Saturday, 13 October 2018

The Promise - Katerina Diamond

The Promise
Katerina Diamond
About the book… 
When troubled teen Connor moves to Exeter from the US to escape his past, he finds himself embroiled in a world of popular kids and easy girls. Everyone wants to be his friend, but they don’t know about what he did…and they don’t know about his father.

As Connor’s life in England begins to unravel, DS Adrian Miles and his partner Imogen Grey are working up against the clock to catch a serial killer who dates his victims before he kills them. Determined to uncover the truth, Imogen is forced to act as bait — but will she take it too far and risk her own life?

Katerina Diamond is back with a bang in this dark, twisted novel, perfect for fans of M.J. Arlidge and Karin Slaughter.

An Extract....
He looked around the tree house and felt a little glimmer of hope. There was no way his father would make it up here — he had a place where he could be by himself, without his father’s watchful eye, without the hand on his shoulder, without feeling like he was to blame for everything that was wrong in the world.Connor shuffled back against the wall and sat down with his beer in his hand, thinking about the different things he was going to have to get used to here in England. His father had always maintained he would never come back, but when his parents had died and left him the house, it seemed like a logical move after the incident back at home. If Connor was honest, he needed a change too. He couldn’t carry on being the person he was in California; people had started to notice that he wasn’t the same as them, and he couldn’t stand that.

He pulled out the Zippo his father had given him as a gift for his sixteenth birthday and struck the wheel with his thumb, watching the flame flickering in the light breeze that ran through the empty tree house. He pulled out a cigarette and lit it before peering through the window again. The woman next door was up on the countertop now, her legs wrapped around her partner’s waist, his trousers around his ankles. Upstairs, he could see into what looked like a girl’s bedroom; she was sitting at her dressing table, with a lamp on. It was the girl he had seen earlier when they arrived. As Connor watched, she undid the plait in her hair and started to brush it out.

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About the author… 
Katerina Diamond was born in Weston in the seventies. She moved to Thessaloniki in Greece and attended Greek school where she learnt Greek in just 6 months. After her parents’ divorce, they relocated to Devon. After school, and working in her uncle’s fish and chip shop, she went (briefly) to university at Derby, where she met her husband and had two children. Katerina now lives on the East Kent Coast with her husband and children. She is a Sunday Times and Kindle bestseller

Contact Links: 
Author Page on AmazonKaterina Diamond Books

My thoughts…
Oh my giddy aunt Katerina Diamond is a master at weaving intricate tales and The Promise is woven so tightly there are no chinks that allow for guessing the outcome.  There are so many parts to this story that cross over and touch each other it was impossible to imagine how they were all relevant and linked. Inspectors Imogen Grey and her partner Adrian Miles were really up against it with this one, each also battling their own problems that meant their focus was not always 100% on the game.

The clock is literally ticking and once again Imogen finds herself as bait to lure a serial killer out into the open.   Katerina Diamond doesn't waste time padding out and gently building up the story she just dives straight in, getting to the point and leaving nothing to the imagination  her descriptions are graphic and direct. I was left holding my mouth and  'Oh My Godding' every other page. At the same time there is a back story being told every few chapters and also the story of Connor and his abusive father who have moved back from America to England for a fresh start  but from what, Katerina leaves us dangling for a good while.  Connor is a troubled soul and has a difficult time at the hands of his father yet there's something about him, he sensitive under the shell he's had to build around himself. 

The pacing of the story had me totally on edge  it hurtled me headlong into situations that are so awful I felt physically sick and at other times were deliberately, just that tiny bit slow.  Slow enough to have me praying to get to the end of the chapter - Katerina Diamond writes books based in a dark, twisty world inhabited by sick evil monsters, as a reader I want to read the outcome but alternate between not wanting to either. This is a book that took me way outside my comfort zone.

This was one of those stories that I was glad I read in the daytime  scenes so graphic and gory I wanted to read with my eyes closed.  It's also an emotional read with every feeling under the sun brought to the fore at one point or another.  Fear, hatred, hurt, sadness and pity being the most prominent  although there are a couple of lighter moments towards the end that re-dress the balance somewhat.  Katerina has left us dangling, there are so many threads not quite knotted off - I literally cannot wait for the next instalment.

I highly recommend this book to all crime, thriller readers.  Katerina Diamond is up there with the best and the opportunity to read one of her novels will become a compulsion just like mine I bet!

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Monday, 1 October 2018

Coming Home to Maple Cottage - Holly Martin

Coming Home to Maple Cottage
Holly Martin

About the book… 
This utterly addictive new novel from bestselling author Holly Martin will make you smile until your cheeks hurt, sob tears of pure joy and fall head over heels in love with a totally unforgettable romance…

Isla Rosewood is creating a new life for herself and her sweet nephew Elliot in their cosy, yellow-brick family cottage, brimming with special memories. Living in Sandcastle Bay was never part of Isla’s plan but, after her brother Matthew’s tragic accident, her whole world changed as she unexpectedly became a mother to the little boy she adores so much.

Leo Jackson was always known as Matthew’s fun-loving and wild best friend. But now Matthew is gone, it’s time to put his colourful past behind him. His role as Elliot’s godfather is the most important thing to him. And even though Leo and Isla are two very different people, they both want to give Elliot the childhood he deserves.

As the three of them enjoy time together watching fireworks, baking cakes and collecting conkers, Isla begins to see a softer side to charming Leo, with his twinkling eyes and mischievous sense of humour. And, despite herself, she begins to fall for him.

But does Leo feel the same way? Isla knows their situation is complicated but is it too complicated for true love… or will the year end with a happy new beginning for them all?

A glorious, feel-good romance that will make you want to snuggle up under a warm blanket with a hot chocolate and the one you love. If you enjoy reading Sarah Morgan, Jenny Oliver and Lucy Diamond this book is for you.

About the author… 
Holly lives in a little white cottage by the sea. She studied media at university which led to a very glitzy career as a hotel receptionist followed by an even more glamorous two years working in a bank. The moment that one of her colleagues received the much coveted carriage clock for fifteen years’ service was the moment when she knew she had to escape. She quit her job and returned to university to train to be a teacher. Three years later, she emerged wide eyed and terrified that she now had responsibility for the development of thirty young minds. She taught for four years and then escaped the classroom to teach history workshops, dressing up as a Viking one day and an Egyptian High Priestess the next. But the long journeys around the UK and many hours sat on the M25 gave her a lot of time to plan out her stories and she now writes full time, doing what she loves.

Holly has been writing for 8 years. She was shortlisted for the New Talent Award at the Festival of Romance. Her short story won the Sunlounger competition and was published in the Sunlounger anthology. She won the Carina Valentine’s competition at the Festival of Romance 2013 with her novel The Guestbook. She was shortlisted for Best Romantic Read, Best eBook and Innovation in Romantic Fiction at the Festival of Romance 2014. She is the bestselling author of 18 books

My thoughts…
I couldn't agree more utterly gorgeous, Coming Home to Maple Cottage was pure indulgence.  Holly martin has the ability to make you lose all track of time and before you know it you've lost the morning and only have 20% left to read so it would be rude not to.

Coming Home to Maple Cottage focuses on Isla, Leo and Elliott.  Isla and Leo had a one night stand four years previous, felt a connection but never pursued it - Leo has a reputation for being a bit of a bad boy, a serial womaniser so why would you?  They are brought back together when Matthew, Isla's brother, is killed in a car accident and Isla is left with the job of bringing Elliott up, supported by godfather Leo.

This is a story that pulls at your heart strings, Elliott is an absolute dream, I wanted to gather him up and cuddle him - he's confident and happy and his open questions and statements had me guffawing more than once.  Leo and Isla have a connection that is clear to everyone around them but to each other - neither is able to make the move.  Isla doesn't know whether her feelings are reciprocated and Leo has such a bad reputation he doesn't want to tarnish her with it.

Holly intricately weaves their lives around each other, their family and friends want them to get together but the town is against it.  I so was in their corner, cheering them on from the side lines, smiling and laughing out loud.  Holly Martin writes some of the best one liners ever and the way she fed them through the mouths of babes made for a hilarious read at times.  Add to the mix Leo's aunt Agatha, a character that is so unlike any elderly aunt I've ever met.  She's wacky, outspoken and openly discusses and advises Leo and his brothers on bedroom activities that she thinks they should pursue in front of the whole town, she's taken the idea of an agony aunt to a whole new level.

This was one of the most touching books that Holly has written, softening the edges with humour, funny and embarrassing moments to lighten the more serious content.  I loved every single page and can't wait for the next instalment. 

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Thursday, 19 July 2018

The Factory Girls of Lark Lane - Pam Howes

The Factory Girls of Lark Lane
Pam Howes

About the book… 
The Factory Girls of Lark Lane: A heartbreaking wartime family saga. 
The struggles of war will build the strongest of friendships…
1940, Liverpool: Best friends Alice Turner and Millie Markham work for the war effort at Rootes munitions factory, making shell caps and Halifax bombers. Alice’s sweetheart Terry is home from the front for a brief period of leave, and the women are excitedly planning a whirlwind wedding.
But the honeymoon is soon over, and the ever-present air raid sirens quickly bring Alice back down to earth. When a terrible explosion at the factory leads to a tragic death, and a loved one is announced missing in action, it’s only their friendship and the support of the other factory girls which help to keep Alice and Millie’s spirits up.
As the war stretches on with no sign of an ending, can Alice and Millie help one another make it through – and find happiness even in the darkest of times?
The Factory Girls of Lark Lane is a heart-wrenching family saga about women in World War 2, the strength of friendship, and hope. If you’re a fan of Nadine Dorries, Diney Costeloe and Kitty Neale, you’ll love Pam Howes!

Buy Links: 
Buy now via Amazon:

About the author… 
Pam is a retired interior designer, mum to three daughters, grandma to seven assorted grandchildren and roadie to her musician partner.
The inspiration for Pam’s first novel came from her teenage years, working in a record store, and hanging around with musicians who frequented the business. The first novel evolved into a series about a fictional band The Raiders. She is a fan of sixties music and it’s this love that compelled her to begin writing.

Contact Links: 
You can find Pam on Twitter at
You can find Pam on Facebook at

My thoughts…
I was given an ecopy of this book in exchange for an honest review by Bookouture,  Pam Howes publisher.  This is something I'm more than happy to do.

Reading The Factorg Girls of Lark Lane was pure nostalgia to me.  It took me straight back to my teenage years where I worked in an office on an industrial estate in Speke, Liverpool. I spent my lunch breaks reading books set in the city during the war years by Maureen Lee, Helen Forrester and Lyn Andrews.

Pam Howes more than lives up to these icons and has captured the true essence of a city and period of time where your friends were your family and people shared what little they had - pulling together to support each other during desperate times.

Despite the hurt and tragedy that affected the tight knit community there was also fun and laughter, everyone appreciating the small things and each other, grateful that they survived the night through another air raid, huddled together with neighbours and friends listening for the bombs that devastated whole streets at a time - the sense of pride, generosity and support spills from the pages of this beautifully sad yet uplifting story. 

Despite not reading any other books in this series I was soon wrapped up in the lives of friends Alice and Millie and their families. It's hard to imagine being married for a day and your husband going off to war, leaving you expecting a baby and no idea of when you may see each other again - the strength of character and acceptance of life and it's restraints  is demonstrated throughout this book beautifully.

