Monday 21 February 2022

A Laird for the Governess

A Laird for the GovernessA Laird for the Governess by Catherine Tinley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 2 days

Pages - 288

Publisher - Mills & Boon

Source - ARC

Blurb from Goodreads

A penniless governess

And the dour Laird of Ardmore

Lydia Farnham must travel to a remote Scottish island to work for widower Alasdair MacDonald, who doesn’t trust her or her unconventional teaching methods! Yet as his daughter flourishes, so, too, does the intense connection between Lydia and Alasdair. Only she should know better than to fall for the handsome laird when it could leave her without a job, or a home…

From Harlequin Historical: Your romantic escape to the past.

Lairds of the Isles Should duty come before love?

Book 1: A Laird for the Governess

My Review

Lydia is a Governess, she loves her job and the kids she looks after, she has to leave position after position, why? Lydia is beautiful, inside and out, even when she plays down how she looks, avoids them, males cannot help themselves. When she is offered a position for A Laird in Scotland, remote with the most adorable little girl could Lydia have finally found somewhere she can settle or will she be forced to leave again?

Ooooh Alasdair is an enigma, he is polite and kind, he is moody and rude, he is a doting father, he is aloof. Lydia finds herself able to settle and focus all on the bairn, a lovely bright stubborn little girl who is physically disabled and needs carried around the castle. As Lydia spends time with the child and lets her guard down she finds herself drawn to Alasdair and the bairn Mairead.

It is a lovely story set in Scotland, I liked the tradition, the location, the family, the way the staff were more than just staff. We follow Lydia as she goes from "the outsider" the becoming a part of the team, being comfortable in her own skin and learning to trust and love those around her.

Years ago I used to read Mills and Boon and like a comfy pair of slippers you knew what you were getting. This was different but not in a bad way, it didn't stick to a formula of any kind, just a story that has relationships, love, personal growth, friendship, happiness, loss, personal growth and community spirit. I would love to spend more time there. If you need a story that takes you out of your own day this one will do the job, 4/5 for me this time. First time reading this author and I won't leave it as long to read another M&B.

Available to buy NOW from Amazon, Paperback and Kindle. Click HERE for Amazon UK.

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Tuesday 15 February 2022

Swindled by S E Shepherd

Swindled (Sandlin PI Series #1)Swindled by S.E. Shepherd
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 1 day

Pages -

Publisher - Hobeck Books

Source - Review copy

Blurb from Goodreads

‘He’s out there somewhere. He’s taken everything from me, and … I hate him!’


Beautiful, but a little spoilt, Lottie Thorogood leads a charmed life. Returning home from horse riding one day, she finds a stranger, drinking tea in the family drawing room – a stranger who will change her life, forever.


After a bad decision cut short her police career, Hannah Sandlin is desperate to make her mark as a private investigator. She knows she has the skills, but why won’t anyone take her seriously? She’s about to become embroiled in a mystery that will finally put those skills to the test and prove her doubters wrong. It will also bring her a friend for life.


Vincent Rocchino has spent his life charming the ladies, fleecing them and fleeing when things turn sour. How long can he keep running before his past catches up with him?

S.E. Shepherd’s brilliant new novel is a tale of how the strong bond of friendship can overcome the darkness of deception, and a gripping new thriller that you won’t want to put down.

My Review

Book one in a new series and told from three characters we meet Hannah, Lottie and Vincent - three very different people. The book splits the timeline from the before to now, Lottie and Hannah meet through a job and despite being from very different worlds come together as friends. Vincent, a good looking cad has used his looks and charm to get ahead in life. These three could not be more different so what brings them together?

Hannah was a newbie police officer who made a decision that has huge ramifications, Lottie was a spoilt little madam and Viincent knew he deserved better and there are always people who can help him get what he wants/deserves.

The story goes back and forth between the three, some very unsavoury people and shocking behaviours, actions and consequences. Friendship, family, how lives can change so quickly and the long reach of things that go to pass. Personal growth, how people can become a better person when circumstances change and the flip side - just how horrible a person can be, selfish, amoral and so self absorbed. I hated Vincent he is a horrible human being and Hannah's back story was really interesting to follow. When one door closes another opens, Hannah is determined to make her new business work and with the help of her new friend Lottie she will help them both.

It was a bit different to start with as you aren't exactly sure how things will play out, the characters are very different. As you start to get into it and the threads start to unravel you realise how the three people are interlinked. There is enough shade and badness to keep you intrigued and turning the page, where is it going and what is coming next! I look forward to book two and see where the author is going to take this series, 4/5 for me this time.

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Tuesday 8 February 2022

Into The Dark by Fiona Cummins

Into the DarkInto the Dark by Fiona Cummins
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - as able in and out over 4 days

Pages -

Publisher - Pan Macmillan

Source - ARC Netgalley

Blurb from Goodreads

Into the Dark is the new dark and gripping crime thriller from Fiona Cummins about revenge, greed, ambition and the true cost of friendship.

THE PLACE: Seawings, a beautiful Art Deco home overlooking the sweep of the bay in Midtown-on-Sea.

THE CRIME: The gilded Holden family - Piper and Gray and their two teenage children, Riva and Artie - has vanished from the house without a trace.

THE DETECTIVE: DS Saul Anguish, brilliant but with a dark past, treads the narrow line between light and shade.

One late autumn morning, Piper’s best friend arrives at Seawings to discover an eerie scene – the kettle is still warm, all the family’s phones are charging on the worktop, the cars are in the garage. But the house is deserted.

In fifteen-year-old Riva Holden’s bedroom, scrawled across the mirror in blood, are three words:


What happens next?

My Review

The Holden family have disappeared, the house in a state as if the family only just left. The police are investigating, things may not be as they seem and are the family? Concern ramps up when a blood stained message is found in the teenagers room, what happened to the Holden's and where are they now?

The timeline flips around the disappearance, days, hours, weeks before and with each jump we get a different glimpse of the people they are. What was happening in their lives, interactions, actions and secrets. Present day takes us into the investigation, DC Saul and colleagues and the missing wife Piper's best friend Julianne. Pretty much all of these characters have some kind of secret to hide, aren't exactly the nicest of people, seriously some of them are super weird!

It took me a little bit to settle to and get my head around it, a fair few characters, storylines and as I said timelines surrounding the missing family. I have a lot going on at home so my concentration is all over the place and hooking into a book just now is a struggle. I was pulled in pretty quickly (as I do with Cummins books) because I am a total nosey reader. I want to know what went down, how, why and when you get a book that teases out the information and reveals it secrets layer by layer you absolutely get invested. The characters aren't nice people, some of the behaviours are indeed shocking *gasp* which makes you reluctant to put it down. I would like to see some of the characters again because what on earth could X Y Z do next, this may just be wishful thinking as I don't think Cummins does series but they say a good author leaves the reader wanting more, 4/5 for me this time.

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Friday 4 February 2022

February giveaway is now live

Sorry this has taken a bit longer to get up, it has just been blah. Things like this cheer us up, I know I always love a wee giveaway and Alex loves taking up parcels and a walk to the postie. Anyways, I think it was worth the wait.

So what is up for grabs? If you are a fan of The Nightmare Before Christmas tada looky what we have. A costume jewellery US size 6 (I think that is a UK L) ring as pictured. I have took pictures of it from different angles too, feast your eyes.


Side/frontal angle

And it comes in a lovel heart box.

The Nightmare Before Christmas themed facemask as pictured with Jack and Sally.

It isn't all about them lol. We also have x1 patch, you can glue it onto your backback (I use fabric glue) or it can be added to a jacket or any other material. I think some folk sew them but I don't know how they are pretty tough material, I got fabric glue from Amazon and so far so good.

And we couldn't have something that isn't book related. X1 heart shaped leather style material page holder. This is the one up for grabs.

To demonstrate how it goes this is my one, lighter in colour, on a book just so you can see how it looks.

And this is a picture of it all together, everything is as it is in the picture. The ring is the stated size, everything just as it appears (no glue provided just the love patch), the darker brown bookmark and the facemask and ring oh and a loveheart candle.

Open worldwide, not affiliated with anyone, not exchangable - as shown in pictures. In order to enter please use the Rafflecopter below, complete the entries for as many times you wish to be entered. Good luck all.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Last House on the Street by Diane Chamberlain

The Last House on the StreetThe Last House on the Street by Diane Chamberlain
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - in and out over a week (busy week)

Pages - 338

Publisher - Headline Review

Source - Review copy

Blurb from Goodreads

From bestselling author Diane Chamberlain comes an irresistible new novel that perfectly interweaves history, mystery, and social justice.

When Kayla Carter's husband dies in an accident while building their dream house, she knows she has to stay strong for their four-year-old daughter. But the trophy home in Shadow Ridge Estates, a new development in sleepy Round Hill, North Carolina, will always hold tragic memories. But when she is confronted by an odd, older woman telling her not to move in, she almost agrees. It's clear this woman has some kind of connection to the area...and a connection to Kayla herself. Kayla's elderly new neighbor, Ellie Hockley, is more welcoming, but it's clear she, too, has secrets that stretch back almost fifty years. Is Ellie on a quest to right the wrongs of the past? And does the house at the end of the street hold the key? Told in dual time periods, The Last House on the Street is a novel of shocking prejudice and violence, forbidden love, the search for justice, and the tangled vines of two families.

My Review

Kayla 2010 (presentish day) is who you see if you want to build/add to your dream home. Kayla is only just back at work after a devastating loss. When a client comes in that gives her the fear, acting weird and being threatening without directly threatening, it is just weird. Then we have Ellie and the time jumps to 1965, Ellie is starting to realise how important black people's rights are and gets fully involved much to her families horror. Ellie witnesses some horrific racism, prejudice, hate and violence around and directed toward her.

You wonder what the two timelines and characters could have in connection and both are separate storys, when I went chapter to chapter I wanted to go back to the other, see what was happening. The story is evocative, emotive, shocking, horrific, heartbreaking and deals with many themes, racism, violence, family, friendships, secrets, love, loss. Whilst this is a fictional story you only need to look at history and even now, 2022, some places are still very racist, killings and horror done because of skin colour. It is heartbreaking. I love a book that gets the emotions going and Chamberlain does that, it had been a while since I read her and I need to dig my older books out the pile. Fab read but get the tissues ready and munchies to eat your feelings as I got all kinds of emotions reading this. 4/5 for us.

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Wednesday 2 February 2022

The Christie Affair by Nina De Gramont

Today is my stop on the blog tour for The Christie Affair by author Nina De Gramont, for my stop I have my review, non spoiler as always.

The Christie AffairThe Christie Affair by Nina de Gramont
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - in and out over 5 days

Pages -

Publisher - Mantle

Source - ARC

Blurb from Goodreads

Nina de Gramont's The Christie Affair is a beguiling novel of star-crossed lovers, heartbreak, revenge, and murder—and a brilliant re-imagination of one of the most talked-about unsolved mysteries of the twentieth century.

Every story has its secrets.
Every mystery has its motives.

“A long time ago, in another country, I nearly killed a woman. It’s a particular feeling, the urge to murder. It takes over your body so completely, it’s like a divine force, grabbing hold of your will, your limbs, your psyche. There’s a joy to it. In retrospect, it’s frightening, but I daresay in the moment it feels sweet. The way justice feels sweet.”

The greatest mystery wasn’t Agatha Christie’s disappearance in those eleven infamous days, it’s what she discovered.

London, 1925: In a world of townhomes and tennis matches, socialites and shooting parties, Miss Nan O’Dea became Archie Christie’s mistress, luring him away from his devoted and well-known wife, Agatha Christie.

The question is, why? Why destroy another woman’s marriage, why hatch a plot years in the making, and why murder? How was Nan O’Dea so intricately tied to those eleven mysterious days that Agatha Christie went missing?

My Review

Agatha Christie is a name pretty much everyone is familiar with. I have never read her books (I have one on my tbrm) but I do know she was an author and she went missing for eleven days. What happened in those days has been speculated on although Christie never (that I am aware of) divulged what happened in that time. In The Christie Affair the author creates a version of what happened, a look at the mistress and all told from the mistresses' POV.

Nancy Neele is not a name I knew as I said I don't really know much about Agatha Christie nor what prompted or speculation about why she bolted. The book is heavily centred on Nancy, she is telling the story and her story interlinks with Agatha's in a surprising turn of events.

We learn about Nancy's background, growing up and what ends up bringing her to her current position. I felt the book actually focused much more on Nancy's character, there is of course Agatha and Archie in the book but much more of Nancy than I expected. She is of course the centre factor for the break up of Agatha's marriage. Her own story is emotive and I found myself flipping between being sorry for her and annoyed at some of her choices.

There is no denying De Gramont has done a lot of research and reading in preparation for the re-imaging of what went down between these characters. Filling in gaps around events we know did happen. It is certainly interesting and I found myself putting it down to read up on the characters and events to see how much was true/fact. This was my first time reading this author, I would read her again. I intend to dig out my Christie book and maybe read up about the author and what has been written about her days gone missing, 4/5 for me this time. The book is out to buy/read now.

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