#BookReview Looking for Lucy by Jane E. James

My review for Looking for Lucy by Jane E. James, 5/5 stars.

The opening chapter, written in Lucy’s voice, sets the scene perfectly and makes chills run down your spine. The creepy setting of Moon Hollow, the cold strangeness of Jane and John, and the dark, still waters of the lake add to the atmospheric drama of the story.

Lucy has been missing for a month, and her parents coerce Cindy Martin, a psychic who has been cast aside by her mother and most of her friends, to help them search for her. But the house is full of secrets, and Cindy keeps having disturbing flashbacks.

Nothing is as it seems and every character is hiding something – what happened at Moon Hollow, and is Lucy still alive? This is a story with plenty of unexpected twists and revelations that keeps you turning the pages to find out what’s really going on. The ending is just as sinister as the opening, with a haunting sadness that will break your heart. Highly recommend.

https://www.amazon.com/Looking-Lucy-Unlike-other-thriller-ebook/dp/B08X8LC4Y2/
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Looking-Lucy-Unlike-other-thriller-ebook/dp/B08X8LC4Y2/

#BookReview for The Warden by Jon Richter

My review for The Warden by Jon Richter, 5/5 stars.

Wow, I loved this book! Set in the year 2024, with flashbacks to 2020, it shows an alternative reality to the Covid situation we’re currently living through. The virus has become even more virulent, and people are shut inside their homes, terrified to go out.

The protagonist, Eugene, is an agoraphobic ex-cop, who is content to live out his days in his bricked-up apartment, his life run by James, an artificial intelligence created to look after humans. Until the day things go wrong…

I loved the characters, the tension created from the first page, the flashbacks to Felicity’s past (James’s creator), and the gradual reveal as to what’s really happening. Having read Richter’s Auxiliary London 2039, I knew this would be a great read, and I wasn’t disappointed!

The story is far enough removed from our actual situation to be able to read without the constant reminder of what we’re going through. But as an alternative reality, it’s a pretty scary warning of how things could have gone! The Warden is more than a story about Covid, though – it’s a story of corporate greed, of human weaknesses, of strength and courage to overcome past traumas, of determination to do the right thing.

Well written, with a story that keeps you hooked until the end, this is a book I highly recommend!

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B095STQXYV/
https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B095STQXYV/

#BookReview for Bi The Way by Sarah Northwood

My review for Bi The Way by Sarah Northwood, 5/5 stars.  It also earns a Pink Quill Book Pick badge (click here for more information.)

In this book, the author begins with the emotional moment her teen came out to her, and then takes us back in time to when she and her husband decided to start a family. What comes through is Sarah’s love for her family, her open honesty about the mistakes she made, and her journey to reaching a better understanding of everything her teen was going through.

There are lots of useful links, and some beautiful poems and drawings by the author, and the author talks about the problems she had with some members of her family. I can see this book being used by schools as a way of opening a discussion about LGBTQ+ and achieving greater understanding and acceptance.

At the end of the book, there is a section where other members of the author’s family talk about their experiences during this journey ‘over the rainbow’. Their comments are enlightening, and show the love, trust and acceptance this family has, not only towards each other, but to everyone.

I believe this book is essential reading for everyone, to better understand the world around us, the right language to use, and the best way we can support and respect others’ choices. Highly recommend.

https://www.amazon.com/Bi-way-journey-rainbow-English-ebook/dp/B095SQ4ZB4/
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Bi-way-journey-rainbow-English-ebook/dp/B095SQ4ZB4/


As a side note, I am good friends with Sarah, and we often chat on FB, together with our other good friend, Kayleigh. The three of us share almost everything, and I remember when Sarah first told us about her teen coming out. These chats were invaluable when my own teen came out to me a little while later. Thanks to Sarah, I could give him the support, reassurance and love he needed, which was invaluable to us.

