Katie Fforde – A Secret Garden

What I want to know’, said Lorna, ‘is what lies behind those ash trees at the back of the garden?

Lorna is a talented gardener and Philly is a plantswoman. Together they work in the grounds of a beautiful manor house in the Cotswolds

They enjoy their jobs and are surrounded by family and friends.

But for them both the door to true love remains resolutely closed.

So when Lorna is introduced to Jack at a dinner party and Lucien catches Philly’s eye at the local farmers market, it seems that dreams really can come true and happy endings lie just around the corner.

But do they?

Troublesome parents, the unexpected arrival of someone from Lorna’s past, and the discovery of an old and secret garden mean their lives are about to become a lot more complicated…

a-secret-garden

3 out of 5 stars

This is a difficult review to write – How do you write about a book that you didn’t particularly like? I do love Katie Fforde. I’ve read quite a few of her books and found them to be easy to read; enjoyable but not too taxing, so I was looking forward to reading this one also.

Things I liked

  • The descriptions of the stately house and gardens were lovely. It was easy to imagine strolling through them, maybe sitting on the grass and reading a book.
  • I like a happy ending so I put the book down confident all was well in the (literary) world.
  • There were a few things that I thought would happen for sure but didn’t. I liked that it wasn’t all predictable.

Things I didn’t like

  • The characters bar about two of them. I just didn’t connect with them at all and I couldn’t imagine them as ‘real people’. They said things that didn’t make sense to me.
  • It took me until I was 51% of the way through to actually show any interest. The beginning was slow, and a little dull.
  • I didn’t believe the romances and because I hadn’t connected with the characters everything just sounded cheesy. I cringed a little reading some of it.

I really wish that I loved this book as I had expected to. There are however a lot of 4* and 5* reviews on goodreads and other readers have really enjoyed it so if you get the chance to read it, please do give it a go! I’d really like to hear what others thought about it.

Thank you to Netgalley and Century for the chance to read this book in exchange for an honest review. This was released on the 23rd February and you can get a copy here

Roxy xx

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#Manic Monday

It’s Monday again 😦 I had the whole of last week off work and it was so relaxing! I spent the week reading and doing all those things I never get time to do working 9-5. My boyfriend and I had a weekend away too – we stayed in a little self-catering lodge in Devon for 2 nights which was lovely. We also did an experience at the wonderful Woolley Animals where we met their Alpaca’s and took them on a walk! Stuart and Cathy who run the farm are absolutely lovely – it felt like we were visiting friends. We also got to bottle feed lambs and as I’m a complete animal nut this was the best thing ever!! If you’re ever in this part of the country, I would so recommend giving them a visit!

Anyway I’m back to work today so I thought to cheer myself up I’ll do a bit of internet shopping. You know the kind where you fill your basket up with everything you want and then sadly close the webpage down because you can’t spend the money?! Yep, that kind! I love the Etsy site so I wanted to share my ‘shopping’ with you 🙂

wickhams-candles

These candles came up straight away – must be fate right?! I do wonder what a Stately Home would smell like – I’ve been to a few but spend most of the time asking if there are any ghosts haha. Blackberry and Coconut Island are the two I would like to try most so into my fake shopping basket they pop.  These can be found here and are sold by the Wickham Candle Company.

gin-box

Look at this!! Look!! This is so ridiculously cute and I bet my mum would adore it – she loves gin. These boxes are sold by BeauBoxGifts and they do all different kinds, including one called ‘The Prosecco Made Me Do It’. It’s always the prosecco… The gin and tonic caramel sauce in this box sounds amazing though. I’ll be fake buying this one too!

harry-potter-heels

I know that I would never wear these – I’d be far too worried about getting them damaged, and you don’t want to damage £85 shoes. BUT I LOVE THEM!! Yourheartdesires1 makes all kinds of different designs and styles, there’s even a load of Disney Princess ones too. I want I want I want!!

once-upon-a-time-dress

A dress that tells everyone I love books… How cute is this!! The dress is listed in the Rooby Lane store which you need to check out. Her designs are incredible. This particular dress adds another £125 to my shopping basket…

pineapple

I love a motivational quote and this one would look great on my wall! From the BeauTypographie store this one is only £14 for an A4 sized piece. I might actually add this to a real shopping basket!

So in total I’ve pretended to spend about £250… I’m not sure if it’s helped the going back to work feeling or if I now just need to go shopping but it’s always fun to look! I’d love to know what you guys would buy (or pretend to buy!)

Love Roxy xx

New Releases: 27th Feb – 5th March 2017

Welcome to my second post for the new releases feature that I’ll be doing weekly! Here are the ones I’m most excited about next week.

The Beachside Sweet Shop – Karen Clarke

beachside-sweetshop

Chocolate fudge, butterscotch and raspberry bonbons… treat yourself to some sugary treats, a big slice of friendship and a sprinkling of romance at The Beachside Sweet Shop.

When Marnie Appleton inherited a sweet shop from her grandfather she was determined to do his legacy proud. The shop has been a much-loved feature of the little seaside town of Shipley for years, but now Marnie needs to bring it up to date, and she’s recruited gorgeous new assistant Josh to help.

Marnie gets busy redecorating the shop and choosing delicious new sweets to stock, but things are never that simple: new neighbour Isobel, a fame-hungry blogger, is on a crusade against sugar, and she’ll go to any lengths to secure bad publicity for Marnie’s shop.

Marnie fights back with homemade sugar-free treats, but with her best friend Beth heavily pregnant, her grandmother Celia recovering from an operation, and her very recently ex-boyfriend Alex returning to Shipley with a new love, Marnie has a lot on her plate.

And then there’s Josh, with whom Marnie is struggling to keep her relationship strictly professional…Will both the sweet shop and love flourish?

I have received a copy of this book from Netgalley and Bookouture in exchange for an honest review. I haven’t had the chance to read it yet, but there will be a review up soon!

Release Date: 2nd March 2017
Publisher: Bookouture
Length: 267 pages (kindle edition)
Get a copy here

How To Mend A Broken Heart – Anna Mansell

how-to-mend-a-broken-heart

Life is good for nurse Kat. That is until the man she intended to marry legs it, she’s unexpectedly promoted to a position with too much responsibility, and a patient arrives on her ward under strange circumstances.

Susan is a mystery. She refuses to speak or interact with anyone, she’s obsessed with a book of fairy tales, and the only name in her diary is that of Rhys – a plumber she barely knows.

Down-to-earth Rhys is trying to get his life back on track after the death of his beloved brother. His mum is his priority, and she needs him as much as he needs her. Or at least she did, until she starts disappearing, leaving him to find comfort in the form of his brother’s girlfriend.

Complicated is an understatement.

As the lives of these three lost strangers intertwine, will they find a way to lay ghosts past, present and future to rest? And when the chance comes to mend their broken hearts, will they be brave enough to take it?

I’ve also received a copy of this one from Netgalley and Bookouture. My review is up – read it here.

Release Date: 1st March 2017
Publisher: Bookouture
Length: 289 pages (kindle edition)
Get a copy here

Deadly Burial – Jon Richter

deadly-burial

A gripping debut crime thriller novel from Jon Richter, perfect for fans of Peter James, Stuart McBride and Leigh Russell.

A fight to the death…

When DI Chris Sigurdsson is assigned a grisly murder case on remote Salvation Island, he knows that it might be his strangest yet.

A forgotten wrestling star of the 1980s has been poisoned whilst in the ring, and amidst the slippery lies of his dangerous opponents, unravelling the victim’s murky past is almost impossible.

And as a storm threatens to cut Salvation Island off from the mainland, the race is on for Sigurdsson to find the ruthless killer before he strikes again…

Release Date: 1st March 2017
Publisher: HQ Digital
Length: 149 pages (kindle edition)
Get a copy here

The Witchfinder’s Sister – Beth Underdown

the-watchfinders-sister

The number of women my brother Matthew killed, so far as I can reckon it, is one hundred and six…

1645. When Alice Hopkins’ husband dies in a tragic accident, she returns to the small Essex town of Manningtree, where her brother Matthew still lives.

