#BookReview By Lou Three’s A Crowd By S.R. Booker @simonbooker @TeamBATC @simonschusterUK #ThreesACrowd #BlogTour

Three’s A Crowd
By S.R. Booker

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Three’s A Crowd is laugh out loud funny, not a phrase I use often and it may just be one of the rom-coms of the year! A phrase I don’t use lightly. It’s absolutely wonderfully entertaining from start to finish. It will make your heart sing with joy. Find out more in the blurb and the rest of my review below…
I first thank The publisher Simon and Schuster for the opportunity to review on the blog tour and for gifting a copy of the book.

Blurb

What happens when an estranged father and son unwittingly fall in love with the same woman? 


Out-of-work actor Harriet is recuperating from a crash-and-burn affair with Damian – aka ‘Cockweasel’ – and making ends meet as a barista when she meets two rather lovely men. Tom is a regular at the café, and seems like such a nice guy. Smooth-talking DJ Richard is older, but in great shape – a real silver fox.

Deciding to take a chance on both of them, Harriet doesn’t realise at first that she is actually dating father and son. Tom and Richard aren’t on speaking terms, and don’t share a last name – so how was she to know? By the time everyone finds out, both Tom and Richard are truly madly deeply in love with Harriet, and she’s faced with an impossible choice.

But as the battle for her affections intensifies, ‘Cockweasel’ makes an unexpected reappearance and begs her to give him another chance…

Review

Set in London, Three’s A Crowd is absolutely divine to read with such sublime writing.

Tom, Richard and Harriet are the main characters, with George popping in. The opening chapter has Tom posing a question. One that no doubt not many people would have even the slightest reason to consider. It certainly isn’t your usual every day one and as he ponders it, so does the reader, because suddenly it has to be done, even with slightly raised eyebrows at the audacity of what is going on…

There are 2 main guys and 1 woman and romance to be had…
Hilarious and also tender scenarios play out in an ordinary sounding cafe, but with an unusual set of circumstances, beginning with the question posed on the first page…
The sentence structures and the way the narrative is written also adds to the humour and also the honesty of certain situations, perhaps observed or perhaps researched. Either way, it is very enjoyable.

Tom is the son and he is not on speaking terms with his dad and is a cafe regular.
Harriet has had a few boyfriend issues and has terrific nicknames for them. works in a cafe and knows her regulars and is a professional actress. One who happens to have intrusive thoughts. She thinks with great honesty about how she is feeling, now, I don’t mean always of the dark nature, some are of the more romantic nature, just incredibly direct. There is absolutely no filter, no subtleness.
Richard, Tom’s dad has secrets about his wife going to Goa. He is also a radio DJ who reckons he should be in a higher position such as being on BBC Radio 2.

Harriet meets both Tom and Richard and hasn’t got a clue they belong to the same family and the two guys also haven’t a clue of the other one falling in love with her because they don’t communicate to each other.

There is so much that people will relate to in either part or all, right down to how men operate, allowing their partner/wife to book appointments etc. S.R. Booker, bravely, is so candid.

The plot is refreshing with incredibly funny with many laugh out loud moments. For an author who is more known for grittier, darker work in books and on tv, S.R. Booker has really pulled this work of contemporary romance with aplomb!

I did find myself rooting for Harriet and her complex mind, which Booksr portrays very well, but also very much enjoying the writing of Richard and Tom. George also pops into the book, adding a twist. There is a further one at the end, making it an excellent ending to such a great book.

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#CoverReveal plus blurb of Together Again By Milly Johnson @millyjohnson @simonschusterUK @TeamBATC @BookMinxSJV

Today it gives me great pleasure to reveal the wonderful cover and the blurb for Milly Johnson’s new book – Together, AgainThe book will be released in September 2022. For now, take a look at what it is about in the blurb below… I for one am looking forward to reading this book.

Together Again Milly Johnson cover

Sisters, Jolene, Marsha and Annis have convened at their childhood home the huge and beautiful Fox House following the death of their mother, the cold and impenetrable Eleanor Vamplew, to arrange the funeral and sell up. Born seven years apart, the women have never bonded and are more strangers than sisters.

