Three’s a Crowd by Simon Booker


Publisher: Simon & Schuster 56257378._sy475_

Publishing Date: 24th August 2021

Source:  Received from the publisher via NetGalley, thank you!

Number of pages: 288

Genre: General Fiction (Adult), Women’s Fiction



What happens when an estranged father and son unwittingly fall in love with the same woman?

A hilariously laugh out loud, romantic comedy, perfect for fans of Something to Live For (Richard Roper), Love, Unscripted (Owen Nicholls), The Love Square (Laura Jane Williams), and Us (David Nicholls).
Out-of-work actor Harriet is recuperating from a crash-and-burn affair with Damian – aka ‘Cockweasel’ – and making ends meet as a barista when she meets two rather lovely men. Tom is a regular at the café, and seems like such a nice guy. Smooth-talking DJ Richard is older, but in great shape – a real silver fox.
Deciding to take a chance on both of them, Harriet doesn’t realise at first that she is actually dating father and son. Tom and Richard aren’t on speaking terms, and don’t share a last name – so how was she to know? By the time everyone finds out, both Tom and Richard are truly madly deeply in love with Harriet, and she’s faced with an impossible choice.
But as the battle for her affections intensifies, ‘Cockweasel’ makes an unexpected reappearance and begs her to give him another chance…

Rating: four-stars

Richard is a DJ at the local oldies radio station. His son, Tom, is a struggling writer, working on his musical. They haven’t spoken to each other for a long time, having a rather difficult relationship, with Richard for example not speaking to Tom, when he was 6 years old, and his wife Bonnie, for a whole year – there are some revelations coming our way here! But then father and son meet Harriet, though they don’t know that the other one also met her, and also fell in love with her – until they know. What now? Is one of them going to back down or is the situation going to escalate?

I loved the premise of the story and the more I read, the more intrigued I was and the more I wanted to know how it’s going to end. And well, I absolutely haven’t guessed the end, so there. I am still, after having finished the book a few hours ago, wondering if I’m satisfied with it or not, but on the other hand, if the ending was different, would I be satisfied? No, I think the author has got out from all those troubles and the dilemma really well.
I know that love triangle may be an uncomfortable topic, but Simon Booker took a much lighter and funnier approach in his book. The whole affair was actually like a background to the many other events and subplots taking place in the story, and there were plenty of them, there was all the time something happening and I really loved it like this.

The characters were great, so well drawn and really well developed, I felt a part of their fictional world, I cheered with them, cringed with them and kept my fingers crossed for them. Tom and Richard were actually both so likeable that I’ve never actually wanted to take sides, and Harriet was a perfect balance to them both. The background characters were sometimes really bonkers and I couldn’t believe my eyes, I felt as if I were in a gangster film sometimes, what with Gorgeous George spinning stories about an African gold mine for example.

Now, perhaps I’m overthinking things here, apologies in advance, but there came a moment in the story when it started to feel like a bit different read, taking turn from a rom – com to more of comedy of random errors with whiz – bang shoot-’em-ups and with the events happening incredibly quickly, at the end we were literally moving from scene to scene, quickly and without a warning. The last parts of the story felt too chopped and too rushed and absolutely different to the rest of the book. Nevertheless, I found this book a brilliant and entertaining debut and I liked how the story played out and that, despite being so light – hearted and funny, it was full of depth and also thought – provoking, much more than a love – story.

The House Beneath the Cliffs by Sharon Gosling / Blog Tour



Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Publishing Date: 29th September 2021

Source:  Received from the publisher via NetGalley, thank you!

Number of pages: 400

Genre: General Fiction (Adult)








A remote yet beautiful village. A tiny kitchen lunch club. The perfect place to start again.

Anna moves to Crovie, a tiny fishing village on the Moray Firth, for a fresh start. But when she arrives, she realises her new home is really no more than a shed, and the village itself sits beneath a cliff right on the edge of the sea, in constant danger of storms and landslides. Has she made a terrible mistake?

Yet as she begins to learn about the Scottish coast and its people, something she thought she’d lost reawakens in her. She rediscovers her love of cooking, and turns her kitchen into a pop-up lunch club. But not all the locals are delighted about her arrival, and some are keen to see her plans fail.

Will Anna really be able to put down roots in this remote and wild village? Or will her fragile new beginning start to crumble with the cliffs . . . ?

Beautiful, moving and utterly absorbing, The House Beneath the Cliffs is a novel of friendship and food, storms and secrets, and the beauty of second chances.




