Secrets in Appley Green: A 1960s village novel by Miriam Wakerly book review

Secrets In Appley Green

Secrets in Appley Green by Miriam Wakerly, publisher Strongman Publisher, is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.

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Three naïve, but very different, Appley Green schoolgirls pledge to stick together for ever, but when one of them gets pregnant, this pushes their promise to the edge.
A young girl in need of love is vulnerable to the charms of an older man with heart-breaking consequences.
This is Great Britain’s Sixties, an exciting era, gathering pace then in full swing as social change sweeps aside past attitudes, laws, fashion and culture. Youth is finding a voice as parents struggle to adjust. Its characters span the full social spectrum and take us beyond Appley Green to Brighton, Margate, London, Vienna and Paris.

1960s clipart

I’d like to thank the author, Miriam Wakerly, for an arc in return for an honest review.

This is the first book I’ve read by Miriam and its been lovely to experience the work of a new author.

I was instantly transported back to the 60s with this novel.  The description of the location, characters, households were thorough and left me in no doubt what era the storyline was about.  The story focuses on 3 schoolgirls, from very different backgrounds, who are thrown together with an event that changes the course of the future for many from the village.  The girls, Alison, Molly and Nicola, decide to make an alliance to share their secrets with each other.  It was a coming of age story, the girls experienced an awful lot in their final year of school, they all discovered love of sorts and events spiralled out of control for one of the girls which led to heartbreak and loss.

Life back in the 1960s was very different for young girls.  Girls were expected to behave differently to what they are now, independence and freedom weren’t commonplace.  It was interesting to read about the different backgrounds of the girls and how they were brought up by their parents; from a very privileged background to a hardworking council estate.

I did find the novel a little hardgoing at first but once I got into it I was zipping through the chapters to find out what happened next.

It was an intriguing, emotive story from a time were expectations were very different.  4/5* read.

To find out more about Miriam Wakerly and her books please visit the following links:


Sisters on Bread Street by Frances Brody book review

sisters on bread street

Sisters on Bread Street by Frances Brody, publisher Piatkus, is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.

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Leeds, 1914. Sisters Julia and Margaret Wood are struggling to rise above devastating poverty, while the threat of war looms large over their community. Angry feelings about foreigners have reached boiling point; their German-Jewish father’s search for work proves hopeless, leaving entrepreneurial Julia to keep the family afloat by hawking homemade pies on the streets of Leeds.

Her beautiful elder sister Margaret, an apprentice milliner and new member of the suffragette set, seeks a faster way out of the daily grind, pinning her hopes on a rich suffragette’s journalist son, Thomas.

But as the war rages on, it is left to Julia to discover the true meaning of courage and family, as she learns to look forward to the start of the new day – and the promise of a better life ahead.


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

This is the first book I’ve read by Frances Brody and I was thrilled to experience the work of a new author.  I’ve been enjoying fictional historical sagas recently and I was intrigued by the synopsis of Sisters on Bread Street as its set at the start of WWI and is based in the city of Leeds, north west of England.

The story is based around Julia and Margaret Wood, sisters living on Bread Street, Leeds, a fairly deprived area of the city.  Julia, the younger of the two sisters, is very headstrong, hard working, knowledgeable and very kind and caring.  I loved Julia’s character, she was only 15 but she kept the family and neighbours going with all her hardwork and initiative. Margaret is a few years older and is the lady of the household, she doesn’t do as many chores as Julia as she is working as an apprentice seamstress and likes to look her best at all times and is also a member of the suffragette movement.  I felt that Margaret was quite selfish and I didn’t particularly warm to her but during the story she was very resilient.  Julia likes to write down in her notebook all the goings and comings of life on Bread Street and the book starts off in Spring 1914, prior to the start of WWI and finishes in Spring 1919.

The storyline was a very raw and honest account of life in poverty stricken Leeds.  The sisters also had to contend with the racism directed at their German-Jewish father and this was escalated when war was declared which brought danger to Julia and her father.  You experience the intensity of the devastating poverty of the time and also of the emotions of families being separated with the men being enlisted for war duties.  It was heartbreaking and tragic at times what the poor had to deal with but they dealt with it with humour and dignity.

I found the story very intriguing, emotive, heart warming and full of hope.  It had a lovely romance interwoven between the pages which was beautiful and touching at a very dark time in history.  4/5* read.

To find out more about Frances Brody and her books please visit the following links:

After You by Jojo Moyes book review

after you

After You by Jojo Moyes, publisher Michael Joseph, is available now in ebook format, hardcover and audio download.

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Product Details (as per amazon page)

Lou Clark has lots of questions.

Like how it is she’s ended up working in an airport bar, spending every shift watching other people jet off to new places.

Or why the flat she’s owned for a year still doesn’t feel like home.

Whether her close-knit family can forgive her for what she did eighteen months ago.

And will she ever get over the love of her life.

What Lou does know for certain is that something has to change.

Then, one night, it does.

But does the stranger on her doorstep hold the answers Lou is searching for – or just more questions?

Close the door and life continues: simple, ordered, safe.

Open it and she risks everything.

But Lou once made a promise to live. And if she’s going to keep it, she has to invite them in . . .


Its hard to put into words how much I enjoyed Me Before You, the prequel to After You, so when I heard that Jojo had written a sequel I was excited to find out what happens next to the wonderful lady we fell in love with.

I wasn’t disappointed in this book.  Its 18 months since Will died and Lou has tried to ‘live’ her life like Will had requested, she has travelled and she is now working in a bar at an airport in London.  However, she still feels empty and each day after work she returns to her little flat and thoughts of Will are always with her, she wonders whether she could have done more for him.  Lou has a near death accident which startles her family and they start thinking that Lou needs help so they encourage her to attend grief counselling sessions were she meets some wonderful characters.

Upon her return home from the accident Lou receives an unexpected visitor which rocks her world and holds a history with Will.  This new visitor causes more heartache for Lou, reliving the past and she has to help them deal with this news and more. Lou also happens to bump into the paramedic that helped her when she first had her accident.  A friendship of sorts develops but Lou is fighting her emotions on how she still feels about Will and how she feels about moving on with new friendships.

I was gripped with Lou’s story especially with the introduction of new characters.  Without revealing too much about the new characters I feel as if that it was fate they happened upon each other at this time.  They all helped each other with their grieving and moving on with their lives.

A gorgeous, beautiful, emotive story filled with love and hope.  I’m feeling slightly bereft that the story has finished but in my head I am hoping for more from Lou.  5/5*

To find out more about Jojo Moyes and her books please visit the following links:

Ideal Girl by Jenny O’Brien book review

This book is on FREE promotion TODAY only … Enjoy.


Ideal Girl

Ideal Girl is a self-published ebook by Jenny O’Brien and is available NOW.

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Product Details (as per amazon page)

Set in Dublin over Christmas a story to pull at your hears strings

Advanced praise for Ideal Girl
A nice modern romance which does not rely on the ‘sexfactor’.
Writing that’s fresh and sparkling

Ideal Girl
A recent poll by dating APP Lovoo has revealed The Ideal Girlfriend – She’s a 5ft 5″ dark haired Irish nurse!’ Daily Mail, February 2014.

Student Nurse Liddy Murphy is meant to be this Ideal Girl, but up until now all the men she’s met have been frog types. Will Professor Mitch Merrien change her view or turn into another damp amphibian? It takes two countries and two men for her to find true love and heal her broken heart.

Ideal girl is the first in a series of romantic novels, which…

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Girl Descending (Irish Hospital Romance Book Two) by Jenny O’Brien book review

Girl Descending

Girl Descending (Irish Hospital Romance Book Two) by Jenny O’Brien is available NOW in ebook format.

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Product Details as per amazon page

She thought she’d left hurt behind.
She’d lost her gran, her fiancé and nearly her life. Could moving from Cork to Dublin herald a new beginning or would it be just more of the same?

Dr Ruari is Proud; not My Darcy proud but there was no way he was going to ask someone out unless she was at least half decent – unlike new nurse Grainne McGuire.
Grainne is prejudiced; not against Ruari, more against all men in general – So would you be if you found your fiancé in bed with your best friend!

Can they work it out or will Pride and Prejudice come between them?

Book Two in an Irish trilogy of stand alone medical romances all set in the fictious St Justin’s. This one will take you from Crumlin and Cork, finally ending up in delightful World’s End (Kinsale).

ornate swirly shoes clipart

I’d like to thank the author, Jenny O’Brien, for an arc in return for an honest review.

This is the second book I’ve read by Jenny, I previously read book one in the Irish Hospital Romance, see my review for Ideal Girl here.  The Irish Hospital Romance books can be read as stand alone novels however, you will find some of the characters from previous stories cropping up.  Book one was just so beautiful, it would be a shame to miss out on reading all the books in the series and I can highly recommend them as beautifully, refreshing love stories with an old fashioned courtship set in a modern world.

Girl Descending was a beautiful, touching love story that is refreshingly more about the friendship and understanding than lust.  I was totally swept away with the feelings and emotions expressed within the pages.

This story focuses on Grainne and Ruari.  Grainne has recently moved to Dublin working as an agency nurse for one of the big hospitals in the area.  Grainne is still grieving for her beloved Gran who passed away recently and she is desperately sad and heart broken following the break up of her engagement and from a traumatic event.  Grainne’s sadness and heart ache has led her to move out of her late Gran’s gorgeous, idyllic cottage on the coast in Cork to the city.  She is trying to forget about the past and move on.  Grainne considers herself as quite a plain girl and feels she has nothing outstanding about herself however her extraordinary kindness and aptitude with the patients doesn’t go unnoticed by one of the consultants, Dr Ruari Kelly.

Ruari is nicknamed Dr Roar by all the nurses in the hospital due to his good looks and charm and even Grainne can’t deny his beauty.  After a ‘rocky’ start Grainne and Ruari start spending time together, only as friends, as Grainne point blank refuses to get into any relationship with any man to avoid being hurt again.  Grainne isn’t Ruari’s usual type, although just lately he can’t remember what his usual type is.  He is tired and fed up with casual relationships.  He sees something in Grainne that captures him, he sees a sadness, a hurt that he wishes to heal.

We follow Grainne and Ruari’s story in how love becomes more that just a physical attraction.  We discover Grainne’s heart breaking and traumatic past.  A truly beautiful journey that was refreshingly honest, with old fashioned values and very emotive.  5/5* read.

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

“They eased apart, still touching with their eyes, their hands, their souls”.

To find out more about Jenny O’Brien and her books please visit the following links: