Should I Tell You? by Jill Mansell


Teddy and May were amazing foster parents and amongst the children they looked after were Amber, Lachlan and Raffaele who met as teenagers. Now May has died, the teens are adults and are all back in Lanrock, Cornwall. The story follows their lives as well as seeing how Teddy has apparently found a new love, a younger Russian woman called Olga.

I first read Jill Mansell’s novels back in the 1990s and have enjoyed all her books I have read, I know she is an author you can rely on to never disappoint, so I was very excited to get a proof copy of her new book to review. This one looks gorgeous and has a lovely map of Lanrock inside. (I know lots of readers like a good map!)

When I was reading this book, one thing that struck me was how good it was to read about positive experiences of foster care. Often the books I read have negative experiences – the guy becomes a criminal because he was abused in foster care, that kind of thing – so it was great to read this side of things and see how inspirational Teddy and May were to their young charges.

The characters bounce out of the pages, they are so well-rounded and realistic. The chapters are the ideal length, they hold your interest and make you want to read the next one. The story is detailed, yet easy to follow (mainly because the characters are so well-described and clearly defined) and all the strands are worth pursuing, I wanted to know what was going to happen to everyone.

I really have no criticism to make of this book, it’s a complete joy from start to finish. I loved all the intertwining stories and it’s such a positive, uplifting and joyful novel.

9.5 out of 10


Amber, Lachlan and Raffaele met as teenagers in the seaside home of kind-hearted foster parents. Arriving in glorious Cornwall was the best thing that ever happened to them – and now, as adults, their bond is stronger than ever.

But Amber has a secret. She’s in love with Lachlan. She can’t confess her feelings because that would never work. Restless Lachlan dates a lot and definitely isn’t the settling-down type. Surely it’s better to keep him as a friend than to risk losing him for good?

Raffaele has his own dilemma. He had the dream girlfriend in Vee, until it all went horribly wrong . . . and he still can’t understand why. Is Vee hiding something from him?

Now their widowed foster dad Teddy thinks he’s found love again. Younger, charming and strikingly beautiful, is Olga as perfect as she seems? Or will she end up breaking Teddy’s heart?

Against a backdrop of sparkling seas and sunny skies, the unexpected is always just around the corner. Welcome to Lanrock!


Jill Mansell is the author of over twenty Sunday Times bestsellers including The One You Really Want and Meet Me at Beachcomber Bay.  Take a Chance on Me won the RNA’s Romantic Comedy Prize, and in 2015 the RNA presented Jill with an outstanding achievement award.

Jill started writing fiction while working in the field of Clinical Neurophysiology in the NHS, but now writes full time. She lives in Bristol with her family.

Publishing in Hardback by Headline Review on 20th January 2022, £14.99

Find the Girl by Helen Phifer

Find the Girl by Helen Phifer

Find the Girl is a crime thriller and Book 5 in the Detective Morgan Brookes series, though I hadn’t read any of the previous books and it works perfectly well as a standalone.

The story starts back in time, when a twenty-year-old girl gets murdered at Forest Pines campsite. Then we fast forward to the present day when a woman goes missing from the same campsite and the police become involved in the missing person’s case. I really don’t want to give too much away, because it’s a book you want to follow as it all reveals itself.

The story gripped me from the start. At bedtime, I was tired and thought I’d just read a few pages on the Kindle. By the time I went to sleep, I’d read 31% of it and could happily have read more, if my eyes hadn’t started closing! It’s a really exciting, well-paced read which draws you into the action straight away.

Detective Constable Morgan Brookes is the main character and she is excellent, a real police officer with a heart, but every person in the story is well-described and comes to life off the pages. I loved the police team and also Brian.

This is only a short review because I don’t want to give any spoilers, but I absolutely loved the book, it’s a real page-turner and I look forward to reading more of her books.

9.5 out of 10

Finding Edith Pinsent by Hazel Ward

The book opens with Edith (Edie) Pinsent’s final day on Earth in 2017. Then Netta Wilde’s story takes over, two years later. She is now living in Edie’s old house, but was only allowed to buy it if she followed some rules previously set by Edie. Netta had to look after Edie’s dog Maud and clear out the house personally, sorting through Edie’s possessions and reading her journals.

The book goes between the two women’s stories, so some chapters are in Netta’s present day (2019) and others are from Edie’s perspective over the years. This is well done and means the reader learns about Edie the same time as Netta does, finding out her story from Edie’s old diaries. The chapters are clearly labelled with whose story it is and which year, so it is easy to understand what’s going on.

It was great to have the main character someone of my age – well, Netta’s 51 and I’m 52, but close enough. I do sometimes find it hard to relate to twenty-somethings in books, who are most worried about their make up running. She is divorced and has two grown up kids and has gone through some difficult times.

There are many wonderful characters in both parts of the story. Edie is so realistic, you will fall in love with her. I loved Dolly’s appearance in Netta’s story too, a really beautiful little cameo.

The dogs are great too. I’m a sucker for having some lovely pets in a novel and the dogs are quite often scene stealers in this one.

The book is so beautifully told and heart-warming, you will be rooting for both Edie and Netta and turning the pages to find out what happens to them. Edie’s story is especially involving, because it includes the Second World War and the 1950s and you really get a feel for the time, as well as the hardships and heartbreak those eras brought, especially for women.

Hazel Ward’s writing is sensitive, emotional and beautiful. She draws you in and you stay there with bated breath, following the characters as they journey along their paths.

9 out of 10

Finding Edith Pinsent

A moving story of love, loss and friendship that breaks and uplifts your heart.

Netta Wilde has a task to complete.

She’s agreed to go through the late Edith Pinsent’s diaries and possessions personally. The problem is, she’s been busy sorting out her own life. But she’s in a better place now. She’s free of her manipulative ex, has a new love in neighbour, Frank and has reunited with her kids.

What better time to begin Edie’s story?

But the path to discovery is not easy.

There are missing diaries to contend with, boxes of memories to uncover and revelations that turn everything on its head. Revelations that make Netta question if her own life really is sorted.

Delving deeper into Edith’s history, Netta is overtaken by a need to revisit her own past and put things right, but to do that she has to find the two people who once meant everything to her.

As her two challenges intertwine, Netta realises that Edith had a purpose for her. One that she must fulfil

Bit by bit, the house yields a lifetime of secrets and the real Edith Pinsent begins to emerge.

But will it be the Edith everyone thought they knew?

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Author Bio –

Hazel Ward was born in inner city Birmingham. By the time the city council packed her family off to the suburbs, she was already something of a feral child who loved adventures. Swapping derelict houses and bomb pecks for green fields and gardens was a bit of a culture shock but she rose to the occasion and grew up loving outdoor spaces and animals.

Strangely, for someone who couldn’t sit still, she also developed a ferocious reading habit and a love of words. She wrote her first novel at fifteen, along with a lot of angsty poems, and was absolutely sure she wanted to be a writer. Sadly, it all came crashing down when her seventeen-year-old self walked out of school in a huff one day and was either too stubborn or too embarrassed to go back. It’s too long ago to remember which.

Against all odds, she somehow managed to blag her way into a successful corporate career until finally giving it all up to do the thing she’d always wanted to do. Shortly after, she began to write her debut novel Being Netta Wilde.

Hazel still lives in Birmingham and that’s where she does most of her writing, although she spends a lot of time in Shropshire or gadding about the country in an old motorhome. Not quite feral anymore but still up for adventures.

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Heartcross Castle

Heartcross Castle by Christie Barlow

Grace Power is married to Cole, a violent waste of space, and living in a miserable flat in Devon. They have three young sons together – Freddie, Joey and Billy. One night, after being hit again, Grace throws Cole out. So when she hears she has inherited Heartcross Castle in Scotland after her grandfather has died, she realises they have to move there to get away from Cole and make a new start.

Grace had originally left her home in the Scottish Highlands at the age of sixteen, after an argument with her grandfather and hasn’t returned since. She has no idea if she will be welcomed back by her old friends – Isla, Felicity and Allie – or how things will be for her, but she has to give it a try for the sake of her sons.

Moving into the castle, she meets celebrity chef Andrew Glossop who rents the servants’ quarters. She can’t help noticing he is both rich and gorgeous, though obviously way out of her league.

Grace is a brilliant character and I liked her straight away and wanted to keep reading, to find out how her story developed. The three boys are beautifully written too and I loved how their relationships with their mum and each other are described.

Living in a castle is a great idea for a story and another reason to pick up the book. I enjoyed seeing the castle through the characters’ eyes and wondering how they were going to make it their home.

Grace’s friends are also lovely and I enjoyed the camaraderie between them.

The book is a real feel-good, heart-warming story which will make you smile whilst reading it and afterwards.

Heartcross Castle

Love Heart Lane – where friends are there for you no matter what

A second chance…

When her grandfather Marley passes away Grace Power discovers she’s been left the beautiful but crumbling estate of Heartcross Castle. As a single mum of three, Grace has no idea what she’s going to do with it – but who can say no to a roof over their kids’ heads and a chance to get away from past hurts?

And a forever home

Heartcross Castle is full of secrets – especially a lost security deposit box that holds the truth to everything… But when celebrity chef Andrew Glossop sets his eyes on the castle and, to make matters worse, mistakes Grace as the new housekeeper, Grace tells him there is absolutely NO CHANCE he is getting his hands on her home.
Devastated to have got it so wrong, Andrew will do anything to make it up to her – but is she willing to listen?

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Author Bio – Christie Barlow is the number one international bestselling author of fifteen romantic comedies including the iconic Love Heart Lane Series, A Home at Honeysuckle Farm and Kitty’s Countryside Dream. She lives in a ramshackle cottage in a quaint village in the heart of Staffordshire with her four children and two dogs.

Her writing career has come as a lovely surprise when Christie decided to write a book to teach her children a valuable life lesson and show them that they are capable of achieving their dreams. Christie’s dream was to become a writer and the book she wrote to prove a point went on to become a #1 international bestseller in the UK, USA, Canada and Australia.

When Christie isn’t writing she co-presents The Book Show on Radio Northwich, enjoys playing the piano, is a keen gardener and loves to paint and upcycle furniture.

Christie is an ambassador for the @ZuriProject alongside Patron of the charity, Emmerdale’s Bhasker Patel. They raise money and awareness for communities in Uganda.

Christie loves to hear from her readers and you can get in touch via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.


Twitter @ChristieJBarlow 

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A Nose for Mischief

A Nose for Mischief (Riverbend K-9s) by K. T. Lee

After Zoey Butler loses her job at Future State Energy in Colorado, USA and fails to find another job in the same sector, she contacts FBI Special Agent Alexis Thompson to see if she can help her find a new job. Alexis works in Riverbend K-9 Academy in Indiana with her dog Waffle and she finds Zoey a place there, working with the adorable canine Tasha.

But as she begins to settle down in Riverbend and enjoying her new job, something happens with her old employers – Future State. She offers to help the FBI by returning to her old company and seeing if she can find out what’s happening. This time, fellow dog handler Liam is going to accompany her.

The book has everything – drama, mystery, industrial espionage and romance. I loved the characters especially Zoey, Liam and Alexis. I also really enjoyed the dogs featured in the book and they were the reason I fancied reading it initially.

The story is well-paced, held my interest throughout and kept me turning the pages. This is the first in the series and I would definitely be interested in reading the future books.

8 out of 10

A Nose for Mischief (Riverbend K-9s Book 1)

When materials engineer Zoey Butler lands her dream job at Future State Energy, she believes her research in renewable energy will make headlines. Unfortunately for her, she’s right. Zoey is working on her latest experiment when FBI Special Agent Alexis Thompson and her K-9 partner, Waffle, raid Future State and arrest the head of the development for fraud. Zoey helps the FBI find answers in the aftermath, but she soon finds herself jobless and unemployable. Desperate and out of options, she reaches out to Alexis, the one person who knows Zoey was duped like everyone else.

Liam Graham is an FBI special agent and instructor at Riverbend K-9 Academy. When Alexis brings in a new recruit with an unusual background, Liam pairs her up with Tasha, a dog in need of a handler to stay in their competitive program. Zoey is thrilled to put her past behind her and give the mischievous rescue dog her own second chance. However, shortly after she arrives, the FBI realizes the Future State case is far from closed. And Zoey may be the key to solving it.

Zoey offers to go back to Future State to help the FBI end things once and for all. Only this time, she’ll have Liam and Tasha for backup. But, the problems at Future State are more explosive than any of them suspect.

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Author Bio –

K.T. Lee is a writer, mom, and engineer who grew up on a steady diet of books from a wide variety of genres. She’s the author of multiple books, including those in the Riverbend K-9 Series and The Calculated Series.

Find out more and get the latest updates (and a free prequel novella!) at or follow K.T. on the social media sites below:

The War Girls of Goodwill House

The novel begins at Goodwill House in Stodham, Kent in January 1940. Lady Joanna Harcourt and her seventeen-year-old daughter Sarah live there, while Lord Harcourt is away due to the War. They are struggling financially and Sarah is having to do more of the work the servants would have covered previously.

Then they are asked to billet six WAAF girls who have been assigned to the nearby RAF base at Marston, as the base has no facilities to accommodate women. Goodwill House is huge and has many rooms that are never used, so the Harcourts happily take in the girls, especially as they are paid for doing so.

Sarah Harcourt is a great character! While the 1940s setting is beautifully done, Sarah is quite a modern woman, while still being very realistic and believable. She is feisty and determined to be independent. It is also interesting to see the contrast between Sarah and her mother and how the changes to their life help them evolve.

I was much more interested in the story of the Harcourts and the WAAF girls and visitors rather than the men at the RAF base. Some of the details about the military ranks and the way the planes worked were beyond me, but it didn’t detract from the overall story and I am sure some readers would love those details.

I did though absolutely love the relationship between Flight Lieutenant Angus Trent and Sarah. The pacing of the novel was perfect, there was enough drama to hold my interest throughout and the characters were beautifully written so I cared about them and wanted to know what was going to happen.

9 out of 10

The War Girls of Goodwill House

Lady Joanna Harcourt and her daughter Sarah discover their life of luxury at Goodwill House is over. Because with Lord Harcourt away fighting, the Harcourt girls are facing financial ruin.

Lady Joanna is terrified of losing their home, but for Sarah, this means her dreams of becoming a doctor are over. Headstrong Sarah isn’t one to quit! War or not, she’s determined to find a way to save her home and follow her dreams– whatever it takes!

Dashing RAF officer Angus Trent might just save the day. The new RAF base at Marston will soon be full of young women all hoping to serve their country, and Goodwill House will make the perfect home for them. But can Sarah convince Lady Joanna to agree to her plan?

Angus has never met a woman quite like Sarah – courageous, brave, unwavering. She has a huge task ahead of her, but if anyone can do it, his war girl can.

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Author Bio –

Fenella J. Miller is the bestselling writer of eighteen historical sagas. She also has a passion for Regency romantic adventures and has published over fifty to great acclaim. Her father was a Yorkshireman and her mother the daughter of a Rajah. She lives in a small village in Essex with her British Shorthair cat.

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Murder on High by Paula Williams

This is the fourth book in the Much Winchmoor Mystery series. It follows the adventures of Kat (Katie) Latcham, who is a journalist, dog walker and barmaid, but also a reluctant detective. As an apparently much-loved resident is murdered in the village, it’s inevitable she will get involved…

I loved this from the first couple of pages! The first person narration draws you straight in, the characters are great (often hilarious) and it is so witty and clever! After the first chapter, I was pretty sure Paula Williams is the kind of author I will read everything she ever writes.

Kat is a great character, easy to relate to, but the supporting cast are also outstanding. Having lived in villages myself, I felt very familiar with the way news and gossip travels round a community. I could recognize many of the villagers as the same type of people we all know and loved the gossipy older women, with their prejudices and proclamations. Many of the character studies are hilarious, because they are just perfect! Elsie’s malapropisms are especially delightful. Paula Williams has the perfect knack of capturing each person with all their idiosyncrasies and they fall off the page and into your heart.

There are also a lot of dogs in the book and these too have their own personalities and foibles. (Writing a good dog character is much harder than it seems!)

Despite a lot of great humour in the book, there is a murder at its heart so we have drama, clues to follow and a murderer to find. I often enjoy reading cosy murders and murder mysteries and now I have another author to add to my list when people ask me for recommendations in that genre.                                                        

Murder on High

Remember, abseiling is only the second fastest way down a church tower.’ 

The note pinned to the teddy bear lying at the foot of the church tower could have been a joke – if it hadn’t been for the body on the path next to it!

Somebody wants to make very sure that everyone knows this was not an accident or suicide. But why?

Suddenly, no one in the village has any enthusiasm for the Teddy Bear Abseil, planned to raise money for the children’s play area, as, once again, a murderer walks the narrow, twisty streets of the small Somerset village of Much Winchmoor.

And, once again, Kat Latcham, reporter/dog walker/barmaid and occasional reluctant hair salon gopher, finds herself unwillingly dragged into a murder investigation.

This fourth Much Winchmoor mystery is spiked with humour and sprinkled with romance. 

And, of course, one carefully planned, coldly executed murder.

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Author Bio –

Paula Williams is living her dream. She’s written all her life – her earliest efforts involved blackmailing her unfortunate younger brothers into appearing in her plays and pageants. But it’s only in recent years that she discovered, to her surprise, that people with better judgement than her brothers actually liked what she wrote and were prepared to pay her for it.

Now, she writes every day in a lovely, book-lined study in her home in Somerset, UK, where she lives with her husband and a handsome but not always obedient rescue dog, a Dalmatian called Duke. She is very proud to be a member of both the UK Romantic Novelists’ Association and the Crime Writers’ Association. 

Her Much Winchmoor Mysteries are based in a small Somerset village which bears in uncanny resemblance to her own – although none of her friends and neighbours have murderous tendencies – as far as she knows! Her novels often feature a murder or two, a dog and cat or two and are always spiked with humour and sprinkled with a touch of romance.

Paula is, indeed, living her dream. But she worries that one day she’s going to wake up and find she still has to bully her brothers into performing ‘the play what she wrote’.

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A Spring Surprise for the Cornish Midwife


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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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