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#BlogTour #Review ~ He Made Me by Oliver Tidy @olivertidy @Bloodhoundbook #HeMadeMe

David Booker and Jo Cash are experiencing similar stuttering starts to their new lives on Romney Marsh when Rebecca Swaine turns up seeking help. Someone is demanding a lot of money from her husband and she wants to know why.

What do the dying words of one man – he made me – actually mean?

As the mystery unfolds people will come undone and reputations will be ruined before the answer becomes clear.

At the end of the day Mrs Swaine might end up wishing she’d let sleeping dogs lie…

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About the Author

Oliver Tidy was born and bred on Romney Marsh, Kent. After a fairly aimless foray into adulthood and a number of unfulfilling jobs he went back to education and qualified as a primary school teacher.

 
A few years of having the life sucked out of him in the classroom encouraged Oliver abroad to teach English as a foreign language. The lifestyle provided him the time and opportunity to try his hand at writing.
 
Oliver’s success as a self-published author has led to his Booker & Cash series of books, which are set mainly on Romney Marsh, being signed by Bloodhound Books.
 
Oliver is now back living on Romney Marsh and writing full time.

My Review

So this is my first experience of anything written by Oliver Tidy .. yet again I’m jumping in on the second in a series (wish I could be organised and read in order!) I don’t feel I missed anything crucial by reading out of order but my curiosity has been piqued so I will go back at some point.

He Made Me .. the title could mean anything so what I had conjured up in my mind wasn’t necessarily true. Booker and Cash are the stars (for people of a certain age I had to keep reminding myself it wasn’t Tango and Cash) they form a great team and seem pretty well gelled together.

Set in Romney Marsh which sounds as though it should be rather bleak the pair are called on to solve a mystery. This has the feel of a nice older style of place with a quieter pace of life. Booker has a book themed cafe which sounds delightful .. I would probably sit with a cup of hot chocolate and listen to them both laughing and joking. Perhaps it’s the manner of writing but I certainly got a sense of being there and totally involved.

While it is essentially a crime story it has a wealth of entertainment. The investigation keeps the reader on their toes, the chemistry between David and Jo is just sizzling under the surface with a will they won’t they theme going on although Jo seems to take him for granted.

I was pleasantly surprised by this and will definitely be keen to read more by this author. Thanks to Bloodhound Books for my copy which I read and reviewed voluntarily. 

#BlogTour #Review ~ Under a Tuscan Sky by Karen Aldous #Giveaway @KarenAldous_ @NeverlandBT @HQDigitalUK

Escape to Tuscany this summer with Karen Aldous’s brilliantly uplifting read. Perfect for fans of Erica James and Cathy Kelly.
A summer she’ll never forget…
When Olivia Montague’s grandmother passes away, she decides it’s finally time to make some changes in her own life. So she breaks up with her ‘going nowhere’ boyfriend and embarks on a journey to her Nonna’s home in Tuscany.
Until now, Olivia has always believed that she’s incapable of love, after being abandoned by her parents as a baby. But with each day spent at the gorgeous villa nestled in the rolling Italian hills, she feels her heart begin to flutter…
And when handsome antiques dealer Hugh St. James arrives on the scene, she realises things might be about to change forever!
Purchase Amazon UK

Karen Aldous enjoys village life on the edge of the north-downs in Kent with easy access to the buzz of London. Not only does she love the passive pleasures of reading and writing, she also craves the more active pursuits with her family and friends such as walking, cycling and skiing especially when they involve food and wine! Karen gets much of her inspiration from her travels and if she had to choose, France, Greece, Switzerland, Italy and the USA would be her favourites. However, wherever she goes, she discovers a new character emerges in ‘Karen’s World’. She likes to write about strong independent women who can direct their own lives – but struggle to control them! And, of course there’s always a gorgeous hunk or two!

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My Review

I have had the pleasure of reading books by Karen Aldous previously so I was fairly certain I would find Under a Tuscan Sky just as endearing. The cover screams warmth, freedom and naivety at me. 

