Book Review: Flying Duo by Zoe May @zoe_writes @rararesources

Thank you to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for giving me the chance to review Flying Duo by Zoe May

Blurb

A laugh-out-loud romantic comedy chick lit novel about love, dreams and adventure by bestselling author, Zoe May

London lawyer Rachel Watson has wound up in an Indian ashram with hippy heartthrob lover, Seb.

A high-achiever, Rachel has always lived life according to her Life List, ticking off goals along the way. But now that she’s in India, Rachel is going with the flow, or at least trying to…

Rachel’s visa is running out and it’s time to decide whether her relationship with Seb is a holiday romance or built to last.

The pair embark on a trip to Nepal for an Everest base camp trek, but will their relationship survive this gruelling expedition or is it time to part ways?

Review

The long awaited sequel to the excellent Flying Solo. I was so excited to read this and it certainly didn’t disappoint.

I absolutely loved reading this book and seeing what Rachel and Paul got up to. I really like these characters and think they are well portrayed.

This was another brilliant read from Zoe May

5/5

Purchase here

February 2021 Books

Here is what I read during February

Digital

The Lazarus Child by Jay Raven

Review here

Murder on the menu by Fiona Leitch

Review here

Preserved by Fiona Sherlock

Review here

A Brush with Death by Fiona Leitch

Review here

The Dog Sitter by Zara Stoneley

Review here

The Scarlet Dress by Louise Douglas

Review here

The Big ol’ Bike by Rachael Clarke

Review here

Physical

A Cowardice of Crows by S E Smith

Review here

An Unkindness of Ravens by S E Smith

Review here

The Silent Treatment by Abbie Greaves

What a wonderfully sweet but heartbreaking book this was about love and lose. While it did take a while to get into I thoroughly enjoyed it.

4/5

Audiobook

The Wrong Family by Tarryn Fisher

I loved this book, it was gripping from the start. This was another excellent read from Tarryn Fisher

Book Review: The Big ol’ Bike by Rachael Clarke @raclarkewrites @damppebbles. #damppebblesblogtours

Thank you to Emma at Damppebbles for giving me the chance to review The Big ol’ Bike by Rachael Clarke

Blurb

Big things are happening in Little Springs…

Everything about Oliver is small, from his footprint to his glasses-and a trio of bullies never let him forget it. When Oliver receives his grandfather’s old bike for his birthday, he rides tall for the first time. But the meanest bully in school doesn’t like that at all. Oliver quickly finds himself challenged to a race. Now, he’ll have to be bigger than he ever imagined in order to prove heroes come in small packages too.

The Big Ol’ Bike is a contemporary slice of life for ages 7-10. It’s filled with characters who could live down the street from you, or have a locker beside yours at school. Come hang out with Oliver, Austin, and Sue, as they experience excitement, setbacks, and adventure together. Themes of bullying, family, friendship, confidence, and community are all explored.

Review

This is a wonderful book aimed primarily at children but can easily be enjoyed by adults and everyone else.

The characters are loveable and the story itself is rather enjoyable. It features many life lessons and a particular one that’s of importance is always being proud of who you are.

I really enjoyed reading this book and think it will speak volumes to many.

5/5

Purchase here

About Rachael Clarke:

Rachael Clarke is a former police officer turned stay-at-home mom living in Portage la Prairie, MB. She rides the twisty rollercoaster of life alongside her sport-obsessed husband, adorably mischievous boys, and two quirky dogs. Rachael likes to stay busy, constantly juggling writing projects from children’s books to novels. Besides writing and illustrating, she enjoys photography, the outdoors, acting, and sipping steaming cups of coffee. Oh, and cake—can’t forget cake. Rachael also writes multi-genre short fiction under the pen name R.A. Clarke. Her work has been featured in various publications, and has won both Writer’s Weekly and Writer’s Games

Book Review: The Scarlett Dress by Louise Douglas @Louisedouglas3 @rararesources

Thank you to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for giving me the chance to review The Scarlett Dress by Louise Douglas

Blurb

Alice Lang was wearing her favourite scarlet dress when she disappeared twenty-five years ago, and her memory still casts a long shadow.

‘The past was like water. Once the tide turned, you couldn’t hold it back.’

