Book Review | The Silk Weaver’s Wife – Debbie Rix

‘On the way back down the grand staircase to the hall, her eye was caught by a portrait, hanging in a particularly dark corner of a landing. It was of a young woman, seated at an easel; she was painting a silk moth, its eggs nestling on a mulberry leaf.’

1704: Anastasia is desperate to escape her controlling and volatile father and plans to marry in secret. But instead of the life she has dreamed of, she finds herself trapped in Venice, the unwilling wife of a silk weaver.

Despite her circumstances, Anastasia is determined to change her fate…

2017: Millie wants more from her relationship and more from her life. So when her boss Max abruptly ends their affair, she takes the opportunity to write a feature in Italy.

Staying in a gorgeous villa, Millie unexpectedly falls in love with the owner, Lorenzo. Together they begin to unravel an incredible story, threaded through generations of silk weavers.

And Millie finds herself compelled to discover the identity of a mysterious woman in a portrait…

A gorgeously written, richly evocative story, The Silk Weaver’s Wife is perfect for readers who love Kate Morton and Gill Paul.

The Silk Weavers Wife

 

I will admit that historical stories aren’t my favourite and I don’t read them often – but this one caught my eye. When I read a historical book I want to be transported to a place or time I know little about but be able to imagine walking down the street, taking in the sights and smells as if I was there. Debbie Rix manages to do this almost instantly. The story is set over two timeframes – 1704 and 2017. In 1704 Anastasia wants to run off with her beloved Marco away from her abusive father to begin her life. In 2017 Millie travels to Italy to give her space from a confusing relationship only to meet someone that she didn’t expect.

This is a beautifully written historical romance. Not only is it enjoyable to read but it was obvious quite how much research Debbie put in to the history of silk manufacturing and the process. I love learning new things, particularly when it’s such an enjoyable way to learn. I haven’t read anything by Debbie Rix before but I’m going to make sure to pick up some of her other books to read as well!

You can get a copy of A Silk Weaver’s Wife here

Love Roxy xx

 

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Book Review | The Good Sister by Jess Ryder

Two sisters. One secret… A lie that could destroy them both.

When her father dies, Josie is devastated to uncover he led a secret life: another house, another family and a half-sister called Valentina.

Both with red hair and icy blue eyes, Josie and Valentina could be mistaken for twins. But the similarities end there…

Josie – Sweet, reserved, jealous, thief.
Valentina – Care-free, confident, dangerous, liar.

Two sisters. One survivor.

A nail-bitingly tense and unputdownable read that will keep you turning pages into the night. Perfect for fans of Gone Girl, The Girl on the Train and Sister Sister.

The Good Sister

I started this one without reading the blurb first as I sometimes like to ‘go in blind’ as they say. For this one I’m really glad I did as it added a couple of extra twists that I would have known about before otherwise. I think I started this one Sunday morning and stayed up until half 11 to finish it (late for me haha!). I just couldn’t put it down!

It’s not a particularly long book at 230 pages but I didn’t feel like we missed out on anything. The chapters were broken up nicely so it flowed really well. The chapters go back and forth between Josie and Valentina but they aren’t actually labelled. It’s easy to tell at the beginning but it gets more difficult towards the end which I actually really liked – it added another level and made me second guess the characters as well as my own judgement.

I don’t want to give too much away on this one as it’s such a fabulous book – you need to read it knowing as little as possible! Well written, gripping and gets your heart racing – absolutely loved it! One of my favourite books of the year so far! Thank you to Bookouture and Netgalley for my copy.

You can get a copy here – just 99p at the moment!

Love Roxy xx

Book Review | If You Could See Me Now – Keris Stainton

Izzy Harris should have it all – but her boyfriend has been ignoring her for months, she’s been overlooked for a promotion, and the owner of her local coffee shop pervs on her every time she has a craving for a salted caramel muffin.

Then her life is unexpectedly turned upside down.

Izzy dumps her oblivious boyfriend, and leaps on the chance to win a big pitch at work. Needing to work closely with gorgeous colleague Alex is an added perk…

But then her best friend has her heart-broken, the pitch is way more complicated than expected, and Alex is keeping secrets. Does Izzy have what it takes to help her friend, save her career and get the guy?