Jolene, the eldest, is a successful romantic novelist who writes templates of beautiful relationships even though her marriage to the handsome and charming  Warren is a barren wasteland.

Marsha, the neglected middle child has put every bit of her energy into her work hoping money would plug up the massive gap in her life left by the man who broke her young heart, only to find it never has. And now he has been forced back into her life.

Annis is the renegade, who left home aged sixteen and never returned, not even for the death of their beloved father Julian, until now. It is therefore a surprise to all of them to discover that Eleanor recently changed her will to leave everything to the daughter she considered a wretched accident.

Together, Again is the story of truths uncovered and lies exposed, of secrets told – and kept. It is a novel about sister helping sister to heal from childhood scars, and of finding, in each other, the love they have all been deprived of. Together, Again is about vulnerability and strength, acceptance and family. 

#Review By Lou of The Slow Lane Walkers Club By Rosa Temple @RosaT_Author @BookMinxSJV @simonschusterUK @TeamBATC #BlogTour #FeelGoodFiction #ContemporaryFiction #Fiction

The Slow Lane Walkers Club
By Rosa Temple

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

 A book for those seeking the feel-good factor. It’s full of heart, soul and is picturesque for a wonderful summer read. Check out more in the blurb and my review below.
Thanks to Simon & Schuster – Books And The City for gifting me a copy of The Slow Walkers Club By Rosa Temple to review.

Walkers Club 3 pic

Blurb

Walkers Club 2 picDaniel isn’t used to living life in the slow lane. So when he finds himself unexpectedly jobless and back in his old Cornish hometown, he can’t sit still.

Hazel used to be adventurous too. But now widowed and in her eighties, she barely leaves the house. When she sees an advert for Daniel’s new walking club, she grabs at the chance of some excitement.

Daniel’s heart sinks when he sees that the only person who’s turned up for his walking club is the crazy old lady from two doors down. But what he doesn’t expect is to discover that Hazel is one of the most fascinating people he’s ever met . . .

A gorgeous, warm and uplifting story about friendship, community, adventure and the joy of walking.

Review

The sunshine yellow cover absolutely goes with this book. It’s bright and has a smiley feel-good factor.
I love walking, meeting people or just being amongst nature or good music streaming through the earphones and exploring, sometimes it’s serious stuff for charity. So, on that basis, The Slow Lane Walkers Club, I decided was worth a read as there’s so much about running etc, that I thought it nice someone talked about walking, so I jumped at the chance to read this book.
Even if walking isn’t your thing, there’s still so much enjoyment in this book.

Walkers Club 1 picMeet Daniel and Hazel on your “walk” through this book and step into an interesting, picturesque community in Cornwall.

Daniel is a fascinating character. He is relatable in that he can’t stay still and is coming up with new community ideas, this one being a walkers club. It’s easy to soak up the walking vibes.

I felt sorry for Daniel, after putting his heart into starting the walking club, albeit to pass the time until the house sells that his grandmother left behind (but readers know it would still benefit people for the greater good) and yet after his thoughtfulness, only one other person turns up – Hazel from two doors down, which, validly so, leaves him feeling so disheartened. At the same time, it’s easy to smile about Hazel because, even though she is in her 80’s, you can’t help be proud of her stepping out and giving it a go and continuing on to see what adventures life still has to give her, even though she is very slow. It shows younger folk, like me, that there’s still life when you hit 80’s, which is reassuring. She made me think of my gran in respect of walking, as she still went walking in a good chunk of her 80’s. It wasn’t what Daniel had expected nor planned, but then it turns into walking into unexpected self-discovery. Daniel discovers things about himself, as well as about Hazel and there’s much more about her than he could possibly have imagined, which, for the reader, makes her more interesting than previously thought and also knows quite a bit about Daniel’s gran.

The developing relationship between Hazel and Daniel is quite sweet and feels quite uplifting and if it wasn’t for the Walkers Club they would probably never have met like this, so it’s nice it champions such ventures, but also sets out some realities that some readers may find thought-provoking or inspiring. As I read, I had my fingers crossed that the club might pick up and gather more walkers. I kept wanting to know more and more about the two main characters and whether Daniel who really wanted to leave, pronto, would stay or go. Once started, it’s one that compels you to see if he can negotiate the obstacles and relationships he encounters in his life in Cornwall, which is so different in that it is slower than the previous chapter of his life he had been leading before. It was full of the sorts of adventures, his walking partner certainly couldn’t do now, in her 80’s; so the book poses interesting questions for the reader to keep stepping through Cornwall to come across answers as to how lives play out…

It’s a book full of warmth, care and lovely Cornish scenery to meander through at a relaxed walking pace that envelopes around you with feelgood endorphins and is a lovely, joyous summer read.

#Review By Lou of Woman In The Middle By Milly Johnson #bookreview @MillyJohnson @SimonSchusterUK #TeamBATC @ed_pr #WomanInTheMiddle

The Woman In The Middle
By Milly Johnson

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Moving with a personal feel to it is what Milly Johnson brings to her latest book – Woman In The Middle. It’s got a bit of a different feel from other books I’ve read and that’s still okay in this pleasant read that delves so much into family life. Thanks to Books And The City at Simon & Schuster for gifting.

Blurb

woman in the middle cover picThe emotional, uplifting and completely relatable new novel from Sunday Times bestseller Milly Johnson.

Shay Bastable is the woman in the middle. She is part of the sandwich generation – caring for her parents and her children, supporting her husband Bruce, holding them all together and caring for them as best she can.

Then the arrival of a large orange skip on her mother’s estate sets in motion a cataclysmic series of events which leads to the collapse of Shay’s world. She is forced to put herself first for a change.

But in order to move forward with her present, Shay needs to make sense of her past. And so she returns to the little village she grew up in, to uncover the truth about what happened to her when she was younger. And in doing so, she discovers that sometimes you have to hit rock bottom to find the only way is up.

Review

Shay Bastable has a lot to juggle in her family. Caring for parents, keeping her own family going will be relatable to many people. I certainly relate to the caring for parents, in my case to keep the rest of the more adult family than in the book, going in some ways. For Shay it’s a struggle to keep all the balls freely in the air and they do indeed come crashing down all around her. Shay also has children and all their demands, especially determined, strong-willed daughter – Courtney to take care of,then there is her son who is supposed to be getting married, but she is concerned that something isn’t right within the relationship.  You feel that this would no doubt have quite an impact. The book explores this as well as how her sister does little to help and her husband, Bruce is not at all useful and practically ignores what is going on around him, which makes matters even worse as there’s not the backup needed in such a situation. There’s definitely a lot to feel sorry for Shay and how her life is panning out. So, she tries to then put herself first, which seems somewhere between sensible and losing selflessness for awhile, but you can see where she is coming too and shows the challenges of life faced in this situation, trying to also take care of yourself as well as others.

You really get the sense that Shay is The Woman In The Middle instead of at the top of her family, yet is also the glue of her family holding it all together, even though the stickyness of that glue is waining along with her resillience as the weight of pressure, conveyed so well by Milly Johnson gets to her more and more, making its impact. You get the feeling that so much has shaped her life and is still shaping it, but not necessarily as she would have planned.

#Review By Lou – A Little In Love By Florence Keeling @KeelingFlorence @simonschusterUK #TeamBACT #DigitalOriginals @BookMinxSJV #Fiction #Romcom #RomanticFiction

A Little In Love
By Florence Keeling

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

A Little In Love is a laugh out loud rom-com and there aren’t many rom-coms I say that about. It’s so much fun. Thanks to Books And The City, Simon & Schuster for gifting me a copy of the book of which you can find out more in the blurb and the rest of my review below as well as praise by other authors for this book.

A Little in Love cover pic

Blurb

The little village of Weddington is fast becoming THE place to get married. With its stately home, castle and two churches it has something for everyone, and now, famous after appearing in huge romcom movie hit A Little In Love, it’s hosting a monthly wedding fayre…

Rose Pedal is the proud owner of Pedals & Prosecco, a brand new business serving ice-cold fizz from a vintage bicycle, and she’s excited to be attending her first wedding fayre. But, on the way to Weddington Hall she’s involved in a near miss crash involving dashingly handsome James from Blume’s Florist.

Arriving at the beautiful stately home drenched and disheveled, Rose is horrified to find James is not only not sorry for nearly knocking her off her bike, but he’s gatecrashing her allocated spot on the lawn. His arrogance gets her back up and it’s definitely a case of hate at first sight.  But as the wedding fayre season continues, James gently wins Rose over, and their relationship starts to bloom.

Can being just ‘a little in love’ help Rose and James find their own happy-ending…

Review

Rather apt for now, the book opens up with a bit about the environment and gas guzzling vehicles.
This is a gorgeous book about Rose Pedal and her new business – Pedals & Prosecco, set up after dropping out of university for reasons that are rather funny. She first gains some experience in the working world from working with Mr Booth at his off-licence and all wasn’t lost as there are connections to what she learnt there to her inspiration to what she would do in her new business, running from a vintage bike, complete with wicker basket and then she looks for a trailer to put her bottles of fizz in. She has a penchant for weddings, so makes this her customer base. The book is all rather warm and cute with an edge of conflict. At a wedding when a florist turns up and tensions arise. It’s great that Rose stands her ground. She’s a woman with some sass and gumption, which is great to see in such a book.

The book is rather fun, with that cosy, entertaining rom-com feel and it’s so easy to get swept along with the romance of the wedding atmosphere as well as seeing the changing atmosphere between James Blume and Rose Pedal. There’s the most fun conversations between Megan and Rose about James. The dates between Rose and James aren’t exactly what you would expect, certainly not traditional things to do at venues and there’s always something going on. There are also places like The Copper Kettle, a quaint cafe turns out not to be so easy to find either. The book becomes more hilarious as it goes on. It’s most certainly a laugh out loud book with chemestry and all the fun and splendour of weddings.

The book ended unpredictably and that was rather nice indeed.

The book is just perfect for sitting back with a glass of fizz as the words, creating fun scenes on the page lightly bubble through the book.

Praise for the Author By Other Authors

A warm, delightful joy of a book’ PATRICIA SCANLAN, Sunday Times Bestselling author

‘The perfect romantic read’ HEIDI SWAIN, Sunday Times Bestselling author

‘You’ll fall a lot in love with A Little in Love. Weddington is the village we all dream of living in, and there’s really no mystery why our heroine Rose falls for the handsome James. Secrets, romance, escapism – yes please!’ JULIET ASHTON, bestselling author of The Sunday Lunch Club

‘An absolutely charming and joyful read with lots of laugh-out-loud moments along the way.  Overflowing with fabulous friendships, dreamy romance and all things weddings, it really did warm my heart and leave me with a big smile on my face’ KIM NASH, author of Moonlight Over Muddleford Cove

‘I fell more than a little in love with this book. Florence is an incredible storyteller and this book is the perfect cute romance read’ LUCY KEELING, author of Just Friends

‘A warm, comfort read of a book with the kind of rom-com characters you recognise and root for’ ANNA MANSELL, author of What We Leave Behind

‘I thoroughly enjoyed this heart-warming and ever-so-cute story. What an adorable tale!’ LUCY MITCHELL, author of Instructions for Falling In Love Again

‘Fun, fresh and full of fizz, I loved it!’ LAURA KEMP, author of Under a Starry Sky

‘I absolutely loved this charming romance! It was funny, fresh and an utterly fabulous read’  HOLLY MARTIN, author of Sunlight Over Crystal Sands

‘Tender and engrossing, this romance will touch your heart and make you smile’ RACHEL HORE, Sunday Times bestselling author

‘A good old fashioned ‘will they, won’t they’ romance filled with as much fun and sparkle as the bubbles in Rose’s prosecco. Perfect escapism, best enjoyed with a glass of fizz!’ KATHLEEN WHYMAN, author of Wife Support System

#BookReview by Lou – The Heights by Louise Candlish @louise_candlish @jessbarratt88 #TeamBATC @simonschusterUK #Thriller #PsychologicalThriller #blogtour

The Heights
By Louise Candlish

Rating: 5 out of 5.

louise candlish, the heights, the other passenger, our house

The Heights is a well-plotted, compelling psychological thriller with twists and large themes and buildings to explore… The Heights, by bestselling author – Louise Candlish, provides the reader with much suspenseful atmosphere and excellent characterisation, scenery and twists.
Find more about the book in the blurb and my full review below and then more about Louise Candlish and her exciting news about one of her books – Our House.

