#BookReview for Daria’s Daughter by Linda Huber

My review for Daria’s Daughter by Linda Huber, 5/5 stars.

I’ve read a few of Linda Huber’s books, and enjoyed every one of them, but this has to be her best so far. I was hooked from the first pages, with harassed mother Daria getting her daughter ready for their trip to Spain, only to be involved in a horrific accident on the way to the airport.

The story pulls you in as we, the reader, are privy to certain facts that the characters aren’t, and keeps the adrenaline going with every missed opportunity, those few seconds too late or too soon that would make all the difference.

The reader can feel pain and anguish Daria is going through; there are some truly touching moments as she mourns her daughter’s death, her marriage falls apart, and friends and family no longer know how to treat her. Huber has poured all the emotions into this book, making you feel part of the characters’ lives and their secrets.

Well written and well edited, this is a story that will break your heart and make you smile, an emotional roller coaster with a bitter-sweet ending that you’ll find yourself thinking about long after you’ve finished reading it. Highly recommend.


#BookReview for The Chocolate Box by Isabella May

My review for The Chocolate Box by Isabella May, 5/5 stars.

This a story of revenge – via a box of scrumptious chocolates! Add in some quirky characters you’ll love and hate, a teenage crush that has far-reaching consequences, and a team-building trip to France, for a magical, roller-coaster read. As always, Isabella May’s mouthwatering descriptions of each chocolate-covered delight leave you craving anything sweet within reach!

Ellie has had a turbulent childhood, from an overbearing mother to not fitting in at the posh school she’s sent to. When there’s a chance to work with the rich Westwood family, she sees a chance to set in motion an idea she’s been planning for a long time.

The more you read, the more the story pulls you in and you want to see how Ellie is going to carry out her idea. With a touch of the supernatural, and a huge dollop of magic, Ellie’s journey of self discover is a little crazy, pretty explosive, and full of surprises!


#BookReview for Family by Owen Mullen

I’m delighted to join the blog tour for Owen Mullen’s latest book, Family. Many thanks to the author, Boldwood Books, and Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for the chance to participate.

My review for Family by Owen Mullen, 5/5 stars.

I’ve never read a book by this author before, so I didn’t know what to expect. What I got was a gripping page-turner of a read that kept me hooked all the way through!

It starts off slowly, but soon picks up pace, with a few twists and shocks along the way. With rival gangs in London, corrupt police officers, horrendous crimes and justice meted out, this is a story where family means everything and revenge is their number one priority.

It shows the hard, gritty life of a gangster, and as can be expected, there are a few shocking scenes and gore. But it also shows the fragility of someone continuously living on the edge, where a single event can lead to a descent into madness from which there is no return.

A great plot, well-developed characters who get under your skin, and subtle layers to the story that will keep you thinking after you’ve finished reading, tie together to make this a great read. Highly recommend!

Purchase Link – https://buff.ly/37rHomR

Family – might be the death of you…

The Glass family business is crime, and they’re good at what they do. Vengeance took Luke Glass behind bars – but now he’s free and he’s never going back. Luke wants out of the gangster life – all he has to do is convince his family to let him go.

His brother holds the reins of the South London underworld in his brutal hands – nobody tells Danny Glass no and expects to live – not even DCI Oliver Stanford, bent copper and one of the Met’s rising stars. The way Danny sees it, his younger brother and sister Nina owe him everything. The price he demands is loyalty, and a war with their arch enemy gives him the leverage he needs to tie Luke to the family once more.

Luke can’t see a way out, until Danny commits a crime so terrible it can’t be forgiven. Love turns to hate when secrets are unearthed which pit brother against brother. Left with no choice but to choose a side, Nina holds the fate of the family in her hands.

In the Glass family, Owen Mullen has created a crime dynasty to rival the Richardsons and the Krays. Heart-pounding, jaw-dropping with non-stop action, Family is perfect for fans of Martina Cole, Kimberley Chambers and Mandasue Heller.

Author Bio

When he was ten years old, Owen Mullen won a primary schools short story competition and didn’t write another word for four decades. One morning he announced he was going to write a book. He did. Since then he has written seven. Owen was born in Coatbridge, a few miles from Glasgow, where the Charlie Cameron stories take place, and where he ran a successful design and marketing business. A late developer, he has a Masters degree from Strathclyde University which he got in his forties. In his earlier life he lived in London and worked as a musician and session singer. People tell him he enjoyed himself and he has no reason to doubt them. The journey from rocker to writer has been a fascinating experience and the similarities between the music and book industries, never cease to amaze him. His passions are travel, food and Arsenal Football Club. A gregarious recluse, he now splits his time between Scotland and the island of Crete, along with his wife, Christine.

Twitter https://twitter.com/OwenMullen6

Facebook https://m.facebook.com/OwenMullenAuthor

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/owenmullen6/

YouTube https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCirKpr7Dzji0x-0teu2nhqw

BookBub https://www.bookbub.com/authors/owen-mullen

#BookReview for The Ice Cream Parlour by Isabella May

My review for The Ice Cream Parlour by Isabella May, 5/5 stars.

This is the first book I’ve read by Isabella May and I loved it! It’s quirky, funny, sad, and even crazy in parts, but it all pulls together to make this a wonderful way to escape reality for a few hours.

As you read, you go through a whole range of emotions – Giovanna’s family stirred up feelings of rage and helplessness, and handsome rugby-player boyfriend Jeremy made me want to punch him, so I was thankful for some of the nicer characters!

May’s descriptions of Italy are spot on as well – I live in the north of Italy, and I was amazed to find my own thoughts about Italians, and in particular Milan, reflected in the story.

And what can I say about the main feature of the story, the ice cream? Each description is a mouth-watering explosion of flavours that you can actually taste while you’re reading – imagine a mix of Joanne Harris and Nigella Lawson, with their sensual narratives of food taking you into a world that makes your senses tingle with delight.

This is a story of self-discovery that takes you from Italy to England and back to Italy again, with hidden secrets waiting to be uncovered and a love of ice cream bringing together a group of strangers for an unexpected ending. I loved May’s writing and can’t wait to read more of her books! Highly recommend.


#BookReview for Aura by Lisa Hofmann

My review for Aura by Lisa Hofmann, 5/5 stars. It also earns a Pink Quill Book Pick badge (click here for more information.)

My review for Aura by Lisa Hofmann.
I’ve read a few of Lisa Hofmann’s books, and she is very good at writing short stories and novellas where you feel as though you know the characters already. Aura is no different – it starts in the middle of an event, and effortlessly carries you along to the end.
Set in the middle of winter in the mountains, it’s the perfect read for this time of year, snuggled under a blanket with a hot chocolate beside you. Well written, with a few twists along the way, it’s a wonderful way to pass an hour or so in another world. Highly recommend.


#BookReview for A Spell in the Wild: A Year (and Six Centuries) of Magic by Alice Tarbuck

My review for A Spell in the Wild: A Year (and Six Centuries) of Magic by Alice Tarbuck.

I absolutely loved this book. The writing is beautiful, and draws you into the author’s world, opening your eyes to the magic in everyday things all around us, seeing beauty where others only see ugliness. It’s an honour to be on this journey alongside the author during this insight to her year, to read her thoughts and learn about witchcraft, nature, and so much more.

There is a spell at the end of each chapter, but I feel that the real magic is in the author’s words and thoughts, which are transmitted to the reader and leave you feeling somehow different afterwards. I highly recommend this book for its gentle wisdom and enchanting prose, it’s one of my favourite books of the year.


#BookReview for Bright Lies by AA Abbott

My review for Bright Lies by AA Abbott, 5/5 stars.

This book touches the difficult subject of abuse and its effects on the child involved, but has been sensitively done by the author. David gradually seduces Emily, and as a reader you feel compassion and horror as she succumbs to his persuasive techniques.

AA Abbott has done an excellent job of showing how monsters like David infiltrate our society and get away with despicable crimes, and how the lives of children like Emily can change in an instant. It’s hard to read Emily’s story without experiencing the fear, hurt and devastation she feels, and understanding the vulnerability of anyone in her situation. Emily was lucky to find a friend on the streets. I would imagine many aren’t.

This is a sensitively written book I would highly recommend everyone read.


#BookReview|The Healers Awakening|Helen Pryke

A wonderful review for The Healer’s Awakening, published today!


Today is publication day for this stunning book and third in the series. I urge anyone to read them, you won’t be disappointed.

Publisher Bloodhound Published 2nd December 2020 Edition Kindle 236 pages Genre Historical Fiction/Family Saga hint of Magical Realism Purchaselink https://buff.ly/39hQROD Also available in The Healer Series:
Book 1: The Healer’s Secret
Book 2: The Healer’s Curse


Will echoes from the past shape her destiny?

Since Ginevra Innocenti’s death, the cottage has lain empty and abandoned in the woods.

Until the day Ginevra’s granddaughter, Sara, sees a dragonfly in the depths of winter. Intrigued, she follows it and discovers the forgotten cottage.

When Sara learns that her grandmother was once a healer, a series of events is set in motion which could lead to the end of the family legacy.

As long-hidden secrets are revealed, Sara starts to doubt everything she once believed in. Her mind…

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The Healer’s Awakening by Helen Pryke

A wonderful review for my latest book, The Healer’s Awakening!

A Chat with Annette

A lonely cottage in the Italian woods. A young woman. A dragonfly.

These are the main ingredients of Helen Pryke’s Innocenti saga, of which this book is the third instalment. I had the privilege of reading an advance copy prior to its release on December 2!
It’s the year 1880 when Sara meets a dragonfly in the snowy woods. Intrigued by the unusual sight, she follows it and ends up at a cottage she has never seen before. It looks abandoned, and yet there seems to be a presence there that feels hauntingly real.

To her dismay, her parents find out about her wanderings and forbid her to ever go there again – without giving reasons. Naturally, this makes the young woman even more curious. It’s the old groom who tells her about the magic place and the fact that she is descended from a long line of healers. Why…

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#BookReview for The House in the Hollow by Allie Cresswell

Today I’m excited to be part of the blog tour for Allie Cresswell’s latest book, The House in the Hollow. I love Allie’s books, and I couldn’t wait to read this.

The Talbots are wealthy. But their wealth is from ‘trade’. With neither ancient lineage nor title, they struggle for entrance into elite Regency society. Finally, aided by an impecunious viscount, they gain access to the drawing rooms of England’s most illustrious houses.

Once established in le bon ton, Mrs Talbot intends her daughter Jocelyn to marry well, to eliminate the stain of the family’s ignoble beginnings. But the young men Jocelyn meets are vacuous, seeing Jocelyn as merely a brood mare with a great deal of money. Only Lieutenant Barnaby Willow sees the real Jocelyn, but he must go to Europe to fight the French. The hypocrisy of fashionable society repulses Jocelyn—beneath the courtly manners and studied elegance she finds tittle-tattle, deceit, dissipation and vice.

Jocelyn stumbles upon and then is embroiled in a sordid scandal which will mean utter disgrace for the Talbot family. Humiliated and dishonoured, she is sent to a remote house hidden in a hollow of the Yorkshire moors. There, separated from family, friends and any hope of hearing about the lieutenant’s fate, she must build her own life—and her own social order—anew.

My review, 5/5 stars.

Jocelyn Talbot’s family came to their wealth through trade, rather than inheritance, and as such, their social standing hangs by a fragile thread, where the merest whisper of scandal would leave them shunned by everyone of importance. For Mrs Talbot, there is nothing more important than her position in society.

The story alternates between Jocelyn’s banishment to the lonely house in the hollow in 1811 and the events leading up to it, and the conclusion in 1814. It is also written from the point of view of Annie, an orphan who ends up as a scullery maid at the Talbot’s house, giving us a view of life above and below stairs, making us privy to things that were kept hidden away, scandals that were swept under the carpet.

I love reading Allie Cresswell’s historical fiction novels. She has a way of taking the reader back into the past, with its social rules, subtle intrigue, veiled threats, and the importance of wealth and origins. Her style of writing recreates the oppressive atmosphere of the times that I’m sure many young women had to suffer, and through her story we understand the sacrifices they had to make, for honour, for society, and for the family name. This is a must-read for anyone who loves historical fiction.


About the author:
Allie Cresswell was born in Stockport, UK and began writing fiction as soon as she could hold a pencil.

She did a BA in English Literature at Birmingham University and an MA at Queen Mary College, London.

She has been a print-buyer, a pub landlady, a book-keeper, run a B & B and a group of boutique holiday cottages.

Nowadays Allie writes full time. She has two grown-up children, two granddaughters, two grandsons and two cockapoos but just one husband – Tim. They live in Cumbria, NW England.

The House in the Hollow is her eleventh novel.

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