Let’s start…

What’s more to say about my blog about books I’ve read?

Well, this is my blog about books I’ve read 😀.

I always liked reading books, and it all started on a very silly way… It’s always good to blame my dad, so he is the cause of my reading addiction.

When I was still a little girl, a looooooong time ago, I saw him always going to the bathroom with the newspaper. One day I wondered why he did that, so I took a book and tried to see the fun of that.

And since that day, you can find everywhere in the house a book of mine.

A while ago, I had the opportunity to review some books, and now a new opportunity came to post them on an own blog.

So here we are, my own blog!

I read books, and I will post my thoughts about them.

Some books I’ll like, some I won’t like that much…. but you can be sure that I’ll give you my personal and honest opinion about them.

I hope you enjoy reading it!

‘The Promise of Summer’ – written by Bella Osborne #CoverReveal @osborne_bella @rararesources

Today I am spoiling you with a whole new cover reveal. I cannot wait to read the story!!!

Synopsis

Ruby’s life is about to change for ever…

After years of dating losers, cheats and one guy who did something unrepeatable to her kettle, Ruby has all but given up on romance. But then a stranger sits next to her on a train to London and explains his plan to propose to the woman of his dreams. Maybe true love does exist after all?

When the man accidentally leaves the engagement ring behind, Ruby is determined to save the day. But she hasn’t counted on fellow passenger Curtis stepping in and insisting he should be the one to track the stranger down.

As summer closes in, the unlikely pair make a promise to reunite the ring with its owner. But can they find their own happy ever after along the way?

Pre-order Links 

Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B08R6Q4T66/

Universal Amazon link – http://mybook.to/ThePromiseOfSummer

KOBO – https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/the-promise-of-summer

Publication Date – 22nd July 2021

About the author

Bella has been jotting down stories as far back as she can remember but decided that 2013 would be the year that she finished a full length novel. Since then she’s written seven best selling romantic comedies and she’s been shortlisted three times for the RNA Contemporary Romantic Novel of the Year Award. 

Bella’s stories are about friendship, love and coping with what life throws at you. She lives in The Midlands, UK with her husband, daughter and a cat who thinks she’s a dog. When not writing Bella is usually eating custard creams and planning holidays.

For more about Bella, visit her website at http://www.bellaosborne.com or follow her on social media.

Social Media Links – 

Twitter – https://twitter.com/osborne_bella

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

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/bellaosborneauthor/

The cover

‘The Borrow A Bookshop Holiday’ – written by Kiley Dunbar #BookReview @kileydunbar @rararesources @HeraBooks

A holiday full of books and life changing events!

Synopsis

The Fully Booked Bookshop Café invites literature lovers to run their very own bookshop … for a fortnight.

Spend your days talking books with customers in your own charming bookshop and serving up delicious cream teas in the cosy café.

Bookworms, what are you waiting for? Your holiday is going to be LIT(erary).

Apply to: The Fully Booked Bookshop, Down-a-long, Clove Lore, Devon.

Jude Crawley should be on top of the world. She’s just graduated as a mature student, so can finally go public about her relationship with Philosophy professor, Mack.

Until she sees Mack kissing another girl, and her dreams crumble. And worse, their dream holiday – running a tiny bookshop in the harbour village of Clove Lore for two weeks – is non-refundable.

Throwing caution to the winds, Jude heads down to Devon, eager to immerse herself in literature and heal her broken heart.

But there’s one problem – six foot tall, brooding (but gorgeous) Elliot, who’s also reserved the bookshop holiday for two weeks…

As Jude and Elliot put their differences aside to run the bookshop, it seems that Jude might be falling in love with more than just words. Until she discovers what Elliot is running from – and why he’s hiding out in Clove Lore.

Can Jude find her own happy ending in a tiny, tumbledown bookshop? Or is she about to find out that her bookish holiday might have an unexpected twist in the tale…

My review

Jude Crawley finally managed to graduate. For anyone this event would be already exhilarating, but for Jude it’s even more. She is a mature student, as she gave gladly gave up her dreams to look after her grandmother, so now she can finally start chasing her own dreams. And her relationship with Philosophy professor Mack can be finally in the open.