In the long, hot summer of 1995, twenty-two-year-old Alice Lang rents a caravan on a holiday park on the outskirts of the lively holiday resort of Severn Sands. She befriends Marnie, a shy, damaged little girl whose father is the park’s caretaker and whose mother died a few months earlier. Will, whose mother runs the bar, falls in love with Alice, and is unbearably jealous of anyone else she sees. Tensions rise until one evening Alice disappears from her caravan. She’s never seen again, and only her scarlet dress is found washed up on the shore.

A quarter of a century later, the town is run down and nobody comes there anymore. Mr and Mrs deVillars, former owners of the holiday park, have passed the failing business onto their son Guy, who promptly sells the land for development. Builders clearing the land to create an expanse of executive homes uncover human bones. It has to be Alice.

Will and Marnie’s lives were entirely shaped by what happened that summer, and now Alice has been found, they must struggle to pin down their memories, to escape the secrets of the past, the lies they told and the unbearable guilt they’re both carrying.

They need to find out what happened to Alice. Who killed her? And why?

Review

What I enjoyed about Louise’s writing was how she made the setting creepy without it actually being a creepy place. It was a wonderfully paced story that drew me in instantly and kept me intrigued until the very end.

This was my first Louise Douglas book and it certainly won’t be the last.

5/5

Purchase here

Book Review: An Unkindess of Ravens by S.E. Smith @SymingtonByrd @lovebooksgroup @PublishingShip

Thank you to Love Books Tours for giving me the chance to review An Unkindess of Ravens by S.E. Smith

Blurb

“Move over Sherlock Holmes…”**
When Symington, Earl Byrd is called into investigate the murder of Robert Langley, he’s confused. Why shoot a man when you’ve already poisoned him?
Much to the prime minister’s disgust, a trip to Wales complicates matters further. But the prime minister is the least of Byrd’s worries. Rumour has it, Jack the Ripper’s back – tying up loose ends.
But when did Jack start using poison?

* Previously published, this edition contains new material and a change of author name from Sarah E Smith to S.E. Smith

Review

It’s so good to be back with Symington in this second installment of the serious. The characters are fantastic and the story really does make you see the similarities with Sherlock Holmes.

The story was set with diary entries and reports, which to me, made it all the more interesting to read as you feel as though you are trying to figure out what has happened alongside Symington.

I was completely hooked from the start and enjoyed it right until the end, now I’m supper excited for the third installment.

5/5

Purchase here

Authors Bio

S.E. Smith, known as Sarah to her friends, and ‘Miss’ to her students, was born into a naval family and now lives on a 65-foot broad-beam boat with her husband, Steve, and her two rescue dogs – Ben and Eva. Crediting her Nana May for instilling in her a love of history, and an encyclopedic knowledge of the East End of London at the turn of the 20th Century, Sarah took on board the adage ‘write about what you know’ and created Symington Byrd: a gentleman detective whose foray into the East End leads him into all kinds of danger. A great fan of the West Wing, Pokemon Go, and Doctor Who, Sarah’s biggest claim to fame is the day spent with the Fourth Doctor, Tom Baker, chasing Daleks down The Strand

Book Review: The Dog Sitter by @ZaraStoneley @rararesources

Thank you to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for giving me the chance to review The Dog Sitter by Zara Stoneley

Blurb

One dog. Two strangers. An unfurgettable romance.

Wanted: someone nice, normal and trustworthy to housesit a beautiful cottage in the Lake District while the owner is away on a business trip. Must like dogs.

Wanting to escape from crap bosses and useless boyfriends, Becky jumps at the chance of the perfect escape – rest, relaxation and dog-sitting a very cute pooch called Bella!

But looking after Bella comes with a catch, namely gorgeous, brooding, Chris Hemsworth-worthy Ash James, who claims Bella is his dog and will stop at nothing to get her back!

Becky’s not about to hand over lovely Bella to any Tom, Dick or Ash.  She’s determined to watch every move Ash James makes…even if it gets her very hot under the collar.

Review

What a wonderful read this was. It was funny and attentive read. It had me engrossed from the start.

I’ve read some books by Stoneley before so I had an idea as to what to expect and this was everything I had hoped for and more. It was a read that was needed. It was sweet and probably one of the best books I have read so far this year.

