#BookReview By Lou of Foolish Heroines By June Wentland @june_mw @valleypress @kenyon_isabelle #Fiction #FoolishHeroines #BlogTour

Foolish Heroines
By June Wentland

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Foolish Heroines is a fictional book that brings a tapestry of humour and quirky characters. Discover more in the blurb and my review below. Thanks to Valley Press for gifting the book in-which I have reviewed from and Isabelle Kenyon for inviting me onto the blog tour.

foolish heroines

Blurb

foolish heroines (2)Janina Reston is a language expert, translating fiendishly tricky Arabic and Asian mathematical and scientific texts. Words are her world. But she can’t find any to share with her husband Owen. Instead, she confides in a spider named Gladys (who may or may not be her deceased grandmother).

She lives in an ordinary city suburb where extraordinary things happen. Lily’s husband dies in a strange accident with a milk bottle, while Fatima writes biographies of unknown people living seemingly inconsequential lives, and Zosia – whose most daring adventure thus far has been replacing jelly and ice cream with lemon meringue pie – runs off to Delhi with an Asian Women’s Sewing Group.

Written with zest, zeal and humour (powered by numerous biscuits and, on a good day, cake), June Wentland’s debut novel is a surreal journey through the avenues and alleyways of everyday life. But forget dull domesticity. This is a suburb where dense jungle leaves creep through the patio door when you’re putting the kettle on, where porcelain shepherdesses have evil intent, and where a seven-legged arachnid can be a wise companion for a woman at the end of her tether.

Review

Right from the first paragraph, it becomes clear that this is not going to be any ordinary story. It has quite an opener!! I won’t say what that entails as it would spoil it for you, but put it this way, Janina, who is one of the main characters has a strange sub-conscious indeed. It makes for a quirky, humorous entertaining story. This is most definitely for people who perhaps want something a bit different to read. In a quirky sense, it’s a point of view and it’s thought-provoking in a comedic sense. The book is perhaps a bit like reading about people’s lives that are at quite a tangent from what may be considered average, with a just a few threads of the average still hanging on in there. To begin with it made me think of a sitcom and also a little bit like Shirley Valentine (when she talks to her wall), but those thoughts are soon swept away. This is a pretty original story. It most definitely delivers on that.

Janina has a couple of friends – Owen who is human and is real and a spider that, quite innocently, hangs around, not realising that Janina believes it’s a reincarnation. There are times when I feel sorry for Owen because the spider sometimes trumps him in the conversation stakes. There could also be a ghost in her toilet, creating a blockage…

Then there’s Fatima, who lives in the block of flats, writing biographies and readers meet her when she is writing about Lily, who was married to Ernest, who had the strangest death, which brings even more humour along with mathematical analogies that I certainly hadn’t thought of in such light, as this book brings. Lily is an interesting character in her own-right too, with her, perhaps, a bit subversive and spirtual in life. Zosia is also certainly an intriguing character whose life is changing as she does more adventuring than she ever imagined.

By the end, the title “Foolish Heroines” has been explained in this tapestry of quirky lives that bring intrigue and humour.

About the Author

June Wentland was born in Hull and currently lives in Corsham, Wiltshire.

June has an M.A. in Creative Writing from Bath Spa University and has a day job being the Reader Development Officer for Bath and N.E Somerset Council Library Service.

Her fiction has been televised and published by BBC Television. She’s also written freelance for Endemol U.K. and has been an occasional guest lecturer for the Creative Industries degree at Southampton Solent University.

Image

#BookReview By Lou of Should I Tell You By Jill Mansell @JillMansell @headlinepg #HeadlineFiction #RandomTTours #ShouldITellYou #BlogTour #Fiction #BookRecommendation

Should I Tell You
By Jill Mansell

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Should I Graphic 4 (2)

I am so pleased and excited to be on the blog tour for Should I Tell You By Jill Mansell. Readers are in for a treat! Whether you’ve read some of her books before or not (they are complete within themselves), this is an absolutely brilliant, heartwarming, joy of a  book to pick up. Discover more in the blurb and praise more of my thoughts in my review, followed by a little about the author….

Thanks to Random T. Tours for inviting me and to Headline Books for gifting me a copy of the book.

Should I Graphic 10 (1)

Blurb and Praise

The most heart-warming novel you’ll read this year … from the Sunday Times bestselling author of AND NOW YOU’RE BACK

Should I Graphic 1Should I Graphic 2Should I graphic 3

Should I Graphic 8 Amber, Lachlan and Raffaele met as teenagers in the seaside home of kind-hearted foster parents. Arriving in glorious Cornwall was the best thing that ever happened to them – and now, as adults, their bond is stronger than ever.
But Amber has a secret. She’s in love with Lachlan. She can’t confess her feelings because that would never work. Restless Lachlan dates a lot and definitely isn’t the settling-down type. Surely it’s better to keep him as a friend than to risk losing him for good?
Raffaele has his own dilemma. He had the dream girlfriend in Vee, until it all went horribly wrong . . . and he still can’t understand why. Is Vee hiding something from him?
Now their widowed foster dad Teddy thinks he’s found love again. Younger, charming and strikingly beautiful, is Olga as perfect as she seems? Or will she end up breaking Teddy’s heart?
Against a backdrop of sparkling seas and sunny skies, the unexpected is always just around the corner. Welcome to Lanrock!

