If you’re looking for a summery read with a stunning location, Summer at Green Valley Vineyard has got it with a big tick. Today I am on the blog tour for the paperback publication of this summer read, thanks to
A beautiful vineyard. A new beginning. A summer that will change their lives forever…
Linzi arrived at Green Valley Vineyard nine years ago, in need of a fresh start. In the lush emerald countryside and ripening grapes, she finally has a place to call home.
But Linzi’s world is rocked when the owner announces he is retiring, and his grandson is taking over.
When Elliot Montgomery first sets foot at Green Valley, Linzi’s worst fears are realised. He’s stepped straight out of the boardroom in shiny shoes and a tailored suit. How will a numbers man like him ever understand the magic of what they do here?
Elliot has his own demons, carrying the grief of his father’s death. Despite their differences, he has come to the vineyard for a new beginning, much like Linzi once did.
As the summer unfolds, Elliot and Linzi find themselves in an uneasy alliance while old secrets threaten to be revealed.
Could more be about to bloom here among the twisting vines than they ever thought possible?
An absolutely charming summer read that is perfect to escape with. Fans of Karen Swan, Phillipa Ashley and Sarah Morgan will be absolutely enchanted by this tale full of love, friendship and the beauty of winemaking.
Meet Linzi, she is preparing herself for what could potentially be a nightmare situation, her boss retiring and his grandson, who so far had tried to avoid the family business, is set to takeover to keep the vineyards going. You just know it isn’t going to be an easy ride when it is someone who cares more about numbers and pitches up in a sharp suit that sounds a little out of place, to try and make a mark. As a reader, you can totally understand her trepidation in what is otherwise a beautiful scenic place to work.
You can feel the friction between the Linzi and Elliott, as he wants a fresh start. The emotions come through the quality of the writing, it is clever as the vines twist, there comes some twists and turns in the characters lives. What looms is the exposing of secrets. There are also unexpected emotions that also materialise that could mean some love is in the air that may just well be trying to bud.
It is a summer read that whisks you away, but never strays too far from what goes on in the forefront of people’s lives, even in a picturesque place. There’s always challenges to overcome and certainly people about to make things difficult. This is captured well in this book of second chances.
Only Love Can Hurt Like This is beautifully emotive. I have a blurb and my review below as part of the Random T. Tours blog tour and also thanks to Penguin for a copy of the book to review from, in exchange of an honest opinion, which you can find below.
THE SUNDAY TIMES SMASH HIT BESTSELLER.
Neither of them expected to fall in love. But sometimes life has other plans.
When Wren realises her fiancé is in love with someone else, she thinks her heart will never recover.
On the other side of the world, Anders lost his wife four years ago and is still struggling to move on.
Wren hopes that spending the summer with her dad and step-family on their farm in Indiana will help her to heal. There, amid the cornfields and fireflies, she and Anders cross paths and their worlds are turned upside-down again.
But Wren doesn’t know that Anders is harbouring a secret, and if he acts on any feelings he has for Wren it will have serious fall-out for everyone.
Walking away would hurt Wren more than she can imagine. But, knowing the truth, how can she possibly stay?
Emotions run long and deep when your love runs off with someone else, this is what Wren learns. As the book develops, it is an emotional read and you really feel for the protagonist. It truly feels like that’s it for her, until she moves to be with her dad and step-family and later meets brothers, Jonas and Anders. Prior to this, however, it is interesting to see what is a complex relationship develop, within her family. It seems things have been far from an easy ride there too.
When Anders comes onto the scene, there is a hope that all will be well, but love doesn’t always work like that. It isn’t always one big fairytale as this book shows the nuances, the complexities and, well, how well can you know a person. Anders keeps a really big secret.
It is a highly emotive, captivating read where you cannot help but be enraptured in the characters lives.
I’ll admit, to finish off this review, from the minute I saw the title and bits in between to the end, I couldn’t help but think of that song – Only Love Can Hurt Like This by Paloma Faith. Think how strongly emotive that is and this book matches it. It is a beautifully written book that enthralls and clings onto you until the end. It is one I highly recommend.
Having read, reviewed and enjoyed Tim Sullivan’s previous books – The Patient and The Politician, I jumped at the chance to read and review The Monk. See the blurb and my review below.
To find a murderer, you need a motive . . .
THE DETECTIVE DS George Cross has always wondered why his mother left him when he was a child. Now she is back in his life, he suddenly has answers. But this unexpected reunion is not anything he’s used to dealing with. When a disturbing case lands on his desk, he is almost thankful for the return to normality.
THE QUESTION The body of a monk is found savagely beaten to death in a woodland near Bristol. Nothing is known about Brother Dominic’s past, which makes investigating difficult. How can Cross unpick a crime when they don’t know anything about the victim? And why would someone want to harm a monk?
THE PAST Discovering who Brother Dominic once was only makes the picture more puzzling. He was a much-loved and respected friend, brother, son – he had no enemies. Or, at least, none that are obvious. But looking into his past reveals that he was a very wealthy man, that sacrificed it all for his faith. For a man who has nothing, it seems strange that greed could be the motive for his murder. But greed is a sin after all…
Perfect for fans of M.W. Craven, Peter James and Joy Ellis, The Monk is part of the DS George Cross thriller series, which can be read in any order.
The Monk is another hit by Tim Sullivan in this latest thriller which can be read as a stand alone as well as part of the series, very easily.
D.S. Cross is a neurodiverse detective. His private life is as interesting to read about as the cases he works on to solve, both have their complexities and this keeps the compelling intrigue going, and furthermore, so does the fact his mother is back on the scene after so long.
It is an unusual case that hits the desk at the Avon and Somerset Police in that it is a Monk who is savagely killed in mysterious circumstances. It gets even more mysterious as there isn’t much that is tangible to go on, nor is there much known about the deceased. It is also interesting how D.S. Cross gets to like the quietness of the monastery. It is nuances and attention to detail like this that show how well this is researched or how certain traits are known and added into the book to continue to build up his personality.
Getting to know the Monk, who was brutally killed, as the police dig up his past to piece together every aspect of his life to discover exactly who he was is fascinating and rather thought provoking.
Throughout deep darkness, brought about by the nature of the case, including its woodland location, there is levity to be had with between colleagues having banter.
This is yet another gripping, page-turner by Tim Sullivan and I look forward to seeing what he writes next.
When We Fall is an Australian Crime book by Award Winning author – Aoife Clifford. Thanks to Ultimo Press and Random T. Tours for inviting me to review. Find the blurb and review below.
In the wild, coastal town of Merritt, Alex Tillerson and her mother make a shocking find on the beach. The police claim it’s an accidental death but there are whispers of murder and that it is not the first.
Bella Greggs was found dead at the bottom of a ravine but drowned in salt water. Maxine McFarlane was pulled from the ocean but with no water in her lungs. Black feathers were found with both bodies but what do they mean?
As Alex fights for answers to honour the dead, and to discover why her mother fled town as a teenager, good people keep looking the other way, memories become unreliable and secrets threaten to reveal the past.
Alex discovers the truth never dies but it can kill
Artistically, follow the black feathers throughout the book to find out what they mean. There’s been a beach murder and the atmosphere is brooding and dark, with secrets to be revealed.
There is also quite an atmosphere between Alex Tillerson, a lawyer who has made a return to the coastal town of Merritt and the local officer on the case.
Alex also has her mother to contend with as well as her own emotions as she comes to terms with her mother’s recent health diagnosis.
The book really shows the complexity of life and what lengths killers go to. The psychology of the killer is intriguing and the small town behaviours, accurate
The author has certainly made use of everything at her disposal in the secrets places can harbour and the surrounding land and seascapes to create an evocative and twisty mystery.
I can usually never quite make up my mind about Aussie crime stories, but this one definitely surprised me. It is most definitely one of the stronger, absorbing ones which managed to capture me right through to the end.
As part of closing the Rachel’s Random Blog Tour, I have a Q&A with Margaret Amatt, the author of Just Friends at Thistle Lodge. It is with great pleasure I welcome you onto my blog. Discover what inspires her to write and how her Glenbriar series came about, why she sets her books in Scotland and what she has to say about some of the characters as well as what she is reading and working on just now. Firstly, discover a little about her latest novel and then we will commence with the Q&A below.
Just Friends at Thistle Lodge
One romantic getaway. Two friends. Seven days just pretending…
When Nina Copeland’s mates try to match her with the guy next door, she needs a plan. Because Matthew’s just a friend, and Nina has a secret she doesn’t want him to discover – not until she’s tidied her messy life.
After his divorce, physics teacher Matthew Gilchrist has kept his heart locked safely away. So why do people keep pushing him to date his chirpy neighbour? He and Nina are fine just as friends. Aren’t they?
Nina hatches a solution to get everyone off their backs: fake a relationship at a family reunion, then stage a break-up so life can go back to normal. What could go wrong?
Stuck together at a romantic highland lodge, new feelings lure them out of the friend zone. But if love is to find a way in, Nina must confront her past, and Matthew put his heart on the line.
Without further ado, onto the Q&A style interview.
1. Who or what inspired you to write books?
I’ve always written in some form or another and lots of things inspire me – people, places, life events, news stories, pictures… Pretty much anything really! I don’t think there was one specific event that started me writing; it’s just part of who I am.
How did this Glenbriar series, a spin-off series to your Scottish Island Escapes come about and how do they crossover?
It came about because I had three side characters from the Scottish Island Escapes series that I really wanted to write stories for but none of them really fitted an Island story. Initially, I thought I might just write a few standalone stories to go alongside the series but when I started writing, I needed a town and I decided to invent Glenbriar. Almost as soon as I started writing, I saw the potential for more stories, so I decided to make it a series.
The characters who appear in the Glenbriar Series who have already had minor appearances in the Scottish Island Escapes series are: Nina in Just Friends at Thistle Lodge, who is the little sister of Troy, the famous footballer, in A Striking Result (book 8 in Scottish Island Escapes); Cha who appears as a side-character in Just Friends at Thistle Lodge was also featured in A Summer Sanctuary (book 3 in Scottish Island Escapes) and she will feature in her own story later in the series where she goes back to the island for a visit!
Gavin, who is Holly’s ex-boyfriend in A Festive Surprise (book 10 in Scottish Island Escapes) will star in his own story later in the series too!
What inspired you to set this current series in Scotland?
I live in Scotland and Glenbriar is loosely based on three small towns close to where I live: Pitlochry, Dunkeld and Aberfeldy. It has elements from all of them in it including lochs, a river, hills, forestry paths, whisky distilleries, hotels, coffee shops, upcycled furniture stores and a campsite (to name a few). Because it’s an area I know so well, it’s easy for me to imagine the scenery and the backdrop for the stories.
Your character – Nina, has, as you say, a messy life. What do you think appeals and draws readers into someone’s life who is a bit complex and perhaps with secrets?
Nina is such a lovely person in the story and like so many people she projects that happy front, when actually everything isn’t always rosy. She’s had tough times in the past and she’s doing her best to get on with things without much support or guidance. I think we can all relate to people like that as many of us have felt like that at some point in our lives.
Your central characters stage a romance, how easy or difficult do you think this would be in reality and what inspired this direction?
I always say real life is stranger than fiction! Some of the scenarios in this book are loosely based on family gatherings I’ve attended. I tried to imagine how I would feel in Nina and Matthew’s situation when surrounded by my extended family. It was inspired by an article I was reading about real life friends and how they’d stopped people badgering them about dating when they were perfectly happy the way they were. They said they’d pretended to date for a week then told everyone it hadn’t worked out and no one was cruel enough to suggest it again. It made me wonder how it would be if one – or both – actually had a secret crush on the other. How easy would the deception be then? What might go wrong? These questions were the start of this book.
Are you reading anything at the moment and how do you celebrate your book’s publication day?
I’m reading an ARC of Always Beth by Louise Hudson – she’s a new author and it’s a great book!
I celebrated the publication of Just Friends at Thistle Lodge with a day canoeing on a nearby loch! It may sound crazy but my family and I really enjoy doing it and it just so happens there’s a canoeing scene in the book. It was so much fun taking pictures of the book from the canoe! I then had a wonderful lunch in a local café afterwards and treated myself to a very tasty cheesecake!
Are you writing anything at the moment or have plans to?
I’m working on more books for the Glenbriar Series. I currently have drafts for the next four at various stages of editing. I’ve told myself not to write anything new until I get these drafts in good shape… We’ll see if that works!!
Since enjoying the well-written book – The Lighthouse Bookshop, I am excited to have the opportunity to review The Forgotten Garden, thanks to Random T. Tours and today I join the blog tour with a blurb and review.
A novel of second chances and blossoming communities from the author of The Lighthouse Bookshop.
Budding landscape architect Luisa MacGregor is stuck in a rut – she hates her boss, she lives with her sister, and she is still mourning the loss of her husband many years ago. So when she is given the opportunity to take on a parcel of land in a deprived area, she sees the chance to build a garden that can make the area bloom.
Arriving in the rundown seaside town of Collaton on the north-west coast of Cumbria, she realises that her work is going to be cut out for her. But, along with Cas, a local PE teacher, and Harper, a teen whose life has taken a wrong turn, she is determined to get the garden up and running.
So when the community comes together and the garden starts to grow, she feels her luck might have changed. Can she grow good things on this rocky ground? And might love blossom along the way…?
The idea of a forgotten garden brings mysteriousness and intrigue as well as many questions, such as how can a garden be forgotten? Even the title has grab-ability.
Luisa MacGregor is going through a hard time. Life isn’t going her way. She has a boss who she absolutely hates and she is mourning for her beloved husband. You really feel how sad it is, but also how clever it is written to essentially have 2 life forces, one human and the other, nature, in this case a community garden, all sad and forlorn, each needing a bit of TLC. An opportunity arises for just that. Luisa is a budding landscape architect, she just needs to leave her current job. The garden needs someone with her energy and expertise to bring it back to life. As their paths meet, life fortunes are about to change. Luisa has a plan and a lot of love to give as well as a lot of determination along with skill to do what she loves, away from her boss to give the garden the attention it deserves to regenerate growth and beauty.
It isn’t only the garden that poses challenges, it is getting a band of volunteers together to help. She is plucky and, since she has found an unexpected new project in life, that may just help her move onwards and upwards, she takes on troubled teens, finding it challenging to keep their school places, let alone anything else and a P.E. teacher, whom she is determined to ignore just how good looking he is. There is a realism to this (I write from a lot of experience), as life throws all sorts at people and when you volunteer, you might be the one with the skills, but also sometimes there are those underneath you, if you lead something, who want to learn something new and build skills and some can be troubled in various ways, whether they’re adults or teens. This book addresses this, as well as the central character wanting that second chance at life.
It is a book to get wrapped up with and lose yourself in.