blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: The Man I Didn’t Marry – Anna Bell*

Read my review of the author’s We Just Clicked here.

What happens when the man she married can’t remember her?

Ellie has the perfect life: a happy marriage, a gorgeous daughter and a baby on the way. But when her husband Max develops amnesia, he forgets everything about the last five years . . . including their relationship.

Now the man she said ‘I do’ to has become a stranger, and she has no idea why. Yet Ellie is determined to reconnect and find herMax again – he has to be in there somewhere, right?

As they get to know one another afresh, Ellie finds herself seeing Max clearly for the first time. But then she discovers that before his memory loss, Max was keeping a huge secret from her. Will their new beginning prove to be a false start, just as it seemed they might fall in love all over again?

My thoughts:

Halfway through this book, I looked over my husband of two and a half years and said “please don’t ever lose your memory and forget me”, he of course, looked at me like I was crazy.

But the thought of him forgetting even one moment of our 11 years together was horrible.

I know this book is supposed to be a rom com but there is a slight chill to it – Max loses his memory of his wife, his children, everything from the last five years.

I don’t know how Ellie copes, she’s heavily pregnant with their second child, caring for a toddler, and needs her husband around. But suddenly they’re basically strangers again.

It is a lovely and sweet romance as she woos Max into falling in love again, trying to recreate their dates, hoping his memory will come back. But it didn’t half give me a jolt of fear!

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Title: Fake – Roz Kay*

James Cowper-art dealer, gambler, thief-is going straight and on the brink of redeeming himself with his disillusioned wife, Imani. He’s still broke, but all he needs to take care of that is a rare art find. Then trouble arrives in the shape of a scheming landlord and an unwelcome dinner party with his boss. As events spin out of his control it appears that nobody, including Imani, is what they pretend.

And over everything looms one make-or-break question for James: can he get a grip on his exploding life?

Then trouble arrives in the shape of a scheming landlord and an unwelcome dinner party with his boss. As events spin out of his control it appears that nobody, including Imani, is what they pretend.

And over everything looms one make-or-break question for James: can he get a grip on his exploding life?

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Roz Kay is a writer and former journalist. Her debut children’s novel, The Keeper of the Stones, was published in March 2020 by Hayloft Publishing and she’s had literary short stories published under the name Roz DeKett. Roz, who now lives in Wiltshire, England, has lived in Ghana, Canada, Malaysia, Brunei, and the United States—including nearly six years in Philadelphia where

Roz, who now lives in Wiltshire, England, has lived in Ghana, Canada, Malaysia, Brunei, and the United States—including nearly six years in Philadelphia where Fake is set.
Fake is her debut novel for adults.

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My thoughts:

This was like an old fashioned farce, especially once the cast assembled for the dinner party from hell. It was darkly comic and thoroughly enjoyable, with some of the worst people I’ve ever encountered on the page – thank goodness I don’t actually know any of them!

James’ wife Imani is probably the best of the sorry bunch and I felt really sorry for her trying to feed the other nightmarish figures, even though she didn’t want them there in the first place.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: Asking For a Friend – Andi Osho*

No woman gets left behind.

Three best friends are going to solve their relationship woes once and for all

Forty-something Jemima’s life is on track – well, sort of, she just need to bat her niggly ex away for good.

Twenty-something Meagan is in the midst of her five-phase plan and is nearly ready for phase three: a relationship.

While thirty-something Simi has had more it’s not yous than any I dos.

These best friends decide it’s time to ditch the dating apps and play the love game by their own rules. They’re going to ask people out in real life…but only for each other. What could possibly go wrong?

My thoughts:

This was a fun, funny and smart book about the power of female friendships, working out what you really want from life and falling in love.

Jemima, Meagan and Simi seem to have their lives together but just like so many women, they’re doing their best duck impression, serenely gliding along but paddling madly underneath, trying to juggle careers, romance and their complicated bond.

I laughed and I recognised these women, I know these women. They’re my friends and probably spark a similar recognition in other readers.

A brilliant first book from a great comedian and highly enjoyable.


