The Sunday Lunch Club by Juliet Ashton book review

sunday lunch club

The Sunday Lunch Club written by Juliet Ashton, publisher Simon & Schuster UK, is available from 19th April 2018 in ebook and paperback format.

To pre-order/buy link:

Product details (as per amazon page)

The first rule of Sunday Lunch Club is … don’t make any afternoon plans.

Every few Sundays, Anna and her extended family and friends get together for lunch. They talk, they laugh, they bicker, they eat too much. Sometimes the important stuff is left unsaid, other times it’s said in the wrong way.

Sitting between her ex-husband and her new lover, Anna is coming to terms with an unexpected pregnancy at the age of forty. Also at the table are her ageing grandmother, her promiscuous sister, her flamboyantly gay brother and a memory too terrible to contemplate.

Until, that is, a letter arrives from the person Anna scarred all those years ago. Can Anna reconcile her painful past with her uncertain future?

table setting clipart

I voluntarily reviewed an arc of  this book.  All opinions are my own and no content may be copied.  However, authors and publishers may use elements of my reviews for quotes.

Firstly, I’d like to talk about the cover of this novel, it is such an appealing colour and quite striking and sitting on a shelf amongst other books it would stand out for me.

I adored this wonderful book by Juliet Ashton and The Sunday Lunch Club is her fourth book.  I do need to find the time reading her back catalogue.

Whilst reading this novel I felt like it would work wonderfully as a Sunday night TV serial. The drama and emotion surrounding each member of the family captivated me. I felt the raw emotion from each character as they were struggling to cope with demons from their past and the demons that they had carried all throughout their life. Each sibling and their respective partners and friends had their own unique personality but they complimented the family unit as a whole. Even though their was plenty of drama and hurdles for the siblings to climb there was plenty of fun interspersed within the storyline.  The novel had a wonderful cosy feeling about it, a feeling of togetherness between the family and I especially liked the powerful bond between the grandchildren and Dinkie.

A beautiful, heartfelt novel that was full of family sagas but had an intense feeling of family spirit surviving all that was dealt their way.

To learn more about the author Julie Ashton please visit the following pages:

Author website:


The Corner Shop in Cockleberry Bay by Nicola May blogtour book review

The Corner Shop in Cockleberry Bay Cover

The Corner Shop in Cockleberry Bay written and self-published by Nicola May is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.  The ebook is also included in the kindleunlimited scheme.

To buy link:

Product Details (as per amazon page)

Rosa Larkin is down on her luck in London, so when she inherits a near-derelict corner shop in a quaint Devon village, her first thought is to sell it for cash and sort out her life. But nothing is straightforward about this legacy. While the identity of her benefactor remains a mystery, he – or she – has left one important legal proviso: that the shop cannot be sold, only passed on to somebody who really deserves it.

Rosa makes up her mind to give it a go: to put everything she has into getting the shop up and running again in the small seaside community of Cockleberry Bay. But can she do it all on her own? And if not, who will help her succeed – and who among the following will work secretly to see her fail?

There is a handsome rugby player, a sexy plumber, a charlatan reporter and a selection of meddling locals. Add in a hit and run incident and the disappearance of a valuable engraved necklace – and what you get is a journey of self-discovery and unpredictable events.

With surprising and heartfelt results, Rosa, accompanied at all times by her little sausage dog Hot, will slowly unravel the shadowy secrets of the inheritance, and also bring her own, long-hidden heritage into the light.

The Corner Shop in Cockleberry Bay Full Banner

I voluntarily reviewed an arc of  this book.  All opinions are my own and no content may be copied.  However, authors and publishers may use elements of my reviews for quotes.

I am so pleased to be involved in the blogtour celebrating and promoting the launch of Nicola May’s latest novel: The Corner Shop in Cockleberry Bay.

I absolutely adored this new romcom by Nicola May.  It was fabulously funny, flirty and full of magic and mystery.

When Rosa Larkin found out she had inherited an old shop in a village in Devon, she couldn’t quite believe her luck and was a little mystified with the bequeath.  But this somewhat unusual inheritance was just what Rosa needed to get her life back on track.  Rosa’s life has been full of heartache and trials and she has struggled laying down foundations and committing herself in life and love.  Packing up her belongings and her beloved rescue dog, Hot, Rosa leaves the city of London to travel to the quaint village of Cockleberry Bay.  Relishing the challenge of owning her own business and home Rosa felt invigorated for the first time in her life.  The expectancy of a quiet life in this sleepy village wasn’t to last long and all sorts of events, intrigue and new acquaintances were to grace Rosa’s new life.

