Off to the seaside! Book Review.

content?id=u6t8DwAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover&img=1&zoom=1&source=gbs api - Off to the seaside! Book Review. Meet Me at Pebble Beach
Bella Osborne
Fiction, Women's fiction
HarperCollins UK, Avon
May 28, 2020
three star - Off to the seaside! Book Review.

Meet Me at Pebble Beach was originally published as a four-part serial. This is the complete story in one package. Regan is holding a winning lottery ticket. Goodbye to the boyfriend who never had her back, and so long to the job she can’t stand! Except it’s all a bit too good to be true… When Regan gets pranked, she finds herself jobless, homeless and boyfriendless in one fell swoop. Luckily her friendly seaside community provides a beacon of hope, proving to Regan that sometimes you really can rely on the kindness of others – and one local in particular, a handsome fireman called Charlie, helps Regan realise that this could be her chance for a fresh start. Armed with a list of ways to change her life, Regan decides it’s time to step out of her comfort zone. Because – as Charlie knows all too well – life is for living . . . A feel-good summer read, perfect for fans of Jill Mansell, Veronica Henry and Cressida McLaughlin.

wolfhound - Off to the seaside! Book Review.

This was an interesting story in that i thought it could have been better. The concept was good but the proof of concept needed improvement.

There was more opportunity for humour than was used, and the starting chapters were rather dull and lacking in originality. The later chapters improved but her final solution was not, for me, fully realised and believable. an almost story. I am giving it 3 stars because for some people it will appeal.

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When is love real?

content?id=sdTXDwAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover&img=1&zoom=1&source=gbs api - When is love real? A Surprise Christmas Wedding
Phillipa Ashley
Fiction, romance, women's fiction
HarperCollins UK
October 19, 2020
four star - When is love real?

The new festive romance from the Top 10 bestselling author of A Perfect Cornish Christmas. Perfect for fans of Sarah Morgan and Trisha Ashley.

It’s been a year since Lottie’s fiancé walked out, leaving her heartbroken. But things start to look up when she lands her dream job at a beautiful Lake District estate, with a handsome groundskeeper for a neighbour.

So when Lottie is asked to organise a last minute Christmas wedding at Firholme, she can’t wait to get started. Until she meets the couple, and discovers that Connor, the man who broke her heart, is the groom-to-be.

As snow falls on the hills, can Lottie put aside her past to organise the perfect winter wedding? And will there be any festive magic left to bring Lottie the perfect Christmas she deserves?

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Phillipa Ashley So, Connor proposes and then he -un- proposes and in the meantime Lottie finds a job as an events manager on a great estate up in the Lake District of the UK. And then she meets Jay, the new estates manager, who has his own demons to face. And together they organise a wedding of a rather surprise couple. The wedding sounds wonderful and tame reindeer and sledges and… Wonderful area of the world if somewhat chilly and wet. and windy. And prone to being snowy in the winter – which stats early and ends late… and so I’m really glad the author hasn’t minimised the weather effect here – the snow can stay on the very mountain tops almost all summer and walkers often get lost or struggle because they have not taken the weather into account – sunny when they started and shorts and t-shirts but failed to bring the fleece and wet weather gear and then they get into trouble.  Take 2017 for instance, in the UK, there were only 9 days of the year when there was not a Mountain Rescue call-out. And in the Lake District there were 449 incidents alone! 356 of which were related to hill walkers with 13 fatalities. FYI there were also 10 animal rescues! My family love this area when the snow has just fallen – crisp and blindingly white – glorious to see when driving over the high passes – if they are clear. But the last time I went up there with friends and hubby – I went shopping and to a nice warm pool and spa instead of walking in the snow!  

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Snow piles up and the clues vanish

content?id=UgHdDwAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover&img=1&zoom=1&source=gbs api - Snow piles up and the clues vanish The Christmas Killer
DI James Walker #1
Alex Pine
Fiction, Crime, Murder, Mystery
HarperCollins UK
October 29, 2020

As the snow begins to fall, the body count begins to climb...

DI James Walker is ready for a quiet family Christmas in the sleepy village of Kirkby Abbey.

But when he opens an early Christmas present left on his doorstep, he soon realises it is no gift. Inside is a gruesome surprise, and a promise – twelve days, twelve murders. Not long after, the first body is found, half frozen in the snow.

As the blizzards descend, panic spreads through the remote Cumbrian village – there’s a killer amongst them, and with eleven more victims to go, anyone could be next….

Can James stop the killer before they strike again?

So DI James moves his family from London to the Cumbrian village his wife grew up in, in the anticipation of a safer life. There had been threats – or so he believed – against his family in London and his wife was increasingly nervous living there. Her home village was small – less than 1000 people, and set in a lovely part of the world – Cumbria is great – if you can take the weather – another wet, windy and cold area of the world.

There are incidents and James starts to wonder if this is a local sicko or were they followed from London?