If You Could See Me Now

I’ve got a ton of books to read and finally some spare time to actually read them! So this one really appealed to me as it seemed like an easy to read, girly book. Perfect for curling up on the sofa with as it’s inevitably raining outside… Again… In August. Don’t you just love English weather? I love the cover – it’s so pretty and screams cuteness before you’ve even started reading.

So I started reading… and something odd happened in the book. I went back and checked the blurb and nope, it doesn’t mention anything about it there. So I continue reading to double-check it actually happened and yes, I read correctly… She turned invisible! I know right?! Now I’ll admit that at this point I did roll my eyes a bit but only because I was expecting a fairly typical sort of book and invisibility brings it in to the ‘it could never happen box’. Unless Izzy owned an invisibility cloak of course, then it’s 100% real life.

It’s advertised as a ‘laugh out loud comedy’ and I did laugh. Several times. Loud enough to wake the dog, which just made me laugh more. It was totally hilarious and a complete gigglefest (I adore this word – thank you Kirsty Greenwood for bringing it in to my life). Apart from the whole invisibility bit it was completely relatable. It’s just a story about a girl in a sucky relationship with a mad best friend trying to figure out who she is. Heart warming with a great life message – I’d recommend giving this story a try if you have a dull evening that needs brightening up.

This was released on the 4th August and you can get a copy here

Love Roxy xx

 

 

Book Review | The One by John Marrs

How far would you go to find THE ONE?

One simple mouth swab is all it takes. A quick DNA test to find your perfect partner – the one you’re genetically made for.

A decade after scientists discover everyone has a gene they share with just one other person, millions have taken the test, desperate to find true love. Now, five more people meet their Match. But even soul mates have secrets. And some are more shocking – and deadlier – than others…

A psychological thriller with a difference, this is a truly unique novel which is guaranteed to keep you on the edge of your seat.

The One

What if you could take a test and be given the name and contact details of your perfect DNA match? No more bad first dates, no more trying to meet someone on tinder looking for more than just a hook up… just your happily ever after. Would you do it? What about if you were already married – would you take it anyway? Just to see?

This book follows 5 different sets of people, all faced with this choice and the consequences of their actions. Normally I’d find so many different characters a little confusing, but it’s written so well that it flows seamlessly. I struggled to put this book down and found myself telling everyone about it – even before I was finished. I genuinely wanted to know what they thought of the idea – would they do the test? Some really great debates came out of this one! I loved the twists (which I didn’t see coming at all!)

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone to read – it’s such an interesting topic to think about. I gave it 5* and judging by the reviews on Goodreads others really enjoyed it as well. Thank you to Netgalley, Penguin Random House UK and John Marrs for letting me read and review this!

Love Roxy xx

 

Blog Tour | The Once In A Blue Moon Guesthouse – Cressida McLaughlin

Welcome to the second stop on the Once In A Blue Moon Guesthouse Blog Tour 😀 Yes, I know, I’m on a blog tour! I’m so excited – This must be how famous people feel seeing their name in lights right? Also, today is my BIRTHDAY! So it’s an extra special blog tour stop – please help yourselves to a slice of my virtual birthday cake 🍰

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The prefect summer romance from the number one bestselling author of The Canal Boat Cafe. Perfect for fans of Sarah Morgan and Holly Martin.

Robin Brennan has come home to Campion Bay. Now her parents have retired, she’s set to become the new landlady of The Campion Bay Guesthouse. Bookings have been as thin as the hand towels, and it doesn’t take long for Robin to realise that the place needs a serious makeover.

Perhaps throwing herself into the task will help to heal her sadness at the tragic end to her dreams in London. As she gives the guesthouse a new lease of life, Robin encounters old friends and new, including old flame Tim, who’d clearly like to reboot their romance. But what about Will, the new arrival at No. 4, who’s rocked up with the cutest dog ever?

Caught up in a flurry of full-English breakfasts and cream teas, Robin’s never sure what, or who, the next check-in will bring…

Blue Moon Guesthouse

One of the things I’ve always fancied doing is running a B&B or a hotel. I’ve also always wanted to run a café – maybe when I move to the USA I’ll open a little British tearoom somewhere! I’ve mentioned before how much I love books based on running a business so I knew before I even opened this one that I’d like it – and I was right. I love being right haha.