#BookReview for Mum’s the Word by Lorraine Turnbull

My review for Mum’s the Word by Lorraine Turnbull, 5/5 stars.

This is a great read interwoven with the underlying themes of domestic abuse, friendship, and love. When Ann-Marie kills her husband in the opening chapter, this dark comedy takes you on a roller coaster of a ride where four women bond over love, life, and death.

With friendships, new beginnings, characters turning their lives around, learning lessons from their mistakes, others getting only what they deserve, the story has many layers that all come together to create an enchanting tale. It’s wonderful to see the characters grow as events change them, and there are many touching moments.

If you like dark comedies with well written characters and a rich, colourful story, I highly recommend this book!

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B093C6YXJH/
https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B093C6YXJH/

#BookReview for The Silent Maid by Annette Spratte

My review for The Silent Maid by Annette Spratte, 5/5 stars. It also earns a Pink Quill Book Pick badge (click here for more information.)

When Daniel Huntington goes to Brigham Manor as Master of Horse, he is intrigued by the silent girl who sleeps in the kitchen and is treated badly by the other servants. The mystery deepens when he sees how Baronet Brigham treats her, and he desperately wants to find out why.

Interspersed with letters Daniel writes to his mother, where we see all his doubts and insecurities come out and learn more about him, the narrative draws you into the story right away, to the Yorkshire estate with its servants, intrigues, and volatile baronet.

A must read for fans of historical fiction, the author takes you back in time with this haunting story set in England in the 1700s. Romance with a touch of suspense and mystery, Annette Spratte has brought the characters to life and created a beautiful story that will stay with you for some time.

https://www.amazon.com/Silent-Maid-English-Annette-Spratte-ebook/dp/B0922FP8XR/
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Silent-Maid-English-Annette-Spratte-ebook/dp/B0922FP8XR/

#BookReview for Night of the Spiders by Brian O’Gorman

My review for Night of the Spiders by Brian O’Gorman, 5/5 stars.

Wow, where do I start? Having read Dawn of the Spiders and Day of the Spiders, I guessed that I was in for a gory, horrific, terrifying roller coaster of a read – and I wasn’t wrong!

Night of the Spiders concludes the trilogy, and it was well worth the wait. The spiders are bigger, nastier, faster, and even more determined to wipe out the human race. There are some incredible scenes that keep you on the edge of your seat, heart racing, as the protagonists flee the hordes of famished spiders (and others that are gory enough to make you want to cover your eyes!).

Brian O’Gorman writes gutsy stories with a punch, that keep you hanging on every word until the end. His skill lies in creating great characters who become real people, with all their flaws and weaknesses, sometimes redeeming themselves, many times not. You can never tell who will die and who will survive, which can lead to some shocking moments as you read – his books are never predictable!

Even if you hate spiders (as I do!), I highly recommend this trilogy.

https://www.amazon.com/Night-Spiders-Brian-OGorman-ebook/dp/B093C4Y8H4/
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Night-Spiders-Brian-OGorman-ebook/dp/B093C4Y8H4/

#BookReview for Where Would You Fly? by Lillian Darnell

My review for Where Would You Fly? & Other Magical Stories by Lillian Darnell, 5/5 stars.

The first line of the blurb for this book reads:

Welcome to the radiant imagination of Lillian Darnell, a wonderful and unique human being, the kind who comes around only once in every 56,000 births, as she is missing the short arm of her 18th chromosome.

I thought it was the perfect introduction to my review. Her stories are full of imagination and wonder, as you see the world through her eyes from age 4 (written with a little help from her mum, Camilla) to age 16. Some are gentle guides to mindfulness, others to how to be happy, and most are delightful stories with fairies, unicorns, and magic.

I have to admit I found the Emotions and Feelings part particularly touching, where Lillian explores her own emotions while growing up. Her condition, and her journey which led to the publication of this book, are explained in the introduction by Camilla, who is also a wonderful poet, and a beautiful person. Her dedication to Lillian, and her son Thomas, is evident through the stories Lillian has written and the love she has for her family.