But home is no longer a place of safety. Matthew has changed, and there are rumours spreading through the town: whispers of witchcraft, and of a great book, in which he is gathering women’s names.

To what lengths will Matthew’s obsession drive him?
And what choice will Alice make, when she finds herself at the very heart of his plan?

Release Date: 2nd March 2017
Publisher: Viking
Length: 400 pages (hardcover)
Get a copy here

Gardenia – Kelsey Sutton

Seventeen-year-old Ivy Erickson has one month, twenty-seven days, four hours, fifty-nine minutes, and two seconds to live.

gardenia

Ever since she was a child, Ivy has been able to see countdown clocks over everyone’s heads indicating how long before they will die. She can’t do anything about anyone else’s, nor can she do anything about her own, which will hit the zero hour before she even graduates high school.

A life cut short is tragic, but Ivy does her best to make the most of it. She struggles emotionally with her deep love for on-again, off-again boyfriend Myers Patripski. She struggles financially, working outside of school to help her mom and her sister. And she struggles to cope with the murder of her best friend, another life she couldn’t save. Vanessa

Donovan was killed in the woods, and everyone in town believes Ivy had something to do with it.

Then more girls start disappearing. Ivy tries to put her own life in order as she pieces together the truth of who ended Vanessa’s. To save lives and for her own sanity.
The clock is always ticking. And Ivy’s only hope is to expose the truth before it runs out completely.

Release Date: 28th February 2017
Publisher: Diversion Publishing
Length: 260 pages (paperback)
Get a copy here

One Last Wish – Ella HarperOne Last Wish.png

The unmissable new novel from the bestselling author of Pieces of You

How would you cope if your child became terminally ill?

Rosie and Nate had the perfect relationship. But they struggled to cope with the devastating news their daughter Emmie has incurable cancer. It feels like their world – and their relationship – has come crashing down.

They must do everything to support their little girl, but can they stop their marriage falling apart?

Unbeknownst to her parents, Emmie is on a mission. She is determined to make them see what brought them together in the first place – and make them fall in love all over again.

Release Date: 27th February 2017
Publisher: Canelo
Length: 293 pages (kindle edition)
Get a copy here

I’m Right Here – Yvonne Cassidy

im-right-here

I always knew about Grandad’s gift – being able to communicate with dead people. When he told me it was my gift too, I didn’t understand what that would mean until I began to hear E.L. And that’s when the trouble really started …’

Cassie’s life is falling apart. She’s lost her grandfather, her mother has appeared on national TV talking about her own abusive childhood, and now her father has just moved out of their Brooklyn brownstone. So when she starts to hear the voice of E.L., a young slave girl living on a plantation in South Carolina one-hundred-and-fifty years before Cassie was born, she feels like she’s losing her mind – and nobody except E.L. is listening to her.

As Cassie gets drawn into E.L.’s world, the lines between her life and E.L.’s become more blurred and her obsession with helping E.L. escape begins to take over her life. But what happens to Cassie if E.L.’s future is already written?

I’m Right Here is an unforgettable story about identity, loss and friendship and ultimately, what it means to be free.

Release Date: 2nd March 2017
Publisher: Hachette Books Ireland
Length: 484 pages (hardcover)
Get a copy here

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Pancake Day – 28th February!

Another post from me today, this one slightly different 🙂 Not every post from me will be book related – I love way too many other things as well! As it’s coming up to pancake day (I know – I can’t wait either!!) here’s a collection of different recipes which you might want to try this year. Not that we need an excuse for pancakes any other day of the year either…

nutella-pancakes

I’m going to say that as there’s fruit these are healthy right?? They look incredible – a mix of fruit and chocolate always works so well. The recipe can be found over at Supergoldenbakes with easy to read instructions.

strawberry-pancakes

I love strawberries – although I have an annoying allergy to certain fresh fruits so I have to be pretty careful what I eat. However as soon as it’s cooked they’re no problem, so I could easily get away with these! These pancakes have strawberries actually in them, rather than just on top – yum! The recipe can be found on Rachel Ray and although it’s American, google easily converts things from cups to grams. I just ended up buying some cup measuring things which are so easy to use!

