The Letter by Ruth Saberton book review

the letter

The Letter written by Ruth Saberton, publisher Notting Hill Press, is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.  The ebook is also included in the kindleunlimited scheme.

To buy link:  https://goo.gl/6KDbdJ

Product Details (as per amazon page)

Perfect for fans of Rosamunde Pilcher, Daphne du Maurier and Kate Morton.

A lost love story…

1914: In Cornwall, on the eve of the First World War, eighteen-year-old Kit Rivers has a bright future ahead. As the Lord of the Manor’s heir, Kit knows his duty is to the family estate – even though he longs to become a poet. When he falls passionately in love, Kit is determined not to let his parents’ bitter opposition spoil an idyllic summer. But even before the golden days can fade into autumn, war comes to change Kit’s world and writing forever…

The Present: One century later, widowed Chloe Pencarrow exchanges London for the solitude of a Cornish cliff top house. Haunted by memories, Chloe’s interest in obscure war poet, Kit Rivers, proves a welcome distraction and leads her to piece together a forgotten history. Faced with more questions than answers, her own life soon becomes entwined with Kit’s through love, loss, and the darkest of secrets…

 

Daisy

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 latest novel by Ruth Saberton is achingly beautiful.  Such strength in a love so tragic.  I believe The Letter is Ruth Saberton’s best story yet and it will certainly be one of my outstanding reads for 2018.

The extensive research that the author must have taken and the love of a lost love story of her Great Aunt clearly shows across the pages.  Scenes were clearly laid out and you could picture them and feel the emotions of the characters.  Many a time emotions took over me and I was swamped with intense reactions to the storyline.

The story begins in 1914 when sixteen year old Daisy Hills has arrived to stay with her godfather at the rectory in a small village off the coast of Cornwall.  Daisy is hoping for the sea air and daily exercise around this beautiful village to bring back her strength following an illness.  What Daisy doesn’t expect is for her life to experience a whole new adventure and for it to change the course of her future entirely.

A century later we meet grieving Chloe Pencarrow, who has escaped her life of so many sad memories in London with wishes to experience peace and tranquility in a Cornish coastal village.  Chloe rents The Old Rectory and unbeknown to her at present the rectory holds many secrets to a past when time was cruelly snatched from many.

This story takes on two different time frames that slowly start unravelling into the present.  Chloe finds interest in fallen war poet Kit Rivers who lived in the great mansion that can be seen from The Old Rectory.  Delving deeper into Kit River’s life with the help of historian Matt Enys and the Kernow Heritage Foundation, Chloe and Matt’s lives are soon captivated by a forgotten time and a forgotten love story.

Truly outstanding storytelling from Ruth Saberton that deals with grief and loss and the hope of light bringing new directions.  To a time when futures of young men and the women they left behind was unknown.  To a time that we will not forget.

A story that is not to be missed.

To learn more about Ruth Saberton and her work please do visit the following pages:

Website:  http://www.ruthsaberton.com/

Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/RuthSaberton

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/ruthsabertonauthor/

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The Secrets Between Us by Laura Madeline blogtour book review

the secrets between us

The Secrets Between Us written by Laura Madeleine, publisher Transworld Digital, is available NOW in ebook format.

To buy link:  https://goo.gl/TEycic

Product Details (as per amazon page)

High in the mountains in the South of France, eighteen-year-old Ceci Corvin is trying hard to carry on as normal. But in 1943, there is no such thing as normal; especially not for a young woman in love with the wrong person. Scandal, it would seem, can be more dangerous than war.

Fifty years later, Annie is looking for her long-lost grandmother. Armed with nothing more than a sheaf of papers, she travels from England to Paris in pursuit of the truth. But as she traces her grandmother’s story, Annie uncovers something she wasn’t expecting, something that changes everything she knew about her family – and everything she thought she knew about herself…

LauraMBlogTour

I voluntarily reviewed an arc of this novel.  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 Laura Madeleine’s latest novel: The Secrets Between Us.

Wow!  The Secrets Between Us is such an exquisite story, it will certainly be hard to beat in the Best of the Best for 2018 for me.

Laura Madeline’s writing style is stunningly beautiful in this novel, it almost felt poetic. The words swept me away to two different time frames to the South of France 1943 when a small village, surrounded by mountains, was in the hands of the Italian army.  With the uncertainty of war, the new Italian control and now an influx of refugees temporary seeking shelter in the village, life was so different for the locals.  Lack of food and now sharing with the army and refugees led to people taking risks with the black market and poaching.  People feared the newcomers but young Ceci Corvin was captivated by one particular refugee and a friendship soon blossomed between Ceci and Madame Reiss.  18 year old Ceci and the young Jewish woman would sneak off together and share elicit moments foraging for food, escaping the humdrum of reality and breathing in the crisp mountainous air; like cleansing their soul.

After a while the locals and newcomers with the Italian Army were living in a unique harmony but this was not to last.  Fear of life took hold and life for many in Saint Antoine, including Ceci, would never be the same again.

Fifty years later Annie was working in England and happened by chance to find a closed file on her Grandmere Ceci.  Annie’s mother and Ceci had had a falling out years ago and had lost touch.  Will this closed file hold a thread of information for Annie to find her long lost Grandmother?

We follow Annie and Ceci on two very different journeys.  Journeys of self-discovery, a forbidden love, of growing up in a war torn country.  Facing heartbreak, loss, betrayal and conflict.  A truly stunning story that will captivate you.

To learn more about Laura Madeleine and her work please do visit the following pages:

Website:  https://lauramadeleine.com/

Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/LauraMadeleine

 

 

Christmas at Woolworths by Elaine Everest book review

christmas at woolworths

Christmas at Woolworths written by Elaine Everest, publisher Pan, is available NOW in ebook, paperback and audiobook format.

To buy link:  http://amzn.to/2kHcXiD

Product Details (as per amazon page)

Best friends Sarah, Maisie and Freda are brought together by their jobs at Woolworths. With their loved ones away on the front line, their bonds of friendship strengthen each day. Betty Billington is the manager at Woolworths, and a rock for the girls, having given up on love . . . Until a mysterious stranger turns up one day – could he reignite a spark in Betty?

As the year draws to a close, and Christmas approaches, the girls must rely on each other to navigate the dark days that lie ahead . . .

With so much change, can their friendship survive the war?

female despatch rider wwII

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

Christmas at Woolworths is the sequel to Elaine Everest’s bestselling debut novel The Woolworths Girls.  I do have a confession to make, The Woolworths Girls is still waiting for me to read on my kindle.  I purchased The Woolworths Girls after reading and enjoying The Butlins Girls but when I saw this new novel out by Elaine Everest I couldn’t wait and dived straight in.  This new book by Elaine Everest can easily be read as a standalone but to fully appreciate the history surrounding all the characters I would wholeheartedly recommend reading all Elaine Everest’s nostalgic family sagas in order.

Christmas is a time when we reflect and relish nostalgia.  Elaine Everest’s Christmas at Woolworths is the perfect read for a cosy nostalgic hug of a book.

I was transported to South East London to 1942 when a war was still evident with many husbands, sons, fathers, brothers and friends were away from home risking their lives for King and country.  When women were left to step-up and fit in to many a man’s role and to do their bit for the war.

We once again visit the residents of Erith and especially to Freda, Sarah, Maisie and Betty who work at the Woolworths store.  As I mentioned previously I hadn’t read The Woolworths Girls but due to the warmth the author had created in her characters and setting I was soon engaged and enveloped in this wonderful family saga.

We follow predominantly the girls from the store over a 9 month period which was full of highs and lows leading up to Christmas, when just for a few minutes all appears at peace and harmony with the world.

A truly wonderful family saga dealing with all generations of a family and their friends coping with life still going on during a time of unrest and uncertainty.  A story filled with warmth and charm treating your mind to a whole host of nostalgic images that belonged in a world long ago but not forgotten.  I loved it and could carry on reading stories set in this time as fiction can bring history to life.

To learn more about Elaine Everest and her work please do visit the following pages:

Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/ElaineEverest

 

The Whitstable High Tide Swimming Club: Part One by Katie May blogtour/book review

whitstable high tide swimming club part one

The Whitstable High Tide Swimming Club: Part One Diving In written by Katie May, publisher Trapeze Books is available NOW in ebook format.

To buy link:  http://amzn.to/2x6NS9u

Product Details (as per amazon page)

In the gorgeous seaside town of Whitstable, brokenhearted Deb begins to swim each day and gathers a new group of friends around her. But can the magic of sea heal the hurt of the past? Or will family ties drag her underwater again?

A heart-warming, funny and poignant story of romance, friendship and second chances. It’s also a song to the author’s home town of Whitstable, where the sea is smooth, the shingle is painful on bare feet, and the air is full of possibilities.

28775 Whitstable blog tour landscape

I am so pleased to be involved in the blogtour celebrating and promoting the launch of this new three part mini series; The Whitstable High Tide Swimming Club.

I absolutely adored this story and so pleased it’s the start of a book series by Katie May.  The Whitstable High Tide Swimming Club is Katie May’s debut novel and what a cracking start to her published career.

In Part One: Diving In we follow Deb’s new journey in her life after leaving her husband.  For nearly 30 years Deb had felt down trodden in her marriage to Derek after having her three children she soon became a placater hoping to keep the peace in the family unit.  Now after so long she’d had enough and was happy to be on her own living in a small bedsit in her beloved coastal town of Whitstable.  The beach, especially the sea, is Deb’s escape and she loves nothing more than to immerse herself in the cold sea water to help forget her personal problems.

Deb isn’t the only one using the power of the sea and the beach to escape her past, Maisie recently divorced has relocated to Whitstable and is also drawn to this natural beauty.  Swimming in and around the tides of Whitstable was soon becoming a routine for the two women and a friendship developed.

However, the beach is under threat of future new development and the swimming buddies have built up a following from others in the town and a strong community spirit is felt.  The new swimming and beach loving community have a fight on their hands to save their beloved beach.

Such brilliant dialogue from Katie May with wonderful wit and humour.  There are some great scenes that will literally have you laughing out loud.  There is also a serious side to the characters we are learning to love, both Deb and Maisie have suffered heartbreak and are starting a fresh and have many painful memories from their past.  Whilst reading this story I could easily picture the scenes in my head and I feel it would make a fabulous Sunday night drama.  I’m eager to read the next instalments in this new book series and will start a campaign to get The Whitstable High Tide Swimming Club on our TV screens!

To find out more about Katie May please do visit the following pages:

Website:  http://whitstable-high-tide-swimming-club.org/

Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/_katherine_may_

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/katherinemay_/

The Traveller’s Daughter by Michelle Vernal book review

the travellers daughter

The Traveller’s Daughter written by Michelle Vernal, publisher HarperImpulse, is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.

To buy link:  http://amzn.to/2el7paJ

Product Details (as per amazon page)

Her mother’s secret…

For fifty years Rosa kept the secrets of her past hidden from her beloved daughter, Kitty. The hurt and pain, the guilt over what she’d done, was something she could never face. But now the time has come to share the truth of Kitty’s heritage…

Her daughter’s discovery…

Kitty never knew anything about her mother’s early life. But after her death, the discovery of Rosa’s journal opens Kitty’s eyes to a whole new world-a family she’s never known and a love she’s never dreamed of…

The fate of a family…

Now Kitty must travel to her mother’s homeland, but after fifty years, can the sins of the past be forgiven? Or will history repeat itself? With a decades-old family feud threatening her future, can Kitty put right what once went so wrong?

Join Kitty as she follows in her mother’s footsteps from the South of France to Ireland, discovering who she is along the way in this beautiful tale of forbidden love and fancy cupcakes!

french macarons

This was a stunning emotive journey of discovering your heritage, a heritage that has been kept hidden from you since you were born 31 years ago.  A journey that opens up old wounds from a past that has never been forgotten, a journey that evokes so many emotions from newly felt wounds.  A journey of self-discovery.  A journey that starts healing the hurt and feuds from a past that almost felt lifetimes ago.  A beautiful love story in two parts spanning generations.  Michelle Vernal has written an intoxicating story filled with wonderful Irish dialect, charm and traditions surrounding the folklore and heritage of the travellers of Ireland.  I do love it when an author expresses her characters using a regional accent it brings the personas to life and you can feel their emotions more.

This story of a time slip romance and family saga is set in the current day with Kitty grieving for her recently deceased mother.  She is contacted by a stranger, a man that knew her mother who wishes for Kitty to travel to the south of France to retrace her mother’s steps in a pivotal moment in the man’s career and also one that was momentous for her mother.  A jpeg of a photo of her mother is attached with this message and Kitty is literally spellbound by the image of her mother as a young woman and the look of utter adoration at the young man aside of her.  As Kitty knew nothing of her mother’s past from before she married Kitty’s father she is intrigued to learn more.  She sets off on an unknown adventure to the south of France hoping to learn more of her mother’s upbringing and young adult life.

I adored this story from the present day of Kitty being flown to France and to the story of Rosa her mother growing up as a traveller in Ireland and falling in love with a young man from a family that held a longstanding feud with her own.  Hearing about the lifestyle of the travellers was fascinating and felt a little idealistic with their simple attitudes to life and moving along when the time felt right.  Life was ultimately very hard for the travellers but was faced with a strength and love to survive.

An evocative, emotive romance that I didn’t want to end.  This was my first introduction to the work of Michelle Vernal and I can’t wait to read more of her stories.

To find out more about Michelle Vernal please visit the following links:

Website:  http://www.michellevernalbooks.com/

Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/MichelleVernal

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/michellevernalnovelist

Walking Wounded by Anna Franklin Osborne book review

walking wounded

Walking Wounded written and published by Anna Franklin Osborne is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.

To buy link:

Product Details (as per amazon page)

Born at the end of the First World War, a young girl struggles to find her own identity in her big family and is pushed into a stormy marriage through a terrible misunderstanding from which her pride refuses to let her back down. As her own personal world begins to crumble, the foundation of the world around her is shaken as Germany once again declares war and her brothers and young husband sign up with the first wave of volunteers.

Walking Wounded tells the story of those left behind in a Blitz-ravaged London, and of the web of loyalty, guilt and duty that shapes the decisions of the women awaiting the return of their men-folk as the war draws to a close.

Spanning the period from the Armistice of the First World War to the exodus of the Ten Pound Poms to Australia in the 1950s, Walking Wounded is a family saga whose internal violence is mirrored by the world stage upon which it is set.

london station blitz

This was such a profoundly emotive story that deeply moved me.  At one point I had to pause from reading due to the tears blurring my vision.  Anna Franklin Osborne has taken me on a very real emotional journey, a journey that millions took that had no choice but to “Keep Calm and Carry On” but behind the smiles lay troubled souls and broken hearts.

This family saga started back in 1918 travelling through to 1952 on the life of one family coping and trying to survive what life through at them.  Through pivotal moments in Britain’s history and through life’s own harsh battles.  Women waiting patiently for news of their loved ones; be it fathers, brothers, sons, husbands and lovers.  Dreading the post for fear of bad news.  However, when the men came back they were scarred both physically and mentally and the scenes that they have endured will never leave them.  The joy of seeing and being with your family again was tinged with the fear of what the war did to the minds of their men.

Whilst the men did their duty the women were left to hold the fort back at home and at work, struggling to make ends meet and struggling to keep morale high.  Anna Franklin Osborne’s female characters were all very strong young women full of vitality and hope at the beginning of the war but life was very cruel and hearts were shattered and minds were tested.  The walking wounded were not just the soldiers of war but of those left behind wounded by life and all it threw at them.  A smile can hide a multitude of emotions.

This is a very special story, a fictional story based loosely around Anna Franklin Osborne’s three great uncles, her great aunt and her grandmother who all played a part during the war years.  I do believe fictional stories bring history to life and Anna Franklin Osborne has taken me on this historical journey.  A stunning story spelling out life in it’s raw detail.  5/5*

To find out more about Anna Franklin Osborne please do visit the following pages:

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/GooseWingPublications/

 

 

The Butlin Girls by Elaine Everest blogtour/book review

butlin girls

The Butlin Girls written by Elaine Everest, publisher Pan, is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.

To buy link:

Product Details (as per amazon page)

‘Molly Missons gazed around in awe. So this was Butlin’s. Whitewashed buildings, bordered by rhododendrons, gave a cheerful feeling to a world still recovering from six years of war. The Skegness holiday camp covered a vast area, much larger than Molly expected to see.

Molly Missons hasn’t had the best of times recently. Having lost her parents, now some dubious long-lost family have darkened her door – attempting to steal her home and livelihood…

After a horrendous ordeal, Molly applies for a job as a Butlin’s Aunty. When she receives news that she has got the job, she immediately leaves her small home town – in search of a new life in Skegness.

Molly finds true friendship in Freda, Bunty and Plum. But the biggest shock is discovering that star of the silver screen, Johnny Johnson, is working at Butlin’s as head of the entertainment team. Johnny takes an instant liking to Molly and she begins to shed the shackles of her recent traumas. Will Johnny be just the distraction Molly needs – or is he too good be to be true?

butlin girls tour poster

I am so pleased to be involved in the blogtour celebrating and promoting the launch of Elaine Everest’s latest novel, The Butlin Girls.

This was a wonderful trip back in time to post war Erith, SE London and to Skegness in Lincolnshire.  A cosy romance novel filled with nostalgic charm, childhood idealisms, family saga, a time of new beginnings and hope for all after a country wreaked with war.  A time of renewed optimism and prosperity, a time when Billy Butlin opened his doors again at his flagship camp in Skegness bringing families and holiday makers together giving them a week of respite and good old fashioned fun and comfort.  This all sounds so cosy and lovely but our leading ladies in this novel escaped to work at Butlins to hide a traumatic time in their past.  However, the past anxieties weren’t too far away and Butlins wasn’t the protected haven for all.

Following the untimely death of her parents Molly was struggling with her grief and now she was facing a possibility of becoming homeless as a distant relative turns up laying claims to the inheritance.  The relatives also bring fear and danger of a different kind to Molly’s life and Butlins was the much needed escape for Molly.

Upon arriving at her new workplace and home Molly makes friends with her new roommates and fellow red coaters Bunty and Plum.  Unbeknown to each of the girls they are all hiding a secret heartache.  As their friendships blossom the girls gain strength within each other and “a problem shared is a problem halved” springs to mind.  Will the girls; Molly, Bunty and Plum cope with their new careers or will the past threaten their futures?

I particularly loved Elaine Everest’s style of writing for this novel it literally felt like I was stepping back in time, the style was very different to modern romcoms and chicklits of today but that particular style of writing wouldn’t work at all for this period saga.  This was a wonderful heart warming in abundance family and friendship saga.  It was my first introduction to Elaine Everest’s work and after enjoying this novel I decided to invest in her debut novel, The Woolworths Girls.

To find out more about Elaine Everest and her books please visit the following pages:

Website:  http://www.thewriteplace.org.uk/

Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/ElaineEverest