Thanks to Jess Barratt for inviting me to review as part of the blog tour and as part of Team Books And the City (TBATC) – Simon and Schuster and for sending my a physical proof copy of the book.

The Heights cover

Blurb

From the author of Sunday Times bestsellers OUR HOUSE (Winner Best Crime Novel 2018) and
THE OTHER PASSENGER, comes a nail-biting tale of tragedy and revenge

The Heights is a tall, slender apartment building amongst the warehouses of Shad Thames, its roof terrace
so discreet you wouldn’t know it existed at all, if you weren’t standing at the window of the flat opposite.
But you are. And that’s when you see a man up there – a man you’d recognise anywhere.
He’s older now and his appearance has subtly changed, but it’s definitely him. Which makes no sense at all,
since he’s been dead for over two years. You know this for a fact.
Because you’re the one who killed him.

The Heights pic 2

Review

The Heights pic 1The Heights tells the story from Ellen’s point of view and then from Vic’s viewpoint of what happened that fateful day and how they both view Kieran, within 4 parts of the book in this slow burn of a psychological thriller that will keep readers gripped and hanging onto the very end.
There are also several continuations of the newspaper article, titled – ‘Killing Time’, which is also a very prominent part in telling the story of what occurred…

The book begins with an article in the prologue about Felix Penney is a high profile author of crime novels and writing manuals. It starts with an acknowledgement of the underfunding of libraries. There are then more newspaper articles interjecting througout the story, an even bigger and darker story of a crime (yes, even more criminal than the underfunding of libraries)… one of every mother’s nightmare…
There is more to it than meets the eye in that first article, with a huge revelation at the end, as that first article comes full circle to reveal more…

louise candlish, the heights, the other passenger, our house

There is an absolutely striking first chapter, that takes readers to Shad Thames (Louise Candlish explains very well what this is, as well as who Kieran Watts was). It grips from here because of course, I wanted to know more about what he had done that was so awful to a person, that it could have destroyed his victim, and I think other readers will too. This isn’t as black and white as that though. This also adds intrigue as to what was so awful that he himself could be dead… but the book questions this in the beginning and also what really happened in The Heights… Louise Candlish tells a sinister tale of credible characters and towering buildings. It all adds to this sinister feel from the beginning and creates an almost claustrophobic atmosphere as suspense builds throughout. This tells a story of Ellen, Vic, Lucas and Kieran with well-plotted layers of twists, crime, suspense, emotion and a question of how the reader may react, all in a thriller that may just keep you reading into the wee small hours…

Then there is an Edwardian house, where the family relationships can be seen.  Attitudes to class, or rather those in lower classes, also comes into it and there is some great, cutting dialogue, that shows a certain truth of certain attitudes to those coming from different backgrounds from themselves and those usually around them.

Readers get to know Kieran, the crime and the criminal justice system pretty well. All of which has further depth and richness of what happened and is just as involving as this fascinating thriller moves ever onward.

In most pages, there are scenes that are rich and adeptly paint a picture in words, immersing the reader right there in the area and in the mood of what’s going on all around them.

This is a book that is easy to get so involved in and keeps you hanging on right to the end where there’s a clever twist and a huge reveal of what really happened in the characters lives, where not all, in a particular crime, is all as it first appears…

About the Author

Louise Candlish is the Sunday Times bestselling author of fifteen novels. Her 2018 thriller OUR HOUSE, which has sold over 250,000 copies in the UK to date, was a #1 bestseller in paperback, ebook and audiobook and winner of the Crime & Thriller Book of the Year at the 2019 British Book Awards. It is soon to be a major ITV drama series made by Death in Paradise producers Red Planet Pictures. THOSE PEOPLE (2019) was a #2 Sunday Times bestseller in paperback and is in development for TV by Company Pictures.
THE OTHER PASSENGER (2020) is a Sunday Times bestseller in paperback and under option for a feature film with Moving Image Productions. Louise lives in South London with her husband and daughter.

The Heights blog tour poster