My Year in Books – 2022!!


we have made it to the end of another year!!! And that means another year of trying to tame our TBR piles has passed, and maybe we’ll have better luck next year!!!   

But it’s been another great year of reading although I haven’t done as well as previous years! But I’m not complaining as I still reached my GoodReads target and managed to finish 207 books so I’m very happy with that!  It has made very little impact on the TBR mountain though so we need to go for more in 2023!!

And it’s bought a lot of great books in to my life, far too many to mention! But there have been a few that have stuck out so here’s the most memorable!  In no particular order!!











Here’s to 2023 being just as successful and full of more fabulous reads!! Hope you’ve had a great year of reading too!!


My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up!!

Pick up a Penguin!! It’s the weekend!!!  And I trust you have all had a fabulous week on the bookish front! I’m  currently feeling a little swamped – all my own fault!!  The book piles keep growing, my notebooks that I use for making notes while I read some books are all out of sync and my bookish brain feels like it is ready for shut down…… but still I smile as I sit surrounded by chaos and mess and with the knowledge that today – October 7th 2017 – is #BookshopDay!!!  I think I might have to try and visit a bookshop and see what newbies I can bring home to add to the piles of madness that the book world has lured me into!!!

On the book front, it has been another pretty fabulous week on the reading and accumulating front!!  Managed to read 5 books – of which 3 were 5 STAR READS – and 9 books made their way to me to start their new lives!! Aren’t they lucky!!  So without further ado, here’s a quickish run through of all I’ve read, hauled and am currently reading!! Get that cuppa….


New World Fairy Tales by Cassandra Parkin   –  3 stars

The Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio  –  5 stars

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley  –  2 stars

Snow Sisters by Carol Lovekin  –  5 stars

The Visitors by Catherine Burns  –  5 stars

Definitely getting darker and creepier with my reads as Halloween approaches!


Mix of books received for review this week, and ones that I’ve treated myself to because, erm, you are allowed to treat yourselves to books on a day that ends in Y! 

The Shuttle by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Another addition to my Persephone book collection and this is a nice chunkster from the author of The Secret Garden!

The House by Simon Lelic

Won this from the lovely Amanda at GoBookYourself and this looks like another creepy thriller to enjoy!

Wide Awake Asleep by Louise Wise

Received this ahead of the Blog Tour later in the year that I’ll be taking part in, and it looks like a fab read with some time travelling!

The Rental Heart and other fairytales by Kirsty Logan

The Clocks in this House all tell different times by Xan Brooks

Salt Publishing  have been running a campaign called #justonebook to help get their titles into peoples’ hands and always one is never enough for me so these 2 fascinating titles arrived this week for me to enjoy!

Sweet Home by Carys Bray

Have been looking at this for a while, and then spotted it in a local charity shop – signed!- for the princely sum of 50p! How could I not bring it home with me?!

ShadowBlack by Sebastien de Castell

The lovely people at Readers First have some amazing books on their site and this is the second in the Spellslinger series and yet another stunning cover!

Without a Word by Kate McQuaile

Having loved her previous book, What She Never Told Me, I was chuffed to receive this early copy from Quercus Books and can’t wait for more twists and turns!!

Resort to Murder by TP Fielden

Another one for review, this looks like a fabulous little mystery set in the 1950’s


The Book of Speculation by Erika Swyler

Listening to the audio version of this via the BorrowBox app, and so far I’m really enjoying this quirky tale

Into The Trees by Robert Williams

A book I picked up from the supermarket a while back has made its’ way onto my bedside table, and I’m fascinated so far by this dark fairy tale! Turning out a little different from what I expected!!

So there we have it!  All wrapped up nicely for you – and mostly me!!  Any taken your fancy this week?!  What’s been keeping you entertained this week? Please share any goodies I need to check out!  And don’t forget to treat yourself on Bookshop Day!! IT’S THE LAW!!!


My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up!

Hello and Happy Weekend!!  Hope all is well in your worlds – been struck down with the sniffles here on and off this week so am dosing up on extra Vitamin C, echinacea and chocolate (I’m sure I read somewhere that it helps… or I could be making it up!) in the hope that it stops a full on invasion of germs!!  Definitely a chill in the air though now so the winter coat is back out in action!!

And Autumn and Winter means one things to Bookworms – long dark nights perfect for curling up with a good book or two!!  And so it has been! Although it hasn’t been as productive reading wise for me this week – 3 finished books – it has been an extremely productive Book Post week.. oh dear!!  New ideas for book storage always welcome!!  So here’s a little looksie at what has been keeping my Booky brain amused this week!!  Please click on the book title for a link to my GoodReads review / and/or book blurbs!


Love and Other Consolation Prizes by Jamie Ford  –  4 stars

31 Days of Wonder by Tom Winter    –  4 stars

The Iron Age by Arja Kajermo   –  4 stars

A solid week of books to see me through the week!!  And all very different too!


I think my postman may be cursing me this week! It has been a steady stream of bookish shaped parcels arriving! And that’s with me behaving myself on the buying front too!!  I do have my eyes on a couple of books at the moment but can’t really justify buying them just yet until I get the reviewing pile down a little!  So, time to share some gorgeous covers with you all!

The Coffin Path by Katherine Clements

Published by Headline Review

Release Date 8th February 2018

This might have to be read this Halloween!! Just hoping it isn’t too scary!! 

Dead Lands by Lloyd Otis

Published by Urbane Publications

Release Date 12th October 2017

Received this ARC ahead of the Blog Tour I’ll be taking part in during November so watch this space for more news nearer the date!

Happy Days of the Grump by Tuomas Kyro

Published by Bonnier Zaffre

Release Date 21st September 2017

Love the sound of this black comedy and who doesn’t love a grumpy character in books?!

Blood’s Game by Angus Donald

Publised by Bonnier Zaffre

Expected release date 5th October 2017

After reading the first impression of this on the fabulous Readers First site this historical story really caught my eye so am looking forward to starting this soon.

The Ornatrix by Kate Howard

Published by Duckworth Books

Out now!

The stunning cover sold me when I was contacted by the Publisher about this one, and the story sounds rather fabulously dark too!!

The Child Finder by Rene Denfeld

Published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson

Release Date 11th January 2018

Any cover with trees on the front immediately has my attention, and the blurb for this too sounds rather haunting and thrilling so another read perfect for the coming months!

The Book of Forgotten Authors by Christopher Fowler

Published by RiverRun 

Release Date 5th October 2017

The more I read, the more I want to learn about the book world and all the Authors I haven’t discovered yet, so this book will hopefully lead me to some new favourites and the amazing stories behind them!

And then there was a treat to myself! I pre-ordered these from Goldsboro Books a couple of months ago.  They are a wonderful bookshop in London that specialise in first editions and signed copies too, so a definite must if you are a collector!

The Worm & The Bird by Coralie Bickford-Smith

Godsgrave by Jay Kristoff

Phew!! See, I told you my postman hates me this week!!  Ooh and there was another treat in the post for me today as my monthly Bookishly Tea and Book parcel arrived!! My Penguin book collection is coming along rather nicely thanks to this treat to myself each month! And I’m discovering some fabulous new tea flavours as well, along with some fab stationery items and bookmarks!!

And I wonder why I’ve run out of spaces on my bookshelves!! Oops!!  I regret NOTHING!! 


The Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio

Still reading this as part of the #Decamorama September readalong hosted by @MementoMoriAdam and enjoying this a lot more than I thought I was going to! Always a pleasant surprise when something turns out better than you expected!

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley

Was looking for something light to read in bed and have had this on my shelves for a while. And so far so good! Really enjoying the pace of it and liking the characters so let’s hope it all continues in a positive way!!

And there we have it!!  I think this week has been rather exceptional on the Book Post front, so hopefully things will calm down again next week and I can get back to powering through a few books to lessen the daunting TBR pile!!  Hope you’ve had a good reading week?! Any recommendations?! Or ones to avoid?! LOL!!


Bookish Weekly Wrap Up!

Happy Friday to you all!  And a Bank Holiday Weekend too if you reading this in the UK! An extra day of reading! Wahoo!!! And the forecast is sounding rather promising too so am looking forward, finally, to some nice summer sunshine to enjoy! Best go and set up my favourite reading spot in the garden and get prepared!

A little worried this week as I’ve slowed down on the reading front – eek!! I am hoping this isn’t the start of a slump but I’ve just not been able to settle with anything the past few days and so my reading progress has tailed right off – just at the time when the extra review copies have started to pile up!  Oh dear!!  I’m sure normal service will resume soon….. keep everything crossed for me!

So I still managed to finish 3 books this week so yay me!!  Please click on the book title if you’d like to see my GoodReads review!


Death Plays A Part by Vivian Conroy   –   4 stars

Wesley; The story of a remarkable owl by Stacey O’Brien   –  4 stars

Second Chance Summer by Jill Shalvis    –  2 stars


Had some interesting new additions to my ‘collection’ this week! 2 were sent from the publishers for review and the other 2 were purchases I made myself… cos I really needed some new reading material! 😉


 Rivals of the Republic by Annelise Freisenbruch  – thanks to Duckworth Overlook


The body of a Vestal Virgin is dragged out of the River Tiber…

A senator bleeds to death in his bath…

And as the authorities turn a blind eye, Hortensia, daughter of the capital’s most celebrated orator, feels compelled to investigate a trail of murders that lead to the dark heart of Rome.

Flying in the face of her husband’s and father’s attempts to protect her, rebelling against the constraints imposed upon her sex, she is drawn ever deeper into the corrupt underworld that lurks in the shadows cast by the city’s all-powerful elite.

When fires begin to rage in the slums and more key witnesses are silenced, only one man can save Hortensia from becoming the next victim of a conspiracy to destroy the Republic: Lucrio, the damaged ex-gladiator to whom she already owes her life. Then the secrets of his own tragic past threaten to subsume them both…

Amazon UK

The Lustre of Lost Things by Sophie Chen Keller  – courtesy of Nudge Books

In this story for readers of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and A Man Called Ove, when all seems lost, he finds what matters most.

Walter Lavender Jr. is a master of finding. A wearer of high-tops. A maker of croissants. A son keeping vigil, twelve years counting.

But he wouldn’t be able to tell you. Silenced by his motor speech disorder, Walter’s life gets lonely. Fortunately, he has The Lavenders—his mother’s enchanted dessert shop, where marzipan dragons breathe actual fire. He also has a knack for tracking down any missing thing—except for his lost father.

So when the Book at the root of the bakery’s magic vanishes, Walter, accompanied by his overweight golden retriever, journeys through New York City to find it—along the way encountering an unforgettable cast of lost souls.

Steeped in nostalgic wonder, The Luster of Lost Things explores the depths of our capacity for kindness and our ability to heal. A lyrical meditation on why we become lost and how we are found, from the bright, broken heart of a boy who knows where to look for everyone but himself.

Amazon UK

There Were No Windows by Norah Hoult  –  I’ve started collecting Persephone Books  so am slowly building up my collection thanks to the monthly book club and can’t wait to discover these amazing stories!

This 1944 novel is about memory loss and is the only book we know of, apart from Iris about Iris Murdoch (and arguably There Were No Windows is wittier and more profound), on this subject. Based on the last years of the writer Violet Hunt, a once-glamorous woman living in Kensington during the Blitz who is now losing her memory, the novel’s three ‘acts’ describe with insight, humour and compassion what happens to ‘Claire Temple’ in her last months. ‘A quite extraordinary book,’ was the verdict of Cressida Connolly in the Spectator, ‘unflinchingly, blackly funny, brilliantly observed and terrifying.’ And because Claire Temple is an unrepentant snob, ‘the novel gives a sly account of the end of an entire way of life.’

Secrets of the Sea House by Elisabeth Gifford –  Amazon UK 99p

In 1860, Alexander Ferguson, a newly ordained vicar and amateur evolutionary scientist, takes up his new parish, a poor, isolated patch on the remote Scottish island of Harris. He hopes to uncover the truth behind the legend of the selkies—mermaids or seal people who have been sighted off the north of Scotland for centuries. He has a more personal motive, too; family legend states that Alexander is descended from seal men. As he struggles to be the good pastor he was called to be, his maid Moira faces the terrible eviction of her family by Lord Marstone, whose family owns the island. Their time on the island will irrevocably change the course of both their lives, but the white house on the edge of the dunes keeps its silence long after they are gone.

It will be more than a century before the Sea House reluctantly gives up its secrets. Ruth and Michael buy the grand but dilapidated building and begin to turn it into a home for the family they hope to have. Their dreams are marred by a shocking discovery. The tiny bones of a baby are buried beneath the house; the child’s fragile legs are fused together—a mermaid child. Who buried the bones? And why? To heal her own demons, Ruth feels she must discover the secrets of her new home—but the answers to her questions may lie in her own traumatic past. The Sea House by Elisabeth Gifford is a sweeping tale of hope and redemption and a study of how we heal ourselves by discovering our histories.


Jamaica Inn by Daphne Du Maurier – started reading this on Cosy Reading Night last Saturday and it has me under its’ spell so hoping to finish it very soon!  How have I taken so long to discover Daphne Du Maurier?!

Rubies in the Roses by Vivian Conroy –  am reading this for a forthcoming blog tour and loving the second in the Cornish Castle Mystery series!

So there we have it!! All caught up and now I feel a little more organised and all set to attack the next batch of books awaiting my attention! 
Wishing you all a fabulous week ahead!

Bookish Weekly Wrap Up!

Howdy!!  I trust we are all doing well and surviving all that life throws our way?!  I’m currently in charge of a hamster that my niece has trusted me to look after while she is away for a few days!  I remember having a hamster or 2 when I was younger – they make pretty rubbish pets don’t they?!!  Hopefully Humphrey the hamster will enjoy his stay with me for the next few days, and will decide not to go missing on one of his jaunts round the house in his hamster ball!!

On to the books!!  I thought it was a pretty slow reading week until I looked at my reading notebook and it turns out that I managed to get back to finishing 5 books! It does help when you have a productive afternoon in the garden one day – yay sunshine! – and manage to finish 2 e-books in one sitting!  

And as for the bookhaul – eek!! There has been quite a few this week!  The Urbane Book Club Haul that I shared the other day deserved a post of its’ own, so I won’t go over those again! Otherwise I’d have you here for hours!! 

On with the wrap up!!


Please click on the title if you’d like to see my GoodReads review

The Summer of Second Chances by Maddie Please  –  4 stars

A Pocketful of Crows by Joanne M Harris  –  5 stars

The Somnambulist by Essie Fox  –   3 stars

Impossible Views of the World by Lucy Ives  –  2 stars

The Butterfly Garden by Dot Hutchison  –  4 stars


Along with my Urbane Book Club parcel containing 8 books, and the wonderful Moth Box which added 2 more books to the overcrowded shelves, I still managed to add a couple more – 2 I treated myself to, 1 was from the fabulous Readers First site!

Seeing Red by Lina Meruane

This powerful, profound autobiographical novel describes a young Chilean writer recently relocated to New York for doctoral work who suffers a stroke, leaving her blind and increasingly dependent on those closest to her. Fiction and autobiography intertwine in an intense, visceral, and caustic novel about the relation between the body, illness, science, and human relationships.

The Summer of Impossible Things by Rowan Coleman

If you could change the past, would you?

Thirty years ago, something terrible happened to Luna’s mother. Something she’s only prepared to reveal after her death.

Now Luna and her sister have a chance to go back to their mother’s birthplace and settle her affairs. But in Brooklyn they find more questions than answers, until something impossible – magical – happens to Luna, and she meets her mother as a young woman back in the summer of 1977.

At first Luna’s thinks she’s going crazy, but if she can truly travel back in time, she can change things. But in doing anything – everything – to save her mother’s life, will she have to sacrifice her own?

Together by Julie Cohen

This is not a great love story.
This is a story about great love.

On a morning that seems just like any other, Robbie wakes in his bed, his wife Emily asleep beside him, as always. He rises and dresses, makes his coffee, feeds his dogs, just as he usually does. But then he leaves Emily a letter and does something that will break her heart. As the years go back all the way to 1962, Robbie’s actions become clearer as we discover the story of a couple with a terrible secret – one they will do absolutely anything to protect.

Perfect for fans of Jojo Moyes’s Me Before You, David Nicholls’s One Day and M L Stedman’s The Light Between Oceans.


An Unlikely Agent by Jane Menczer

London, 1905. Margaret Trant lives with her ailing, irascible mother in a dreary boarding house in St John’s Wood. The pair have fallen on hard times, with only Margaret’s meagre salary from a ramshackle import-export company keeping them afloat.

When a stranger on the tram hands her a newspaper open at the recruitment page, Margaret spots an advertisement that promises to ‘open new horizons beyond your wildest dreams!’. After a gruelling interview, she finds herself in a new position as a secretary in a dingy backstreet shop.

But all is not as it seems; she is in fact working for a highly secret branch of the intelligence service, Bureau 8, whose mission is to track down and neutralise a ruthless band of anarchists known as the Scorpions.

Margaret’s voracious reading of detective fiction has scarcely prepared her for the reality of true criminality. Her journey of self-discovery forms the heart of this remarkable novel, as she discovers in herself resourcefulness, courage, independence and the first stirrings of love.

Menczer conveys the fog and grime of Edwardian London in an espionage thriller that evokes the humdrum dinginess of spywork as it alternates with thrilling danger, in a manner characteristic of John le Carré. Margaret Trant is a heroine to remember

Satin Island by Tom McCarthy  – listening to the audio book

MEET U. – CORPORATE ANTHROPOLOGIST secreted in the basement of a large consultancy. U. spends his time toiling away at a great, epoch-defining public project which no one, least of all its own creators, understands. Besieged by data, confronted at every turn by the fact of his own redundancy, U. grows obsessed with the images – oil-spills, roller-bladers heading nowhere over streets that revolutionaries once tore up, zombies on parade – which the world and all its veil-like screens bombard him with on a daily basis.

Is there a plot at work behind the veil? Is it buffering a portal to the technological divine? Who killed the parachutist in the news? And what’s this got to do with South Pacific Cargo Cults? U.’s disconnected notes from underground in fact amount to an impassioned, integrated vision – of disintegration. Satin Island is a book that captures our out-of-joint times like no other.

And there we have it! Another week all wrapped up! Doesn’t time fly when you’re reading and having fun?!!  Hope your week has been as good!


My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up!

Welcome to another Friday!! Hope we are all in one piece still and looking forward to another, hopefully, sunny weekend with lots of bookish adventures in store!

Been a mixed week for me personally with some ups and downs on the health front, but I’ve thankfully had other things going on to distract me – ooh and I’ve just taken delivery of a new (mini) bookcase so who can be sad with the prospect of new shelves to fill! Just hoping putting it together won’t have me swearing too much and that I’ve measured correctly and it fits where I hope to put it!  Will hopefully do a shelfie post soon once I’ve re-jigged all the shelves around the house – is it only me that has  bookcases in various rooms?! – and try and get myself a little more organised!  But then how does one sort their shelves nowadays?! By colour? By Author? Genre? Publishers?! aarrggghhhh the possibilities are endless!!

On to how my week has been on the bookish front! And, as suspected, my pace slackened a little this week and I only managed to finish 2 books this week – I was also reading a Choc Lit manuscript as part of the Taste Testing Panel I’m on of theirs! – but am halfway through another book so hoping to finish that off very soon!  As always, click on the book title if you’d like to see my GoodReads review!

Books Read

Every Secret Thing by Rachel Crowther    –   3 stars


My Neighbour Totoro by Tsugiko Kubo   –   5 stars

Book Post and Books requested!

Can i keep away from NetGalley at the moment?! No I blooming well can’t!!  So there have been a few additions to my overloaded Kindle….

31 Days of Wonder by Tom Winter

‘And in that instant, he knows in his heart that today is a momentous day; come what may, he and Alice will meet again, and life will never be the same.’

Alice is stuck in an internship she loathes and a body she is forever trying to change.

Ben, also in his early twenties, is still trying to find his place in the world.

By chance they meet one day in a London park.

Day 1
Ben spots Alice sitting on a bench and feels compelled to speak to her. To his surprise, their connection is instant. But before numbers are exchanged, Alice is whisked off by her demanding boss.

20 minutes later
Alone in her office toilets, Alice looks at herself in the mirror and desperately searches for the beauty Ben could see in her.

Meanwhile, having misunderstood a parting remark, Ben is already planning a trip to Glasgow where he believes Alice lives, not realising that they actually live barely ten miles apart.

Over the next 31 days, Alice and Ben will discover that even if they never manage to find each other again, they have sparked a change in each other that will last a lifetime. In 31 Days of Wonder, Tom Winter shows us the magic of chance encounters and how one brief moment on a Thursday afternoon can change the rest of your life

 True Love at the Lonely Hearts Bookshop by Annie Darling

.It’s a truth universally acknowledged that a single woman in possession of a good job, four bossy sisters and a needy cat must also have want of her one true love. Or is it?

Another delightful novel from the author of The Little Bookshop of Lonely Hearts. Perfect for fans of Lucy Diamond and Jenny Colgan

Verity Love – Jane Austen fangirl, manager of London’s first romance-only bookshop Happy Ever, and an introvert in a world of extroverts – is perfectly happy on her own (thank you very much), and quite happy hiding in the office and lying to her friends about her fictional boyfriend Peter, whose presence is very useful for getting her out of social events.

But when a case of mistaken identity forces her to introduce a perfect stranger as her boyfriend, Verity’s life suddenly becomes much more complicated.

Because ‘Peter’ is actually Johnny, and he too could use a fictional girlfriend. So against her better judgement and because she can’t stand sitting on the sad singles table, Verity and Johnny decide to partner up for a summer season of weddings, big number birthdays and garden parties, culminating in her sister’s Big Fat Wedding.

And by the end of the summer, there’s a bad case of heartache that even Verity’s beloved Pride And Prejudice might not be able to cure…

 Flutter by Olivia Evans

Dylan Walker has spent six years trying to move on from the loss of his girlfriend, Presley Cooper. Motivated by grief and the desire to do for others what he couldn’t do for her, he burns the candle at both ends to make it through medical school. After graduation he moves west, putting as much distance as possible between his past and his present.
Or so he thought.
Unknowingly, Dylan has been set on a path that will destroy everything he thought he knew. All the pain, all the grief, was all for nothing. With the help of an unexpected ally, Dylan must find the answers and save the girl he loves before it’s too late.




A second chance at love.
But first, he must find a way to make her remember her past. Remember him. Remember everything.

 The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock by Imogen Hermes Gowar

This voyage is special. It will change everything…

One September evening in 1785, the merchant Jonah Hancock hears urgent knocking on his front door. One of his captains is waiting eagerly on the step. He has sold Jonah’s ship for what appears to be a mermaid.

As gossip spreads through the docks, coffee shops, parlours and brothels, everyone wants to see Mr Hancock’s marvel. Its arrival spins him out of his ordinary existence and through the doors of high society. At an opulent party, he makes the acquaintance of Angelica Neal, the most desirable woman he has ever laid eyes on… and a courtesan of great accomplishment. This meeting will steer both their lives onto a dangerous new course, on which they will learn that priceless things come at the greatest cost.

What will be the cost of their ambitions? And will they be able to escape the destructive power mermaids are said to possess?

In this spell-binding story of curiosity and obsession, Imogen Hermes Gowar has created an unforgettable jewel of a novel, filled to the brim with intelligence, heart and wit.

I’m STILL being extremely good/sensible/boring and haven’t been on any decent book buying sprees for what feels like forever but I did receive another Persephone book to add to my collection …

Greengates by R.C Sheriff

A man retires from his job but finds that never were truer words said than ‘for better, for worse but not for lunch’. His boredom, his wife’s (suppressed and confused) dismay at the quiet orderliness of her life being destroyed, their growing tension with each other, is beautifully and kindly described.

Then one day they do something they used to do more often – leave St John’s Wood and go out into the countryside for the day. And that walk changes their lives forever: they see a house for sale, decide to move there, and the nub of the book is a description of their leaving London, the move, and the new life they create for themselves.

And then the lovely folk at Choc Lit sent me a little parcel  today as I made them smile on Twitter – so they made me smile by sending me a couple of their fabulous pocket Choc Lit books and some chocolate! What more does a girl need?!… the chocolate didn’t last very long by the way but was very, very yummy!!

You’re the one that I Want by Angela Britnell

What if you didn’t want to fake it any more?

When Sarah, a teacher from Cornwall, and Matt, a businessman from Nashville, meet on a European coach tour, they soon find themselves in a relationship …

Except it’s a fake relationship. Because Matt is too busy for romance, and Sarah is only trying to make her cheating ex-husband jealous … isn’t she?

As Matt and Sarah complete their tour of Europe, they do all the things real couples are supposed to do – from visiting fairy-tale castles in Germany to recreating the scene from Romeo and Juliet in Verona. And, of course, for every picturesque destination there’s a loved-up selfie and Facebook post to match.

But as their holiday comes to an end, Sarah and Matt realise that they’re not happy with their pretend relationship. Perhaps, they want the real thing.

Only True in Fairy Tales by Christine Stovell

It’s never too late to believe in fairy tales …
Eloise Blake has been fascinated by Prospect House, the shadowy romantic Gothic house opposite, ever since she moved to the village of Hookfield.

When its new owner turns out to be best-selling crime author, Ross Farrell, whose work is grounded in gritty reality rather than happy endings, Eloise is determined to concentrate on her tapestry design business and her rescue dog, Gracie.

She’s already given up on knights in shining armour and happy ever afters. Love, she thinks, is only true in fairy tales – even when Ross keeps appearing just when she needs help most. But is he the Prince Charming she thought didn’t exist – or is he a beast in disguise?



Margaret the First dramatizes the life of Margaret Cavendish, the shy, gifted, and wildly unconventional 17th-century Duchess. The eccentric Margaret wrote and published volumes of poems, philosophy, feminist plays, and utopian science fiction at a time when “being a writer” was not an option open to women. As one of the Queen’s attendants and the daughter of prominent Royalists, she was exiled to France when King Charles I was overthrown. As the English Civil War raged on, Margaret met and married William Cavendish, who encouraged her writing and her desire for a career. After the War, her work earned her both fame and infamy in England: at the dawn of daily newspapers, she was “Mad Madge,” an original tabloid celebrity. Yet Margaret was also the first woman to be invited to the Royal Society of London—a mainstay of the Scientific Revolution—and the last for another two hundred years.

Margaret the First is very much a contemporary novel set in the past, rather than “historical fiction.” Written with lucid precision and sharp cuts through narrative time, it is a gorgeous and wholly new narrative approach to imagining the life of a historical woman.

And there we have it! Hope your week has been a good one! Happy weekend!!

Happy Reading!!

My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up!

Greetings all! Guess where I’ll be sitting later…. hopefully!! That’s if I can fight my way through the rather luscious greenery that has gone a little rampant over the past week!  I’m going for the ‘natural’ and ‘wild’ look in the garden this season – that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it!!!!!

Hope we have all had a good week – been a little stressful here  but then watching things that have unfolded on the news this week has helped put my little problems into perspective!   And another good reason to turn to books to make reality disappear for a while.

Been a very good week on the book reading front again for me!  Ill health and Insomnia has its’ benefits!!  7 books finished this week, although 1 was a bit of a cheat as it was only a few pages long – a very short novella! – but I’m counting it so there!!


Please click on the book title for a link to my GoodReads reviews if you care to find out a little more about each book!

Invincible Summer by Alice Adams  4 stars

Finding Secrets by Lauren Westwood  – 4 stars

The World of Shadow by Kate Hamer   – 3 stars

Laura Lake and the Hipster Weddings by Wendy Holden  – 2 stars

The Good Women of China by Xinran  – 5 stars

Fell by Jenn Ashworth  –  4 stars

A Thousand Paper Birds by Tor Udall   –    5 stars

How’s that for a mix of books this week?! A little bit of everything and hopefully something new for you to discover!  I always used to stick to one genre when I read a few years ago, but can’t imagine doing that now as I’d have missed out on so many wonderful stories!!


And still I haven’t bought any books!!  This has now reached critical stage as it just feels wrong but my sensible head seems to have taken over and is happy for me to work through the TBR mountain I had amassed until some gaps appear and maybe then it will let me loose again in a bookshop or online…. i’m hoping!!

But there has been books arriving for the sake of reviewing and forthcoming blog tours, as well as another fabulous parcel from Bookishly and the Urbane Publications Book Club!  Here’s a peek!

Every Secret Thing by Rachel Crowther – Blog Tour in July

Can you ever bury the past?

She’d recognised in him something of herself: that sense of not belonging, of secrets fiercely kept . . .

Five friends, newly graduated, travel together to the Lake District. Young and ambitious, they little imagine the events that will overtake them that fateful summer, tearing their fragile group apart.

Twenty years later, they return to the same spot, summoned by a mysterious bequest. It’s not long before old friendships – and old romances – are re-kindled. But soon, too, rivalries begin to re-emerge and wounds are painfully reopened . . .

How long does it take for past sins to be forgiven? And can the things they destroy ever really be recovered?

This Beautiful Life by Katie Marsh   –  received a copy for review. Paperback out in July

The addictive and emotive new novel from Katie Marsh, perfect for fans of Jojo Moyes and Jodi Picoult.

‘I lived over half my life before I met you both, and I hope with all my heart to live many years more. You two are the reason why. Always, always the reason why.’

Abi Cooper is living her happy ending. She’s in remission and is ready to make the most of her second chance. But during Abi’s illness her family has fallen apart. Her husband John has made decisions that are about to come back to haunt him, while her teenage son Seb is battling with a secret of his own.

Set to the songs on Abi’s survival playlist, This Beautiful Life is the moving and uplifting story of what happens as Abi tries to put her family back together – and of why life, and love, are worth fighting for

Don’t Close Your Eyes by Holly Seddon –  received a copy from Readers First to review

A gripping novel of psychological suspense centered on two sisters whose lives have taken them apart, and the shocking family secrets that bind them together.

Twin sisters Robin and Sarah haven’t spoken in years.

Robin can’t leave her house. A complete shut-in, she spends her days spying on her neighbors, subtly meddling in their lives. But she can’t keep her demons out forever. Someone from her past has returned, and is desperate to get inside.

Sarah can’t go home. Her husband has kicked her out, forcibly denying her access to their toddler. Sarah will do anything to get her daughter back, but she’s unraveling under the mounting pressure of concealing the dark secrets of her past. And her lies are catching up to her.

The novel takes readers back in time to witness the complex family dynamics that formed Robin and Sarah into the emotionally damaged, estranged young women they’ve become. As the gripping and intricate layers of their shared past are slowly peeled away, the shocks and twists will keep readers breathless long after the final page.


I subscribe to the wonderful Bookishly monthly tea and book club so received another fabulous parcel in the post this week containing some gorgeous goodies – bookmark, notebook, peppermint tea and another fab Penguin book to add to my collection!



And then there’s another fabulous bundle of books from Urbane Publications as part of their yearly book club of which I am a member!!  Sign up and for £99.99 you get a copy of EVERY book they publish throughout the year!  What bookworm could ever turn that offer down?!  Here’s a look at some of the May releases that I’ve just taken delivery of and looking forward to settling down with! Click on each title for a link to their GoodReads page!

Girl Reading by Katie Ward

Seven portraits. Seven artists. Seven girls and women reading. Each chapter of this richly textured debut takes us into a perfectly imagined tale of how each portrait came to be, and as the connections accumulate, the narrative leads us into the present and beyond.
Mist and Whispers by C. M. Lucas

Imagine a world in eternal darkness. A world where skeletal beasts lurk in the forest. Where the women are missing, and the men are in need of salvation…

In the West-English town of Little Wolf Green, Scott’s bookshop is about to close down. Convinced the bookshop holds the key to her mother’s identity, sixteen year old Anya Piddling vows to save Scott’s, whatever the cost.
When four books of magic and myth take the world by storm, Anya begins a journey to discover the truth about the author, known only as the Weaver. Followed closely by her friends, and one surly, bitter ex-boyfriend, Anya soon realises a whole new world awaits: a world gone very wrong, with maddening whispers in the forest, magical winged Kings and a dragon-boy that understands her, inside and out. But this world needs a saviour… and everyone is looking at her.

So, there we have it!! Another week done and dusted!  How has your reading week gone? Any goodies to share with me?!  And a sunny weekend is forecast so that should lend itself nicely to more time spent on my garden bench with an ice lolly or two to pass away the time – well, it will be too hot to do anything else so we should spend our time wisely by sitting and reading!! You have my permission!!


My Bookish Weekly Wrap Up!

Been a bit of a week here in the UK eh!  Praise be for books to escape into – if only we could live in book land all the time!!

Anyway here’s a brief wrap up of all i’ve read this week and it won’t be too long as I’m feeling bleurgh today so my bed is calling me back!


Been a successful week on the reading front with 6 books finished and all kept me amused in one way or another too! No stinkers allowed!!

Please click on the Book Title for a link to my GoodReads review

Meet me at the Lighthouse by Mary Jayne Baker – 5 stars!


A Gathering of Ravens by Scott Oden  – 5 stars!

Defectors by Joseph Kanon  – 4 stars!


Miss Jane by Brad Watson  – 3 stars!


Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through The Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll – 5 stars for both!!


OK… I am getting a little concerned now! Lost track of how many weeks it has been since I’ve had a real good splurge in a bookshop or charity shop – there may even be gaps now appearing on my bookshelves!  This can’t be good surely?!! 😉

Did download one onto my Kindle the other day to take advantage of the 99p price tag!

The Private Lives of the Tudors by Tracy Borman

‘I do not live in a corner. A thousand eyes see all I do.’ Elizabeth I

The Tudor monarchs were constantly surrounded by an army of attendants, courtiers and ministers. Even in their most private moments, they were accompanied by a servant specifically appointed for the task. A groom of the stool would stand patiently by as Henry VIII performed his daily purges, and when Elizabeth I retired for the evening, one of her female servants would sleep at the end of her bed.

These attendants knew the truth behind the glamorous exterior. They saw the tears shed by Henry VII upon the death of his son Arthur. They knew the tragic secret behind ‘Bloody’ Mary’s phantom pregnancies. And they saw the ‘crooked carcass’ beneath Elizabeth I’s carefully applied makeup, gowns and accessories.

It is the accounts of these eyewitnesses, as well as a rich array of other contemporary sources that historian Tracy Borman has examined more closely than ever before. With new insights and discoveries, and in the same way that she brilliantly illuminated the real Thomas Cromwell – The Private Life of the Tudors will reveal previously unexamined details about the characters we think we know so well.

And then I may have been browsing on NetGalley in a weak moment and this one caught my eye as I am a huge fan of his previous work – A Man Called Ove and Britt-Marie was here – so intriged to see how this measures up!  

The Scandal by Fredrik Backman

‘Late one evening towards the end of March, a teenager picked up a double-barrelled shotgun, walked into the forest, put the gun to someone else’s forehead and pulled the trigger. This is the story of how we got there.’

Beartown is a small town in a large Swedish forest.

For most of the year it is under a thick blanket of snow, experiencing the kind of cold and dark that brings people closer together – or pulls them apart.

Its isolation means that Beartown has been slowly shrinking with each passing year. But now the town is on the verge of an astonishing revival. Everyone can feel the excitement. Change is in the air and a bright new future is just around the corner.

Until the day it is all put in jeopardy by a single, brutal act. It divides the town into those who think it should be hushed up and forgotten, and those who’ll risk the future to see justice done. At last, it falls to one young man to find the courage to speak the truth that it seems no one else wants to hear.

With the town’s future at stake, no one can stand by or stay silent. Everyone is on one side or the other.

Which side would you be on?



Four friends. Twenty years. One unexpected journey. Inseparable throughout college, Eva, Benedict, Sylvie, and Lucien graduate in 1997, into an exhilarating world on the brink of a new millennium. Hopelessly in love with playboy Lucien and eager to shrug off the socialist politics of her upbringing, Eva breaks away to work for a big bank. Benedict, a budding scientist who’s pined for Eva for years, stays on to complete his PhD in physics, devoting his life to chasing particles as elusive as the object of his affection. Siblings Sylvie and Lucien, never much inclined toward mortgages or monogamy, pursue more bohemian existences-she as an aspiring artist and he as a club promoter and professional partyer. But as their twenties give way to their thirties, the group struggles to navigate their thwarted dreams. Scattered across Europe and no longer convinced they are truly the masters of their fates, the once close-knit friends find themselves filled with longing for their youth- and for one another. Broken hearts and broken careers draw the foursome together again, but in ways they never could have imagined.

A dazzling depiction of the highs and lows of adulthood, Invincible Summer is a story about finding the courage to carry on in the wake of disappointment, and a powerful testament to love and friendship as the constants in an ever-changing world.



Just the one on the go at the moment as i’m in need of a good session of organising piles and downloads before deciding what to embark on next!!  

Hope some of these books have interested you – have you read any of them before? Did your view differ from mine? And what are you reading now? Always happy to hear about new books to check out!

Happy Reading!!

Bookish Weekly Wrap up!

Hello all!  Congratulations on making it through another week.  And now we’re in June – how the blooming flip did that happen??!! Anyone started their Xmas shopping yet?! Not seen Christmas products in the shops yet… but I’m sure it won’t be long!

Trying to submerge myself in all things books at the moment as the constant General Election news on TV, radio, newspapers and social media is driving me completely round the bend!! Hurry up and be over already!!

So how has your week in books been? Any good reads to share? Any new purchases?  Here’s what I’ve been up to!


 Been a bit of a slow week on the reading front for me.  My brain hasn’t been processing things quick enough! I’m blaming the heat!! Click on the book title for links to my GoodReads review!

Broken Branches by M.Jonathan Lee  4 stars!

The Running Hare by John Lewis-Stempel  5 stars!

The Tidal Zone by Sarah Moss  – 2 stars!


Took a bag of books to a local charity shop this week – to help ease the burden on my bookshelves! – and managed to leave without bringing any newbies back!  And the bookshops haven’t been calling me either recently!  I am quietly quite proud of myself but it does feel very wrong to be so restrained around books!

But there has been some nice bookpost!

Meet me at the Lighthouse by Mary Jayne Baker

Thank you Harper Impulse!

 ‘One of my top books of 2017… side-splittingly hilarious’ The Writing Garnet

’The day I turned 28, I bought a lighthouse and met the love of my life’

Bobbie Hannigan’s life in a cottage by the sea with her dog and her twin sister is perfectly fine … until she decides the logical thing is to buy a lighthouse and open a music venue with Ross Mason, the first boy she ever kissed.

Bobbie tries to be professional with Ross, but the happily-ever-after they’re working toward is too good to resist. That is until someone from his past crawls back to cause trouble. Can Bobbie look past the secrets Ross has been keeping from her? Or will the boy, the lighthouse and the dream all slip away?

Escape to the Yorkshire coast this summer with this laugh-out-loud romantic comedy from Mary Jayne Baker!

Publication Date – June 30th 2017


Thank you Readers First!

In a nation divided by prejudice, everyone must take a side.

When young seamstress May Bedloe is left alone and penniless on the shore of the Ohio, she finds work on the famous floating theatre that plies its trade along the river. Her creativity and needlework skills quickly become invaluable and she settles in to life among the colourful troupe of actors. She finds friends, and possibly the promise of more …

But cruising the border between the Confederate South and the ‘free’ North is fraught with danger.

For the sake of a debt that must be repaid, May is compelled to transport secret passengers, under cover of darkness, across the river and on, along the underground railroad.

But as May’s secrets become harder to keep, she learns she must endanger those now dear to her.

And to save the lives of others, she must risk her own …

A gloriously involving and powerful read for fans of Gone With The Wind and Tracy Chevalier’s The Last Runaway

publication date – June 15th 2017


The TBR pile seems to never end so I’m spoilt for choice again with what to read next! Determined to do well with my #20booksofsummer challenge this year too so have made an early start on that list!

A Gathering of Ravens by Scott Oden

To the Danes, he is skraelingr; to the English, he is orcneas; to the Irish, he is fomoraig. He is Corpse-maker and Life-quencher, the Bringer of Night, the Son of the Wolf and Brother of the Serpent. He is Grimnir, and he is the last of his kind–the last in a long line of monsters who have plagued humanity since the Elder Days.

Drawn from his lair by a thirst for vengeance against the Dane who slew his brother, Grimnir emerges into a world that’s changed. A new faith has arisen. The Old Ways are dying, and their followers retreating into the shadows; even still, Grimnir’s vengeance cannot be denied.

Taking a young Christian hostage to be his guide, Grimnir embarks on a journey that takes him from the hinterlands of Denmark, where the wisdom of the ancient dwarves has given way to madness, to the war-torn heart of southern England, where the spirits of the land make violence on one another. And thence to the green shores of Ireland and the Viking stronghold of Dubhlinn, where his enemy awaits.

But, unless Grimnir can set aside his hatreds, his dream of retribution will come to nothing. For Dubhlinn is set to be the site of a reckoning–the Old Ways versus the New–and Grimnir, the last of his kind left to plague mankind, must choose: stand with the Christian King of Ireland and see his vengeance done or stand against him and see it slip away?

Scott Oden’s A Gathering of Ravens is an epic novel of vengeance, faith, and the power of myth.


 Colt Harper hates it when you pat a cat the wrong way, or when you upload their faux pas to YouTube. In fact, he’ll probably kill you for it. 

As a self-proclaimed master vampire cat, Colt never imagined he’d be sent to community service at a revolting community theater. And for what? Killing humans who don’t buy the expensive brand of cat food? Talk about unfair.

Still, working with a nervous werewolf and a monster addicted to tickling wasn’t on his to-do list.

What’s worse, is he’s falling for a human. Sure, she has green eyes. Sure, she fosters stray cats. But she’s still a disgusting human.

So why is he risking his own life to save her from the chasers?


Recession has shuffled Clay Jannon out of his life as a Web-design drone and serendipity coupled with sheer curiosity has landed him a new job working the night shift at Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore. And it doesn’t take long for Clay to realize that the quiet, dusty book emporium is even more curious than the name suggests. There are only a few fanatically committed customers, but they never seem to actually buy anything, instead they simply borrow impossibly obscure volumes perched on dangerously high shelves, all according to some elaborate arrangement with the eccentric proprietor. The store must be a front for something larger, Clay concludes, and soon he has plugged in his laptop, roped in his friends (and a cute girl who works for Google) and embarked on a high-tech analysis of the customers’ behaviour. What they discover is an ancient secret that can only be solved by modern means, and a global-conspiracy guarded by Mr. Penumbra himself… who has mysteriously disappeared

And another week is done and dusted on the book front!  Hope your week has treated you well and that there have been more highs than lows!


Weekly Bookish Wrap Up!

The sun has got its’ hat on… hip hip hip hooray!!!  Anyone else moaning that it is too hot already?! Never happy are we!!   Still, the sunshine is doing wonders for my garden and also making me conserve energy by sitting down and reading more! And that is NEVER a bad thing!  So it has been a pretty successful reading week again and according to my GoodReads challenge I have now completed 79 books already this year – now ask me to tell you about them all and I can’t LOL!! Memory recall is not my strongest point so I am very grateful for this blog and GoodReads for at least trying to help jog my memory at times when I need to recall a book! How did we ever cope without it?!


A good total of 4 books fnished this week so click on the title if you would like to read my GoodReads review!

This Last Kiss by Madeleine Reiss

As original as One Day and as heartbreaking as Me Before You, This Last Kiss is the perfect emotional and romantic read.

Rora Raine is finally coming home to Hastings, twelve years after she left her grief-stricken father, and fled the love of her life, Carl.

Struggling to support her bright but troubled daughter, Rora has convinced herself she’ll never love again.

When she meets a bumblingly charming stranger, Rora’s heart begins to thaw.

But, try as she might, she can’t run from true love forever.

Funny, warm-hearted and soaringly romantic, This Last Kiss is the redemptive story of two star-crossed lovers, told through each and every kiss they share

The Cafe in Fir Tree Park by Katey Lovell

Maggie’s café is at the very heart of Fir Tree Park. Business is booming, her lemon drizzle is the stuff of legend, her children are happy and life is good. But she hasn’t had it easy. When her husband Clint was sent to prison, she had to raise Josh and Kelly alone. But Clint can’t hurt them now, and there’s no denying that Paolo, the Italian football coach she spies every weekend out on the green, is more than easy on the eye.

It may be summer outside, but a new arrival in Fir Tree Park sends an icy chill through the café…

Summer at the Little Wedding Shop by Jane Linfoot


The third book in the bestselling series, ‘The Little Wedding Shop by the Sea’.

When the owner of Brides by the Sea, Cornwall’s cutest little wedding shop, offers Lily a job as their new wedding stylist, her first thought is – can she possibly pull it off?

Before she’s even sourced a fairy light or tasted a cupcake, Kip Penryn hires her services – but he’s opened an exclusive wedding venue in direct competition to her friend Poppy!

Lily feels like a traitor working for Kip, only everyone knows Penryn men are gorgeous but unreliable. All she has to do is sit back and watch him mess it up…doesn’t she?

Love is in the Cornish sea breeze this summer as the girls tackle their busiest wedding season yet. There’s plenty of bunting, bubbly and baking – but who is going to catch the bouquet?

My Summer of Magic Moments by Caroline Roberts


When a seaside escape spells a little romance . . .

A heartwarming tale that will sweep you away for the summer from the bestselling author of The Cosy Teashop in the Castle.

When Claire arrives for her cosy cottage retreat on the beautiful Northumberland coast, she prays that three weeks of blissful peace and summer sunshine will wash away the pain of the last year.

Claire’s a survivor – she’s proud of the scars that prove it – and she’s determined to make the most of each and every day, to seize those little magic moments that give life its colour.

Her plan for peaceful solitude goes awry when handsome, brooding Ed turns up in the cottage next door. The last thing Claire needs is the risk of getting hurt, but she soon discovers that Ed has emotional battle scars of his own.

Will he prove the worst distraction? Or might he be just the perfect remedy?

The sunshine may have made my brain a little romantic with my reading choices this week!! And still I’m waiting for Brad Pitt to swoop in and save me from all of this….. a girl can dream i guess!!


For the most part of the week I behaved myself!!  Hard to believe that I was being so controlled and thoughtful in my purchases of books – well that was until Thursday when I ventured in to a couple of charity shops that I’d not been in for a while – big mistake!!


But how could I resist?! Especially with the gorgeous orange penguin covers calling my name as I’ve recently started to see how many I can amass! This pile of 4 cost me £3 so i HAD to have them!!  And only 99p for His Bloody Project of which I have heard many good things – anyone read it? – so that was adopted by my good self too!

And then there was the bookpost which is always a wonderous thing!  I received The Mayfly by James Hazel from the fabulous Readers First people and this sounds super creepy and dark so right up my street!

It’s happening again.

A mutilated body discovered in the woods.
A murderous plan conceived in the past.
A reckoning seventy years in the making . . .

Charlie Priest, ex-detective inspector turned London lawyer, is hired by influential entrepreneur Kenneth Ellinder to investigate the murder of his son. But Priest is no ordinary lawyer. Brilliant, yet flawed, this case will push him, and those closest to him, to the edge.

Priest traces the evidence back to the desperate last days of the Second World War. Buried in the ashes of the Holocaust is a secret so deadly its poison threatens to destroy the very heart of the establishment.
With more victims going missing, Priest realises that not everyone should be trusted. As he races to uncover the truth, can he prevent history from repeating itself?

And then there is Broken Branches by M Jonathan Lee which I received today from the equally lovely Hideaway Fall folk, which is all about a family curse and sounds wonderfully intriguing! 


Family curses don’t exist. Sure, some families seem to suffer more pain than others, but a curse? An actual curse? I don’t think so.’

A family tragedy was the catalyst for Ian Perkins to return to the isolated cottage with his wife and young son. But now they are back, it seems yet more grief might befall the family.

There is still time to act, but that means Ian must face the uncomfortable truth about his past. And in doing so, he must uncover the truth behind the supposed family curse.


Miss Jane by Brad Watson

The Running Hare by John-Lewis Stempel

The Tidal Zone by Sarah Moss

am listening to this via audiobook that I borrowed via the Borrowbox app from my library!

And another week is all nicely wrapped up! Any books amongst these that you’ve read? Or has grabbed your interest?!  Always interested to hear what is on your current reading pile so please share!!