Monday, 25 April 2016

5* review: After the Lie by Kerry Fisher

A perfect wife. A perfect life. A dangerous secret ... 

Lydia counts herself lucky. She’s married to a decent man, Mark, who she still loves and even though her teenagers test her patience she’s pretty proud of them. She knows she’s fortunate. She’s grateful. Especially when her mum, who, unlike Mark, knows what happened in her past, constantly reminds her how different things could have been … 

Because the truth is that Mark has no idea who he is really married to – Lydia has been living a lie for years. She did something terrible when she was young, that forced her family to start a new life elsewhere, and she can’t let Mark and the children find out about it. So when Sean, the person who knows all of Lydia’s dark little secrets, turns up at the school gates, his presence threatens to blow Lydia’s life apart. 

What is Lydia’s terrible truth? Once the secret is out, you can’t put it back … 

A powerful and heartbreaking story, perfect for fans of Liane Moriarty and Diane Chamberlain 

Lydia is a mother in her early forties, successful business woman and supportive wife. They live in Surrey in a nice house and the children go to an expensive private school, she has the perfect life?

She floats along like the swan and is paddling like fury underneath, especially when Sean moves to the area - the man that could blow apart her life by revealing something they did as teenagers that could have been reasonably innocuous but changed the course of Lydia's family's lives forever. And it is something that Lydia's husband and children know nothing about.

While reading this wonderful book I got so involved that when an integral part of the story came up I actually dropped a swear word when realising that Lydia's life was about the unravel and felt her panic as though it was inside me.

Fisher hooks you firmly into the character's lives with her perceptive wit and perfect descriptions of normal family life with teenagers. Experiencing the fears of the social media generation where a photograph can travel hundreds of miles around thousands of people in minutes and will be there forever and explores the minefield that is teenage relationships.

I loved her writing style back with The Island Escape last summer and it has only got better.

I adored and empathised with Lydia's character, loved her supportive husband Mark and wanted to batter her interfering, judgemental mother who I softened a little towards by the end of the book, and a huge mention to her wonderful father who would clearly do anything to protect his daughter.

This is a fantastic book to get your teeth into, I read this in two long sittings I was so gripped.

A huge...

Monday, 18 April 2016

New this week: The Chic Boutique on Baker Street by Rachel Dove

Today I am thrilled to bring to you Rachel Dove's new novel - The Chic Boutique on Baker Street.


Genre: romantic fiction
Release Date: 21st April 2016
Publisher:  Mills & Boon

The perfect escape to the country…
Recently single and tired of the London rat race Amanda is determined to make her dreams of setting up an idyllic countryside boutique come true, and the picturesque village of Westfield is the perfect place to
make a fresh start.
Local vet Ben is the golden boy of Westfield, especially to resident gossip Agatha Mayweather, who is determined to help Ben get his life back together after his wife left.
When a chance encounter outside the ‘chic boutique’ sets sparks flying between Amanda and Ben, Agatha is itching to set them up. But are Amanda and Ben really ready for romance?
The Chic Boutique on Baker Street is the debut novel from Rachel Dove, winner of The Prima Flirty Fiction Competition. You won’t be able to resist this heart-warming romantic story set in an idyllic Yorkshire village, full of lovable characters and laugh-out-loud moments…as Amanda finds her way to a second chance at life and love. This is the reading escape you’ve been looking for!



Rachel Louise Dove is a mum of two from Yorkshire. She has always loved writing and has a had previous success as a self-published author. Rachel is the winner of the Mills & Boon Flirty Fiction competition.
Her first novel, Crossing Life Lines is out now in Kindle and paperback format.


Twitter - @WriterDove






Saturday, 16 April 2016

5* review - The Silent Twin by Caroline Mitchell

Nine-year-old twins Abigail and Olivia vow never to be parted. But when Abigail goes missing from Blackwater Farm, DC Jennifer Knight must find her before it’s too late. 

Twin sister Olivia has been mute since Abigail’s disappearance. But when she whispers in Jennifer’s ear, Jennifer realises it is Abigail’s voice pleading to be found. 

A damp and decaying house set in acres of desolate scrubland, the farm is a place of secrets, old and new – and Jennifer must unravel them all in order to find the lost girl. But could Olivia’s bond with her twin hold the key to finding Abigail? And can Jennifer break through her silence in time to save her sister’s life? 

DC Jennifer Knight is called to the chilling Blackwater Farm when a young girl disappears playing hide and seek. Her twin sister is the only witness and since the little girl's disappearance has been mute, saying nothing to a soul.

DC Knight feels that there is an atmosphere within the creepy house, both within the family and paranormally and when she finally gets alone time with Olivia and her twin's voice speaks within her, pleading to be saved from the dark place where she is trapped and it's a race against time to find the clues to where she is, and they are all but none.

The Silent Twin takes you through all emotions and has you questioning everything and everyone. I was looking at everyone wondering what they had to hide and was pleasantly surprised at the ending that I had guessed correctly the person responsible but had no idea as the how it all played out - extremely clever plotting by Mitchell.

I realised whilst reading that DC Knight must have appeared in earlier novels as there were hints towards her past (however this makes a perfect standalone read) and was pleased to have already downloaded them previously on my Kindle, am looking forward to catching up on her past as she is a very interesting character.

A fabulously clever page turner!

Many thanks to the publisher for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review

5* review: The Obsession by Nora Roberts

Naomi Carson is a survivor. As a child, her family was torn apart by a shocking crime. It could have destroyed her, but Naomi has grown up strong, with a passion for photography that has taken her all around the world.
Now, at last, she has decided to put down roots. The beautiful old house on Point Bluff needs work, but Naomi has new friends in town who are willing to help, including Xander Keaton - gorgeous, infuriating and determined to win her heart.
But as Naomi plans for the future, her past is catching up with her. Someone in town knows her terrifying secret - and won't let her forget it. As her new home is rocked by violence, Naomi must discover her persecutor's identity, before it's too late.

As a fan of Nora Roberts, I hate to say I found her last couple of offerings slightly disappointing, they just seemed slightly 'off brand', however The Obsession sees Roberts back to and beyond her blistering best.

Eleven year old Naomi on the eve of her twelfth birthday follows her daddy on a balmy evening into the woods to see if he's hiding her birthday surprise... she finds something more horrific than she could ever have imagined. Something that will change her life forever..

As Naomi grows older she face things that no child ever should, and is haunted by what she found in the woods that fateful night, she finds it impossible to forge any kind of close friendship other than with her family until she finds a rundown but beautiful coastal bluff house that she decides to try and make her own. Beginning to build friendships, even thinking that she has found somewhere to settle down eventually when the violent and horrific events of her past come back to haunt her once more, taking a fatal turn.

The Obsession is the best of Roberts' novels by far in my opinion and I have been a longstanding fan since The Northern Lights way back when. I certainly was not expecting what Naomi found in the woods and from really early on the book was fast paced and had me gripped.

Watching Naomi and her work crew rebuild the house on the bluff was fascinating and I would love to have seen it for myself! The description of the old furniture that was being renovated had me captured and I could see it clearly with my minds eye. Also the descriptions of her photography sounded stunning and captured the imagination..

I loved watching her beginning to make friends and learning to love once again, and loved the complimenting cast of characters around her.

An excellent book that I will return to time and again.

Many thanks to the publisher for providing an ARC in return for an honest review.

Monday, 4 April 2016

Review: The Missing - CL Taylor

You love your family. They make you feel safe. You trust them.
But should you…?
When fifteen-year-old Billy Wilkinson goes missing in the middle of the night, his mother, Claire, blames herself. She's not the only one. There isn't a single member of Billy's family that doesn't feel guilty. But the Wilkinson’s are so used to keeping secrets from one another that it isn't until six months later, after an appeal for information goes horribly wrong, that the truth begins to surface.
Claire is sure of two things – that Billy is still alive and that her friends and family had nothing to do with his disappearance.
A mother's instinct is never wrong. Or is it?
Sometimes those closest to us are the ones with the most to hide…

Fifteen year old Billy has been missing for six months when the book begins, the family have and are doing all they can to find him but things really are not looking great from the off. A live press appeal goes very wrong when elder brother, Jake, turns up worse for wear shining a very dim view on the family and stirring up more media rumours that always circulate when there is a missing child - it must be the family.

Which leads you to it the family? Or at least someone connected? There are plenty of clues (which had me guessing at least three wrong suspects) as Claire's journey to finding the truth about how her son disappeared leads her into some very grim places, both mentally and physically. But throughout she remains firm in the fact that Billy is not dead, but is a mother's instinct always right or is she just too frightened to admit the truth?

The narration is interspersed with diary entries of a messaging site between seemingly Billy and an older person giving clues to why he disappeared - these were not a part of the story I particularly enjoyed as they were quite seedy and did not make pleasant reading - maybe crucial to the story, I'm not sure?

All in all this is not my favourite of Taylor's books (The Accident and The Lie were excellent and well worth checking out) but it is still worth a read if psychological thrillers/family dramas are your thing. 

Many thanks to the publisher for exchanging a copy for an honest review.