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Tuesday, 3 July 2018

The Island Villa - Lily Graham

The Island Villa
Lily Graham

About the book… 
Marisal. A villa on a sleepy Spanish island. A place that time had forgotten. A place of long ago summers, sun-kissed memories and one terrible betrayal …

When Charlotte’s husband James tragically dies, he leaves her an unexpected gift – her grandmother’s beautiful villa, Marisal, on the Spanish Island of Formentera.

As she begins to explore her new home, and heal her broken heart in the warm golden sunshine, Charlotte discovers that her grandmother Alba has been keeping secrets about her life on the island. Intrigued by her family’s hidden history, Charlotte uncovers a devastating love affair that put many lives at risk and two sisters torn apart by loss.

Can the heart-breaking truth of the island’s dark history finally be laid to rest? Or will the secrets of the past shake the new life and love that Charlotte is close to finding?

Buy Links: 
Amazon Buy Link:

About the author… 
Lily grew up in dusty Johannesburg, which gave her a longing for the sea that has never quite gone away; so much so that sometimes she'll find sand grouting the teaspoons, and an ocean in a teacup. She lives now in the English countryside with her husband and her sweet, slobbering bulldog Fudge, and brings her love for the sea and country-living to her fiction.

Contact Links: 

My thoughts…
I was given an ecopy of this book in exchange for an honest review by Bookouture, Lily Grahams publisher.  This is something I'm more than happy to do.

The Island Villa is a beautiful read.  It begins as Charlotte and daughter Sage have lost their beloved husband and father James to cancer - neither can contemplate life without him and are getting through each day - just.

On the day of his funeral Charlottes brother hands her a letter from her husband, a letter that contains only a few words but will change her life completely.  He has bought her a house, not just any house but a house that used to belong to her family on the island of Formentera, a Spanish island off Ibiza.

As Sage heads back to University Charlotte plans a trip just to look at the house - she cannot contemplate life as a widow and doesn't know how to even begin to pick up the pieces.

The Island Villa holds the key to her past and her future, Lily Graham has intricately pieced together Charlottes past and future like a jigsaw - inserting one, then another as the past meets the present.  I was touched and saddened by the back story yet it's that that lifts Charlotte out of her 'funk' to a point where she can contemplate the future.  The story unfolds around a community, shared meals and the Villa and is totally bewitching, I was totally lost, my heart sqeezed with sadness, then lifted as the sunshine and happiness gradually began drifting through the threads of the story.

I've never read a Lily Graham novel before but this will definitely not be my last - sensitively constructed, totally absorbing and mesmerising.  A beautiful read that I have no hesitation recommending.

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Sunday, 1 July 2018

Ivy & Abe - Elizabeth Enfield

Ivy & Abe
Elizabeth Enfield

About the book… 
 Two people. One love story. A million possibilities.
Is there actually a right person, or just a right time?

Ivy & Abe

A stunning novel about the different paths our lives might follow, and the different people we might become along the way.

Childhood friends in the Sixties, Ivy and Abe were inseparable until a chance event tore them apart. Now in their early seventies, fate once again brings them together - both grey-haired, Ivy hand in hand with her grandson - to fill in the gaps of one another's lives. Each has experienced great passions as well as heart-breaking tragedies, but the time is finally right for them. 

Their love story seems, in the end, meant to be. But what if…

…in a parallel universe, chance had intervened and they'd met sooner?

…they'd met in their forties, both married to other people and began an affair? 

…they'd met before then and married, but the daunting question mark over Ivy's health had suffocated Abe's love for her? 

…as lovestruck teenagers, one small moment had sealed their fate?

Praise for Ivy & Abe

'Sliding Doors Meets One Day' Red Magazine

The same pair of lovers find and lose each other through the decades . . . a novel full of emotional truth’ Daily Mail

‘A moving and thought-provoking novel in the tradition of Sliding Doors and The Versions of Us. One for anyone who's ever wondered if things might have turned out differently.’ Alison Mercer, author of Stop the Clock

‘Beautiful, uplifting and wise. I surfaced from the last page, feeling as comforted as I was moved’
Alison Macleod, author of Unexploded

‘A beautiful story that explores what it is to have a soul mate. It made me cry a lot - in a good way! - but it also made me think, as all the best books do’, Veronica Henry, author of A Night on The Orient Express

‘An epic love story’ Araminta Hall, author of Everything and Nothing

‘True love in parallel universes. How smart! How simple! How romantic! Elizabeth Enfield has a rare talent.’

Tony Robinson

Buy Links: 
Book Depository -
Amazon UK -
Amazon US -

About the author… 
Elizabeth Enfield worked as a journalist and producer for BBC radio before going freelance. She now contributes to various national newspapers and magazines. Her short stories have been broadcast on Radio 4 and published in magazines including Woman's Own and the Sunday Express.

Contact Links: 

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Friday, 29 June 2018

The Photograph by Debbie Rix

The Photograph
Debbie Rix

About the book… 
If you loved The Letter by Kathryn Hughes and The Hourglass by Tracy Rees you’ll be swept away by this stunning summer read.

Italy, 1958: Rachael is a young widow with a small child. After a lifetime of running for survival, of not knowing who to trust and where to call home, she finds herself in a place of safety. On a sun-drenched Italian island for one carefree summer the troubles of her past fade away and she falls in love. But will Rachael’s new-found happiness bring her further heartache?

England, 2017: Sophie has a handsome husband, a gorgeous house in the English countryside and a successful career as an anthropologist. But the one thing she longs for is a baby of her own. As she struggles to conceive, cracks begin to appear in her marriage. So Sophie throws herself into her work and tries to seek comfort in childhood memories of her beloved grandmother Rachael. 

One afternoon, Sophie finds a forgotten letter and an exquisite silk bracelet hidden in Rachael’s old writing desk. Intrigued, she begins to unravel the extraordinary story of her grandmother’s past - and a secret that has the power to change everything…

The Photograph is an utterly beautiful and compelling story of love, loss and a family secret spanning generations.

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About the author… 
Debbie Rix has written four novels, the latest of which - 'The Photograph' - will be published on June 27th 2018. The story crosses generations and continents as Sophie, desperate for a child of her own, uncovers the extraordinary secrets of her grandmother, Rachael, fifty years earlier.

Earlier this year Debbie was shortlisted for the RNA's Historical Novel category for her third novel 'The Silk Weaver's Wife' (pub: 19th July 2017) about a silk designer named Anastasia from Verona whose life is almost destroyed when she is forced into a marriage to a Venetian silk weaver. In the present day Millie visits an old villa near Verona and uncovers a lost painting. Who is the woman in the painting and how will her experiences affect Millie's life? 

Debbie's debut 'The Girl with Emerald Eyes', reached the No.1 spot in Amazon's Italian category. Set amidst the world of medieval Italy, it explores the creation of the most famous building in the world - the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Her second novel - 'Daughters of the Silk Road' topped the historical fiction charts, reaching No.1 in Italian, Women's fiction and Mystery, Thriller & Suspense and spent many weeks in the top 100 best selling lists. It follows the fortunes of a family of merchant explorers who bring a Ming vase back to Venice from China in 15th century. 

Debbie spends a lot of time in Italy and the setting of the novels reflects her knowledge and passion for the country. She lives in the Kent countryside with her journalist husband, children, sheep, chickens and cats. When not writing, she is usually to be found in the vegetable garden. She began her career with the BBC- initially as the news reader on Breakfast Time, thereafter appearing as a presenter and reporter on a variety of factual and light entertainment television series. She had a spell as an Agony Aunt, and has also written about gardens and gardening - one of her private passions.

My thoughts…
I was given an ecopy of this book by Bookouture, Debbie Six publishers in exchange for an honest review.  This is something I'm more than willing to do.

The story is told by two different women Sophie and Racheal across several different countries. The chapters act as dividers separating the women's lives alternating back and forth between Italy 1958 and the UK 2017.