Stoneley never fails and I highly recommend this book

5/5

Purchase here

Authors Bio

Zara Stoneley is the USA Today bestselling author of The Wedding Date.

Born in a small village in the UK, she wanted to be a female James Herriot, a spy, or an author when she grew up. After many (many) years, and many different jobs, her dream of writing a bestseller came true.

She writes about friendship, dreams, love, and happy ever afters, and hopes that her tales make you laugh a lot, cry a little, and occasionally say ‘ahhh’.

Zara now lives in a Cheshire village with her family, a lively cockapoo called Harry, and a very bossy (and slightly evil) cat called Saffron.

Zara’s bestselling novels include ‘Bridesmaids’, ‘No One Cancels Christmas’, ‘The Wedding Date’, ‘The Holiday Swap’, ‘Summer with the Country Village Vet’, ‘Blackberry Picking at Jasmine Cottage’ and the popular Tippermere series – ‘Stable Mates’, ‘Country Affairs’ and ‘Country Rivals’.

Book Review: A Brush with Death by Fiona Leitch @fkleitch @rararesources

Thank you to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for giving me the chance to review A Brush with Death by Fiona Leitch

Blurb

When a body turned up at her last catering gig it certainly put people off the hor d’oeuvres. So with a reputation to salvage, Jodie’s determined that her next job for the village’s festival will go without a hitch.But when chaos breaks out, Jodie Parker somehow always finds herself in the picture.The body of a writer from the festival is discovered at the bottom of a cliff, and the prime suspect is the guest of honour, the esteemed painter Duncan Stovall. With her background in the Met police, Jodie has got solving cases down to a fine art and she knows things are rarely as they seem.Can she find the killer before the village faces another brush with death?

Review

So good to be back with Jodie, she’s an absolutely cracking character. As with the previous, it can be read as a standalone. I was gripped from the start. I enjoyed seeing what Jodie, her friends and family got up to.

I am absolutely loving this series, the books are incredibly cosy to read. They have plenty of mystery mixed with humour and love. There is something for everyone.

5/5

Purchase here

Authors Bio

Fiona Leitch is a writer with a chequered past. She’s written for football and motoring magazines, DJ’ed at illegal raves and is a stalwart of the low budget TV commercial, even appearing as the Australasian face of a cleaning product called ‘Sod Off’. After living in London and Cornwall she’s finally settled in sunny New Zealand, where she enjoys scaring her cats by trying out dialogue on them. She spends her days dreaming of retiring to a crumbling Venetian palazzo, walking on the windswept beaches of West Auckland, and writing funny, flawed but awesome female characters.Her debut novel ‘Dead in Venice’ was published by Audible in 2018 as one of their Crime Grant finalists. Fiona also writes screenplays and was a finalist in the Athena Film Festival Writers Lab, co-run by Meryl Streep’s IRIS company.Fiona is represented by Lina Langlee at the North Literary Agency

Book Review: Preserved by Fiona Sherlock @fionasherlock @rararesources

Thank you to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for giving me the chance to review Preserved by Fiona Sherlock

Blurb

He’s watching her unfold his masterpiece, but her time is almost up.

When a local farmer announces on social media that he has discovered a bog body in Ardee, the world’s historians are keen to explore the secrets of the life and grisly death of the victim.

Antique journalist January Quail is fighting to keep her newspaper job and uncovers far more than she bargained for. The victim is actually a recent murder, and January uses her nose for the truth to investigate the County Louth town. From shopkeeper to the publican, everyone is a suspect, but when the Gardai can’t find the killer, can January?

Once she sets down the liqueur glass, January gains the confidence of the lead garda investigator. Within days, the case unravels into a much more dangerous situation with a killer on the loose.

Despite the risk, January is electrified that this newest discovery has come at the perfect time to inject some colour into her flailing career. January relinquishes her old ways to fight for survival, abandoning her antiques column and vintage corsets to solve a cryptic crime that has the experts puzzled. This woman who longs to lives in the past must now fight for her life in the present.

Review

There’s always one book that you never forget reading and Preserved will definitely be one of those.

I absolutely fell in love the character January. It’s nice to have a strong female character. The plot was well thought out and very interesting.

Preserved is a book I would recommend.