Anna has just moved to Crovie, a small coastal village in Scotland, leaving behind her long – term abusive relationship with a well – known chef, Geoff Rowcliffe. They were together for 20 years but it’s only now that she has dared herself for this step. Her first impression of the village, neighbours and then the „house“ that she has purchased without seeing it is not as promising as she’d like, though. What now? The plan is to stay for a day or two… then for a week or two… Is the village and its inhabitants growing on her? She finally starts to feel like a part of community and can spread her wings, being an excellent chef herself and starting her pop – up lunch club, an idea that will turn out very popular. But as soon as Anna feels she has found her place and her people, something happens – something that can destroy everything she has worked for.

I absolutely adored the characters. They were so well drawn and they felt like living and breathing people. There was so much warmth in them all, this book was actually filled with good people, people who wanted to help and who were there for you no matter what. Yes, maybe it sounds cheesy, but the book didn’t feel like this at all, on the contrary, it was lovely, sometimes it’s all you need – to see and feel kindness, and this time it was really all I needed, the book made me feel warm inside and optimistic and I simply loved it.
Our main character might not see like this at the first glance, but she was feisty, quirky and had a sharp tongue and I loved it about her. She was down to earth and not too serious about herself and I so liked to see how she was all the time growing in confidence and regaining her faith in herself again.
The villagers are so friendly portrayed and you immediately feel like a part of their tight – knit community – they were welcoming and so open and it was lovely to see them welcoming Anna with their open arms. Not all of them, of course, it would be too nice probably, but this was also a great subplot in this book, interesting and well developed.

I must admit, I’ve googled Crovie. As much as I loved the descriptions, I couldn’t imagine the village, so I’ve turned to Google, yes, and wow, Crovie is real and it’s so gorgeous! It’s truly so remote, and set on a narrow street, right by the sea, and now that I can see it better I can even more appreciate the author’s descriptions. What I need now is only a photo with an arrow showing to Anna’s Cottage, The Fishergirl’s Luck. I am now even more captivated by this place, knowing it exists and is real.

What I also loved in this book is that the author doesn’t only show that life is a bed of roses but also the harsh sides of it. Living so beautifully, so close to see is a dream come true for some, but there is also the reality of nature that sometimes can be brutal and dangerous, and the author has portrayed it brilliantly. I think that the setting was a huge part of the story, always there in the background, featuring so often yet I couldn’t have enough of those descriptions of the cliff and the sea and the dolphins. Somehow, the place brought the characters even more together, I think, there was no time for misunderstandings and pettiness when the storm was coming.

It doesn’t happen often that the story flows by itself and doesn’t feel like reading at all, it feels like a part of life, and it was like this with „The House Beneath the Cliffs“. It was written with such ease, it feels human and close to life and it’s full of heart and it makes the reading experience so great. It was a tad predictable, but not in a bad way, and there were still some surprising twists and turns. Altogether, it was a brilliant, warm, and uplifting story about hope, second chances and starting over, filled with relatable and well drawn characters, set in a beautiful place and brilliantly capturing the atmosphere of the place. Humorous and poignant, with best one – liners, it reminds us that friendship and being a part of community is important and that it’s never too late to start again. And the descriptions of Anna’s food were absolutely mouth – watering – even if I’m not so into seafood, it still made me feel hungry. Highly recommended, a perfect escapist read!



A Very French Wedding by Maeve Haran


Publisher: Pan

Publishing Date: 24th June 2021

Source:  Received from the publisher via NetGalley, thank you! / PB purchased

Number of pages: 432

Genre: Romance, Women’s Fiction



For all those who imagine escaping to a château and living the dream . . . to find that even dreams can have their complications.

Steph, Jo and Meredith have been friends since school. Their lives have all taken very different paths across the years, but when Meredith buys a romantic château in an idyllic village in the Dordogne she finds she can’t do it alone – so who better to enlist for help than her two old friends? Together they hope to bring the château back to life and create the most romantic wedding venue in France.

And it seems that the nearby village of Bratenac has much more to offer than sun, wine and delicious French food when a handsome chef and his equally charming son, a vigneron from New Zealand, not to mention the local ladies’ luncheon club and a British bulldog named Nelly all join the party.

Friends and lovers, old and new, come together and fall apart in deepest France, culminating in a very special château wedding. Funny, uplifting and poignant, this is Maeve Haran, bestselling author of The Greek Holiday, at her very best.


Meredith, Steph and Jo are best friends, who used to go to school together. Now they are experienced, mature women living their own lives: Steph and her husband David run a B&B in a village in France, the same village Meredith used to visit with her father as a child. She is now a powerfull businesswoman, who now decides to buy the chateau she has always admired with her father, leaving her lucrative career in Far East behind. Jo is in Basingstoke, actually reeling from her husband’s betrayal and upcoming marriage. Meredith’s purchase brings all the women together again and they decide, with help of Jo’s daughter, Sophie, to make the chateau a wedding venue. However, life is not all plain sailing – there are relationship problems, betrayal, hurt feelings and also a meddling group of ex – pat ladies who not only lunch together, but also want to know everything and interfere wherever they can.

There were plenty of characters in this book but they were strong enough, however, what I didn’t appreciate too much, was the fact that the author has overdone some of them, stereotyping them too much for my liking and already dooming us to liking or not liking them, there was not another option for you as a reader. You are literally told by the author what to think about them, especially those „bad“ ones, who feel a bit too grotesque and exaggerated. Nevertheless, they were colourful and very different and yes, they annoyed me now and then but I think it’s a good sign, right, it only shows that they all grew on me and yes, I was keeping my fingers crossed for them. I think that Steph was my least favourite character, I felt I didn’t know her good enough to understand her, there was too little about her life with David to completely get her and her actions. This whole snapping, being angry with David – it didn’t work. Either get help, Steph, or stop acting like diva, pretty please. She – they all – were mature women, so really I was expecting something more from her. However, they were actually like a breath of fresh air and I enjoyed their shenanigans and interfering, because they really wanted only good things. Experienced and often already burned, they were careful and it was lovely to see them coming out of their shells, leaving their comfort zones, daring.

There were moments that the book felt a bit too chopped – it was focusing on one thing and then suddenly moving to another. It also tried to bring many subplots together, jumping between the characters and while mostly it worked, sometimes I had a feeling that the author simply wants to spread herself too thin and it felt too overdone, unrealistic and unnatural. And there were also so many characters! Till the end I was not able to differentiate some of them, especially those with the names beginning with „M“, Meredith, Mandy, Margot… however altogether they were distinctive enough to know who is who. The end focused too much on the wedding, I think, I didn’t feel satisfied with it, I’d rather read more about Stephanie and David than on the short storm and tipping the flowers over – although Ronnie deserved it very much.

Altogether, I liked „A Very French Wedding“, it was entertaining and I loved the setting and it had this feel – good factor. The descriptions of the food were delicious and the adventures of the friends hilarious and also poignant, with more depth to them than expected. It is an axcellent summer read, filled with romance, weddings, wine, food and sunshine. Light – hearted, uplifting, though sometimes too short on descriptions between the scenes and characters and taking a shortcut, but still really worth reading if you are looking for something light and relaxing. I enjoyed it!

The Heights by Louise Candlish / Blog Tour


Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Publishing Date: 5th August 2021

Source:  Received from the publisher, thank you!

Number of pages: 400

Genre: Mystery & Thrillers



He thinks he’s safe up there.
But he’ll never be safe from you.

The Heights is a tall, slender apartment building among the warehouses of Shad Thames, its roof terrace so discreet you wouldn’t know it existed if you weren’t standing at the window of the flat directly opposite. But you are. And that’s when you see a man up there – a man you’d recognize anywhere. He’s older now and his appearance has subtly changed, but it’s definitely him.

Which makes no sense at all since you know he has been dead for over two years.

You know this for a fact.

Because you’re the one who killed him.


Ellen Saint manages her patchwork family really well – she’s living with her husband Justin, their daughter Freya and Lucas, Ellen’s son from her first relationship with Vic, who lives nearby. Lucas is a brilliant young man, a sixth former, doing really well at school – until he meets Kieran Watts. Kieran is new, living in a foster home, and is matched by the school with Lucas to be his buddy. They quickly become really good friends, also outside school. But Ellen is not happy – she doesn’t like Kieran, she feels he’s a bad influence. And actually, well, it’s true, right? Lucas begins to neglect school, ignoring his parents, partying and taking drugs. Is this a behaviour of normal teenager, or is this Kieran’s influence? But then the tragic accident happens and Ellen is obsessed with getting her revenge. And then, five years later, she sees Kieran again, in a penthouse on top of „The Heights“, a luxury apartment building. How come? When she herself set her hand to his disappearance?

The book is told in different points of view. Part 1 is mainly told by Ellen and we learn how it „all“ started. This „all“ is a tragedy that the family suffered and what has led to it – a random friendship between her son Lucas and a new pupil at his school, Kieran Watts. Kieran was supposed to be dead, so when Ellen spots him on a roof terrace she’s in shock – how come, when she contributed to his death? Part 2 introduces us to Vic’s point of view, Lucas’s father and Ellen ex – partner. While actually Vic is on Ellen’s side, his narration sheds a bit different light on Ellen and her actions. Who is lying? Who is telling the truth? Who is hiding something? And then we are taken back to Ellen, telling us about the dramatic events of the present.

The characters were very well crafted. They were full of flaws, to be honest, but this is what makes them feel much more real. Ellen and Vic, as well as the background characters, were truly present, they were there like living and breathing people, showing their good and bad sides. Not sure now if I should confess it, but I was all the time team Ellen. I so understood her feelings and emotions, she was a lioness – mother who has followed her sixth sense and, it turned out, she was right. There was a whole fan of emotions and they were so brilliantly captured – unconditional love, hate, hope, hopelessness and the author took us by the hand and walked with us through every single one of them. The way Louise Candlish portrayed her main character seemed very authentic to me, her anxiety and uncertainty felt real and yes, I could empathise with Ellen and her concerns. Sure, you can’t justify her actions, but I also think you can’t absolutely condemn her and her movements.
What I missed a bit, though, was more of Kieran’s point of view. I had a feeling that I don’t know him good enough – he was introduced to us and immediately he was the bad one, the judged character. I had a feeling we are not allowed enough space to make our own mind about him but, on the other hand, to be absolutely honest, it suited me, I felt justified that I didn’t like him. Even though the other characters seemed to like Kieran – Justin, Freya and Lucas, they seemed to fall under his spell – I, however, couldn’t see or find his charm.

I love when the plots are not straightforward and make me think, and this was the case with „The Heights“. This is a slow burner, nevertheless there is so much tension in it and you feel that something really bad is going to happen and you can’t prevent this. While the story is not so fast paced, it still keeps you on your toes, with the dark and tense atmosphere encircling you and the plot keeps you guessing and plotting by yourself.

It was not only thought – provoking, but also provocative, presenting you with an ethical dilemma, making you examine your own thoughts and actions. A brillianty crafted and thought over story filled with tension. I loved it when the authors manage to blur the lines between truth and deception, when you actually cannot be sure where the facts lie and who is telling lies. It was gripping from start to finish, it was cleverly plotted and complex on so many levels. Addictive and compelling, it kept me awake at night – another gem from Lousie Candlish. Truly recommended!


The Affair by Hilary Boyd



Publisher: Penguin/ Michael Joseph

Publishing Date: 19th August 2021

Source:  Received from the publisher, thank you!

Number of pages: 416

Genre: Women’s Fiction, General Fiction (Adult)



Escape to the sun-drenched shores of Lake Como in the irresistible and gripping new novel from the million-copy bestselling author of Thursdays in the Park, The Anniversary and The Lie

Connie McCabe longs for the summer where she spends the days leading tours across the continent.

But it’s on the glamorous shores of Lake Como where she is truly swept away, when Jared, a much younger man, falls for her.

Despite resisting his advances, Connie finds that he’s got under her skin.

And so begins a long, hot, intoxicating summer where Connie succumbs to temptation – breaking her marriage vows.

At the end of the season, Connie returns home to her husband, ready to put this affair behind her.

But Jared has other ideas . . .

Connie McCabe is a tour manager, travelling via train to different places in Europe. She’s married to Devan, a GP that recently retired. While before they didn’t have much time to spend together, now, with Devon all the time staying at home and hinting Connie should retire as well, not everything is rosy in McCabe’c household. Connie feels abandoned and lonely in her marriage, when Devan chooses to spend his time on his mobile phone, avoiding closeness and intimacy with his wife. And then, during one of her trips, Connie meets Jared who doesn’t hide the fact he’s interested in her. It’s hardly surprising that she’s flattered, right? Could there be something more between them? Is Connie going to risk her marriage for an affair? Is Jared who he says he is?

I think the fact that the author took us on a tour around Europe was only an added bonus. It took us a bit away from the main plot, however it also emphasised the fact that Jared was, actually, stalking Connie, and oh my, it annoyed me so much that Connie didn’t see what I’ve seen, that it took her so long to realise what I’ve realised so quickly. But back to travelling around Europe – I think it is a perfect job, it sounded interesting, however Connie was probably lucky with pretty uncomplicated tourists. I liked the fact that, next to such popular destination as Italy, Holland and Scotland, the author took us on a journey to Poland – I was in Ausschwitz. I know how the characterst felt.

There was a bunch of characters in the story, however I felt they need more depth, that they lacked a bit in development, that they were introduced to us and then stayed on the same level, without changing, without moving forward. Nevertheless, the author captured a very good picture of a relationship, she has executed it really, really well, leaving us a space for our own opinions and thoughts, giving us time to actually appreciate the differences and opposing views of Connie and Devan. I must admit that I felt more sympathy to Connie, Devan came too late with his sudden changing mind and desperation to spend quality time with his wife.
I missed Jared’s point of view in this all, I think. I’m also truly not sure about the whole stalking storyline, it seemed underdeveloped and so half heartedly done, not explored. He was such a significant character in this story yet it felt as if he was not there and absolutely not convincing – I’d love to know what has made him tick, what was his motivation.