*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: The Wife Upstairs – Rachel Hawkins*

A girl looking for love…

When Jane, a broke dog-walker newly arrived in town, meets Eddie Rochester, she can’t believe her luck. Eddie is handsome, rich and lives alone in a beautiful mansion since the tragic death of his beloved wife a year ago. A man who seems perfect…

Eddie can give Jane everything she’s always wanted: stability, acceptance, and a picture-perfect life. A wife who just won’t stay buried…

But what Jane doesn’t know is that Eddie is keeping a secret – a big secret. And when the truth comes out, the consequences are far more deadly than anyone could ever have imagined…Rachel Hawkins is the New York Times bestselling author of multiple books for young readers, and her work has been translated in over a dozen countries.

She studied gender and sexuality in Victorian literature at Auburn University and currently lives in Alabama with her husband and son.

The Wife Upstairs is her first adult novel.

My thoughts:

I have a lot of issues with Jane Eyre but knew that Rachel Hawkins was a cracking writer and if anyone could redeem that awful, frustrating book, then it would be her, and I was not disappointed.

Her Jane is a lot smarter, savvier and less of a drip that Brontë’s, who quite frankly I have always wanted to shake and tell her “he’s nuts, run woman!” but there we go. Wide Sargasso Sea on the other hand is an excellent book and should be more widely read, so read that, then this.

Modernising and moving the story to the US, 21st Century Jane is walking dogs for uptight, rich housewives, who quite honestly have time in their days to walk their own dogs, when she meets Eddie, supposedly mourning his wife’s death in a terrible boat related accident.

Following the basic plot of the original novel but with updates and twists, in the style of a thriller, this is a lot of fun and with a much more satisfying ending. I really enjoyed it and would love for the author to tackle some more problematic classics – Wuthering Heights next perhaps?

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: Revenge of the Sluts – Natalie Walton*

Double standards are about to get singled out.

In this stunning debut, author Natalie Walton tackles privacy and relationships in the digital age.

As lead reporter for The Warrior Weekly, Eden has covered her fair share of stories at St. Joseph Secondary. And when intimate pictures of six female students are anonymously emailed to the entire school, Eden is determined to get to the bottom of it.

In tracking down leads, Eden is shocked to discover not everyone agrees the students are victims. Some people feel the girls “brought it on themselves.” Even worse, the school’s administration seems more concerned about protecting its reputation than its students.

With the anonymous sender threatening more emails, Eden finds an unlikely ally: the six young women themselves. Banding together to find the perpetrator, the tables are about to be turned. The Slut Squad is fighting back!

Natalie Walton has been writing for as long as she can remember, completing her first ‘book’ in second grade. She began posting her stories on Wattpad at the age of fourteen and has since amassed over 18 million reads on her works. Natalie is a Delaware resident and wrote Revenge of the Sluts while being a full-time student at the University of Delaware, working toward her degree in sociology and criminal justice.

My thoughts:

This is a powerful, thought provoking and timely novel about revenge porn, the rights of victims and taking a stand.

Eden is a high school senior working on the school paper, when an email sharing personal photos of seven of her schoolmates is sent out to the entire student body.

The school’s response is lacklustre to say the least and the young women involved are infuriated by the double standards, slut shaming and general disinterest they’re shown in trying to bring “Eros” to justice.

All over the world young women are mistreated for being sexual beings, for having sex, wanting sex, sending nudes (which they’re often pressured into doing by boys) and it is endlessly frustrating how little is done. Laws take years to come into play, and women suffer. Once it’s on the internet, it’s there forever.

The stance Sloane and the other girls take, the support Eden and the newspaper team give them, the way they decide to claim back their narrative, is so powerful and striking and hopefully empowers readers, of whatever gender, to realise that they too don’t have to be OK with the attitude that anyone “deserves what they get”.