I loved Rosa’s character, she was such fun and had a little spark about her despite her insecurities and sadness from her past.  Her beloved sidekick/pet sausage dog, Hot, was the cutest sounding dog I’ve read about.  The author Nicola May has also introduced us to some fabulous sub-characters in this story; characters that are quirky, charming, sexy and some that are full of mystical qualities.  I loved the air of mystery surrounding the benefactor, it gave another dimension to the story, a story that held many secrets in the walls of the little corner shop.

A fabulously flirty romcom to fall in love with.

To learn more about Nicola May and her work please do visit the following pages:

Website –
Facebook –
Twitter –
Instagram –

Giveaway – Win x 3 Paperback copies of The Corner Shop in Cockleberry Bay (Open Internationally)
*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.




Drift Stumble Fall by M. Jonathan Lee blogtour book review

drift stumble fall

Drift Stumble Fall written by M. Jonathan Lee, publisher Hideaway Fall Ltd, is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.  The ebook is also included in the kindleunlimited scheme.

To buy link:

Product Details (as per amazon page)

The author of five novels, M Jonathan Lee is a tireless mental health awareness campaigner, working closely with organisations including Mind, Time to Change and Rethink and blogs regularly for Huffington Post. Having personally experienced anxiety and depression during his life, Jonathan draws on his experiences to inform his writing.

Richard feels trapped in his hectic life of commitment and responsibility. From the daily mayhem of having young children, an exhausted wife and pushy in-laws who frequently outstay their welcome, Richards existence fills him with panic and resentment. The only place he can escape the dark cloud descending upon him is the bathroom, where he hides for hours on end, door locked, wondering how on earth he can escape.

Often staring out of his window, Richard enviously observes the tranquil life of Bill, his neighbour living in the bungalow across the road. From the outside, Bills world appears filled with comfort and peace. Yet underneath the apparent domestic bliss of both lives are lies, secrets, imperfections, sadness and suffering far greater than either could have imagined. Beneath the surface, a family tragedy has left Bill frozen in time and unable to move on. As he waits for a daughter who may never return, Bill watches Richards bustling family life and yearns for the joy it brings. As the two men watch each other from afar, it soon becomes apparent that other peoples lives are not always what they seem.

Blog Poster Complete drift stumble fall

I voluntarily reviewed an arc of  this book.  All opinions are my own and no content may be copied.  However, authors and publishers may use elements of my reviews for quotes.

I am so pleased to be involved in the blogtour celebrating and promoting the launch of M. Jonathan Lee’s latest novel, Drift Stumble Fall.  My initial reactions at the end of this captivating story was that I felt emotionally spent.  Once again M. Jonathan Lee opens your eyes, hearts and minds to the realities of life.  One minute the author would have me laughing out loud with his wicked sense of humour and as a parent myself I so got where his wit was taking me but then the next minute I was completely gob-smacked by the sudden shift in emotions.  My heart felt pulled from joy to shattering heartbreak.  M. Jonathan Lee has written a very honest, witty, poignant story about life in it’s real raw state.  No sugar coating and no special filters to prettify the image laid out across the pages.

Drift Stumble Fall is about one man Richard, a husband and father of two young children, who is having abit of a midlife crisis.  The endless routine of life is getting to him and he wants to escape.  Looking out of his window and into his neighbour’s house, an elderly couple, who he believes have such an idyllic peaceful existence, he dreams of swapping places with them.  It’s an almost enviable emotion he is feeling.

The story takes on a seven day journey of enlightenment for Richard.  He’s planning in his mind his escape route and as each day goes by his family are non the wiser and the routine of life continues to flow around him.  Across the road at his neighbours life has stood still for over 30 years since an event that left a crack in their family, a crack that has never been healed.  Their life has felt like it has been frozen waiting for the crack to heal or for it to completely shatter.

We all drift through life and stumble and fall at unplanned hurdles but it’s the getting back up that is the crucial factor.  What we see through our windows into other people’s lives is not the true realisation of what we decipher.  We all live in our own bubble, each hoping to be in a brighter one but what we don’t always appreciate is that the brightness of our own bubble is there already.

Captivating, honest and very poignant.

To learn more about M. Jonathan Lee and his work please do visit the following pages:




Baltic Books blogtour – White Shroud by Antanas Skema

White Shroud

White Shroud written by Antanas Skema translated by Karla Gruodis, publisher Vagabond Voices, is available now in paperback format.

To buy link:

Product Details (as per amazon page)

White Shroud (Balta drobule, 1958) is considered by many to be Lithuania’s most important work of modernist fiction. Drawing heavily on the author’s own refugee and immigrant experience, this psychological, stream-of-consciousness work tells the story of an emigre poet working as a bellhop in a large New York hotel during the mid-1950s. Via multiple narrative voices and streams, the novel moves through sharply contrasting settings and stages in the narrator’s life in Lithuania before and during WWII, returning always to New York and the recent immigrant’s struggle to adapt to a completely different, and indifferent, modern world. Skema uses language and allusion to destabilise, drawing the reader into an intimate, culturally and historically specific world to explore universal human themes of selfhood, alienation, creativity and cultural difference. Written from the perspective of a newcomer to an Anglophone country, the novel encourages an understanding of the complexities of immigrant life.

Baltic Books Blog Tour

I am so pleased to be involved in the Baltic Books blogtour celebrating and showcasing some of the literary talents and their novels that have been translated in the UK for the first time.  The Baltics (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania) are also being honoured as the Market Focus at London Book Fair (LBF), the biggest book trade event in the UK.  I am pleased to share an extract from White Shroud written by Antanas Škėma and translated by Karla Gruodis.

Five minutes to start time. Antanas Garšva leaves the stall.

He looks in the mirror. The baritone has disappeared. Mine is not a painterly face. But there are signs. Green strips along the side of the nose. But I can still move my eyes and I don’t feel too bad. El Greco’s cardinal has nothing on me. The red of his vestment is more dreary than my uniform’s. I’ve cheered up, and don’t care any more about the atmosphere Elena engenders. And her scent? Elena’s or another woman’s – in the end, what’s the difference? And the swaying.

Antanas Garšva walks along the corridor to the “back” elevator. The swaying. And your acrid smell and face no longer matter. That smell that barbers get sick of: powder, hair creams, sweaty necks. You are not my beloved. You are a compliant and fetid swaying. I despise your animal magnetism. You are a shrunken anus. You are forgotten. Even though you knocked on the door and pounded it with your fists. Now you’re like any other woman to me, because I am an old bachelor who chooses nutty dames rather than streetwalkers. I’m careful. Isolde? I’m just a poet. And you are material for my new poems. About Vilnius. I will write elegant legends. About Vilnius. I’ll stop repeating your name. To the tempo of a French waltz. To Zola’s tempo. Na na na, Na na na, Na na na, Na na naa. Elena, it’s been two weeks since I had you.

Antanas Garšva is going up. The “back” elevator is packed. Black women in white smocks, Puerto Ricans with tattooed arms and the room service man with five gold stars on his uniform cuff. Every five years he’s granted the honour of sewing on a star. An unnamed constellation twinkles on his green cuff. Water gurgles in the room service man’s knees. When he retires, a still-spry German with two stars will jump into his place. Antanas Garšva is now upstairs. In a narrow corridor he punches another card: two minutes to start time precisely. He opens the doors.

The immensity of eight-million-strong New York fits into the main-floor lobby: an architect’s model created for tourists. The mathematically designed hall – the apotheosis of reinforced concrete urban real estate – is held up by square columns, painted dark red to indicate the hotel’s serious intentions, a carpet of the same colour to handle cigarette butts, armchairs upholstered in red vinyl and arranged like a waiting room for surgeries in which hundreds of doctors examine, operate, mortify. Matt bulbs shine, and tubes of “sunlight” paint visitors’ faces as though they’d been resurrected from the Valley of Josaphat. A poisonously green Plymouth stands in the middle of the space – you can win it by throwing a twenty-five-cent ticket into an urn next to which sits a very cheerful young lady, groomed and coiffured like an expensive dog, her cheek muscles hurting from hours of smiling, the violet plaster of the ceiling moulding reflected in the stone on her ten-dollar ring. The blue-uniformed concierges with slicked-back hair, plucked eyebrows and a perfect ability to understand the client, walk around slavishly proud, while the black-suited manager, balding and vigilant, a regulation white carnation in his silk lapel, runs past. Tonight, a well-known band is playing at the Café Rouge, as indicated in the framed posters – stilt- like notes arranged around the French heading, around letters stencilled on to a reddish background.

On the right side of the lobby stand polished wood partitions and behind them, white-shirted – short cut, brush cut, regular cut – clerks and dark-skirted girls, endlessly accommodating to clients and furious with their neighbours, why didn’t he let me use the typewriter. One thousand eight hundred and forty three hooks are installed behind a freckled clerk. That’s how many rooms there are in the hotel. Nearby, in a glade of ficus and bay trees, stands a sort of pulpit that could have been ripped out of a wooden church, and a supremely elegant head concierge (grey-tufted ears, sharp nose, red bitten lips) making announcements in a muffled bass. Miss Alison is waiting for Mister Crampton, be so kind, Mister Crampton, be so kind – Miss Alison is waiting!

A row of shops stands on the left side of the lobby. The window of the first one is stuffed with souvenirs. Chinese mandarins stand side by side with Japanese geishas, painted and costumed Europeans, artificial Far Eastern characters from the immortal opera Madama Butterfly, clay “German” beer mugs with tangled parodies of Hals and Dürer, Dutch hats – the sighs of an Americanised Dutchman, varnished Negro masks that would make someone from the Congo or Sudan laugh Homerically, Indian-patterned tablecloths carefully woven by modern looms, countless porcelain knick- knacks. Next is a window of men’s accessories. Each shirt, tie or pair of boxers embroidered with the hotel emblem: a roaring, somewhat English lion, and the hotel’s name. The same lion appears next door, embroidered on the women’s accessories. And the hotel’s greatest source of pride – the watch display case in the centre of the lobby. Contemplating it can inspire a panicked sense of one’s own commonness – a very simple, thousand-dollar watch bracelet, a fine string of pearls, mother-of-pearl earrings, small, barely visible rings studded with shimmering diamonds.

The main-floor lobby contains a drugstore that serves tasty fishcakes. And a coffee shop for the more humble clientele. The ageing waitress will be let go tomorrow; she was chewing gum on the job and the assistant manager noticed. You can also find a news and tobacco kiosk in the main-floor lobby; the bald, grey owner, a member of a sect with only eight hundred followers, plays the flute on Sundays. A few steps down, still within the main-floor lobby, is a spacious restaurant with samples of imported wine bottles arranged on a granite stand like multicoloured candles on a gigantic cake. In the main-floor lobby you can get a haircut or a shoeshine, or stop by the Ladies’ or Gentlemen’s and have a pleasant chat with an attractive black man or woman whose skin makes the white towels stand out. You can buy cigarettes from a girl in a low-cut dress who walks around with a tray hanging from her neck, and if you’re in a rush she’ll call a friend who sells herself as if it were a spring discount. Here you can complete various monetary transactions, and even go mad – an experienced doctor will rush down from the tenth floor.

The steady rhythm of the lobby is broken by the red bellhops: they attack the luggage of the arriving and departing, they chat up guests who feel like talking and are discreetly silent if a new arrival doesn’t want to, and many have the psychological insight of a psychoanalyst. It’s as difficult making it into the bellhops as getting into the French Academy. Unless someone retires or dies. In a week, an experienced bellhop can collect a hundred dollars in tips.

One minute to start time. Antanas Garšva walks along, observing himself in the mirrors. There’s Garšva, there’s Garšva, there’s Number 87. I have acquired a new coat of arms. My genealogical tree has branched out. My mother’s coat of arms contains an upright fish. Some kind of carp, maybe a crucian. The roaring lion has swallowed the rotten fish. Long live the digestive capacities of foreigners. Long live paralysed England, reincarnated into a hybrid between a fish and a lion. Long live grapefruit and the fusion of hydrogen bomb elements before the explosion. Long live my break periods. The American Dream. And the fog. You can’t come near me. The hotel guests, the manager, or the starter. Not even the starter. The last mirror. Look at yourself one last time, Antanas Garšva. Suddenly, perhaps accidentally, you look like your father. Company over for tea and wild strawberry jam would say: “Sooooo like your mother! Turn around, Antanukas. Look – a perfect copy!”19 If they thrust a violin into your hands it would befit you to play Wieniawski’s gypsy variations. My friend Joe, the baritone, is already waiting. And my friend Stanley, the drunk.

Antanas Garšva finds himself in a spacious sunken area of the lobby lined on two sides by elevators. Six to the left and six to the right. To the left – the locals. They go up to only the tenth floor, stopping at each one in between, and then return. To the right – the expresses. They stop once at the tenth floor and then at each one after that, up to the final, eighteenth, floor. The hotel elevators are automatic, manufactured by Westinghouse. Signalling machines mounted on the walls flash with green and red lights that track the movements of the elevators. Like at intersections. This area of the lobby is bordered by the window of the flower shop. Beyond the polished glass – roses, gladioli, rhododendron, carnations, azaleas, and white- and red- veined hothouse leaves, an anatomical atlas woven of human blood and nerves.

