The Best of the Best from my reads in 2018

books and glasses clipart2018 was a brilliant year in books for me and I achieved my personal Goodreads challenge of 100 books by reading 114 books.  2018 was also a year that I became a host on blogtours for Rachel’s Random ResourcesRandom Things Tours and Love Books Group.  I have also continued to work with Faye Rogers PR Bookouture and Bookollective.

Working with new blogtour organisers has opened my eyes to new authors and I have also continued to work with indie authors.  This year alone I have discovered 50 new authors.

It’s always difficult to pinpoint your favourite books from the year especially as I choose books I know I’m going to like.  However, from the 100 odd books I’ve read in 2018 I’d like to give a special mention to the following:

 

I’d like to express my thanks to all the other fellow book bloggers, especially the WordPress Wonders (as I call them in my head), your help sharing the book love is greatly appreciated and I’m so pleased to consider you my friends.

I’m looking forward to another great year in books.

Advertisements

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/

Katy Carter Keeps a Secret by Ruth Saberton book review

 

Katy Carter Keeps a Secret

Katy Carter Keeps a Secret written by Ruth Saberton, publisher Notting Hill Press is available in ebook format and part of the kindleunlimited scheme NOW.

To buy link:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Katy-Carter-Keeps-Secret-Saberton-ebook/dp/B01FIBDL2O/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1466406466&sr=1-1&keywords=katy+carter+keeps+a+secret

Product Details (as per amazon page)

There are some things a girl has to keep to herself…

Hopeless romantic Katy Carter still dreams of becoming bestselling novelist. A ghost writer by trade, Katy knows she’s no Booker Prize winner but has fun penning sizzling scenes and hot heroes for celebrity novels. Writing aside, Katy no longer fantasises about a hero of her own – she’s found him in teacher boyfriend, Ollie. After five years together their own happy ever after is just around the corner – if she can only rescue the couple’s ailing finances.

But with Ollie becoming increasingly career minded and teaching at a very strict school, Katy’s racy writing soon causes difficulties. When she secretly signs a contract with steamy publisher Throb, tensions mount. A surprise trip across the pond brings things to a head, sparking a chain of events which set Katy on a collision course with family, friends and, most of all, her one true hero…

lobster clipart

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

This is my first introduction to Katy Carter as I hadn’t read the prequel to this book, Katy Carter Wants a Hero, so I purely read this as a standalone novel and it could very easily be enjoyed as a standalone.  However, now I’ve read Katy Carter Keeps a Secret, I want to step back in time with Katy, Ollie and co and learn about their history and fall in love with their back story.

Katy Carter is a ghost writer for local WAG Tansy Topham but what she’d really like is to write her own romance stories under her own name.  However, this will have to wait as Katy has been approached by Throb Publishing (yes, fab apt name) to write the next big erotic novel.  Katy does struggle with this genre, it doesn’t come naturally but manages to put together the first chapter for the publisher’s approval.

However, Katy has kept this latest work in process secret from her boyfriend of 5 years Ollie.  Ollie is an English Teacher for a well regarded Catholic School.  Ollie and Katy first met whilst they were both teaching and love blossomed from there on.  Katy still does do the occasional supply teaching to help supplement her writing.

When Katy’s chapter for Throb is accepted and she’s given the contract to write the full novel her world starts to get a little crazy.  With the help of her best friend Mads and Ollie’s younger brother Nicky we follow Katy’s journey on writing the new blockbuster whilst trying to keep the job and her name anonymous.

This was such a fun filled story.  Ruth has intertwined some wonderful comedic moments in the storyline, I loved and laughed so much at Ann’s birthday meal and party, what a memorable occasion she and all her guests will have!

As I hadn’t read the prequel to this novel I didn’t know about the relevance of Pinchy, the lobster that Katy saved from the chef’s pot.  Ruth carefully briefed the readers of the back story of Pinchy and it was lovely to see his return and he played an important part in a special moment for Katy’s life.

Ruth has created a great, likeable character in Katy Carter.  Katy is a fun loving, abit clumsy and impulsive at times and lover of all things romance.  You can’t help loving Katy and routing for her all the way through the story.  Ollie’s character sounded just like one of Katy’s imaginary romance novel heroes.  I also loved all the sub characters, Katy’s parents were such colourful characters and Nicky, Ollie’s brother, was a revelation!  I hope Ruth will reintroduce us to these sub characters and expand more with a novel devoted to them?

I don’t like to reveal much of the plot in my reviews but when I finished reading this novel I felt myself sigh … it felt like I had just stepped into the latest Box Office romcom.  It was such a likeable, fun, crazy, romantic story that swept you away leaving you deliciously happy.  Oh and it had the cutest lobster I have ever heard of that I’m sure Disney would agree!  Pinchy rules!  5/5*

If Katy Carter Keeps a Secret went to the big screen I’d love to see the following actors play the parts of three of the main characters:

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

http://www.ruthsaberton.co.uk/RuthSaberton.co.uk/Welcome.html

https://www.facebook.com/Ruth-Saberton-Author-117666788262892/?fref=nf

 

 

Treasure of the Heart: Polwenna Bay 4 by Ruth Saberton

treasure of the heart

Treasure of the Heart: Polwenna Bay 4 by Ruth Saberton, publisher Notting Hill Press, is available in ebook format and also in the kindleunlimited subscription scheme from Thursday 24th March 2016.

To buy link:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Treasure-Heart-Polwenna-Bay-4-ebook/dp/B019RT6B7U/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1458639778&sr=8-1&keywords=treasures+of+the+heart+ruth+saberton

Product Details (as per amazon page)

The heart is a deep ocean of treasure…

For twenty-two years Issie Tremaine’s wild behaviour has driven her family to distraction. Now, with the future she’d dreamed of in tatters, she’s returned home to try and forget the past. When a huge winter storm and the arrival of a handsome stranger cause upheaval in the village there is an even greater tempest in Issie’s heart. Dare she trust again? Or will she only face more betrayal?

As a professional treasure hunter, American Luke Dawson can’t risk any distractions. With his reputation hanging in the balance he’s staking everything on a major find in England and daren’t let anyone get in his way. Not even the passionate and free spirited girl he can’t stop thinking about.

Alice Tremaine’s world has been her family. Since the death of her daughter-in-law she’s single handedly raised her grandchildren, often at the expense of her own happiness. Now they are grown up, Alice is resigned to a quiet life in Polwenna Bay until her past returns to challenge her and awaken a love she’d thought long lost …

With a stormy start to the New Year, secrets and fears are swept away with the crashing tides and long forgotten truths are laid bare. What treasure lies beneath the ocean and in the hidden depths of hearts? And who will be brave enough to claim it?

treasure clipart

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

This is the fourth instalment of the Polwenna Bay series and I feel very happy to be going back to Cornwall.  Ruth Saberton has created such an idyllic setting for her Polwenna Bay series, the characters are well balanced, relatable and full or Cornish charm.  It feels like going home when joining the Tremaine’s at their kitchen table in Seaspray.

This story focuses on Issie, one half of the twin siblings in the Tremaine household.  Issie is very likeable, she’s fun, vivacious, impulsive, a beautiful young 22 year old with a head full of dreams and a huge heart.  Issie has recently returned home after quitting her degree course at uni.  Her reasons for quitting are very well guarded and Issue refuses to reveal the truth behind her decision and her current state of behaviour which is starting to go out of control.  When Issie uncovers a secret the village has been hiding for decades the future of the village and villagers is put at risk.

Luke Dawson, a young American, who works alongside his father as a professional treasure hunter by chance sees a news report regarding this great find in Cornwall.  At first he is captivated by the beautiful face of Issie on the TV screen but when he sees the word ‘lost treasure’ on the screen his heart starts beating fast with the expectation of a prospective new hunt for the loot that was lost long ago.  Luke on a whim and with the backing of a wealthy bored American housewife flies to England and lands in Cornwall on a damp, grey, cold January day.

When Luke bumps into Issie in the village he can’t help himself and delve Issie with questions about the find and the history of the village.  A mutual interest in the history brings the youngsters together and chemistry between them soon develops.  Can Issie forget her past and move on with the future or will the prospect of wealth hidden within the village be too much of a draw?

I loved this story it held a magical quality to it; of forgotten folklore involving wonderful characters from long ago and smuggling.  Were these well loved stories of times gone by a myth or fact?  The novel also has some wonderful, beautiful, touching moments with Alice, the hardworking, caring grandmother to the Tremaine siblings.  Alice is the head of the house and has worked hard all her life looking after the family.  It was wonderful to hear more about her and her past.  There is one particular scene that was so beautiful I could feel tingles of emotion comforting me.

Another wonderful story of love and family and believing in your heart and soul.  5/5*

This book can be read as a stand alone novel but to appreciate all the characters I would highly recommend reading all of the Polwenna Bay series:

Runaway Summer: Polwenna Bay 1 (you can find my review here

A Time for Living: Polwenna Bay 2 (you can find my review here

Winter Wishes: Polwenna Bay 3 (you can find my review here

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

http://www.ruthsaberton.co.uk/

http://www.twitter.com/RuthSaberton

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Ruth-Saberton-Author/117666788262892

Winter Wishes: Polwenna Bay 3 by Ruth Saberton book review

winter wishes

Winter Wishes by Ruth Saberton, publisher Notting Hill Press is available in ebook format from 15th December 2015.

To buy link:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Winter-Wishes-Polwenna-Bay-3-ebook/dp/B017E2DR4M/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1450021500&sr=8-1&keywords=winter+wishes+ruth+saberton

Product Details (as per amazon page)

Is it really better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all?

Tara Tremaine is a woman with a mission – to pick up the pieces of a life she turned her back on and win back her estranged husband, Danny. Nothing will stand in Tara’s way, least of all the dangerous secret that drove them apart or Danny’s growing feelings for another woman…

Since arriving in Polwenna Bay hardworking vicar Jules Mathieson has put duty above her own heart. Jules adores her new life by the sea and secretly loves troubled war veteran, Danny Tremaine. When Tara returns Jules knows stepping away from him is the right thing to do, no matter how much it hurts.

Danny Tremaine’s world has been shattered. With life-changing injuries, a broken marriage and his glittering military career abruptly over, he returns to the family home to a rebuild his broken body and heart. Danny knows his friendship with Jules could blossom into more but allowing this to happen will come at a very high price – one that could cost him everything.

With Christmas fast approaching Jules, Danny and Tara are not the only people in the village with secrets and long cherished dreams. Maybe with a little seasonal magic, some winter wishes really will come true?

snowflake border

I’d like to thank Ruth for sending me an arc in return for an honest review.

This is the third instalment in the Polwenna Bay series. We were first introduced to the wonderful village of Polwenna Bay and its residents back in May this year. From the first few pages of the first book I fell in love with the idyllic location of this picturesque, homely quayside village in Cornwall. The Tremaine family consisting of Alice the wonderful, wise, caring grandma to Jimmy the father, who has been a little lost but is having fun finding himself again much to the dismay of his children Jake, Danny, Mo, Symon, Zak, Nick and Issie play a huge part in the village and in Ruth’s stories. I soon found myself falling in love with the characters and learning about their individual personalities. Ruth writes in such a way that you begin to treat the written characters as friends and after reading each instalment in the Polwenna Bay series you are eagerly looking forward to the next story … which is how I have been since reading book 2.

I have to admit Danny is one of my favourites in the Tremaine family, he has suffered greatly in the past and a tragic event during a tour of duty during his army career has left his life in pieces but slowly with the help of Jules, the new reverend of the village church, his life is being put back together.

This new story focuses mainly on Danny. With the unexpected arrival of his estranged wife and son during one cold night in late October Danny is left very confused and angry as he felt his life was beginning to look happy and settled. Danny’s estranged wife, Tara, is hoping for a second chance with Danny. However, secrets from Danny and Tara’s past are difficult to forget. Prior to Tara’s return to the village Danny and Jules had become very close and more than platonic feelings for each other were felt. Jules was fighting with her strong feelings for Danny and was struggling with her faith.

Another new arrival in the village, Ivy, an old woman with no history or family in the area. Ivy was a cantankerous old lady and was very set in her ways. Ivy spent a lot of time upsetting people but there was more to Ivy’s story behind her grouchy exterior.

We are also introduced to a further interloper, Caspar Owen, an eccentric author who has moved into a cottage in the village to try and find his writing muse.

This story was everything I have come to expect from Ruth. It was filled with characters to fall in love with, an idyllic location, a wonderful, romantic storyline which at times felt quite magical. I always enjoy a story set around Christmas time as it tends to hold a little more magic than any other time of year, as Christmas is a time when we can hope our wishes come true. A beautiful, heartfelt and heartwarming 5/5* read.

Bring on the next instalment in Polwenna Bay …

You can find my reviews for Polwenna Bay 1: Runaway Summer here

My review for Polwenna Bay 2: A Time for Living here

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

http://www.ruthsaberton.co.uk/

http://www.twitter.com/RuthSaberton

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Ruth-Saberton-Author/117666788262892

A Time for Living (Polwenna Bay 2) by Ruth Saberton book review

A Time for Living

A Time for Living is the second instalment in the Polwenna Bay series by Ruth Saberton published by Notting Hill Press is available in ebook format from TOMORROW 17th August 2015.

To pre-order links:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Time-Living-Polwenna-Bay-ebook/dp/B00ZSRBEIC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1439716045&sr=8-1&keywords=a+time+for+living

Product Details (as per amazon page)

Is there ever a right time for love?

Feisty horsewoman, Morwenna Tremaine, has always known what she wants from life and success as a three day event rider is all she’s ever dreamed of. Mo has neither the time nor the inclination for love. Even if she did it wouldn’t be with a man who stands for everything she despises…

Beneath a tough and determined exterior, businessman Ashley Carstairs harbours a dark secret that threatens to destroy everything he holds dear. Although aware that he is heading for trouble, he finds himself increasingly drawn to the one woman he knows he should stay away from – for both their sakes.

As the autumn nights draw in and the trickling sands of time gather speed, emotions run higher than the tides and Mo finds herself unable to step away. What is Ashley hiding? Is there more to him that meets the eye? And will his secret destroy everything she now holds dear?

horse border

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

This is the second instalment in the Polwenna Bay series based around occupants of the picturesque harbourside village in Cornwall.  You can find my review of Runaway Summer (the first instalment) here.

Once again Ruth has left my heart bruised after another emotional rollercoaster of a read.  I have to admit after reading Runaway Summer I was desperate to find out what Ruth had planned for the characters I fell in love with.

Book 2 is mainly focused on Morwenna Tremaine and Ashley Carstairs.  Morwenna is a lifelong resident of Polwenna Bay, a fiery red head obsessed with horses.  Ashley Carstairs is a townie, an outsider.  A millionaire businessman who has bought and is currently renovating a second home in the village.  Sparks flew straight away between Morwenna and Ashley, as they fought on issues involving his renovations and the village.  However, deep down the pair shared an understanding and that was an appreciation and desire of achieving their dreams.

What follows is a beautiful but utterly heartbreaking tale of love.  A tale of hope.  A tale of forgiveness.  A tale of happiness.  Also, the story focusses on community spirit with the villagers and beyond coming together in a crisis.  There were some wonderful funny moments which the author cleverly interwove in the text.  Ruth’s books are very readable full of characters to fall in love with, set in beautiful idyllic surroundings and have believable stories.

The epilogue once again has gripped me and has also left me needing to know what happens next.  I’m also a little worried of how this latest arrival will wreak havoc for one of my favourite characters.

A 5/5* heart wrenching and beautiful love story set in a delightful Cornish coastal village.

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

http://www.ruthsaberton.co.uk/

http://www.twitter.com/RuthSaberton

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Ruth-Saberton-Author/117666788262892