Poor Olivia seems to have her fair share of problems, abandoned as a child by her mother and raised by her grandparents, stuck in a rut with low self esteem and a boyfriend Will who really isn’t lighting her fire any more.

So when Nonna dies and Olivia has to hot foot it to Tuscany to deal  with the estate, empty the villa and prepare it for sale it gives her a chance to spread her wings.

Now this wouldn’t be a romance without some suitable eye candy, the first man Olivia encounters is Alberto on the plane .. Italians are forthright flirts and he makes an impression on her. Next up is Hugh who is viewing the property, Olivia seems unaware that he is feeling the ‘spark’ and treats him as a friend no matter how hard he tries.

Add these two to the mix, the beautiful scenery, hidden secrets that are discovered. Will Olivia overcome all her anxiety and follow the road of self-discovery?

While I always enjoy any interaction with a handsome man Olivia seemed a bit dense in places. I realise she has had a difficult life but there comes a point where you have to grab the bull by the horns and start living. Having said that I thoroughly enjoyed watching the whole story unravel.

Once again Karen has taken me on a journey with her easy to read writing, once you begin and get absorbed it is like wearing blinkers .. the rest of the world disappears and you only exist in the world Karen creates.

Perfect summer reading .. my thanks to Karen, HQ Digital, Jenny at Neverland and Netgalley for my copy which I read and reviewed voluntarily. 

Giveaway

With thanks to the author and Jenny at Neverland Tours, I’m pleased to be able to offer a giveaway (UK only). The first prize is a £10 Amazon voucher, an eCopy of Under a Tuscan Sky and a signed notebook: second and third prizes are an eCopy of the book and a signed notebook.

 Enter  Here

#BlogTour #Review ~ The Serial Killer’s Daughter by Lesley Welsh @bookouture

I am honoured to be a part of this blog tour .. a thrilling book. I would like to thank Lesley’s family and friends for the opportunity to read it and I send my condolences. 

Suzanne Tyler barely knew her father. But when she’s given a series of secret diaries and eight mysterious photographs of women from his possessions, she knows she won’t be able to rest until she knows the truth about him. 

To Suzanne’s shock, one of the photos is of her friend Sophie, who died ten years ago in an unexplained and devastating fire.

But Don only met Sophie once, on an unsettling visit he paid Suzanne just days before Sophie’s death… So why did he have a picture of her?

Unable to let Sophie’s memory alone, Suzanne begins to dig into her father’s life. What horrors is she about to unearth in his diaries? And who is it that’s out there, watching her every move?

Chilling and utterly page-turning, The Serial Killer’s Daughter is a compelling thriller, perfect for fans of C.L. Taylor, Rachel Abbott, and Tom Bale.

UK  Amazon UK
US  Amazon US

About the Author

Lesley Welsh sadly passed away in April this year.  Lesley was born in Strawberry Field children’s home and raised on a notorious council estate in Liverpool. Later she moved to London where she studied English and Drama and worked as a freelance writer specialising in alternative lifestyles. Her articles appeared in CosmopolitanMarie ClaireRedBiteTime Out and many others before she established Moondance Media, a magazine publishing company. Her dark and compelling short story Mrs Webster’s Obsession was turned into a film.  Lesley moved to Spain and sadly passed away in April.

My Review
From the first time I saw this cover I had chills up my spine. What is revealed inside continued to do just that!

There are some human beings in this world who have absolutely no redeeming features and Don is such a creature. The twisted way his mind and actions dominate this story makes it an addictive read.

Right at the outset it becomes clear that this is going to be a gruesome tale .. the title kinda gives it away. I can’t imagine how Suzanne felt when she finally realises what her estranged father was. After meeting Rose who had lived with Don she gives Suzanne a collection of photos and his secret diaries.

Then begins the unfurling of the crimes, all the photos are of women, one of which is Sophie .. Suzanne’s friend who had mysteriously perished in a fire. Why did her father have that picture?

This requires a fairly strong stomach due to the graphic scenes depicted and the language is course and to the point but entirely fitting for the content of the story.

If you want a roller coaster ride with the tension building then this is a fine example. I’m not sure I actually liked any of the characters .. I felt sorry for a few of them after being mixed up with Don but my hatred of him and his cruel twisted mind overruled all other emotions!

A well written, page turner that I’m glad I had a chance to read. My thanks to Bookouture and Netgalley. I read and reviewed The Serial Killer’s Daughter voluntarily. 

#BlogTour #Review ~ The Accidental Honeymoon by Portia MacIntosh @PortiaMacIntosh @HQDigitalUK @LoveReadRomance

The Accidental Honeymoon
by Portia MacIntosh
Released: June 16, 2017
Harper Collins

What happens in Vegas…When Georgie discovers that her fiancé has been cheating on her, only a few days before her cousin’s wedding, her whole world explodes. Facing a romantic trip to Vegas alone, she decides to go out and have some fun…
…but Georgie never expected to wake up wed! And even worse, she can’t remember who to. So when gorgeous Jack reveals himself as her husband, she can’t believe her luck – he’ll act as the perfect wedding date!
Even if it is their very accidental honeymoon, surely the newlyweds can keep their emotions in check for just a few days more?
Don’t miss the laugh-out-loud romantic comedy from Portia MacIntosh, author of It’s Not You, It’s Them. Perfect for fans of Rosie Blake, Sophie Kinsella and Lindsey Kelk.

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About the Author 

Portia MacIntosh has been ‘making stuff up’ for as long as she can remember – or so she says. Whether it was blaming her siblings for that broken vase when she was growing up, blagging her way backstage during her rock chick phase or, most recently, whatever justification she can fabricate to explain away those lunchtime cocktails, Portia just loves telling tales. After years working as a music journalist, Portia decided it was time to use her powers for good and started writing novels. Taking inspiration from her experiences on tour with bands, the real struggle of dating in your twenties and just trying to survive as an adult human female generally, Portia writes about what it’s really like for women who don’t find this life stuff as easy as it seems.

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My Review

After reading a few thrillers recently it was a welcome change to have this amusing story to delve into. A fun-filled oh my goodness what else can go wrong type of book. 

Poor Georgie she really is a bit of a liability. She finds out her fiance has been cheating on her so not one to hide and mope she heads off to Vegas. Now for anyone who hasn’t been there it really does live up to it’s reputation that whatever happens in Vegas should stay there! 

 Georgie decides to have a drink, gamble and hang loose … what does all this result in … a marriage she has no recollection of .. whoops!

Anyway, being on a plane with your new ‘husband’ isn’t really the time to make any plans other than to follow through on her main priority .. attend her cousins wedding in the UK.

The antics her and Jack get up to are hilarious at times. Georgie is a character that I liked one minute and the next she infuriated me because if a mishap was going to happen you just knew she was involved. Jack was a swoon worthy hunk who did his utmost to blend into the family dramas and continue the charade that he was in fact Georgie’s errant fiancee and not actually her drunken ‘mistake’.

Although predictable in places this is a gem of a book for sheer entertainment value and to make you chuckle out loud. Will the family wedding go ahead without a hitch and more importantly will Georgie find her ideal man?

The Accidental Honeymoon will be a great pool-side read .. many thanks to Portia, Helena, HQ Digital/Netgalley for my copy which I read and reviewed voluntarily. 

TOUR SCHEDULE

June 14
June 17
June 18 
June 19
 
June 20
 

#BlogTour #Review ~ Shadows by Conrad Jones @ConradJones @Bloodhoundbook #Bloghounds

Suicide. Drugs. Murder.

DI Braddick is put on the case when a hijacked drug deal has resulted in murder and an eye witness goes missing. When victims are discovered strung up from the rafters of an abandoned fish factory, on the Anglesey coastline, the police are baffled as to what went on. A deserted trawler found at the scene helps Braddick put the pieces together.

Could this be the work of a notorious Russian crime family?

When an undercover officer goes missing everything points to an informer for the family and it is clear they will stop at nothing to  silence the leak and have their revenge.

As the body count rises Braddick will come to realise that no one is safe…

Purchase Here

About the Author

I am Conrad Jones a 50-year-old Author, originally from a sleepy green-belt called Tarbock Green, which is situated on the outskirts of Liverpool. I spent a number of years living in Holyhead, Anglesey, which I class as my home, before starting a career as a trainee manger with McDonalds Restaurants in 1989. I worked in management at McDonalds Restaurants Ltd from 1989-2002, working my way up to Business Consultant (area manager) working in the corporate and franchised departments.

In March 1993 I was managing the Restaurant in Warrington`s Bridge St when two Irish Republican Army bombs exploded directly outside the store, resulting in the death of two young boys and many casualties. Along with hundreds of other people there that day I was deeply affected by the attack, which led to a long-term interest in the motivation and mind set of criminal gangs. I began to read anything crime related that I could get my hands on.

I link this experience with the desire to write books on the subject, which came much later on due to an unusual set of circumstances. Because of that experience my early novels follow the adventures of an elite counter terrorist unit, The Terrorist Task Force, and their leader, John Tankersley, or `Tank`and they are the Soft Target Series, which have been described by a reviewer as ‘Reacher on steroids’.

I had no intentions of writing until 2007, when I set off on an 11-week tour of the USA. The Day before I boarded the plane, Madeleine Mcann disappeared and all through the holiday I followed the American news reports which had little or no information about her. I didn’t realise it at the time, but the terrible kidnap would inspire my book, The Child Taker years later. During that trip, I received news that my house had been burgled and my work van and equipment were stolen. That summer was the year when York and Tewksbury were flooded by a deluge and insurance companies were swamped with claims. They informed me that they couldn’t do anything for weeks and that returning home would be a wasted journey. Rendered unemployed on a beach in Clearwater, Florida, I decided to begin my first book, Soft Target. I have never stopped writing since. I have recently completed my 17th novel, SHADOWS, something that never would have happened but for that burglary and my experiences in Warrington.

As far as my favourite series ever, it has to be James Herbert’s, The Rats trilogy. The first book did for me what school books couldn’t. It fascinated me, triggered my imagination and gave me the hunger to want to read more. I waited years for the second book, The Lair, and Domain, the third book to come out and they were amazing. Domain is one of the best books I have ever read. In later years, Lee Child, especially the early books, has kept me hypnotised on my sunbed on holiday as has Michael Connelley and his Harry Bosch Series.

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My Review

OMG what a stonking great read. Shadows by Conrad Jones grips you by the short and curlies and doesn’t let up until you reluctantly put it down at the end. Put aside enough time to read the majority of this in one sitting because your stomach or mind won’t thank you for prolonging the agony of suspense!

This makes no apologies for being a gritty, dark crime thriller. The seedy world of drug pushers, torture, murder, suicide it’s like living in a different world but the reality is this probably does happen …. sheeeesh, give me a dull ordinary life any day, but I confess I was riveted by this.

The writing is blunt and descriptive, it makes for a speedy read simply to find out what happens. I have been missing SO much by not having read any of his other books. I was willing to read and review this one purely because it is published by Bloodhound .. I haven’t had a dud one yet from them and I am grateful they have enlightened me to some fantastic authors and the crime/thriller genre is fast becoming my go-to for entertainment.

In this we have a mix of Russians (baddies) Liverpudlians, Welsh and Irish, can DI Braddick sort this muddle out!?

Thoroughly enjoyed this and have no hesitation recommending Shadows .. now excuse me while I head to download some more by Conrad Jones! 

#BlogTour #Review ~ Pieces of Happiness by Anne Ostby #piecesofhappiness @anneostby @TransworldBooks @PoppyStimpson

When recently-widowed Kat writes to her four old school friends, inviting them to live with her on a cocoa plantation in the South Pacific, they swap icy pavements and TV dinners for a tropical breeze and an azure-blue ocean. Leaving behind loneliness, dead-end jobs and marriages that have gone sour, they settle into the Women’s House, surrounded by palms and cocoa trees; and locals with the puzzling habit of exploding into laughter for no discernible reason.

Each of the women has her issues to resolve, and secrets to keep. But together the friends find a new purpose, starting a business making chocolate: bittersweet, succulent pieces of happiness. As they embrace a new culture that views ageing so differently from their own, will they learn to accept and forgive: to discover the value of friendship, and a better way to live?

Purchase Here

About the Author

Anne Ostby is a Norwegian journalist and novelist who has lived all over the world, including four years in Fiji. She is the author of a number of novels published in Norway, mainly for a YA audience, and her adult novel Town of Love, was also published in English. She now lives in East Timor with her husband.

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My Review

Yet again my weakness for stunningly attractive covers pulled me towards Pieces of Happiness. Who wouldn’t be lured by that? The colourfulness and friendly feel continues inside.

A story that transported me to places I wouldn’t have considered going previously. Fiji is an idyllic setting. Beautifully written I could sense the picturesque views, the aromas along with the women involved.

Kat lives in Fiji and after the death of her husband decides to make contact with friends from school days. Now these women are all past middle age so it has been a long time since they all met up.

Kat sends an open invitation making it clear she would love to see them but if they decide not to take a leap of faith then no ill feelings.

It’s quite a risk to uproot and leave everything you know behind to start afresh but this book discovers how friendship, a change of scenery, unearthing secrets and having a shared dream can indeed be fruitful eventually.

A lovely book that lives up to it’s image. It’s the first time I have read anything by Anne Ostby and it’s always nice to find another author who delivers a pleasant story. Absolutely ideal to read during the summer and lose yourself in paradise.

Thanks to Poppy at Transworld Books and Netgalley for my copy which I read and reviewed voluntarily. 

 

#BlogTour #Review ~ The Mothers of Lovely Lane by Nadine Dorries @NadineDorries @HoZ_Books

I am beyond thrilled to have a stop on this tour. This book is so perfect for me I just knew it was going to be a winner!

Noleen Delaney is one of an army of night cleaners at St Angelus Hospital. Son Bryan has a good job as one of the hospital’s porters’ boys, but Finn has done something unheard-of and passed his Eleven Plus exam. How on earth will they pay for his books, his grammar school uniform and shoes?

Bronia Ryan has battled depression since her husband died. Even in that poor neighbourhood her house is a byword for chaotic squalor. And now one son is in prison. Her youngest, Lorcan, wants no part of a life of crime, but how can he ever escape? Or protect his mother from her vicious eldest son?

As usual, St Angelus is at the heart of things. Life and death, love and loss, jealousies, rivalries and betrayals are woven into a rich tapestry – the latest instalment in Nadine’s great series about poverty, sacrifice and community spirit in post-war Liverpool and the early days of the NHS.

  • Hardcover: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Head of Zeus (15 Jun. 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1784975095
  • ISBN-13: 978-1784975098

Purchase Here

About the Author

Nadine Dorries grew up in a working-class family in Liverpool and spent a great deal of time in Mayo with her Irish grandmother. She trained as a nurse and has been the MP for Mid-Bedfordshire since 2005. She has three daughters.

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 My Review

I could make this review so easy by saying you all need to read this book! As soon as I spotted the cover it called to me. I remember with huge affection my nurse training and those uniforms evoked so many moments of nostalgia in my mind. I’m not quite as old as that era though! So when Suzanne from Head of Zeus offered me a copy I jumped at the chance. I was so lucky to get a beautiful hardcover which made it even more of a delight to read.

Set just after the war in a gritty area of Liverpool, the story revolves around the hub of activity St. Angelus hospital. The Mothers of Lovely Lane is actually the third in a series but can easily be read as a standalone. It follows the lives of some of the poorest yet hardworking members of the community. 

It’s a time of change with the onset of the NHS so from that point of view it is incredibly interesting historically. It explores the deep bonds between families and how friends stick together during times of dire need.

Noleen works nights as a cleaner then goes home to her war injured husband and children. She does her utmost to keep the family afloat, the tensions mount as circumstances change and my heart bled for her at times, her devotion despite being bone-tired was palpable.

Bronia’s family falls apart as her depression deepens and her son who has been living a life of crime falls foul of the law.

Biddy and Elsie are a typical pair of nosy neighbours, they know everyone’s business but at times this can be a life-saver when facing adversity the whole community pulls together.

There are so many wonderful characters in this story. I can assure you as soon as you start reading it will be a wrench to put it down, the bleakness of the situation tugs at your heart but the sheer stubborn determination to survive will uplift you the next minute.

It is quite a long book (400+) but once absorbed in the story-line it flies by. It demonstrates the difficulties the Irish community endured at that time but also how they show strength and the ability to pull together and face the world as one.

I really enjoyed Nadine’s writing style and will be collecting her other books from now on. If you like a mix of history, family loyalty, a few villains or a pillar of the community character then this saga is for you.

Grateful thanks to Nadine and Head of Zeus for inviting me onto the tour and my copy of The Mothers of Lovely Lane which I read and reviewed voluntarily 

You can follow the rest of the tour with these fabulous bloggers 🙂 

#BlogTour #Review ~ The Summer House by Jenny Hale @jhaleauthor @bookouture

Some summers will stay with you forever…

Callie Weaver and best friend Olivia Dixon have finally done it: put their life savings into the beach house they admired through childhood summers, on the dazzling white sand of North Carolina’s Outer Banks. They’re going to buff the salt from its windows, paint its sun-bleached sidings, and open it as a bed and breakfast.

Callie’s too busy to think about her love life, but when she catches the attention of local heartthrob Luke Sullivan, his blue eyes and easy smile make it hard to say no. He’s heir to his father’s property empire, and the papers say he’s just another playboy, but as they laugh in the ocean waves, Callie realizes there’s more to this man than money and good looks.

Just when true happiness seems within reach, Callie and Olivia find a diary full of secrets… secrets that stretch across the island, and have the power to turn lives upside down. As Callie reads, she unravels a mystery that makes her heart drop through the floor. 

Will Callie and Luke be pulled apart by the storm it unleashes, or can true love save them?

The Summer House is an absolutely gorgeous, heart-warming summer romance, about the importance of family, not keeping secrets, and learning how to open your heart.

🇬🇧  Amazon UK

🇺🇸 Amazon US

About the Author

When she graduated college, one of Jenny’s friends said “Look out for this one; she’s going to be an author one day”. Despite being an avid reader and a natural storyteller, it wasn’t until that very moment that the idea of writing novels occurred to her.

Sometimes our friends can see the things that we can’t. Whilst she didn’t start straight away, that comment sowed a seed and several years, two children and hundreds of thousands of words later, Jenny finished her first novel – Coming Home for Christmas – which became an instant bestseller.

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My Review

What a delightful cover to entice the reader into The Summer House. If you are looking for a feel-good, summer story with a splash of mystery then this will do you nicely.

Callie and Olivia have been friends for ever and now they are about to embark on their dream of buying, renovating and opening a guest house, situated on the stunning Outer Banks. They need to buckle down and work their little socks off in order to get it up to scratch and suitable for the grand opening.

I really liked these two women, they aren’t afraid of hard work and can sense their potential. Olivia has a young son Wyatt and she balances motherhood and work with the help of Callie and her grandmother Gladys.

Callie’s own family life is a bit battered around the edges and this has made her rather introverted .. she certainly won’t suffer fools and has built a protective wall around her heart.

However like all good romance stories she soon spots a dishy guy .. Luke appealed to me immediately, yet another ‘book boyfriend’ to make me swoon. As we unravel his personality and circumstances he could do no wrong in my eyes!

This is a book on several levels all intertwined to make a compelling read. While they are busy working on the house  preparations Callie discovers a diary that will turn the world of someone close to her upside down based on her decision of whether to disclose it or not. I felt her turmoil and suffered her pain .. this was beautifully written and really plays on the readers emotions.

If you absorb yourself in this book you can feel the breeze, smell the sea air, have the texture of sand between your toes, what more could you ask for?

Perfection between the pages, this is a book that will entertain, make you smile and cry and leave a pleasant satisfaction at the end. I highly recommend. Jenny has an ability to write descriptively and with such  sweet charm.

Many thanks to Kim and Bookouture for inviting me to take place on the tour and to Netgalley for my copy which I read and reviewed voluntarily. 

#BlogTour #Review ~ Summer with the Country Village Vet by Zara Stoneley @HarperImpulse @ZaraStoneley

Fall in love with a brand new cosy romance series from bestselling author Zara Stoneley

When Lucy Jacobs is made redundant from her inner-city teaching job she fears her career is over. Teaching is all Lucy knows and she’s determined to get back in the classroom as fast as she can.

Except the only job on offer is at an idyllic village school in the middle of nowhere – Lucy’s idea of hell. Where are the disadvantaged kids who need saving, where is the challenge?

But as Lucy finds herself welcomed into the warm-hearted community of Langtry Meadows, she begins to realise new challenges await – like frogs in the classroom, a rather difficult donkey, and a very brooding local vet…

Local boy Charlie Davenport has his own issues about living in the close-knit village of Langtry Meadows. His private life is already fuel for the well-meaning gossips and the very last thing he needs is to get close to the new school teacher…no matter how lovely she is.

But as summer days drift away Langtry Meadows weaves its magic, Charlie and Lucy both get the chance to turn over a new leaf and start anew…maybe with each other?

A fun, romantic story to make you smile and long for your own country escape.

Purchase Here

About the Author

Zara Stoneley is author of the popular Tippermere series. Set in Cheshire, ‘Stable Mates’, ‘Country Affairs’ and ‘Country Rivals’ transport you to a world of glamorous country estates, horses, WAG’s, secrets and scandal.

She is now writing heartwarming, humorous stories about village life, and ‘Summer with the Country Village Vet’ is the first book in her brand new cosy romance series.

Zara Stoneley was born in a small village in Staffordshire and wanted to be James Herriot when she grew up. After completing an IT degree, working as a consultant, running a dog grooming business, teaching, and working at a veterinary practice she decided she had more than enough material to write several books even if she would never qualify as a vet!

She lives in a Cheshire village with her family and a very bossy cat, and loves spending time in sunny Barcelona.

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My Review

I am a fan of Zara so knew without a doubt I would be reading Summer with the Country Village Vet before I spotted the delicious cover. How could one possibly refuse that!?

Lucy is a city girl, has a teaching job, her own house and mortgage, her career and life plan are organised for the foreseeable future then bam she is made redundant. Once she gets over the shock and manages to find a locum job she is pretty desperate. This is a six week cover contract in the gorgeous village of Langtry Meadows .. just one problem, Lucy has unpleasant childhood memories of village life and has vowed to stay anonymous in the city.

But of course circumstances mean she needs the money so she reluctantly accepts the offer along with a house/pet sitting deal and counts the days until she can get another ‘real’ job.

One of her first encounters is with the scrummy local vet .. he too is on a temporary contract so they find they have that in common. 

This is a slow boil, will they, won’t they story with a large cast of wonderful side characters, not all of the human variety!

I immediately connected with Lucy and the animals were an added bonus. I had a goose just like Gertie when I was a child, she was better than any guard dog. Sadly I didn’t have the pig though .. the humour surrounding cooking the pig via sunstroke was ingenious.

I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know all the villagers and becoming embroiled in their dramas. This is an absolute delight of a book and perfect for the long balmy summer days, failing that in the UK it works just as well curled up by the fire.

Zara is a gem of a writer and if you haven’t picked any of her books yet you really should.

Thanks to Harper Impulse, Netgalley and Zara for allowing me to read an ARC. I reviewed voluntarily 

#AudioBlogTour #Review ~ Darkside Blues by Ambrose Ibsen @JU_AudioBooks @AmbroseIbsen @AnAudiobookworm

Author: Ambrose Ibsen

Narrator: Jake Urry

Length: 5 hours 43 minutes

Publisher: Ambrose Ibsen⎮2017

Series: The Ulrich Files

Genre: Horror

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“Ghosts don’t simply latch onto places, investigator. People can become haunted, too.”

A missing person. A city plunged into unforgiving winter. A dangerous spirit.

Though enjoying an increase in business following his last case, life isn’t all roses for private investigator Harlan Ulrich. His newest job, another missing person’s case, is unlike any other he’s ever taken on.

Local businessman Michael Poole hires Ulrich to find his estranged daughter.

The problem?

She’s been dead for a decade.

Join Ulrich on a trip into the darkness, into the frostbitten underworld, as he seeks out a hateful phantom with only a cat and a thermos of good coffee on his side.

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Limited copies of the first two installments of The Ulrich Files audiobook are available for interested reviewers on The Audiobookworm’s Adopt-An-Audiobook page.

 

Once upon a time, a young Ambrose Ibsen discovered a collection of ghost stories on his father’s bookshelf. He was never the same again.

Apart from horror fiction, he enjoys good coffee, brewed strong.

Ambrose Ibsen has penned numerous horror and thriller titles, including The Ulrich Files, Transmission, The Demon-Hearted Series and the Winthrop House Series.

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Jake Urry has been narrating and producing Audiobooks since February 2016, and in that time has released 17 titles, including The Cryptic Lines by Richard Storry, White is the Coldest Colour by John Nicholl, and the PI Harlan Ulrich series by Ambrose Ibsen. His narration work is often dark and suspenseful, and he developing a reputation for Mysteries, Thrillers and Horrors. In 2017 Jake will be working on more work by John Nicholl and Richard Storry, along with a sprinkling of Fantasy adventures.

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So after listening to the first two books in this series it’s the turn of Darkside Blues. Some series can get a little stretched, dull, repetitive but this is a genre that keeps giving.

I have formed a cosy attachment to Harlan and he is beginning to feel like part of the extended family now. Once you get past his gruff aloof demeanour he is a pussy cat.

After struggling to survive his PI business is at last beginning to reap rewards and this time he is approached by a guy who claims he sees his daughter … problem being she has been missing for ten years. Harlan expects it to be an easy case with a fruitful payout.

However nothing involving Harlan is straightforward so we are treated to some creepy ghostly goings on, steeped in mystery with a splash of paranormal. Follow the twists and turns and become embroiled in the tale.

Once again I can only extol the virtues of Jake Urry .. he is the most perfect narrator for this series and the pairing works brilliantly. He enables the reader/listener to slip into the darkness of a bleak winter and chills you to the bone with his range of vocals.

My favourite segments once again involve the tough exterior Harlan becoming mushy when he has a convo with his cat, love this insight into him and it speaks volumes about his character.

While this could be a stand alone I would suggest reading them in order. I hope to see more in the Ulrich series.

Thanks to the author and Jess at an Audiobookworm for my copy which I reviewed voluntarily. 

 

Darkside Blues

May 31: Reading for the Stars and Moon (Spotlight + Audio Excerpt, Giveaway)
Audio Audits (Spotlight + Audio Excerpt)

Jun. 1: Book Lover’s Life (Review & Giveaway)

Jun. 2: Lomeraniel (Spotlight + Audio Excerpt, Giveaway)
Seitenwinde (Review & Giveaway)

Jun. 3: Dab of Darkness (Review & Giveaway)

Jun. 4: Ronelle Antoinette (Spotlight & Giveaway)

Jun. 5: CGB Blog Tours (Spotlight + Audio Excerpt)

Jun. 6: Blogger Nicole (Spotlight + Audio Excerpt, Giveaway)

Jun. 7: A Book and A Latte (Review)

Jun. 8: The Book Addict’s Reviews (Review, Spotlight & Audio Excerpt)

Jun. 9: Read Day and Night (Review)

Jun. 10: Ali the Dragon Slayer (Review & Giveaway)

Jun. 11: Spunky-n-Sassy (Spotlight & Audio Excerpt)

Jun. 12: The Autumn Bookshelf (Spotlight + Audio Excerpt, Giveaway)
Shhh I’m Reading (Spotlight & Audio Excerpt)

Jun. 13: Life at 17 (Review)

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