Bluebells bob in the salty sea wind and the cottage gate swings open to reveal the inky-blue cove. It’s exactly how Kitty always pictured it… except in her head, she wasn’t standing here alone.

Kitty Roberts spends her days searching for the perfect home for two… until her boyfriend dumps her. Devastated, she flees to a tiny seaside village called Pennystrand, where she spent golden summers as a child, before her family fell apart.

At first, Kitty’s dramatic escape proves to be exactly what she needs – golden sunsets over warm, sandy beaches, lovably eccentric new neighbours and even a blush-inducing run-in with Cory Hudson, a floppy-haired local surfer with a heart-stopping smile.

But just as Kitty feels herself beginning to heal, Cory reveals that his time in Pennystrand is nearly up. What’s more, some strange reactions to Kitty in town make her wonder if her connection to this place might go deeper than she thought.

What is this tranquil little village hiding? It seems there’s a secret in Kitty’s past that is about to turn her life on its head once more… Is she ready for the truth? And will it bring her and Cory closer together, or drive them apart?

A page-turning story full of unexpected twists and turns. It will make you smile, laugh and wish you could visit Pennystrand! Absolutely perfect for fans of Jenny Colgan, Heidi Swain and Carole Matthews.






Loved Loved Loved!! This is one of those books that puts a smile on your face and warms your heart! And it was just a wonderful treat to read in the sunshine – and to know that you’re not alone in being someone who searches estate agents looking and dreaming of that perfect life away from it all!

Kitty is the main character in this book and she’s looking for something but she’s not sure what! Her happy times are spent in estate agents looking for a dream house, away from the noise and bustle of London – her other half Mitch doesn’t share that dream but fate soon finds a way for her to follow her own path!!

So she finds herself moving to Wales to reassess her life, in a place where she has happy memories from her childhood and with her family. She finds a lovely spot to stay with a nice landlady, and soon finds herself at the heart of the village, trying to make new friends and find a new way of life.

I loved how she threw herself into her new life, and how new doors, literally!, opened up for her! There was lots of fun banter and the introduction of Cory really spices things up and their relationship was just perfect! There’s also a little mystery thrown in, along with some shocking family secrets and I just loved how the story evolved and didn’t want it to end! Home truly is where the heart is!!



#20BooksOfSummer21 THE ROSE GARDEN by TRACY REES #BookReview

This is book 15 of my 20 Books of Summer 2021


1895. Hampstead, London.

Olive Westallen lives a privileged, if rather lonely, life in her family’s grand Hampstead home. But she has radical plans for the future of her family – plans that will shock the high-society world she inhabits.

For her new neighbour, twelve-year-old Ottilie Finch, London is an exciting playground to explore. Her family have recently arrived from Durham, under a cloud of scandal that Otty is blissfully unaware of. The only shadow over her days is her mother’s mysterious illness, which keeps her to her room.

When Mabs is offered the chance to become Mrs Finch’s companion, it saves her from a desperate life on the canals. Little does she know that all is not as picture-perfect as it seems. Mabs is about to become tangled in the secrets that chased the Finches from their last home, and trapped in an impossible dilemma . . .

The Rose Garden is an absorbing and moving novel, perfect for fans of Dinah Jefferies and Rachel Hore.



Wonderful!! It’s not often you find a book full of characters that could each have their own book that you’d happily read, but they’re all here!! Under one banner and it was just so lovely to be part of their world for the duration of this story. The author really does do historical fiction so well, and captures the essence of the times whilst including such strong, fascinating characters!

Set in London, around 1895, we’re introduced to very different characters living very different lives. Olive has a life many people would dream of, and she’s fully aware of the privilege she has. But she’s not one of those obsessed with indulgences and endless partying, she wants to do good and becomes determined to adopt a young girl from the local orphanage – definitely not the done thing if you’re a young, single woman!

Then there’s Ottilie, who is 12, and has recently moved to the area from Durham with her family. And she’s excited to be living in London and just wants to explore and learn! Another determined young lady!

And then there is Mabs, who has a tough home life after losing her mother, helping her father provide for her 6 siblings. When she’s offered the chance to work for the Finch family as a companion to the poorly Mrs Finch she jumps at the chance and is determined to do her best. She is soon part of the family and so grateful for the opportunities she has been granted.

What follows is their stories and how they come into contact with one another. It’s a fascinating story of independent women of the time and how that was frowned upon, and they were expected to tow the line and do as they were told. It was heartbreaking at times to see the lengths some people would go to to keep them in their place, so to speak, but their spirit never waivered and seemed to be inspired by what they saw around them.

An engrossing story full of wonderful female characters! Adored it!!



This is book 13 of my 20 Books of Summer


‘This may just have saved my life…’ The hurried scribble in the dusty visitors’ book catches Gwen’s eye. Just like that, she is drawn into a mystery at the heart of the pretty village of Hopley, and her troubles seem to fall behind.

When tragedy strikes, Gwen Stanley finds herself jobless and heartbroken. With nowhere else to turn, she retreats to Hopley, a crumbling little village in the sun-dappled English countryside. Wandering the winding lanes and daydreaming about what could have been, Gwen feels so very lost for the first time…

Until one day she pushes through the creaking doors of a tiny stone church on the edge of the village, forgotten by nearly everyone. There she stumbles on a little book full of local secrets. It might just change her life.

Perfect for fans of Jojo Moyes, Cecilia Ahern and Fiona Valpy, this is a gorgeous, feel-good read from a Richard and Judy bestselling author.



This is book 13 of my 20 Books of Summer 2021.

I love Tracy Rees and she hits the spot again with this wonderful feelgood story of hope, friendship and finding purpose in a world that seems to often be against you.

Gwen finds herself back in Hopley, the village where she grew up, and she’s feeling lost. But she finds solace at the little local church and becomes rather obsessed with the visitor book, connecting with the little messages that each visitor over the years has left. She’s living with her Aunt Mary and it’s proving a very stressful time.

Jarvis is also living in Hopley, and living with his parents, seemingly having no real plan for life, other than enjoying a drink or 3! To appease his parents, he finds himself volunteering to help out after a plea from the local vicar to raise much needed funds for the church. So that’s how Jarvis meets Gwen.

They soon become addicted to tracking down people who have put messages in the visitor book, in the hope that they might donate some money to the fund! And the feelings of self worth and joy it gives them to find someone and get a donation is truly heartwarming! And the more time they spend focussed on this and not all the negative things in their lives, it starts to make them both blossom as people and start to thinking about their own dreams and passions.

The characters in this book are just the loveliest! And it was wonderful to see how just a simple task could bring about such change in their fortunes. I loved hearing from the past visitors of how this little church had meant so much to them and stayed in their minds, and how their different stories helped open new doors of opportunities for Gwen and Jarvis.

A wonderfully uplifting read!!



Left to perish on a bank of snow as a baby, Amy has never known love, never known family.

Reluctantly given shelter at nearby Hatville Court, she is despised by the masters and servants alike.

The beautiful Hatville heiress, Aurelia Vennaway, is Amy’s only advocate – she becomes the light of Amy’s life, and the centre of her existence.

So when Aurelia dies young, Amy’s world collapses. But Aurelia leaves Amy with one last gift.

A bundle of letters with a coded key. A treasure hunt that only Amy can unlock.

A life-changing secret awaits… if only she can reach it

  • Paperback: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Quercus (9 April 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1784291455
  • ISBN-13: 978-1784291457


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Having discovered the author Tracy Rees when I read The Hourglass  (loved it!), I seem to be working my way backwards through her releases!  At the end of last year I read Florence Grace (loved that too!)  so when I managed to get my mitts on Amy Snow I knew I was in for a treat!

 Another engaging, emotional story from this author who is fast becoming one of my favourites with her quality of writing and storylines!

The story of Amy and her quest to find her place in the world was a fascinating one. From the moment she was born and found in the snow by Aurelia, she never really fitted in with others, but Aurelia was always there for her and vice versa. After the sad passing of Aurelia, it was obvious her family weren’t going to endure her being around, and I loved how Aurelia had set up a ‘treasure hunt’ so to speak, to share her story and legacy after she was gone, and to pass on to Amy all that she knew and all that she had kept hidden from Amy despite their strong bond.

There was plenty of mystery and intrigue throughout, which mixed well with Amy and her experiences of travelling around the country on her own as a woman, and finding people who knew Aurelia and didn’t judge Amy because of her past and accepted her for who she was.

Despite it being a big ‘chunkster’ of a book, the story flew by and I suffered from the ‘ooh just one more chapter’ disease that strikes when a story has me under its’ spell!

Highly recommended!!

Eagerly awaiting the next release from Tracy Rees now, which is due to be out later this year!!!


The Hourglass by Tracy Rees – Blog Tour


‘Tracy Rees is the most outstanding new voice in historical fiction’ Lucinda Riley. The powerful third novel from the author of the Richard and Judy bestseller Amy Snow.

2014. Sensible Nora has always taken success for granted, until suddenly her life begins to fall apart. Troubled by anxiety and nightmares, she finds herself drawn to the sweeping beaches of Tenby, a place she’s only been once before. Together with a local girl she rents a beautiful townhouse and slowly begins to settle in to her new life. But Tenby hides a secret, and Nora will soon discover that this little town by the sea has the power to heal even the most painful memories.

1950. Teenager Chloe visits Tenby every summer. She stays with relatives, and spends the long, IDYLLIC days on the beach. Every year is the same, until she meets a glamorous older boy and is instantly smitten. But on the night of their first date, Chloe comes to a realisation, the aftermath of which could haunt her forever.

The Hourglass is a moving novel about reinvention and reconciliation; about finding love even after it seems too late, about family and the healing power of a magical place by the sea.

Out 4th May 2017

Quercus Books

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Amazon US

Hive.co.uk – buy online and support your local bookstore

I’m extremely honoured to be part of this fabulous Blog Tour and am looking foward to sharing my review of this stunning book from Tracy Rees.  I loved spending time in Tenby with the characters and hope you are inspired to begin  reading this wonderful tale.


If you are looking for a wonderful time slip story full of hope set in the beautiful setting of Tenby, then look no further! I have thoroughly enjoyed escaping into the world of Nora and Chloe set in the present and the 1950’s!

In the present, Nora seems to have the weight of the world on her shoulders – working in a job that isn’t making her happy, she’s just split up with her partner and she’s also in counselling to help deal with the anxiety she constantly feels. And then out of nowhere she gets an image of a seaside town stuck in her brain and the pull to Tenby is too much so she finds herself packing up her London life and taking the brave step to reconnect with the world and to find her way again to making herself happy.

In the 1950’s, Chloe goes to Tenby every Summer to stay with her Aunt and her family and it is the highlight of her year! Everything seems so much more glamourous to her by the seaside and she soon meets her best friend, Llew, there and can think of nothing better than the big dance of the Summer.

As we follow both stories, they soon reveal that both Nora and Chloe fall quickly under Tenbys’ spell and the people they meet have an immediate effect on their hopes and dreams for the future. With Nora she begins to regain her confidence and it is so lovely to see how she finds her feet and settles in so well. It also gives her time to reconnect with her grandmother who lives nearby and through her stories, she begins to learn more about her mother who seems reluctant to ever revisit Wales and seems to have spent her whole life avoiding the area and reluctant to ever commit to anything long term.

And with Chloe we see her transform from young teenage girl to a young woman with her yearly visits to the seaside – how her relationships change with members of her family and those she meets up with every Summer leading up to something that changes her outlook and attitude for her adult life.

Found this to be such an absorbing read as you really get a feel of each character with some wonderful writing, and beautifully described locations that just make you want to visit Tenby right away! As a young swimmer I remember one of our weekends away was spending time in Tenby for a gala meet, so it brought back some lovely memories for me and I could understand how Nora and Chloe fell for its’ charm so quickly!

It is a story full of how you can reinvent yourself after setbacks in your life, and how just a different setting or different people around you can inspire you to move on and reassess events that have happened in your past. This is the first book by Tracy Rees that I’ve read and it definitely will not be the last!!