Friday, 15 November 2019

Blog Tour Review: Outreach by Shelly Berry


Outreach by Shelly Berry
Published: 28th September 2019
Publisher: Book Guild Publishing Ltd
Pages: 320
Available in Paperback and on Kindle
Rating: 4/5

Blurb
When Emily was offered a new job in London, she was sure that her life was about to change – new friends, a career in the big city and the boyfriend she always wanted.

Her new life turns out to be more complicated than she expected. Her flat mates don’t understand her. Her colleagues mock everything about her. Even her father doesn’t support her. The only person who offers her any encouragement is David.

He’s married. He’s her manager. To Emily it’s clear that they have something special. As their relationship develops, everyone seems to want to sabotage their chances.


But some things are meant to be...

Review
After reading the blurb I was sure I would enjoy this book as I love a good romance, and this seemed to hint at something forbidden between Emily and her boss David. What you get instead is a much deeper story where every action is analysed.
Emily’s not a character I liked but she does make an interesting central character and one which I was compelled to find out more about. Shelly Berry has done a great job of unravelling Emily and showing us how her mind works. I don’t want to give anything else away about her character as its what makes this book work.
Emily’s job as a support worker for Drug and Alcohol Action leads her to some very vulnerable people and Shelly Berry’s previous work in this sector shines through as she  has job a great job of portraying their lives accurately as every struggle is shown and how small seemingly insignificant things can lead to massive repercussions is someone’s life. Something perhaps Emily needs to learn.
Outreach was like nothing I’ve read before and although didn’t gel with any of the characters I found them an interesting bunch. Something about this unnerving story kept me reading as its one of those books that just simmers away quietly until something boils overs. I was expecting more of a “bang” at the end of the story; but I did find the epilogue fitting in a way.

Thank you so much to the publishers and Shelly Berry for inviting me to review this book and to Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to be part of the blog tour.

About the Author


Shelly Berry lives in Waltham Forest, London. Having gained a BA Joint Honours Degree in Visual Art and Sociology at Keele University and a Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling, she has since worked in the public sector with vulnerable adults and children – including those affected by mental illness, drug and alcohol misuse, disability, criminal behaviour, homelessness and domestic and sexual abuse. During this time, Shelly developed and nurtured her love of writing. As well as writing fiction, she has previously written for a number of blogs and now writes for the Waltham Forest Echo.

Social Media Links – twitter @ShellyBerryUK

Purchase  Links

Giveaway to Win – 5 x PB copies of Outreach (UK Only)
*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

Saturday, 9 November 2019

Blog Tour Review: The Honeysuckle Dream by Kate Frost


The Honeysuckle Dream by Kate Frost
Published:  15th July 2019
Publisher: Lemon Tree Press
Pages:  268
Available in Paperback and on Kindle
Rating: 5/5

Blurb

Two men. Three decades. One decision.
Pregnant at nineteen from an affair with a married man, Leila goes against her parents’ wishes. Alone in an unfamiliar city, a fresh start is terrifying.
Leila struggles to navigate between being a single working mum, new friendships, and her bad choices in men. The heartache of past mistakes haunts her. Disillusioned, lonely, and with a fractured mother-daughter relationship, she swaps the vices of city life for the peace of the country. Yet new-found happiness is short-lived and old habits return.
Can Leila let go of her past and find true love?

Review
The Honeysuckle Dream is the story of Leila Keech who is the mother of Sophie Keech. Sophie has featured in two of Kate Frost’s previous novels The Butterfly Room and The Birdsong Promise. I’ve read neither of these two novels and don’t feel I’ve lost anything as The Honeysuckle Dream works well as its own story.
The story takes place between 1979 - 2012 as we dip in and out of various points in Leila’s life. The story isn’t told chronologically, and I think this works well as each little episode helps us to build more of a picture of Leila as a character and shows how various incidents have shaped her relationships over the years.
Leila’s a very headstrong character who knows her own mind. She’s quick to make judgements and these don’t always have the best outcomes, especially where daughter Sophie is concerned.  Despite not being successful in love Leila has carved a name for herself in the events world and I think that’s something she should be proud of being a single mum with only the support of her best friend.
Having being rejected by her parents and her lover when she was pregnant at just nineteen, Leila’s spent most of her life in Bristol flitting from one lover to the next and never being able to firmly put down roots and find somewhere that is truly home for her and Sophie.  She makes the monumental decision and leaving her friends and old lovers behind Leila heads to Norfolk to start a new life, where hopefully she can reconnect with Sophie and finally find herself.
This was a wonderful read where I couldn’t help but become immersed in Leila’s life. Kate Frost has done a wonderful job of exploring Leila’s character and showing us what motivates her. It was great to feel so connected to a character, so I’m looking forward to reading more from this author and meeting another wonderful character.

Thank you to the author and publishers for sending me a copy to review honestly and to Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to be part of this blog tour.

About the Author


Kate Frost writes character-driven women’s fiction and romances, alongside Time Shifters, an award-winning time travel adventure trilogy for 9-12 year olds. She has a MA in Creative Writing from Bath Spa University where she’s also taught lifewriting to creative writing undergraduates. She is the Director of Children’s and Teen events for Hawkesbury Upton Literature Festival, and she’s the co-founder of Storytale Festival, the first city-wide children’s book festival in Bristol.
The Honeysuckle Dream is Kate’s ninth book and the third (standalone) novel in her popular The Butterfly Storm series. She lives in Bristol with her husband, son, and Frodo, their cute Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.


Giveaway:

Giveaway to Win a Paperback copy of The Honeysuckle Dream by Kate Frost (Open Int)
*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, 1 November 2019

Blog Tour Review: Until We Meet Again by Rosemary Goodacre


Until We Meet Again by Rosemary Goodacre
Published: 31st October 2019
Publisher: Hera Books
Pages: 312
Available on Kindle
Rating: 4/5

Blurb
The Great War drove them apart – but love kept them together
Summer 1914: Shy young woman, Amy Fletcher, lives a quiet life in Sussex. An office worker, she lives at home, along with her parents and spirited younger brother, Bertie. But her life is transformed when she meets handsome young man, Edmond Derwent, son of one of the wealthiest families in the small town of Larchbury, and student at Cambridge University.
The couple are falling deeply in love when war breaks out and, eager to do his duty for England, Edmond signs up as an officer. The couple plan to be wed, eager to start a new life together - but their happiness is short-lived when Edmond is sent to Flanders to lead his men into battle. Amy trains as a VAD nurse and is soon sent to France, where she sees the true horror of war inflicted on the brave young men sent to fight.
Separated by war, Edmond and Amy share their feelings through emotional letters sent from the front line. But when Edmond is critically wounded at Ypres, their love faces the biggest test of all – can their love stay strong while the world around them is crumbling?
A romantic, emotional saga set in WW1 – readers of Rosie Goodwin, Katie Flynn and Val Wood will be captivated by this story of love.

Review
Rosemary Goodacre’s first novel Until We Meet Again is a lovely gentle wartime romance featuring young Amy Fletcher and handsome Edmond Derwent.

At the beginning of the story Amy is an office worker, living with her younger Bertie and their parents in their modest home. One of Amy’s main pastimes is spending free time with the Suffragette movement and her friends Florence and Lavinia. Edmond comes from the wealthiest family in the village and is a student at Cambridge.

A chance meeting with Edmond, an old childhood acquaintance in Hove leads to the beginning of a strong romance between the two. Initially its class and wealth differences which seem to cause problems for their blossoming romance. As the months past and war breaks out Amy and Edmond encounter more and more complications which prevent their romance from developing, will they ever find their happy ever after.

Although this book predominantly focuses on the romance of Amy and Edmond there was plenty of details of wartime events which were unfolding around them and how these affected both of their families, which made for a very emotional read. Rosemary Goodacre seems to have captured the anguish and hope faced by many at this time very well and there were a couple of times I shed a tear or two.

I love that the author has hinted there will be a second book as I did feel there were parts of the stories of the minor characters left untold which left me frustrated at the end of the book. I’d love to know what life has in store for Florence, Lavinia and even Beatrice as the war comes to an end.
Overall this was an enjoyable read and if you’re a fan of Elaine Everest, Elaine Roberts or Kate Thompson then I’m sure you’ll love this book.

