Summer at Rachel’s Pudding Pantry by Caroline Roberts

The Pudding Pantry opens its doors for summer.

And there are wedding bells on the horizon . . .

The sun is shining as Rachel and her gorgeous beau, Tom, prepare to tie the knot at Primrose Farm.

It takes a village to pull off the perfect country wedding and Rachel couldn’t be more grateful for her friends and family as they roll out the haybales and string up the bunting – all she needs to do is focus on her Happy Ever After.

But no wedding is without drama. A face from the past is looking to stir up trouble in the village and there’s a secret following Rachel all the way up the aisle . . .

With old friends, new promises and a little borrowed time, will Rachel get the wedding of her dreams?


My thoughts:

First of all, I need to say what a gorgeous cover this book has – I know I only have a digital proof copy at the moment but I’m looking forward to getting a paperback copy of this book when it is published in July 2020.

Thank you to One More Chapter at Harper Collins for approving my NetGalley request to read and review. I enjoyed the first two Pudding Pantry books and was eager to find out what happened next for Rachel, Maisy, Jill, Ruth and the friends of Primrose Farm in the Cheviot Hills.

At the start of the book, wedding plans are in preparation for Rachel and Tom’s big day. As the current pandemic has forced the postponement of many weddings in 2020, it felt even more special to be able to read this.

Alongside romance, puddings, farm life, desserts, community spirit, children, cake, the story also covers issues with ex partners, missing loved ones and recognising that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. I loved being back at Primrose Farm and would like to thank Caroline Roberts for giving me a wonderful escape on a wet and windy lockdown bank holiday Saturday.

A delicious, delightful story and a much need uplifting read, plus a recipe book (recipes are included in all three Pudding Pantry books). A five star read too.

Caroline Roberts information from Goodreads:

Family, friends, food, a glass of bubbly and, of course, a good book make me smile. I love writing emotional stories about love, loss, betrayal, and family, that explore how complex and yet beautiful love can be. I also like to write romantic comedy, letting the characters have a bit of flirty fun too! I believe in following your dreams and working hard towards them, which led me to Harper Impulse (Harper Collins) and a publishing deal (woop!) after many years of writing. Stunning Northumberland is my home – sandy beaches, castles and gorgeous countryside that have inspired my writing.

Website http://carolinerobertswriter.blogspot.co.uk/



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In Case You Missed It by Lindsey Kelk

I’m pleased to share my review for the latest book by bestselling author Lindsey Kelk today. Thank you to Harper Collins for allowing me to read the book early via NetGalley – my thoughts are my own and not influenced by the free copy.

My thoughts:

One missed chance in life…one second chance in love

When Ros steps off a plane after three years away, she’s in need of a new job, a new flat and a new start. But her friends have moved on, her parents only have eyes for each other, and her bedroom has been moved into the garden shed. Suddenly, Ros has a bad case of nostalgia for the way things were.

Then her phone begins to ping with messages from her old life. Including one number she thought she’d erased forever: the man who broke her heart.

Sometimes we’d all like the chance to see what we’ve been missing…

My thoughts:

I’ve read and enjoyed many of the books by Lindsey Kelk over the years, and personally I think this is the best.

It is a ‘fun’ book, full of larger than life characters, perfect for enjoying on a summer day. Ros has returned home from the job of a lifetime in the USA (but was it?) and ends up reconnecting with her ex boyfriend by accident when her new phone connects to the cloud after 3 years abroad. Will Patrick make her happy? Will her parents make her live in the shed for the rest of her life? Will her podcast be successful? Will life with the her friends continue just as they did before she left, and who is their new friend?

This book should be enjoyed sat in a sunny garden or park, with a cocktail or a mocktail. Lots of humour, romance, and life changes wrapped up and delivered in this story.

Lindsey Kelk:

Bestselling British author based in Los Angeles. Lover of books, watcher of wrestling, wearer of lipstick. Karaoke enthusiast and cat wrangler. Lindsey is the author of twelve novels, including the bestselling I Heart series, About a Girl, The Single Girl’s To-Do List and Always the Bridesmaid.

OLIVE by Emma Gannon

I’m pleased to share my review for Olive by Emily Gannon on my blog today. Thank you to Harper Collins for a digital review copy via NetGalley – my thoughts are my own and not influenced by the gift.

Synopsis:

Independent.
Adrift.
Anxious.
Loyal.
Kind.
Knows her own mind.

OLIVE is many things, and it’s ok that she’s still figuring it all out, navigating her world without a compass. But life comes with expectations, there are choices to be made, boxes to tick and – sometimes – stereotypes to fulfil. And when her best friends’ lives start to branch away towards marriage and motherhood, leaving the path they’ve always followed together, Olive starts to question her choices – because life according to Olive looks a little bit different.

Moving, memorable and a mirror for every woman at a crossroads, OLIVE has a little bit of all of us. Told with great warmth and nostalgia, this is a modern tale about the obstacle course of adulthood, milestone decisions and the ‘taboo’ about choosing not to have children.

My thoughts:

As a mum of two in her forties, I found this debut novel to be well written and thought provoking. This was the first time I had read a book where the difference between being childless and childfree was discussed in such an honest way.

Olive and her three friends are all on different pathways at the start of the book, can their longtime friendship survive motherhood, IVF and choosing to be childfree? Emma Gannon shows how each friend is facing challenges that their other friends haven’t noticed, and actually need their friends more than ever before.

An impressive debut novel about friendship needing to evolve and making choices. I look forward to reading more by Emma Gannon in the future.

Emma Gannon:

Emma Gannon is an award-winning writer, speaker, Sunday Times columnist and podcaster. Her writing has been published everywhere from The Guardian to Glamour. She is the bestselling author of memoir Ctrl Alt Delete and The Multi-Hyphen Method, which became a Sunday Times bestseller. She is also the host of hit podcast series ‘Ctrl Alt Delete’, the No.1 careers podcast in the UK which has reached almost 6 million downloads, featuring guests such as Ellen Page, Greta Gerwig and Elizabeth Gilbert, plus the first podcast episode recorded inside Buckingham Palace.

Emma is currently working with the Princes Trust and Media Trust charities which helps young people develop their voices in the media. She’s recently been involved with other charities including Women For Women International and Plan International’s ‘Girls Get Equal’.

Emma lives in East London with her partner. Olive is her debut novel

The English Wife by Adrienne Chinn #blogtour

I’m thrilled to share my thoughts about this time slip historical novel on my book review blog today. Thank you to One More Chapter and Rachel’s Random Resources for a digital review copy via NetGalley – my thoughts are my own and not influenced by the gift.

Synopsis:

Two women, a world apart.

A secret waiting to be discovered…

VE Day 1945: As victory bells ring out across the country, war bride Ellie Burgess’ happiness is overshadowed by grief. Her charismatic Newfoundlander husband Thomas is still missing in action.
 
Until a letter arrives explaining Thomas is back at home on the other side of the Atlantic recovering from his injuries.

Travelling to a distant country to live with a man she barely knows is the bravest thing Ellie has ever had to do. But nothing can prepare her for the harsh realities of her new home…

September 11th 2001: Sophie Parry is on a plane to New York on the most tragic day in the city’s history. While the world watches the news in horror, Sophie’s flight is rerouted to a tiny town in Newfoundland and she is forced to seek refuge with her estranged aunt Ellie.
 
Determined to discover what it was that forced her family apart all those years ago, newfound secrets may change her life forever…
 
This is a timeless story of love, sacrifice and resilience perfect for fans of Lorna Cook and Gill Paul.

My thoughts:

This is the first historical fiction novel I’ve read involving Newfoundland – I must admit that I had to look up Newfoundland to check exactly where it is. If you read some of the other blog tour posts for The English Wife, you can read about the author growing up in the area.

This book involves two distinct time periods – we follow Ellie through the war years in the UK, then her early years in Newfoundland. We also meet her again when her niece Sophie has an unexpected visit to Newfoundland in September 2001, returning again in 2011. This is not a ‘light read’ due to the time periods it is set in (war and terrorist attacks) and needing to move between the different time periods. However it is a well written and thought provoking book, looking at how the events of the 1940’s impacts on the life of Sophie.