But it all changes when she sees Mack kissing another woman. Not only are her dreams scattered, but also her perfect holiday is in pieces. She already imagined herself and Mack running a tiny bookshop in Clove Lore for two weeks. Being a non – refundable holiday, Jude decides to go anyway to Devon, ready to be submerged in books and trying to heal a broken heart.
What she didn’t expect is that Elliot also reserved the holiday in the bookshop the same time as her. And yes, he may be tall and gorgeous, the last thing she needs is being around a man who also appears to be hiding things.

First of all, I WANT TO HAVE THAT HOLIDAY TOO!!!!! Running a bookshop for two weeks, that just sounds like heaven to me!
It’s really a pity that such things don’t exist (yet? 😃) in Belgium!

But now about the book itself…

I have to say, Jude truly left me in awe from the start. She put her own dreams aside, to take care of her grandmother, while her parents are running the family bakery. Not every young adult would do that, but for Jude it was not a sacrifice at all, as the love she has for her family is what matters.
And the courage she had to pick up her studies, again, it’s not something many would do.
Now graduated, she is ready for the next step in life, being enjoying her relationship with Mack now that their relationship is not a secret anymore and they can finally have a holiday together.
So when Mack shows his true colours, I felt as heart – broken as Jude. Because if there was one person who should finally have some slack, it’s certainly Jude.
Everything she does, is done with kindness, love and just a big heart. And being treated that way by Mack, is totally uncalled for.

When in the bookshop, I understood Jude that she wasn’t happy to share her holiday with Elliot. Even if sometimes her reactions were on the verge of just being rude, I comprehended her. She wanted peace to mend her broken heart, and lick her wounds.
Elliot is just not someone easily to ignore. He is huge, and his good looks surely don’t help to fight the attraction! I found myself even attracted to this complete fictitious character!
But there is more to him than just the way he looks. He may not be the best baker, but he surely has the best intentions! And even if I feared for what his secret would be, when it was out, I was happy that my gut feelings weren’t wrong!

Even if this story started with a tone that made me sad / angry, after that event, I surely felt my mood shifting for the better. I loved the idea of renting a bookshop, finding yourself in a community ready to lend a helping hand, making you feel at home.
I fell in love with Clove Lore, even if the street names are not that easy to understand. But every character managed to make me love them. And then I’m not talking about Aldous, even his strange habits were easily covered by the cloak of love!

The ending left me nearly in tears, as it was just something you would see in a romantic movie and it just fitted perfectly in the story.

I found this an uplifting story, not only about love in all its aspects and that even if there are people ready to break your heart, there are plenty of them ready to open theirs.
This was a book I quickly finished reading, not because I wanted to get rid of it. But because I felt part of it and found it nearly impossible to put it away!

‘Competing With The Star’ – written by Krysten Lindsay Hager #BookReview @KrystenLindsay @rararesources

Being in the popular clique isn’t always fun!

Synopsis

The perfect guy, the perfect location. What could go wrong?

Hadley Daniels’s life seems perfect. Before the beginning of sophomore year of high school, Hadley and her family move to a beautiful beach town, where she makes amazing new friends and lands the boyfriend of her dreams. She and Nick form a deep bond, but insecurity sets in when Hadley discovers her boyfriend once had a huge crush on her friend—who just happens to be the beautiful teen TV star, Simone Hendrickson. Nick claims to be over Simone, but then Hadley is blindsided with the news that Nick and Simone kissed after school. Now Hadley must determine who is telling the truth. 

Love, betrayal, friendship…who needs TV drama when you’re busy competing with a star?

My review

After recently moving, Hadley is finally feeling that she found her place. She lives with her parents in a beautiful beach town, she has amazing new friends and has an amazing boyfriend with Nick Jenkins. Even if the contact with her former best friend is getting lost, she feels she can rely on many other people.
However, insecurities arise when Hadley discovers that Nick had a huge crush on her friend and TV star Simone Hendrickson. To make things even worse, there is a gossip going around that makes Hadley doubting everything she once believed…

Before you read this book, I would recommend to read also the first book. I didn’t read it, and even if you can read this one as a standalone, it may help to understand the characters and the past better.