banana-pancakes

So these ones are kind of different in that they’re made with banana’s as a healthy alternative. I love trying out healthy recipes, and eating ‘wholefood’ meals when possible so these really appeal. The sweetness comes from the banana, so it’s all natural. It also means that the riper the banana’s, the sweeter they’ll be! Hop over to Laura Caris Cooks for the recipe.

sweet-potato-pancakes

Sweet potato pancakes – I know right away that these will not be for everyone! It took me forever to come round to the idea of vegetables as sweet things too. So if your first thought was ‘eww’ move on now! 🙂 These are another healthy alternative (until you cover it in maple syrup that is!). Made with just a few ingredients, the recipe can be found on Wholeheartedly Healthy.

garlic-mushroom-pancakes

Savoury pancakes are far too often left out of this glorious day. These garlic, mushroom and brie pancakes sound yummy and could be a great alternative if you’re not too into the sweet things. I found this on eggrecipes – you need a few ingredients but personally I’d just leave out the salad 😉

asparagus-and-ham

Excuse me whilst I mop up the pile of drool that has appeared by my feet. Asparagus and ham pancakes, mmm they look so good! This recipe is from delicious magazine and the pancakes are topped with a bechamel sauce. I think I might have just picked out my dinner!

If none of these take your fancy I’ve found a load more great ideas over at BBC Good Food – whatever you end up having, I hope you enjoy it! My favourites are simple lemon and sugar or cherry pie filling (when I can find it – it’s often tricky to locate! *sad face*). This year I might have to spread it over a few weeks just to try some new ones though!

Sunshine Blogger Award

sunshine-award-e1487740551163

Oh my gosh an award! How exciting is this! Maybe now I’ll count as famous and Sam Palladio will want to marry me… 😉 Thank you One-Way To Health for nominating me for this, it’s my first nomination of anything bloggy as I’ve only been here a month so it’s super exciting! Please take a look at her blog – she’s got some great recipes and helps explain the basics of nutrition:)

The Rules:

  • Thank the person(s) who nominated you in a blog post and link back to their blog
  • Answer the 11 questions sent by the person who nominated you
  • Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions
  • List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo on your post and/or on your blog

Her Questions:

  1. If you could go back in time, what would you change?
  2. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
  3. What is the thing you love to do the most?
  4. If you had to leave your home and move somewhere else, where would you go?
  5. What is your favourite movie of all times?
  6. What is your dream job?
  7. If you were to go on a desert island and you could only bring one food with you, what would that be?
  8. Do you listen to music when you write your posts?
  9. What do you like to do on the weekends?
  10. Do you blog everyday?
  11. Name one person you are extremely thankful for and without whom, you wouldn’t be where you are today.

My Answers:

  1. I’m a firm believer that our experiences make us who we are so I don’t think I’d change anything. I’d be too worried that changing the past would alter the present! See what happened in Back To The Future?!
  2. Somewhere sunny, surrounded with love and dogs I hope. Hopefully with a job I like and a house of my own 🙂
  3. I can’t actually pin it down to one thing! I love to read, cook, learn, laugh and dance!
  4. I would definitely move to the USA – I’ve always wanted to live there! Preferably somewhere in the South, near the sea. I wasn’t born for the UK weather, it’s too cold most of the year and too unpredictable. Also if I lived in the South I’d be able to wear my cowboy boots without judgement, and I’d meet people who actually knew country music!
  5. Ooo this is a tough one – I’d say either the Blindside or Dead Poets Society. I love them both but in different ways. Sorry – I can’t pick!
  6. If I could get paid to read all day, whilst being cuddled by a ton of fluffball puppies I would be in heaven. My dream is to rescue old dogs from shelters so they can live the last bit of their life out happily. If I could do that and still have enough money it would be amazing! In the real world though I’m actually training to be a wedding/events planner so one day I’d like to run a business from home.
  7. Enchilada’s… Specifically these
  8. It depends on what I’m writing about! If it’s a book review then I like to be able to think clearly so if my house is quiet, I’ll leave the music off. If it’s a post on next weeks new releases, or a crafty post then music it is! My spotify alternates between country music (where I attempt to line dance around the room) or musicals (where I take centre stage in a performance of Les Miserables).
  9. Ah weekends, the best bit of the week! I do whatever it takes to destress from what work put me under that week. I get sad if I think I’ve wasted the weekend as it makes Monday so much worse!
  10. I try to but it doesn’t always happen! 😦
  11. I am so thankful for my mum – She’s always there for me, even when I’m being a pain in the butt, but she loves me anyway haha. She’s funny, kind, generous and taught me so much. Plus she gave me my sister!

My Questions:

  1. What made you start your blog?
  2. Dogs or cats?
  3. Where do you live, and where would you like to live?
  4. What’s your guilty pleasure?
  5. I’m baking you a cake – what would you like?
  6. What’s the best experience of your life so far?
  7. If you got the chance to talk to a famous dead person who would it be?
  8. What’s your biggest fear?
  9. How did you come up with your blog name?
  10. What famous mystery do you wish you knew the answer to?
  11. If you had to change your name to anything, what would you pick?

My nominees:

  1. Glorious Panic
  2. Payton’s Book Thoughts
  3. She Latitude
  4. Life of Creativity
  5. Nut Free Nerd
  6. Dippy Dotty Girl
  7. Beauty And The Flawed
  8. Pink For Days
  9. The Happiest Pixel
  10. The Quiet Knitter
  11. Bella Blogs Because Books

 

Anna Mansell – How To Mend A Broken Heart

A compelling, heartbreaking tale that will make you laugh, cry and believe in the kindness of strangers. Perfect for fans of Jojo Moyes, Lucy Dillon and Miranda Dickinson.

Life is good for nurse Kat. That is until the man she intended to marry legs it, she’s unexpectedly promoted to a position with too much responsibility, and a patient arrives on her ward under strange circumstances.

Susan is a mystery. She refuses to speak or interact with anyone, she’s obsessed with a book of fairy tales, and the only name in her diary is that of Rhys – a plumber she barely knows.

Down-to-earth Rhys is trying to get his life back on track after the death of his beloved brother. His mum is his priority, and she needs him as much as he needs her. Or at least she did, until she starts disappearing, leaving him to find comfort in the form of his brother’s girlfriend.

Complicated is an understatement.

As the lives of these three lost strangers intertwine, will they find a way to lay ghosts past, present and future to rest? And when the chance comes to mend their broken hearts, will they be brave enough to take it?

how-to-mend-a-broken-heart

4 out of 5 stars

I’m a little worried that if I go in to too much detail with this one, I’ll give something away. So rather than my normal summary you’ll just get this – 3 strangers who are seemingly unconnected. This book is about their lives and how they’re more involved than we, or they, think.

From the cover and the description I thought I’d be reading a typical chick-lit book but maybe I should have looked a little closer! This book wasn’t like I’d imagined – but it was much better. We follow the lives of 3 characters and find out how they’re involved with each other, leaving us guessing the whole way through. I must say that I hate being wrong (if in doubt just ask my boyfriend and my mum about the potato masher) but I was quite happy to be wrong a few times with this book. I couldn’t read it fast enough which is always a good sign.

There were quite a few points that left me feeling sad and upset for everyone who’d gone through a heartbreak or grief, or all of those who have it to come. But through all the sadness, it was uplifting and hopeful. It made me believe in the kindness of strangers, in love and in forgiveness and overall left me with a big smile on my face. I would encourage everyone to read this, if you want something a little more substantial but not too heavy. This is author Anna Mansell’s debut novel and I’ll definitely be keeping a lookout for more of her work in the future!

How To Mend A Broken Heart is out on the 1st March and you can get a copy here.

