A Spring Surprise for the Cornish Midwife

MY REVIEW

Jess Kennedy is 29 and after a difficult life, she is now happy being a midwife in Port Agnes in Cornwall. She just been approved for foster care when baby boy appears on her doorstep. Jess has had to deal with infertility and has reluctantly accepted she will never be a mother, but with baby Teddy to look after, she wonders if that situation could change.

To further complicate matters, her ex-husband Dom keeps messaging her and she is becoming close to a man called Dexter and his stepson Riley.

Of course, you’ll have to read the book to discover what happens – and I recommend you do.

This is the fourth novel in The Cornish Midwives series, but it was the first one I have read and it works perfectly well as a standalone book. It features so many lovely characters and I really enjoyed the great camaraderie between the midwives.

There are lots of exciting “adventures” along the way too  – more than I expected for this kind of book, which kept me reading and held my interest throughout.

Jess can be really infuriating, I was shouting at her (in my head!) several times, telling her to make a different decision – but that shows how engaged I was in the story and that I cared about the characters and what was going to happen to them.

It was an enjoyable read, easy to get into and well written.

A Spring Surprise For The Cornish Midwife

Brand new from the top 10 bestselling author of The Cornish Midwife.

Midwife Jess knows she’ll never have a baby of her own, but she’s determined to still be a mum. So Jess decides to foster, providing love and support for children who desperately need it – something Jess never had as a child when she was in foster care.

Jess loves caring for the precious babies who come into her life, but letting them go again breaks her heart every time – can she really be a mum after all?

But then Jess finds a surprise on her doorstep – a newborn baby! As the search for the missing mum begins, Jess cares for the precious babe day and night. She desperately wants to reunite mum and baby, but knows that when the day comes, her own heart will shatter.

Purchase Link – https://amzn.to/3EBUtY3

Author Bio –

Jo Bartlett is the bestselling author of nineteen women’s fiction titles. She fits her writing in between her two day jobs as an educational consultant and university lecturer and lives with her family and three dogs on the Kent coast. Boldwood published the first title in The Cornish Midwife Series – part of a twelve-book deal – in April 2021.

Social Media Links.

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/JoBartlettAuthor/

Twitter https://twitter.com/j_b_writer?lang=en  

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/jo_bartlett123/?hl=en

Newsletter Sign Up: http://bit.ly/JoBartlettNewsletter

The Little Shop of Hidden Treasures

The Little Shop of Hidden Treasures by Holly Hepburn

Hope Henderson has been widowed for two years and decides to move back to her home city of York to make a fresh start, but nearer to her family. Walking past an antique shop called The Ever After Emporium, she remembers looking in the windows when she was younger and all the exciting treasures it housed. When she sees they are looking for someone to work there part-time, she goes in and meets the owner Mr Young.

After being offered the job, she begins working there and soon meets Will, the owner of the local jewellery shop, and his niece Brodie. She also meets a rather gorgeous professor called Ciaran, who helps her try to unravel the riddle of an old puzzle box found in the shop.

This was originally four books, so is in four parts. This is useful to know, because I was slightly puzzled by the recaps in each part. It works very well as a novel though and I really enjoyed it, especially the two stories – the present day one of Hope and the story she discovers of Elenor from the 1920s.

It is beautifully written, Holly Hepburn has a great style to her work, which makes it very readable. The characters are very well drawn and realistic and I loved Hope straight away. The supporting cast is also excellent and I especially loved the enigmatic Mr Young, as well as Iris, Hope’s best friend who runs the florist opposite.

The York setting was very well done too and this book has introduced me to a new favourite word – snickleways (alleys)!

9 out of 10

A Wedding at Hedgehog Hollow by Jessica Redland

This story follows Samantha, who owns a hedgehog rescue centre, and Phoebe who is doing work experience there while studying to become an accountant. We also meet Samantha’s fiancé (the wedding in the title is Samantha and Josh) and various family members and friends. It is a lovely community and we soon come to know them all and care about them.

This is the fourth book in the Hedgehog Hollow series and I wish I had read the first three before, so I knew everyone better and had followed their stories in chronological order, though I managed well enough reading this as a standalone.

I absolutely LOVED the characters, they are all so vivid and realistic. I ended up becoming so annoyed with two of the characters, that I was getting rather cross at their actions and had to take a break! That’s how realistic they are. (Tina and Jenny, look out for them!)

The hedgehogs are also adorable additions to the story and I felt I learnt a lot about them while reading it. There’s also some information about them at the end of the book, which is worth your time too.

It’s an easy novel to get into and I read it over two or three days, because I felt invested in the story and wanted (needed!) to know what was going to happen. I would definitely read more of her books.

8.5 out of 10

A Wedding at Hedgehog Hollow

It’s time for the wedding we’ve all been waiting for…

Life at Hedgehog Hollow is never dull, although Samantha hopes that the new year ahead will be a little less chaotic as she prepares to marry the love of her life, Josh. But disaster strikes when she checks the rescue centre’s bank account after the festive season and discovers it has been emptied. Who would do such a thing, and why? With the future of Hedgehog Hollow now in jeopardy, planning a wedding has lost its shine.

Phoebe is desperate to escape the shadow of her family, infamously known for their attacks on Samantha’s beloved rescue centre. Could the kindness of the Hedgehog Hollow team be the chance she needs for a fresh start, or will her family’s secrets continue to drag her back?

Purchase Link – https://amzn.to/3nVUBLA

Author Bio –

Jessica Redland is the top 10 bestselling author of over thirteen novels, including The Secret to Happiness. Inspired by her hometown of Scarborough she writes uplifting women’s fiction which has garnered many devoted fans.

Social Media Links –  

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/JessicaRedlandAuthor

Twitter https://twitter.com/JessicaRedland

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/jessicaredlandauthor/

Newsletter Sign Up: http://bit.ly/JessicaRedlandNewsletter

Hotel Portofino by J P O’Connell

HOTEL PORTOFINO by J. P. O’Connell

It’s Italy in 1926 and an English woman called Bella Ainsworth has recently opened the Hotel Portofino. As the guests arrive, we learn their stories alongside the problems Bella faces too, and also the rising tensions of the political movements in Italy itself.

The back cover of the book says ‘perfect for fans of Downton Abbey and The Crown’ and as those are two of my all-time favourite television series, I really wanted to read this book and I wasn’t disappointed. It’s very much a character study, as all the characters are beautifully layered and we learn more about them as each layer is peeled back.

It’s beautifully written, the author has a wonderful grasp of language and it’s one of those novels where on the surface, not much seems to happen. But look underneath and so much is going on! It reminded me of ducks swimming beautifully on a clear pond, but underneath their feet are going madly to keep them afloat.

All of the characters are flawed, but you will still fall in love with many of them, as their fragility and vulnerability is displayed as you continue to turn the pages. It is also a very visual book and there will be a television adaptation coming to BritBox this month and on ITV this summer.

8 ½ out of 10

Barb the Bird of Hope

Barb the Bird of Hope – written and illustrated by Zowie Norris

This tells the story of a beautiful bird called Barb who lives in a laburnum tree in Bretton Park. The bright yellow bird with purple tail feathers is the star of both the story and the gorgeous illustrations in this book. Her difference to the other birds (usually of the grey, brown and black varieties) brings hope to many, reminding them of brighter days and happier times.

It is a short book at only 44 pages, so a quick story to read, yet there is so much in it. It is suitable for all ages and I found it a moving story, beautifully told. It would be ideal for children struggling with the fears of a pandemic, as it deals with lockdown and the changes we have had to deal with over the past couple of years, but in a very positive and hopeful way. There is nothing to scare anyone in these pages, only beauty, joy and seeing the best in every situation. The drawings are also a joy – bright, colourful and charming with lovely details.

It’s a truly stunning book.

Christmas Carols and a Cornish Cream Tea

Christmas Carols and a Cornish Cream Tea by Cressida McLaughlin

Meredith Verren is 27 and works in a gift shop called Cornish Keepsakes in Port Karadow, Cornwall. She lives alone with her dog and cat and enjoys an outdoor swim in the sea every morning in a place she calls Charmed Cove.

She has a good life, enjoys her job and has lovely friends like her best pal Anisha, but Christmas is coming and it’s her least favourite time of the year. But when a stranger called Finn turns up on the beach, will things change for her? Will this Christmas finally be one she can enjoy?

I really enjoyed the characters in this and that it felt like I knew the whole community. I could easily picture Port Karadow and all its little shops and the places that were special to Meredith. It really came to life. I always enjoy reading about pets too and Smudge and Crumble were happy additions to the warmth of the story.

The festive feel to the book is lovely and I enjoyed reading how Anisha’s plans for making the town look ready for Christmas were coming along. Again, I felt like I was walking around the streets, looking at all the decorations and drinking in all the seasonal smells.

It’s a fun read, easy to get into and an enjoyable story.

8 out of 10

A Cornish Christmas Murder

A Cornish Christmas Murder

(A Nosey Parker Cozy Mystery) by Fiona Leitch

Our heroine Jodie Parker has returned from London to Penstowan in Cornwall to set up her catering business, after leaving the police force. But somehow, she always seems to find crimes which need investigating and this time is no different.

The catering van containing Jodie, her mum Shirley, her teenage daughter Daisy (13) and their Pomeranian dog Germaine, plus Debbie (a former nurse) arrives at Kingseat Abbey, where there’s a big children’s Christmas party.

We are soon introduced to the cast of characters, who end up snowed in and have to spend the night at the Abbey together. And one of them does not come out alive…

The book is perfect for this time of year, as it begins on December 20th. I’m a big Agatha Christie fan and this was right up my street! There’s a really great humour in the writing style, it’s very witty and there are wonderful, fun characters you can relate to.

I loved the whole Britishness of it too, it was very heart-warming and held my interest throughout, as we are encouraged to try to work out “whodunnit” and why, as Jodie and friends investigate. It’s a gentle, cosy mystery and I would definitely read more in this series.

One of my favourite quotes was “as an English person, there is nothing I fear more than allowing my tea levels to fall below a certain point and risk dehydrating” – hee hee! So true!

9 out of 10

Author’s social media – Instagram @leitchfiona and Twitter @fkleitch

Cassandra (The Cousins of Pemberley, Book 1) by Linda O’Byrne

MY REVIEW

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen is one of my all-time favourite books, so I was keen to read Cassandra, which is inspired by it and features many of the characters we know and love from the classic novel.

In Cassandra (The Cousins of Pemberley, Book 1) the story begins in Newcastle in 1832. Cassandra ‘Cassie’ Wickham – the daughter of Lydia Allerton (one of the Bennet sisters, who married Mr Wickham) – is 18 years old and being presented to society at a regimental ball. Mr Wickham, her father, has died ten years before and Colonel Allerton is her stepfather.

Cassandra is very different to her mother Lydia who loves balls, dancing and regimental gossip. Cassie likes reading and appreciates other who enjoy books, such as Dr Richard Courtney. Lydia wants to marry off her daughter to someone with money and status. During the regimental ball, Cassandra overhears the Colonel arranging a financial agreement to sell her to a man who is a single father and wants someone to be his lover and a mother to his children.

Hating this idea, Cassandra runs away…

Ooh, I loved this, it took me right back to studying Jane Austen for O-level English Lit and falling in love with her world and her characters. Linda O’Byrne has got it just right and it feels like a real sequel, a story that fits in well in every way – the characters (both old and new), the gorgeous settings, the language, everything. She has done a great job and I will look forward to reading the second one in the series.

8.5 out of 10

Author Bio

Fiction has always been my go-to world, a place of entertainment, excitement and imagination – I am told that I wrote my first story when I was four about a lady who had twenty children!   Sadly it has been lost for posterity.

I have been writing all my life in the time I could spare from having a “proper job”, mostly for children under the name of Linda Blake, stories of ballet dancers, pony riding and talking animals!  Not all in the same book!

But my love of romance, a great tendency to say “What if..?” and the endearing characters of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice have now resulted in a series of books that will take the reader forward to the next generation of heroines. 

I am retired, live in Kent and am a keen member of my local drama group.  Directing and acting take up a lot of my time – I have been given the onerous task of writing the Christmas pantomimes – but I still need to cope with a large garden, doing daily battle with the heron who thinks my pond is his own breakfast buffet and keeping in touch with friends and family scattered all over the world.  


Follow her at:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/linda.obyrne.7

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/wonda36/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/linobyrne

Buy Links

Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Cassandra-Cousins-Pemberley-Book-1-ebook/dp/B09L1CSQQF

Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/Cassandra-Cousins-Pemberley-Book-1-ebook/dp/B09L1CSQQF

Book Blurb

Many years have passed since the dramatic events of Pride and Prejudice.
In The Cousins of Pemberley series we follow a new generation of heroines – cousins with
lives as different and interesting as those enjoyed by their mothers.


Cassandra:

Cassandra Wickham, daughter of a flirt and a scoundrel, an innocent abroad in a world where money can buy you anything, even a bride.

When danger threatens and the man she thought she could rely on fails her, there is only one place she can turn to
for help –

Pemberley.

Surely the Darcy’s will protect her, no matter what happened in the past to divide the two families?

Coming March 2022: Miriam – Book 2 in The Cousins of Pemberley series.

The Stepson by Jane Renshaw

THE STEPSON by Jane Renshaw

MY REVIEW

The book tells the story of Nick Clyde. When he was sixteen, he came home from a day out with his friend to discover their house was empty, his family had disappeared – his father, stepmother and little sister. Now, in 2019, he’s grown up, successful, wealthy, living in London and married to Lulu, who’s a therapist from Australia. But Lulu is realising there’s something a bit strange about Nick…

Back in time to 1997, we read the thoughts of his stepmother Maggie. She is married to Nick’s father Duncan, pregnant and feeling outclassed. She comes home from a classy honeymoon cruise to their house, Sunnyside, where Duncan had lived with his wife Kathleen, who had died eighteen months before. Maggie is trying to fit in, but as she has the baby and settles into her new life, she is realising there’s something a bit strange about Nick…

Wow, this was a rollercoaster ride – up, down, thrills and spills – and I have rarely hated a fictional character as much as I hated Nick! It’s the sort of book you want to keep reading, as you’re desperate to find out what happens! You really feel for the characters involved in this story (and the dog!). It’s very cleverly written, it keeps you guessing right until the last page and it has a great ending too.

9 out of 10

Author Bio

As a child, Jane spent a lot of time in elaborate Lego worlds populated by tiny plastic animals and people. Crime levels were high, especially after the Dragon brothers set themselves up as vets and started murdering the animals in their ‘care’. (They got away with it by propping the victims up with Plasticine and pretending they were still alive…)

As an adult, she is still playing in imaginary worlds and putting her characters through hell – but now she can call it ‘writing’ and convince herself that she is doing something sensible. In real life, she has a PhD in genetics and copy-edits scientific and medical journals.

Jane writes psychological thrillers. The Stepson will be her fourth novel published with Inkubator Books.


Follow her at:

Website: https://www.janerenshaw.co.uk/

Buy Links

Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Stepson-psychological-thriller-twist-coming-ebook/dp/B09MTWLKQY/

Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/Stepson-psychological-thriller-twist-coming-ebook/dp/B09MTWLKQY

Book Blurb

He lost one family. Now he’s ready for another.

Psychotherapist Lulu is sure she’s the luckiest woman alive. She has a wonderful job and is married to the love of her life, Nick – who also happens to be ridiculously handsome and fabulously wealthy.

But now a shadow has fallen on her perfect life.

She can see that Nick is struggling with demons from his past. When he was sixteen his entire family disappeared without a trace and Nick has always insisted thathis stepmother – whom he hated – was to blame, that she did something terrible to his beloved father and baby sister. And that trauma has left him feeling that anyone he loves is in danger, might vanish in a heartbeat.

So now he is obsessed with Lulu’s safety. He needs to know where she is 24/7, insists she carries a can of pepper spray, is constantly watching for any potential threats.

Lulu can see that this extreme anxiety is wearing Nick down. And as a therapist, she knows the only way to heal a trauma is to confront it. So she persuades him to return to the country house from which his family vanished.

But soon after they arrive in this sleepy rural community, another person disappears.

As Lulu is forced to question everything she knows about Nick and his missing family, dark secrets emerge from the past. The certainties of her old life fade away and are replaced by a horror she could never have imagined in her wildest nightmares.

The Stepson – the stunning psychological thriller perfect for fans of Teresa Driscoll, K L Slater, Daniel Hurst.

The New Friends by Daniel Hurst

The New Friends by Daniel Hurst

MY REVIEW

This book tells the story of an ordinary couple called Becky and Jamie, who go on holiday to Spain and end up chatting to a couple called Phil and Mel. Thinking they have found some lovely new friends, they agree to meet up back in England after their holiday. But are Phil and Mel what they seem?

This is a fast read, as you want to find out what happens. It has quite a few twists in, so just as you think you know where it’s heading, it changes direction. I enjoyed reading it and really cared about Becky and Jamie and what was going to happen to them.

Phil and Mel are very interesting characters too and I wanted to understand their motivations behind their actions, and this was explained well in the novel, so it all seemed very believable.

The chapters are told from the perspectives of the main characters, so you have a chance to see the situation through their eyes, which is a very good storytelling device too.

8 out of 10

Author Bio

Daniel Hurst writes psychological thrillers and loves to tell tales about unusual things happening to normal people. He has written all his life, making the progression from handing scribbled stories to his parents as a boy to writing full length novels in his thirties. He lives in the North West of England and when he isn’t writing, he is usually watching a game of football in a pub where his wife can’t find him.

Daniel writes psychological thrillers. The New Friends will be his fourth novel published with Inkubator Books.


Follow him at:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/danielhurstbooks

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/danielhurstbooks/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/dhurstbooks

Website:  https://www.danielhurstbooks.com/

Buy Links

Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/New-Friends-gripping-psychological-thriller-ebook/dp/B09N3SSFH1

Amazon US  https://www.amazon.com/New-Friends-gripping-psychological-thriller-ebook/dp/B09N3SSFH1

Book Blurb

They are fun, wealthy, fabulous. Pray you never meet them.

Becky and Jamie are an ordinary hard-working couple trapped in the daily grind, dreaming of an easier life. On one of their rare vacations, they meet a wealthy couple, Phil and Mel, who seem to have it all – they are fun, well travelled, and very generous with their money.

But they are also very, very dangerous.

Because Phil and Mel are not who they say they are. And this is no random vacation friendship, they have chosen Jamie and Becky carefully, seducing them with the promise of a lifestyle just like theirs.

By the time Jamie and Becky realise what their new friends really want, it’s too late, they’ve lost everything, their hopes and dreams lie shattered.

The only question now is how far will they go to get even?

The New Friends – the stunning psychological thriller from the bestselling author of The Passenger, The Boyfriend, The Promotion.

@dhurstbooks @inkubatorbooks @zooloosbt #TheNewFriends #ZooloosBookTours