly observant, and funny against the odds, Claire considers whether it is our smallness that makes our lives so big.

“ORIGINAL, IMPORTANT, MOVING, FUNNY – QUITE A FEAT.” BERNARDINE EVARISTO

My Thoughts

Oh, my! How do I explain my adoration for this quiet book that speaks volumes, tugs at the heart and made me reflect my own experiences of motherhood adding to the emotional journey? Its beauty is in the observations of the miniscule details of the moments in motherhood that can pass in a blink of an eye told in a stunning, poetic style. Claire Lynch tells the story of her experiences of parenting from the moment she discussed the idea with her wife, to conception, and beyond with honesty, humour and warmth. Her ability to capture and describe the snapshots of the early years so well, made me recall the dreaded ante-natal lessons, the bewildering moments of holding a newborn and the endless questions of a toddler. It added an new dimension to the reading experience. Not only was I reading their story, I was reconnecting with mine.

The love for her wife and children leaps off the page, making me feel privileged to have a glimpse into their lives. It was a pleasure to read and the wonderful use of language means the story glides effortlessly into your mind and heart. It is a book that will be hard to forget and I’d love to read what happens next when the children grow.

Would I recommend?

Yes, this is a book on the pain, joy and wonder of early motherhood until school age and is one to be treasured and kept on a forever shelf; I wish it had been there when I was at the beginning of my journey of being a mum. Its unique structure and format suits the lyrical style perfectly. It is an evocative, wise and poignant read that lifts the spirits and shows that with motherhood, small things do matter.

Author Biography

Claire Lynch

Claire Lynch works as a university lecturer and is author of two academic books and numerous scholarly articles and chapters. Small is her first book for a general audience. Claire’s Four Thought talk ‘The Other Mother’ was first broadcast on BBC Radio Four in 2020 and her first piece of narrative non-fiction took second place in the Spread the Word Life Writing Prize in 2017. She was a shortlisted writer for the Penguin Random House WriteNow scheme in 2018 and a longlisted writer for the Hinterland non-fiction Prize in 2019. small is her first book for a general audience.

Thank you Random Things Tour for inviting me to this tour and the advanced copy for read so I could give my honest and unbiased opinion.

Happy reading!

Love

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Book Review: Someone I used to Know by Paige Toon

Today, I’m excited to share my review for Someone I used to know by Paige Toon on its publication day. Though I have seen many books by this author, I have never read one but this blurb drew me in as did the simple but beautiful cover. Scroll down to see what I thought.

Book Review: Someone I used to Know by Paige Toon

Book Cover Someone I used to Know by Paige Toon

Title: Someone I used to Know

Author: Paige Toon

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

Genre: Women’s fiction, romance

Release date: 24th June 2021

Blurb

So much can change in half a lifetime…

 Then

 At fifteen, George is the foster brother Leah never asked for. As the angry, troubled boy struggles to come to terms with his circumstances, Leah finds herself getting drawn closer to him. Theo’s wealthy family have mysteriously pulled him out of boarding school and he’s now enrolled at the local state school with Leah and George. When their worlds collide that summer, the three teenagers form a bond they believe will be unbreakable. But life doesn’t always go to plan…

 Now

Shocking news brings Leah back to Yorkshire, baby daughter in tow. But Emilie’s father Theo isn’t with them, and George has unexpectedly returned. After half a lifetime, have they healed the scars of their pasts? Will coming back home set their hearts in a different direction?

My Thoughts

This is my first Paige Toon novel but it will not be the last; I loved it. Not only do I love her style and voice, she has the ability to bring the characters to life and delves deep into their emotions. The beginning chapter grabbed me and I knew it would be a fantastic read. The story follows Leah, who has a large family despite none of them being her blood except her parents, as she returns home and has to face her past before she can move on. I grew up on a staple diet of Home and Away when Pippa and Tom, with their ever-changing foster kids, were the stars of the show. The chapters set in the past where troubled children were growing up on an alpaca farm reminded me of this and kept me turning the pages. Not only did I fall in love with the characters, I also fell in love with animals and the many intriguing facts I discovered about them were a bonus to the story.

The dual timeline of the novel works well and allowed me to understand the dynamics of the unlikely friendship between Leah, Theo and George. Each have their own issues to deal with as teenagers which have a big effect on their adulthoods. I connected with them deeply, making this a heart-breaking, emotional but also uplifting unputdownable read with unexpected twists and turns.

Would I recommend?

Yes, this is a lovely, emotional and uplifting novel and a delight to read. It shows all sides of the fostering system and how people can make a huge difference to other people’s lives. I will not forget the characters, or farm and is one for my forever shelf. I’m so glad I discovered a new author to catch up with and will look forward to more in the future.

Author Biography

Paige Toon

Sunday Times bestseller Paige Toon was born in 1975 and grew up between England, Australia and America. A philosophy graduate, she worked at teen, film and women’s magazines, before ending up at Heat magazine as Reviews Editor. Paige is married, has two small children and lives in Cambridge. She is the author of eighteen novels which have sold 1.5million copies worldwide. In 2016, The One We Fell in Love With, was selected for the WH Smith Zoella Book Club. Follow Paige at @PaigeToonAuthor and sign up to the Hidden Paige at www.paigetoon.com.

Thank you Random Things Tour for inviting me to this tour and the advanced copy for read so I could give my honest and unbiased opinion.

Happy reading!

Love

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