Challenge Participant


Saturday, 25 March 2017

Blog Tour - The Escape by C L Taylor

The Escape (Paperback)Praise for C.L. Taylor: 'A gripping and disturbing psychological thriller' Clare Mackintosh 'Absorbing and disturbing' Alex Marwood 'Loved it' Fiona Barton 'Claustrophobic, tense and thrilling' Elizabeth Haynes "Look after your daughter's things. And your daughter..." When a stranger asks Jo Blackmore for a lift she says yes, then swiftly wishes she hadn't. The stranger knows Jo's name, she knows her husband Max and she's got a glove belonging to Jo's two year old daughter Elise. What begins with a subtle threat swiftly turns into a nightmare as the police, social services and even Jo's own husband turn against her. No one believes that Elise is in danger. But Jo knows there's only one way to keep her child safe - RUN. The Sunday Times bestseller returns with her biggest and best book yet. The perfect read for fans of Paula Hawkins and Clare Mackintosh.

Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
ISBN: 9780008118075

C L Taylor is a fabulous author - her psychological thrillers keep you on the edge of the seat for the whole book, with many twists and turns throughout the book, which keeps you guessing to the very last moment. I loved this novel and it is definitely one of my must read books of 2017.

The story is told in the present day, with little snippets of information given about Jo's past entwined, leading the reader on a road to discovery. There is a strong mental health storyline throughout the book, an important theme which is prevalent in today's world and Cally has tackled it head on and The Escape is a great example of how people live with it everyday.

There is one thing that I must mention in this review, is the author's descriptive writing of Jo's panic attacks. I suffer from them myself and while reading this book I found myself living through each of Jo's attacks with her. Cally's writing was spot on, panic attacks are scary episodes and I felt every moment of Jo's attack as she worked through it. This all added to the fantastic storyline and meant I had to read just one (or two) more chapters each night.  Also the scene of the beach, which I won't speak much of as I don't like to do spoilers, was expertly written and I found myself on that beach with the characters, living through the terror as the story neared its end.

I definitely recommend this book to anyone who wants a book that grabs your attention from page one and doesn't let go. It is a brilliant psychological thriller which is definintely going to be one of my must reads of 2017.

Thank you to the publishers, Avon, for sending me the book to review in return for a place on the Blog Tour and an honest review.

Monday, 13 March 2017

Blog Tour - The Little Teashop of Lost and Found by Trisha Ashley

The Little Teashop of Lost and Found (Hardback)Alice Rose is a foundling, discovered on the Yorkshire moors above Haworth as a baby. Adopted but then later rejected again by a horrid step-mother, Alice struggles to find a place where she belongs. Only baking - the scent of cinnamon and citrus and the feel of butter and flour between her fingers - brings a comforting sense of home. So it seems natural that when she finally decides to return to Haworth, Alice turns to baking again, taking over a run-down little teashop and working to set up an afternoon tea emporium. Luckily she soon makes friends - including a Grecian god-like neighbour - who help her both set up home and try to solve the mystery of who she is. There are one or two last twists in the dark fairytale of Alice's life to come ...but can she find her happily ever after? Wonderfully wry, heart-warming and life-affirming, Trisha Ashley's hilarious novel is perfect for fans of romantic comedies by Milly Johnson and Jill Mansell. And it contains recipes!

Trisha Ashley is one of my favourite authors and I eagerly await each year for her latest novel to hit the book shelves and this years was definitely worth the wait. The Little Teashop of Lost and Found is the perfect book to curl up with on Sunday. 
I loved the idea of this book, Alice was found on moorland when she was only a few hours old and since then has moved around the country, making friends and finding a job but in the end, always abandoned. This has had an effect on Alice and the last abandonment, her partner who died, but left her a surprise when he passed away, allowed her to buy a cafe, which she bought on a whim, without visiting and on the back of a few photographs, where she can make her mark and carve out her own living. The main draw towards this cafe is that is close to where she was left as a newborn baby and what follows is a lovely, heart warming story about Alice making a life for herself and building up a tea room that people will flock to for a posh and proper afternoon tea. 
As soon as I started the book I was transported to Haworth and I wanted Alice to be happy and find somewhere where she was happy and could build her life. What I really liked was the three separate narrators and story lines - one was Alice, one was Alice's storytelling as an author and the third is a mystery letter writer. These stories are cleverly intertwined and the end result is a clever and heartwarming story which I really enjoyed. Trisha's storytellying is, as always, brilliant with her beautiful writing style. There is a great cast of characters, Alice is the tea room owner, her inherited staff members who are a great duo, the mysterious antique shop owner, Nile, and his adoted family, who take Alice in while the tearoom is being decorated, all come together to create a great story. Coupled with the cast is the great setting which all adds a little mystery to the story of Alice's birth and Alice's hunt for her mother. 
Thank you to the Trisha Ashley and the publisher for inviting me to be part of this blog tour and for a copy of the book in return for an honest review. 

Friday, 10 March 2017

Blog Tour - The Little Breton Bistro by Nina George

An heart-warming story of romance and adventure - and a return to France - from the internationally bestselling author of The Little Paris Bookshop (500,000 copies sold worldwide)

Marianne Messman longs to escape her loveless marriage to an uncaring husband - an artillery sergeant major named Lothar. On a day trip to Paris, Marianne decides to leap off the Pont Neuf into the Seine, but she is saved from drowning by a homeless man. While recovering in hospital, Marianne comes across a painting of the tiny port town of Kerdruc in Brittany and decides to try her luck on the coast.

In Kerdruc, Marianne meets a host of colourful characters,who all gravitate around the restaurant of Ar Mor. It is this cast of true Bretons who become Marianne's new family, and among whom she will find love once again. But with her husband looking to pull her back to her old life, Marianne is left with a choice: to step back into the known, or to take a huge jump into an exciting and unpredictable future.

I have read Nina George's previous books and fell in love with 'The Little Paris Bookshop' and was excited to be offered a place on 'The Little Breton Bistro's' blog tour, partly because I knew it meant I could bring forward my next visit to France with Nina George as the tour guide once more. 

As I read 'The Little Breton Bistro' I felt myself falling in love with the characters, Marianne is a sixty year old lady who is in a loveless marriage and visits France to find herself and leave her Army Sergeant Major husband behind. This plan starts with a desperate jump into the Seine from a bridge but luckily she is saved by a homeless man and this is where her journey begins as she travels to Kerdruc, a small town she discovers in a  painting. Marianne begins a journey which takes her on an emotional but poignant trip which changes her life for the better.

I really enjoyed this book. I found myself loosing myself for hours as I devoured the book. The book does start with Marianne in a desperate state, contemplating suicide but Marianne soon finds herself enjoying life more and finding herself. She builds up a strong group of friends, who all play a part in building her confidence and resilience, while also developing a love for the French village and leaving her past life behind.

Nina George has a great storytelling style of writing and I would love to visit Kerdruc, although I already feel that I can visualise it. She writes beautiful descriptive prose which, along with Marianne's narrative transports the reader into the location. The story finished with a surprising ending and I am sure I will pick this book up and read it again in the future. I am already looking forward to Nina George's next book and can't wait for my next visit to France but where will the destination be next time?

Thank you to the publishers for sending me this book to review and for inviting me to be part of the blog tour to celebrate it's publication.