#BookReview BLUE HOUR by SARAH SCHMIDT @headlinepg @Emily_JP #BlueHour

ABOUT THE BOOK

She thinks of blue mountain, her favourite place. ‘We’re going somewhere where we can be safe. We never have to come back here.’ She eyes the rearview mirror, keeps a look out for headlights, keeps a look out for him.

As dawn breaks over sleeping houses, Eleanor straps her infant daughter Amy, into the back of her car. Together they will escape the private hell of Eleanor’s marriage to make the drive to blue mountain, a place of enchantment and refuge that lit up Eleanor’s childhood. Can she be sure that her husband, Braun, is not on their trail?

As the car eats up the long miles of highway, so Eleanor’s mind dives back into the depths of her childhood, and into her fraught relationship with her mother, Kitty. Kitty a woman who wanted so much, in marriage and in love. Kitty who always tried to hard to bend Eleanor, her brother and her father, to her image of the perfect family.

In her masterful second book, Sarah Schmidt, acclaimed author of SEE WHAT I HAVE DONE? reworks the classic road novel to tense, devastating, and ultimately redemptive effect.

PUBLISHED BY HEADLINE BOOKS

PURCHASE LINK

Amazon

MY REVIEW

This was an exquisite read. Often troubling, very dark and unflinching in the way it explores relationships, it is a story that grips you from page one and still has a hold on you long after you close the book up after finishing it.

It’s the story of a family over different generations – starting with the dramatic story of Eleanor who is leaving with her daughter Amy, walking away from her marriage, to escape to blue mountain where she has the strongest memories from her childhood. It was her refuge and you notice that nature is always her ‘get out’ at the most troublesome of times and that leads the story to take us back to her mother and father, cleverly switching between the 1970’s and the 1940’s.

The story of Kitty is another shocking aspect of this book. It tells of a troubled relationship with Eleanors’ father and how the times shaped their lives. Her life was always focussed on getting away from her parents, so she became a nurse tending to returning soldiers and it’s here she meets George and quickly falls in love. But they’re young and their passion soon fizzles out but she feels obligated to be with him – it seems to become her duty to take care of him when he returns a shell of his former self, dealing with his mood swings and she is pregnant too.

What follows is an exploration of those expectations of what life is – the reality of motherhood, the impact of mental illness on those around, and trying to make sense of it all and trying not to let history repeat itself. Noticing those signs and trying to change the course of your life, but then walking that same path allows her to understand what really was going on back in her childhood that she missed seeing.

This is a brutal book at times, it shares some explicit scenes as the author isn’t afraid to confront the worst of human relationships – the lengths people go to for love and the fine line between that and control. You get that sense of ownership, be it of a parent over a child, or a lover over a partner, and how dark and soul destroying that impacts on the people involved.

There is so much hurt in this family that your heart just breaks as you read their stories. There’s tragedy throughout and it can make this a very disturbing read at times, but it just lays bare the realities and complexities that humans face, and how that shapes them in their journey and future relationships.

There are shocking revelations littered throughout which just adds to the emotional impact of this story, but it is a staggering piece of work and although it may break you at times as it did me, it is one of those powerful stories that you feel honoured to have read. Stunning! 

★★★★★

My thanks to Emily Patience and Headline Books for the advance copy in return for a fair and honest review.

Advertisement

#BookReview SUMMER AT SEASPRAY COTTAGE by ANGELA BRITNELL

ABOUT THE BOOK

What would you do if you inherited a Cornish cottage by the sea?

If you’re Thea Armitage, sell it as soon as possible. Whilst there’s no denying that Seaspray Cottage has its charm, it just holds too many bad memories for Thea to consider keeping it – although at least spending the summer preparing it for sale gives her a distraction from troubles back home in Tennessee.

What Thea didn’t count on was her worst Cornish memory moving in right next door. Local bad boy Harry Venton played no small part in Thea’s decision never to return to Cornwall twenty years before – and now he’s her neighbour! Could things get any worse?

Except Harry isn’t the boy he was, and as Thea comes to realise that her opinion of him was built on lies and misunderstandings, perhaps things will start looking up for her summer at Seaspray Cottage.

PUBLISHED BY CHOC LIT

PURCHASE LINKS

Amazon: Summer at Seaspray Cottage: An uplifting, feel-good summer romance! eBook : Britnell, Angela: Amazon.co.uk: Kindle Store

Apple: https://books.apple.com/gb/book/summer-at-seaspray-cottage/id6442943846?uo=4&ls=1&at=1l3vpUI&ct=kgsztl%7Cchoc-lit.com

Kobo: Summer at Seaspray Cottage eBook by Angela Britnell – 9781781891179 | Rakuten Kobo United Kingdom

Google: Summer at Seaspray Cottage – Angela Britnell – Google Books

Nook: Summer at Seaspray Cottage by Angela Britnell | NOOK Book (eBook) | Barnes & Noble® (barnesandnoble.com)

MY REVIEW

This was just delicious!! It’s one of those books that you just totally lose yourself in and start packing up your belongings so you can move to the location featured – and hope to bump into someone like Harry!!

The story centres around Thea and her return to an area she was desperate to get away from in her youth. She inherits a cornish cottage by the sea, idyllic for most people, but her plan is to sell it ASAP!

On her return she reconnects with her friend Kelsey, and also Harry, who was the main reason she left 20 years ago. He’s not liked by many of the locals, but had a tough upbringing and Thea knows him better than others so she’s always willing to fight his corner, despite their relationship ending on a bad note. But time is a healer eh, and now they’re all grown up maybe there is peace to be had and old feelings to explore!!

This is all about making peace with the past, and the more time she spends in the area, the more she grows and understands she’s right where she needs to be, despite her father back home in Tennesse wanting her to take the promotion he has offered her. There’s a lot about family relationships as there are many issues to sort out between various characters, and I really enjoyed seeing how they worked through their problems.

This is a story full of sexy seaside summer shenanigans!! I loved how the characters were mature about the more serious issues they were faced with and weren’t afraid to confront their feelings and see things from a different perspective! Now I just need to find a Harry of my own!!

★★★★★

#BlogTour SUN, SEA & STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE by ROSIE GREEN #BookReview @rararesources @Rosie_Green88

Delighted to be with you today on the Blog Tour for the wonderful SUN, SEA AND STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE by ROSIE GREEN!

My thanks to the author, publisher and Rachel of Rachel’s Random Resources for putting the tour together and letting me be part of it all!

🌞🌞🌞

Sun, Sea & Strawberry Shortcake


It was meant to be a gloriously romantic getaway in Wales for Ruby and Hudson. That was the plan, anyway. But then friends start inviting themselves along, lured by the idea of unwinding in a chocolate-box pretty cottage, wandering the lanes and the coastline, soaking up the sun and the stunningly beautiful Italian-inspired architecture. With Ellie, Jaz, Fen and Madison popping up around every corner, plus another sinister mystery to solve, will the lovebirds ever find time to indulge their desire for sun, sea and . . . strawberry shortcake?

Purchase Link – https://amzn.to/3LPqFee

Author Bio –

 Rosie’s series of novellas is centred around life in a country village cafe. Look out for ‘Clara’s Secret Garden’ out in August 2022.

Follow Rosie on Twitter – https://twitter.com/Rosie_Green88 

MY REVIEW

Little Duck Pond Cafe crew – we meet again!!  The 22nd novella in this wonderful series has my heart warmed again, and it’s just one of those series that I just can’t get enough of!!  Roll on Book 23 coming very soon!!

This story is full of fun, drama and things are getting sexy!!  Ruby and Hudson are spicing things up, but there’s always something  or someone to get in the way, and even when they get away for some time alone, there’s more going on than they bargain for!!  It’s like Little Duck Pond Cafe on tour at the seaside this time!!

We also follow the story of Jaz which is  more emotional, but she’s the kind of character that you just want good things for and it’s always intriguing to see how she deals with her feelings and what is going on around her.

And there’s also mystery and scary things going on with new characters, Bee and her daughter Jodie, and that really added to the tension of things! I’m now forever checking my window in the hope that a scary face isn’t peering on!!  Ruby is always there to help out when needed and we know she loves a good mystery to solve!

This was a book that I couldn’t put down, but then I do say that about all in this series!  Each character has become someone that you have a connection with as we’ve learnt so much about them all over the previous books. You really go through the emotions with them all, and the new additions to each story soon feel like old friends too!  Another fabulous read!! Keep them coming please Rosie!!

★★★★★