While reading this story I had the initial feeling that Hadley was one of the ‘lucky’ girls. She is part of a group with popular girls, and even befriended a TV Star! Of course if you are part of a group, there are always people you like more and people you like less.
And now Hadley even is in a relationship with her best friend Nick.
But no matter how good life is looking for Hadley, she had the typical teenage insecurities and doubts.

The author manages again to capture the reality of teenagers perfectly. Not only does she capture the beauty of a first love, but also the self – doubt and trust issues.
Hadley as a girlfriend is different than Nick’s previous girlfriends, and she is afraid that being different will be the thing that he will get bored off.
And not only does she has her own insecurities, she is also fighting against a supposed friend flirting too openly and even a bit over the top.

Hadley learns through this story, sometimes the hard way, that even friends can be stabbing you in the back. But she also learns who her real friends are, and support her.


This whole book is actually a learning process. The characters learn to see who really has their back, learn about love, trust and slowly they also learn to speak out their fears.
But the thing I liked the most that our characters learned, is putting differences aside and be there for each other in time of need. It may seem a very strange thing to say, but when you’re reading this story, it will be clear what I mean!

I found this a bittersweet story about a teenager finding herself and love in a world that can be too complicated. But it was also enjoyable to read how the characters are growing towards adulthood and make up their own mind!
It made me rethink about my own teenage years all over again and made me realize how things I did then formed me into the person I am now!

‘Paradiso’ – written by Francesca Scanacapra #BookReview @FrancescaScana2 @rararesources

Growing up is never easy, imagine growing up in a post – war place…

Synopsis

Italy, 1937. In a tiny village in rural Lombardy, GraziellaPonti is born into a loving family. 

Though they are not rich and life is full of challenges, they are content and safe, surrounded by the tightly-knit community of Pieve Santa Clara. 

But when the shadow of World War Two falls across the village with the arrival of Nazi soldiers, nothing in young Graziella’s life will ever be the same again. 

Paradiso is Graziella’s story. It charts her loves, losses and triumphs as she grows up in post-war Italy, a country in transformation, freed from the shackles of dictatorship yet still gripped by the restraints of the Catholic church. 

Paradiso is inspired by true stories told to Francesca Scanacapra by her Italian family and set in locations where she spent much of her childhood. It is a deeply affecting novel which sheds light on the complexity and trauma of Italy’s past and weaves it into the epic tale of an ordinary woman compelled to live in extraordinary times.

This stunning historical read is perfect for fans of Dinah Jeffries, Rhys Bowen, Victoria Hislop, Angela Petch and Heather Morris.

My review

Graziella is living with her loving parents in a small village in Lombardy, Pieve Santa Clara. Her life is not full of money, but is full of love.
But when Nazi soldiers start to appear as World War 2 is getting more grip on the world, it’s obvious that life as everyone knew is over.
While Graziella is growing up in a new world, she has to learn to cope with love, loss and facing the aftermath of a war that changed the course of everyone’s life.

Whenever a story is taking place somewhere in Italy, the author already has my interest. But of course the story itself has to be able to keep it! otherwise I would like a lot of stories! 😊

Graziella is a young girl living without worries at ‘Paradiso’, the name they gave her home. But her worriless life quickly changes as the World War is approaching.
I was somehow in awe how Graziella reacted to all the changes in her young life. Being evacuated from her hometown and to live with the nuns, losing people she loved, picking up the pieces after war, it’s not easy for adults, image how this would be for a little girl.
Yet Graziella, even if sometimes in despair, holds on to the little things of life and does her utterly best to remain positive.

The first few chapters had some difficulties to keep my attention, but before I knew, the whole story gripped my attention.
I was relieved the story wasn’t completely focused on the war, but also showed us the aftermath. It’s easy to think that life goes on as before the war, but the author manages to show is that such a great, negative event has many implications.
People grieve on their own way over losses, but still have to learn to slowly move on and actually live again.