Thank you so much to the author and publisher for sending me a copy to review and to Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to be part of this blog tour.

About the Author


Rosemary Goodacre has previously worked in computing and teaching. She has had short stories published and a novella, A Fortnight is not Enough.
Her father's family came from continental Europe and she loves travelling.
She enjoys country walking, bridge and classical music. She lives with her husband in Kent, England. 

Monday, 14 October 2019

Blog Tour Review: Anything for Love by Gracie Bond



Anything for Love by Gracie Bond
Published: 1st September 2019
Pages: 477
Availble on Kindle
Rating: 4/5

Blurb
Leah Jensen, Yorkshire lass born and bred, needs money and she’ll do anything - yes, anything - to get it. Her Grandad Thomas is in pain and the cost of an operation on his bad knee is way beyond the family’s means. Leah tries everything to earn the fee – but in the end, and like so many before her, she turns to the world’s oldest profession.
Madam Butterfly’s exclusive escort agency in London is a different world to where Leah comes from. In Whitby, the sea air is sweet, and legends of Dracula jostle with jet-mining and whaling history; it’s a place where dog lovers meet and tourists come to marvel at the views.
Leah may be out of her comfort zone, but one daring, brief encounter will bring many surprises in this memorable romantic comedy full of pithy Yorkshire humour.


Review
Leah Jensen is a woman who will do anything for those she loves and right now it’s her Grandad Thomas who needs her help. He needs a knee operation and the family just don’t have the money to pay for it, it steps Leah whose determined she will raise the funds, by any means. So Leah finds herself embarking on the craziest stunt ever to bungee jump into a hotel room for a night as an escort from London’s exclusive Madame Butterfly agency. A night which changes lives in more ways than one.

Leah’s a great character and I instantly warmed to her as her love for her family oozes out of her in buckets. She’ll do anything to make them happy and get what she wants, even if it puts her in some crazy and sometimes dangerous positions. The book is jam packed with many other characters which all have their own quirks which make them loveable, my personal favourites being Sophie and Ruby I’d love to have their sassiness when I’m that age.

I must confess I did struggle with the writing style initially. Gracie Bonds writing is fast following and sparse with extra dialogue and descriptions and moves from one scene to the next quickly. I’m not used to this style of writing so I did find the first third of the book a struggle but there was so much drama happening that I had to just keep reading. The story moves fast and changes location numerous times adding to the drama and twists in the story which I did enjoy.

If you love your books filled with drama, crazy twists, sparkling romance and good old Yorkshire humour then I’m sure you’ll adore this book.

Thank you so much to Rachel’s Random Resources and the author for sending me a copy to review and inviting me to be part of this blog tour.


About the Author
Gracie Bond loves a good romantic comedy, either to read or to watch on Netflix. Her favourite go-to novel is (Pride and Prejudice)- and she’s always happy to watch ( Bridgett Jones) any time of the day. Among Gracie’s interests are Newfoundland dogs, horses, and handsome Yorkshire men. Her idea of fun would be to ride a spirited horse along a Northumberland beach, followed by a pack of her favourite dogs.
Gracie lives in Yorkshire with her partner John and she has close connections with Whitby, the setting for this novel. 

Thursday, 26 September 2019

Publication Day Review: Let It Snow by Sue Moorcroft


Let It Snow by Sue Moorcroft
Published: 26th September 2019
Publisher: Avon
Pages:  378
Available on Kindle
Rating: 5/5 

Blurb
This Christmas, the villagers of Middledip are off on a very Swiss adventure…
Family means everything to Lily Cortez and her sister Zinnia, and growing up in their non-conventional family unit, they and their two mums couldn’t have been closer.
So it’s a bolt out of the blue when Lily finds her father wasn’t the anonymous one-night stand she’d always believed – and is in fact the result of her mum's reckless affair with a married man.
Confused, but determined to discover her true roots, Lily sets out to find the family she’s never known; an adventure that takes her from the frosted, thatched cottages of Middledip to the snow-capped mountains of Switzerland, via a memorable romantic encounter along the way…

Review
In my eyes its never too early to start the Christmas reading and what better way to start than with Sue Moorcroft’s latest festive release “Let It Snow”. A book with such an apt title, as snow features quite heavily in this book both as part of the setting and the Christmas carol “Let It Snow” is brought to life by the Middledip choir the Middletones.