Review

Should I Graphic 2

Lachlan is an ambitious chef in high demand by the media as a journalistic interview is conducted and more is found out about his popularity and his passion for what he does in the kitchen and that he has for his valued customers. He likes London, but Peggy wants him to follow her to Cornwall, which is painted beautifully in telling readers all it has to offer. She puts up an excellent argument for why she wants him down there to cook his Michelin Star food. She seems a fun, yet formidable woman. Within just a few pages in, my interest has piqued so much that I need to keep reading voraciously on.

Should I graphic 3

A wonderful idyllic scene is created when we learn about Teddy and a cruise to Greece, it oozes with all the holiday vibes that make you wish you were there too. It’s great that Jill Mansell has tackled the theme of the solo traveller (which Teddy is), in such a positive way and including all the fun of sharing photos back home, in this case to Amber and Lachlan. This pleased me, deeply. It depicts, and rightly so, the joy that can be had. There’s also the potential of romance for Teddy.

Once the scene is set, you learn more about Amber (who works at Lanrock Glass) and her earlier life and how she is intrinsically linked to the Penhaligon’s. It is at this time of her life, when she also met Lachlan and Raffaele and what is forged is a strong bond. This isn’t a story that jumps from one timeline to another, so don’t mistaken it for that, it rather gives a great background to what comes next and so readers can delve into the characters lives that then, rather compellingly, wraps around the reader until the very end, when it then lets you go, but still leaves a lingering heartwarming feeling.

Should I Graphic 1

Things get really intriguing about the characters lives, the secrets and the relationships, especially as you can delve deeper into Vee’s life and what is going wrong. There’s also a mysterious letter that appears like a bolt from the blue that leads to revealing more about Raffaele’s life. As the book continues and it’s pretty hard to put down with all the unravelling of this beautiful, scenic book that has secrets that are offered up to inquisitive and curious readers.

Jill Mansell has linked characters up so well and it is so compelling unearthing more about them all. There is also, amongst possible relationships, relationship issues and general life, some really great humour, charm and warmth. The book then, apart from the warm feeling I said about earlier, leaves you hoping there will be another book to come from this excellent author.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jill Mansell Author Pic (1) Jill Mansell is the author of over twenty Sunday Times bestsellers including The One You Really Want and Meet Me at Beachcomber Bay.  Take a Chance on Me won the RNA’s Romantic Comedy Prize, and in 2015 the RNA presented Jill with an outstanding achievement award.

Jill started writing fiction while working in the field of Clinical Neurophysiology in the NHS, but now writes full time. She lives in Bristol with her family.

Jill Mansell is the author of over twenty Sunday Times bestsellers including The One You Really Want and Meet Me at Beachcomber Bay.  Take a Chance on Me won the RNA’s Romantic Comedy Prize, and in 2015 the RNA presented Jill with an outstanding achievement award.

Jill started writing fiction while working in the field of Clinical Neurophysiology in the NHS, but now writes full time. She lives in Bristol with her family.

Should I Tell You BT Poster

 

To Love and Be Loved By Amanda Prowse @mrsamandaprowse #ToLoveAndBeLoved @igbooktours @lovebookstours #BlogTour #BookRecommendations #BookTwitter

To Love and To Be Loved
By Amanda Prowse

To love and be loved Twitter OUT NOW

Today I am excited to let you all know that To Love and Be Loved By Amanda Prowse is now available in all good bookshops (physical and online) and in libraries. Discover more about it in the very compelling blurb, that may well have you racing to find out all about Merrin and the village she is from.

Blurb 

To Love and To Be Loved coverIn this life-affirming tale from bestselling author Amanda Prowse, one woman built a new life to escape her humiliation. Now, can she put the shame behind her and finally find happiness?

Young and desperately in love, Merrin had the whole world ahead of her. But just as her new life was about to start, the ground beneath her feet was cruelly swept away. Devastated by the humiliation, she ran far away from the beloved fishing village she had always called home to lick her wounds and escape her gossiping friends and neighbours.

It hasn’t been easy, but six years later Merrin has forged a new life for herself far from the sea, burying the impulsive girl she once was. But when tragedy strikes, she has no choice but to return to the village she swore she’d never set foot in again.

Reluctantly back in the arms of her community, Merrin begins to realise what she’s been missing out on all these years. As she begins to remember the person she used to be, she is forced to make choices about her future, and to question the past. What does she want from her life? Who is important to her? Who is to blame for everything that went wrong? And can she forgive them, let old wounds heal and finally be her true self again?

To love and be loved Twitter OUT NOW

#BookReview By Lou – The Little Shop of Hidden Treasures By Holly Hepburn @HollyH_Author @TeamBATC @harriet_col #simonschusterUK #TheLittleShopOfHiddenTreasures

The Little Shop of Hidden Treasures
By Holly Hepburn

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Today I am excited to present my review of The Little Shop of Hidden Treasures. It has layers of history, romance, poignancy and chips away at you to make you curious amongst the cosyness.
Check out the blurb and my full review below. Thanks to Simon and Schuster for gifting me a physical copy of The Little Shop of Hidden Treasures and for inviting me onto the blog tour.

The Little Shop of Hidden Treasures cover pic

Blurb

**The brand new novel from Holly Hepburn, perfect for fans of Cathy Bramley and Katie Fforde.**
Originally published in four parts this is the full story in one package. 

When Hope loses her husband, she fears her happiest days are behind her. With her only connection to London broken, she moves home to York to be near her family and to begin to build a new life.  

Taking a job at the antique shop she has always admired, she finds herself crossing paths with two very different men. Will, who has recently become the guardian to his niece after the tragic death of her parents. And Ciaran, who she enlists to help solve the mystery of an Egyptian antique. Two men who represent two different happy endings.

But can she trust herself to choose the right man? And will that bring her everything she really needs?

The brand new novel from Holly Hepburn, author of Coming Home to Brightwater Bay

Review

The Little Shop of Hidden Treasures cover picHope Henderson is into antiques and needs a job. What can be more perfect than a vacancy at The Ever After Emporium – Purveyors of Treasure Great and Small in York. Her love of antiques started at Portabello Market in London, but then she moved to York where she finds the antique shop founded in 1902 where the proprieter is James T. Young Esq. What makes it seem all the more perfect is the post is part-time and no experience is required.

Charlotte is Hope’s sister, grappling motherhood with her daughter, Amber who is of a young age that she keeps growing out of things, something many parents with toddlers (and older kids), will be able to relate to. 

There’s an interesting Egyptian puzzle box that belonged to Will’s mother in the emporium that piques at the curiousity of Hope and will readers alike. This is where the plot begins to thicken, now it’s already captured my attention by its relative cosyness, which I am sure many readers will be able to feel and be reeled in even further between the past and present, linked with a letter written around an exhibition to Egypt in the early 1920’s. This note, secretly hidden away, sends Hope on an adventure of investigative research into Tutenkhamun, Lord Canarvon and the exhibitions. So, although this is a fictional story, it does mention real people and real excavations. The author intertwines fact and fiction well and holds interest. This book, what with all the interest in the Canarvon Family due to the location of Downton Abbey, may then find you wanting to investigate these exhibitions yourself too and that’s where good writing comes in, to pique interest that much.

On-top of the mysterious letter and the history is also deep poignancy about grief. What is said is incredibly truthful and wise words indeed within this book that has certain interesting nuances within it.

There’s also quite the love story to follow through this book too that keeps you guessing what the ending is going to be and what choices are going to be made. There’s also some great humour with certain film references and more general humour, between Hope and her sister Charlotte, creating some great sisterly fun. There’s also some really heartwarming moments among other characters too.

This is ulitmately a lovely book that is heartwarming and a joy to read.

The Little Shop of Hidden Treasures BTG (1)

 

#Review By Lou – Silenced By Jennie Ensor @Jennie_Ensor @HobeckBooks #Thriller #CrimeFiction

Silenced
By Jennie Ensor

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Today I am delighted to be on the blog tour, thanks to Hobeck Books who invited me, with my review of the powerful thriller – Silenced by Jennie Ensor. Take a look at the synopsis and my review below, as well as the stunningly creepy, dark, yet atmospheric cover. Find out after all that, a little about the author too.

Silenced cover

Synopsis

gang culture, gang culture fiction, urban fiction, crime fiction, urban crime

gang culture, gang culture fiction, urban fiction, crime fiction, urban crime

gang culture, gang culture fiction, urban fiction, crime fiction, urban crime

DI Callum Waverley of the Met’s Major Investigation Team 55 is put in charge of his first murder investigation after a 15-year-old girl is stabbed outside a council estate controlled by the Skull Boys gang. Callum believes that the gang leader, V, ordered the murder. Witnesses are scared to come forward and he struggles to make headway.  Luke, who lives in the estate’s shadow, is drawn into the Skull Boys. Excluded from school, he befriends Jez, a troubled girl being exploited by the gang’s hitman, Zom. Callum becomes the target of escalating intimidation, seemingly from the Skull Boys. He suspects someone in his team may also be involved. Silenced is a gritty crime novel set in north London which delves into the heart of gang culture in 21st-century Britain.

Review

A teenage girl is brutally and shockingly murdered, shaking up the North London community to the core and becomes DI Callum Waverley’s first case. All the teenager was trying to do was try to get home. This a book with pace and so many layers. On the face of it, it’s a standard police procedural, but when you really get into it, there’s much, much more. This is about a community that feels silenced from talking to the police, not even the victim’s own mother wants to. They are all perpetually scared of the Skull Crew and what they might do to silence them. It takes a lot of work for the new DI to penetrate through the wall of silence and unravel the clues as to what happened. DI Callum Waverely also has his own demons to battle and has to push through them to solve the case.

There are themes of exploitation too and as well as exploring this, it also explores people within families who just don’t seem to care enough that their kids are being taken in by gangs when they are at their most vulnerable or acting out or thinking this would be a better way of life etc. This really goes deep into the depths of society, not just with this aspect, but also just how easy it can be for some to fall into being used by gangs and how hard it is to change your life around and escape, once so deep into them. There’s so much depth into the behaviours, morals and injustices that are created by society and are still in existence in Britain in 2021.

There are also themes of love, family, betrayal, violence, alcoholism, loss. The writing is dark, yet has an air of sophistication in all that it deals with, including the impact of crime, not just on the victims and witnesses, but also on those working in the police force, especially those investigating it, which brings a different angle to a police procedural. 

This is one powerful and intensely gripping and gritty book!

Dead Mercy By Noelle Holten @nholten40 @0neMoreChapter_ @HarperCollinsUK @BOTBSPublicity #CrimeFiction A #DCMaggieJamiesonNovel #Thriller #BlogTour

Dead Mercy
By Noelle Holten

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Today I am very pleased to be on the blog tour for the dark, gritty, visceral thriller – Dead Mercy by Noelle Holten. Discover more in the blurb and my review below. Opinions are my own. Thanks to One More Chapter for gifting me the book and to Books on The Bright Side for inviting me to review for the blog tour.

Dead mercy cover

Blurb

‘Hugely confident … harrowing, visceral … recommended’ Ian Rankin on Dead Inside

A brutal murder…

When a burned body is found with its teeth missing, DC Maggie Jamieson discovers that the victim may be the husband of one of her probation colleagues.

A dark history…

As the body count rises, the team becomes increasingly baffled by how the victims could possibly be connected until a clue leads them to a historical case that was never prosecuted.

A terrible secret…

In order to catch the killer, Maggie must piece together what happened all those years ago before it’s too late.

Review

Visceral and spine-tingling from the start – Dead Mercy sees DC Maggie Jamieson in an awkward situation. There is a  murder is brutal as brutal can be where the victim may be related to a probation officer under her wing. Then the bodies really start to rack up. It’s dark, harrowing and yet, perhaps because you’re at home or somewhere safe and the writing is strong, it’s not only going to give you a shiver down the spine with the dark tension created, but pulls you into its twists and turns as Maggie really digs deep and pushes hard to track down the killer.

There’s also a journalist digging around the investigation, which almost displeases Maggie as she is concerned that she will say or do something that will tip off the murderer that the police are onto the person who is committing such heinous crimes. There are pretty dark secrets that start to emerge. It’s an enthralling rollercoaster read that has much grit within it.

The veil is pulled back on the criminal justice system in the UK in a fictional sense, but gives readers a sense of it through some of the details and plot drive.

The book, although part of a series can be read as a stand alone too. All in all, it’s a strong book!

About the Author

Noelle Holten is an award-winning blogger at www.crimebookjunkie.co.uk. She is the PR & Social Media Manager for Bookouture, a leading digital publisher in the UK, and worked as a Senior Probation Officer for eighteen years, covering a variety of risk cases as well as working in a multi agency setting. She has three Hons BA’s – Philosophy, Sociology (Crime & Deviance) and Community Justice – and a Masters in Criminology. Noelle’s hobbies include reading, attending as many book festivals as she can afford and sharing the booklove via her blog. Dead Inside – her debut novel with One More Chapter/Harper Collins UK is an international kindle bestseller and the start of a new series featuring DC Maggie Jamieson.

Connect with Noelle on Social Media here:

Subscribe to Newsletter: http://ow.ly/cgww50BkBtt    Twitter: (@nholten40) https://twitter.com/nholten40

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/noelleholtenauthor/  Blog FB page: https://www.facebook.com/crimebookjunkie/

Instagram: @author_noelleholten          Website: https://www.crimebookjunkie.co.uk

                            Bookbub Author page : https://bit.ly/2LkT4LB

dead mercy tour poster