The Poet’s Wife by Rebecca Stonehill book review

imageThe Poet’s Wife by Rebecca Stonehill is available now in ebook format and paperback.

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Product Details (as per amazon page)

An unforgettable journey into the heart of one family torn apart by war.
Granada, 1920. Free-spirited Luisa and young poet Eduardo fall in love, cementing a bond that can never be broken.
Behind the jasmine filled courtyard, perched amongst houses like clouds on a hilltop, stands a beautiful villa; Carmen de las Estrellas. Beneath its walls live Eduardo and Luisa with their thriving family, but war is looming, casting its shadow over the household.
When Civil War finally breaks out, Luisa and Eduardo must fiercely protect those dear to them. Yet these are turbulent times, and as each of their children begin to make their way in the world, the solace of home cannot shield them from the horrors of war.
The Poet’s Wife is an extraordinary piece of storytelling spanning over fifty years – a heart-wrenching novel of a family devastated by war but bound together by love, loss and hope, told through the eyes of three remarkable women.


The Poet’s Wife is the debut novel by Rebecca Stonehill.  Rebecca Stonehill was a London girl but is now residing in Nairobi where she is a creative writing teacher.  Rebecca spent 18 months living in Granada and fell in love with the area and was inspired to write The Poet’s Wife.

I’d like to thank the publishers and netgalley for an arc of this novel in return for an honest review.

This was a very moving portrayal of a family’s struggles and survival during the Spanish revolution.  The story was told from the eyes of the female members of the family panning three generations.  The tragedies they felt and saw.  The hardship of surviving with little or no food.  The fear of leaving their own home.  The casualties of the civil war.  Amongst all these terrible days, months and years love had intertwined into their lives and it was a wonderful blessing.  From the author’s words I felt the heartbreak of these atrocities, the fear surrounding them but I also felt the warmth from the love that had blossomed.  A very well written historical family saga I can highly recommend.

A beautiful but tragic moving story, 4.5*/5 read.

To find out more about Rebecca Stonehill please visit the following links:


The Happy Ever After Life of Rosie Potter (RIP) by Kate Winter blogtour review

THARP coverI’m pleased to be involved in the blogtour of the paperback release of The Happy Ever Afterlife of Rosie Potter (RIP) by Kate Winter.  The novel is available now in ebook format and paperback from all good retailers.

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Product Details (as per amazon page)

When Rosie Potter wakes up one morning with what she assumes is the world’s worst hangover, the last thing she expects is to discover that she’s actually dead. With a frustrating case of amnesia, suspicious circumstances surrounding her untimely demise, and stuck wearing her ugliest flannel PJs, Rosie must figure out not only what happened last night, but why on earth she’s still here.

Slowly the mystery unravels, but there are many other secrets buried in the quiet Irish village of Ballycarragh, and nobody is as innocent as they first appear. Aided by the unlikeliest of allies in her investigation, Rosie discovers that life after death isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, particularly when you might just be falling in love . . .

Poster week 2-page-001

I’d like to thank the publishers for an arc in return for an honest review.

Firstly, I’d like to say how gorgeous the cover of this novel looks.  I was totally drawn to the book by its cover, it looks bright, cheerful, a little whimsical and pretty. I was also intrigued by the title, a very strange title for a romcom and reading the synopsis I was even more intrigued.

This is a bitter sweet murder mystery romcom.  It has an original offbeat storyline written with such wit and humour that you can’t help laughing out loud with.  You almost forget the tragedy of the story with how sensitively the author, Kate Winter, has woven humour and warmth around the pages.

This was a truly beautiful love story with a twist.  This twist hurt me so much I was sobbing uncontrollably.  It’s a clever story that has left a lump in my throat but has also left a warmth in my heart.

A fabulously, original story that pulled at my heart and rattled my funnybone.  5/5* read.