Every now and then it’s lovely to get away from the real world and travel to distant lands with mythical beings. Lillian’s book is a wonderful distraction that you can dip into every now and then, and it will put a smile on your face. Many thanks to Camilla, Lillian and Thomas for the chance to read Where Would You Fly?

https://www.amazon.com/Where-Would-You-Fly-Magical-ebook/dp/B08C2BF9P4/
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Where-Would-You-Fly-Magical-ebook/dp/B08C2BF9P4/

#BookReview #NetGalley for The Missing Pieces of Us by Eva Glyn

My review for The Missing Pieces of Us by Eva Glyn, 4/5 stars.

This is a dramatic, second-chance love story with characters who are trying to get over loss, and grief, while giving themselves another chance at life. The author tackles difficult subjects such as mental health problems, homelessness, and alcoholism, but she does it with great sensitivity, leaving the reader with a better understanding of how tragedy and grief can lead someone to make the wrong choices.

Both of the protagonists, Izzie and Robin, have suffered greatly, and have many flaws. You’ll find yourself wanting to grab them both and talk some sense to them! But this is ultimately a story of courage and determination, a journey of forgiveness and new beginnings.

This is not an easy read, but it’s one that kept me turning the pages, wanting to find out what happens to Izzie and Robin, whether they reach out and ask for the help they so desperately need. It’s a love story, but it’s so much more, and it’s a read I recommend.

Many thanks to NetGalley, Harper Collins UK, and the author for the chance to read this book.

#BookReview for Sustainable Smallholding by Lorraine Turnbull

My review for Sustainable Smallholding by Lorraine Turnbull, 5/5 stars. It also earns a Pink Quill Book Pick badge (click here for more information.)

Living off the land has always been something that has fascinated me, and Lorraine Turnbull takes you by the hand and guides you through all the pitfalls and joys of owning a smallholding. I loved her no-nonsense tone and dry British humour, and she makes every page interesting (even when she’s talking about tax forms and the various licences you need!).

Full of great advice, she also gives useful tips on how you can make the most of any part of your land. Her passions are bee-keeping and cider-making, which she also used to teach, and her authority and enthusiasm come through with every word.

Interspersed with case studies of other smallholdings, and anecdotes from her own experiences, this is a great book for anyone thinking of sustainable living or actually doing it. Even if you don’t have a smallholding, she gives lots of advice for sustainable living that anyone can do, no matter how big or small their garden.

A fascinating read that I highly recommend.

https://www.amazon.com/Sustainable-Smallholding-English-Lorraine-Turnbull-ebook/dp/B08NF8QNQM/
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sustainable-Smallholding-English-Lorraine-Turnbull-ebook/dp/B08NF8QNQM/

#BookReview for #TheTuscanHouse #NetGalley by Angela Petch

My review for The Tuscan House by Angela Petch, 5/5 stars.

Having read and loved the other books in Angela Petch’s Tuscan series, I knew I would be for a treat with The Tuscan House. The author writes a beautifully descriptive narrative of the area in Tuscany, with plenty of research into the people and their lives in that era.

This is the haunting story of locals and partigiani fighting to survive in the Second World War. The Germans have taken over the area, and people’s once-tranquil lives are now full of hardship, But the author has done a fantastic job of showing how people’s resilience shines through even in the harshest times, and how hard people fought to save their country and their dignity.

This is a love story, but it is also so much more. We see the harsh brutality of war and the lengths desperate people will go to, but also compassion and a willingness to help others, even when it could mean death. The characters, and their lives, will remain with you for a long time after you’ve finished reading. Highly recommend.

https://www.amazon.com/Tuscan-House-Absolutely-beautiful-historical-ebook/dp/B08XY49QXY/
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Tuscan-House-Absolutely-beautiful-historical-ebook/dp/B08XY49QXY/

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