Lily Cortez grew up in an unconventional but very loving family with her sister Zinnia and their two mums Roma and Patsie. Lily’s settled life is thrown into disarray when she learns her father was not a one-night stand she was led to believe but a married man her mother Roma had an affair with. Needing to find the missing pieces Lily heads to Middledip in the hope of connecting with her missing family. But two years on and Lily’s full identity remains hidden, she’s hoping her forthcoming trip to Switzerland will give her the chance to reveal who she really is and give her the happy ending she’s longing for.

Lily’s such a warm and loving character that you can’t help but instantly adore her, although I think that applies to most of the characters that Sue Moorcroft creates. I was longing for her to find happiness with both sides of her family and hopefully with the gorgeous Isaac who she just can’t but be drawn to. But poor Lily encounters more than one bout of turbulence as she heads out on her journey to Switzerland.

This is a gorgeous festive novel which has been brought alive for me through Sue’s wonderful realistic characters, Doggo being one of my favourites and her wonderful descriptive settings. I loved reading about the Swiss trip as I could really imagine what it was like from the glistening snow covered streets to the twinkling lights at the Christmas market.

This delightful festive read is sure to be a hit with Sue Moorcroft’s fans and it’s made me realise I need to go and read more of her books as I loved this one.

Thank you to Avon via Netgalley for providing me with a copy to review honestly.

Thursday, 19 September 2019

Blog Tour Review: A summer to Remember by Victoria Cooke


A Summer to Remember by Victoria Cooke
Published: 19th September 2019 (PB) 
Publisher: HQ Digital
Available on Kindle and Paperback
Rating: 5/5/


Blurb
Sam lives by the mantra that it is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.  
After the tragic loss of her husband, Sam built a new life around friends, her cat Coco and a career she loves. Fending off frequent set-ups and well-meaning advice to ‘move on’, Sam is resolutely happy being single.
But when Sam gets seconded to her firm’s Boston office for the summer, it is more than her career that is in for a shake-up. A spur of the moment decision to visit the idyllic beaches of Cape Cod could end up changing her life forever.

Review
In Victoria Cooke’s latest novel, A Summer to Remember we meet Sam a young widow whose bottling up her emotions and finding it hard to move on after the death of her beloved husband Kev eight years ago. Pouring herself into her work Sam is hoping that this is the year she’s proved herself enough to earn the three-month work placement in the companies Boston office.
Things seem to be looking up for Sam as she earns the placement and heads off on her dream trip leaving behind her cat Coco with best friend Bridget.  Sam’s perfect summer in Boston gets off to a shaky start when she meets frosty stranger “Ethan” and then her all male work colleagues don’t seem to take her ideas seriously. But a weekend trip to the beautiful coastal town of Provincetown and a chance meeting with lovely couple Barney and Harry and Sam’s summer takes on a whole new meaning.

This a gorgeous, uplifting novel which had me hooked from the start as I was eager to see what challenges Sam faced in Boston and if her time there would help her reconnect with her loved ones. It may have a little sadness thrown in as Sam was still mourning for Kev but gradually, I feel she blossomed in Boston and became the carefree fun-loving girl she was before his death, which made her more confident at work and in the romance department.

I loved the great mix of characters in this book. Sam herself was a lovely girl who I was hoping would find someone else to make her smile. Even Ethan turned out to be not so bad if you caught him on a good day. My favourites through were Barney and Harry, they were so warm and friendly, and I loved reading about all the gatherings they had with family and friends which really added to the cosy happy I feeling I got while reading this novel.

I loved the setting of Provincetown, its sound like the perfect place to unwind and have an idyllic summer and I hope Victoria Cooke is considering writing another book here as I’m longing for another “visit”.

This is a perfect summer read with enough drama going on to make it more than just a romance novel. If you’re a fan of Jenny Hale’s writing, then I’m sure you will adore this as much as I did.
Thank you so much to Rachel’s random Resources for inviting me to be part of the blog tour.

About the Author


Victoria Cooke grew up in the city of Manchester before crossing the Pennines in pursuit of a career in education. She now lives in Huddersfield with her husband and two young daughters and when she’s not at home writing by the fire with a cup of coffee in hand, she loves working out in the gym and travelling. Victoria was first published at the tender age of eight by her classroom teacher who saw potential in a six-page story about an invisible man. Since then she’s always had a passion for reading and writing, undertaking several writers’ courses before completing her first novel, 'The Secret to Falling in Love,' in 2016.




Her third novel, Who Needs Men Anyway? became a digital bestseller in 2018.


Purchase Link - getbook.at/ASummerToRemember

Social Media Links –



Giveaway to Win A Summer to Remember by Victoria Cooke and Chocolates (UK Only)
*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize. 

Tuesday, 9 July 2019

Blog Tour Review: Chloe Never Forget by Dan Laughey


Chloe Never Forget (Carl Sant Book #2)
Published: 7th March 2019
Publisher: Creativia
Pages: 257
Available on Kindle
Rating: 5/5

Blurb
An off-duty detective gunned down. A dead woman. A student missing, feared dead. And now, a former policeman in search of his past. All these people, dead or alive, have one thing in common. D.I. Carl Sant must discover what it is.
A series of cold-case enquiries leads D.I. Sant and his colleagues to investigate a botched assassination plot dating back to the 1980s. The deeper they dig into the case, the more secrets are revealed, including shocking connections to the infamous National Front. 
Meanwhile, the memory of former P.C. Tanner, survivor of the assassination horror, is beginning to recover. Sant must find Tanner, and find out who is behind it all - before his superiors lose their rag and more lives are lost.

Review
Chloe Never Forget is the second Carl Sant book by Dan Laughey and is a continuation of the story from Cloe Lost Girl.  If you haven’t read Chloe Lost Girl yet I highly recommend that you do before reading this otherwise you may be a little confused as it the first book there were many strings which all need to be tied together now.

In the first book we had an assassinated police detective, a missing girl and a dead woman. After doing some digging into the mysterious 3 1 8 left on the bus window next to dead DS Dryden, DI Sant believes all recent events are connected to a police shooting in 1984. All Sant needs to do is find the link between them all and locate the retired PC Frank Tanner who was a witness to the crime, easy right, not when those from above are pressuring you for a result and getting twitchy about all your digging. Can Carl find the answers before anybody else gets hurt?

I loved the previous Carl Sant book Chloe Lost Girl as there were so many twists and lose threads and every-time I made a little sense of what was happening Dan Laughey has thrown something else into the mix, making a captivating and thrilling. Now all the threads start to merge together to form a dramatic conclusion to this twisty tale.

I don’t want to say much more as the mystery of the plot adds to the enjoyment. All I can say Is I thoroughly enjoyed both these books and highly recommend them to anyone who loves a good crime thriller. I’m keeping my fingers crossed Mr Laughey is working on more Carl Sant novels as I can’t wait to read them.


Thank you so much to the author and publisher for sending me a copy to review and to Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to be part of this blog tour.

About the Author

Dan Laughey is a lecturer at Leeds Beckett University where he teaches a course called ‘Youth, Crime and Culture’ among other things. He has written several books on the subject including Music and Youth Culture, based on his PhD in Sociology at Salford University. He also holds a BA in English from Manchester Metropolitan University and an MA in Communications Studies from the University of Leeds.
Dan was born in Otley and bred in Ilkley, West Yorkshire, a hop and a skip away from the Leeds setting of his Chloe novels.
His crime writing was purely academic to begin with. He’s written about media violence and tackled the age-old concern about television and video games influencing patterns of antisocial behaviour in society. After years of research and theoretical scrutiny, he still hasn’t cracked that particular nut.
He’s also written about the role of CCTV and surveillance in today’s Big Brother world, the sometimes fraught relationship between rap and juvenile crime, football hooliganism, and the sociocultural legacy of Britain’s most notorious serial killer – the Yorkshire Ripper.
All in all, Dan’s work has been translated into four languages: French, Hebrew, Korean and Turkish. He has presented guest lectures at international conferences and appeared on BBC Radio and ITV News in addition to providing expert commentary for The Guardian and The Daily Telegraph.

Social Media Links –
Twitter: @danlaughey – Facebook: fb.com/laughey

Purchase Links: