It’s Friday and nearly the weekend! I’m thrilled to be one of the first to show the cover of an upcoming novel, A Scottish Highland Surprise by Julie Shackman.
First the blurb to whet your appetite for a new book:
Discover the secrets and surprises that the scenic Scottish town of Briar Glen has to offer…
When wedding planner Sophie Harkness refuses to move a friend’s wedding to accommodate a spoilt bridezilla, she finds herself out of a job. That is until she discovers her late grandma has purchased a local shop for her in the pretty Scottish town of Briar Glen.
Surprised and delighted, Sophie opens her own porcelain shop in honour of her grandmother. But when an unusual tea set is left with Sophie, along with a mysterious letter, she can’t help but be intrigued by the story behind the antique.
And when the handsome but aloof art critic Xander North comes knocking on her door, Sophie is about to find out the true colourful past of her latest treasure.
The perfect feel-good romance for fans of Jo Thomas, Katie Fforde and Trisha Ashley.
So are you ready?
Here it is the beautiful and cheery cover for A Scottish Highland Surprise by Julie Shackman
Julie Shackman is a former journalist from Scotland, who has always wanted to write feel-good romance. As well as being an author, Julie also writes verses and captions for greetings card companies. Julie admits to having an obsession with stationery and handbags. She is married, has two sons and a Romanian rescue pup, who she named Cooper. A Scottish Highland Surprise is Julie’s sixth novel.
Inspired by the incredible true story of how the people of Denmark saved their Jewish neighbours during WW2
Helsingør, Denmark, 1943
In the midst of the German occupation during World War Two, Inger Bredahl joins the underground resistance and risks her life to save members of Denmark’s Jewish community and help them escape to Sweden.
Inger’s granddaughter, Cecilie Lund, is mourning her death when a mysterious discovery while cleaning out Inger’s flat leads past and present to intersect. As long-held secrets finally see the light of day, Cecilie learns the story of her grandmother’s courage and bravery, and of the power of friendship, love, and standing for what’s right…even when you have everything to lose.
An inspiring tale of the resilience of the human spirit and the power of community.
This fascinating dual timeline novel showcased the bravery of the Danes in the second world war and their determination to protect and help the Jewish community against the Nazi regime. It was a revelation to me that 90% of Dutch Jews survived. Along with my recent reading of The Hidden Village by Imogen Matthews, this story has made me have great respect for the Danes and provided me with hope that there is a good in humanity.
In both time periods, there was a good sense of place allowing me to visualise the locations and added to my desire to visit Denmark and Copenhagan. Like many dual timelines, I was drawn to one protagonist’s voice than the other and it was Inger and her comrades that won here. I wanted to know more about Bodil and Gudrun so would have been happy to read this story as a single timeline. This would allowed more space to be devoted to them and dig deeper into the resistance movement. I wanted to feel more emotionally connected to them all as I felt I was being kept as an observer rather than in their heads. This detachment did help me cope when the expected dark themes were discussed.
With the title The Helsingør Sewing Club I kept expecting to hear about sewing machines and thread but only discovered why it was called that towards the end so to save you scratching your heads while reading, Helsingør Sewing Club was a code name for the resistance. If the community’s phones were tapped it would sound as if they were discussing the village’s sewing circle.
Would I recommend?
Yes, this novel gives an inspiring account of a side of the war I knew little about and made me see the good in humanity when often it is hidden. It provides a springboard to discover more and will be enjoyed by those who love historical fiction based in the world wars.
Originally from Denmark, I have lived in London for many years, surrounded by my family, cats, books and the Scandinavian hygge I try to create everywhere I go. As a linguist I love playing with words and language, and I am addicted to story-telling. I also believe strongly in social responsibility and sustainable living.
When seven-year-old Fran first met Will they knew instantly that they were made for each other. For eleven years they were inseparable, but then, at the age of eighteen, Will just upped and disappeared.
Twenty-five years later Will is back.
Is fate trying to give them a second chance?
Still nursing the heart break from all those years ago, Fran is reluctant to give Will the time of day. The price Will must pay is to tell the truth – the truth about why he left, the truth about why he’s back…
And Fran has her own secrets to hide. The time has come to decide what Fran and Will really want from life – before it’s too late.
This is a love story with believable characters that grabbed me from the start. Fran and her son Kieran have a settled life which changes with the arrival of her childhood sweetheart Will. The themes of first love and second chance love are covered and I enjoyed reading the chemistry between Will and Fran in the past and the present. With the rediscovery of a list they made when younger listing all they wanted to do before they grow old, there are moments of joy, sadness and reflection. Both characters have secrets that could change their path forever.
It is a highly emotional read told with compassion and sensitivity. Fran as a narrator , allowed me to see her growth, her turmoil but also the depth of her love for Will.
Would I recommend?
Yes, it has a different feel to Dear Grace with the focus on a younger generation but is a delightful, and heart-breaking romantic novel to rival the classic TheLove Story. It’s one that requires a box of tissues and a duvet day to indulge in one day.
Clare Swatman is the author of three women’s fiction novels, published by Macmillan, which have been translated into over 20 languages. She has been a journalist for over twenty years, writing for Bella and Woman & Home amongst many other magazines. She lives in Hertfordshire.
‘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?
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.
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.
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 theNorth Pole by Jaimie Admans
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Today, I have something different to share; an extract from Jenni Keer’s new release, The Secretsof Hawthorn Place and a giveaway. I love Jenni Keer’s previous novels and can’t wait to discover more about this one
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.
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.
Giveaway to Win a Signed copy of the Secrets of Hawthorn Place, plus chocolate and a sparkly pen. (UK Only)
For your chance to win a signed copy of The Secrets of Hawthorn Place, click here.*
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.
*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.
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
Keep a track of your reading progress and your book reviews in one place:
To Be Read List
Book Release Dates
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.
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)
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
Title: High Blue Sky (2nd book in the House in the Clouds series)
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.
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.
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.
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…
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.
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.