For me, this read like a Midsummer’s Murders storyline – a local murder spree with village spite and secrets and rivalries all being played out through murder.

A little too predictable in all the murderer was for me although plenty of red herrings – and if like me, you get curious as to where some of these phrases we use in everyday life come from, we can trace ‘red herring’ to a journalist of the early 1800s, who claimed to have used a very strong (red = going off) herring to lay a false trail when he was a boy trying to prevent hare coursing. And I also learned recently about where the phrase red handed comes from. In the Inns of Court in central London, here is an old Mulberry tree which has black fruits. If you eat these fruit – or even pick them, your hands are stained. Mulberry fruit were valuable and loved to be eaten in the 16/1700s, so boys used to go and pick the fruit to sell – and got caught because of the staining on their hands.

This Mulberry tree has black fruits and was planted by mistake by King James. He wanted to grow mulberries to feed silk worms as silk was so expensive – and the Huguenot weavers has settled in London and thus could weave him silk cheaply. Except it is the white mulberry that feeds silk worms! Oops.

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Little Boy Lost
DCI Anna Tate
JP Carter
General Fiction (Adult) , Mystery & Thrillers
five star - Lost?

Innocence is no protection against evil… One early October afternoon, ten-year-old Jacob Rossi begins the short walk home from school. But he never makes it. Days later, DCI Anna Tate is called to the scene of a burning building, where an awful discovery has been made. A body has been found, and the label in his school blazer reads: J. Rossi. As Anna starts digging, she soon learns that a lot of people had grudges against the boy’s father. But would any of them go so far as to take his son? And is the boy’s abductor closer than she thinks? An absolutely gripping thriller for fans of Cara Hunter’s No Way Out and First Blood by Angela Marsons.

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A very disturbing story. very well told and believable after previous London riots.
My husband has always pointed to the regular occurrence of riots in the UK's history, and the fact that social ills were addressed afterwards, as a reason, possibly, that unlike  most of Europe, we still have a monarchy. And have not had a real Revolution.
 I saw a play created from interviews with our last London rioters, and it is clear that a significant portion of our youth feel very disenfranchised. And the increase in knife crime in 2019 emphasises this.
So the social unrest that is The background to this story is a viable a believable extrapolation.
I am not sure if Chloe's back story added a great deal apart from muddling stories up. I would have left it out. Its riot experience was enough.
And the final twist was one I never saw coming. Excellent.

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Sweet and Sour

WLGYL cover - Sweet and Sour When Life Gives You Lemons
Fiona Gibson
Romance, Humour, Marriage, Family
four star - Sweet and Sour

Sometimes life can be bittersweet . . . Between tending to the whims of her seven-year-old and the demands of her boss, Viv barely gets a moment to herself. It’s not quite the life she wanted, but she hasn’t run screaming for the hills yet. But then Viv’s husband Andy makes his mid-life crisis her problem. He’s having an affair with his (infuriatingly age-appropriate) colleague, a woman who – unlike Viv – doesn’t put on weight when she so much as glances at a cream cake. Viv suddenly finds herself single, with zero desire to mingle. Should she be mourning the end of life as she knows it, or could this be the perfect chance to put herself first? When life gives you lemons, lemonade just won’t cut it. Bring on the gin!

WLGYL blog tour banner Part One 1024x576 - Sweet and Sour

A fun but yet serious book about what happens when a mid-life crisis hits – often the husband in a marriage, and how the wife deals with it.

Especially difficult when you have a late and unplanned child at Primary School and you are not a young mother …

And then you have a boss who seems incapable of doing anything at all for herself – she takes the concept of personal assistant just a tad too far… personal can be too personal you know?

Viv is capable of more, and wants to do more but life seems to have been stacked against her – until she finds that her husband leaving her brings out her strong side and she makes that elusive lemonade.

I enjoyed reading this book. Fiona always gives you a good giggle whilst making some serious points about how women are capable of so much more than they appear to others. Required reading for wives who leave far too much to husbands – or alternatively, let husbands do far too much. It’s fine to put yourself front and centre from time to time girls…

About the Author


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Fiona Gibson is the author of 15 romantic comedy novels, including the best-selling The Mum Who Got Her Life Back (Avon), which celebrates the empty nester years. Under the name of Ellen Berry, she also writes the heartwarming Rosemary Lane series (Snowdrops on Rosemary Lane is out in January 2020).

Fiona grew up in West Yorkshire, before working on Jackie and Just Seventeen magazines – in those heady pre-internet days when it was thrilling to get a free plastic mirror taped to the front of your magazine. She went on to edit More! magazine, where she introduced the infamous Position of the Fortnight. After having twin sons and a daughter, Fiona started to write novels, usually at night with the house full of toddlers and builders. She was sleep deprived anyway so it really didn’t make any difference.

She also loves to draw, paint and run – by some miracle she managed to finish the London Marathon 2019. With the kids all grown up now, she and her husband Jimmy live in Glasgow with their collie cross, Jack.

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