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Saturday, 29 July 2017

Down the TBR Hole #3

I'm back!  Time to get organised again! Well, at least pretend to in the hope that my book buying habits can be curtailed by going back over to my TBR list on GoodReads and realising that I just can't possibly read ALL THE BOOKS!!  Hey, but it's fun trying!! ;)

Very grateful to Lia @ Lost In A Story for thinking this little exercise up!!

Here is how it all works....

  • Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?
Click on the title if you'd like to read the blurb for each book via GoodReads...

Ready? Steady? GO!!!

I loved A Home in Sunset Bay by Rebecca, so I put this on my TBR as this is her debut. It just sounds like a fabulous escapism read - perfect for a summer day!

Verdict - KEEP!

I have heard good reports of this book from a few friends so put it on my TBR pile quite a while ago. Not sure why I've not picked it up yet although maybe the emotional element is putting me off a little! Maybe I'll save it for the Autumn!

Verdict - KEEP!

Got the hardback version of this as it just sounds like a fabulous read - and it looks gorgeous too!

Verdict  - KEEP!!

Having read the prequel to this - The Mermaid Girl - I had to rush out and get this once I'd finished as I loved the style of writing and the setting so will definitely be bumping this up my TBR pile!

Verdict - KEEP!!

Another book where I enjoyed another from the author - Fractured - so I was intrigued to read more. Obviously not that intrigued as I've not been tempted to start reading it yet!

Verdict - GO!!

Me Before You was one of those books that was such a outstanding read that to know there's more of the story to be told was a big draw for adding this to my TBR... but the more reviews I read and the more I hear from others, the more I'm tempted to skip this and leave it well alone!
Verdict - GO!!

I was bought this for Christmas when it was first released so it has been watching over me from my bookshelves ever since! I do enjoy Cecilia Ahern and her books so am sure I will get round to this sooner rather than later

Verdict - KEEP!!

A book with a dog in it!  How can I not have read this yet?!  I'm a sucker for a story featuring animals and this has received some rave reviews from friends I know who've read it...

Verdict - KEEP!!

I read How I Live Now and enjoyed that so only added this to my TBR list due to the author.  It hasn't really grabbed my interest again though as I read through the blurb again though so time to be tough...

Verdict - GO!!

I love this author and found a hardback copy in a local charity shop.  Know very little about the story itself but still intrigued to read it!

Verdict - KEEP!!

All done!! All organised for another week!! I love how this method is making me revisit books that I've long forgotten about!  And how it has made me itching to read other books that have been languishing hidden for so long!! 

If only there were more hours in the day!!


Friday, 28 July 2017

Bookish Weekly Wrap Up!

Howdy!!  I trust we are all doing well and surviving all that life throws our way?!  I'm currently in charge of a hamster that my niece has trusted me to look after while she is away for a few days!  I remember having a hamster or 2 when I was younger - they make pretty rubbish pets don't they?!!  Hopefully Humphrey the hamster will enjoy his stay with me for the next few days, and will decide not to go missing on one of his jaunts round the house in his hamster ball!!

On to the books!!  I thought it was a pretty slow reading week until I looked at my reading notebook and it turns out that I managed to get back to finishing 5 books! It does help when you have a productive afternoon in the garden one day - yay sunshine! - and manage to finish 2 e-books in one sitting!  

And as for the bookhaul - eek!! There has been quite a few this week!  The Urbane Book Club Haul that I shared the other day deserved a post of its' own, so I won't go over those again! Otherwise I'd have you here for hours!! 

On with the wrap up!!


Please click on the title if you'd like to see my GoodReads review


Along with my Urbane Book Club parcel containing 8 books, and the wonderful Moth Box which added 2 more books to the overcrowded shelves, I still managed to add a couple more - 2 I treated myself to, 1 was from the fabulous Readers First site!

Seeing Red by Lina Meruane

This powerful, profound autobiographical novel describes a young Chilean writer recently relocated to New York for doctoral work who suffers a stroke, leaving her blind and increasingly dependent on those closest to her. Fiction and autobiography intertwine in an intense, visceral, and caustic novel about the relation between the body, illness, science, and human relationships.

The Summer of Impossible Things by Rowan Coleman

If you could change the past, would you?

Thirty years ago, something terrible happened to Luna’s mother. Something she’s only prepared to reveal after her death. 

Now Luna and her sister have a chance to go back to their mother’s birthplace and settle her affairs. But in Brooklyn they find more questions than answers, until something impossible – magical – happens to Luna, and she meets her mother as a young woman back in the summer of 1977. 

At first Luna’s thinks she’s going crazy, but if she can truly travel back in time, she can change things. But in doing anything – everything – to save her mother’s life, will she have to sacrifice her own?

Together by Julie Cohen

This is not a great love story. 
This is a story about great love.

On a morning that seems just like any other, Robbie wakes in his bed, his wife Emily asleep beside him, as always. He rises and dresses, makes his coffee, feeds his dogs, just as he usually does. But then he leaves Emily a letter and does something that will break her heart. As the years go back all the way to 1962, Robbie's actions become clearer as we discover the story of a couple with a terrible secret - one they will do absolutely anything to protect.

Perfect for fans of Jojo Moyes's Me Before You, David Nicholls's One Day and M L Stedman's The Light Between Oceans.


An Unlikely Agent by Jane Menczer

London, 1905. Margaret Trant lives with her ailing, irascible mother in a dreary boarding house in St John’s Wood. The pair have fallen on hard times, with only Margaret’s meagre salary from a ramshackle import-export company keeping them afloat.

When a stranger on the tram hands her a newspaper open at the recruitment page, Margaret spots an advertisement that promises to ‘open new horizons beyond your wildest dreams!’. After a gruelling interview, she finds herself in a new position as a secretary in a dingy backstreet shop. 

But all is not as it seems; she is in fact working for a highly secret branch of the intelligence service, Bureau 8, whose mission is to track down and neutralise a ruthless band of anarchists known as the Scorpions.

Margaret’s voracious reading of detective fiction has scarcely prepared her for the reality of true criminality. Her journey of self-discovery forms the heart of this remarkable novel, as she discovers in herself resourcefulness, courage, independence and the first stirrings of love.

Menczer conveys the fog and grime of Edwardian London in an espionage thriller that evokes the humdrum dinginess of spywork as it alternates with thrilling danger, in a manner characteristic of John le Carrรฉ. Margaret Trant is a heroine to remember

Satin Island by Tom McCarthy  - listening to the audio book

MEET U. – CORPORATE ANTHROPOLOGIST secreted in the basement of a large consultancy. U. spends his time toiling away at a great, epoch-defining public project which no one, least of all its own creators, understands. Besieged by data, confronted at every turn by the fact of his own redundancy, U. grows obsessed with the images – oil-spills, roller-bladers heading nowhere over streets that revolutionaries once tore up, zombies on parade – which the world and all its veil-like screens bombard him with on a daily basis. 

Is there a plot at work behind the veil? Is it buffering a portal to the technological divine? Who killed the parachutist in the news? And what’s this got to do with South Pacific Cargo Cults? U.’s disconnected notes from underground in fact amount to an impassioned, integrated vision – of disintegration. Satin Island is a book that captures our out-of-joint times like no other.

And there we have it! Another week all wrapped up! Doesn't time fly when you're reading and having fun?!!  Hope your week has been as good!


Thursday, 27 July 2017

Larry and the Dog People by J.Paul Henderson - book review


Larry MacCabe is a retired academic, a widower, and friendless—until a chance meeting with the administrator of a care home. At her suggestion he adopts a basset hound, and joins her one Saturday at Georgetown’s Volta Park. He becomes a regular visitor, and for the first time in his life the member of a gang. While his new companions prepare for the annual Blessing of the Animals service on the Feast Day of St. Francis, Larry puts the finishing touches to a conference paper he’s due to present in Jerusalem and arranges a house-sitter. Neither the service nor his visit to Israel go to plan, and on his return Larry is charged with conspiring to blow up a church and complicity in the deaths of four people. All that stands between him and conviction is a personal injury lawyer—and things for Larry aren’t looking good.

Amazon UK

Book Depository - buy online and support your local bookstore

Publication Date - 27th July 2017


J PAUL HENDERSON was born and grew up in Bradford, West Yorkshire, gained a Master's degree in American Studies and travelled to Afghanistan. He worked in a foundry, as a bus conductor, trained as an accountant and then, when the opportunity to return to academia arose, left for Mississippi, returning four years later with a doctorate in 20thC US History and more knowledge of Darlington Hoopes than was arguably necessary. (Hoopes was a Pennsylvanian socialist and the last presidential candidate of the American Socialist Party). American History departments were either closing or contracting, so he opted for a career in publishing, most of which was spent selling textbooks, in one position or other, for John Wiley & Sons. He lives in a house in England, drives a car and owns a television set. And that's about it.

my review

How does a socially awkward, lonely widower end up in jail charged with conspiracy to blow up a church and the killing of 4 people?!  I've had the pleasure of finding out whilst reading this book, and it has been one of those books that has been a delight to discover!

I was intrigued by the blurb and the publishers, No Exit Press, kindly sent me an ARC as it sounded right up my street! And it was!

With touches of 'A Man Called Ove' we are introduced to the character of Larry who is desperately alone since the passing of his beloved wife.    He has always been socially awkward and this has become more noticeable since he's been on his own.  He is a retired Professor and has the ability to remember the mundane facts of the world, and seems to think others would be as interested in things as he is - they often aren't!    He becomes one of the 'magnolia' people, instantly forgettable and he finds that often nice doesn't seem to get you anywhere in life and in finding friends. Even his children have nothing to do with him!

He was a geek as a child and nobody ever told him he talked too much, so he carried on!  And as a teacher for 37 years he could talk as much as he liked!

His home is silent since losing his wife, so he goes looking for company and conversation.  He tries volunteering and this leads him down the path of dog ownership!  Unfortunately his first attempt doesn't go too well, but soon Moses appears in his life and his new life is just about to begin! 

He soon starts meeting a mixed bag of characters at the local dog park - 'the dog people' - and these are all weird and wonderful people who would never normally have met under any circumstances but soon form a bond over the time they spend together with their dogs.  I loved the mix of people, and you get to see the stories behind many of these characters and there are some fascinating stories to be told!

His work as a Professor is never far from his mind, and this leads to an opportunity to deliver a talk in Israel, seeing as he's the leading expert on the 'Desert Land Act of 1877'. (Yes, I've looked it up since to find out more!!)  Who knew this new venture would lead to his life unravelling again!

I found this book to be such a fascinating, funny and dark read!  It's a story of grief, being alone, moving on and acceptance.  And just when you think you have figured out the moral behind the story, then 'boom' it all takes a much darker twist and leads you down a completely different thought process!  Maybe you are better off alone....

Highly recommended if you are looking for something a little different! I will definitely be reading more from this author!

My thanks again to No Exit Press for the ARC copy

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Urbane Book Club Book Haul - July 2017

Greetings to you all! You know it's a good day when you find a stack of books that look like this on your doorstep! And thanks to the fabulous Urbane Publications Book Club, this is the sight that greeted me on Monday - is there a better way to start the week?!

The Book Club was set up by the publishers to let those who join receive a copy of EVERY book that Urbane publish throughout the year!!

A full year of Urbane books – hot off the press!
As an Urbane Book Club member you’ll receive a print and ebook edition of every new Urbane title published from the date you join for an entire year. Urbane currently publishes around 5 books a month
You’ll receive a 75% discount on any further purchases of Urbane titles through the Urbane website, including the entire backlist – all with free p&p in the UK
You’ll receive exclusive invitations to Urbane events and author signings
Each member will have the chance to receive pre-publication scripts of forthcoming titles
Every member will be able to book exclusive one-to-one writing and publishing sessions at a significant discount

All for the ridiculously low price of £99.99!
Who can resist a deal like that!!  So this is what arrived today as part of the July haul!!  Grab yourself a cuppa, this could take a while....

The Man Who Played Trains by Richard Whittle  - out now

Mining engineer John Spargo is distraught when his mother is attacked in her home and later dies from her injuries. He also discovers her home has been thoroughly searched. 

Determined to track down her killer and discover the truth behind her death, John finds a connection between his late father's wartime mine and the wreck of a U-Boat. The connection deepens when he discovers the diaries of the U-Boat captain and a wartime mission to spirit Gรถring to safety along with a fortune in stolen art. When John's daughter Jez is kidnapped, he is contacted by a mysterious consortium. Her life hangs in the balance unless he can find the stolen art. 

What is the link with his father's abandoned mine? Who was the U-Boat captain? Did he survive and hide Gรถring's treasures? John races against time to discover the truth...and in doing so may unearth secrets that were better left buried..

Seeking Eden by Beverley Harvey  -  out October 2017

"50 is the new 30 - haven't you heard?" Or so says Ben Wilde's record producer on the eve of his comeback. If only Ben could win back ex-girlfriend, Kate, he'd be a happy man. But married Kate has moved on, and moved out - to Eden Hill, a quiet housing estate in the suburbs. Lonely and homesick for London, can Kate resist ego-maniac Ben's advances and save her own flagging marriage? Streets away, Kate's new friend Lisa, a Chihuahua toting ex-WAG, is primed for a fresh start - until her footballer ex-husband is found dead and she is vilified in the gutter press. But Kate, Lisa and Ben aren't the only ones having a midlife crisis; local shop owner Martin dreams of escaping his dutiful marriage, and develops an unhealthy obsession with Lisa and her friends in Eden Hill. Alongside a colourful cast of friends and family, Kate, Lisa, Ben and Martin are living proof that older does not always mean wiser because in Eden Hill, there's temptation around every corner.

Belief by Chris Parker  -  out now

'I'm going to say a few words.' 

That's the promise made by Ethan Hall, the serial killer and master hypnotist, when he recovers from his gunshot wounds and escapes from hospital. It's a promise that causes havoc, loss and unending pain. Using language to bend people to his will, influencing others to carry out the most destructive acts, Ethan Hall extracts his revenge on Marcus Kline and those closest to him in the most personal and savage ways. 

Six months have passed since a series of horrific murders forced Marcus Kline, the world's leading authority on communication and influence, into a unique confrontation with Ethan - a battle of words like no other. Now Marcus is trying desperately to save his cancer-stricken wife and rebuild his life, his reputation and his shattered self-confidence. Only Ethan Hall has other plans. 

Now, with Marcus Kline's self-belief at an all time low, the struggle for survival, sanity and salvation teaches everyone involved that things can always get worse. 

Belief is the second book in the thrilling Marcus Kline series and the gripping sequel to Influence.

Nemesister by Sophie Jonas-Hill  - out now

It's a psychological mystery where the female protagonist stumbles into a deserted shack with no memory but a gun in her hand. There she meets an apparent stranger, Red, and the two find themselves isolated and under attack from unseen assailants. 

Barricaded inside for a sweltering night, cabin fever sets in and brings her flashes of insight which might be memory or vision as the swamp sighs and moans around her. 

Exploring in the dark she finds hidden keys that seem to reveal her identity and that of her mysterious host, but which are the more dangerous - the lies he's told her, or the ones she's told herself?

A Whiff of Cyanide by Guy Fraser-Sampson  -  out now

The third volume of the Hampstead Murders series sees the team become involved with a suspicious death at a crime writers' convention. Is this the result of a bitterly contested election for the Chair of the Crime Writers' Association, or are even darker forces at work? Peter Collins, who is attending the convention as the author of a new book on poisoning in Golden Age fiction, worries that the key clue to unlock this puzzle may be buried within his own memories. A character called Miss Marple offers her advice, but how should the police receive this? Meanwhile an act of sudden, shocking violence and a dramatic revelation threaten tragic consequences.

The Lighterman by Simon Michael   -  out now

The Lighterman is the third book in the bestselling series of legal thrillers starring barrister Charles Holborne. Simon Michael's follow up to the bestselling The Brief and An Honest Man, continues the adventures of criminal barrister Charles Holborne. 

When Charles Holborne's cousin, Izzy, is accused of murder, Charles must dig up the secrets of the past to defend him. But brutal gangland leader Ronnie Kray will stop at nothing to get his revenge on Charles for the events of An Honest Man. Can Charles save his cousin...and his own life? 

Simon Michael brings the past vividly back to life across a beautifully rendered 60s landscape, and delivers a gripping piece of thriller fiction that will excite any fan of the Britcrime genre.

The Secret Wound by Deirdre Quiery    -  out now

Deirdre Quiery's follow up to the critical success of Eden Burning, The Secret Wound draws the reader into a complex web of relationships within the ex-pat community in Mallorca, discovering their dangerous secrets...and a potential murderer in their midst. 

One of their number carries a dark and deadly secret from their past, and has murderous plans for a fellow ex-pat. Can any of the close- knit community discover the brutal plans before they are all put in mortal danger? 

Deirdre Quiery's gripping thriller is not just an addictive page turner, but provides a compelling exploration of human emotion and desires, and the terrible costs of jealousy and ambition. Perfect for fans of Jane Corry and Amanda Brooke

Malice by Hugh Fraser  -   out October 2017

Malice is book 3 in the bestselling Rina Walker series, following Harm and Threat. London 1964. Gang warfare is breaking out and Rina Walker's struggle to survive amid the battles and betrayals of a gruesome cast of racketeers and gangsters requires all her considerable skills as an assassin. Playing one side off against the other to protect those she loves, Rina is caught in a deadly game of cat and mouse where her life is just one of many at stake…

Another fabulous mix of genres and new authors for me to discover! So, my mission to find room on my bookshelves starts once again - just as I get organised there seems to be an influx!! The perils of being a bookworm I guess!!  ๐Ÿ˜‰


Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Cover Reveal Tuesday!! House of Lies

Always a pleasure to take part in these cover reveals!! And today we're going full on dark and creepy for the cover of this psychological thriller from HarperImpulse!  So without further ado here's your first look at The House of Lies.......

‘A wicked twist and a killer ending’ Publishers Weekly

Somewhere in Vixenhead, I’m certain the truth lies…
A sudden disappearance…
When Roz Outlaw's partner Tom mysteriously vanishes, she knows his life is in danger. Tom has been distracted lately, afraid, as though he is being hunted…
A desperate search…
With the police showing little interest Roz knows it falls to her to find Tom. But as Tom's secrets are uncovered nothing can prepare Roz for the dark lies and twisted truths she finds. She thought she loved Tom, but quickly realises she has been living with a stranger – a man with murder in his past.
A house of evil.
The key to unlocking Tom's past lies in his childhood home – Vixenhead. A house of wickedness that keeps its secrets well hidden. Can Roz find Tom before it's too late or will the evil within Vixenhead claim her too…

About the Author

Eve Seymour is the author of nine novels and has had a number of short stories broadcast on BBC Radio Devon. Educated in Malvern at an girls’ boarding school, which she detested, she spectacularly underachieved. Sixth form in Cheltenham proved a lot more interesting, enjoyable and productive.
After a short and successful career in PR in London and Birmingham, she married and disappeared to Devon. Five children later, she returned and began to write seriously. In a bid to make her work as authentic as possible, she has bent the ears of numerous police officers, firearms officers, scenes of crime, the odd lawyer and United Nations personnel. She also works by day as a freelance editorial consultant, specialising in crime fiction.
Eve lives with her second husband and often has a houseful of offspring, sons-in-law, partners, and a growing tribe of little ones. Nomadic by nature, she is planning another move very soon.


Monday, 24 July 2017

Moth Box Unboxing - July edition

It always makes me smile to find a MothBox Box on my doorstep and the July edition has arrived!! Look away now if you have ordered one and you don't want to see what is in your box this month!! You can come back later!! ;)

Now, if you know nothing of Mothbox then please check out their website!  They are a book subscription service with a difference! The 2 books that you receive in a box are from Independant Publishers! So you are more likely never to have heard of the books before, therefore introducing you to new authors, new stories and new publishers to explore!!

I've had every Fiction Moth Box that has been released since its' launch and have discovered some wonderful reads this way and I love how it features books 'off the beaten tracks'!

Once you rummage through the scrunched up paper in the box, you find 2 beautifully wrapped books, complete with a bookmark featuring a quote from the books chosen this month!   

And this month, the books are as follows!

The Iron Age by  Arja Kajermo

I went up to the teacher and held out my hand and told her my name. She took a step back and tilted her head and looked at me without offering her hand. I pulled my hand back and hid it behind my back. She smiled the way grown ups smile at someone else’s ugly baby and then she spoke. ‘That is a strange name, we are not called names like that in Sweden.’

Arja Kajermo’s debut The Iron Age is part coming-of-age novel, and part fairy-tale told from the perspective of a young girl growing up in the poverty of post-war Finland. On her family’s austere farm, the Girl learns stories and fables of the world around her – of Miina, their sleeping neighbour; that you should never turn a witch away at the door; how people get depressed if pine trees grow too close to the house; and why her father was unlucky not to have died in the war.

Then, when she is little more than six years only, the family crosses from Finland to Sweden, from a familiar language to a strange one, from one unfriendly home to another. The Girl, mute but watchful, weaves a picture of her volatile father, resilient mother and strangely resourceful brothers.

The Iron Age, which grew out of the story shortlisted for the 2014 Davy Byrne’s Award, is disarming in its unadorned simplicity and unsentimental account of hard times and hard people. In Kajermo’s darkly funny debut, with illustrations throughout, folk tales and traditional custom clash with economic reality, from rural Finland to urban Sweden.

‘This is a short tale, simply and richly told, which feels as though it's the culmination
of a lifetime's work. An instant classic.’ Jon McGregor

‘Deceptively simple yet with cutting insight and devastating humor, The Iron Age proves that the most surreal dwells in reality, and history is the darkest fairytale’ Yiyun Li

The Next Step in the Dance by Tim Gautreaux

Tiger Island, Louisiana is home to Paul, a contented machinist with killer dance moves and Colette his ambitious, outspoken wife. Amidst the bar brawls and boiled crab of her economically troubled hometown, Colette is hungry for a life of opportunity and sophistication. Armed with only her wits and her “tongue like a fillet knife” she heads West to California, but Paul, Tiger Island, and its wise old-timer residents refuse to let Colette go easily. Packed with dramatic and emotional scenes and set in the distinctive watery landscape of Deep South bayou country, The Next Step in the Dance is a novel about hard work, the importance of home and two tenacious protagonists whose relationship is tested to its absolute limit

Already itching to start these, especially The Iron Age as the cover has creeped me out enough to intrigue me!  Hoping to report back with good reviews soon!

Do you use book subscription services?  Are they worth it? Would love to hear your thoughts!


Sunday, 23 July 2017

The Summer of Second Chances by Maddie Please - my review

'The Summer of Second Chances is the perfect feelgood summer read.’ Chrissie Manby, author of What I Did On My Holidays
Lottie is about to discover that even when you think you’ve lost everything, hope and romance can be just around the corner . . .
It takes time to build your life. To get into a long-term (OK, a bit boring) relationship. To find a job (you don’t completely hate). Lottie might not be thrilled with the life she’s put together, but it’s the one she’s got.
So when in the course of one terrible evening, it all comes crashing down around her, Lottie has a choice: give herself over to grief at being broke, single and completely lacking in prospects.
Or, brick by brick, build herself a new life. And this time, with a little help from friends, a crumbling cottage in Devon and a handsome stranger, maybe she can make it the one she always wanted.
The Summer of Second Chances is an irresistibly funny read about never giving up, whatever the world throws at you. Perfect for fans of Jenny Colgan, Jane Costello and Christie Barlow.


Maddie Please was born in Dorset, brought up in Worcestershire and went to University in Cardiff. 
After a career as a dentist Maddie now lives in Devon with her wonderful husband. They have 4 adult-ish children all of whom have left home and are probably rather surprised by all this. She did warn them. Sorry. 

Maddie is a voracious reader, and would enjoy hoovering, defrosting the fridge and cleaning the windows but unfortunately she doesn't really have time. She is very disciplined about writing every day because it gets her out of doing the ironing. She likes soppy films, anything to do with Christmas, America, and writing. In her spare time she likes watching American box-sets, thinking about holidays and drinking red wine.

The Summer of Second Chances is Maddie's debut novel, and it was the result of best selling author Chris Manby’s brilliant plotting workshop in beautiful Cornwall. 

Maddie is represented by the Annette Green Agency.

Maddie’s second book will be published by Avon Maze in February 2018 provisionally titled 'Cold Hands Warm Heart' and she is now working on her third book. *

* No cupcakes or bunting were harmed in the writing of any of these books
I found this book to be one of those that was so easy to get into that you lose yourself completely for a few hours and it leaves you feeling warm and fuzzy once you've finished!

Lottie, the main character, is so easy to empathise with. She's found herself alone, homeless and puzzled as to where her life is going. Losing her partner has been a major shock, and the fall out from his untimely death was one she hadn't been expected. So when she is offered a friends' rundown cottage in the country to crash at and renovate, she is left with little option but to grab it! But once she gets painting she loses herself and finds that time therapeutic and gives her the time needed to get her life back on track.

Of course, it does help when your next door neighbour is a rather quiet, secretive and dishy bloke! He's the brother in law of her best friend, but that is as much as he wants people to know! But he always seems to find a way of seeing Lottie when she's not looking her best - wearing a tin of paint is one way to introduce yourself to your neighbour!

Their relationship does evolve quite quickly but I like the way they are with each other - it's fun and flirty but they don't let each other know everything about each other straight away. They both seem quite reluctant to share every detail of their lives and with their pasts becoming clear you can understand why. But they connection they seem to have is really heartwarming!

The setting is idyllic and I loved the characters introduced throughout - Lotties' sister, her best friend, and her partners' mother - all show different aspects to the stories running throughout and they aren't all light and fluffy, and I think Lottie copes quite admirably with whatever is thrown at her - this is one of those books that shows exactly why you should never give up even when all seems bleak!

Read it in one sitting as I just enjoyed being in 'Lottie world' and I highly recommend this to anyone looking for inspiration, warmth and escapism

Thankyou to the publishers and NetGalley for the arc in return for a fair and honest review