It is a heartfelt story about tragedy, love, pain, family and friendship.  A story set in four parts with the two stories woven together until they meet in the present day.

I absolutely loved this story, it is an incredibly powerful yet a tender and tragic story that highlights the decisions and difficulties faced by both Sophie and Rachael, two incredibly strong women and the knocks and set backs they both faced in their lives.

The Photograph is a story that is paced perfectly, the pace ebbing and flowing as both women encounter setbacks and tragedy time and time again only to rise out the other side stronger more determined to survive.  I was totally absorbed, silent tears rolling down my cheeks, smiling the next - a totally uplifting read that demonstrates the strength of character possible when you are surrounded by love and support, family and friendship.

An uplifting read that is totally captivating and will squeeze your heart yet leave you uplifted.  This is the first Debbie Six book I have read but it will definitely not be the last, I loved every single word from the beginning to the end.  

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Monday, 25 June 2018

The Date - Louise Jenson

The Date
Louise Jenson

About the book… 
One night can change everything. 

‘I know it as soon as I wake up and open my eyes... Something is wrong.’

Her Saturday night started normally. Recently separated from her husband, Ali has been persuaded by her friends to go on a date with a new man. She is ready, she is nervous, she is excited. She is about to take a step into her new future. By Sunday morning, Ali’s life is unrecognisable. She wakes, and she knows that something is wrong. She is home, she is alone, she is hurt and she has no memory of what happened to her. 

Worse still, when she looks in the mirror, Ali doesn’t recognise the face staring back at her...

From the no. 1 bestselling author of The SisterThe Gift and The SurrogateThe Date is a gripping page-turner that will keep you awake until the early hours. Perfect for fans of The Girl on the Train and Before I Go To Sleep. 

Buy Links: 

About the author… 
Louise Jensen is a Global No.1 Bestselling author of psychological thrillers The Sister, The Gift & The Surrogate. To date Louise has sold approaching a million books and her novels have been sold for translation to nineteen territories, as well as being featured on the USA Today and Wall Street Journal Bestseller’s List. Louise was nominated for the Goodreads Debut Author of 2016 Award. 

Louise lives with her husband, children, madcap dog and a rather naughty cat in Northamptonshire. She loves to hear from readers and writers and can be found at, where she regularly blogs flash fiction and writing tips.

My thoughts…
I was given an ecopy of this book in exchange for an honest review by Bookouture, Louise Jenson publishers.  This is something I am more than happy to do.

Where do I start with The Date, it was a tense, gripping read right from the very first page.  I read this whilst sitting by the pool in Sicily and what a good job, the sweat was literally pouring off my forehead with fear as opposed to sweat from the heat - nobody could tell I was a gibbering wreck reading this.

I loved every single word of The Date it was incredible.  Louise Jenson has stepped up to the plate and knocked the ball right out of the park with this one. It was like reading a living nightmare - I had heart palpitations and read quicker and quicker to get to the bottom of the story, wanting to save Ali from the living torture she was enduring.

Imagine waking up with the worst hangover imaginable, not knowing where you are, how you got there or physically able to drag yourself out of bed.  When you do you don't recognise the face looking back at you or have any recollection of how you have got to that situation - a totally incredible, unimaginable, gut wrenching situation.

Ali is separated from her husband Matt and is persuaded by her flatmate and friends Chrissy, Jules and James to go on a blind date.  She is reluctant - she still wants to be married and is in denial about how she has arrived in this situation - she had a loving, close relationship with husband Matt until his character changed almost overnight - within months he had distanced himself from her and she leaves the marital home to give them both some breathing space.

With each and every book I've read of Louise Jenson the intensity has ramped up another notch, she is one of my firm go to authors that I would read without even reading the blurb - she never fails to disappoint, that is until the last page is turned and I know I have a long wait until I can get my next fix.  I can't recommend this book highly enough, huge thanks to both Bookouture for the opportunity to get an early read and to Louise for her writing.

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