5/5

Purchase here

Book Review: A Cowardice of Crows by S. E. Smith @SymingtonByrd @lovebooksgroup @PublishingShip

Thank you to Love Books Tours for giving me the chance to review A Cowardice of Crows by S.E. Smith

Blurb

When a House of Commons cufflink, stuffed in the mouth of Millie Jones, turns suicide to murder, Symington, Earl Byrd, the prime minister’s personal detective, soon finds his killer. A ruthless East End pawnbroker not known for carelessness.

Forced to re-evaluate his position following a trip to the Houses of Parliament, Symington is left with more questions than answers.Like, who wants to destroy the pawnbroker and why? Is the cufflink a clue or a red herring? And more importantly why did Millie Jones have to die?

Review

This is a rather chunky book but don’t let that put you off, it is an absolutely wonderful read.

I first became intrigued with Smith’s work during Cardiff Comic Con in 2019 but like many books I have they went on my to buy/to read pile and I really wish I had read her work sooner.

A Cowardice of Crows is a thrilling and entertaining read that throws you into the thick of it straight away, which I think makes it more of an enjoyable read because you never quite know what’s going to happen or where the characters stand. There were also a few humourous moments to, so there is something for everyone to enjoy.

It was an absolute pleasure reading A Cowardice of Crows, I’m just disappointed in having put it off for so long. I can’t wait to read the other books in the series.

5/5

Purchase here

Biography

S.E. Smith, known as Sarah to her friends, and ‘Miss’ to her students, was born into a naval family and now lives on a 65-foot broad-beam boat with her husband, Steve, and her two rescue dogs – Ben and Eva. Crediting her Nana May for instilling in her a love of history, and an encyclopedic knowledge of the East End of London at the turn of the 20th Century, Sarah took on board the adage ‘write about what you know’ and created Symington Byrd: a gentleman detective whose foray into the East End leads him into all kinds of danger. A great fan of the West Wing, Pokemon Go, and Doctor Who, Sarah’s biggest claim to fame is the day spent with the Fourth Doctor, Tom Baker, chasing Daleks down The Strand

Book Review: Murder on the Menu by Fiona Leitch @fkleitch @rararesources

Thank you to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for giving me the chance to review Murder on the Menu by Fiona Leitch

Blurb

Still spinning from the hustle and bustle of city life, Jodie ‘Nosey’ Parker is glad to be back in the Cornish village she calls home. Having quit the Met Police in search of something less dangerous, the change of pace means she can finally start her dream catering company and raise her daughter, Daisy, somewhere safer.

But there’s nothing like having your first job back at home to be catering an ex-boyfriend’s wedding to remind you of just how small your village is. And when the bride, Cheryl, vanishes Jodie is drawn into the investigation, realising that life in the countryside might not be as quaint as she remembers…

With a missing bride on their hands, there is murder and mayhem around every corner but surely saving the day will be a piece of cake for this not-so-amateur sleuth?

The first book in the Murder on the Menu cosy mystery series. Can be read as a standalone. A humorous cosy mystery with a British female sleuth in a small village. Includes one of Jodie’s Tried and Tested Recipes! Written in British English. Mild profanity and peril.

Review

What a delightful read this was. This was the first time I had read anything by Fiona and it most certainly won’t be the last.

There was plenty to keep you interested, from the mystery to the laughter. It is a book that is well written and planned out, it’s a book that will keep you on your toes throughout.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this little gem. It’s a must read book.

5/5

Purchase here

Authors Bio

Fiona Leitch is a writer with a chequered past. She’s written for football and motoring magazines, DJ’ed at illegal raves and is a stalwart of the low budget TV commercial, even appearing as the Australasian face of a cleaning product called ‘Sod Off’. After living in London and Cornwall she’s finally settled in sunny New Zealand, where she enjoys scaring her cats by trying out dialogue on them. She spends her days dreaming of retiring to a crumbling Venetian palazzo, walking on the windswept beaches of West Auckland, and writing funny, flawed but awesome female characters.Her debut novel ‘Dead in Venice’ was published by Audible in 2018 as one of their Crime Grant finalists. Fiona also writes screenplays and was a finalist in the Athena Film Festival Writers Lab, co-run by Meryl Streep’s IRIS company.Fiona is represented by Lina Langlee at the North Literary Agency.