The Baltic countries – Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania – will be the Market Focus for the London Book Fair 2018 (10th – 12th April).

Spring at The Little Duck Pond Café by Rosie Green blogtour book review


spring at the little duck pond cafe book cover

Spring at The Little Duck Pond Café written and self-published by Rosie Green is available NOW in ebook format.  The ebook is also included in the kindleunlimited scheme.

To buy link:

Product Details (as per amazon page)

Fleeing from a romance gone wrong, Ellie Farmer arrives in the pretty little village of Sunnybrook, hoping for a brand new start that most definitely does not include love! Following an unscheduled soak in the village duck pond, she meets Sylvia, who runs the nearby Duck Pond Café. Renting the little flat above the café seems like the answer to Ellie’s prayers. It’s only for six months, which will give her time to sort out her life, far away from cheating boyfriend Richard.

But is running away from your past ever really the answer?

Clashing with the mysterious and brooding Zack Chamberlain, an author with a bad case of writer’s block, is definitely not what Ellie needs right now. And then there’s Sylvia, who’s clinging so hard to her past, she’s in danger of losing the quaint but run-down Duck Pond Café altogether.

Can Ellie find the answers she desperately needs in Sunnybrook? And will she be able to help save Sylvia’s little Duck Pond Café from closure?

Spring at the Little Duck Pond Cafe Full Banner

I voluntarily reviewed an arc of  this book.  All opinions are my own and no content may be copied.  However, authors and publishers may use elements of my reviews for quotes.

I am so pleased to be involved in the blogtour celebrating the launch of Rosie Green’s novella Spring at The Little Duck Pond Café.

I’m a sucker for a feel-good heart-warming romance and this novella by Rosie Green ticked all the boxes for me.  There are times when you need a cosy story and Spring at The Little Duck Pond Café came to the rescue.

This is my first introduction to the work of Rosie Green and I was enchanted by her description of this charming little village with it’s focal point of a duck pond and café.  The café has brought comfort to it’s elderly owner, Sylvia, after she lost her dear husband.  When Ellie visits the area on a secret mission she is heartened by Sylvia’s kindness.  With Ellie suffering a broken heart and with the added stress of her sick mother Sylvia offers a proposition to Ellie, one that feels like the answer to her woes.

This novella was full of wonderfully warm characters and scenes that charm you.  I was cocooned by this delightful story and look forward to more from The Duck Pond Café.

About the Author

Rosie Green is the pen-name for the author.  The author has kindly set-up a giveaway to win the prizes of a wooden Duck ornament and chocolates (Open to UK Only).

During each day of this blog tour, each clues will be revealed to the true identity of Rosie Green.

Today’s Clue is:

One of my titles brings to mind a well-known movie about weddings, starring Hugh Grant.
In order to enter, you need to follow Rosie Green on Twitter, RT this tweet and then take a guess using the hashtag #WhoisRosieGreen

You may guess more than once.

All entries using the hash tag will be entered, and the giveaway closes 23:00 BST 12th April

The identity of Rosie Green will be revealed on twitter after 12th April as will the giveaway winner.

Good luck and don’t forget to look at posts on other days of this tour, for more clues.

Spring at The Little Duck Pond Café

Letters to Iris by Elizabeth Noble book review

letters to iris

Letters to Iris written by Elizabeth Noble publisher Michael Joseph (an imprint of Penguin) is available NOW in ebook and hardcover format.

To buy link:

Product Details (as per amazon page)

Tess has a secret – one which is going to turn her life upside down in just nine months’ time.
The only person she can confide in is her beloved grandmother. But Iris is slipping further away each day.
Then chance brings a stranger into Tess’s life.
Gigi’s heart goes out to Tess, knowing what it’s like to feel alone. She’s determined to show her that there’s a silver lining to every cloud.
As their unlikely friendship blossoms, Tess feels inspired to open up.
But something still holds her back – until she discovers Iris has a secret of her own. A suitcase of letters from another time, the missing pieces of a life she never shared.
Could the letters hold the answers that Tess thought lost for ever?

stack of old letters

I voluntarily reviewed an arc of  this book.  All opinions are my own and no content may be copied.  However, authors and publishers may use elements of my reviews for quotes. 

I am in total awe of this wonderful novel and it will definitely be one of my standout reads for 2018.  Letters to Iris is Elizabeth Noble’s eighth novel and I am astonished that it is my first introduction to the author’s work.  Elizabeth Noble’s writing flows beautifully and you are soon enraptured in the hearts and lives of the characters she has described on the pages.

Letters to Iris focuses on predominantly four female characters with the principal character being Tess.  Tess adores her grandmother Iris, who at 96 years of age is now living with the devastating condition of alzheimers.  Tess’ mum Donna has led abit of a nomad lifestyle and Tess spent a lot of her childhood with her gran Iris.  Tess and Donna’s relationship is a little strained but when Iris’ condition becomes worse and she needs more specialist care in a home Donna surprises everyone with her attention to detail when visiting her mother.  When Tess’ own life takes on a new journey that shakes up her love life she soon faces an uncertain future but once again Donna surprises Tess with a solution to her immediate problems.  Tess is quite overwhelmed emotionally with all that is going on in her life but when she bumps into another visitor, Gigi, at the Care Home a bond is soon formed.  Gigi’s father-in-law is a resident of the same care home and Gigi has spent many hours visiting him.  Gigi has been married for over 30 years to Richard and has three grown-up children and a granddaughter.  Gigi is starting to feel a little invisible in her marriage and she starts to question her future.  Reading about how each character’s relationship is evolving with each other was wonderful to see and left you feeling hopeful and gave you a warm cosy glow.

Four different women at different stages in their lives coping with changes in their journeys.  Changes that can bring positive directions to their lives but also new enlightenments bringing many thought provoking moments and questioning of the past. Secrets from the past that are so heart wrenching and unbearable to think about.  A highly emotive story but also with a beautiful, underlying story of romance.  You cannot help but fall in love with Letters to Iris and I didn’t want to leave the characters I had warmed to and soon classed them as my friends.  Truly stunning, emotive storytelling.

To learn more about the author Elizabeth Noble please visit the publisher’s website page:

Penguin UK:



The Sapphire Widow by Dinah Jefferies book review

the sapphire widow

The Sapphire Widow written by Dinah Jefferies, publisher Viking (an imprint of Penguin) is available in ebook, paperback and audiobook format from 5th April 2018.

To pre-order/buy link:

Product Details (as per amazon page)

Ceylon, 1935. Louisa Reeve, the daughter of a successful British gem trader, and her husband Elliot, a charming, thrill-seeking businessman, seem like the couple who have it all. Except what they long for more than anything: a child.
While Louisa struggles with miscarriages, Elliot is increasingly absent, spending much of his time at a nearby cinnamon plantation, overlooking the Indian ocean. After his sudden death, Louisa is left alone to solve the mystery he left behind. Revisiting the plantation at Cinnamon Hills, she finds herself unexpectedly drawn towards the owner Leo, a rugged outdoors man with a chequered past. The plantation casts a spell, but all is not as it seems. And when Elliot’s shocking betrayal is revealed, Louisa has only Leo to turn to…


I voluntarily reviewed an arc of  this book.  All opinions are my own and no content may be copied.  However, authors and publishers may use elements of my reviews for quotes.

This was such a captivating story by Dinah Jefferies who has once again taken the reader to another culture and another time.  This story takes us travelling back in time to 1935 and the city of Galle, Ceylon, south-west Sri Lanka.  With Dinah Jefferies words describing the vivid colours, sounds and aromas you can visualise the cinnamon plantations, the streets in and around Galle and the serenity of the coastal area.

Louisa and Elliot Reeve have been married for 12 years living and working in Galle with such lush surroundings.  Their marriage has weathered a few storms experiencing much sadness but the prospects of starting a new joint venture of a jewellery and fine goods emporium is giving the couple a much needed boost. However, life was to throw more anguish in Louisa’s way that crushes her heart.  The days following this tragedy opens up many more wounds for Louisa and she soon starts to realise did she ever know what her husband was really like?

Louisa had led a fairly charmed existence growing up in an affluent family however, sadness in her past has given her a strength and empathy to cope with what lies ahead.  My heart ached for all the turmoil Louisa had accrued and I could totally understand why she didn’t know anything about the events that had unfolded.  Louisa’s husband Elliot had many business interests and it was common during this era that wives were not often involved in the day to day functions of business.  Louisa’s strength through adversity was admiral and seeing through the fog of turmoil she could compartmentalise her own emotions to help those in need.  She didn’t let prejudices thwart her actions.  Life had to go on and light would eventually shine through bringing, hope, belief and love.

A stunning, evocative story coping with grief, deceit, emotional turmoil and fresh starts.

To learn more about the author please do visit the following pages: