Thursday, 14 December 2017

Review - My Husband the Stranger by Rebecca Done

My Husband the Stranger by Rebecca Done was a book that had been sat on my shelf for an awful long time before I finally picked it up. Despite not being a particularly upbeat read, this was a novel that touched me in a way that I honestly did not expect in the slightest. From beginning to end I found it to be such a beautiful and sensitively written novel that captured the true meaning behind how extremely possible it is to find love in the face of adversity. 

Within this novel we are introduced to Alex and Molly who first meet whilst on a night out in London. With it being love at first sight, it’s not long before they marry eachother with a life of hope and a long and happy future ahead of them. That is until one fateful night when Alex has a terrible accident, which leaves Alex with brain damage. Having promised to love Alex in sickness and in health, as he becomes unrecognisable before her eyes Molly’s resolve is soon tested. Can she learn to love the man who Alex has become?

With each chapter being told from the perspective of a different character and alternating between the past and the present, I felt that I really got to know Alex and Molly as individuals and became really engrossed in their story extremely quickly. I felt a huge amount of admiration for Molly’s character and as the book progressed there were many times when I felt like I was walking in her shoes, thanks to the fantastic way in which Rebecca really captured her emotions. Throughout the entirety of the book, I couldn’t help but wonder what I would do if I was in Molly’s position. 

My Husband the Stranger is not your standard love story but is instead one that has a real substance and depth to it. Despite not being a particularly fast-paced read, I thought that it was an incredibly well written book that really reflected how life can feel when faced with a challenging situation, how there’s no easy way out or quick solution. To write a book such as My Husband the Stranger you really need to have researched your subject matter and it’s evident that Rebecca has done this, creating something that seems to incredibly real and also so sensitively written. 

An emotive, powerful and hugely thought-provoking read, My Husband the Stranger is a book that I’m so thoroughly glad to have read. It was one of those stories that I know will stay with me, one that I know I won’t be able to forget for a long time to come. My Husband the Stranger was the first book of Rebecca’s that I’ve ever read but I’m really looking forward to reading more by her in the future. 

Monday, 4 December 2017

Review - Christmas at Butterfly Cove by Sarah Bennett

Earlier on this year I had the absolute pleasure of reading Wedding Bells at Butterfly Cove by Sarah Bennett and absolutely loved it. Having enjoyed it so much, I couldn’t wait to get the started on Christmas at Butterfly Cove, the third book in the Butterfly Cove series. As I’d hoped it would be, Christmas at Butterfly Cove was a delightful festive treat and one that I thoroughly enjoyed reading from beginning to end.

Throughout Christmas at Butterfly Cove,  Sarah's beautiful writing style that I grew to love so very much during the previous book in the series really shone through. There were moments that made me howl with laughter, and others that were so sensitively written that I couldn't help but find myself with a tear in my eye. With some familiar faces appearing throughout the book and reference being paid to things that had happened earlier on in the series, I felt totally at ease reading Christmas at Butterfly Cove. It really did feel like I was returning home after a long time away to catch up with some long lost friends. As such although I feel it would be possible to read Christmas at Butterfly Cove as a standalone novel, I highly recommend reading the previous books in the series first. 

Christmas at Butterfly Cove is like one wonderful Christmas present in the form of a novel and I feel that it is a truly incredible ending to what has been a fabulous series of books. Despite missing the first book in the series, I have thoroughly enjoyed every thing about it and know that I will miss Butterfly Cove and its residents so very much. That said I am truly delighted to have had the opportunity to discover Sarah as an author and I'm thoroughly looking forward to reading whatever she may write next.

Friday, 1 December 2017

Review - Meet Me Under the Mistletoe by Carla Burgess

It’s that time of year again when it finally becomes acceptable to read Christmas books and I honestly couldn’t be happier. My first festive read of this year was Meet Me Under the Mistletoe by Carla Burgess and I have to say that I thought this was a truly gorgeous book. As well being a fabulous way to begin the Christmas reading, Meet Me Under the Mistletoe certainly provided a wonderful introduction to Carla’s writing whose previous books I haven’t yet read. 

In this book we meet Rachel Jones who, having taken over her parent’s florist business, enjoys 
creating gorgeous floral displays to put a smile on other people’s faces. As the end of another busy day approaches, the new tenant who will be living in the flat above her shop enters.  His name is Anthony Bascombe, a very attractive man who asks Rachel out to dinner - an invitation which Rachel is delighted to accept. Whilst Rachel learns that Anthony is a Detective and they seem to hit it off, what she doesn’t immediately realise is that Anthony is not looking for romance with her but wants answers about how to find her ex-boyfriend. As the story progresses, will Anthony change his mind and take a chance on Rachel? 

Meet Me Under the Mistletoe was a book that was full of some really fabulous characters. Although I thought that the way he went about getting the information for his police investigation regarding Rachel’s ex was slightly underhand, Rachel and Anthony were two characters who worked really well together. The chemistry between them was evident from the start and as such I desperately hoped that something good would come of their relationship. Another character who really stood out for me was Bobbi whose story was extremely powerful and really highlighted what Christmas is all about - family and friends! 

What I loved about Meet Me Under the Mistletoe was how easy it was to become immersed in the story and this is undoubtedly due to Carla’s fabulous writing style which pulled me in from the very first page. With some truly wonderful description, I could picture everything perfectly and really felt like I was there with the characters.The amount of emotion and devotion that Carla has poured into Meet Me Under the Mistletoe really shines through and I found that it was impossible to put down. 

Meet Me Under the Mistletoe was a heartwarming, magical and highly enjoyable read that is guaranteed to leave readers with a smile on their face and in the festive spirit. I’m so glad that I’ve had the opportunity to read this book and discover Carla as an author. I’ll definitely be catching up on her previous books! 

Monday, 27 November 2017

Review - Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough

Where to start with this review for Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough except for to say that it was one of the most compelling and addictive reads I’ve read in quite some time. Having heard a lot about this book, one that has become famously known for its “#WTFThatEnding”, I was expecting great things from it and great things it certainly delivered. All I hope is that this review can do this incredible book the justice that it so desperately deserves. 

Louise is a single mother to a young son and works part-time as a secretary at a psychiatry office close to where she lives. Whilst her son means the world to her, the one thing Louise would really like is to meet a man so she is delighted when she meets David in a bar one evening. Feeling an immediate connection with David, she can’t help but wonder whether she will ever see him again and is therefore totally surprised to discover that David is not only her new boss but also a married man. Whilst Louise and David continue to have an affair, one day she meets his wife Adele who is utterly intriguing and the two quickly become good friends. But as Louise soon discovers as she becomes more and more involved with the lives of both David and Adele, things between the couple are not as they seem, they are far from OK…

Behind Her Eyes is predominantly told to us from the perspectives of both Louise and Adele, two very strong females who both have very different but very complex histories. With each of the characters having a very distinctive voice, I thought that this way of telling the story worked very well and never struggled to identify whose story we were reading. Although I can’t say that I found either Louise or Adele to be particularly likeable and struggled to relate to anything that the characters were going through, I quickly became involved with their lives and couldn’t help but wonder just what was going to happen to them next. 

To have created something that is as completely and utterly mindblowing as it is, one thing that must be said is that Sarah has an incredible imagination. Despite being quite complex and descriptive in nature, I found that it became extremely addictive within a very short space of time. Behind Her Eyes was certainly a thoroughly unpredictable read and although it took me a few re-reads to understand what had happened, “#WTFThatEnding” has never been more appropriate! 

A crazy, compelling and compulsive read, Behind Her Eyes is a book that I’m so glad to have finally read. It’s certainly a book that you have to read to appreciate the magnificence of and if you haven’t yet read it I highly recommend that you do so. I’ll definitely be back to read more written by Sarah in the future! 

Saturday, 25 November 2017

Review - Holiday in the Hamptons by Sarah Morgan

Holiday in the Hamptons is the fifth book in the From Manhattan with Love series that’s written by the fabulous Sarah Morgan. Having been a huge fan of Sarah’s ever since I read the first book in the series, Sleepless in Manhattan, I couldn’t wait to get started with it. As I hoped and expected it would, Holiday in the Hamptons turned out to be a truly delightful book, that is perhaps my favourite of the series so far. 

Holiday in the Hamptons allows us to find out more about Harriet and Fliss, twin sisters who live and work in Manhattan where they both own and run a very successful dog walking business. Whilst they are both happy and seem to enjoy life in Manhattan, when her ex-husband Seth appears on the scene Fliss wants nothing more than to run away and hide. So when their elderly grandmother suffers a fall and needs looking after in the Hamptons, Fliss jumps at the chance to escape from Manhattan. However, what she doesn’t realise is that Seth working in Manhattan was only ever a temporary measure and that he would soon be returning to his home in the Hamptons. 

One thing that has to be said for this book is that Sarah has a real talent for creating characters who you can’t help but fall head over heels in love with. Throughout Holiday in the Hamptons, Fliss and Seth were two of these characters who worked really well together and I absolutely loved getting to know them both. I particularly enjoyed learning about Fliss’ background and the impact it had on her as a person today. The relationship that she had with both her twin sister and grandmother was fantastic and a real pleasure to read about. 

As with all of the books in the From Manhattan with Love series, Holiday in the Hamptons is one that can very easily be read as a standalone novel thanks to Sarah’s wonderful way of really setting the scene for her readers and providing plenty of background information. Sarah’s fabulous writing style that I have truly grown to love over the series of books, is present throughout the entirety of Holiday in the Hamptons with plenty of moments that made me laugh and some that also brought a tear to my eye. 

The one thing I have loved about all of the books in the From Manhattan with Love series to date is the way in which they always convey some really important messages that are both inspirational and uplifting. As a book that touches on a number of different themes, Holiday in the Hamptons, is a book that does exactly this with perhaps one of the most key messages for me being the importance of listening to those who truly value, believe in and feel positively about us. 

Holiday in the Hamptons was a truly brilliant book and the perfect way to continue a series that I have adored so very much. As someone who read the book in the middle of autumn, it really did put a smile on my face and was my little bit of sunshine on a rainy day. I thoroughly recommend this and all other books in the From Manhattan with Love series and am really looking forward to reading the next book in the series, Moonlight over Manhattan very soon. 

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Review - Some Kind of Wonderful by Giovanna Fletcher

Ever since the release of Billy and Me, a book which I adored for so many reasons, I have always looked forward to new releases from Giovanna Fletcher. Some Kind of Wonderful is Giovanna’s most recent title to hit the shelves and, despite an ever growing pile of books to be read, I couldn’t wait to get started on it as soon as it dropped through my letterbox on publication day. Some Kind of Wonderful was a book that did not disappoint me in the slightest, it told a beautiful story and was one that I thoroughly enjoyed from beginning to end. 

Some Kind of Wonderful introduces us to Lizzy who has been in a relationship with Ian for almost a decade since their first day at university. Everyone assumes that it is only a matter of a time before they will one day be married and that a romantic holiday in Dubai will be the place where Ian finally pops the question. However, it is not to be and Lizzy is truly devastated when the proposal she has always dreamed of never happens and Ian reveals that he no longer wants to be with her. Returning home to England and her family home, we stay with Lizzy as she mends her broken heart and tries to rediscover exactly who she is and more importantly who she wants to be now that Ian is no longer in her life. 

Something that I have always loved about Giovanna’s previous books and what helps to make them so fabulous are the wonderful characters that she introduces us to. Her lead characters are always so perfectly created and thought through and this was certainly the case with Lizzy in Some Kind of Wonderful. I thought that Lizzy was an extremely likeable and down-to-earth character whose journey was a pleasure to follow. By the end of the story I felt like I’d really got to know Lizzy and had so much admiration for her and the things she was determined to achieve. 

You might think that a book that begins with a breakup would be full of doom and gloom but this is definitely not the case with Some Kind of Wonderful which turned out to be a truly inspirational and uplifting read. Throughout the entirety of the book, Giovanna’s fabulous writing style that I have grown to love so much over the years really shone through and is perfectly balanced with some hilarious moments but also a few that brought a tear to my eye. As I found myself completely hooked on this book and unable to put it down, another thing I loved about it was the way in which it made me realise what’s important in my own life and the important message it contained about everyone deserving to be happy. 

Every now and then you come across a book whose title is so entirely appropriate and Some Kind of Wonderful was one of those books as it really was absolutely wonderful, a real little gem. With Giovanna’s books getting better and better and this being my favourite to date, I’m already really looking forwrad to seeing what Giovanna will write for us next. 

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Review - Obsession by Amanda Robson

Obsession is the debut novel written by Amanada Robson that was labelled as a psychological thriller. As someone who thoroughly enjoys reading books of this genre, I couldn’t wait to begin Obsession and went into it with very high hopes. One thing that can definitely be said about this book is that it was a thought-provoking and shocking read the likes of which I’ve never read before. It certainly stands out from the crowd!

Carly and Rob have been married for several years, work at the same GP surgery and have had three children together - Pippa, Matt and John. One day Carly asks Rob who he would go for if he wasn’t married to her and is totally unprepared when he reluctantly says Jenni Rossiter, their friend of many years who is married to Craig. Although he doesn’t know it at the time, this revelation is one that has a number of consequences that turn out to be truly catastrophic and will completely change the lives of each and every one of the characters in one way or another. 

The story is told from the perspectives of each of the four main characters - Rob, Carly, Jenni and Craig. As a story that is told in this way, I felt that this is something that works really well as it allows the reader to get to know each of them as individuals and really get inside their heads. Whilst I couldn’t relate to the vast majority of what the characters were going through and thought that their behaviour was often quite bizarre and bordering on unbelievable I found that I became extremely involved with their lives, relationships and secrets.

Although I wasn’t massively keen on the erotic scenes that appeared within Obsession, scenes which in my opinion occurred far too frequently and unnecessarily and my rating of the book reflects this, I must say that I think Amanda has done a spectacular job with the book. Throughout the book we see Amanda deal with a number of different themes, including depression, alcoholism and paranoia to name just a few whilst the tension builds continuously. I thought that the book was incredibly well written in an engaging style, with Amanda raising a number of questions throughout that left me desperately turning the pages to find out the answers to them. 

Every now and then you come across a book that is appropriately titled and for me Obsession is one of those books - the characters were obsessed with eachother and I found that I was well and truly obsessed with it. For a debut novel I thought that it was very accomplished and it’s certainly left me looking forward to reading more by Amanda in the future. I feel certain that we will see many more great things from her!

Monday, 23 October 2017

Review - The Secret by Katerina Diamond

The Secret was the second book written by Katerina Diamond that I’ve read and is the second in the series of books featuring DS Imogen Grey. Having read The Teacher, the first book in the series, I was looking forward to being reunited with DS Imogen Grey within The Secret. Although it took me far longer than planned to get started on it, I have to say that I found it to be a thoroughly engaging and compelling read that really did have me on the edge of my seat. 

At the start of the book we are introduced to Bridget, an undercover police officer who is playing the part of a prostitute in what can only be described as a brothel. One evening, after two men break into her apartment whilst she is upstairs and murder two of the girls she works with and one client, Bridget is forced to go on the run. However after passing out whilst on the run, Bridget wakes up to find herself in a locked basement room where she is held hostage and visited regularly by a captor who she doesn’t know. Assigned the task of finding out what happened to Bridget is DS Imogen Grey and her colleague DS Adrian Miles. As the investigation gets under way Imogen can’t help but feel that this case is connected to a past case she was working on and the past is really not a place that she wants to revisit. 

The Secret is a novel that is told from the viewpoint of multiple characters - Imogen, Bridget, Adrian and a boy who is clearly very disturbed. Each of these characters had a very distinctive voice and I thought that Katerina had done a fabulous job at allowing us to get to know each of them with some fantastic character development throughout. Although not essential to have read the first book in the series, it’s something that I would recommend to appreciate the characters and the events that have happened to them previously that The Secret sometimes refers to. 

The first book in the series, The Teacher, contained lots of gory and graphic moments and this was something that I struggled with. I have to say that I thought there were far fewer of these scenes within The Secret and this was something that I personally appreciated very much. Another thing I loved about this book was the way in which it was truly unpredictable from beginning to end, with so many twists and turns that you felt you were discovering the leads at the exact same time as the police. In fact the only negative for me was that it jumped around between the past and present quite a lot, sometimes making it quite difficult to keep track of what had happened previously. 

With this now being the second book by Katerina that I have read, I can honestly say that I feel she is an author who will continue to deliver great things as an author. I’ve really enjoyed follwing DS Imogen Grey on her investigations to date, and feel that I am now in a good position to pick up the third book in the series - The Angel - that has recently been published. I’m very much looking forward to seeing where life will take Imogen to next! 

Sunday, 22 October 2017

Review - The Big Little Festival by Kellie Hailes

The Big Little Festival by Kellie Hailes is book number two in the Rabbit’s Leap series of books, but was actually the first that I’ve read. Having been instantly attracted to this book thanks to a simply adorable and eye-catching cover, I went into this book with high hopes and I’m delighted to say that it did not disappoint me in the slightest. It provided a fabulous introduction to Kellie Hailes’ wonderfully fun and engaging writing style and made for the perfect summer read! 

Within this book we meet Jody who is a single parent to twin boys. Having once been helped and supported so much by the village in which she lives, Jody really wants to give something back to Rabbit’s Leap by raising funds to rebuild the local swimming pool. Determined to host a village festival to raise these all important funds, she employs the help of the very handsome Christian, a hugely successful and talented event planner from London. As they start to prepare for the festival, it’s safe to say that Christian makes a pretty big impact on not just the village of Rabbit’s Leap but Jody too - could a village romance on the cards?

Undoubtedly, the characters in this book were what helped to make this book as fabulous as it was. As one of the main people in the story, I have to say that I really loved getting to know Jody and seeing just how devoted and dedicated she was to her children and Rabbit’s Leap. Although her behaviour towards Christian sometimes seemed a little strange, as we got to know Jody more we learned that she had very good reasons for this. The chemistry between them was evident from very early on and I spent so much time desperately hoping that things would turn out well for the pair. 

Knowing that The Big Little Festival was the second book in a series, I was a bit worried that I’d feel a bit lost and not know who any of the characters were. However, I can safely say that this was not the case at all thanks to the way in which Kellie really goes the extra mile to set the scene for the reader. One thing I particularly loved about the way in which this book was written was that it was so fun and upbeat, with plenty of community spirit, humour and romance throughout. The more I read, the more I fell in love with the village of Rabbit’s Leap, a place which really did capture and come alive in my imagination. 

As a book that can easily be read as a standalone novel, The Big Little Festival was a book that I truly adored from beginning to end. I fell head over heels in love with Kellie’s way of telling her readers a story and am truly looking forward to being reunited with both her writing and Rabbit’s Leap again in the future. If you’re looking for a little bit of sunshine on these dull, dark and rainy autumnal days then I highly recommend The Big Little Festival to you. 

Friday, 6 October 2017

Review - The Snow Globe by Judith Kinghorn

As someone who doesn’t normally read much historical fiction, The Snow Globe by Judith Kinghorn was definitely a little bit out of my comfort zone. However I can honestly say that I am so incredibly glad that I picked this book up, because it was truly wonderful. With what is a very stunning cover, The Snow Globe was the first of Judith’s books that I have ever read before and I thought that it provided a fabulous introduction to her writing. 

Within the book we meet Daisy whose most treasured possession is a snow globe which she was given by her beloved father when she was just five years old. Featuring a perfect replica of their family home within it, Daisy proudly displays it every Christmas. As we join Daisy and her family in the run up to Christmas 1926, she soon discovers that her dear father is not as perfect as he’s always seemed. As huge secrets are revealed, Daisy’s life is thrown into turmoil and the question is just how will it all turn out for her?

One thing that became apparent whilst reading The Snow Globe is how talented Judith is at creating characters. Each character that we met throughout the book, really came alive in my imagination and seemed incredibly realistic. Whilst I didn’t relate to all of them, I was still interested in their stories and I thought that Daisy was a wonderful lead character. Despite the difficulties she was experiencing, Daisy was a character who was very easy to like thanks to her strength and determination. 

With writing that flows so nicely, Judith Kinghorn has created a book that is an absolute dream to read despite a few occasions when I found myself a bit lost as to who all the characters were and where they all fitted in. One thing I particularly loved about this novel was the way in which the title of the book was so very appropriate and really summed up the story as a whole - Daisy’s life and everything she thought she knew had been shaken up like a snow globe leaving her to watch it all land and see what the repurcussions would be. Judith’s writing was incredibly engaging and kept me interested from beginning to end. 

The Snow Globe is a book which I feel would definitely appeal to fans of shows such as Downton Abbey and Upstairs, Downstairs. It was such a pleasure to read this novel, to try and love something that was so very different to what I would normally read. Having finished The Snow Globe feeling nothing but entirely satisfied, I’m really looking forward to discovering more of Judith’s novels. 

Thursday, 5 October 2017

Review - The Blind by A F Brady

The Blind is the first book written by A F Brady that I immediately wanted to read as soon as I first heard about it. With the author’s background being in counselling/psychotherapy The Blind was a novel that was truly psychological in every sense of the word. This was a book that had me gripped from beginning to end as I was so desperate to find out just what would happen next. 

Sam James is a psychologist at the Typhlos Psychiatric Centre in Manhattan who, despite appearing calm and professional to her clients, has a personal life that is in turmoil. As a barely functioning alcoholic in an unhealthy relationship who appears unable to save herself, she is passionate and dedicated to helping others. Soon after the novel begins Sam begins working with Richard who comes to Typhlos and appears to be a very challenging patient who says very little. Never one to shy away from a challenge, Sam is determined to discover just what is going on with him, but to do so she’ll have to face her own demons…

Although I couldn’t relate to much of what Sam had experienced in her life, I liked her as a character and admired her for her dedication to her job and supporting patients. Given their role, some might think that the life of a counsellor away from work is nothing but perfect, but Sam demonstrated how this may not always be the case - counsellor’s are human and as such face difficulties of their own too. I loved getting to know Sam and thought that A F Brady had done fantastic job with her character. 

As a book that provides a very real insight into mental illness and the therapies that patients may have in order to treat these, A F Brady’s own experience of working in this field really shines through and as such I thought that The Blind was a fascinating novel. Given the many additional themes that this book deals with alongside mental health, including domestic abuse and alcoholism, one thing that must be said is that this book does not always make for easy reading but I thought that A F Brady handled the subject matter perfectly. I thoroughly enjoyed the author’s writing style and thought that it was engaging and compelling throughout. 

Whilst there was no big or surprising reveal within The Blind, this was a book that carried an important message about learning to cope, heal and move forwards in life. I enjoyed it and hope to read many more great things by A F Brady in the future. 

Sunday, 24 September 2017

Review - The Art of Hiding by Amanda Prowse

Everyone has an author whose books they always look forward to and for me Amanda Prowse is one of them. Having been reading Amanda’s novels for several years, I’ve never read a book of hers that I haven’t enjoyed and so I was very excited to receive a copy of her latest release, The Art of Hiding. As I hoped would be the case, I knew from the very first pages that I wasn’t going to be disappointed - it was a fabulous book and there was just so much to love about it. 

Within this particular book we meet Nina McCarrick who seems to have both a perfect life and perfect family with her successful husband, Finn, and their sons Connor and Declan who are both enrolled at a posh school. She couldn’t imagine life being any different until she receives a call that changes everything - there has been a terrible car accident and Finn has died. As Nina starts to come to terms with life without Finn, it quickly becomes apparent that things were not as perfect as they appeared. Finn has left behind a mountain of debt leaving Nina with no choice but to take her boys and return to her hometown where she turns to her estranged sister Tiggy for help. 

One thing that Amanda seems to excel at is taking a seemingly normal family before turning their world upside down by revealing hidden truths and then fixing things again. In the process characters are created who you can’t help but feel connected to and whose stories you can’t help but feel invested in. This was certainly the case with Nina who seemed incredibly believable and real, someone who demonstrated a huge amount of strength and determination. Nina’s story is one that really highlights what’s important in life, what matters and what really doesn’t. 

Throughout the entirety of The Art of Hiding, Amanda’s signature writing style that I have grown to love so much over the years really shone through. She has once again taken several challenging themes within this book and dealt with them in an expert manner - so beautifully and sensitively. Through her writing, Amanda really shows how it is absolutely possible to overcome any situation that life throws at you in order to find happiness and peace once again. 

An emotional but ultimately uplifting and inspiring story, The Art of Hiding is yet another of Amanda’s books that will stay with me for a long time yet to come. Every time I think Amanda’s writing can’t get any better, she publishes something that proves it absolutely can. I adored the Art of Hiding and am thoroughly looking forward to seeing what Amanda writes next. 

Saturday, 23 September 2017

Review - The Watcher by Ross Armstrong

After a slightly unplanned but I think much needed hiatus in blogging over the last few weeks, I couldn’t think of a better way to get back into it again than with a review for The Watcher by Ross Armstrong. Anyone who has been following my blog for a while will know that I love getting stuck into a good psychological thriller and The Watcher was most certainly one of those books. With a clever and unique plot this was a book that really stood out from other books of its genre and I thought it was a fantastic debut. 

Within The Watcher we are introduced to Lily Gullick who lives with her husband Aiden in a new build flat directly opposite an estate that is due to be demolished. Lily is an avid birdwatcher who was taught by her dad from a young age to record and identify the different species of birds that she spots. One day, whilst birdwatching and gazing through her binoculars, she sees something suspicious and not long after hears that her neighbour Jean has been found dead. Determined to discover the truth about her neighbour’s death, Lily involves herself in the investigation often putting herself in serious danger.

The Watcher is a book that is told entirely from the perspective of Lily and this is something that I think works very well. Although an unreliable narrator, the reasons for which become clearer as the novel progresses I have to say that I found Lily to be a fascinating character. She was someone who I felt we really got to know thanks to the fabulous introduction Ross gave us to both Lily and her neighbourhood towards the start of the novel. Despite sometimes making some questionable decisions, Lily was a character who I really did find myself rooting for and loving by the end. 

Although it took me a little while to get into the book and adapt to the way in which the book was written, I have to say that I think that Ross has done a fantastic job of writing a fast-paced, intriguing and highly memorable thriller. The Watcher is a book that contains twist after twist that leaves the reader never knowing which direction it was next going to go. In fact one thing I particularly enjoyed about this novel was the satisfying ending, the way in which it all came together and ended up making sense.

Overall I have to say that everything combined made The Watcher a hugely compelling read and one that had me well and truly hooked. As I was reading the book there were many times that I found myself forgetting that this was just a debut novel, a sign of how accomplished it was. I’d definitely be interested in reading more by Ross in the future. 

Friday, 25 August 2017

Extract - Escape to Willow Cottage by Bella Osborne

Today I have an extract for you from a truly delightful book as part of the blog tour for Escape to Willow Cottage by Bella Osborne. My full review of this book will be coming very soon, but be assured that I absolutely loved it and hope that you will enjoy this extract as much as I enjoyed the entire book!


‘So why didn’t you say something right then, at that moment?’ asked Beth, the irritation obvious in her tone as she tried to balance the phone between her ear and shoulder. ‘That was the perfect opportunity to raise the whole marriage question.’

Carly was pulling faces on the other end of the line. ‘I know, but then the bill arrived and the moment was gone and you can’t go back to a conversation later on, it doesn’t work.’ She’d been worrying about it all night and, thanks to fitful sleep, she felt wretched.

‘Yes, you can. How about saying, “I’ve been thinking about what you said in the restaurant and … ” then you start talking about it again.’

‘Oh, that is rather clever,’ said Carly, ‘but still it was yesterday, he might not remember what he said.’

‘Then remind him. Jeez, you do make things hard sometimes, Carls.’ Beth was simultaneously unpacking what she’d bought from the DIY store.

Carly pondered her mixed emotions. ‘The thing is, I’m kippered either way because if I say I want to get married and he says he doesn’t, then …’

‘Then at least you’ll know … drop it, drop it now!’

‘What?’ Carly was shocked by Beth’s scolding.

‘Not you, sorry, Doris. Drop the mop, Doris. Good dog. Sorry, I’m dog-sitting.’

‘Dog-sitting? I didn’t know you even liked dogs,’ said Carly.

‘I’m not sure I do. It’s a long story. Anyway, carry on.’

‘Well, it’s even worse if Fergus says he does want to get married because he might just be saying it because I’ve said it and then he’ll only be asking me because I prompted him to and, worse still, he might opt for the “shall we get married then?” type of proposal which isn’t a proposal at all.’ Carly puffed out her cheeks. It was a conundrum and it weighed heavy on her.

‘Then I think you have to explain to him about your dream proposal.’

‘How do I do that without looking slightly mad and obsessive?’ She knew she wouldn’t be able to discuss it with Fergus without gushing or getting overexcited; in fact, it was very likely she might even cry. And she couldn’t show him her scrapbook of all the articles she’d collected over the years, he’d think she was proper crackers then. She was even starting to wonder it herself.

‘I’m afraid I don’t know,’ admitted Beth after a short pause. ‘Sorry, got to go. Doris has found the laundry bin. Bye, Carls … Drop my pants! Doris, pants! Drop them now!’

The phone went click before Carly could say bye. She cradled the phone in her hands. She was back in that uncertain space where she wasn’t sure where their relationship was going next and she had no idea what to do. So she’d just take a deep breath, carry on and keep hoping that everyone would be okay.

Saturday, 12 August 2017

Review - Wedding Bells at Butterfly Cove by Sarah Bennett

Wedding Bells at Butterfly Cove is the second book in a series written by Sarah Bennett. Having not read anything by the author previously, I had very little idea what to expect but have to say that I was very pleasantly surprised. It really was such a beautiful little gem of a novel that really cheered me up and put a smile on my face on a dull and overcast summer’s day in England!

In Wedding Bells at Butterfly Cove, Kiki Jackson’s marriage is falling to pieces and being so desperate to escape there’s only one place for her to go - her sister’s guesthouse in Butterfly Cove.  With her sister busy planning her wedding, Kiki knows that turning up on her doorstep along with her two children isn’t ideal. But Kiki needn’t have worried as soon after arriving at Butterfly Cove she meets the gorgeous Aaron who offers her a place to stay. As Kiki gets to know Aaron and he discovers more about her, is there a chance that they might become more than just friends?

I absolutely loved reading about the lives of and getting to know all of the characters that were present throughout Wedding Bells at Butterfly Cove. Kiki in particular, who this story focused on the most, was such a wonderful character who I felt so much for after all she had experienced during what was clearly an awful marriage. Despite it all she was an amazing mother to her children and I loved the fact that she was surrounded and supported by so many other incredible characters. I particularly enjoyed reading of her relationship with Aaron, one which didn’t feel at all false but real and believable. 

With Sarah’s brilliant way of telling a story and providing the reader with ample information, Wedding Bells at Butterfly Cove is definitely a book that can be read as a standalone novel. However, I really wish I’d had the opportunity to read the first book in the series before as I feel certain that I must have missed out on a wonderful story that would have allowed me to appreciate Wedding Bells at Butterfly Cove even more than I already did. 

As a book that packs so much into its pages, the one thing that really struck me was the important message that Sarah was conveying to her reader - the idea of never giving up, of making the most of each opporunity that life throws your way. Having enjoyed this book so much there’s no doubt in my mind that I will be picking up the third book in this series - Christmas in Butterfly Cove - when it is released later this year. I’m sure we’ll be in for another treat! 

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Review - Cocktails and Dreams by A. L. Michael

Having loved Be My Baby, which was the third and final book in The House on Camden Square series, I couldn’t wait to start reading A. L. Michael’s latest release called Cocktails and Dreams. One thing I can definitely say from the start of this review is that this book was everything I hoped it would be and so much more. It more than lived up to my expectations and is my favourite book of the author’s so far to date. 

Savvy is the daughter of a rockstar who spent the first seven years of her life on the road with her mother, Persephone, before she was abandoned and sent to live with her aunt. Ever since then Savvy has craved a normal life but fast forward several years and life still isn’t exactly going to plan  as her longterm boyfriend sadly dumps her. Slowly but surely, with the encouragement of some very supportive friends we see Savvy start to make some much needed changes in her life, catching the eye of Milo the bartender in the process. Will this be a fresh start for Savvy and will things finally start to go right for her? 

From the very start of the book, Savvy seemed like an incredibly down to earth character and one who I really did find myself rooting for. With Savvy being such a likeable character who it was so easy to relate to, it was an absolute pleasure to be with her as she went on her journey of self discovery and learned to believe more in both herself and her dreams. In addition to creating a wonderful lead character in Savvy, A. L. Michael has managed to surround her with a whole cast of other fabulous characters and I loved reading about the individual relationships that Savvy had with each and every one of them. 

Just as I thought and hoped it would be, A. L. Michael’s fabulous writing style that I adored during Be My Baby was present throughout the entirety of Cocktails and Dreams. As a book that contained many hilarious and heartwarming moments, there was very little not to like about it, and I loved the perfect level of detail and description that had gone into making this book as wonderful as it was.

Cocktails and Dreams is the first book in a new series and all I can say is that I’m so glad that I discovered it when I did. Although the next books in the series won’t be with us until next year, I’m already really looking forward to them and being reunited with A. L. Michael’s beautiful writing once again. If you haven’t yet read anything by A. L. Michael why not make Cocktails and Dreams the book you start with? You certainly won’t regret it! 

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Review and Extract - Give Me the Child by Mel McGrath

Just when you think psychological thriller fiction can’t get any better, one comes along that proves it definitely can. That was most certainly the case with Give Me the Child by Mel McGrath which surpassed all my expectations. Once I had started this book, I found that I was completely unable to put it down and raced through it in just a few hours. I absolutely loved it! 

Despite being happily married to Tom and with one beautiful daughter named Freya, the one thing Cat Lupo desperately wants in life is another child. However, after her first pregnancy left her suffering from severe psychosis she is wary about falling pregnant again. One night, the peace of an otherwise quiet house is disturbed by the doorbell ringing and they are shocked to find the police on their doorstep with a young child, Ruby. Although Tom doesn’t at first know it, Ruby is his daughter and following the death of her mother she is now his responsibility. As both Cat and Tom come to terms with this news and decide to take Ruby into their house her behaviour concerns Cat who is determined to discover the truth about the girl. 

Cat was a wonderful character who thanks to Mel taking the time to introduce and explain her thoughts and feelings to us became very real. As Cat found herself under a huge amount of pressure within Give Me the Child and we learnt of her previous mental health issues, we saw how everyone was very quick to judge her and presume that she would relapse again. As other characters in the book questioned her reliability which in turn leads us to question whether we could really trust what she says, Cat’s story is one that is utterly compelling. 

Mel has told an incredible story within Give Me the Child that includes a huge number of unexpected twists and turns to keep readers on their toes. Whilst reading the book I had absolutely no idea which direction the book was going to take and, with each chapter ending in a cliffhanger, I found myself desperately turning out the pages to find out just what would happen next. As a book that deals with a number of challenging themes, with mental health being just one of them, I feel that Mel should be commended for how she dealt with them in a very sensitive manner. 

As a book that has a unique premise and one in which the author has clearly done her research, I predict great things for this spectacular book. A powerful story that will keep you guessing for hours, this book is everything that a good psychological thriller should be. I’d certainly be interested in reading more by this author in the future. 

Monday, 31 July 2017

Review - The Darkness Within by Lisa Stone

Prior to reading this book the only thing I knew was that it was written by Cathy Glass under the name of Lisa Stone. This book, The Darkness Within, is the author’s first psychological thriller and having enjoyed her previous books i just knew it was something I had to read. Exploring a premise that I found to be quite fascinating, this book had me well and truly hooked from the very first page and really got me thinking. I’m so glad I picked it up! 

The book begins by briefly introducing us to Rosie’s relationship with Shane, an abusive and horrible man. It then switches focus and we meet Reverend Wilson, his wife Elizabeth and their son Jacob. Despite his young age, Jacob is critically ill and in desperate need of a livesaving heart transplant so they are all overjoyed to hear that a donor has been found. However their happiness doesn’t last long as after the transplant Jacob’s behaviour and personality both take a nasty turn. He becomes unrecognisable, so different from the kind, caring boy he once was. What they don’t realise at first is that the heart came from Shane, who was killed in a horrific car accident whilst drunk. Why has Jacob’s personality changed? Did he inherit the personality as well as the heart of his donor? 

As the perpetrators of domestic violence, Shane and Jacob were two characters who I despised and I couldn’t wait for them to get their comeuppance. As such whilst I know that a parent’s job is to protect their children I really couldn’t understand the behaviour of Jacob’s parents. Despite all the evidence they had before them by acting in the way that they did, they effectively condoned Jacob’s behaviour when instead it should have been punished from the start. For all she was going through, Rosie was one of the only character who I really cared for and I hugely admired her for the bravery and strength that she showed. 

From having read a few of the author’s previous books as Cathy Glass, one thing I knew was that she was somewhat of an expert when it comes to dealing with difficult themes. The Darkness Within was no exception to this, it certainly didn’t make for easy reading and did contain many a scene that some readers may find distressing. Despite a few moments that I struggled with myself, I found that I was unable to put this book down - it was fast-paced and full of tension from the very fisrt page although I have to say I’m still very dubious about the idea that a donor’s personality can be passed on to the recipient through a transplant. 

With some very real but not necessarily likeable characters and a storyline that I became incredible wrapped up in, I really feel that Lisa has done an incredible job with The Darkness Within. A powerful and emotive read, for her first psychological thriller it was certainly impressive and I hope that there will be plenty more by her in the future. 

Sunday, 23 July 2017

Review - Before You Were Mine by Em Muslin

Before You Were Mine by Em Muslin was one of those books that turned out to be every bit as beautiful on the inside as the gorgeous cover was on the outside. What can only be described as a truly sensational debut novel, it’s been a while since I’ve read a book that was quite as powerful and emotional as this one. There’s no doubt in my mind that the story told within Before You Were Mine is one that will stay with me for a long time yet to come. 

At the young age of fourteen Eli gave birth to a beautiful baby girl who upon being born was quickly taken from Eli’s arms and put up for adoption with Eli getting little say in the matter. With a family that’s ashamed of her and a community that doesn’t try to hide its disappointment, Eli lives a lonely existence until she marries Tommy at the age of seventeen. As thirty years go by in which Eli tries desperately hard to rebuild her life and enjoy her marriage to Tommy, she is never quite able to forget about her daughter. So when, one day, she bumps into a woman who she’s certain is her daughter in a grocery store, Eli can’t wait to tell Tommy all about it but he’s not convinced. As things then start to spiral out of control, just what will the outcome be? 

Having got through so much on her own at such a young age, one thing that can most definitely be said about Eli is that she was an incredibly strong character who I had a great deal of respect for from the start. As the novel progressed and I became heavily involved with Eli’s story I found my heart breaking for her on more than one occasion and couldn’t quite believe the horrific way in which she was treated by her own family, including her parents. I desperately wanted Eli to find both the peace and happiness that she so desperately deserved and took comfort in the fact that she had someone as kind and supportive as Tommy by her side. Tommy and Eli were certainly two wonderfully created characters who both worked perfectly together and helped to make this novel as fabulous as it was.  

Whilst it took me a little while to get to grips with the way in which the characters spoke throughout Before You Were Mine, I have to say that I thought Before You Were Mine was superbly written. As a book that dealt with so many themes in an incredibly sensitive manner, Em Muslin really manages to draw the reader into the heart of the story and created something that was truly unforgettable.  

With a fabulous lead character who you can’t help but care about, Before You Were Mine was a novel that not only pulled at my heartstrings but was also captivating and breathtaking. Told from a new voice in women’s fiction, I found this to be a highly accomplished debut novel that has left me feeling very certain that this is just the start of a fabulous writing career for Em. I’ll certainly be looking forward to her next book! 

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Review - What Alice Knew by T A Cotterell

Every now and again you will come across an utterly phenomenal book that will prove to be so difficult to review. What Alice Knew by T. A. Cotterell is just one of those books that I’ve had the pleasure of reading recently and one thing I desperately hope is to do this incredible debut novel the justice it deserves whilst not giving too much away. Having seen so many people talking about this book on social media, prior to reading it I had very high hopes and this thoroughly addictive and engaging read certainly didn’t disappoint me in the slightest. 

With a happy marriage, wonderful children and a job she clearly enjoys, it’s fair to say that Alice is very satisfied with her life. That is until one night when everything changes and her husband Ed, a successful and well-respected obstetrician fails to return home on time. As she soon receives a suspicious phonecall and sees her husband become increasingly unreliable, Alice is determined that she must find out exactly what is going on. However, when the truth is finally revealed, Alice is faced with a brutal choice, that has the potential to completely tear her family apart. 

What Alice Knew is undoubtedly a psychological thriller and one which really stands out from the crowd, sending the reader on what can only be described as an incredible journey that’s full of ups and downs and twists and turns. As a book that deals quite heavily with moral dilemmas, I found that I became extremely connected with the characters I met throughout and found myself constantly questioning whether or not I agreed with the decisions they were making. Whilst I found myself siding with Alice in terms of what she did in her predicament, I never felt that Cotterell was influencing my decision and was instead giving me the choice about who and what to believe. 

What Alice Knew drew me in and had me gripped from the very first page, something which is largely due to the author’s wonderful way of telling a story. As well as being a highly intense and very fast-paced novel, T. A. Cotterell provides a fabulously detailed insight into every situation that presents itself throughout the book. Whilst it is only told from the point of view of Alice, Cotterell offers different perspectives to every situation, really demonstrating how different actions have different consequences and how difficult it can be to make a decision when faced with a challenging situation. 

What Alice Knew was a truly fantastic and impressive novel that is told by an exciting new voice in psychological thriller fiction. I predict great things for T. A. Cotterell’s future writing career and hope that there will soon be another of his books to discover. What Alice Knew is a book that has been and will be enjoyed by many readers so if you haven’t read it yet then my only question is what are you waiting for? 

Saturday, 1 July 2017

Review and Giveaway - The Chateau of Happily Ever Afters by Jaimie Admans

As a book which wasted absolutely no time in throwing the reader straight into the drama, The Chateau of Happily Ever Afters was a truly beautiful and magical read. From the moment I picked it up I had a feeling that it would be the book for me and I was proved to be correct. Having never previously read anything by Jaimie Admans, I’m so glad I gave this book a chance - it exceeded my expectations and didn’t leave me disappointed. 

We first meet Wendy as she awkwardly sits in a sweltering office with a solicitor and a man she’s never met before to hear the news that she has been left a French chateau in the will of her old neighbour and friend, Eulalie. Whilst this should be exciting news, Wendy doesn’t feel entirely happy by it particularly as she learns that she will be expected to share it with Eulalie’s great nephew, Julian, despite the fact that he has never met his great aunt. Keen to see the chateau, Wendy quickly decides to head over to France and see it for herself but is devastated to see that Julian has also had the same idea. With emotions running high, just what will the outcome be when they are forced to endure eachother’s company and who is the chateau destined to belong to?

I have to be honest and say that at first I struggled to warm towards Wendy and found that she was quite immature and hurtful towards Julian with some of her comments when he’d done nothing to deserve them. However, my opinion of her soon changed as I learned more about her and the things she had experienced in her life. In fact, by the end of the novel, I really quite liked her and loved reading of the character’s antics and the dynamic that Jaimie had created between the two of them. 

As I read this book, I found that there was something enchanting and captivating about Jaimie’s style of writing - it really was impossible not to love and I adored everything about the reading experience. There was a real fairy-tale like quality to the book that I found was so easy to become immersed in. I loved the sense of mystery and magic that surrounded the chateau that really captured my imagination and left me desperately turning the pages. 

With characters that you will be sad to say goodbye to and so much beauty packed within its pages, I certainly fell head over heels in love with this book. With the summer months still to come, The Chateau of Happily Ever Afters would make for perfect holiday reading. For me, it was a fabulous introduction to Jaimie’s writing and I’m thoroughly looking forward to reading more of her books in the future. 


Enter the giveaway below, for your chance to win an amazing prize, a French themed goodie bag as pictured, which includes the following:

- 1x Paperchase Paris notebook and pen
- 1x The Chateau of Happily Ever Afters notebook
-1x Little Eiffel Tower model
-1x Eiffel Tower bookmark
-1x The Chateau of Happily Ever Afters magnet
-1x Signed bookmark

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, 26 June 2017

Review - Secrets and Fries at the Starlight Diner by Helen Cox

Despite not having read the first book in the Starlight Diner series by Helen Cox, Secrets and Fries at the Starlight Diner was a book that I couldn’t wait to get started with. Going into the book with absolutely no idea what to expect, I was left feeling mightily impressed by just how engaging and absorbing it turned out to be. With twists and turns galore from beginning to end this was a truly surprising novel and my biggest regret is not having read the first instalment prior to it - I feel certain that I must have missed something very special. 

Within Secrets and Fries at the Starlight Diner we meet Bonnie Brooks who is on the run from Atlantic City where she witnessed a murder take place, knowing that she is the murderer’s next target. With very few people to turn to as a person who is estranged from her family, Bonnie soon finds herself at the Starlight Diner in New York where her dear friend Esther Knight works. However, upon arriving at the diner, Bonnie discovers that Esther is out of town for the night and finds herself faced with the prospect of spending the night on the streets in the middle of winter. That is until diner regular Jimmy Boyle makes her an offer she can’t refuse, a man whose help Bonnie finds herself in desperate need of as the story progresses. 

Having done so myself, one thing that can definitely be said is that it is possible to read Secrets and Fries at the Starlight Diner as a standalone novel. I did so with much ease, never feeling like I had missed out on any vital information about anything that had happened historically in the lives of the characters. All of these characters were absolutely wonderful and I really enjoyed getting to know each and every one of them, particularly those who worked in the Starlight Diner who all seemed like one big, happy and very supportive family. 

Throughout the entirety of the book, I was thoroughly impressed by Helen’s way of writing and the talent she has for telling an incredible story. As she wastes no time in throwing the reader straight into the midst of the action, I found that there was always plenty to think about and lots to keep me on my toes. As we saw Bonnie try to escape her past, I loved the sense of tension that was present throughout the book and the way that you could never quite predict what would happen next. 

Whilst this may have been the first of Helen’s books that I’ve ever read, I can certainly say that it won’t be the last. With so much to love about it, there really is something for everyone within Secrets and Fries at the Starlight Diner. I’m really looking forward to being reunited with Helen’s writing in the near future and reading what she writes next. 

Saturday, 10 June 2017

Extract - Confetti at the Cornish Cafe

Today I'm absolutely delighted to be on the blog tour for Confetti at the Cornish Cafe by Phillipa Ashley. I found this to be a truly wonderful, heartwarming read and one that I really would highly recommend. My full review of this book will be up in the very near future but for now I shall leave you in peace to read and enjoy the extract that I'm lucky enough to be able to share with you all today!


Lily takes a deep breath, just like she did when she stepped into Demelza’s. 
‘It’s an amazing view. I love the view from Ben’s parents’ house over Mounts Bay but the north west is so wild.’
‘It’s hard to decide which is better,’ I say, aware of Ben standing next to us, not that he seems too bothered as he’s still scrolling through his phone. 
‘Is there a signal up here?’ he says, holding the handset up.
‘It’s patchy,’ I admit. ‘But there’s Wi-Fi in the cafe and cottages. We plan to offer Wi-Fi all over the glamping field and events area before your wedding.’
He doesn’t answer me but hmmphs and shoves his phone in his jacket. He joins Lily who has walked the few yards from our land to the coastal path. It’s still windy but I think she’ll be OK.
‘This looks like a scene from The French Lieutenant’s Woman, doesn’t it, Ben?’
‘Yeah,’ he says, standing behind her with his arms around her waist.
‘I haven’t heard of that,’ I say.
‘It’s a book and it was a film before I was born. Isla wants to do a remake but it’s set in Lyme Regis not Cornwall. There’s a scene where the heroine stands in a howling gale almost being blown off the Cobb. I’m hoping Ben will play the hero in it.’
Wow. I think Ben may have actually smiled. Maybe his grouchiness is from pre-wedding nerves or the pressure of his job. I wouldn’t want to live my life under the microscope like they do, even though they’re meant to live for the publicity. I bet they have to do a lot of things they don’t want to as well.
The publisher of our canine cookbook wants my co-author, Eva Spero, and me to do some radio and TV appearances when it comes out later this year. To be honest, the idea makes me go weak at the knees but I guess I’ll get used to it. Cal and I still haven’t quite got over being featured in a Sunday lifestyle magazine last autumn, thanks to Eva who was impressed by our set-up when she turned up to Kilhallon’s launch party last year.
‘Shall we move on to the wedding glade? It’s more sheltered down there,’ I ask, seeing Ben shivering in the wind blowing off the sea.
Lily slots her arm through his. ‘Are you cold?’ 
‘Freezing my rocks off,’ Ben mutters. 
‘Let’s get out of the wind,’ I say, wishing Ben had come equipped for the weather.
On our way to the glade, Harry walks to the left and a little behind, checking around him at intervals. Maybe he thinks an assassin might be hiding behind the cafe bins or the high-banked hedges that protect the camping field from the worst of the Atlantic wind.
Clumps of snowdrops nod their delicate heads in the breeze and early primroses dot the banks that line the lane to the cottages and the edge of the copse. I love the first signs of spring. When I spent a stint sleeping rough, all I cared about was a warm place to stay, but now I’m lucky enough to appreciate the seasons changing from a warm bed and home.
A boy waving a plastic cutlass shoots out of the copse next to us onto the path.
‘Wooo hoooo! Watch out! I’m a pirate!’
‘Jesus! What the—’ Ben steadies Lily as the boy clips her arm.
‘Sorry!’ the boy shouts but races off down the slope towards the yurt field, waving his sword cutlass. He’s wearing a pirate hat and an eye patch but I’m sure I know him.
‘Are you OK, baby?’ Ben asks Lily.-
Lily smiles. ‘I’m fine. I’m fine.’
‘Quick! Blackbeard’s after us!’ A little girl in pirate gear shoots out of the copse and clips Ben. He tries to stay upright but slips on the damp turf and lands smack on his bum in a puddle.