#BlogBlitz #BookReview – Another Mother by Amanda James

Adopted at birth, for years Lu has secretly dreamt of finding her birth mother but childhood bullying has left her with a lack of confidence. When a tragic accident changes her life forever it sets her on a mission to get in contact with her birth mother and find out the reasons behind her adoption.

When she tracks down her mother in Cornwall there is an emotional reunion and the pair begin to form a relationship.

But is everything as wonderful as it appears or has Lu walked into a nightmare? 

Published 10th April 2018 by Bloodhound Books 

~ Review ~ 

When I started Another Mother, I was hoping I’d be gripped. I LOVED the premise, it just really appealed to me. And right from the very first page I was drawn in, immediately feeling at ease with Amanda Jennings writing, which flows beautifully.

Another Mother had a different kind of vibe to what I’d been expecting, but in a very good way. At times I almost forgot this was a thriller, which was nice because I wasn’t waiting expectantly for a twist and trying to second guess the plot.  I think it was down to the emotional investment that the author managed to convey with main character Lu. I connected with her immediately, not just because of the traumatic experience of loosing her adoptive mother and the uncertainty of meeting her birth mother, but because she was written so completely. A whole picture felt like it was created right from the start – her frustration in a dead end job, her lack of confidence and loneliness. I really cared about what happened to Lu.

I loved the setting of Cornwall too, and it fitted birth mother, Melyn’s story brilliantly. I loved how the there was a subtle undertone of atmosphere and sinister tension. It trickles into the narrative, and leaves the reader unnerved as they know something isn’t right but don’t know quite what or why.

Another Mother might be different and less in your face than other thrillers, but don’t be fooled – at its heart that’s what it is. Amanda James’s skill is in lulling the reader into a comfortable, steady pace and connecting her readers with her characters. I loved the fact that I was able to just read this book without waiting for the twists to jump out at me, appreciating even more when the book took a decidedly darker turn and secrets are revealed. This is effortless to read, perfect for the upcoming holiday season and is a book I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend to fans of  psychological thrillers, domestic noir and women’s fiction as it really does have a broad appeal.

)I read an advance ebook courtesy of the publisher)

 

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#CoverReveal – Spring At The Little Duck Pond Cafe by Rosie Green (@rararesources @Rosie_Green1988)

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Good Morning all! Well, following from #snowmaggedon the other week there’s definitely been a few signs of spring in the air recently. The nights are a bit lighter, the Daffodils are finally rearing their heads and there’s even been a little bit of sun! This does feel like the most drawn out winter ever though, doesn’t it? So I’m completely gushing over today’s cover reveal, with its idyllic spring imagery – here’s hoping it brightens your day a little too!

And here it is…  

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Spring at The Little Duck Pond Café  

 Fleeing from a romance gone wrong, Ellie Farmer arrives in the pretty little village of Sunnybrook, hoping for a brand new start that most definitely does not include love! Following an unscheduled soak in the village duck pond, she meets Sylvia, who runs the nearby Duck Pond Café. Renting the little flat above the café seems like the answer to Ellie’s prayers. It’s only for six months, which will give her time to sort out her life, far away from cheating fiancé Richard. 

But is running away from your past ever really the answer? 

Clashing with the mysterious and brooding Zak Chamberlain, an author with a bad case of writer’s block, is definitely not what Ellie needs right now. And then there’s Sylvia, who’s clinging so hard to her past, she’s in danger of losing the quaint but run-down Duck Pond Café altogether. 

Can Ellie find the answers she desperately needs in Sunnybrook? And will she be able to help save Sylvia’s little Duck Pond Café from closure? 

 

This novella is part of a trilogy: 

Spring at The Little Duck Pond Café 

Summer at The Little Duck Pond Café 

Winter at The Little Duck Pond Café 

 

Publication date: 22nd March 2018 

 About the author

Rosie Green has been scribbling stories ever since she was little. Back then they were rip-roaring adventure tales with a young heroine in perilous danger of falling off a cliff or being tied up by ‘the baddies’. Thankfully, Rosie has moved on somewhat, and now much prefers to write romantic comedies that melt your heart and make you smile, with really not much perilous danger involved at all, unless you count the heroine losing her heart in love. 

Rosie’s brand new series of novellas is centred on life in a village café. The first, Spring at the Little Duck Pond Café, is out on March 22nd 2018. 

 Follow on Twitter @Rosie_Green1988

#Blogtour #BookReview – Almost Forever by Laura Danks (@HQDigital @auradanks)

almost foreverCan love truly conquer all?

When a vicious attack leaves Paul in a coma on his wedding day, the doctors fear he will never wake up. But his fiancée Fran will never give up hope.

Fran has always known Paul is the only man for her, from the first moment they locked eyes as children to the day he finally told her he loved her. Paul can’t leave her, not now their lives are just about to begin.

Love will always find a way… won’t it 

Published 9th February 2018 by HQ Digital 

I don’t make any secret of the fact that I’m a sucker for a good love story AND a good old sob. I love books that make me emotional, whether that’s by filling me with joy or breaking my heart. So when I first read the synopsis of Almost Forever I thought it might be a book I’d enjoy. What I wasn’t expecting was just how much I did love it!

Almost Forever isn’t a huge book (It’s published digitally only but I think the print page equivalent is about 260 pages) but WOW! does it pack a whole lot in. It tells the story of Fran, about to elope with her childhood sweetheart and love of her life, Paul, when tragedy occurs and her husband to be is suddenly critically ill and in a coma. Over the following weeks as Fran sits vigil over his bedside, she recalls the past, with flashbacks to the summer in her childhood when she first met him and his family.

I absolutely loved how the past and present was intertwined to tell what in its own way is an epic love story. As Fran struggles to deal with and come to terms with what has happened, we hear the most touching tale of young love. Of course, as with any great love story, it doesn’t always run smooth and with a “will they, won’t they” set of twists and turns, I found myself desperately hoping for a happy ending and willing them to get together.

I really got behind this pair of sweethearts and was completely carried away by the sheer romantic-ness of it! And it was so very romantic, without being sickly sweet. There’s a real class and sincerity about Fran and Paul’s developing relationship which I just adored! So the contrast between the past and the upsetting circumstances of the present were all the more stark, as all that hope and possibility turns to grief and despair making for an emotional roller-coaster of a book, which had me sobbing more than once.

Almost Forever surprised me. I was ready for a bit of a weepy, but what I wasn’t prepared for was just how intense it would be. While there’s some sad topics covered, there’s an overarching feeling of strength and hope running through this book. An intelligent and sophisticated romance, I’ll be adding Laura Danks to my list of authors to look out for in the future.

(I read an advanced e-book proof courtesy of the publisher and Netgalley)

#BlogTour BookReview – Any Dream Will Do by Debbie Macomber @arrowpublishing #anydreamwilldo

any dream will doShay Benson adored her younger brother. She did all she could to keep Caden on the straight and narrow. But one day her best intentions got Shay into the worst trouble of her life. By protecting Caden, Shay sacrificed herself.

Drew Douglas adored his wife. But since losing Katie, all he could do was focus on their two beautiful children; everything else came a distant second.

Shay and Drew are each in need a fresh start, and when they meet by chance it’s an unexpected blessing for them both. Drew helps Shay to get back on her feet, and she reignites his sense of purpose. 

But when a devastating secret is uncovered, Shay and Drew’s new lives are threatened. It will take all of their strength, faith and trust to protect the bright future they dream of.  

Published 10th August by Arrow (UK) 

I seem to be making a habit recently of reading books by authors I’ve never managed to get to before. Despite having a couple of her books tucked away, Debbie Macomber is one such author. After reading Any Dream Will Do I’m literally kicking myself for this – why have I left it so long? I absolutely loved this charming, uplifting and moving book.

Shay hoped her life had turned a corner, she had a job and her wild past seemed to be behind her. But when her brother comes to her for help, she can’t turn him away and this lands her in prison. Forward three years later, freed from jail and with no where or no one to turn to, she finds herself in an open church. Drew, pastor of the church, is still mourning the untimely death of his beloved wife and struggling to juggle being a single dad with his church duties. But when Shay wanders in, he senses hope for the first time in a long time and in helping her, helps himself, his children and his community.

After reading so many gritty thrillers, Any Dream Will Do was like a breath of fresh air. Yes, there’s some serious scenes with some upsetting and violent consequences, however Debbie Macomber’s compassionate, empathy filled writing makes this book incredibly joyous and inspiring. The theme of the book is second chances, recogognising that good people make bad choices, and how small acts of kindness and faith in your fellow humans can literally turn lives around. And all this is conveyed with a charm that never wanders into the saccharine, despite the risks it easily could do.

I adored the relationship between Shay and Drew and I have so much respect for Macomber that despite Shay’s circumstances, there is a mutual gain and appreciation from both sides. This isn’t a hero, whisking a poor victim up and making everything better. It’s equal, both learning and moving forward to make a better life. They both make decisions that may not have been the right ones, but for the right reasons and I thought the point about bad choices not necessarily equating to bad people was delivered beautifully.

Any Dream Will Do is clearly influenced by the author’s Christian faith, however it never, ever feels preachy (which would be guaranteed to switch me off)  and is very subtle. It just reflects on acts of kindness and forgiveness – traits that anyone can relate to and appreciate. I welled up a couple of times reading this book, and it genuinely made me feel happy and hopeful. In a world where horrific stories of violence and suffering are daily occurrences, it’s like a little ray of light restoring faith in humankind. Absolutely feel good reading, I enjoyed this one very much.

( I read a copy courtesy of the publisher)

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