Blog Tour: Spring at Lavender Bay by Sarah Bennett

Blog Tour



Spring at Lavender Bay (Lavender Bay, Book 1) by [Bennett, Sarah]

Spring At Lavender Bay (Lavender Bay, Book 1) by Sarah Bennett

Published: 22nd February 2018
Publisher: HQ Digital
Format: Ebook
ASIN: B075HPQM41
ISBN:

Amazon UK

Goodreads

Description

Beth Reynolds couldn’t wait to get away from boring, provincial Lavender Bay. With a good degree under her belt and a gorgeous, rich boyfriend in tow, she headed to London ready to conquer life. Sadly, life decided to fight back, and six years later she’s on her own in a bedsit-shaped rut.
When an unexpected legacy offers her the chance to take the money and run, no one is more surprised than Beth to find herself back behind the counter at Eleanor’s Emporium, the Aladdin’s cave of a shop she used to work in as a Saturday girl.
Sam Barnes has been in love with his sister’s best friend since she was all gangly-limbs and skinned knees. When fate brings her back into his life, and to the shop next door to his family’s pub, he vows she won’t slip through his fingers again. Will a new start in Lavender Bay offer Beth the future she never knew she needed?

My Review

Thank you to Jenny over at Neverland Blog Tours and the author for the chance of reading this book, and for taking part in the blog tour.

I did not want this book to end. I really enjoyed it. I loved the idea of Lavender Bay and could imagine everything about it. The cover of this book really works for this book. It’s bright, promising, and exactly what I’d imagine a little seaside town to be like. It’s beautiful.

The characters were fantastic, and the chemistry between Beth and Sam is exactly what we’re promised. Libby and Eliza were great additions and I’m excited to see if we hear their stories in the next two books. I think the character that stood out for me, strangely, was Pops. He made me chuckle and think of my own grandfather. He would probably have a story or two to share.

My favourite character? It would have to be Sam. He was smart, witty, handsome, and romantic. I did like Beth, the way that she bounced off Sam was perfect and it made the book more enjoyable to read. I loved seeing her come from a bit of an underdog situation to this blossoming, vibrant woman.

I will safely say that I have never chuckled so much at an inflatables situation. Hilarious! It was definitely a comical moment, with a steamy moment of it’s own as well. It was written wonderfully and has definitely put Sarah Bennett on my radar, this is my first book written by her that I have read and I don’t think I will miss any more of them!

This book is the perfect story to get you ready for spring. It’s full of hope, blossoming love. It’s uplifting, comical, and has the most loving friendships and relationships. With beautiful moments, along with comical, touching and downright romantic moments, I highly recommend this book to everyone in need of cheering up!!

I do have one question though, how did she find out that Sam had used his money? There’s no mention of her finding it out and I would have loved to have seen that conversation!!

I’m giving this book a big, fat 4/5. Check out the details below for a giveaway!!!

About Sarah Bennett

Sarah Bennett has been reading for as long as she can remember. Raised in a family of bookworms, her love affair with books of all genres has culminated in the ultimate Happy Ever After – getting to write her own stories to share with others. Born and raised in a military family, she is happily married to her own Officer (who is sometimes even A Gentleman). Home is wherever he lays his hat, and life has taught them both that the best family is the one you create from friends as well as relatives. When not reading or writing, Sarah is a devotee of afternoon naps and sailing the high seas, but only on vessels large enough to accommodate a casino and a choice of restaurants. Sarah is the author of the Butterfly Cove trilogy, published by HQ Digital UK.

Her new series is set in the beautiful seaside town of Lavender Bay, and will follow the lives of three best friends – Beth, Eliza and Libby.

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Spring at Lavender Bay Blog Tour Giveaway

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Publication Day Review: Perfect Death by Helen Fields

Publication Day Review


Perfect Death by Helen Fields
Series: D.I Callanach Book 3

Published: 25th January 2018
Publisher: Avon Books UK
Format: Ebook
Pages: 448
ISBN13: 9780008181628
ASIN: B073YKBTYD

Goodreads

Amazon UK

Description

There’s no easy way to die…

Unknown to DI Luc Callanach and the newly promoted DCI Ava Turner, a serial killer has Edinburgh firmly in his grip. The killer is taking his victims in the coldest, most calculating way possible – engineering slow and painful deaths by poison, with his victims entirely unaware of the drugs flooding their bloodstream until it’s too late.

But how do you catch a killer who hides in the shadows? A killer whose pleasure comes from watching pain from afar? Faced with their most difficult case yet, Callanach and Turner soon realise they face a seemingly impossible task…

My Review

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher, Avon, for my copy of the book in exchange for my review.

First impressions of this book is that it is very different to the other 2 in the series.  You don’t think that any crime is being committed to begin with. It lures you in with false pretences, and then you begin to doubt it all. You begin to notice coincidences, then a certain character, then something shocking happens and it all clicks in to place.

Normally, crime books leave me a little unsatisfied but the DI Callanach books do not.  This book particularly has renewed my love for crime books, it’s reminded me what can be great about them.  It’s reminded me that sometimes, just sometimes, there is an author out there who can leave a chill in your bones.

This book was fast-paced, clever, and a little untrustworthy.  The characters all work well together, with the perfect balance of witty comments, insults, and just good humour. The crimes within the book could have been perfect, if there wasn’t the little details that would normally get left behind.  This book has it all, a near perfect crime, a horrendous villain, some gangsters and underground crimes.

Callanach and Turner have incredible chemistry, they play off the page perfectly and it balances the good people and the bad people in the book.  Their relationship, the non-professional relationship, it still at an almost stage and it’s full of suspense and a very likeable will they/won’t they situation.  I’m rooting for them, but there are many things that could potential ruin everything for them. It’s all about their timing and it’s usually one of them that is a little off.

Helen Fields, for me, writes perfect books.  This one has shocked me, left me a little wary, and wanting more and more from her! I loved this book, along with the first two.

For me, a big fat gruesome 5/5!!!!

 

Publication Day Review: A Map of the Dark by Karen Ellis

Publication Day Review


A Map of The Dark (The Searchers #1) by Karen Ellis

Publisher: Mulholland Books
Published: 11th January 2018
Format: Ebook
ISBN: 9781473662773
ASIN: B071NLV5CS

Goodreads

Amazon UK

Description

A girl missing
A woman, searching
A killer, planning…

A thrilling new FBI series for fans of Tess Gerritsen and Karin Slaughter.

FBI Agent Elsa Myers finds missing people.
She knows how it feels to be lost…

Though her father lies dying in a hospital north of New York City, Elsa cannot refuse a call for help. A teenage girl has gone missing from Forest Hills, Queens, and during the critical first hours of the case, a series of false leads hides the fact that she did not go willingly.

With each passing hour, as the hunt for Ruby deepens into a search for a man who may have been killing for years, the case starts to get underneath Elsa’s skin. Everything she has buried – her fraught relationship with her sister and niece, her self-destructive past, her mother’s death – threatens to resurface, with devastating consequences.

In order to save the missing girl, she may have to lose herself…and return to the darkness she’s been hiding from for years.

 

My Review

Thank you to the publisher and to Netgalley for my copy of the book, in exchange for my honest review.

This review is not going to be a long one, I have mixed feelings about this book. I liked Else, I liked Lex, but there was something missing. I didn’t feel excited, thrilled… I didn’t see the scary part of it.  I found the whole thing a little rushed, a little sketchy, and maybe just a little bland? It lacked maybe a certain oomph to make it a great crime book.

I enjoyed learning about Elsa, and her past. I didn’t see the final detail in the relationship with her Mother, in all honesty I thought it would be all down to another family member. Else has her hidden secrets, and for once I wish we had an FBI agent, or detective, who doesn’t have a troubled past. Yet, the troubled past worked in this case.  The description of the book made it seem like her past will overflow into her current case but I wouldn’t say it did. Maybe the smallest bit, but not in a huge way I was expecting. I really should learn to not expect anything with these books!! Lex was an interesting character, and I hope it makes an appearance in any future books. He worked well against Elsa’s coldness and her determination to keep everything hidden.

The book was written well, I’m glad we got the parts between Elsa and her mum, Deb.  It was good to know the full backstory all in one book instead of having to wait for it spread over a whole load of books. I felt for Elsa in those scenes as it must have been tough for her to experience that, and not be able to do anything about it.  You really get a sense of how Elsa felt in those moments, and you fully understood why her dad and her let it happen.

With it’s blandness, it’s lack of a spark I give this book a 3.5 out of 5.

 

Christmas Book Week #6: Snowflakes on Christmas Street by Ivy Pembroke

Snowflakes on Christmas Street

Snowflakes on Christmas Street by Ivy Pembroke

Publisher: Sphere (Little, Brown Book Group UK)
Published: 2nd November 2017
Format: Ebook
Pages: 384
ASIN: B01MUUV6R4
ISBN13: 9780751569728

Goodreads

Amazon UK

Description

On a little street in a big city, everything is changing

Bill has lived on Christmas Street since he was a young man. He’s seen families come and go, watched children grow up… Now he wants to be left alone.

Everything seven-year-old Teddy loves is in America. But his widowed father, Sam, has brought them both back to England to be closer to their family. Sam’s one wish is for Teddy to be happy again.

As Teddy and Sam settle into their new life, a very special four-legged neighbour is determined to make them feel at home. Jack, the Christmas street dog, is welcome in everyone’s house – but will it be in his power to help a little boy and a lonely old man remember the true meaning of the season?

As the snow sparkles on the ground, one small act of kindness will give a whole street a happy Christmas…

My Review

Thank you to Netgalley and the publishers for mu copy of this magical book in exchange for my review.

This book is a magical story, filled with love, and the warmth of friends and family.  I didn’t see where Jack was going to fit into this book, thinking he would be a side character but he ended up having a starring role.  He effects peoples lives massively in ways that a dog really shouldn’t. He’s the connection between each resident of Christmas Street and I love how the story weaves together.

My favourite residents probably would be Sam and Teddy though. Sam, with his witty comments about beetroot (yes, beetroot), and Teddy with his caring nature.  Teddy really hit a soft spot with me, he was a wonderful little boy.  One part of the book really moved me, involving him, his class members, and another character, Bill his next door neighbour.  It really moved me, and it showed perfectly that children always see the good in the world, while there is so much pain and suffering.  It was a moving moment which fitted perfectly within in this story.

I cannot believe that this is Ivy Pembroke’s first book, it reads beautifully with fantastic characters. I love the fact that the only common link, except living on the same street is Jack.  Jack being the street dog.  His backstory is a sad story but I like to think that the was he lives now is better than what it was. At least as the “street dog” he has more people loving him, more affection, more food.  Obviously.

Each chapter is split into sections for each resident of the street.  We have Teddy and Sam, Bill (Mr Hammersley), Pen, Pari and her family (brother Sai, mum Diya, and dad Darsh), Max and Arthur, and Emilia with her parents Anna and Marcel,and of course Jack.  Each character adds something to the story, be it stability, adventure, young love, family.  They all add it.

I loved this book, and I don’t think I can portray actually how much I did.  It made me think of how people around us impact our lives, be it an animal or an unknown neighbour.  It all happens when it’s supposed to.

I give this book a huge 5 out of 5.

Christmas Book Week #2: The Christmas Promise by Sue Moorcroft

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The Christmas Promise by Sue Moorcroft

Publisher: Avon
Published: 6th October 2016
Format: Ebook
Pages: 353
ASIN: B01D4WO2OU
ISBN13: 9780008175535

Description

For Ava Bliss, it’s going to be a Christmas to remember …

On a snowy December evening, Sam Jermyn steps into the life of bespoke hat maker Ava. Sparks fly, and not necessarily the good ones.

Times are tough for Ava – she’s struggling to make ends meet, her ex-boyfriend is a bully, and worst of all, it’s nearly Christmas.

So when Sam commissions Ava to make a hat for someone special, she makes a promise that will change her life. She just doesn’t know it yet…

Curl up with this gorgeous, festive read – the perfect treat for fans of Katie Fforde, Carole Matthews and Trisha Ashley.

My Review

Firstly, Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for my copy of this book in exchange for my review. It’s one I’ve had my Netgalley shelf for a while and this Christmas seemed the perfect time to read it.

I love the cover for this book.  It immediately makes me think of this different mish mash of houses in London.  I guess that’s the aim though as it is set in Camden… Hmm… Pretty though, and a big sense of wintery feelings.

While a good storyline, I didn’t really like the characters the way I thought I would,  except for Sam anyway. He seemed to be the only one with any real depth or sense of reality. Ava came across as a little naive but also independent, strong willed and determined at the same time. I can’t pinpoint what it was I didn’t like, but she slightly irritated me. Maybe it was the fact that she just wouldn’t accept help without an argument? Izz was a bit of a hard one to figure out as well. On one page she was awkward, the next she was this overly confident sassy woman. Tod wasn’t involved enough for me to even form an opinion of and I sensed he had his own story to be told.  I loved Sam’s Mum and his Aunt, they oozed fun and with, sarcasm and a real family feeling which this book slightly lacked.

The writing style was quick and easy to read. Nice, short chapters and a sense of where things were going. While touching on a theme that is very relevant in today’s world, it handles it brilliantly. It even gives advice in its own little way. It makes if clear that it could happen to anyone and that it isn’t their fault. You feel the sympathy for Ava over it all and you really feel that she thinks its her fault and that she will be judged in an awful way. Lucky for her, her friends understand and support her through everything.

What I did really like about this book is that it gives you an update on Sam’s mum and where Ava and Sam ended up in their love story. It really was a happy ever after ending.  I wish more books had this little update page, especially when you don’t know what has happened to some of the characters.

I gave this book 4/5. It honestly would have been a big fat 5 if I connected with all the characters like I did immediately with Sam.

Book Review: The Missing Twin by Alex Day

The Missing Twin The Missing Twin by Alex Day

Publication: Ebook: 18th August 2017 Paperback: 5th October 2017
Publisher: Killer Reads
Format: Ebook
Pages: 400
ASIN: B072TYXKLB

Goodreads

Amazon UK

Description

A unique, exciting psychological thriller that will tug at your heartstrings, and keep you guessing until the very last page!

Can she find her sister before it’s too late?

A missing girl…a secret to be uncovered.

Edie and her identical twin Laura have always been best friends. So when Laura surprises Edie at the Mediterranean holiday resort where she’s working, Edie can’t wait for the partying to start! But then, Laura vanishes without a trace…

At the same time, in a country on the other side of the sea, Fatima and her twin daughters set out on a harrowing journey that only the strongest – and luckiest – survive.

Edie and Fatima’s lives are worlds apart, but now, their paths are set to collide, with devastating consequences. When Fatima hovers on the brink of survival, Edie must risk her own life to save her, and finally discover the truth about her missing sister.

Review

Thanks to the author for reaching out and giving me a copy of this book in exchange for my review.  The paperback is published the beginning of next month – look out for it!! I think you”ll be grateful for having this in your life.

I have only seen good reviews about this book. I didn’t see where it was going to begin with, I really struggled to get into it. After starting it like 3 times, something happened. Something gripped me, wrapped itself around my brain, and I just carried on reading it instead of putting it down like I had been doing.

Characters. I felt so much for Fatima. The struggles she went through, the strength she had to keep going for her children. She was an incredible character, my favourite character. I was wishing that she would get to where she wanted to be and that everything worked out for her and the girls. I could never imagine finding the strength or the determination to get through what she did, and it’s made me realise what these families do to get to safety. Edie, I didn’t really like. She was a bit whiney, demanding, naive maybe? She just didn’t work for me, something was off and I just didn’t really connect with her. Vuk I hated immediately, he was a cruel, horrible man. I had a strong feeling that he wasn’t as nice as she made him out to be straight away, and I’m glad I wasn’t wrong about it. I had a feeling that Zayn was going to have a connection to everything, the little hints were there about families and I took a liking to him.  He seemed innocent, free. I had my fingers crossed that he was not a bad person.

I loved how we would go from chapter to chapter changing between Edie and Fatima, and then bigger gaps between each of the women. It made me question what was happening to them, what was going to happen and if they would get their answers. The writing style was a bit jumpy but it added to the tense feeling throughout the whole book.  It made me question everyone who was involved. And as for that ending, that was a bombshell and a half!!!!! I was rooting for a happy(ish) ending but damn… That was not it, but looking at it and thinking about it, maybe it was a happy ending? Everyone got the answers they were looking for. It worked amazingly well. An eye opener if anything!

I have some questions that have been left unanswered, unless I didn’t register that they’d been answered. I can’t really ask them though without giving them away so I’d love to speak to someone about it!!! One of them include Laura, and messages, but without going into detail it’s a bit of a mystery to me.

After my struggles to start reading it, I cannot recommend this book enough. It kept me guessing how everyone was connected, who was the bad guy, what happened to Laura, everyone was under suspicion and I rarely get like that with books. I didn’t trust anyone.  For all of those reasons, this book gets 4/5

Blog Tour: It Was Only Ever You by Kate Kerrigan

It Was Only Ever You

It Was Only Ever You by Kate Kerrigan
Publisher: Head of Zeus
Published: 13th July 2017
Format: Paperback & Ebook
Pages: 448
ISBN13: 9781784082420
ASIN: B01AATYCBS

Goodreads

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Head of Zeus Link

Description
Set in late 1950s Ireland and New York, the story of three women and the charismatic man with whom their lives are interwoven.
Set, like Maeve Binchy’s early bestsellers, in late 1950s Ireland and New York, this is the story of three women and the charismatic man with whom their lives are interwoven.
Patrick Murphy has charm to burn and a singing voice to die for. Many people will recognise his talent. Many women will love him. Rose, the sweetheart he leaves behind in Ireland, can never forget him and will move heaven and earth to find him again, long after he has married another woman. Ava, the heiress with no self-confidence except on the dance floor, falls under his spell. And tough Sheila Klein, orphaned by the Holocaust and hungry for success as a music manager, she will be ruthless in her determination to unlock his extraordinary star quality.

But in the end, Patrick Murphy’s heart belongs to only one of them. Which one will it be?

My Review

Thank you to the publishers and Kate Kerrigan for the chance to read this book and to be involved in the blog tour.

This book started slow to begin with, and it does jump around a bit between the women and with time, but it all slowly comes together in the end.  The way it is all done works well, there is a lot of path crossing and potentially big what ifs, but it does work.  It did get confusing with how quickly the time did move, and it made me question whether things were all moving at the same pace with all the people when it came to their chapters, or paragraphs.

The one person everyone has in common is Patrick, and it works perfectly.  All the women add something to the book, and all have their own parts to play when it came to him.  Of the 3 women, I felt more of a connection with Ava or Sheila.  I wasn’t really keen on Rose though, whether that was her naivety or her innocence, she just didn’t click with me.  Ava knew exactly what was expected of her, but she still bit the bullet and went for what she truly wanted.  Girl after my own heart.  Sheila had a sense of purpose, maturity, and a feeling of toughness that the other girls lacked.  I would say that Patrick is full of regrets, but does what is right and does what is for the best.  He loves Rose, and he does love Ava.  But his heart will always go to his music first, but he does finally realise who is love is.

Kate Kerrigan has a unique writing style, I enjoyed it, I felt for the characters and their love, their heartache, their losses.  This book was beautifully written, but it took me a long time to get into it.  While I enjoyed it, and did feel for the characters, I felt it was a little rushed and was missing something to make it spectacular.  I can’t pinpoint what I thought it was lacking though.  The ending was a sudden thing, I would have loved to have known if everyone was happy with their choices, and if it worked out well for them. It leftbtoo many what ifs and do they/don’t they for me, I would have liked things to be wrapped up neatly.

I give this book 3/5.  I liked the majority of characters, I liked the romance, loved the setting (who doesn’t love a New York story?!), the music references, it was written beautifully, but as I said, I felt it was missing a spark.  Something to make it so much better and mind-blowing.