Thank you to Bookouture and Netgalley for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

DIY Bookmarks

As well as reading I am also obsessed with crafts, dogs and socks. Not necessarily in that order, and that isn’t the extent but it’s a pretty big chunk. I don’t get a lot of time, or space, to work on crafts but every so often I manage to get something done! I don’t like turning the corner of a book to hold my space, but I always seem to misplace bookmarks. So I had a little look at pinterest (to be honest pinterest is never a ‘little’ look for me – normally 2 hours and 5 boards later…) and I’ve found a few bookmarks that could be made at home without too much effort.

heart-corner-bookmarks-paper-craft

These cute hearts are from Easy Peasy and Fun – you can find the instructions here. All you need is some red or pink origami paper and scissors.

harry-potter-bookmarks

As a massive Harry Potter fan, I absolutely love this! The instructions can be found here over at Instructables.com and they give you a step by step guide. You’ll need a couple of different coloured papers, glue and scissors.

bookmarks

These are so clever and again look super easy. I work in a charity shop on the weekends and always see books with spines that would be perfect for this – I’m not sure how well I’d cope with cutting a book up though! This can be found over at Crafts A La Mode and the instructions are here. They aren’t particularly detailed but it should be fairly simple. You’ll need a book with the spine of your choice, a holepunch, some coloured card, an eyelet, some ribbon and glue.

tea-cup-bookmark

And the last one for this week – felt tea cups! Unfortunately there’s no instructions on how to make these. They came from A Homemade Living but she had a website issue so they were lost – I would recommend checking out her blog anyway though. There’s a ton more crafts and recipes which look great. I think the photo is detailed enough so we can probably tell how to make these without instructions – I’ll give it a go over the next few weeks and post some if it goes well!

Gabrielle Zevin – Elsewhere

Welcome to Elsewhere. It is warm, with a breeze, and the beaches are marvelous. It’s quiet and peaceful. You can’t get sick or any older. Curious to see new paintings by Picasso? Swing by one of Elsewhere’s museums. Need to talk to someone about your problems? Stop by Marilyn Monroe’s psychiatric practice.

Elsewhere is where fifteen-year-old Liz Hall ends up, after she has died. It is a place so like Earth, yet completely different. Here Liz will age backward from the day of her death until she becomes a baby again and returns to Earth. But Liz wants to turn sixteen, not fourteen again. She wants to get her driver’s license. She wants to graduate from high school and go to college. And now that she’s dead, Liz is being forced to live a life she doesn’t want with a grandmother she has only just met. And it is not going well. How can Liz let go of the only life she has ever known and embrace a new one? Is it possible that a life lived in reverse is no different from a life lived forward?

elsewhere

4 out of 5 stars

I think this was one that I picked up in a book store at an American airport. You know at the end of a holiday there’s always some currency left over that you need to get rid of? I don’t know why I never tried to keep it as it was rarely long before we were back again. Maybe I just wanted an excuse to buy a couple of books! I don’t get to buy books new often, but I get so excited when I can! It was (quite) a few years ago that I bought this one – it was published in 2005. It’s always stayed with me as one that I remember though so I decided to read it again.

Fifteen year old Liz Hall is a hit and run victim, and a life taken way too soon. She wakes up on board S.S. Nile – a ship which is taking her, and many others who have died, to Elsewhere. When she arrives she meets her grandmother for the very first time. Here she finds out that on Elsewhere lives are lived backwards, until you are a baby again and can be re-born. She’s upset at how early her life ended – she didn’t get to go to the prom, or take her drivers test. And she misses her pug. Eventually she’s encouraged to get a job so she starts working in the Canine unit, looking after the animals that come in. (This bit I loved – I do have a slight obsession with dogs though). I don’t want to give too much away about the novel as I feel it’s best read without knowing too much.

Elsewhere is well-written and a beautiful way to imagine the afterlife. Although this is technically a young-adults book, I would suggest that it is suitable for all ages. Depending on who is reading the book, I imagine that it hits home in a slightly different way too. For a book about death it’s funny and uplifting, but it’s also heartbreaking. I cried the first time, and I’ve cried every time since. It’s got 3.9 stars out of 5 on Goodreads and judging from the reviews, even if some didn’t enjoy the story it still made them think about what might happen after death – and I love books that make you think! If you get a chance to read it I’d love to hear your opinion – You can get a copy here!

New Releases: 20th – 26th February 2017

Now that I’ve starting reading ARC’s I’ve become a lot more aware of the release dates of books, and how exciting it is for the authors! So I’ll be doing a weekly post on a couple of books coming out the next week. I can see my ‘want to read’ shelf getting a lot longer!

sixth-widow

The Sixth Window – Rachel Abbott

The perfect man… or a perfect stranger?

After eighteen months of grieving for her husband Bernie, killed in a horrific hit and run accident, Natalie Grey has found love with her husband’s best friend – Ed Cooper – and has moved herself and fifteen year old daughter, Scarlett, into his home. But Natalie begins to suspect Ed has a dark side – and even darker intentions.

Desperate to get her daughter to a place of safety, she and Scarlett move to a new home that holds secrets of its own. But has removing Scarlett from one potential threat placed her in far greater danger?

DCI Tom Douglas is also chasing the truth, as his investigation into the suicide of a teenage girl draws him ever closer to Natalie and Scarlett. But will he be too late to protect them from the peril they face, or from the truths that will tear their lives apart?

Release Date: 21st February
Publisher: Black Dot Publishing
Length: 421 pages (kindle edition)
Get a copy here (e-book format)

the-orphans-tale

The Orphans Tale – Pam Jenoff

Seventeen-year-old Noa has been cast out in disgrace after becoming pregnant by a Nazi soldier during the occupation of her native Holland. Heartbroken over the loss of the baby she was forced to give up for adoption, she lives above a small German rail station, which she cleans in order to earn her keep.

When Noa discovers a boxcar containing dozens of Jewish infants, unknown children ripped from their parents and headed for a concentration camp, she is reminded of the baby that was taken from her. In a moment that will change the course of her life, she steals one of the babies and flees into the snowy night, where she is rescued by a German circus.

The circus owner offers to teach Noa the flying trapeze act so she can blend in undetected, spurning the resentment of the lead aerialist, Astrid. At first rivals, Noa and Astrid soon forge a powerful bond. But as the facade that protects them proves increasingly tenuous, Noa and Astrid must decide whether their unlikely friendship is enough to save one another — or if the secrets that burn between them will destroy everything.

Release Date: 20th February
Publisher: Mira
Length: 368 pages (paperback)
Get a copy here

Setting Free The Kites – Alex George

setting-free-the-kites

For Robert Carter, life in his coastal Maine hometown is comfortably predictable. But in 1976, on his first day of eighth grade, he meets Nathan Tilly, who changes everything. Nathan is confident, fearless, impetuous–and fascinated by kites and flying.

Robert and Nathan’s budding friendship is forged in the crucible of two family tragedies, and as the boys struggle to co

me to terms with loss, they take summer jobs at the local rundown amusement park. It’s there that Nathan’s boundless capacity for optimism threatens to overwhelm them both, and where they learn some harsh truths about family, desire, and revenge.

Unforgettable and heart-breaking, Setting Free the Kites is a poignant and moving exploration of the pain, joy, and glories of young friendship.

Release Date: 21st February
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons
Length: 336 pages (hardcover)
Get a copy here

Bad Little Girl – Frances Vick

bad-little-girl

Little Lorna Bell is from a notorious family on a rundown estate. Everyone thinks she’s a nasty piece of work. The schoolchildren call her a thief. But Lorna’s hair is matted, her shoes pinch her feet and school teacher Claire Penny can’t help herself; some kids just need a bit more support, a bit more love, than the rest.

As the bond between teacher and pupil grows stronger, Claire sees Lorna’s bruises, and digs to uncover the disturbing tale behind them. Heartbroken, Claire knows she has to act. She must make Lorna safe. Just when Claire thinks she has protected Lorna, a chance encounter brings enigmatic stranger Marianne Cairns into their lives. Marianne seems generous and kind but there is something about her story that doesn’t quite add up. Why does she feel so at home, and why is Lorna suddenly so unsettled?

Claire has risked everything to save Lorna. But what can save Claire from the shocking truth?

Release Date: 22nd February
Publisher: Bookouture
Length: 325 pages (kindle edition)
Get a copy here

one-little-mistake

One Little Mistake – Emma Curtis

Vicky Seagrave is blessed: three beautiful children, a successful, doting husband, great friends and a job she loves. She should be perfectly happy.

When she risks everything she holds dear on a whim, there’s only person she trusts enough to turn to.

But Vicky is about to learn that one mistake is all it takes; that if you’re careless with those you love, you don’t deserve to keep them . . .

Release Date: 23rd February
Publisher: Transworld Digital
Length: 416 pages (kindle edition)
Get a copy here

 

A Secret Garden – Katie Fforde

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‘What I want to know’, said Lorna, ‘is what lies behind those ash trees at the back of the garden?

Lorna is a talented gardener and Philly is a plantswoman. Together they work in the grounds of a beautiful manor house in the Cotswolds. They enjoy their jobs and are surrounded by family and friends. But for them both the door to true love remains resolutely closed.

So when Lorna is introduced to Jack at a dinner party and Lucien catches Philly’s eye at the local farmers market, it seems that dreams really can come true and happy endings lie just around the corner.

But do they?

Troublesome parents, the unexpected arrival of someone from Lorna’s past, and the discovery of an old and secret garden mean their lives are about to become a lot more complicated…

Release Date: 23rd February
Publisher: Century
Length: 384 pages (hardcover)
Get a copy here

after-shes-gone

After She’s Gone – Sheryl Browne

He’s killed your child and kidnapped your wife. What would YOU do?
There’s evil and then there’s Patrick Sullivan. A drug dealer, pimp and murderer, there are no depths to which Patrick would not sink, and Detective Inspector Matthew Adams has found this out in the most devastating way imaginable.


When Patrick’s brother is shot dead in a drug bust gone wrong, the bitter battle between the two men intensifies, and Matthew finds it increasingly difficult to hold the moral high ground. All he wants is to make the pimping scum suffer the way he did … the way Lily did.

But being at war with such a depraved individual means that it’s not just Matthew who’s in danger. Patrick has taken a lot from Matthew, but he hasn’t taken everything – and now he wants everything.

Release Date: 21st February
Publisher: Choc Lit
Length: 336 pages (kobo edition)
Get a copy here

Jenny Colgan – The Summer Seaside Kitchen

 

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Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

 

Description: Flora is definitely, absolutely sure that escaping from the quiet Scottish island where she grew up to the noise and hustle of the big city was the right choice. What was there for her on Mure? It’s a place where everyone has known her all her life, and no one will let her forget the past. In the city, she can be anonymous, ambitious and indulge herself in her hopeless crush on her gorgeous boss, Joel.

When a new client demands Flora’s presence back on Mure, she’s suddenly swept back into life with her brothers (all strapping, loud and seemingly incapable of basic housework) and her father. As Flora indulges her new-found love of cooking and breathes life into the dusty little pink-fronted shop on the harbour, she’s also going to have to come to terms with past mistakes – and work out exactly where her future lies…

Published 9th February 2017 by Sphere

You can probably tell from some of my earlier posts quite how excited I was by this release. Jenny Colgan is one of my favourite authors – I first discovered her after reading ‘Meet Me At The Cupcake Cafe’ which is still one of my favourite books, and I’ve made sure to read everything she’s published since! So as soon as my copy arrived (courtesy of the library!) I got stuck straight in.

The story is told from Flora’s point of view – a paralegal living in London. One morning she’s asked to go and talk to her boss Joel, who she happens to have an enormous crush on. The company are taking on a new job for a big client which just happens to be in Flora’s hometown – she’s asked to go back and get involved, but the problem is she left for a reason and had no plans to return.

I don’t want to give too much away, but it is a lovely story and once I got a few chapters in I struggled to put it down. We meet Flora’s family who don’t exactly welcome her back with open arms. A romance or two for Flora that keep us guessing right to the end! There’s even a cute dog, and I am always happy when there’s a dog! The Island is described so beautifully it’s almost like we’re there with her, and it sounds so peaceful and free. I think I might have to take a trip to Scotland to discover where the idea for Mure came from.

It’s not quite overtaken the Cupcake Café or the Sweetshop of Dreams for me yet but I’m not sure that many could as they are a permanent fixture on my bookshelf. It’s still a great new story, and I can’t wait for more Jenny Colgan in the future!

Don’t forget to check out my competition to win Jenny Colgan’s book ‘Class: Welcome To The Little School By The Sea’. It ends on the 28th February – Good luck!