Saturday, 10 June 2017

Extract - Confetti at the Cornish Cafe

Today I'm absolutely delighted to be on the blog tour for Confetti at the Cornish Cafe by Phillipa Ashley. I found this to be a truly wonderful, heartwarming read and one that I really would highly recommend. My full review of this book will be up in the very near future but for now I shall leave you in peace to read and enjoy the extract that I'm lucky enough to be able to share with you all today!


Lily takes a deep breath, just like she did when she stepped into Demelza’s. 
‘It’s an amazing view. I love the view from Ben’s parents’ house over Mounts Bay but the north west is so wild.’
‘It’s hard to decide which is better,’ I say, aware of Ben standing next to us, not that he seems too bothered as he’s still scrolling through his phone. 
‘Is there a signal up here?’ he says, holding the handset up.
‘It’s patchy,’ I admit. ‘But there’s Wi-Fi in the cafe and cottages. We plan to offer Wi-Fi all over the glamping field and events area before your wedding.’
He doesn’t answer me but hmmphs and shoves his phone in his jacket. He joins Lily who has walked the few yards from our land to the coastal path. It’s still windy but I think she’ll be OK.
‘This looks like a scene from The French Lieutenant’s Woman, doesn’t it, Ben?’
‘Yeah,’ he says, standing behind her with his arms around her waist.
‘I haven’t heard of that,’ I say.
‘It’s a book and it was a film before I was born. Isla wants to do a remake but it’s set in Lyme Regis not Cornwall. There’s a scene where the heroine stands in a howling gale almost being blown off the Cobb. I’m hoping Ben will play the hero in it.’
Wow. I think Ben may have actually smiled. Maybe his grouchiness is from pre-wedding nerves or the pressure of his job. I wouldn’t want to live my life under the microscope like they do, even though they’re meant to live for the publicity. I bet they have to do a lot of things they don’t want to as well.
The publisher of our canine cookbook wants my co-author, Eva Spero, and me to do some radio and TV appearances when it comes out later this year. To be honest, the idea makes me go weak at the knees but I guess I’ll get used to it. Cal and I still haven’t quite got over being featured in a Sunday lifestyle magazine last autumn, thanks to Eva who was impressed by our set-up when she turned up to Kilhallon’s launch party last year.
‘Shall we move on to the wedding glade? It’s more sheltered down there,’ I ask, seeing Ben shivering in the wind blowing off the sea.
Lily slots her arm through his. ‘Are you cold?’ 
‘Freezing my rocks off,’ Ben mutters. 
‘Let’s get out of the wind,’ I say, wishing Ben had come equipped for the weather.
On our way to the glade, Harry walks to the left and a little behind, checking around him at intervals. Maybe he thinks an assassin might be hiding behind the cafe bins or the high-banked hedges that protect the camping field from the worst of the Atlantic wind.
Clumps of snowdrops nod their delicate heads in the breeze and early primroses dot the banks that line the lane to the cottages and the edge of the copse. I love the first signs of spring. When I spent a stint sleeping rough, all I cared about was a warm place to stay, but now I’m lucky enough to appreciate the seasons changing from a warm bed and home.
A boy waving a plastic cutlass shoots out of the copse next to us onto the path.
‘Wooo hoooo! Watch out! I’m a pirate!’
‘Jesus! What the—’ Ben steadies Lily as the boy clips her arm.
‘Sorry!’ the boy shouts but races off down the slope towards the yurt field, waving his sword cutlass. He’s wearing a pirate hat and an eye patch but I’m sure I know him.
‘Are you OK, baby?’ Ben asks Lily.-
Lily smiles. ‘I’m fine. I’m fine.’
‘Quick! Blackbeard’s after us!’ A little girl in pirate gear shoots out of the copse and clips Ben. He tries to stay upright but slips on the damp turf and lands smack on his bum in a puddle. 

Monday, 29 May 2017

Review - Kiss Me at Willoughby Close by Kate Hewitt

Whilst I’ve read a number of Kate Hewitt’s previous books, Kiss Me at Willoughby Close was the first book I’ve read in the Willoughby Close series. Given that this was the fourth book in the series, I went into this book both knowing that I’d missed out on a lot from the previous three and worried that this would prevent me from enjoying it. However, I can safely say that this worry turned out to be for nothing as I absolutely adored this book and found it a real pleasure to be reunited with Kate’s wonderful writing style once again. 

Kate wastes no time in throwing the reader straight into the midst of the drama as we meet Ava who after the sudden and unexpected death of her husband finds herself left homeless with just £10,000 to her name, her clothing, dog Zuzu and red mini. Left with very little choice and unable to afford much more, Ava quickly moves into a cottage at Willoughby Close where she soon becomes friends with not just her neighbours but Jace the caretaker too. As surprise after surprise is thrown in Ava’s direction, will Willoughby Close provide that all important fresh start for Ava and will her future be brighter than her past?

Not having read the previous books in the series, one thing that really struck me when I picked up Kiss Me at Willoughby Close was the strong sense of community spirit that was present throughout the entirety of it. Undoubtedly this was all thanks to the wonderful characters that Kate had expertly created, who all seemed to be exceptionally well developed. I particularly loved Ava’s character and thought that she was a fabulous lead character, someone who clearly hadn’t had the best of luck in life but who was strong and so determined to overcome this. Subsequently I found myself glued to the pages of this book, following Ava’s story with much interest. 

Where most series of books require the reader to have read them all in order to understand and appreciate what’s going on, it must be said that Kiss Me at Willoughby Close is quite refreshing in this respect. Working wonderfully as a standalone novel, with the reader not needing to have any knowledge of what has taken place previously, I quickly became immersed in the story that was being told and never felt like I was missing vital information. From reading a few of her previous books I can honestly say that Kate’s writing in Kiss Me at Willoughby Close was everything I hoped it would be from beginning to end with divine descriptions, lots of humour and plenty of heartwarming moments. 

Whilst I deeply regret having missed out on the previous books in the Willoughby Close series of books, it was wonderful to get to know the delightful community that I could picture so perfectly that it almost felt real. Those who haven’t yet discovered the glorious world of Willoughby Close are in for a real treat with this book and I’ll definitely be back to read the book number five when it’s released. 

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Review - Last Witness by Carys Jones

Despite not having read Wrong Number, the first book in the series, when I got an email about Last 
Witness by Carys Jones I really couldn’t say no. As a fast-paced, action-packed book from beginning to end that fits so much into a relatively short number of pages, this was a book that held my attention from the very first page. My only wish is that I’d had the opportunity to read Wrong Number before!

Amanda’s husband, whose real name she never knew, has died but there’s no time for her to mourn his death and get her head around what’s happened. The person responsible for his death is still very much a free man, walking around without a care in the world and Amanda’s terrified that he’ll return for her husband’s son. Despite not having known the little boy for very long, she’s now all he has left and she’s determined to do whatever it takes to protect him even if that involves putting herself in danger…

The book was full of some incredibly strong and powerful characters, some of whom I loved and some of whom I hated. Despite making some questionable decisions that I did not agree with, I have to say that I did find myself warming to Amanda for the way she stepped up and was so willing to look after the little boy that found himself left without a father. As she went through all that she did I was glad that she had someone like Shane by her side, who was loyal, supportive and in short exactly the sort of person Amanda needed in her life. I loved seeing the way their characters developed and grew as the story progressed. 

Last Witness was a well written book in terms of the fact that there was plenty going on to hold the attention of readers throughout the duration of it although I have to say that I’d highly recommend reading the first book in the series. I didn’t do this and have to say that I spent a lot of my time feeling like I’d missed out on a whole heap of information about the characters and their past relationships that I’m sure would have been revealed in the first book and would have helped me to understand and appreciate what was going on a lot more. Although this is certainly a dark and gritty story, something that potential readers should prepare themselves for, I really appreciated the inclusion of a few lighter moments throughout this particular book, especially the blossoming relationship that we witnessed between two central characters. 

Being the first book of Carys’ that I’ve ever read before I have to say that I was left feeling very glad to have had the opportunity to discover her writing having heard so much about it previously. Who knows whether there’ll be another book in this series but if there is I’d definitely read it as I’d like to see where life takes the characters to next. If you’re tempted to read Last Witness then I say go for it but make sure you’ve read Wrong Number first. 

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Review - The Woman Who Met Her Match by Fiona Gibson

Over recent years I’ve had the pleasure of reading a number of wonderful books written by the author that is Fiona Gibson. As an author who has a very real talent for writing novels that are guaranteed to pick you up and leave you with a smile on your face, I was really looking forward to reading The Woman Who Met Her Match, which is Fiona’s latest release to date. This was a book that more than lived up to my expectations and one that I thought there was so much to love about. 

Having lost her partner and the father of her children in a tragic accident, Lorries lives with her daugher Amy, her son Cam and her lodger Stu who she has known for many years. With her two children being keen to see Lorrie in a happy relationship they write Lorrie’s profile and encourage her to sign up to an online dating site, but after a few disastrous dates as a result of this she soon suspends her account. One day, she receives a friend request on Facebook from her first love, Antoine, who she met some thirty years when she was on an exchange trip to France in 1986 when she was just 16 years old. Will things work out with Antoine and be as good as Lorries always hoped they would be or will she realise that the person who is right for her has been right in front of her all along?

Throughout the entirety of this book, I found Lorrie to be a wonderful lead character who I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know. Apart from working hard as a manager at a cosmetic counter in a major department store, Lorrie is a person who is passionate about everything she does and is clearly determined to be the best mother she possibly can be to her two children. As a very down-to-earth character, Lorrie was someone who never seemed to take herself too seriously, tried to adopt a positive attitude and never wanted to let her problems defeat her and as such I admired her greatly. The people that surrounded her who we met along the way from her children, to her lodger Stu to her mother and many more as well all added something special to the story and helped to make it as successful as it was.

As many who have read Fiona’s previous novels will know, Fiona has a truly fabulous writing style that I personally adore and I’ve found that her books just keep getting better and better. The Woman Who Met Her Match was certainly one of these books, my favourite of Fiona’s to date and I particularly loved the way in which there were a number of different subplots running throughout the book, all of which helped to keep me entertained and interested. I loved the way in which Fiona has thrown a number of surprises into the novel to keep us on our toes, turning The Woman Who Met Her Match into an unpredictable read and one that I found to be very hard to put down. 

The Woman Who Met Her Match was an uplifting and often hilarious read that I couldn’t get enough of. It was so lovely to be reunited with Fiona’s writing after what feels like a very long time and I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for an enjoyable, easy read, full of characters who you can really relate to and care for. I’m already looking forward to reading what Fiona writes next! 

Friday, 28 April 2017

Guest Post - How to Make a Cruddy Day Feel a Whole Lot Better by Fiona Gibson

Fiona Gibson is back with yet another fabulous book, The Woman Who Met Her Match. My full review of the book will be published in the very near future but do be assured that I really did adore this book and highly recommend it. 

In the meantime, as part of the incredible blog tour, I'm lucky enough to have a gorgeous piece today from Fiona all about how to make a bad day seem that little bit brighter. So without further ado, sit back, relax and enjoy this fabulous piece, one which certainly got me thinking about the things I do to look after myself when things in life aren't going too well... 

How to Make a Cruddy Day Feel a Whole Lot Better

I have a good life, and I’m generally a pretty happy person - but you know how it is. Some days you just feel a bit stale, as if your brain is filled with the murky water that lies in the dishwasher when it won’t drain properly. Here are 7 simple things that perk me up and make me feel properly human again. So, what are yours? 

1. The beauty of make-up… God, but I love the stuff. From piling it on in my teens to a more natural (but still very much there) approach in my fifties, I’ve never been too far away from a pouch of beloved cosmetics. If I’m feeling a bit bleary, even if I’m only heading to the park with the dog, I’ll get my kit out and apply the whole works: base, liner, lips, the lot. Suddenly, that murky dishwater sensation flushes away. 

2. The joy of running (yes, really)… On a holiday at a friends’ place in Devon, I noticed my mate Fliss looking ultra trim. Her secret? Just plain old-fashioned running. I gave it a go, and have sort of stuck with it. While setting out is torture sometimes, I always feel a whole lot better when I stagger back in through the front door. 

3. Inelegant dancing… Chic, Donna Summer, Sister Sledge, Candi Staton. A blast from the queens of 70s disco and all that dolefulness seems to magically disappear. (Warning: don’t try this at home if there are teenagers present - unless you are prepared to be mocked or, worse, filmed). 

4. The delights of kitchen faffing… I have no idea what I ate throughout the 80s or into the mid-90s. Chips, probably, and things on toast. Maybe the odd lump of cheese and a massive, hangover-quelling jacket potato with a fried egg on top. Then I had children, and suddenly I had to learn how to feel them. Weirdly - as I never thought this would happen to me - I now regard cooking as one of my favourite things to do. I don’t find it especially creative, and I’m not terribly good at it - there are plenty of disasters (I am often reminded of The Great Cheesecake Debacle of 1995). But I do appreciate the whole calm, methodical, step-by-step-ness of it, especially after a full day of hammering away on my laptop which usually leaves my brain feeling pretty fried. Perhaps it helps that I have a keen interest in eating too. 

5. For the love of cheese… Is there really any situation in life that can’t be improved with a lovely melty slab of Brie? I know it’s not the healthiest thing, but I am a firm believer in having a little of what you love, every day. 

6. The sheer joy-making nature of dogs… What is it about hanging out with an animal that makes a day feel a whole lot better? We adopted Jack, our collie cross, seven years ago and I can’t imagine sitting down to write a chapter without him curled up at my feet. How I love the scruffy, stinky boy. He runs to me whoever I come home and coaxes me out on walks. Which brings me to… 

7. The pleasure of walking with a friend… Yes, I love my my canine mate - but I need human company too. Writing novels generally means spending a ridiculous amount of time alone, which can send one a bit ‘funny.’ After striding around one of our local Glasgow parks - with our dogs, lots of chat and my lipstick on - normality is swiftly restored.

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Review - The Married Girls by Diney Costeloe

It’s been a while since I’ve read a book quite like The Married Girls by Diney Costeloe and as such I found this to be a beautiful book, a real breath of fresh air. It was the first novel of Diney’s that I have ever had the pleasure of reading before and all I can say is that I really regret not having discovered her wonderful stories before now. 

Within this glorious book, Diney transports us to the village of Wynsdown just after the war where for two women, Charlotte and Daphne, there’s a lot going on. Now happily married with two children, the last person Charlotte was expecting to return to town was Harry a man who she was once very close to and who it seems she is still deeply concerned about. Meanwhile Daphne has a terrible secret and one that, if discovered, could ruin everything she has worked so hard to achieve with Felix. As women who are both different from eachother in many ways, these two women both have something in common in that they both have a past they would much rather forget. This is a story about just what happens when the past catches up with them as all too often happens in life. 

The Married Girls is the second in a series of books and before reading it I highly recommend reading the first book, The Girl With No Name, before. This was something I really wish I’d done as whilst I thought all the characters I met throughout The Married Girls were wonderful, I couldn’t help but feel that I was missing out on some valuable background information. There wasn’t one character that I liked more or less than the others as they all had a vital and important role to play in the story. I certainly found it fascinating to read of the lives of the characters and follow them as they experienced all that they did after the war. 

Despite having not read the first book in the series, I couldn’t help but love every minute that I got to spend reading The Married Girls. Undoubtedly this is all thanks to Diney’s wonderful way of writing a story in a way that really did seem so effortless. I’m the sort of the person that loves a book with plenty of description and this was a book that certainly delivered plenty of that, with it being entirely possible to form a mental picture in my head of everything that was happening. With so much going on throughout, there was so much to hold my attention and keep me interested from beginning to end. 

As a book that had a lot of depth and emotion to it, one that you could tell Diney had poured her heart and soul into to make it as successful as it was, I ended The Married Girls feeling so glad that I had the opportunity to read this book. It will be very interesting to see whether or not there will be a third book in the series and if so the direction in which the author takes things next. Either way, one thing that’s for certain is that I’ll definitely be back to read more written by Diney in the future. 

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Review - The Escape by C L Taylor

One thing that can most definitely be said about C L Taylor is that she knows how to write a breathtaking psychological thriller that is guaranteed to have readers on the edge of their seats. The Escape is C L Taylor’s fourth book and having had the pleasure of reading all of them I can honestly say that she is an author who just keeps on delivering great things. The Escape was a book that I really couldn’t escape, one that demanded my full attention and that I couldn’t bear to be parted with. 

The Escape tells the story of Max and Jo a married couple who are all too familiar with heartbreak having tragically lost their first child but were then later blessed with a daughter, Elise. Despite suffering from terrible agoraphobia and the stress that comes with knowing her father is imminently dying, Jo wants nothing more than to provide for, protect and be a good mother to young Elise. One day Jo’s world is turned upside down when she is approached by a strange woman who asks her for a lift, a request she feels unable to refuse despite her reservations about doing so. Jo soon learns that this woman isn’t that much of a stranger after all - she knows Jo, she knows her daughter and her husband too - and she’s making threats towards Elise that Jo cannot ignore. Just what does this woman want and will Jo be able to protect her beloved daughter from danger? 

This is a book that is presented to us in an immensely clever and effective way, with chapters not only being told from the perspective of both Jo and Max but with little snippets of dialogue that are directed towards Jo from an anonymous source that I simply couldn’t figure out the identity of. Every single one of the characters that C L Taylor has introduced to us were expertly crafted being characters who really got under my skin, I just didn’t know who to trust. Each and every one of them really helped to make this book as wonderful as it was, and it was very clear to see how much time the author must have spent thinking about their development. 

This proved to be an incredibly addictive read that I was well and truly hooked on from the very first page. With twists and turns galore, every time I thought that I’d worked out what was going on something would come along to make me change my mind. Throughout the entirety of the novel the tension did nothing but grow at an alarming pace with surprise after surprise being thrown our way. Before I knew it, I had reached the end of this book and all I can say is that by ending like it did The Escape is a book that leaves other psychological thrillers with a lot to live up to. 

The Escape is an almighty novel that exceeded all of my expectations and one that quickly became the best book I’ve read so far this year. Sometimes you come across a book that you wish technology would allow to be rated more than five stars, and that is most certainly the case with The Escape. Over the years C L Taylor seems to have gone from strength to strength and I already can’t wait to read what she will write next!

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Review - The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr

The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr, was an incredibly special book. In fact it was so special that after finishing it I had to take some time out to gather my thoughts before sitting down to write my review of it, hence why the review is coming some three weeks after finishing it. As a book that will stay with me for a long time, this was a truly memorable story and one that was quite unlike anything I’ve ever read before. I can only hope that within this review I do the book the justice that it so very much deserves. 

As the title correctly suggests this book tells the story of Flora Banks, a 17 year old girl who has had anterograde amnesia since the age of 10 when she had an operation which removed a tumour from her brain. With her amnesia meaning that she is unable to keep memories in her head for longer than a mere couple of hours, one evening after going to a party Flora kisses a boy on a beach, something which she is so desperate not to forget and something that she writes down. Whilst perhaps not the most sensible thing to have done given the repurcussions it has on her friendship with her best friend, we see how that one kiss completely changes Flora’s life as she breaks free from the control of her parents and sets out on the biggest adventure of her life. 

Whilst I struggled to understand exactly what young Flora was going through, I have to say that I thought Flora was an extraordinary lead character. I loved seeing Flora develop and grow as the story progressed and thought that the transformation she went on from being completely dependent on her parents for everything to being so much more independent entirely fascinating, she certainly proved herself to be a brave and fearless character. For me, even though Flora was considerably younger than me, I found Flora’s whole story to be extremely powerful and one which made me feel that little bit more grateful than I already was before starting the book for my health. 

The way that Emily has written this novel is something that I found to be extremely clever although very different to books I’ve read previously. There was a lot of repetition in this book, which I have to say at first somewhat annoyed me until I grew to appreciate why it was there, the fact that it was really giving us a glimpse into Flora’s mind and accurately portraying exactly what she was both thinking and feeling. I loved the effort that Emily had put into her story, creating one that really set the scene for the reader and transported them to a whole new world particularly when the location of Svalbard was introduced to us. 

Whilst this is a book that seems to be being marketed as a YA book, I’d say that it’s actually a book that can be read and appreciated by anyone of any age. With a number of themes being touched on throughout this is a very important book that raises awareness about a condition that perhaps is poorly understood and which people may not have very much understanding of. Having now taken the time to really think about this book and all that it represents, this is a book that more than deserves to be read and given a chance. I’m looking forward to seeing what Emily writes next. 

Monday, 17 April 2017

Review - The Secrets of Ivy Garden by Catherine Ferguson

Everything about The Secrets of Ivy Garden by Catherine Ferguson, from the cover to the story told within its pages, was absolutely divine. This was the first of Catherine’s books that I’ve read before and I have to say what a fabulous introduction to her writing it turned out to be. I adored every second that I was lucky enough to spend with this delightful little book, one that really was so lovely and heart-warming.

As Holly receives the devastating news that her beloved grandmother has passed away, we see her get on the train from Manchester and make the journey down to Appleton, an idyllic location in the Cotswolds. Determined to get her grandmother Ivy’s house, a place she is all too familiar with from her younger years, ready to be sold soon after arriving in Appleton she begins clearing out Ivy’s possessions. In doing so she comes across a diary, one that belonged to her grandmother and one that reveals things she never knew, things that have the potential to completely change her life. As the days go by and she starts to understand exactly what the diary has revealed, Holly finds herself staying in Appleton for far longer than she ever thought she would. Will she ever be able to leave? 

The Secrets of Ivy Garden is a story that is full of a whole bunch of lovely characters who all help to make this story as wonderful as it was. Holly is most certainly one of these and is one who has clearly experienced so much negativity in her life that you can’t help but follow her story and hope that everything turns out well for her. With her fear of the countryside, the reasons for which all become clearer as the story progresses, Holly’s character came across as being incredibly realistic one who sometimes lacked confidence and often under-estimated herself, things which helped me to connect with her even more than I already did. As the novel progressed it was clear to see what a truly caring person Holly was and it was a pleasure to read of the relationships she developed with those around her, particularly young Layla who with Holly’s support really did change for the better.

With the element of mystery that surrounded the secrets that the diary revealed, Catherine Ferguson has written a story that kept me both interested and intrigued from beginning to end. Her writing style is quite simply beautiful, full of a variety of unforgettable moments some of which pulled on my heartstrings and others which left me with a smile on my face. With some gorgeous and vivid description throughout, Catherine successfully made the village of Appleton come to life and it really captured my imagination. 

From the very first page I had a good feeling about this book, that it would be one that I would love and that certainly turned out to be the case. I am so glad that I made the decision to pick this book up, one that makes for the perfect reading particularly at this time of year. I highly recommend The Secrets of Ivy Garden and will definitely be back to read more by Catherine in the future. 

Friday, 14 April 2017

Review - Right Here Waiting for You by Rebecca Pugh

Ever since I read her first novel, Return to Bluebell Hill, which I absolutely adored Rebecca Pugh has been one of my favourite authors. Whenever I finish one of her books I find myself instantly looking forward to reading what she writes next and so I couldn’t wait to get started with her latest release, Right Here Waiting for You. Going into the book I had very high expectations and I wasn’t at all disappointed, in fact I’d go so far as to say that this is Rebecca’s best book to date. 

Right Here Waiting for You is a book that draws the reader in from the very first page as we quickly become involved in the lives of Magda and Sophia, two characters who left school as the very best of friends and with the rest of their lives ahead of them. They thought they’d be best friends for the rest of their lives, that they’d fall pregnant at the same time and have children of the same age, but as is so often the way in life things happened and things didn’t quite go the way they anticipated. Years after their paths last crossed Magda and Sophia receive an invitation to their school reunion, something that fills them with both dread and anticipation. What have they been up to, what happened between them and what will happen when they both attend the reunion?

Throughout the entirety of this fabulous book, both Magda and Sophia were wonderful characters who never faltered once. Both of them were incredibly down-to-earth characters who seemed very real and believable, meaning that I quickly became engaged in their stories and caught up on the mystery that surrounded their friendship. Creating such characters is something that Rebecca does extremely well, something that Rebecca has consistently done within all of her books and something that really helps to make her books that little bit more special than they already are. 

For me a new book written by Rebecca Pugh is like Christmas has come early, it’s something I always look forward to as I just know that I will be in for a treat. A treat was exactly what I got with Right Here Waiting for You, a book that was beautifully written throughout with the perfect mixture of humour, intrigue and emotional moments. Just as with all of Rebecca’s books so far to date I not only finished Right Here Waiting for You with a smile on my face but also came away feeling inspired from having seen how her characters who hadn’t had the easiest of lives always looked on the bright side of life and got through whatever life threw at them. 

All that’s left for me to say is that if you haven’t yet discovered Rebecca Pugh and her fabulous books then what are you waiting for? Right Here Waiting for You was a book that ticked all the boxes for me, a book that is destined for great things and one that will most certainly appeal to those who enjoy books written by Holly Martin, Daisy James and Milly Johnson to name just a few. My only complaint about this book was that it just didn’t seem long enough but even that couldn’t stop me from awarding it five stars without any hesitation. I’m incredibly excited to read what Rebecca writes next and wish her every success. 

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Guest Post - The Thing I Love Best About Writing by Catherine Ferguson

Today I'm absolutely delighted to be able to share with you all a gorgeous guest post from Catherine Ferguson, the author of The Secrets of Ivy Garden. I'm currently just over half way through this book and can safely say that I am loving it. It's every bit as gorgeous on the inside as it is on the outside. My full review will be up here on the blog very soon but in the mean time why not sit back, relax and read all about what Catherine loves best about writing. It's a truly fabulous piece that I thoroughly enjoyed reading!

The Thing I Love Best About Writing

There are lots of things I love about getting a story down on the page.
                I love writing that very first chapter of a brand new book. I love the moment when a character, who’s previously been just a two-dimensional collection of characteristics, suddenly comes vibrantly alive as if they could step off the page. And I love speeding through the last chapter to reach the happy ending.
                But for me, the very best thing about the writing process is when the ‘magic’ happens.
                By ‘magic’, I mean the times I’m struggling to make progress and feeling frustrated and despondent, thinking I’ll obviously never be able to write a decent book ever again – and then without warning, the perfect solution arrives in my head, fully formed, apparently out of nowhere. And all at once, I can see the road ahead really clearly, which is very exciting considering I was almost on the point of tearing the whole manuscript up minutes earlier!
                These ‘magic’ moments don’t happen very often, so are all the more special when they do. And they almost always occur when I’m tramping the lanes around my house, taking a break from the computer screen. (Which is why I now consider a daily walk an essential part of my writing routine!)
                I experienced the ‘magic’ only last week, while trying to make headway with my latest book, to be released in time for Christmas. I had my lovely heroine, Poppy, and my luscious hero and a cast of quirky characters, and I knew roughly how I wanted the story to go, but it just wasn’t coming together the way I wanted it to. Poppy, who longs to turn her love of cooking into a business, has been hired to provide the festive food for a family’s Christmas. They’re an odd assortment of people, each with their own problems, and it’s fairly clear there will be fireworks before Christmas Day is over! My problem was: how could all these different characters shed light on the most important story of all, which is Poppy and the challenges she is facing?
                I had originally planned that the ‘Log-Fire Cabin’ – where the family gathers - would have a large, open-plan kitchen/living space. But on my walk, I suddenly had a clear image of a really cosy, Christmassy kitchen, right at the heart of the house, and a stool at a breakfast bar. This stool, I realised, would be just perfect for a character to perch on with a coffee or a glass of wine, pouring out their heart to Poppy as she bakes her cakes. One by one, the disparate guests would wander into the heart of the house and chat to Poppy (under the guise of grabbing a quick coffee) and in learning about their struggles, Poppy would come to a better understanding of the challenges she herself was facing. And she’d remain right at the centre of the book in that warm and inviting kitchen.
                I was so excited by this break-through, I hardly noticed that the heavens had opened. So I arrived home soaked through but happy – and desperate to get all my new ideas down on paper!

Sunday, 2 April 2017

Review - Those Who Lie by Diane Jeffrey

Those Who Lie by Diane Jeffrey was most certainly a book that didn’t disappoint me in the slightest. Upon picking it up, when I previously hadn’t heard too much about it, I wasn't too sure what to expect but it delivered great things from the very first page. From beginning to end it proved to be an intense, immense and intriguing psychological thriller that was full of many twists, turns and surprises.

The book wastes absolutely no time in throwing the reader straight into the middle of the drama, when we meet Emily Klein who wakes up in a hospital bed with two police officers by her side, no friends or family present and absolutely no recollection of how she ended up there. Not long after waking up, Emily learns that she has been involved in a car accident, that she was driving, that her husband was in the car with her and that he didn’t survive. The problem is that Emily can’t seem to remember too much about what happened in those moments immediately prior to the accident and, as we see her try to come to terms with her loss and recover from her injuries strange things start to happen…things that leave Emily and those around her questioning her sanity. 

Diane Jeffrey has done a fabulous job at creating every single one of the characters that we meet throughout Those Who Lie with Emily being just one of them. They were all fantastically developed with stories and secrets of their own which made them seem like very real people, something which really helped me to become fully immersed in and engaged with the story I was reading. I found that Emily in particular was a wonderful lead character, one who was complex and had clearly experienced far too much negativity in her life and one who my heart really did go out to even though I sometimes struggled to understand her actions. All I wanted to do was figure out what was happening to Emily and why. 

With chapters alternating between both the past and present, I really appreciated the fact that the story was told to us in this way as it really helped to form the bigger picture and understand so much more about each of the characters and their backgrounds. Throughout the entirety of the book, Diane expertly builds the tension throwing revelation after revelation our way all of which I found were truly impossible to predict. Just when I thought it couldn’t get any better, the ending came along which was breathtaking, unexpected and saw this novel become a very worthy five-star read in my eyes. 

An atmospheric, powerful and engaging read, Those Who Lie is a psychological thriller that any fan of the genre simply must read. It is a fabulous debut novel and one that has left me thoroughly looking forward to reading more great things by Diane in the future when I’m sure we’ll be in for a treat. 

Sunday, 26 March 2017

Review - The Idea of You by Amanda Prowse

For a very long time now, Amanda Prowse has been a favourite author of mine whose new books I always look forward to and whose books are always heartbreaking yet at the same time beautiful, powerful and inspiring. That was most certainly the case with Amanda’s latest book, The Idea of You, which is worth so much more than just five stars. It was a truly stunning masterpiece!

Within The Idea of You we meet Lucy Carpenter who is quickly approaching forty and seems to have it all, from a successful career to her wonderful new husband Jonah. However what they are missing, something that would really make their world that little bit more perfect is a baby of their own. Indeed, knowing that she is ready for motherhood and that she would make a good mother with so much unconditional love to give, there is nothing that Lucy wants more than to hold her own baby in her arms. But as is so often the case in life, as we accompany Lucy on an unforgettable journey through loss, grief and hope, we see that this isn’t going to be easy. 

Amanada Prowse has an incredible talent for writing stories with characters that seem so real and believable, characters who you really can’t help but fall head over heels in love with and this is something which allows you to become so much more invested in the novel. Lucy was one of these characters who I warmed to right from the very start of this novel and as things got harder and harder for her, it broke my heart to read of all she was experiencing. Although I couldn’t, I wanted nothing more than to be able to make things better for Lucy and for Jonah to have acted slightly differently to how he did on more than one occasion. I think the most inspiring thing about this novel is the way in which it demonstrates the characters getting through what life throws at them, no matter how difficult it is. 

As I have come to expect from all novels written by Amanda Prowse, The Idea of You deals with a difficult theme, this time of miscarriage, in what can only be described as a beautiful and sensitive manner. Even without the deeply moving note at the start of the novel, from reading it I could tell just how much honesty had gone into writing it, that it was based on something that Amanda like many of her readers had personally experienced. This was something which left me with even more admiration and respect for the author than I already had from reading her previous novels. From beginning to end it was written in a way that I found to be entirely captivating and was a book that I found to be deeply touching. 

Discovering Amanda’s books was one of the best discoveries I ever made and I feel so incredibly lucky to have been able to read yet another wonderful novel by her. In fact as I’ve read more and more of Amanda’s books over the years I’ve found that they seem to get better and better, and The Idea of You was absolutely no exception to this. Upon finishing The Idea of You, my only hope is that Amanda will continue writing for many more years to come and that I will have the privilege of reading much more by her in the future. 

If you’re looking for a new domestic tale to get stuck into by an author who really does know what she’s doing, then The Idea of You is most definitely for you!

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Review - A Girl Called Owl by Amy Wilson

The beauty of reading so much is that you’ll often come across a book that is a little bit different but is at the same time truly special and that was most certainly the case with A Girl Called Owl by Amy Wilson. Although, being a middle-grade book, it’s primarily aimed at an audience much younger than myself I was intrigued enough by its description to give it a go and I’m so very glad that I did. Including so many different elements, it certainly captured both my heart and my imagination. 

With a mum who had the not so clever idea of calling her Owl, a best friend whose going through a difficult time and needs her support and a new boy at school giving her weird looks it’s safe to say that Owl really doesn’t need any more drama in her life. Owl’s always been told that she’s special, but she only begins to believe it when she starts seeing strange frost patterns appear on her skin. Knowing this is something that makes her stand out from her peers, Owl can’t help but wonder where she gets this extraordinary talent from, whether it’s from her father who she has never met before. Keen to find out more about her father, she goes on a journey of discovery but just where will it take her?

As a story that is mainly narrated from the perspective of Owl, one thing that can definitely be said is that Amy has created a wonderful lead character in her and, despite the age difference between both myself and her, I found that I was able to relate to her and the things that she was going through. Her story and everything that she experienced really did intrigue me and I was keen to read on and stay with her as she discovered all that she did. For such a young character I really loved Owl’s strength and determination and I also thought that it was a pleasure to see how she interacted so well with those around her, being an incredibly caring character and treating others with respect. When she eventually found her father, I loved seeing the way in which their relationship developed as the story progressed. 

Growing up I read a few stories about young people who had never met one of their parents before, but none that I can remember were quite as imaginative as A Girl Called Owl turned out to be. Although the parts that went into the third person did sometimes throw me off the main storyline, I thought that overall it was a wonderfully well written book, one that most certainly had a very interesting plot. I really loved the way in which Amy had managed to include so much within her story, one that wasn’t just to do with relationships but one that also looked at a number of mythical characters that may so often be overlooked.

I found A Girl Called Owl to be a gorgeous, magical little book and one that I ended up adoring far more than I ever thought I would. As a book that focuses on the themes of identity, friendship and how to adapt to change, this is a story that should easily appeal to most readers over the age of 9 and I also think it would be ideal for those interested in mythical characters. A really beautiful debut novel that I hope many others will fall in love with! 

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Review - The Breakdown by B A Paris

Last year I read Behind Closed Doors by B A Paris which was quite honestly one of the best thrillers I read all year. I was therefore eagerly anticipating the arrival of her second novel, The Breakdown, hoping it would be just as good as the first. Having read it all in the space of just one day, I can truly say that The Breakdown was an incredible book. It was everything I hoped it would be and so much more and was in my view a very worthy five star read. 

We first meet Cass, a school teacher, on the last day of term before the summer holidays on a dark and stormy night. Keen to get home to her partner and out of the bad weather, on the way home she takes a shortcut through the woods. Whilst driving she notices that a car has broken down on the side of the road but, despite being concerned, decides not to stop. When she wakes up the next morning she discovers that the person who was in the car was a woman, someone she once met and she has been found dead. Feeling guilty for not having stopped to help the previous night, over the coming weeks Cass finds it hard to get the woman out of her head and not only does she receive a number of silent phone calls but she also starts to forget things. As she fears for her sanity, is she going mad or is there another explanation? 

Cass was a character whose story I couldn’t help but become incredibly involved in from the start. What was nice about Cass was that you could tell, from the way she felt so bad about not having stopped, was that she was a character who had a conscience and one who would do the right thing. She was a character who cared deeply for her friends, one who would do anything tc ensure that they were happy. Subsequently it broke my heart to read of her declining mental state and I really felt her fear that was present throughout the majority of the novel - the fear that she was experiencing early onset dementia like her mother did. 

Unlike in Behind Closed Doors in which it was pretty clear what was happening, The Breakdown was much more of a mystery. From one moment to the next it was impossible to predict what was going to happen and what was going to be discovered. I thought that B A Paris had done an incredible job at writing this novel, creating something that was atmospheric, addictive and breathtaking. As a relatively fast-paced novel in which the tension did nothing but grow, there was twist after twist and it was the sort of novel that certainly played on my mind when I had to put it down for just a few minutes. 

The Breakdown is the author’s second novel to date and all I can say is that B A Paris has proven that she is here to stay, an author who is so capable of having success after success. I really couldn’t have enjoyed this book any more than I already did and I’d urge readers not to miss out on what is truly an outstanding read. I’ll definitely be back to read more by B A Paris in the future! 

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Review - The Girl Who Lied by Sue Fortin

From the very first moment that I picked up The Girl Who Lied by Sue Fortin I was glued to it. Originally drawn to this book thanks to the atmospheric cover and intriguing title, this was a story that delivered so much more than I thought it was going to. It was the first of Sue’s novels that I have ever read before and all I can say is that it most certainly won’t be the last. 