Hilary Boyd explores here a long term marriage, one that had been together through thick and thin, where the couple started to feel too comfortable and, in the end, there is no more romance. I liked how she didn’t judge the characters, she didn’t blame them, she only showed how it truly is, in real life. She is a good observer, Hilary Boyd, and the actions and reactions of the characters ring a bell, seem true to life and are entirely realistic. However, the book itself felt slow, repetitive and not as tense as I thought it’s going to be. There were no life changing twists and what pained me so much was the fact that the story wasn’t going anywhere. But it was written in a lovely, uncomplicated, approachable and chatty way and felt close to life.

Altogether, it was an interesting story, easy to follow, written in a very good way. I wouldn’t call it a psychological thriller, it was more of a domestic dark noir and the author really nails all the feelings and emotions and family dynamics.



The Wedding Dress by Dani Atkins


Publisher: Head of Zeus

Publishing Date: 5th August 2021

Source:  Received from the publisher via NetGalley, thank you!

Number of pages: 448

Genre: Women’s Fiction, Romance



Three women. Three love stories. One dress. The new heartwarming and uplifting romance from award-winning romance writer Dani Atkins.

Suzanne is engaged to be married to the man of her dreams – except the lead up to her wedding is beginning to feel more like a nightmare. Can Suzanne uncover the truth about her fiancé ahead of her big day?

Bella’s life was on track until the day of the hen party when everything changed. Now she must find the strength to rebuild her future – and decide who she wants to spend it with.

Mandy’s grandmother has fallen in love but her family don’t approve. For her grandmother’s dreams to come true, Mandy has a secret wedding to plan, and a very special dress to find.

These are the three strangers whose stories are about to be woven together by one perfect wedding dress.


“The Wedding Dress” follows three women, Suzanne, Bella and Mandy who don’t know each other but they’re connected through the same wedding dress.

I feel that if the author has turned each of the short stories into separate books, I would love them. Because in this book they felt rushed and too forced, not emotional, just like I was expecting from Dani Atkins. It was not a bad book, as the author is a great story teller and she can beautifully write, but I simply felt underwhelmed at the end, somehow cheated. However, it was a thought – provoking book, perfect for book clubs, as there are for sure some topics that need to be discussed with more people! And standing ovation to the author for touching upon some complex and difficult issues and treating them with respect, gentleness, warmth and sensitivity.

I liked Bella’s story best, she was the most likeable character in the book, a character that felt genuine. The first one is about Suzanne and Darrell, happily engaged and about to get married, but then Suzanne starts to get some mysterious notes about her fiance. I’m truly sorry, but I never felt tension and the characters were so wooden that I couldn’t care less what’s going to happen with them. The conclusion was also far from perfect, I mean – I don’t want to spoil the reading for you! – you could easily find another way to contact the bride, right? And the last one was so obvious and the characters there so stereotyped that I simply couldn’t read it.

It didn’t feel like a Dani Atkins book. I was disappointed with this read, it didn’t keep my interest and I found the stories too much overdone, on every level, too exaggerated and they didn’t feel natural. The last of the stories was so politically correct that I couldn’t take any more and simply skim – read it and the bits that I’ve read only annoyed me. The other disappointment was the dress itself, I was really hoping for a brilliant, funny and captivating story with a dress at its centre, connecting the characters somehow, but sadly, nothing of this sort appeared in the book. Those were three short stories that featured the same wedding dress and that was all. Maybe I was not in the right mood for this book, but I couldn’t connect with the characters as well, they felt unrealistic and overdrawn and it was Bella and her story that saved the book – though it was also so predictable that it made me hurt. Sadly, not my favourite read by this author.

Why Mummy’s Sloshed by Gill Sims / Blog Tour


Publisher: Harper Collins         Why Mummy's Sloshed Graphic 2

Publishing Date: 22nd July 2021

Source:  Received from the publisher, thank you!

Number of pages: 352

Genre: Women’s Fiction, Humour



No.1 bestselling author Gill Sims is back with her eagerly awaited fourth and final Why Mummy novel.

I just wanted them to stop wittering at me, eat vegetables without complaining, let me go to the loo in peace and learn to make a decent gin and tonic.  

Mummy has been a wife and mother for so long that she’s a little bit lost. And despite her best efforts, her precious moppets still don’t know the location of the laundry basket, the difference between being bored and being hungry, or that saying ‘I can’t find it Mummy’ is not the same as actually looking for it!

Amidst the chaos of A-Levels and driving tests, she’s doing her best to keep her family afloat, even if everybody is set on drifting off in different directions, and that one of those directions is to make yet another bloody snack. She’s feeling overwhelmed and under appreciated, and the only thing that Mummy knows for sure is that the bigger the kids, the bigger the drink.


The best thing about this book was that it was so relatable – it is the “I’ve been there, I’ve seen this” but the best kind, letting me know that I am not alone! I nodded along with acknowledgement and understanding on almost every single page, Ellen’s observations are straight to the point and it is so, so brilliant to see in writing what I often think!

The things that happen in Ellen’s life are mostly hilarious but they are also very realistic and this is brilliant – it could be easily overdone but it’s simply perfect and possible to happen. You can’t help but laugh out loud at the way the characters act and react, roll your eyes or simply nod your head in agreement. Nevertheless, this time I also felt a bit more seriousness to the tone, did you feel it as well? It was still hilarious, full of fun but also somewhere, deep, deep down, there was a kind of nostalgy to it – or is it only me that felt that way? Or simply maybe the books grow together with the characters?

The writing is addictive and so easy to follow – I couldn’t, and didn’t want, to put the book away for a single moment. This book tells how it really is in a perfect tone, not too patronizing, not too aggressive, and it gives hope, and really guys, I feel better after reading it. It turns out that I’m not the only one who can’t cope with everything.

“Why Mummy’s Sloshed” was a hilarious, uplifting read that I easily could identify with. The fun and humour poured from every word and this is what I really needed. It was brutally honest in telling how it is to be a part of a family, to have a family. It was light, it was bright, it was refreshing and full of painful truth of being a parent. Simply, it must be one of the best books I have ever read, and a perfect conclusion to the series, though yes, it makes me sad to think there wouldn’t be more Mummy’s adventures, frank, honest and down – to – earth. Highly recommended!


One August Night by Victoria Hislop / Blog Tour


Publisher: Headline Review

Publishing Date: 22nd July 2021

Source:  Received from the publisher via NetGalley, thank you!

Number of pages: 225

Genre: General Fiction



Beloved author Victoria Hislop returns to Crete in this long-anticipated sequel to her multi-million-copy Number One bestseller, The Island.

25th August 1957. The island of Spinalonga closes its leper colony. And a moment of violence has devastating consequences.

When time stops dead for Maria Petrakis and her sister, Anna, two families splinter apart and, for the people of Plaka, the closure of Spinalonga is forever coloured with tragedy.

In the aftermath, the question of how to resume life looms large. Stigma and scandal need to be confronted and somehow, for those impacted, a future built from the ruins of the past.

Number one bestselling author Victoria Hislop returns to the world and characters she created in The Island – the award-winning novel that remains one of the biggest selling reading group novels of the century. It is finally time to be reunited with Anna, Maria, Manolis and Andreas in the weeks leading up to the evacuation of the island… and beyond.

Discover for yourself why ten million readers worldwide love the novels of Victoria Hislop…

This particular August night sees not only the ruturn of the cured patients from the leper colony, but is also a witness to a tragedy that will splinter two families apart.

What I really liked in this book is that it so easily mentions and embeds Greek history and traditions into the plot. Also, the writing style is still beautiful, still lyrical and the author manages to capture a little of atmosphere. She can beautifully describe and portray Greece and its people, with tons of adoration and respect and the story is a real escapism.

There are many characters in this story and yes, they blur and I often didn’t know who is who and who belongs to whom – it’s because they so suddenly appeared on the pages, to disappear and to appear again after some time. Yes, it was a bit confusing. They were also, in my opinion, too one – dimensional, so superficial somehow, I missed depth to them and to see what made them tick. I can’t say that it was, even with the number of them, a character – driven story, it was more getting on with the plot and it gives you a very detailed, precise sense of place. I missed any kind of emotions in the characters, to be honest, instead they felt very factual, and it was really Greece that was a worshipped character in this book.

I wasn’t sure, but it turns out I haven’t read „The Island“, the prequel, nevertheless I felt comfortable reading „One August Night“, without a feeling that there was a past. I’ve got enough information to keep me satisfied and up – to – date with the happenings. Nevertheless, based on the synopsis, I thought it will focus more on the closing of the leper colony on Spinalonga, and it barely mentions it. I thought that Maria, being back from the island, as a survivor of leprosy, will be the main character telling us her story, but it’s barely mentioned, actually.

It didn’t feel like a book, to be honest, I had a feeling I’m reading a record of events that happened in Greece throughout a chunk of time, or few short stories randomly combined together. The author didn’t go seamlessly from situation to situation or from dialogue to dialogue, no, it felt more chopped and there could be a day, a week, a month or a year between the happenings that she was writing about in the same chapter. She has also jumped from character to character and I read it with a feeling that, oh, now she has remembered there is this character and she has to write about them, and then oh, and there is still this character, I have to mention them! I’m not sure if I liked it, to be honest, and the way the story was written, with few dialogues and journalistically describing events didn’t work for me. I didn’t feel any connection to the characters. I loved Victoria Hislop’s some previous books and it makes me sad that I couldn’t click with „One August Night“. I wasn’t immersed, I wasn’t pulled into it and it made me anxious, it was never a case with Hislop’s book before. It felt too flat, too forced and too random and the characters were under – developed. Sadly.
However, the book was filled with drama, jealousy, love and betrayal and is full of hope and dreams. The setting of the beautiful Crete was perfect, as well as the beautiful descriptions and the added bonus of history of the times and I’m sure you can get lost in this story for hours.


That Night by Gillian McAllister / Blog Tour

Publisher: Michael Joseph/Penguin 57389172._sy475_

Publishing Date: 8th July 2021

Source:  Received from the publisher via NetGalley, thank you!

Number of pages: 448

Genre: General Fiction (Adult),  Mystery & Thrillers



What would you do to protect your family?


During a family holiday in Italy, you get an urgent call from your sister.

There’s been an accident: she hit a man with her car and he’s dead.

She’s overcome with terror – fearing years in a foreign jail away from her child.

She asks for your help. It wasn’t her fault, not really. She’d cover for you, so will you do the same for her?

But when the police come calling, the lies start. And you each begin to doubt your trust in one another.

What really happened that night?

Who is lying to who?

Who will be the first to crack?


Siblings Cathy, Joe and Frannie are extremely close. They live in three adjoining cottages, work together at the family’s vet practice, holiday together, spent their free time together. Cathy and Frannie are single, only Joe is married, and it’s not a wonder that his wife, Lydia, feels like an outsider sometimes.
One hot summer night on holidays in Italy, Cathy and Joe receive a phone call from Frannie who is begging for help. She has killed a man in a car accident and she doesn’t want to go to prison, she doesn’t want her todler Paul to grow up without a mother! The three siblings decide to bury the body in order to protect Frannie. But is it still a secret when already three people know about it? Moreover – one lie seems to lead to another one and soon the Plants become tangled in a whole web of them… Was it really worth to go that far to show your loyalty?

I was immediately pulled into the story – well, it had probably one of the best openings! It is this kind of read that will make you ask yourself „what would you do“ and well, I’m not sure what I would do, to be honest. It was thought – provoking, with some moral dillemas here and I really wanted to see how the author has solved them. It was very well plotted and the tension was palpable and the overwhelming feeling of uncertainty was always there, you couldn’t be sure what’s going to happen when you turn the page.

We immediately know what has happened but actually the whole „what’s going to happen“ develops slowly, with the author giving us snippets of information, complicating the plot, shedding different lights on the characters and in the end you truly don’t know whom to trust. The lies pile up and you can see that it was only the tip of the iceberg.

The story is told from alternative points of view and it flips from the past to the present. There are also some chapters with Lydia as a narrator. I liked this way of telling the story, I think it worked really well and it was brilliant to see the siblings’ different views, to see them thinking and over – thinking, sometimes ganging up on each other, and all the time slowly, slowly starting to panic, not knowing what the next news on TV might bring, not knowing if the other one is hiding something. I think they were really well developed, the characters – they were not likeable, they were flawed and damaged and more than often I found their relationship was not completely healthy, but nevertheless they felt 3 – dimensional. Cathy was the cool and always in control sister, while Frannie, the baby of the family, still immature, even though she was a mother already, always getting what she wanted. Joe was the over – protective brother, feeling responsible for his sisters, often hot – headed and acting before he thought the things over. However, and this is strange here, while I know they are all in the wrong, I still felt this weird compassion to them and sure, I know they’ve done something really, really terrible, but somehow, deep down, I understood them and their actions. They were not only bad – they still battled with their conscience, they were scared and this what has happened was affecting all parts of their lives, They were not stupid and they knew that they’re going to live with the consequences all their lives, but the deeper into the story, the more difficult it was for them to change something. And yes, I blamed them, but I also didn’t blame them, if you follow me.

I must admit that there came a point when I wanted this book to end – I wanted to have it all cleared and I wanted to know how it’s going to end. It doesn’t mean that I didn’t like it, because I did, I felt immeresed and intrigued, but it simply started to drag, as if the author has lengthened the story intentionally. It started to feel a bit repetitive. While there were some things that I managed to guess, there were still plenty of them that were an absolute surprise and altogether, „That Night“ was an absorbing, twisty and gripping read with things going from bad to worse.

This book is not only a thriller. It also brilliantly examines family dynamics, the bonds between siblings, how much are they able to sacrifice for each other and deep down it’s an emotional read. The author deeply digs into consequences, examining mental aspects of the characters’ actions and in my opinion, she has done it in a brilliant and successful way. It’s a tense, high – quality, complex and clever story, a real page – turner, unique and refreshing. Highly recommended!


Worn Out Wife Seeks New Life by Carmen Reid / Blog Tour

Worn Out Wife Seeks New Life by Carmen Reid

Publisher: Boldwood Books 58314325._sy475_

Publishing Date: 27th July 2021

Source:  Received from the publisher via NetGalley, thank you!

Number of pages: 276

Genre: Women’s Fiction



Tess Simpson needs a break!

No one appreciates her at home. No one appreciates her at work. And now her dog has died. She’s had enough!

Maybe what she really needs is a break from hopeless husband, Dave, the ungrateful ‘kidults’ and the lacklustre job.

River Romero needs a break!

She’s had success in the past, but screenwriting is a tough career in a tough town and her next script has got to fly or River’s dream career is over.

The swap!

Everything about River’s L.A. life sounds exciting to Tess, from the condo with a pool, to the Hollywood glitz.

Everything about Tess’s English country life sounds so calming to River, from the wisteria over the front door to the peaceful bedroom.

Both women want their lives to change, but real life isn’t like the movies.

And what if getting away from it all isn’t all it’s cracked up to be?

A laugh out loud emotional read, perfect for fans of Fiona Gibson, Tracy Bloom and Sophie Ranald!


Tess Simpson has it all – two grown children, a lovely husband, beloved dog, gorgeous home with a huge garden and a brilliant job in accounting. But has she really? After being passed over for a partnership in her firm and her dog dying, Tess is fed up. She needs a holiday, and with the whole family, and now. Asia might just be the thing. But then again – the children drop out, having their own plans, her husband Dave has an accident and Tess has two options now: stay at home and let life run just like it did all the time, or bite the bullet and travel alone.
River Romero is a screenwriter from Los Angeles, but her career seems to be stuck in a rut right now, so when the brilliant project comes her way, she’s desperate to do it right. And to do it right, she feels she has to travel to England, the land of Shakespeare. Will staying in Startford – Upon – Avon bring her the much needed inspiration?

The characters were very well drawn and felt normal and human, which is always a good thing. I enjoyed that Tess and River were so different and had other priorities in their lives and it was nice to get to know them and see what makes them tick. There was a lot of uncertainty and a bit of whingeing, but I think it’s only normal, right, they are both facing great challeges, especially Tess, and I think it needs a courage to travel alone, just like she did. And even though I was not sure about some of their decisions and motivation (especially River), it was lovely to see them thrive, to see what can happen when there is temptation, when you feel free again. I think it was more Tess stepping out of her comfort zones than River, River felt as if she felt home in each and every place, but it was Tess who needed courage and, to be honest, I was not sure if she’ll find it. Will she shake her own life a little bit?

The story is not as light – hearted as you might have been expecting, especially having the Annie Valentine’s series in your memory and seeing the colourful cover and absolutely brilliant title. It deals with some heavier issues and be prepared for depression and also a suicide trigger. I’m not sure if it made me happy, the way the story developed and the subplots – sure, the author has tried something new and something different, but I’m not absolutely sure that it turned out well. There were some lighter moments that maybe will make you smile a bit, but altogether it was rather serious and emotional journey of the main characters.

All in all, it was not a bad book but not this what I’ve been expecting. It didn’t make me laugh and I had a feeling that some of the things are there just for the sake of the story. The subplot of Tess’s son was – yes, I know, important – but underdeveloped. There were moments that it felt repetitive and a bit too flat for my liking, and you’ll probably need time to warm to Tess and River. There is also the dog, so importantly mentioned in the blurb but not in the story, until it is mentioned, in a one whole chapter that should probably feel emotional (here I am. The one who’s crying when watching Disney’s films and not being able to go to the cinema with her daughter when the film is about animals), but for me was forced and out of the blue and just like with Tess’s son subplot, I could live without.
Altogether, I was expecting something funnier and light – hearted. It was not a bad book, far from that, but sadly not my favourite from this author.


Worn Out Wife Seeks New Life Full Tour Banner