I enjoyed travelling to the different time periods, each with their own challenges for the characters of this story. There is romance, love, loss, hardship, new friendships, in-laws, mystery and lots of secrets. My favourite time period was 2001 when Sophie met her aunt and other family members for the first time.

Purchase Links 

https://amzn.to/2KpCBpb

https://amzn.to/3bqYKPZ

https://amzn.to/2VpSoLk

Adrienne Chinn:

Adrienne Chinn was born in Grand Falls, Newfoundland, grew up in Quebec, and eventually made her way to London, England after a career as a journalist. In England she worked as a TV and film researcher before embarking on a career as an interior designer, lecturer, and writer. When not up a ladder or at the computer, she can usually be found rummaging through flea markets or haggling in the Marrakech souk. Her second novel, The English Wife — a timeslip story set in World War II England and contemporary Newfoundland — is published in June 2020. Her debut novel, The Lost Letter from Morocco, was published by Avon Books UK in 2019. She is currently writing her third novel, The Photographer’s Daughters, the first of a 3-book series, to be published in 2021.

Social Media Links – 

https://www.facebook.com/adriennechinnauthor/?modal=admin_todo_tour

https://www.instagram.com/adriennechinn/?hl=en

A PERFECT CORNISH ESCAPE by PHILLIPA ASHLEY

Thrilled to share my review for this lovely book on my blog today. Originally it was going to be shared next month as the main publication date is 11th June – however I heard yesterday that special advance copies are now in Tesco – time to add a copy to your ‘essential’ shopping basket in person or online.

Synopsis:

Summer in Cornwall is the perfect time for a fresh start…
Seven years ago, Marina Hudson’s husband was lost at sea. She vowed to love him for the rest of her life – but when kind-hearted Lachlan arrives in Porthmellow, should she deny herself another chance at happiness?

Tiff Trescott was living life to the full as a journalist in London – until her boyfriend’s betrayal brought it all crashing down. Fleeing to her cousin Marina’s cottage, Tiff feels like a fish-out-of-water. And when brooding local Dirk wins a day with her in a charity auction, she’s thrown headfirst into Cornish life.

This summer promises new beginnings for both Tiff and Marina. But are they too good to be true?

My thoughts:

Thank you to Avon Books/Harper Collins for gifting a digital advanced review copy of this book to me via NetGalley – my thoughts are my own. This was an Easter 2020 read for me and I enjoyed my first ever visit to Porthmellow – this was the perfect way to visit Cornwall during Lockdown.

I have seen great reviews for Phillipa’s books and I have now added her previous books to my wish list.

This book follows Marina and Tiff, cousins who have led very different lives since they used to spend summer holidays together in Cornwall as children. Both have to deal with the baggage from their past and to move forward with their lives.

The stories evolved well as we joined Marina and Tiff on their year of making new friendships – I loved how kindness and community were central to the story, as was the local lifeboat and volunteers.

Hopefully by the time this book is published, the Lockdown will be easing, but I recommend this book for a relaxing read anytime of the year – maybe with a glass of Pimms and a plate of seafood or a Cornish pasty.



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Just My Luck by Adele Parks #bookreview



It’s the stuff dreams are made of – a lottery win so big, it changes everything.

For fifteen years, Lexi and Jake have played the same six numbers with their friends, the Pearsons and the Heathcotes. Over dinner parties, fish & chip suppers and summer barbecues, they’ve discussed the important stuff – the kids, marriages, jobs and houses – and they’ve laughed off their disappointment when they failed to win anything more than a tenner.

But then, one Saturday night, the unthinkable happens. There’s a rift in the group. Someone doesn’t tell the truth. And soon after, six numbers come up which change everything forever.

Lexi and Jake have a ticket worth £18 million. And their friends are determined to claim a share of it.
 
Sunday Times Number One bestseller Adele Parks returns with a riveting look at the dark side of wealth in this gripping take on friendship, money and betrayal, and good luck gone bad…

My thoughts:


Thank you to HQ for a digital review copy of this book – my thoughts are my own.

I was pleased to be invited to read a review copy of the 20th book by Adele Parks – I enjoyed reading Lies Lies Lies on my summer holiday last year. This book is another fast paced, dark story full of secrets, lies and some very unpleasant, selfish characters.

I enjoyed the story, which is told by Lexi (who bought the winning lottery ticket) and her 15 year old daughter Emily. I must admit that I wasn’t totally convinced by the 15 year old narrative (having got a teenage daughter of my own) but it didn’t spoil the story. Jake quickly becomes the most detestable character but is closely followed by many of the ‘friends’. After longing to win the lottery for over 15 years, it changes Lexi’s life in so many more ways then she ever expected.

My favourite character is Logan, the younger son, who seems to be the only person not corrupted by the huge amount of money. The story of Toma Albu, running alongside the lottery win story, was thought provoking and sadly too realistic.

If you enjoy a read full of secrets and twists, then I’m sure you will also enjoy this book, just as I did. Published on 14th May 2020.



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#BookReview THE CUTTING PLACE by JANE CASEY

Publisher Comments:

Everyone’s heard the rumours about elite gentlemen’s clubs, where the champagne flows freely, the parties are the height of decadence . . . and the secrets are darker than you could possibly imagine.

DS Maeve Kerrigan finds herself in an unfamiliar world of wealth, luxury and ruthless behaviour when she investigates the murder of a young journalist, Paige Hargreaves. Paige was working on a story about the Chiron Club, a private society for the richest and most privileged men in London. Then she disappeared. 

It’s clear to Maeve that the members have many secrets. But Maeve is hiding secrets of her own – even from her partner DI Josh Derwent. Will she uncover the truth about Paige’s death? Or will time run out for Maeve first?

My thoughts:

4.5 stars

Thank you to Harper Collins for a digital review copy via Readers First – my thoughts are my own. This is the first book I’ve read by Jane Casey and I was surprised to discover there are 8 previous Maeve Kerrigan books.

The opening chapters set the scene well – the discovery of Paige, the tension between Maeve and some of her colleagues, the ‘new’ relationship with Seth.

I enjoyed this crime fiction book – there was humour (sometimes dark), intrigue, secrets and twists. Even if you haven’t read any of the previous Maeve Kerrigan books (I’m assuming I’m not the only one), then hopefully you will enjoy it as much as I did.



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Saving Missy by Beth Morrey

Publisher comments:-

Boy meets girl. Girl meets boy. Woman meets dog…

The world has changed around Missy Carmichael. At seventy-nine, she’s estranged from her daughter, her son and only grandson live across the world in Australia, and her great love is gone. Missy spends her days with a sip of sherry, scrubbing the kitchen in her big empty house and reliving her past–though it’s her mistakes, and secrets, that she allows to shine brightest. The last thing Missy expects is for two perfect strangers and one spirited dog to break through her prickly exterior and show Missy just how much love she still has to give. Filled with wry laughter and deep insights into the stories we tell ourselves, The Love Story of Missy Carmichael shows us it’s never too late to teach an old dog new tricks. It’s never too late to love.

My thoughts:-


Thank you to HarperCollins and Beth Morrey for a gifted digital copy via NetGalley – my thoughts are my own.

This is already one of my favourite books of 2020 and I have been busy recommending it. The story starts slowly as we meet Missy and find out how small her world has become. Beth Morrey has created a wonderful ensemble cast (human and canine), who work together to help Missy find friendship, family and hope.

As a dog rescuer (we adopted Jake over 18 months ago), I loved the relationship developing between Missy and Bobby, and the interaction with the other dog walkers.

In a world where we spend more time with our online ‘friends’ than our real friends, this is a reminder that humans need social interaction and to belong to a community, and that loneliness is a big issue. My father-in-law always had a dog and they kept him going, giving him a reason to get up and to go out.

A stunning debut novel which should be enjoyed with a dog curled up in your lap.



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A stranger on the beach by Michele Campbell (Paperback publication day)

A Stranger on the Beach by Michele Campbell

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Blurb:-

“From the bestselling author of It’s Always the Husband comes a novel about a love triangle that begins on a fateful night… There is a stranger outside Caroline’s house. Her spectacular new beach house, built for hosting expensive parties and vacationing with the family she thought she’d have. But her husband is lying to her and everything in her life is upside down, so when the stranger, Aidan, shows up as a bartender at the same party where Caroline and her husband have a very public fight, it doesn’t seem like anything out of the ordinary. As her marriage collapses around her and the lavish lifestyle she’s built for herself starts to crumble, Caroline turns to Aidan for comfort…and revenge. After a brief and desperate fling that means nothing to Caroline and everything to him, Aidan’s obsession with Caroline, her family, and her house grows more and more disturbing. And when Caroline’s husband goes missing, her life descends into a nightmare that leaves her accused of her own husband’s murder.

My thoughts:-


Wow – this was the thriller that kept me guessing until the very end.

I had read the opening chapters on the Readers First website and was intrigued. So I was thrilled to receive a review copy from HQ Fiction.

Caroline is the posh wife of a financier, with a place in the city and the new beach house with a husband who is lying to her. Aidan is a local boy, whose granddad had a small place on the beach which is now replaced by Caroline’s massive beach house.

Caroline and Aiden have a one night stand which was meant to be fun but then the story becomes sinister – Aiden is falling for Caroline whilst Caroline is scared by his infatuation. I found the use of showing the two sides of the story slightly confusing to start with but this certainly built up the suspense. I didn’t know who to believe (Aidan v Caroline) – I recommend that you read it to find out. I read this late into the night to find out the answers – couldn’t fall asleep until I knew.

The author:

Michele Campbell is a graduate of Harvard College and Stanford Law School and a former federal prosecutor in New York City who specialized in international narcotics and gang cases. 

A while back, she said goodbye to her big-city legal career and moved with her husband and two children to an idyllic New England college town a lot like Belle River in IT’S ALWAYS THE HUSBAND. Since then, she has spent her time teaching criminal and constitutional law and writing novels. 

She’s had many close female friends, a few frenemies, and only one husband, who – to the best of her knowledge – has never tried to kill her.



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Rewrite the Stars by Emma Heatherington – Blog tour 29/10/19

Rewrite The Stars by Emma Heatherington

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


From the moment they meet one December day there’s something between Charlotte Taylor and her brother’s best friend, Tom Farley. But Tom’s already taken and Charlie has to let him go…

It’s another five years before their paths cross again only a secret from the past forces Charlie to make a choice. She promises herself she’ll never look back…

The years pass and Charlie moves on with her life but she can never forget Tom. He’s always there whispering ‘What if?’.

Can Charlie leave the life she has built for one last chance with Tom?  Or is the one that got away not really the one at all…?

My thoughts:-

This book was an enjoyable read and I was quickly engrossed in the story.

The story follows Charlotte/Charlie through the years after meeting Tom – how different would her life have been if she had made different decisions each time they met?

It is difficult to say more about the story without giving away the various twists to the story – however I found the story to be well written, heartbreaking in places, believable (although maybe Jack was slightly too perfect?) and thought provoking – many of us will wonder what would have happened if some event in their life went differently.

This is the first book I’ve read by Emma Heatherington and I look forward to reading more – this was a very emotional story.

Thank you to NetGalley and HarperFiction for a review copy – my thoughts about the book are totally my own.

The author

Emma Heatherington has penned more than thirty educational short films, plays and musicals as well as eleven novels, two of which were written under the pseudonym Emma Louise Jordan.
She was ghost-writer to Irish country music legend Philomena Begley and Liverpool born Nathan Carter, whose autobiography Born for the Road was nominated for an Irish Book Award.
Emma’s novel, The Legacy of Lucy Harte, was an eBook bestseller in both the UK and US.
She lives in her native Donaghmore, Co Tyrone, with her partner Jim McKee and their children Jordyn, Jade, Dualta, Adam and Sonny James.