The book is split up in to 4 parts – Open For Business, Fully Booked, Do Not Disturb and Wish You Were Here. Originally released as individual stories, this book brings them all together! After a tragedy involving Robin’s best friend and business partner in London, Robin decides to move back in with her parents in Campion Bay where she grew up. Having previously run a business planning special events she’s not too sure what to do with her life now she’s back – until her parents give her some news that will change everything.

I loved hearing about Robin’s journey to create the Once In A Blue Moon Guesthouse – she designed each room with a specific theme and I loved the thought that went in to each one. Cressida’s descriptive writing makes it so easy to imagine that we’re in Campion Bay with her – perhaps as guests checking in to stay! I absolutely adored this read and once I’ve moved and have somewhere to put a bookshelf I’ll be buying a hard copy so I can read it all again 😍

This book is released on the 29th June and you can get a copy here – Amazon

Love Roxy xx

About Cressida McLaughlin:

Cressy was born in South East London surrounded by books and with a cat named after Lawrence of Arabia. She studied English at the University of East Anglia and now lives in Norwich with her husband David. Cressy’s favourite things include terrifying ghost stories, lava lamps and romantic heroes, though not necessarily at the same time. She doesn’t (yet) have a dog of her own, but feeds her love vicariously through friends’ pets, and was once chased around a field by a soaking wet, very mischievous Border Collie called Wags. When she isn’t writing, Cressy spends her spare time reading, returning to London or exploring the beautiful Norfolk coastline.

Spotlight Book Tour| Secrets of Southern Girls – Hayley Harrigan

In Secrets of Southern Girls, the powerful, affecting debut from Haley Harrigan, a young woman uncovers devastating secrets about the friend she thinks she killed…

Ten years ago, Julie Portland accidentally killed her best friend, Reba. What’s worse is she got away with it. Consumed by guilt, she left the small town of Lawrence Mill, Mississippi, and swore nothing would ever drag her back.

Now, raising her daughter and struggling to make ends meet in Manhattan, Julie still can’t forget the ghost of a girl with golden hair and a dangerous secret.

When August, Reba’s first love, begs Julie to come home to find the diary that Reba kept all those years ago, Julie’s past comes creeping back to haunt her. That diary could expose the shameful memories Julie has been running from, but it could also unearth the hidden truths that Reba left buried…and reveal that Julie isn’t the only one who feels responsible for Reba’s death.

In fact, she may not be responsible at all.

Haley Harrigan graduated from the University of Georgia with degrees in creative writing and public relations. She lives in Athens, Georgia, with her husband. Secrets of Southern Girls is her debut.  Visit her website at www.haleyharrigan.com or on Twitter @HCHarrigan.

secrets of southern

Rating: 5 out of 5!

I forgot to read the blurb again before I started this one so I’d completely forgotten what it was about, but actually I think it was nice to go in with an open mind. It was a little slow starting but I kept reading and I’m glad I did – Dinner was 2 hours late because I didn’t want to put it down.

That night is referred to a lot as it’s the night the whole book is centred round – finding out what happened to Reba. I’m not going to go into the story to avoid the chance of any spoilers though – there’s enough information above to give a general idea! It’s interesting how replaying an event so many times can change how we remember it and we can start to question what actually happened.  I liked that I was never too sure if what I was reading had happened, or if it was just how the character had portrayed the event.

The story is written from a few different point’s of view – we also get snippets of Reba’s diary entries from the past which did throw me a little with the formatting on my e-reader. Although I wouldn’t say that all the characters are likeable – as they’ve all done things which maybe they shouldn’t have – I did connect with each of them and enjoyed hearing what they had to say.

A fantastic and beautifully written debut novel from a talented author. I’ll be keeping an eye out for the next book by Haley Harrigan! Many thanks to Netgalley and Sourcebooks Landmark for the chance to read and review this book.

Sourcebooks are also running a giveaway! If you’d like the chance to win a Summer Reads Prize pack please enter using the rafflecopter link below 🙂 Good luck!