It’s a brilliantly written, honest, enjoyable book too, I’m stunned it’s a debut as it’s so confident and assured and I for one can’t wait to see what Natalie Walton does next if this is where she’s starting from.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: The Little Swiss Ski Chalet – Julie Caplin*

It’s time to pack your bags and head to the breathtaking, snow-covered peaks of the Swiss Alps for
velvety hot chocolates, delicious cheeses and a gorgeous love story…

Food technician Minna has always believed that chocolate will solve everything – and it’s just what she needs when her latest relationship mishap goes viral!

So with her bags packed and a new determination to sort her life out, Minna decides to drown her sorrows with the best hot chocolate in the world at her godmother’s cosy Swiss chalet. Chocolate: yes. Romance: no. Until she has a run in on an Alpine train with a mysterious but oh-so-gorgeous stranger…

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Julie Caplin, formerly a PR director, swanned around Europe for many years taking top food and drink writers on press trips (junkets) sampling the gastronomic delights of various cities in Italy, France, Belgium, Spain, Copenhagen and Switzerland. It was a tough job but someone had to do it.

These trips have provided the inspiration and settings for her Romantic Escapes series which have
been translated into fifteen different languages.

The first book in the seven strong series, The Little Café in Copenhagen, was shortlisted for a Romantic Novel of the Year Award.

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My thoughts:

I’ve never wanted to go skiing, but I would love to hit Switzerland for the food, and this book is a foodie dream of cake and chocolate. Not being able to travel at the moment due to gestures *all this* it was a real treat to travel with Mina to her godmother’s delightful chalet to eat cake, cross country ski and fall in love! (With cake, obvs).

Honestly this book was a delight, and the Mini Eggs I ate while reading were almost enough to stop me chewing the edges of my ipad in hunger at all the delicious things Mina got to enjoy.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: Trobairitz The Storyteller – Celia Micklefield*

Trobairitz were female troubadours of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. They brought news and sang songs about love, tradition and the role of women in society.

Feisty truck driver, Weed, a twenty first century Trobairitz never gives personal details to other drivers. She avoids the intimacy of real friendship.

Instead, she entertains the truckers by telling the story of ex-courtesan, seventy-six year old Catherine Joubert and the mysterious hold she has over young mayor, Henri-Claude Noilly and his grandfather.

Weed’s themes are those of the original Trobairitz but these are the very subjects causing problems in her own life.

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After living in Languedoc for nine years I returned to Norfolk where I live surrounded by beautiful countryside and wildlife.

I’m ageing faster than I used to, but I’ve still got ambitions.
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My thoughts:

This was a really interesting book with a story within a story as Weed tells her fellow truckers the tale of a village that no one can find on a map and its inhabitants. Over several months she weaves them a tale in a truck stop cafe, tugging at their curiosity about the grand dame Catherine Joubert and the pompous mayor. We as readers also slowly learn Weed’s story, meet her family and spend time on the road together.

I felt a particular attachment to the book as Weed passes through Bezier in Southern France, where my younger sister was born and my neighbour is a real life female truck driver, though now retired. These little connections were a surprise and made me smile, as did both Weed’s own story and the one she told the other drivers.

A clever book about the power of stories and their tellers, perfect for travelling in your mind while staying safe on your sofa.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: Sorry It’s A Girl – A.A. Khan*

Lahore, 2018: In a city teeming with gossip and rumours, where the spoken word is as sharp as a whip, five women lead extraordinary lives.

Born into wealth and opulence, Maya and Arzoo are best friends, achieving everything that is expected of them, from top grades to entry into the exclusive Ivy League schools. Gliding through Lahore’s glittering soirees, Ariyana is the picture of perfection. Charming Laila is married to a business tycoon, living a life of luxury that others could only dream of. But life is rarely perfect…

In this world where image is everything and tradition prevails, these women struggle to negotiate friendships, family and society’s expectations. Beneath the designer clothes lie hidden scars and secrets that cannot be told. And in amongst it all, love blooms.

“People don’t know much about Pakistan and the 1%, and even more specifically the women from that society. Much like women all over the world, the characters in this book have universally experienced issues such as love, college, finding their identity and place as well as balancing tradition with more modern ideologies,” explains the author. “This story isn’t so much about how men treat women, but about how women treat one other.”

A.A Khan wrote Sorry it’s a Girl when she was pursuing her studies abroad and was thrown in to some unpredictable and life-changing challenges. The book became a breathing space for Khan, and a way to understand the complexities of her surroundings and her situation. The book in more ways than one helped Khan navigate the social fabric of society while carving out her own future.

Currently, Khan is a successful entrepreneur, business owner and family woman happily residing in Pakistan.

My thoughts:

This was a really interesting look at the extremely wealthy Pakistani 1%, with its ladies who lunch and plot their children’s entire lives out while showing off their designer clothes, bags and shoes, guzzling Diet Coke and trying not to eat much.

Their children, meanwhile, aim to control their own lives, and escape the backstabbing, gossipy world their parents inhabit. Heading off to internationally renowned universities in the hope of freeing themselves from their families’ plans and find themselves.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: The Snow and the Works on the Northern Line – Ruth Thomas*

Hidden within the confines of the Royal Institute of Prehistorical Studies, Sybil is happy enough with her work – and her love life. Then to her dismay, her old adversary, assertive and glamorous Helen Hansen, is appointed Head of Trustees. To add insult, Helen promptly seduces Sybil’s boyfriend. Betrayed and broken-hearted, Sybil becomes obsessed with exposing Helen as a fraud, no matter the cost.

Ruth Thomas is the author of three short story collections and two novels, as well as many short stories which have been anthologised and broadcast on the BBC. The Snow and the Works on the Northern Line is her third novel. Her writing has won and been shortlisted for various prizes, including the John Llewellyn Rhys Award, the Saltire First Book Award and the VS Pritchett Prize, and long-listed for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award. She lives in Edinburgh and is currently an Advisory Fellow for the Royal Literary Fund.

BBC Radio 4

We’re delighted that The Snow and the Works on the Northern Line is being read on BBC Radio 4 throughout the blog tour! If you’d like to share a link to the episode guide so your readers can give it a listen, that’s available here

My thoughts:

This is rather lovely, if a little sad, with Sybil trying to work out what she wants from her life while dealing with a break up and the fact that a rather awful woman, a former uni professor of hers, is now both her boss and the woman who stole her boyfriend.

She’s found herself working in a museum classifying various collections of pots, rocks and other archaeological items. She’s also been compiling the index for her boss’ book, which now has a new section thanks to the ghastly Helen.

But Helen’s supposed find of all finds seems a little off to Sybil, it reminds her of a comment she made in her own university dissertation, about ten years before.

In order to process her break up she joins a poetry writing class, but she’s not very good and doesn’t really feel like there’s much point.

This is a really lovely book about life and finding yourself again.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: Victoria Park – Gemma Reeves*

A playful, lyrical novel about otherness, change, and the gap between generations in a London community.

Mona and Wolfie have lived on Victoria Park for over fifty years. Now, on the eve of their sixty-fifth wedding anniversary, they must decide how to navigate Mona’s declining health. Bookended by the touching exploration of their love, Victoria Park follows the disparate lives of twelve people over the course of a single year.

Told from their multiple perspectives in episodes which capture feelings of alienation and connection, the lingering memory of an acid attack in the park sends ripples of unease through the community. By the end of the novel, their carefully interwoven tales create a rich tapestry of resilience, love and loss.

With sharply observed insight into contemporary urban life, and characters we take to our hearts, Gemma Reeves has written a moving, uplifting debut which reflects those universal experiences that connect us all.

Gemma Reeves is a writer and teacher who lives and works in London.

My thoughts:

Told month by month from the perspectives of different local residents living around East London’s Victoria Park, this is a beautiful and moving series of snapshots of life in London. From the elderly Jewish couple who built their lives there after being evacuated, to the teenage boy fascinated by women’s fashion.

As the seasons pass and the year turns, lives change and people deal with loss and change, you catch glimpses of the other characters from different angles, building a complex and fascinating image of one small community.

This is a truly lovely book and deserves a spot on your reading list.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.