Seeing Graziella growing up towards a young responsible woman was something that warmed my heart. No matter what she has been through and is still facing, she has her head on her shoulders and is not afraid to take her own initiative. Reading about her while she is discovering all kind of feelings, like grieve or that first blooming love, made me feel like I was standing beside her every step she was taking.

The fact that the author inspired the book by true stories told by her family, made it feel more real too.
There is no sugar-coating, but also not overly dramatizing the events that are taking place. The emotions are real, not too fast – paced.
The only thing I kind of missed, was the feeling of a proper ending. In one way, it was the perfect ending, but on the other hand, I would have loved to read *just more*! I was not ready to say goodbye to these lovely, real characters yet!

‘Life’s A Beach’ – written by Portia MacIntosh #BookReview @PortiaMacIntosh @rararesources @BoldwoodBooks

When the wedding of your sister is the easiest thing happening.

Synopsis

Sun, sea and inescapable exes…


Peach is excited to hear that her sister, Di, is getting married. Of course, she would have preferred her little sister to be engaged to someone she’s known longer than a week – and the fact that his name is Charles doesn’t bode well – but who is she to judge?! Afterall, her own love life is non-existent, and who doesn’t love a destination wedding…?

Whisked away to the gorgeous Italian coast, Peach assumes her role as chief bridesmaid and, despite her reservations about the groom, she tries to ensure everything goes to plan.

But weddings are never straightforward affairs… throw in some unexpected guests in the form of ex-boyfriends and one night stands, and soon enough there is more drama than a reality tv show.

Can Peach keep the show on the road, or might she end up in a whirlwind romance of her own…?

Escape to the stunning Italian coast with bestseller Portia MacIntosh. Perfect for fans of Sophie Ranald and Mhairi MacFarlane.

My review

Peach is left a bit flabbergasted when her sister Di decides to getting married to a man she barely knows.
But of course, the only thing that matters, is Di’s happiness. And if that means that Di is going to marry a man named Charles, so be it. especially when the wedding will be taking place on a beautiful Italian coast!
However, some of the other guests are not Peach’s best friends. And when a one night stand appears to be also attending, together with ex – boyfriends, the wedding itself seems to be the least of her worries, even if she keeps on having her own reservations.

Whenever I read a story written by this author, I know I will enjoy every bit of it!

And with this story, it already starts with the first chapter! At first I was a bit confused, thinking I missed a few pages because when we meet Peach, she is looking at a wedding venue for her wedding. So I was nearly freaking out.
But my worries were unjustified. Because when it’s made all clear, I was laughing at loud, wishing I could be doing the same thing!
And the prelude to her one night stand was something funny yet also sweet. So when the guy just disappears, I was as disappointed as Peach was, because the click and sparks just flew over the pages!

Peach is just a wonderful character to get to know. She is an amazing and loving sister. Because even if she doesn’t understand why Di wants to get married so quickly and she discovers something about Charles, all she wants is that her sister is happy. And that means Peach puts her own not so positive thoughts aside, spending time with Di’s friend even if she absolutely loathes her.

And Matt… is there any other man that would match even more perfectly for Peach? I’m not telling you too much about Matt, because I want you to discover him all by yourself!

However… how lovely (or not…) the characters were, it was the whole adventure that made me laugh, relax and have a blast!
This story is full of hilarious misunderstandings, unfinished business and people appearing out of the blue with the wrong reasons of being there. However confusing it may seem at some point, all the pieces of the puzzle fall perfectly together.
And the ending of this book… I cannot say more than just ‘WONDERFUL’!!!!

This author managed AGAIN to write a story that was impossible to put away. And yes, I gave up my sleep for it, so after finishing the book, I was in a cranky mood because the lack of sleep and because I already finished it!

I found this a very entertaining, funny book. Even if some characters took some time to like/love, they all were characters I wanted to be happy.
I cannot wait to read more from this author, knowing that each book of her is something I truly enjoy!

‘Second Chances At First Love’ – written by Zoe Allison #BookReview @zoeallisonauth1 @rararesources

Is second time’s a charm?

Synopsis

Eva Mathers is a successful woman, except for when it comes to matters of the heart. When she returns home to Yorkshire as a pending divorcee, she realises her childhood friend and first love Damon Evans is also newly single. It’s a pity he’s never noticed her romantically and had no idea that she was in love with him at school. But at least they can support each other as friends again.

Damon is attempting to adjust to life sharing the kids with his ex. His reconnection with Eva is strong, but she was always too good for him and made her indifference clear after they drifted apart during their younger years. In any case, she still seems to be hung up on her charismatic ex-husband. Eva is hiding things from Damon, secrets from her past. He wants to be there for her, so why can’t she let him in?

Eva is dealing with trauma, but she won’t confide in her loved ones. Can Damon help her break down her walls before it’s too late and they miss their second chance at first love?

My review

After her divorce, Eva Mathers returns back home to her parents. Not only did her marriage not make it, but she is still dealing with a trauma.
The last thing she needs is match-making mothers, trying to not too subtle to make Eva meet with Damon Evans. Especially when Damon is her first, but also unrequited love.
Damon is also adapting to his new life, after divorcing his wife and not being able to spend as much time with his kids as he used to.
Quickly Eva and Damon become friends again, even if neither of them know what they meant to each other in the past. And it’s obvious that the attraction is still there. But can these two people with broken hearts get a second chance at their love? Or is the past truly in the past and are the walls too high to break down?

As this was a rather short story, compared to what I am used to read, I was a bit afraid the pace would be too fast.
But I had no reason to worry, because it was just perfect!

Eva is the kind of character you immediately like and make a connection with. Of course her current situation isn’t a happy one. She is “freshly” divorced, is living back with her parents, and then there is this big unknown trauma she is also carrying around.
And having a meddling mother, playing Cupid doesn’t help things. Especially when the mother is matching Eva with her old crush.

And it’s her old crush that makes this story so recognizable! Each and every one of us had that one crush that was unrequited! So it’s obvious that some of those old feelings resurface when Eva and Damon meet again.
However not only the old feelings resurface, but also the insecurities… And also that is that many readers can relate to! Are my feelings growing too fast? Is he/she feeling the same way or does he/she only see me as someone to pass time with? And is he/she not out of my league? No matter how old/ young you are, these questions are always playing around in your mind.
And reading how the counterparty is struggling with the same questions, was some kind of relief, knowing that even the hottest guy around is the same!

Damon truly is the hottest guy around, and yet there is this vulnerability around him, because he is not afraid to show and express his feelings. He does not hide how hard is struggling with not being around his kids. But he also shows what an amazing man he is, by reassuring Eva, but also showing how kind he is, even if it involves his ex – wife.

There are a few misunderstandings, and also when Eva’s trauma is revealed, heart – breaking moments. Yet there are so many sweet moments, that made my heart melt.
But this story shows us that it’s never too late for a chance at love, even a second chance at love!
And the author manages to explain that communication is the key to everything. If the characters dare to ask questions, dare to express their feelings, the reward can be exceptionally big.

I found this a lovely story about two people in a not so great moment in their lives, but finding each other again is the start of something new. And before I knew, I found myself devouring this sweet story!

‘Shooting Stars Over Bluebell Cliff’ – written by Della Galton #BookReview @DellaGalton @rararesources @BoldwoodBooks

Can producing a date show be also finding you love?

Synopsis

There’s someone out there for everyone… you just need to know where to look…

All NEW from bestselling author Della Galton.

Unlucky in love Poppy Allen is the producer of a brand-new TV show, ‘Date for a Day’ – think ‘Take Me Out’ meets ‘It’s a Knockout’!

Lovelorn contestants must perform a series of seaside challenges to win the hand of the starring lady and a ‘Date for a Day’.

Left heartbroken when Stephen, her childhood sweetheart eloped with her best friend on her hen night – Poppy has no plans to risk her own heart again. Besides, she’s far too busy filming contestants against the backdrop of the beautiful Bluebell Cliff Hotel and the stunning Jurassic Dorset coastline.

However, when sabotage on set threatens to stop shooting, Poppy discovers soulmates can be found in the most unexpected places…

My review

Poppy Allen is the producer of a brand new dating show, ‘Date for a Day’. Together with her director of photography Dave she is making the pilot episode, with her sister Alice as the starring lady. The contestants must perform a series of challenges, hoping that they will win over Alice.
Poppy is happy that her sister is putting herself out there, but her own heart is well locked away, after her childhood sweetheart eloped on her hen night with her best friend.
But will the beautiful Bluebell Cliff Hotel be the perfect setting for Poppy to open her heart again?

The thing I truly love about Della Galton’s books is that they all take place in beautiful places. I was already familiar with the Bluebell Cliff Hotel, so I was ecstatic of returning there!

Discovering how Poppy got her heart broken and has been betrayed by who she thought was her best friend, was a very sad moment.
So I understood why she has built huge walls around her heart, avoiding a broken heart all over again. However, even if I understood her, I knew it wasn’t a healthy situation…


A character like Poppy is just made to be loved… She is a good friend, a loving daughter and the best sister anyone could imagine.
Even if Alice is ‘only’ a stepsister, Poppy sees her and her stepfather as ‘real’ family and she loves them both with whole her heart. And there isn’t a thing she wouldn’t do for Alice, even if that means she has to put her own attraction towards one of the contestants aside, purely for Alice’s happiness.

If there is one place just perfect for Poppy to learn to trust and love again, it just has to be Bluebell Cliff Hotel!

It was lovely to see old characters again, and have the confirmation that none of them have changed a bit! Mr. B. is as weird as usual, and the bickering between him and maître d’ Phil are reason for laughing at loud, even if for the production it was reason of desperation!

Reading how a show is being produced was something new for me, but I liked reading how much there is to be taking in account, and it made me realize there is a lot of responsibilities to take! and it shows also that no matter how many precautions you take, there is always an inevitability!

But the aspect of this book I liked the most was seeing how Poppy dared to put herself out there. Not that she starts to date or flirt with every man that passes, but she is looking around her, to see if there is someone that she feels attracted to.
Of course I had a hunch who would be absolutely perfect for Poppy, but of course it cannot ever be that easy.

This was a very entertaining, lovely story about finding love and family and what we wouldn’t do for them. But it’s also about daring to take that one step, that yes, could be breaking your heart but on the other hand could bring you love and happiness!
Sometimes, all you have to do is dare to speak up, because you never know what the outcome will be!

‘The Secret Notebook’ – written by Julia Wild #CoverReveal @juliawildauthor @rararesources

And now it’s time for another cover reveal!

Synopsis

When Izzie Dean’s beloved nan, Molly Blackshaw, passes away, Izzie returns to the Blackpool bungalow where she grew up, to say goodbye once and for all. When Izzie’s homecoming reunites her with her first love, Justin Swift, every emotion that Izzie has repressed since the day he broke her heart comes rushing to the surface. But then an unexpected discovery changes everything.

Between the pages of the battered secret diary Molly kept during WWII, Izzie discovers a story of love, heartbreak, and the incomparable hardship of life in a world at war. Reading her grandmother’s words soon puts her own story into perspective, and suddenly Izzie realises that the only thing holding her back from happiness, might be herself. Now she just has to convince Justin that they deserve a second chance at forever…

About the author

Lancashire born, I moved to Bedfordshire in the late seventies, married and started a family. I’m a past Hon Sec of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, have been a member since 1993 when I joined their New Writers’ Scheme as a probationer. That came about after winning a week’s historical writing course on the strength of the first chapter of my third Poldark-era romance. The tutor on the last day loved the story and handed me details of the Romantic Novelists’ Association – she said I absolutely must join as they would be able to help me towards publication. 

Some four years later my first published book, Dark Canvas, won the RNA’s New Writer’s Award in 1997, the sixth, Illusions, won the RNA’s Romance Prize in 2003.

After working in the local library service for 18 years, during library cut-backs I took the leap to become self-employed as a writer and worked on releasing my backlist as eBooks for Kindle. 

Most recently, I’ve had the pleasure of working with amazing Charlotte Ledger when she pulled me from the writing wilderness and have now signed a three-book deal with One More Chapter.

The Cover

‘Family Secrets At Hedgehog Hollow’ – written by Jessica Redland #BookReview @JessicaRedland @rararesources @BoldwoodBooks

Talking about heart-breaking moments…

Synopsis

Every family has its secrets, and at Hedgehog Hollow there is no exception…


It was always Samantha’s dream to run her beautiful rescue centre, Hedgehog Hollow, full-time. But just as her wish comes true, she becomes a victim of her own kindness when she finds herself with a house full of guests – all with their own problems and secrets – looking to her for support.

When her self-absorbed cousin, Chloe, unexpectedly turns up at the farm – swiftly handing over her baby to Samantha to care for – trouble is definitely brewing. Especially as Chloe won’t tell anyone why she’s left her husband, James…

As Samantha juggles new hedgehog arrivals, family dramas and her own health challenges, it soon becomes clear that she needs to start putting herself first for once. Little does she know that life-changing secrets from the past are about to unravel and turn their lives upside down…

Return to glorious Hedgehog Hollow with top 10 bestseller Jessica Redland for a heartwarming, emotional but uplifting story of family, friendship and moving on from the past.

My review

It seems that Samantha has finally have her wish come true. Not only is she now running full – time Hedgehog Hollow, she is also happily engaged with the love of her life Josh.
However she does not have the peace and quiet she needs, because suddenly she finds herself with a house full of people with all their own problems and secrets, looking for Sam’s support.
Not only is Josh’s father and girlfriend staying at the farm, but also Sam’s self – absorbed cousin appears out of the blue, after leaving her husband without any explanation and just assumes that Sam will take care of baby Samuel.

But will Sam be able to keep fixing everything, while the only thing she should think about is her own health? And what will the effects be of the secrets that are bound to be discovered?

Starting to read a book by Jessica Redland is like when a child enters Disneyland for the first time. I was excited, almost jumping up and down from joy!
If there is a fictional couple I truly adore, it’s Sam and Josh. So I sat back, ready for a lot of lovely, sweet moments between these characters.

After everything Sam has been through I the previous books, I was hoping that all the misery would be gone by now and she could finally focus on her happily ever after. But it’s quickly clear that fate has more in store for Sam…
Instead of the much required rest, she finds her house full of people in need of help. Having Josh’s father Paul, Beth the girlfriend and two small children, was something Sam was barely coping with, but when her cousin appears on her doorstep, it’s a recipe for chaos.

Chloe was not my favourite person previously, so initially I was a bit disappointed the focus would also be on her. I couldn’t imagine myself liking Chloe for a reason, because let’s be honest, Chloe is the perfect example of a self – absorbed person, always having things her way.
And in those first chapters, my dislike was only confirmed. She appears out of the blue, without any explanation, just saying that she left her husband.

Through flashbacks and moments when Chloe finally starts to open up, it’s clear she has been traumatised by something that happened to her. And thanks to those flashbacks, I started to like Chloe a little more, bit by bit, until she became a person I pitied but also someone I just wanted to give a hug and tell her that no matter what happened, she is loved and deserves to be loved, even by me.
Not only the way she has been betrayed by people she trusted and broke her heart, but also the consequences she had to face afterwards, it literally made me cry! And let me tell you, I don’t cry very easily over books! Even now, thinking about it again, is giving me glassy eyes, full of tears…

Also Sam is still facing the demons of what she had to endure lately. Instead of taking things easy like she should, she finds herself again with a full plate, and the way she reacts to it, was also a reason for heart – breaking moments. But I was so happy to read that Josh was by her side, and I honestly believe that his love for her, could just fix everything.

I think I have to stop reading any book by Jessica Redland… I cannot cope with all the times my heart breaks over a sad event, finding myself crying over it, with people looking at me awkward because they don’t understand the emotions I am going through…

This author managed again to write a beautiful story, even making it possible to change my opinion of someone I truly disliked.
Beside the heart – breaking moments, there are so many joyful moments too. Just whenever Sam and Josh are together, my heart filled with contentment.
And okay, I’m going to be honest, I am a total hedgehog – lover now!

This next chapter shows us that no matter what, when you’re surrounded by people that truly love you, nothing is insurmountable. I was heart – broken while reading, but also smiling over the sweeter moments, and I fell even more in love with the beautiful couple that Sam and Josh make. And I even love more characters now!

But please my dearest Jessica, I cannot take any more drama for Sam… I just want her to be happy with Josh and the hedgehogs! The epilogue was not something I expected and it surprised me in a bad way, because I am a bit afraid of what else Sam is going to have to endure! Can’t she just have her happily after yet???

‘Death Of A Texan’ – written by Cat Hickey #BookReview @CatHickey4 @rararesources

When a wish for more exciting jobs as a PA is granted…

Synopsis

A grieving widow. A sketchy admirer. An adoring boyfriend.

But one of them is up to no good.

Chloe’s new life in Costa Rica seems perfect: her relationship with Mateo is heating up, and her career as a private investigator is off to a good start. She only wishes that her cases were more interesting than the lost dogs or cheating husbands she’s been hired for so far…

She gets her wish when a dead body lands, almost literally, at her feet. Hired by the highly strung Elena Vargas to follow her husband, Victor, Chloe discovers that not only was he cheating on his wife – he’s been murdered.

As Chloe delves deeper into the mystery surrounding Victor’s death, she uncovers secret after secret. The danger becomes all too real when she narrows in on the killer’s identity. Someone is following her everywhere, and threatening notes arrive on her doorstep.

As if that’s not bad enough, her relationship with Mateo begins to unravel, and his coworker, Jaime, seems intent on convincing her that Mateo is a cheater.

Desperately trying to figure out what’s going on, Chloe becomes more and more enmeshed in a sordid world of lies, sex, and murder.

Who can Chloe really trust? And can she catch the killer before she becomes the next victim?

My review

Chloe is very happy with her new life in Costa Rica. Being together with Mateo is just perfection, and she has started a new job as a private investigator.
Only does she wish that her cases would be a little more interested than cheating husbands or lost animals.
When Elena Vargas hires Chloe to follow her husband, the investigation quickly changes from a cheating husband to a dead husband, dead as in murdered.
The more Chloe investigates, more secrets come out and more dangerous the situation gets.
And on top of it all, also on a personal level things are going the wrong direction.

Will Chloe find the truth about the murder of Victor Vargas? And who can Chloe truly trust? And where will the relationship with Mateo go?

Having read the first book, I was happy to read about Chloe again.
We find her now with a new job, the past put behind her and happy with Mateo. Of course I understand that finding lost animals or trying to catch cheating husbands is not the most exhilarating job as a private investigation.
So when one of her client’s husband is found dead and also murdered, I was kind of happy. Not because I am a terrible person, but because it would give Chloe the much needed change of work.

When she and her team, with all people we already know, are investigating the death of Victor, it’s quickly obvious that there is so much more going on than just a cheating husband.
As the situation quickly deteriorates, Chloe also have to face the fact that she does not know who to trust anymore. Mateo is showing behaviour similar to her ex fiancé and that makes her uneasy.

I have to say, again the author managed to write a story that put me totally without a clue. I had no idea who was the murderer or what else was going on. Because Victor Vargas was an even more disgusting man than thought!

If I have to be totally honest, there were some aspects I didn’t like that much. When a character from the previous book reappears and Chloe does not do the right thing, it made me raise my eyebrows. In one way I understood Chloe, as she needed someone in her corner, but on the other hand, the things she ends up doing aren’t that 100% legal.
And also how her relation with Mateo evolved made me a bit sad. But I hope that there will be a third part and that it outcome will be the one I want!

Overall, this book gave me everything I expected, with some sickening twists I did not see coming. It kept my attention, making me wonder who was involved in what way and how the culprits would be discovered and get what they deserve.

Again Costa Rica is shown in all its beauty, but again the dark story takes me on a trip I wouldn’t be actual part of myself. Yet I had the urgency to keep on reading!