After her father suffers a terrible fall which sees him end up in hospital, Erin is forced to return from London to her hometown in Ireland - the village of Rossway, County Cork to support her mother and sister. Having recently received some unwelcome threats via email from Roisin, a former childhood friend who most certainly holds a grudge against her, it’s safe to say that Erin isn’t particularly pleased about going home. Whilst Erin makes herself busy spending time with her family and helping run the family business, a delightful little cafe, it becomes clear that Roisin’s not going to leave Erin alone. Just what has Erin done that Roisin cannot let go and what will happen when its made public knowledge? 

As the main characters of The Girl Who Lied, both Roisin and Erin were two who I felt completely different things for. I have to say that whilst I appreciated the fact that she had been through an awful lot in her life, Roisin was a character who I really didn’t like. Throughout everything that went on she only thought of herself and what would make her happy, not thinking about anyone else and the difficulties they were facing. Meanwhile Erin was a character who I both liked and admired as, despite everything, she was brave enough to face up to her past whilst also caring very deeply about what other people were going through and what they were feeling. I became invested in Erin’s story and keen to see just how things would turn out for both her and her family. 

This book is what I would primarily describe as a psychological thriller during which the relationships that exist between families are investigated and big secrets are revealed, with us seeing how different people react in very different ways. Piece by piece, Sue provides us with information and I became desperate to turn the pages to find out just what exactly was going on in a book where there was twist after twist meaning I genuinely didn’t know where the book was going to take me to next. This alone turned the novel into a very addictive read but Sue also very cleverly included another element which kept me intrigued in the form of a romantic relationship between two of the story’s characters. 

If you’re looking for a tension-filled read that perhaps isn’t quite as dark as some of what is currently on the shelves, then The Girl Who Lied is a book that you definitely want to pick up. I for one am so glad that I made the decision to read this novel and am really looking forward to reading more by Sue in the very near future. 

Monday, 13 March 2017

Review - When Only Cupcakes Will Do by Daisy James

When Only Cupcakes Will Do was the first book written by Daisy James that I have ever read before and I can certainly guarantee that it will not be the last. Released in 2016, one thing that has to be said from the very start of this review is that I found this book to be every bit as beautiful on the inside as its gorgeous cover is on the outside. From beginning to end this book was full of humour, romance and, as the title suggests, lots of tasty treats. 

This is a book that wastes no time in throwing us straight into the action where we meet Lucie as she is getting ready to propose to her boyfriend in Tiffany’s. After not getting the answer of her dreams she experiences a meltdown which sees her making a terrible mistake at work when she mixes up cocoa powder and chilli powder on a dish that gets served to a food critic. Insisting on meeting the food critic, they share an exchange which is filmed and ends up going viral, something which forces her to re-evaluate her life and results in her setting up the Travelling Cupcake Company with her sister. After all that’s happened, one thing that Lucie doesn’t expect is to fall in love with someone new…

When Only Cupcakes Will Do is full of so many characters, the majority of whom I absolutely fell in love with. Lucie was a character who I adored throughout the novel as she demonstrated a remarkable amount of strength, unafraid to stand up for herself and what she believed in even if doing so didn’t always have the most desirable outcome. I had so much admiration for her determination to make her new business venture a success. She was the sort of character who you could tell worked hard in life and so I couldn’t help but sit with my fingers crossed, desperately hoping that she would get the happy ending she deserved. 

Being new to Daisy’s writing, I went into this novel with absolutely no idea what to expect but I absolutely loved it. The level of description that this book contained was absolutely spot on, I could picture everything, including all of the wonderfully creative cupcakes and cute cake pops that were being baked perfectly -  they sounded divine and it certainly felt like I was part of the action! I really loved the effort, thought and creativity that Daisy had put into this novel, particularly with regards to the ice cream van, which kept me interested from beginning to end. 

When Only Cupcakes Will Do was a heart-warming and uplifting story that I think any reader would be guaranteed to fall head over heels in love with. Whether you choose to read this book on a rainy or sunny day, it’s a book that will leave you with a smile on your face. I’m now really looking forward to picking up There’s Something About Cornwall, which is Daisy’s latest release to date. 

Friday, 10 March 2017

Review - The Good Daughter by Alexandra Burt

Back in October 2015 I read Alexandra Burt’s debut novel, Little Girl Gone, which I thought was absolutely brilliant. Since then I’ve been eagerly waiting for the author’s second novel which has finally arrived in the form of The Good Daughter. Given how much I enjoyed Alexandra’s previous book, I went into this one expecting great things and even though it was quite different to what I was expecting it to be overall I can most certainly say that I was not left feeling disappointed. 

In the book we meet Dahlia Waller a character whose earliest memories consist of spending an extraordinary amount of time in the car with her mum, Memphis, as they travelled from state to state and from one motel to the next. Receiving the majority of her education from an encyclopedia as opposed to attending school, it’s fair to say that her childhood was far from conventional and, now grown up, Dahlia is keen to distance herself from her past. However with many questions that are preventing her from doing so, Dahlia decides to return to her mother in the town of Aurora where something is most definitely not right. As her mother starts to talk, just what will Dahlia discover?

As a book that is told from the perspective of multiple characters, at its heart this is a story that digs deep and investigates a relationship between a mother and daughter. Despite it taking a little while for me to figure out exactly what was going on and who was who, I became keen to see where Alexandra was going to take the characters to next. Whilst I couldn’t always relate to the characters in terms of the things they had experienced,  some of which were truly dark and shocking, I found that the characters were wonderfully well-developed and I ended up feeling a great deal for each of them.

Quite unlike Alexandra’s first book which I thought was fast-paced from beginning to end I felt that The Good Daughter took a while to really get going. That said it’s a book that I believe is well worth sticking with as when it did get going I genuinely struggled to put it down. I ended up really loving the way in which it was written with Alexandra blending a number of different themes into her writing. 

A complex, clever and compelling read, The Good Daughter was a book that I’m so glad I had the opportunity to read. With this now being the second of Alexandra’s novels that I have read and enjoyed, I’ll certainly be looking out for more written by the author in the future. A book you definitely want to give a chance! 

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Review - The Mercury Travel Club by Helen Bridgett

The Mercury Travel Club is written by Helen Bridgett and was one of those books that I was automatically attracted to thanks to the delightful cover and blurb. As a book that provided me with a much needed break from reality and really helped to put a smile on my face, it was full of hilarious moments and characters I couldn’t help but love. I went into it hoping for great things and can certainly say that it more than lived up to them, I was not disappointed in the slightest. 

In this book we meet 53-year-old Angie Shepherd who is newly divorced and quite unsure what she should do with herself. Taking advice, she throws herself into a selection of new and exciting activities from a book club to baking classes and speed dating to The Granny-Okes which turns out to be an internet sensation. Despite all of this, Angie wants more and so with dreams of entrepreneurial success decides to invest her divorce settlement into The Mercury Travel Club. However, just how successful will this be? 

This was a book that contained so many features that I really did love, including Angie, Charlie, Josie and Patty who were four great characters. I particularly loved Patty and the way that despite having been through more than her fair share of heartbreak she always had a smile on her face and was always there to support Angie whenever it was needed. Something that worked really well was the way in which this book was set over the course of a year as I felt that this provided the opportunity to really get to know the characters and feel invested in their story. 

The Mercury Travel Club was a wonderfully written book from beginning to end throughout which the writing style was nothing but engaging and entertaining. It was a thoroughly well-paced book with many chapters being just a few pages long, something which made it a truly irresistible novel to read and one that I ended up reading far more of than I intended to in just one sitting. Another aspect of this book that I thought was fabulous was the clever titles that were given to each of the chapters, all of which were appropriate given what happened within them. All in all this is a book which Helen has done an absolutely incredible book with. 

One thing that I can safely say is that I found The Mercury Travel Club to be a true gem of a novel that was every bit as gorgeous on the inside as it was on the outside. It was a light-hearted and uplifting novel that is guaranteed to leave any reader smiling and make for perfect reading all year round. A truly super debut novel that has left me feeling very excited to see what more is to come from Helen Bridgett in the future. 

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Review - Beside Myself by Ann Morgan

One thing I can safely say from the start of this review is that Beside Myself by Ann Morgan proved to be quite unlike anything I’ve ever read before and I mean that in a good way. Whilst it turned out to be quite different from what I expected it to be I thought that it was a brilliantly clever, gripping and insightful novel. I most certainly do not regret reading it and can’t quite believe it’s taken me this long to finally do so! 

This is a novel about identical twins, Helen and Ellie, who couldn’t be more different from eachother - Helen is the dominant and assertive twin who seems to excel at life whilst Ellie seems to find things just a little bit more difficult. One day, when they are just six years old Helen and Ellie decide to play a trick by changing their clothes and hairstyles to make people think that Helen is Ellie and vice versa. The swap isn’t meant to last for long but Ellie quite enjoys being Helen and doesn’t want to swap back, something which doesn’t please Helen in the slightest. With Ellie refusing to tell the truth, Helen can’t convince anyone that she’s not Ellie so that’s the way things stay with drastic consequences for both girls. 

One thing that really made this book quite different from anything that I have ever read before is that it’s a book about twins and the relationship that exists between them. I found it extremely interesting to read of this throughout the novel, discovering so much about the differences that existed between both Helen and Ellie, seeing how they both adapted to the situation they found themselves in. Whilst we get a good insight into the life of the twin who was originally named Ellie, the book is told entirely from the perspective of the twin who was originally named Helen. Given that Helen was considered to be the dominant twin I feel that this is something that fits and works really well. 

Throughout the novel, so much happened to the twins and whilst there were a few times that made me laugh there were other times that I found to be truly heartbreaking, so Beside Myself certainly made for extremely powerful reading. This is a story that alternates between the past and the present, each of which is told in a very different manner. Whilst at first this became quite confusing and it took me a while to adapt to Ann’s style of writing, I soon found that it became very easy to recognise which narrative was which. Overall I found Beside Myself to be quite a complex novel which blended a number of different themes, including those of identity and mental health, in an expert manner. 

As a book that raised a few questions as it progressed which helped to keep me interested and keen to find out what would happen next, I’m really glad I read this novel and persevered with it when I at first struggled to get used to the way in which it was written. Whilst this may not have been the happiest book I’ve ever read it was a unique, well-constructed and sensitively written debut novel. I would certainly read more by Ann Morgan in the future! 

Monday, 27 February 2017

Review - Before I Let You In by Jenny Blackhurst

Before I Let You In is a book written by Jenny Blackhurst which spent far too long sitting on my bookshelf waiting to be read. This was an absolutely incredible psychological thriller that was full of so many twists and turns that it was quite honestly breathtaking. From the moment I picked this book up all I wanted to do was sit there, glued to the pages, which I most certainly did as I ended up reading this book in less than a day, something that hasn’t happened in quite some time! 

Despite now all leading very different lives, Karen, Bea and Eleanor are the very best of friends having known eachother since they were just five years old. Whilst Bea is single and Eleanor is married with young children, Karen is a psychiatrist who is never happier than when she is supporting her friends and helping other people with their problems. One day a new patient, Jessica, walks into Karen’s office who immediately senses that something is very wrong as Jessica seems to know far too much about Karen’s personal life, friends and family. As we soon see things spiral quite rapidly out of control, just what will the consequences be of Karen letting Jessica into her consultation room not only for her but her friends and family too? 

This book explored the theme of friendship amongst three people who, having known eachother for most of their lives have been there for eachother through both the best and worst of times. But one thing that became apparent as you read this book, as we see some pretty big secrets revealed, is that there is certainly a lot that they don’t know about eachother. Although the story is mainly narrated by Karen, there are many chapters throughout the book that are told from the perspective of Eleanor and Bea and they all seemed like such believable characters. All of this combined works perfectly and makes for a very successful novel, as it helped me to connect with them all and it was great to hear their thoughts and see how they each reacted very differently to what was going on around them. 

One thing I can definitely say about Before I Let You In is that this is a book that will keep you guessing right up until you turn that final page. Every time I thought I knew where the novel was going and what was happening, Jenny threw another twist into the mix which made me question everything I thought was true and this was something that I personally really liked. It made the book extremely compelling, I wanted to read on and find out exactly what would happen next, some of which was truly shocking. Throughout the book, the tension grows at an incredible pace and there is a real sense of urgency, something which is undoubtedly helped by the short chapters.

As a gritty, fast-paced book, Before I Let You is an absolutely exceptional book that I really wish I had picked up sooner than I did. Given how much this book had me well and truly hooked from beginning to end, I will now always look out for Jenny’s novels and look forward to reading more by her in the future. If you’re looking for a new psychological thriller to read, make sure it’s this one!