[a Rafflecopter giveaway ]

Love Roxy xx

 

Book Review |A Daughter’s Courage – Renita D’Silva

1929. When a passionate love affair threatens to leave Lucy in disgrace, she chooses a respectable marriage over a life of shame. With her husband, coffee-plantation-owner James, she travels to her new home in India, leaving her troubled past behind her.

Everything in India is new to Lucy, from the jewel-coloured fabrics to the exotic spices. When her path crosses that of Gowri, a young woman who tends the temple on the plantation’s edge, Lucy is curious to find out more about her, and the events that lead her to live in isolation from her family…

Now. With her career in shatters and her heart broken by the man she thought was her future, Kayva flees from bustling Mumbai to her home town. A crumbling temple has been discovered in a village nearby, and with it letters detailing its tragic history – desperate pleas from a young woman called Gowri.

As Kavya learns of Gowri and Lucy’s painful story, she begins to understand the terrible sacrifices that were made and the decision the two women took that changed their lives forever. Can the secrets of the past help Kavya to rebuild her life?

A breath-taking journey through the rolling hills of India, deep into the secrets hidden within a family. For fans of Santa Montefiore, Dinah Jefferies and Victoria Hislop.

A Daughters Courage

Rating: 5 out of 5

Every so often I read a book that I can’t stop thinking about for days, or even weeks afterwards. This is one of these books! I both loved but hated each page closer I got to the end because I just didn’t want it to finish. The detail and description were extraordinary – I felt like I’d been transported to India and watched the story unfold before my eyes. I connected with all the characters, particularly the four main women that we hear the story through. They teach us about so many different kinds of love and sacrifice, as well as reminding us about the importance of family. It’s so interesting to see different families doing what they think is right for their children – how would I react I wondered?

The practice of sacrificing young girls to a Goddess is a difficult and emotional subject to read about, particularly as we know that it still happens today. In a world where we are given so many opportunities it’s unbearable to think about those who don’t. This is an absolutely stunning book which I can’t praise enough – I’ve found a fabulous new author to follow in Renita D’Silva and I can’t wait to read something else of hers.

This book will be released on the 31st May and you can pre-order a copy here. Thank you to Netgalley and Bookouture for the chance to read and review this.

Love Roxy xx

Book Review | Ella’s Ice Cream Summer – Sue Watson

Ella’s life just hit rock-bottom, but can a summer by the sea mend her broken heart? When life gives you lemons… make ice-cream!

Life hasn’t always been easy for single mum Ella, but she has just hit an all-time low; she’s jobless, loveless, very nearly homeless and, to make matters worse, now the owner of a pocket-sized pooch with a better wardrobe than her.

Packing her bags (and a bigger one for the dog), Ella sets off for the seaside town of Appledore in Devon to re-live the magical summers of her youth and claim her portion of the family ice-cream business: a clapped-out ice-cream van and a complicated mess of secrets.

There she meets gorgeous and free-spirited solicitor, Ben, who sees things differently: with a little bit of TLC he has a plan to get the van – and Ella – back up and running in no time.

Ellas ice cream summer

Rating: 4 out of 5

A lovely story about getting older and finding yourself and your path. Ella has put everyone else first her whole life – now she’s been left by her husband and her two children have flown the nest. Left living at home with her mother, who has more of a social life than Ella (including a few hilarious dating app moments), she wants to do something for herself. An opportunity comes her way in the form of a letter – will she take it or continue living the safe life she knows?

An adorable story which has resulted in several trips to Tesco for Ben & Jerry’s to keep the ice cream cravings at bay. Keep a cloth handy to wipe up the drool – you’ll need it with these flavours! I fell in love with the characters, the town and of course the little dog Delilah! The thought of this dog being dressed happily each day reminded me of trying to put a Christmas jumper on our chihuahua – he didn’t like it one bit! This story is packed with humour, wisdom and most importantly love, family and friendship. A must read this Summer!

Thank you to Netgalley, Bookouture and of course Sue Watson for the chance to read and review this story. You can get a copy on your kindle for just 99p at the moment here.

Love Roxy xx

Book Review | Two Good Dogs – Susan Wilson

When Cody, a troubled fourteen-year-old, witnesses a murder, she tells no one. But it begins a spiral for her from which she cannot escape. Her worried mother Skye thinks a change of scene is just what her introverted, withdrawn daughter needs and since her dream has always been to own an inn, she jumps at the chance to buy a dilapidated bed & breakfast in the Berkshires. But being an innkeeper is harder than it seems and Cody still seems to fall in with the wrong crowd.

When Adam March arrives as the inn’s only guest, he is accompanied by his rescued pit bull, Chance, a dog who has saved Adam in more ways than one. Cody and Chance begin a wary bond and soon, Adam finds another rescue who needs the kind of attention he gave Chance years ago. With Adam and Skye beginning a tentative relationship and Chance showing Cody how to trust again, this new-found family seems to be on the brink of second chances.

But soon, a murderer is closing in—someone hiding in plain sight, and threatening everything and everyone—even Cody’s life. 

two good dogs

Rating: 4 out of 5

 

I absolutely adore dogs! They are my favourite animal in the world. I have this dream that when I’m older and have my own place I can give a home to older rescue dogs who might otherwise be left in the shelter. I’ve liked a load of rescue centres on facebook so I get to see all the happy dogs who’ve got adopted, and sometimes I send toys or food to random shelters through amazon for the ones that haven’t been. Point is, I’m a sucker for dogs so a book about dogs is the best thing ever. The fact that it’s about rescue dogs is even better.

What I didn’t realise was that this book is actually a sequel to ‘One Good Dog’ which was released in 2010. I don’t think it affected reading this book at all, other than we hear about something that Adam did in his past which changed who he was – but we never find out what it is! It’s likely that’s what the first book is about, so I think I’ll give it a read just to find out! It was really interesting to read and find out a little more about therapy dogs too – I didn’t realise how much they could help with.

I loved the way the book was written – from different points of view, including Chance the dog. I loved his take on human life and how he sees it through his big brown adorable give-me-treat eyes. The characters are easy to empathise with and to understand which makes this quite easy to read. The only thing that I didn’t quite like about this story was that a big chunk of the story seems to be squished in the last few pages. I got to the last page and thought ‘what? Is it done?!’.

Slightly different to my normal read but well worth it! I’d recommend giving this one a try, and I’ll be looking out for books by this author in the future!

Love Roxy xx

Book Review | The Southern Cowboy – Lenora Worth

Can she heal from a tragedy too great to bear?

When Michelle Lancaster flees her hometown of Spirit, Louisiana to spend time at a beach retreat in Driftwood Bay, Florida, she only wants to run from the tremendous pain of a tragedy that caused her perfect life to shatter into pieces.

But on the day when the memories become too much, a man steps into her path on the beach and causes her beloved horse Coco to almost throw her. Not to mention this is the one man Michelle has tried to avoid. But laid-back boat captain and artist Brodie Stevens has his eye on Michelle and soon, he is pursuing her with a strong-willed determination. He too is haunted, but believes that together they can heal each other. Now the driftwood cowboy must convince Michelle it’s possible to hope… and to love again.

southern

Rating: 3 out of 5

 

This book was a freebie on Amazon that I downloaded during one of my mad book moments (of which I have many). With my country music obsession, anything Southern/Cowboy related I normally like. Plus the cover was insanely cute! I hadn’t heard of Lenora Worth before but it turns out that she’s actually written around 35 books and most of them seem to be romance – she’s also from Louisiana which is pretty cool. I’ve always wanted to go there.

Michelle is running away to deal with her grief and ends up in Driftwood Bay, a beach retreat in Florida. Wanting to spend time alone to heal, she’s not happy to meet Brodie – a cowboy who doesn’t like horses! Brodie wants to get to know Michelle, but finds it hard because of his past. Can they work through their problems and find happiness together?

At just 150 pages this is a quick and easy read if you don’t want anything too deep. Although I enjoyed the book I’m not sure I found the relationship to be that believable or romantic – but hey, maybe the dishes weren’t done and I was having an unromantic day?! It is the first in a 3 part series and I’d read the next one for sure to see how it developed!

It’s no longer free but it is only £1.99 – Get a copy here 🙂

Roxy xx