#Review By Lou – The Daughter’s Choice @SDRauthor @AvonBooksUK @rararesources #Fiction

The Daughter’s Choice
By S.D. Robertson

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

The Daughters Choice

Captivating drama is what is within the pages of The Daughter’s Choice. Thanks to Rachel’s Random Resources and Avon Books for the blog tour invite and a copy of the book.

Blurb

The Daughters Choice coverIs her whole life built on a lie?

Rose has always been close to her father. Her mother died soon after she was born, so it’s been just the two of them for as long as she can remember.

But a chance encounter days before she’s due to get married leaves Rose questioning everything she has ever known.

The man she trusts most in the world has been keeping a secret from her.

And the truth will leave her with an impossible choice…

Review

There is more than 1 person’s story to tell here. There is Rosie’s, Cassie’s, Dave’s and then there’s also the truthh to come out as to what really went on.

Dave is Rosie’s dad. He has taken on both parental roles, since Rosie’s mother died and his whole life practically revolves around her. I felt a bit sorry for that, but in saying that, it is lovely how strong this father, daughter bond is. There is even a treat in store a week before her wedding day – a spa day. The atmosphere is joyous, giggly and all as it should be.

All the stories as they unfold are interesting and run through a whole gambit of emotions, like heartbreak, happiness and anger (not necessarily in that order).

An encounter with Cassie and Rosie’s world is changed… Cassie has an agenda and is pretty masterful at being able to manipulate situations.

Betrayal, secrets and lies are discovered by the reader as their stories go on that turn Rosie’s world upside down and there are suddenly choices to be made, which make this book fairly gripping.

It may not always keep you guessing, but on the whole that’s alright. The book is full of well executed drama that explores themes of family, betrayal, love and choices and it is these that are interesting to see unfold.

SDRobertsonAbout the Author

Former journalist S.D. Robertson quit his role as a local newspaper editor to pursue a lifelong ambition of becoming a novelist. He lives in a village near Manchester with his wife and daughter and now writes full-time – and it’s safe to say the career move paid off! Stuart is a USA Today and Kindle Top 100 bestseller.

#BookReview by Lou of A Beautiful Spy By Rachel Hore @Rachelhore @simonschusterUK @rararesources #SpyFiction #CrimeFiction #HistoricalFiction

A Beautiful Spy
By Rachel Hore

Rating: 4 out of 5.

It gives me pleasure to announce that I am closing the blog tour for A Beautiful Spy By Rachel Hore. It shows the perilous and dark corners of the world in a mysterious and intense fashion. Thanks to Simon and Schuster for providing a print copy of the book and for Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to the blog tour. Find out more about the author and her book, as well as the rest of my thoughts in the review…

A Beautiful Spy

About the Author

Rachel Hore author photoRachel Hore worked in London publishing for many years before moving with her family to Norwich, where she taught publishing and creative writing at the University of East Anglia until deciding to become a full-time writer. She is the Sunday Times (London) bestselling author of ten novels, including The Love Child. She is married to the writer D.J. Taylor and they have three sons. 

Blurb

A Beautiful SpyMinnie Gray is an ordinary young woman. She is also a spy for the British government.

It all began in the summer of 1928…

Minnie is supposed to find a nice man, get married and have children. The problem is it doesn’t appeal to her at all. She is working as a secretary, but longs to make a difference.

Then, one day, she gets her chance. She is recruited by the British government as a spy. Under strict instructions not to tell anyone, not even her family, she moves to London and begins her mission – to infiltrate the Communist movement.

Review

Minnie Gray is the main protagonist, with the book predominantely sweeping through the 1930’s, but also hitting on more modern times every so often. In 1928, Minnie wants more for her life and she certainly isn’t into meeting the Chamberlains, even though they were increasingly making their mark in the House of Commons. Life moves swiftly on from that time and readers learn about Minnie and her upbringing. What she hadn’t initially realised was that her connections then were to change the course of her life. Through her connections, she certainly becomes far removed from being a dutiful and stay at home wife. She has the opportunity to be a government spy, with the remit to spy on Communist Russia and to delve deeper into UK supporters of the regime.

There’s a bit of glamour that’s in the backdrop of a deeper, darker world and has her eyes opened wide to what the propaganda really means and where meetings take place in places where no one would normally suspect anything untoward could possibly happen.

The book shows how dangerous some politics are, especially by those with no alliegence to a country. It also sets out how people are taken in by clever propaganda. There are comparison’s that can be made into the book that can be made today and not only just with Russia, but with anywhere that has a more nationalist party. Although the book is set in the past and is about the dark, dangerous, yet exciting world for a fictional protagonist, there are some lines here and there that can be linked to certain aspects of today’s world and also the world of so-called unlikely leaders being voted into power. The book doesn’t delve too much into the roads of Communism, as Communism, as readers will know, doesn’t start there, there are other books that demonstrate this, this shows more when Communism has already got its grip.

The book is a slow suspense, but none-the-less gripping, especially for those readers who find the life of a spy and keeping identities hidden, fascinating. This book is a bit different from some spy fiction in that it doesn’t totally glamourise it and can show what an anxiety inducing life it can be and how challenging it can be, and yet change a person a bit, as demonstrated in the tastes of books Minnie used to like, compared to her tastes since becoming a spy as her worldly view has changed. The book isn’t all blazing guns and gadgets either. There is however, intelligence and a life of characters that seems plausible, and there is the wrangling of Minnie and a glimmer of desire to be set free by MI5 to lead a life outside spying, but she has proven herself well and to be valuable and stays, but things get ever more dangerous…. until a point when, finally, readers will be able to breath again, as can the woman, who led a double life.

Time moves forwards to the 1940’s and Minnie’s life has changed again, as does the pace and tone, but some histories in life can’t totally be erased and nor can the residue, certain parts of life leave behind…

This is, overall, a fascinating and intense book that leaves you wondering what next for this “Beautiful Spy”, at each turn…

Social Media Links

Visit her at RachelHore.co.uk and connect with her on Twitter @RachelHore.

 

#Review by Lou – Waiting To Begin by Amanda Prowse @MrsAmandaProwse @rararesources #ContemporaryFiction #BookReview

Waiting To Begin
By Amanda Prowse

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Waiting To Begin is an excellent book about families and relationships and how you can work life out in your teens and for there to be fundamental twists and turns from then, into adulthood. It is also even better than I thought it would be and so quick to become totally absorbed in.
Thanks to Rachel Random Resources for inviting me to review and to Amanda Prowse for gifting me a signed copy of the book. *My review is not influenced by this.
Discover the blurb and my review below and a bit about the author – Amanda Prowse.

Waiting To Begin banner

Blurb

From the bestselling author of The Girl in the Corner comes a story that asks: what would you risk for a shot at happiness?

  1. Bessie is a confident sixteen-year-old girl with the world at her feet, dreaming of what life will bring and what she’ll bring to this life. Then everything comes crashing down. Her bright and trusting smile is lost, banished by shame—and a secret she’ll carry with her for the rest of her life.
  2. The last thirty-seven years have not been easy for Bess. At fifty-three she is visibly weary, and her marriage to Mario is in tatters. Watching her son in newlywed bliss—the hope, the trust, the joy—Bess knows it is time to face her own demons, and try to save her relationship. But she’ll have to throw off the burden of shame if she is to honour that sixteen-year-old girl whose dreams lie frozen in time.

Can Bess face her past, finally come clean to Mario, and claim the love she has longed to fully experience all these years?

Waiting to Begin - Hi Res Book Cover

Review

Waiting To Begin is an apt title as the book goes from 1984 and jumps smoothly to 2021 and it is like Bessie’s life is waiting to begin in a way that is happy, in this emotional and pulls at the heartstrings. It is a beautifully written book about life in your teens and adulthood and relationships. It reels you in so much that it is practically impossible to put down. The main protagonist – Bessie is so easy to root for in both 1984 and 2021, no matter what life throws at her, whether its a bit of light humour or a hard time.

Bessie, in 1984 has dreams and ambitions at 16, nothing outlandish, just average, which is one of the reasons why this book is relatable. She wants to pass her exams and be an air-hostess. She likes music and hanging out with best friend – Michelle. Just as things are seeming bright and breezy, everything changes and what seems like a sunny outlook, turns as bleak as gathering storm clouds in grades, future prospects and friendships.

In 2021, she is married to Mario and is 37 years old. It is easy to will her on and to do well and find happiness in life, but those 1984 storm clouds are a bit more ferocious as life starts to tumble some more as even adult life presents its challenges and 1984 seems more than a lifetime away. One wrongly interpreted text to Mario one day, sends him into a rage and, as the reasoning for sending the text, which was perhaps ill-conceived, OTT reaction of Mario shows his true manner and more revelations tumble out about the state of their marriage, creates a sharp intake of breath. Loss, secrets and the complexities of relationships within marriages and wider families and friends and life is explored with aplomb within “Waiting To Begin”, with the twists and turns that life presents through the dark and light times and a great supporting cast that pull together a roundedness of this rich story of a not so easy life. It depicts well how life isn’t always like a straight line or as easy as getting from A to B and yet there is a sense of resillience that weaves through.

 It’s a book that I sailed through, captured in Bessie’s life and before I knew it, I had reached the end!

Purchase Linkhttp://bit.ly/WaitingToBegin_UK

About the Author

Amanda Prowse Jacket Shot Colour 6.9MB[2] (1)Amanda Prowse is an International Bestselling author whose twenty seven novels and seven novellas have been published in dozens of languages around the world. Published by Lake Union, Amanda is the most prolific writer of bestselling contemporary fiction in the UK today; her titles also consistently score the highest online review approval ratings across several genres. Her books, including the chart topping No.1 titles ‘What Have I Done?’, ‘Perfect Daughter’, ‘My Husband’s Wife’, ‘The Girl in the Corner’, ‘The Things I Know’ and ‘The Day She Came Back’ have sold millions of copies across the globe.

A popular TV and radio personality, Amanda is a regular panellist on Channel 5’s ‘The Jeremy Vine Show’ and numerous daytime ITV programmes. She also makes countless guest appearances on BBC national independent Radio stations including LBC and Talk FM, where she is well known for her insightful observations and her infectious humour. Described by the Daily Mail as ‘The queen of family drama’ Amanda’s novel, ‘A Mother’s Story’ won the coveted Sainsbury’s eBook of the year Award while ‘Perfect Daughter’ was selected as a World Book Night title in 2016.

Amanda’s ambition is to create stories that keep people from turning the bedside lamp off at night, great characters that ensure you take every step with them and tales that fill your head so you can’t possibly read another book until the memory fades…

 

#Review by Lou – A Ration Book Daughter by Jean Fullerton @JeanFullerton_ @rararesources @CorvusBooks #HistoricalFiction #FamilySaga

The Ration Book Daughter
By Jean Fullerton

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

This book is charmingly written, showing the juxtopositions of love and war. It is a page-turner and shows great strength over adversity. Discover more in my blog and review. Then find puchase links and social media links below.

About the Author

Portrait_Jean-1022 RNA resized (1)Author Bio – Born and bred in East London Jean is a District Nurse by trade and has worked as a NHS manager and as a senior lecture in Health and Nursing Studies. She left her day job to become a full-time writer in 2015 and has never looked back.

In 2006 she won the Harry Bowling Prize and now has seventeen sagas published over three series with both Orion and Atlantic all of which are set in East London.

She is an experienced public speaker with hundreds of WI and women’s club talks under her belt, plus for the past fifteen years she has sailed all over the world as an enrichment speaker and writing workshop leader on cruise ships.

Blurb

ARBDaughter coverNot even the Blitz can shake a mother’s love.

Cathy was a happy, blushing bride when Britain went to war with Germany three years ago. But her youthful dreams were crushed by her violent husband Stanley’s involvement with the fascist black-shirts, and even when he’s conscripted to fight she knows it’s only a brief respite – divorce is not an option. Cathy, a true Brogan daughter, stays strong for her beloved little son Peter.

When a telegram arrives declaring that her husband is missing in action, Cathy can finally allow herself to hope – she only has to wait 6 months before she is legally a widow and can move on with her life. In the meantime, she has to keep Peter safe and fed. So she advertises for a lodger, and Sergeant Archie McIntosh of the Royal Engineers’ Bomb Disposal Squad turns up. He is kind, clever and thoughtful; their mutual attraction is instant. But with Stanley’s fate still unclear, and the Blitz raging on over London’s East End, will Cathy ever have the love she deserves?

ARBDaughter cover

Review

A Ration Book Daughter tells it how it was for some families and the soldiers in the middle of the times of the blitz. Although the book deals with the hardest of times of the war, it is easy to find some escapism within the book as the easy to follow plot is absorbing and has great characters within it. There are also some controversial characters too as one of them, even though declared a hero, is also accused by some people of loving the Nazis. This puts rather an intriguing spin on things.

Other main characters are Cathy and Vi who don’t always see eye-to-eye and have some heated exchanges.
There’s also Sergeant McIntosh of The Royal Engineer’s Bomb Disposal Squad, who is charming and who she gets to know very well indeed.

There are the hardships and darkness that war brings, but there are also glimmers of hope and bravery, that is unique to only the harshest of times. It tells things how they were and that gives the book strenghth and people’s learning a bit of strength and a bit of prodding in a sense, as they can see that no matter how bad things get, there are times that can actually be surprisingly uplifting.

This book shows love over adversity and strength of character in even the most troubling of times and when life and death hang in the balance. It shows that when there’s an enemy and also certain predjudices are around; that life goes on and nothing can stop the love of your child or romance from blossoming.

Purchase Links

Amazon    Bookshop.org

Social Media Links 

Website: http://jeanfullerton.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Jean-Fullerton

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/JeanFullerton_

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