Kate 1Kate Winter is a journalist, novelist and storyteller from the North West of Ireland who was lucky enough to grow up with no TV (though she didn’t consider it a lucky break at the time) and lots of books. After graduating from University of Ulster with first class honours and the Ulster Television Award for her BA in Media Studies, Kate promptly forged a glittering career for herself in waitressing. Then one day, beside a swimming pool in Australia, Kate decided it was time to write a book. The Happy Ever Afterlife of Rosie Potter (RIP) is Kate’s debut novel.  (Publisher’s author press release information)

To find out more about Kate and her writing please visit the following links:

My First Year Blogiversary and GIVEAWAY

behind every stack of booksWell here I am a year on since first blogging.  It’s been a great year discovering new books, new authors, new book blogging friends, new independent craftsfolk.  I’ve thoroughly enjoyed sharing my love of reading, cooking, crafting, shoppping.  I’ve loved reading blog reviews from other bloggers and discovering even more authors and books I’d not come across.  There are so many good authors and books out there to be discovered, open your eyes and treat yourself to a book by a new author.

I’ve tried to remember all the new authors I’ve experience this year and if I’ve missed anyone out I do apologise.  Here are my new authors since May 2014:

Lucy Dillon, Dana Bate, M J Summers, Sue Watson, Penelope Douglas, Lynda Renham, Nora Roberts, Ruth Saberton, Liz Fenwick, Beth Thomas, Cathy Bramley, K Bromberg, Samantha Young, Fiona Gibson, Julia Quinn, Jayne Ann Krentz, Nicola Doherty, Kate Winter, Chelsea Fine, Nina George, Charlotte Betts, Elizabeth Hoyt, Melissa Kite, Sheila Roberts, Jessica Blair, Darcie Chan, Kathryn Freeman, Helen Chandler, Jennifer Nadel, Robyn Neeley, Jessica Stirling, Jane Wenham-Jones, Hannelore Moore, Elizabeth Anthony, Wilhelmina Stolen.

Wow!  If I’ve counted that correctly I’ve discovered over 35 new authors in one year …

It’s been difficult to pick out five of my favourite books from the year as I can honestly say I haven’t read a bad book this year.  The five I’ve chosen do not in any way underestimate the enjoyment I’ve read in all my books:

  • The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George – “It’s heartbreaking but uplifting, it’s humour is sensitive to the nature of the characters and storyline … almost felt like a true story.”
  • The Teashop on the Corner by Milly Johnson – “At the end of the book my eyes were full of tears, my heart was full of warmth and it left a big smile on my face.”
  • We are all made of Stars by Rowan Coleman – “This novel was one of those special stories that will stay with you for a long time.”
  • Runaway Summer: Polwenna Bay 1 by Ruth Saberton – “A gorgeous summery read that will leave you needing more.”
  • Ivy Lane by Cathy Bramley – “This was such a heartwarming story that left you feeling like you’d been wrapped in a big bear hug.”

The bookblogging community on Twitter is very friendly and supportive.  I’d like to say a big “Hello” and “Thank you” to the following:

@PBscribbles, @BeccaBooks, @lynseybfarmer, @twinmum94, @bookreviewbyrea, @albainbookland, @danielriding, @CelesteMcCreesh, @jennymarston_xo, @LauraHolds28, @ShazsBookBlog, @SophieRTB, @Tracy Shephard … if I’ve not mentioned your name I’ll add you to a shout out next time 🙂

To celebrate my 1st year in blogging I’ve put together a little goody bag filled with some of my favourite things.  To enter please click on the rafflectoper link below and good luck! (UK only entries)

blogiversary goodies

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Truly Madly Greekly by Mandy Baggot book review

truly madly greekly

Truly Madly Greekly by Mandy Baggot is available to download in ebook format and paperback tomorrow, 22nd May 2015.

To buy links:

Product Details (as per amazon page)

Capable, confident and career-driven, Ellen had her dream job and a marriage proposal from boyfriend Ross. Life was good, her future set. Until it wasn’t and everything fell apart…

Whisked off to the beautiful island of Corfu to plan her sister Lacey’s big, fat, Greek wedding, Ellen is hoping some time out will help clear her head and heal her heart. But letting go of her past is not going to be easy.

With Lacey in full on Bridezilla mode, Ellen is soon distracted from her own problems. And when the all-inclusive treats on offer at hotel Blue Vue include one gorgeous, brooding Adonis – Yan – Ellen finds him difficult to resist.

But Ellen isn’t looking for love or lust, or anything involving too much ouzo…or is she?


cocktail clipart

I’d like to thank the publishers and netgalley for an arc of this novel in return for an honest review.

What a fabulous summer read!  Mandy Baggot has created a book that is fun, fabulous, full of sizzling moments to get you in the mood for some summer lovin’!

Ellen and her sister Lacey are visiting Corfu, in the name of research, to plan Lacey’s ‘Big Fat Greek wedding’.  Lacey is set on this big volumptious OTT wedding and soon goes into manic Bridezilla mode.  Ellen soon becomes distracted and the gorgeous Yan from the hotel complex animation team takes notice of her and wonders why she is not enjoying herself like her sister.

One of my favourite characters was Yan, I loved his courageness, his vulnerability, his compassion, his hope, his dream and his gorgeousness!  I’m definitely Team Yan 🙂

We get to know more about the lives of Ellen and Yan and they both discover they have unfulfilled dreams waiting to be given the go ahead.

Mandy has also created some wonderful subsidiary characters, I particularly liked a duo act in the animation team in the name of Dasha and Sergei.  They sounded like a fun team and would definitely make your holiday memorable.  The antics this pair got up to were hilarious.

I’d like to share one of my favourite quotes from the novel:

“When you bared yourself to someone,

showed the pieces of yourself you were less proud of,

scared of, ashamed of, you were truly free.

And if that person accepted all those bits of you,

loved you just as you are, it was golden”

I would recommend you grab hold of this novel whether you are travelling overseas of enjoying timeout at home.  Make yourself a fruity drink and stick an umbrella in for authenticity.  Sit back and relax and enjoy the fun, frolics and drama that Ellen and Lacey have in Greece.  5/5* read.

To find out more about Mandy Baggot and her books please visit the following links:

We Are All Made of Stars by Rowan Coleman book review

we are all made of stars

We Are All Made of Stars by Rowan Coleman is due out in ebook format and hardcover on 21st May 2015.

To buy links:

Product Details (as per amazon page)

Do not miss me, because I will always be with you…I am the air, the moon, the stars. For we are all made of stars, my beloved… Wherever you look, I will be there.
Stella Carey exists in a world of night. Married to a soldier who has returned from Afghanistan injured in body and mind, she leaves the house every evening as Vincent locks himself away, along with the secrets he brought home from the war.
During her nursing shifts, Stella writes letters for her patients to their loved ones – some full of humour, love and practical advice, others steeped in regret or pain – and promises to post these messages after their deaths.
Until one night Stella writes the letter that could give her patient one last chance at redemption, if she delivers it in time…
We Are all Made of Stars is an uplifting and heartfelt novel about life, loss and what happens in between from the Sunday Times bestselling author of The Memory Book.

pretty clipart starsI’d like to thank the publishers and netgalley for an arc in return for an honest review.

This was such a special, inspiring story that moved me in so many ways.  I could also relate to certain parts of the storyline and at times it was heartbreaking to read.  Stella, I believe is the cog that keeps this novel turning.  She is such an exceptional woman.   She is brave, kind, patient, compassionate, forgiving, hardworking.  Stella was a nurse at the forefront of trauma saving people in the accident and emergency department.  However, after her military husband suffered a terrible injury during his tour of Afghanistan Stella decides to use her nursing skills in a hospice.  Stella soon becomes a confidante for the patients and she starts writing letters on their behalf, their last words to their loved ones.  This is such an amazing task that Stella has taken on.  These letters are often throwbacks to memorable events, letters of forgiveness, letters that are frank and funny.  During all this time working at the hospice Stella is hiding her own hearbreak.  Since Vincent’s accident in Afghanistan their relationship hasn’t been the same both physically and emotionally.  Both Stella and Vincent are struggling with their emotions of how they’ve coped since this terrible event.  Can they learn to let go of these emotions and move on?

We meet some wonderful characters in the hospice.  Hope, is a young woman suffering with CF, after a particularly nasty infection she was taken to the hospice to recover and gain strength.  I loved how Rowan called this character this name as reading through the novel Hope left me feeling invigorated and optimistic.  I don’t want to give you any spoilers but I loved how the author developed Hope’s storyline, it was courageous and heartwarming.

Another character I enjoyed was Hugh.  He was quite a complex character at the begining but he slowly grew on me and I would love to know what happens next for him.

This novel is one of those special stories that will stay with you for a long time.  It was emotional, tragic, heartwarming, romantic, inspiring and beautiful.  It also had a cat with great ‘catitude’, one of the best cat characters I’ve read in a long time.

An uplifting, beautiful, heartfelt 5/5* read.

To find out more about Rowan Coleman and her books please visit the following links:

The Dish by Stella Newman book review

the dishThe Dish by Stella Newman is available now in kindle format, audio download and is due to be published in paperback on Thursday 21st May 2015.

To buy links:

Product Details (as per amazon page)

When Laura Parker first crosses forks with Adam Bayley, she’s only after one thing: his custard doughnut. But when she takes a closer look she sees a talented, handsome man who outshines the string of jokers she’s been dating.

There’s just one problem. Adam’s job means Laura has to keep her job as restaurant critic for The Dish, a secret. Tricky for someone who prides herself on honesty.

Can the truth be put on ice long enough for love to flourish?

And how can you expect your boyfriend to be honest if you’re not quite telling the truth yourself?

croissant and coffee

I’d like to thank the publishers and netgalley for an arc in return for an honest review.

Unlucky in love and aspiring journalist Laura has a secret.  When she bumps into the gorgeous, moody Adam and spends all day chatting to him she realises this secret could cause all sorts of problems for this budding friendship.  She finds out Adam is the top chef to the fancy new restaurant in the city that food critic, The Dish, has recently slated.  The anonymous critic for The Dish is none other than Laura … Laura is left with a dilemma, does she reveal her secret or keep quiet?  However, when Laura and Adam’s friendship develops all is not what it seems with Adam and he too has been harbouring a secret.  Can their friendship develop once these secrets are revealed?

Laura’s character was great, very funny and quirky however, at the beginning she was crestfallen and doubting herself after her failed marriage but after a few years picking herself up she starts to believe in the spark she’s felt during this first encounter with Adam.  A great banter begins between them and I love the author’s wit during this ‘honeymoon’ period between Laura and Adam.  I also admire Laura’s relationship with her boss Roger, its very much like a surrogate father/daughter relationship.  When things take an unexpected downturn for Roger it was wonderful and heartwarming to see this tender side between Laura and her boss.  The rest of Laura’s colleagues at the newspaper firm are full of character and quirkiness, I can just imagine the offbeat banter between them all during a staff meeting.  Its great writing from an author when you can imagine the characters coming to life in your head.

I always love a book filled with romance and food as they marry up together so well.

A fabulously, witty, heartwarming foodie fiction 5/5* romance read.

To find out more about Stella Newman and her books please visit the following links:

The Chateau on the Lake by Charlotte Betts book review and GIVEAWAY

the chateau on the lakeThe Chateau on the Lake by Charlotte Betts is available now in ebook format but is due to be published in paperback and audio download on the 7th May 2015.

To pre-order/buy links:

Charlotte Betts is the bestselling author of historical romances.  Her debut novel The Apothecary’s Daughter won the YouWriteOn Book of the Year in 2010, the Romantic Novelists’ Association Joan Hessayon Award for New Writers in 2011 and the RoNA’s Historical Category award for 2013.  The sequel, The Painter’s Apprentice was shortlisted for an award and her third book The Spice Merchant’s Wife won the Festival of Romance’s Best Historical Read Award in 2013. Charlotte certainly knows her stuff when it comes to romantic historical fiction.

Product Details (as per amazon page)

1792. As a teacher at her parents’ Academy for Young Ladies in the heart of London, Madeleine Moreau has lived her life sheltered from the outside world. But on the night of a dazzling Masquerade, tragedy strikes and she is left alone in the world. Desperate to find the family she never knew, Madeleine impulsively travels to France in search of them. But with war around the corner, and fearing for Madeleine’s safety, the enigmatic Comte Etienne d’Aubery offers her protection at his home, Chateau Mirabelle.

Chateau Mirabelle enchants Madeleine with its startling beauty, but it is a place of dark and haunting secrets. As the Revolution gathers momentum and the passions of the populace are enflamed, Madeleine must take control of her own destiny and unravel events of the past in order to secure a chance of future happiness.

chateau mandala clipartI’d like to thank the publishers for an arc of this novel in return for an honest review.

I am quite a new historical romance reader but am slowly learning the enjoyment of this genre.  This is the first book by Charlotte Betts that I’ve had the the privilege to read.  Within the first few pages I felt transported back to the 18th century with the wonderful full detail expressively told by the author.

Almost immediately the storyline is fraught with tragedy that is unbearable to think about.  My heart was aching for Madeleine Moreau.  Madeleines’s life had been completely turned on it’s head and it wasn’t going to get any better soon with the French Revolution gaining strength.

This fictional historical romance novel has it all tragedy, drama, longing, dark secrets, death, wonderful heart warming moments.  I absolutely loved it and will definitely check out Charlotte’s award winning back catalogue.  A tragic, romantic 5/5* read.

I am pleased to be able to offer my blog readers the chance to win a paperback copy of this stunning book.  Please click on the rafflecopter link below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

To connect with Charlotte Betts and find out more about her books please visit the following links:

Runaway Summer: Polwenna Bay 1 by Ruth Saberton book review

Runaway SummerRunaway Summer: Polwenna Bay 1 is now available to download on your kindle.  Runaway Summer is the first book in the Polwenna Bay series.  Polwenna Bay is a gorgeous village set on the coast in Cornwall, its a lovely, quaint little hamlet with a horseshoe beach, busy harbour and streets that entwine up into the Cornish landscape.  Ruth Saberton is the bestselling author of many novels her debut novel, ‘Katy Carter Wants a Hero’ was championed by Richard and Judy and nominated for the RNA’s Romantic Comedy of the Year Award.  A few of her books are set in and around Cornwall.

To buy links:

This novel is also included in the kindleunlimited scheme so lucky kindleunlimited subscribers could read this fab novel for free with their subscription.

Product Details (as per amazon page)

Lose your heart to Cornwall’s Polwenna Bay. Watch fishing boats dance in the harbour, hear the waves breaking on the beach and explore the pretty village where new friends wait and there’s love to be found, warmer than the summer sunshine…

Running Away…

Since leaving Polwenna Bay for the bright lights of London, actress Summer Penhalligan has tried her hardest to never look back; Jake, her childhood sweetheart, let her down terribly and the beautiful Cornish village holds nothing but painful memories. It’s only when a volatile relationship threatens to destroy all she holds dear that Summer finds herself returning to the place she knows so well.

Jake Tremaine has travelled the world but reluctantly finds himself drawn back to Polwenna Bay to run the family marina and take care of his unruly siblings. While Jake knows his attention should be on the rescuing the business, determined Ella, daughter of a wealthy hotelier, is set on working her way into his affections and beneath his sheets. The last thing Ella will tolerate is the reappearance of a rival…

As the holiday season approaches and seaside life gathers pace, Jake suspects that Summer is keeping a huge secret from him. But Summer is not the only person in the village with something to hide. Is she just an echo of Jake’s past or are there far more important matters at stake?

boat clipartI’d like to thank the author, Ruth Saberton, for an arc of this novel in return for an honest review.

I’ve enjoyed Ruth’s previous books set in Cornwall, Escape for the Summer and Escape for Christmas, so when Ruth asked if I was interested in reading and reviewing book one of her new Polwenna Bay series I leapt at the chance.  First of all the cover of the book is so bright, cheerful and summery, its a cover of a book you just want to escape with.

My initial feelings after finishing the story was of a massive rush of emotion.  I was trying to calm down my heart after such an emotional rollercoaster of a read.  I thoroughly enjoyed this story and couldn’t get enough of it.  I was gripped with the emotional turmoil Summer and Jake had to face.  But the rest of the villagers of Polwenna Bay didn’t get off lightly either and emotional upheaval was sadly in abundance.

I fell for Jake’s charms instantly, his vulnerability of his heart, his kindness, caring and protective nature for his large family.  Summer was Jake’s childhood sweetheart but at 16 she left to pursue her dream to become an actress in London.  12 years had lapsed since the sweethearts had said an emotional goodbye.  An awful lot had happened in Summer’s new life in London and it wasn’t all she had hoped it to be.  Following a violent situation that brought Summer to her senses she flees London and returns to her home town of Polwenna Bay.  Can Summer gain the strength to move on and can her friends and family from her childhood accept the past and let Summer back into their lives?

So many wonderful characters in Polwenna Bay have been created by Ruth.  This story generally focuses on Summer and Jake but we are shown glimpses of stories developing for other characters which has left me wanting and needing to know what is going to happen next with them.  I’m desperately waiting for book 2 in this series.  Just hope I don’t have to wait too long …

A gorgeous, summery read that will leave you needing more … 5/5* read.

To connect with Ruth Saberton and find out more about her books please visit the following links: