The Secret Life of Winnie Cox by Sharon Maas book review

The Secret Life of Winnie Cox by Sharon Maas, publisher Bookouture is available in ebook format from TOMORROW 1st October 2015.

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Product Details (as per Amazon page)

Winnie Cox lives a privileged life of dances and dresses on her father’s sugar cane plantation. Life is sweet in the kingdom of sugar and Winnie along with her sister Johanna, have neither worries nor responsibilities, they are birds of paradise, protected from the poverty in the world around them. 

But everything can change in a heartbeat… 
When Winnie falls in love with George Quint, the post-office boy, a ‘darkie’ from the other side, she soon finds herself slipping into a double life. And as she withdraws from her family, she discovers a shocking secret about those whom are closest to her. Now, more than ever, Winnie is determined to prove her love for George, whatever price she must pay and however tragic the consequences might be. 
A breath-taking love story of two people fighting to be together, in a world determined to break them apart. 

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

A mesmerising, thought provoking story set in two time frames. It’s the late 19th century and we witness the love blossoming for Archie and Ruth, how they journeyed through countries to be together. We then move forward to 1910 to British Guiana where we capture Winnie’s story. Winnie is a young woman of 16 enjoying a carefree life as one of the daughters to Archie and Ruth Cox, owners of a Sugar Plantation in South America. Most of Winnie’s life has been protected from the harsh realities of life in 1910 on a working plantation surrounded and looked after by staff in her luxurious home. It’s not until Winnie and her sister, Yoyo, visit an old staff member in the worker’s area that they truly witness the poverty that the workers of the plantation are living in. The sisters vow to help the coolies but this visit has caused outrage with the coolies and violence is soon brought close to home.

Winnie and Yoyo are devastated by what they see and hear of the behaviour towards the coolies and they cannot understand why their own father, amongst others, would act this way.
A newcomer to the area sparks an interest in Winnie and she begins to question her emotions regarding this young man. This new friendship could bring so much turmoil for Winnie and her family as back in 1910 white girls from a wealthy family were expected to court and marry someone from a similar background, someone who could support his new wife and continue with the family business, not a young coloured gentleman with a head full of dreams.
Winnie discovers and witnesses more shocking and terrible things about her father and is left in such a quandary of what to do next.
We learn so much about the history of Archie and Ruth’s bond and how this has affected relationships with Archie and his daughters and his workers on the plantation.
This is a beautiful, mesmerising work of fiction that makes you think about the past and the history of slavery. It also makes you appreciate that you can’t fight the feelings of love between two people.
I am really looking forward to finding out what happens next for Winnie and her sisters, will the plantation survive and will relationships change between owners and workers? Will love find a way for Winnie and George? Will Ruth, Winnie’s mother, return to BG and take up her place as owner of the sugar plant? 
I loved Sharon Maas’ writing style, I was completely transported to both timeframes and I could feel the emotions whether fraught with concern or enveloped in love that were emitted from the words on the pages. Sharon Maas is an author to look out for with regards to historical, romantic fiction.  A mesmerising, thought provoking romance that leaves you intrigued for more – 4/5*.
To find out more about Sharon Maas and her books please visit the following links:


Christmas at Lilac Cottage by Holly Martin book review

christmas at lilac cottage

Christmas at Lilac Cottage by Holly Martin, publisher Bookouture, publication date: 25th September 2015.

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Penny Meadows loves her home – a cosy cottage decorated with pretty twinkling fairy lights and stunning views over the town of White Cliff Bay. She also loves her job as an ice-carver, creating breathtaking sculptures. Yet her personal life seems frozen.

When Henry and daughter Daisy arrive at the cottage to rent the annex, Penny is determined to make them feel welcome. But while Daisy is friendly, Henry seems guarded.

As Penny gets to know Henry, she realises there is more to him than meets the eye. And the connection between them is too strong to ignore…

While the spirit of the season sprinkles its magic over the seaside town and preparations for the ice sculpting competition and Christmas eve ball are in full swing, can Penny melt the ice and allow love in her heart? And will this finally be the perfect Christmas she’s been dreaming of?

angel ice

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

I was first drawn to this novel by the gorgeous cover, who wouldn’t love to live in a quaint purple cottage surrounded by snow and all cosy and warm inside with good company and good food?  The cover is idyllic and expresses a book filled with words to warm your heart … and this is quite literally what you got.

This was such a sweet, sexy, funny story set at Christmas time.  I really enjoyed it, another hit on her hands for Holly Martin.  Holly has a great formula for making you laugh, making your heart ache, creating brilliant characters with sex appeal, warm hearted characters and characters you love to hate.  Her stories always flow well which leaves you zipping through the chapters and wanting more when you get to the end of the story.

I really enjoyed the location on this story, Lilac Cottage sounded so quaint and the town of White Cliff bay and its surrounding was depicted as a lovely idyllic town filled with character and charm.  I loved Penny’s occupation, how cool 😉 to be an ice sculptor, such an unusual occupation.  I also loved how Henry’s occupation of a wood craftsmen fitted so well with Penny’s, a sort of yin yang, they blended so well together.

yin yang

I fell for Henry’s character almost instantly with his brooding good looks but when we got to find out who Daisy was and how his life has been lived for the last 16 years I fell in love with his even more.

I’m looking forward to more books set in White Cliff Bay and hope Penny, Henry and Daisy will pop up again in future books.

A very funny, heartwarming, romantic winter warmer of a read 5/5*

To find out more about Holly Martin and her books please visit the following links:

Twin Piques by Tracie Banister book review

Twin Piques

Twin Piques by Tracie Banister is available NOW in ebook format, as part of the kindle unlimited scheme and is available to buy in paperback.

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Product Details (as per amazon page)

Forensic accountant Sloane Tobin and kooky pet psychic Willa may have the same face, but that’s the only thing these identical twins have in common.

How she can read the hearts and minds of animals has always been a mystery to Willa, and her rotten luck with men is equally baffling. Although she’s been looking for “The One” for what feels like forever (A teenage marriage to a French mime and dating a guy named Spider seemed like good ideas at the time!), optimistic Willa refuses to give up on love. When she meets Brody, the handsome rose expert hired to save her grandmother’s garden, she’s instantly smitten, but why does he keep sending her mixed signals? Does he return her feelings, or is their attraction all in her fanciful head?

Unlike her twin, Sloane has zero interest in romance. Her passion is her job, where she uses her gift for numbers to take down slimy embezzlers and asset-hiding spouses. When she’s assigned two high profile cases, Sloane feels confident the promotion she’s been angling for is within her grasp. But will her plan to climb the corporate ladder be thwarted by difficult clients, her co-worker-with-benefits, or – most surprisingly of all – her own sister? And how’s she supposed to stay focused on the drama at work when her childhood friend, Gav, moves in next door and the spark between them becomes impossible to ignore?

To get what they both want, can Willa and Sloane band together and rely on each other’s strengths? Or will their differences drive them apart once and for all?

pink roses heart
I’d like to thank the author for an arc in return for an honest review.
This was such a fun filled read that I really enjoyed.  The story is based around identical twins, Willa and Sloane, they may be identical in looks but that is were the similarity ends.
I instantly warmed to Willa’s personality, she is very warm, funny and kooky and loves all things girly.  I love her occupation as a pet psychic and she has some great tales to tell of seeing into the minds of owner’s pets and becomes the mediator between the owner and pet to help them have a more harmonious relationship with their much loved pet.  Willa is a dreamer and easily falls in love but has had her heart broken in the past.  She bumps into a gardener who specialises in roses who so happens to be charming, handsome and a pet lover.  After this first encounter Willa dreams up of meeting Brody the gardener again and by chance she has the perfect opportunity to invite him round to the family home to give advice on the roses in the garden that her lovely Gran planted years ago.  Will Willa have her happy ever after with Brody?
It took me a little longer to warm to Sloane’s personality, Sloane is very level headed, very ambitious as a high flying accountant for a top firm in the city, she doesn’t romanticise about relationships and very much likes her own space.  However, since the girls were little they have had a close relationship to Gav, a childhood friend who has now moved next door to Sloane.  Sloane’s relationship to Gav has always been much closer than with Willa, they have a sort of connection to each other.  They’ve always been around for each other when times have been tough and when they want to let their ‘hair down’.  However, Gav and Sloane do not initially realise they have more than platonic feelings for each other.  Can the friends overcome the barriers to open up their hearts to let each other in?
There were some wonderful funny moments with the girls, I particularly enjoyed the moment when Sloane had to visit a new client and she was introduced to her dogs which had fabulous names.  The scene were one of the dogs jumps on Sloane’s knee was very funny (I wonder if the dog’s alter ego is aware of his doppelganger), it certainly made me smile 🙂  Tracie’s writing style is great, you instantly get involved with the characters and their own individual storylines and want to find out what happens next for them, you find yourself routing for them.  I loved how their were some lovely warm hearted moments, some sexy ones and some beautiful romantic ones.  I will certainly check out Tracie Banister’s back catalogue and look out for more stories from her in the future.  A gorgeous, fun, romantic 4/5* read.
To find out more about Tracie Banister and her books please visit the following links:

Letting You Go by Anouska Knight book review

letting you go

Letting You Go by Anouska Knight, publisher Harlequin MIRA, is available in ebook format and paperback from TOMORROW 10th September 2015.

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Product Details (as per amazon page)

What if a tragedy occurred and you only had yourself to blame? How do you move on from the past?

Alex Foster lives a quiet life, avoiding the home she hasn’t visited in eight years. Then her sister Jaime calls. Their mother is sick, and Alex must return. Suddenly she’s plunged back into the past she’s been trying to escape.

Returning to her hometown, memories of the tragic accident that has haunted her and her family are impossible to ignore. Alex still blames herself for what happened to her brother and it’s soon clear that her father holds her responsible too. As Alex struggles to cope, can she ever escape the ghosts of the past?

viking ship clipart

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

This is the third book by Anouska Knight, winner of ITV Lorraine Kelly’s writing competition.  Her debut novel, Since You’ve Been Gone became a bestseller and after finished reading Letting You Go I predict another hit on Anouska’s hands.

A heartbreaking tragedy in the Foster family has, and is still after many years, haunted the lives of Blythe and Ted Foster with their daughters Alex and Jem.  Alex’s way of coping with this terrible event was to move away from home and her family as soon as she could.  After eight years living away from home Alex receives a phone call from her sister informing her that her mother is ill in hospital.  Alex has no option but to face her fears head on and visit her family.

Alex is suddenly hit with reminders of the past and is struggling to cope with this and with the worry of her mother’s illness.  Slowly Alex starts to open up her wounds from years gone by but secrets from all around her are set to explode and change the past she thought she knew.  Can Alex let go of the past and move on with the present?  Can she learn to enjoy what life brings without feeling guilty?

This was such a beautiful, gripping story with so many unspoken secrets that spun the story in a different direction.  What the family had to cope with during this tragic event years ago was utterly heartbreaking.  I could feel the emotions in the words on the page and my heart was breaking.  I loved the sound of the village that the story was set in and enjoyed the celebrated history of the area.  The book was quite a lengthy read, over 490 pages, but I was engrossed so much in the storyline I didn’t want it to end, I would have been quite happy for another hundred pages.  The story was written with such ease, the characters were identifiable and came across as warm and well liked individuals.  The storyline was very moving at times and my heart was breaking for them all but also my heart was aching as I wanted them to let love heal their hearts.

A beautiful, heartfelt, family saga 5/5*.

To find out more about Anouska Knight and her books please visit the following links:

Five Go Glamping by Liz Tipping blogtour review

five go glamping

Five Go Glamping written by Liz Tipping is available to download now in ebook format, publishers Carina UK.

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Product Details (as per amazon page)

Glamping Check list

Festival tickets
Double check best Instagram filter
Avoid thinking about work/Connor/five year plan!!

A four day break from her hectic life to relax in the countryside and hang out at a local festival (for free!) is just what Fiona Delaney needs. With her best friends, great tunes and a cool looking hat her Instagram shots are going to look A-Mazing!

Until suddenly glamping starts to feel a lot more like camping and Fiona’s in desperate search of a comfy chair, wi-fi and a chilled glass of wine. But when she finally makes it to the local pub she discovers this trip could be more than just a holiday, it might just change her life forever…

polka tent image

I’d like to thank the publishers and netgalley for an arc in return for an honest review.  I am also thrilled to be part of the blogtour promoting Liz Tipping’s debut novel.

I was intrigued initially to this novel by the title.  I’m a novice camper and any idea of ‘glamping’ up camping is a bonus for me, but this book is more that just a tale of posh camping.  It is a tale of believing in the here and now and enjoying the moment and also to go ‘off plan’ at times as you never know what fun could be had when you are spontaneous.

I loved all the characters Liz Tipping had created.  Fiona was a little neurotic about her five year plan and I could feel a little sympathy for her when she’d put so much effort into it and it wasn’t what she hoped or depicted.  Fiona’s friends were great, such a fun, haphazard bunch that worked so well together with Brian Harvey making a great new addition to their circle.

The adventures they had on their long weekend away were great fun.  I loved the sound of the yurt and could cope with that type of camping better than the polka dot version!  When Sam’s character was introduced I could see why he took the eye of all the characters.  He sounded very charming, a lost soul with a heart of his own that needed mending.

Liz Tipping’s writing style was great, it was fun, flirty, great characters and kept me thoroughly entertained with some wonderful witty words and some gorgeous heartwarming moments.  I’m looking forward to more wonderful words from Liz in the future.  A lovely fun, romantic 4.5* tale.

To find out more about Liz Tipping and her books please visit the following links:

The Tea Planter’s Wife by Dinah Jefferies book review

the tea planters wife

The Tea Planter’s Wife by Dinah Jefferies, publisher Penguin is available in ebook, paperback and audio download format from TOMORROW 3rd September 2015.

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Product Details (as per amazon page)

Nineteen-year-old Gwendolyn Hooper steps off a steamer in Ceylon full of optimism, eager to join her new husband. But the man who greets her at the tea plantation is not the same one she fell in love with in London.

Distant and brooding, Laurence spends long days wrapped up in his work, leaving his young bride to explore the plantation alone. It’s a place filled with clues to the past – locked doors, a yellowed wedding dress in a dusty trunk, an overgrown grave hidden in the grounds, far too small for an adult…

Gwen soon falls pregnant and her husband is overjoyed, but she has little time to celebrate. In the delivery room the new mother is faced with a terrible choice, one she knows no one in her upper class set will understand – least of all Laurence. Forced to bury a secret at the heart of her marriage, Gwen is more isolated than ever. When the time comes, how will her husband ever understand what she has done?


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

This is the first book I’ve read by Dinah Jefferies.  The Tea Planter’s Wife is Dinah’s second book with The Separation as her first.

It’s the early 1920’s when Gwen meets and falls in love with Laurence, an owner of a tea plantation, during one of his visits to England.  Gwen takes the emotional journey of a new young wife on a steamer set sail for Ceylon.  A journey of trepidation, a journey of excitement, a journey of hope, a journey of the unknown.  Ceylon was a very different world to London, an unforgiving climate, culture and lifestyle beckoned for Gwen.  Gwen found Laurence very distant at times when she first joined him in Ceylon at the tea plantation as his wife, he wasn’t the man she had fallen in love with, although there were glimpses at times of the ‘old’ Laurence.  Laurence was very engrossed in his work which left Gwen on her own a lot to learn about this new world.  Gwen was quite naïve and vulnerable at times and a supposedly happy event was to change the course of Gwen’s new idyllic life.  This event brought an emotional torture for Gwen and she struggled with this and her secret was to be locked up.  However, hers was not the only secret that the house kept hidden away.  These secrets slowly start revealing themselves causing old wounds to be re-opened.  These secrets were truly heart breaking and I could feel my own heart shattering whilst reading the words on the page.

This story is very beautiful.  I loved Dinah’s wonderful words describing the landscape of colours in Ceylon.  I was swept away with this story of love, discovery and heart wrenching secrets in a world without diversity. Beautiful, touching, heartbreaking 5/5* read.

I’d like to share a quote from the book I particularly liked:

‘To Gwen, Ceylon was a place where British dreams had been built and fortunes made, where English families had lived and children had been born, and where her life had changed beyond her wildest dreams.  Yet here was a different world, where girls ran about in simple cotton tops and threadbare skirts, where babies gurgled and crawled in the dirt, and people did not have enough to eat.’

To find out more about Dinah Jefferies and her books please visit the following links:

The Moment of Letting Go by J A Redmerski blogtour review

the moment of letting go

The Moment of Letting Go by J A Redmerski, published by Piatkus, is available now in ebook format and out in paperback THIS WEEK on 3rd September 2015.

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Product Details (as per amazon page)

New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author J. A. Redmerski brings us a heart-wrenching, stand-alone new adult novel.

You can follow the rules or you can follow your heart…

Sienna Murphy never does anything without a plan. And so far her plans have been working. Right after college, she got a prestigious job and gained the stability she’d always craved – until work takes her to the sun-drenched shores of Oahu and places her in the path of sexy surfer Luke Everett. For the first time, she lets her heart take control. Drawn to his carefree charm, she makes a spontaneous and very un-Sienna-like decision to drop everything and stay in Hawaii for two more weeks.

Luke lives fast and wild. When he meets Sienna, he’s convinced that some no-strings-attached fun is just what she needs. As their nights quickly turn from playful to passionate, Luke can’t deny the deep connection he feels. But there’s a reason Luke doesn’t do long-term. He can’t promise Sienna forever, when the enormity of his past has shown him just how fragile the future can be . . .


I’d like to thank the publishers for an arc in return for an honest review.  I am so pleased to be part of the blogtour promoting this gorgeous novel.  J A Redmerski is a new author for me, she is a bestselling and award winning author who started off self-publishing in 2012 and has since been signed up with publishers.  Jessica is a hybrid author who, in addition to working with a traditional publisher, also continues to self-publish.

Sienna is an Events Organiser for a prestigious Events Agency dealing with many rich clients.  Sienna’s latest assignment takers her to Hawaii for a wedding.  Whilst taking a breather from the stress of keeping the clients happy Sienna takes a walk on the beach and comes across a surfer, Luke Everett.  Sienna and Luke instantly hit it off with Luke advising Sienna on how to reduce her stress levels on the beautiful island.  Luke persuades Sienna to stay on the island after her assignment has finished for a two week vacation and offers to show her around the island in return for some free advice on the charity art show he’s helping with.

Sienna is a workaholic but there is something about how Luke describes a carefree life that interests her.  Their friendship blossoms and both Sienna and Luke start having more than platonic emotions for each other.

While Sienna is getting to know Luke she soon realises he is holding back on some of his past.  This past once revealed could make or break their friendship.

Can Luke let his demons go and can Sienna learn to change her attitudes to life and work?

This is a beautiful love story filled with passion but also has many heart wrenching and sole searching moments.  I instantly likened Sienna and could see how her job and lifestyle was stressful and could appreciate the carefree lifestyle of the islanders in Hawaii.  Luke sounded gorgeous but very troubled.  His lifestyle was very wild, reckless and carefree.  I think the mix of personas worked well and they both had a little of their characteristics to share with each other. 4.5/5* read.

To find out more about J A Redmerski and her books please visit the following links: