The Undercover Mother by Emma Robinson @emmarobinsonuk @bookouture #blogblitz

Delighted to welcome you all to my stop on the blog blitz for the feel-good comedy The Undercover Mother by Emma Robinson. My thanks to Kim Nash at Bookouture for the opportunity and my review copy, which I received via Netgalley.


Author : Emma Robinson
Title : The Undercover Mother
Pages : 287
Publisher : Bookouture
Publication date : March 20, 2018


Jenny has too much on her plate: literally – she’s only pregnant with one child but she’s already eating for three. Not to mention trying to juggle her future life with a baby, a nightmare boss, a know-it-all sister, and a bizarrely laid back husband.

She used to be famous for her ‘Single Girl About Town’ journalism. But not only is she bored of parties, she also hasn’t been single for years, and is now 8½ months pregnant.

So when her boss hands her column to a younger colleague, Jenny panics and proposes instead writing about being a clueless new mum. Surely people will find her new friendship group fascinating? Even if the only thing they have in common is that they all had sex around the same time 9 months ago…

Like – what’s the deal with scary Gail’s mystery husband? How is posh mum Antonia already out drinking when Jenny can barely make a cup of tea? Why isn’t sweet-natured Ruth answering any phone calls?

And if her readers aren’t quite hooked yet, maybe Jenny will just have to be more liberal with the truth. After all, none of the other mums will read it… will they?


Something a little different on the blog today. Sometimes I find I need to step away a little bit from the gritty crime and dark thrillers I normally gravitate towards and The Undercover Mother seemed like a great alternative. Granted, this is so incredibly far removed from my usual choices, you may well wonder if there’s something not quite right with me. Fear not, all is well! Better yet, within the space of a few pages, I already knew I’d made the right decision when I could feel my spirits lift and a big smile settled itself on my face.

Jenny used to write a singles column called “Girls About Town” for a magazine. The problem is, Jenny isn’t single anymore and is also preparing for the birth of her first child. So when her column is handed over to a younger colleague, Jenny tries to convince her boss she could write about motherhood instead. To find inspiration, Jenny joins an antenatal class where she meets four other women who couldn’t possible be more different from each other if they tried. There’s Naomi, the hippy earth-mom; Gail, the fierce business woman; Antonia, the well turned-out snobbish one who seems to have it all and finally Ruth, who’s been struggling to get pregnant for years.

Now, I admit I thought I would struggle with this story as I’m not a member of the mum club and never had the desire to join up. While I am familiar with sleepless nights due to being an insomniac, I’ve never changed a diaper nor have I thankfully ever been the victim of misdirected projectile vomiting. But somehow, I found myself totally able to relate to Jenny and her circle of first time mothers. Not everything is all roses and sunshine. Sure, there are moments where I chuckled and snorted rather un-lady like but there were also times when I felt quite a huge lump in my throat.

From unplanned pregnancies to having to throw your carefully written birthing plan out the window, from exhaustion to mishaps, from trying to juggle it all and think you need to be perfect at everything, to realising your live has changed forever, … this story has everything and these five women will somehow find each other, despite their differences. Mothers everywhere will undoubtedly be able to relate and some things will surely bring back fond, or less fond, memories. If like me, you’re not a mother, worry not as I’m feeling pretty confident you will be as entertained as I was.

The Undercover Mother is a funny feel-good story about pregnancies, motherhood, friendships and finding the best of friends in the most unusual places. I thoroughly enjoyed the time I got to spend with all of them and I do so hope there will be a follow-up at some point as I would absolutely love to know what happens to all of them next.

The Undercover Mother is available for purchase!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Kobo | Goodreads


Emma Robinson thinks of herself as one of the ‘Bridget Jones generation’ – who are now grown up and having children – and writes novels for women who feel the same.

She also has a blog, Motherhood for Slackers, which takes a humorous look at parenthood, and includes poems such as ‘Dear Teacher’ about her son starting school which has been shared around the world. Emma is an English teacher and lives in Essex with a patient husband and two children who are an endless source of material.

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Stand By Me by S.D. Robertson @SDRauthor @AvonBooksUK #blogtour #extract

It’s such a pleasure to be able to kick off the blog tour for Stand By Me today and to wish author S.D. Robertson a very happy publication day! I have a rather moving extract to share with you all but first, here is what the novel is all about. My thanks to Sabah at Avon for the opportunity to join the tour!


Author : S.D. Robertson
Title : Stand By Me
Pages : 432
Publisher : Avon UK
Publication date : January 11, 2018


They’ll always have each other…won’t they?

Lisa and Elliot have been best friends ever since the day they met as children. Popular, bright and sporty, Lisa was Elliot’s biggest supporter when the school bullies made his life a misery, and for that, he will always be grateful.

Twenty years later, life has pulled the pair apart and Lisa is struggling. Her marriage is floundering, her teenage kids are being secretive, and she’s so tired she can’t think straight. So when Elliot knocks on the door, looking much better than she remembers, she can’t help but be delighted to see her old friend again.

With Elliot back in their lives, Lisa’s family problems begin to improve – he’s like the fairy godmother she never had. As their bond deepens, she realises how much she’s missed him, and prays that this is one friendship that will last a lifetime. But sometimes, life has other ideas…


Chapter 5, pp.33-34

Tears were streaming down her face, although she’d been determined not to cry any more. Elliot was tearful too and she knew from the tender look in his eyes how touched he was that she’d made the trip.

They’d done this already the night before. He’d called around at her house and stayed for tea one final time. They’d spent ages chatting in her bedroom, focusing as much as possible on the excitement of their respective futures, rather than the obvious negative of them being apart. And then suddenly – far too soon – it was time for him to go. They’d said goodbye then, amid the obvious hugs, kisses, tears and promises to keep in touch. But it hadn’t been enough and, after an awful night of barely sleeping, Lisa had found herself knocking on her parent’s door at 5.30 a.m., begging to borrow the car to drive to the airport.

‘I need to see him one last time,’ she’d bawled. ‘I can’t bear it if I don’t.’

Her mum had taken pity on her. Not wanting Lisa to make the journey alone, as a new driver in an emotional state, Christine had agreed to take the wheel, despite her husband’s tired groans that it was ridiculous. They’d made it in the nick of time, with an out-of-breath Lisa catching up to Elliot right before he and his mother disappeared through security into the departures lounge.

‘Is everything okay?’ Elliot asked, his face a cocktail of surprise, confusion and affection.

‘Don’t worry,’ Lisa said, looking at Wendy, his mother. ‘I’m not here to try and change his mind, but I had to say goodbye one more time.’

And so she did. They only got a few extra minutes together, but Lisa didn’t regret going there for an instant. Before Elliot finally left on his one-way trip to the other side of the globe, she wanted him to know exactly how important he was to her; how much she’d miss him being around.

‘Don’t forget me.’ That was the last thing she’d whispered in his ear as their wet cheeks pressed together and Wendy’s voice softly insisted that they really had to go.

‘Never,’ he replied. ‘How could I forget the girl who saved my life?’

And then she watched her best friend leave.


Aw, I’ve gone all teary-eyed. How moving was that?

If this extract has convinced you Stand By Me is the book for you, then you can go ahead and buy/order your copy right now as it’s published today!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Bookdepository | Kobo | Wordery | Goodreads


Former journalist S.D. Robertson quit his role as a local newspaper editor to pursue a lifelong ambition of becoming a novelist.

An English graduate from the University of Manchester, he’s also worked as a holiday rep, door-to-door salesman, train cleaner, kitchen porter and mobile phone network engineer.

Over the years Stuart has spent time in France, Holland and Australia, but home these days is back in the UK. He lives in a village near Manchester with his wife and daughter. There’s also his cat, Bernard, who likes to distract him from writing – usually by breaking things.


Make sure you check out these fab bloggers on their stops on the blog tour!



The Secret Child by Kerry Fisher @KerryFSwayne @bookouture #blogtour

** advanced copy received via Netgalley **

I’m absolutely delighted to join the blog tour for The Secret Child by Kerry Fisher today! Many thanks to Kim Nash at Bookouture! I’ll be sharing my thoughts on this emotional tale right after I tell you what the novel is about.


Author : Kerry Fisher
Title : The Secret Child
Pages : 354
Publisher : Bookouture
Publication date : November 29, 2017


Susie did something that she knows she will always regret: giving her baby son up for adoption, to keep her infidelity secret from her family.

Louise, Susie’s daughter, feels the effects of that decision echoing down through the years – her mother has always been difficult, too strict with her but not strict enough with her sister Grace, who is wild and out-of-control. And Danny, Susie’s husband, adores her, but has always sensed something wrong at the heart of their marriage.

When tragedy strikes the family, and a chance discovery threatens to bring the truth to light, the sisters’ relationship is put to the test as they are faced with an impossible choice…


You can run from your past, but it will always catch up with you…

Back in the 60’s, Susie gave up her son for adoption. A decision she will regret for the rest of her life. But with a husband away on a 15 month stint in the navy, the child is clearly not his and Susie wants to protect her family. The novel follows the Duarte family throughout the years and the effect of hiding this gigantic secret has on Susie and her family.

Susie can’t stop thinking about the son she gave away, which has consequences for everyone. Her husband always feels he can’t do anything right or make Susie happy but doesn’t know why. Her eldest daughter Louise has an incredibly strict upbringing and isn’t allowed to make certain decisions based on Susie’s own experiences. Youngest daughter Grace, on the other hand, is raised very differently and turns into a wild child. While Susie only ever wanted to protect her family, it seems she’s only making things worse.

I’m always fascinated by stories involving adoptions. What would make a mother give up her child? How harsh is the experience of the Mother and Baby homes? We’ve all heard the stories throughout the years. Those nuns have a lot to answer for. But just imagine, having six weeks with your child. Six weeks to bond, love and cherish, to soak up every little bit about this child that afterwards will not be a part of your life any longer. It’s cruel and it’s easy to imagine the gaping hole you’d be left to deal with and I feel the author did a brilliant job in getting across that no, you don’t just slot back into your life and carry on.

What I like about The Secret Child is that the author doesn’t just explore the feelings Susie has to deal with but also her family. Why does Susie treat her daughters so differently? And as the years go on, why does she treat one grandchild differently from another, for example? As the second part of the story is told through Grace, the pieces start to come together and the family dynamics change, which made me wonder which side of the fence I’d end up.

This novel pulls at the heartstrings like you wouldn’t believe and left me with a massive lump in my throat. It’s the kind of story that has me reaching for the tissues, just in case, and has me doing that weird waving-hand-in-front-of-face thing to keep the tears at bay. Kerry Fisher obviously knows how to draw relatable and realistic characters that worm their way into your heart and I desperately wanted things to work out for all of them. This is a beautifully written story, sad and heartbreaking, moving and thought-provoking, ultimately incredibly emotional. I loved every minute of it!

The Secret Child is available for purchase!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Goodreads


Born in Peterborough, Kerry Fisher studied French and Italian at Bath University, followed by several years working as an English teacher in Corsica and Spain before topping the dizzying heights of holiday rep and grape picker in Tuscany. She eventually succumbed to ‘getting a proper job’ and returned to England to study Periodical Journalism at City University.

After two years working in the features department at Essentials magazine in London, love carried her off to the wilds of the West Pennine moors near Bolton.

She now lives in Surrey with her husband (of whisking off to Bolton fame), two teenagers and a very naughty lab/schnauzer called Poppy.




Snowflakes, Iced Cakes and Second Chances by Sue Watson @suewatsonwriter @bookouture #blogblitz

** advanced copy received via publisher **

I’m absolutely delighted to be hosting a stop on the blitz tour for Snowflakes, Iced Cakes and Second Chances by Sue Watson! Many thanks to Kim Nash at Bookouture for the opportunity and the advanced copy!


Author : Sue Watson
Title : Snowflakes, Iced Cakes and Second Chances
Pages : 269
Publisher : Bookouture
Publication date : October 12, 2017


A year after she separated from her husband, Gianni, on Christmas Day, Chloe’s heart is still in pieces as she unpacks the decorations for her first ever festive holiday alone. That is, until the phone rings…

It seems Gianni’s new seaside restaurant is in trouble and Chloe must go to Appledore to save the business – and him. Equally famous for his experimental culinary extravaganzas and his explosive temper, Gianni has been really stirring up a sensation with the locals – and not in a good way!

As pans fly and the temperature in the kitchen rises, Chloe’s calming influence and magic touch might just get critics back on side in time to save the restaurant from sinking like a sad soufflé. But will it be enough to save their marriage?


Some of you may know, this isn’t really my normal sort of read. I tend to shy away from romance things and pretty much anything to do with Christmas. Just call me Scrooge. But this is Sue Watson and her Ice-Cream Café series holds a special place in my heart so the decision to read and review this one was a lot easier than you’d think.

Sue Watson takes us back to the lovely town of Appledore but this time, Winter is coming. (Sorry!) Gianni, a fiery Italian, has opened a restaurant there but things aren’t going very well. Gianni isn’t exactly a people person and has an incredible temper which results in staff leaving, altercations with food critics and grumpy customers. He calls in the help of his estranged wife, Chloe, though he won’t admit the idea was his as he’s far too stubborn for that.

Chloe and Gianni started out having a wonderful relationship and marriage but after the sadness of three miscarriages, each tried to deal with their grief by throwing themselves into their work. A lack of communication, misunderstandings and too much time apart eventually leads Chloe to leave the marriage behind. Forced to spend time together in Appledore and make Gianni’s latest venture a success, could their marriage possibly get a second chance?

I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Appledore with Chloe and Gianni. Although I must admit to frequently feeling my temper rise at Gianni’s attitude and if I’d had a pan handy, it probably would have found its way to his head. Despite his character also delivering quite a few chuckle-worthy moments, he’s also utterly infuriating and Chloe, quite frankly, has the patience of a saint most of the time.

Throw in the delightful residents of Appledore we’ve all come to love, snow and the impending arrival of the holidays, and this does exactly what you’d expect. Snowflakes, Iced Cakes and Second Chances is a feel-good Christmas romance that will definitely get you into the spirit and is as warm and comforting as a cosy fire or a blanket. Yes, there is a level of predictability but really, I couldn’t care less because this author always manages to come up with realistic characters you care about and root for. And she makes me laugh. It’s that simple, really!

If you’ve read any of this author’s previous books, you will absolutely adore this! If you haven’t, maybe now is the time to give them a go and kick-start the festive period (too soon?) with a giggle or two.

Snowflakes, Iced Cakes and Second Chances was published on October 12th.

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Goodreads


Sue Watson was a journalist then a TV Producer at the BBC until she realised that instead of working, she could stay at home, make stuff up and sell it!

So far Sue’s written ten books, and some have been translated into Italian and Portuguese (she’s big in Brazil!) Originally from Manchester, she now lives with her husband and teenage daughter in Worcestershire where her days are spent baking (and eating) lots of cake, while making big life decisions about whether to have Caramel Chew Chew or Salted Caramel ice cream while watching ‘The Biggest Loser USA,’ on TV.

You can contact Sue via her website, Twitter, Facebook Author Page or Instagram


Make sure to check out these brilliant bloggers on the tour!

Snowflakes, Iced Cakes and Second Chances - Blog Tour

Reality Rehab by Lisa Mary London @emmamitchellfpr #blogtour #guestpost

Today, it’s my turn to host a stop on the blog tour for Reality Rehab and it’s my pleasure to welcome author Lisa Mary London to the blog with a brilliant guest post about celebrity memoirs.


Author : Lisa Mary London
Title : Reality Rehab
Pages : 275
Publisher : Ivan Berg
Publication date : July 13, 2017


Faded TV star Gloria Grayson has hit rock bottom. Sacked from her starring role in a top soap, divorced from hell-raising actor ‘Mad’ Tommy Mack, and obese from binge eating, her days as Britain’s sexiest blonde are well and truly over.

Gloria has gained 70 lbs when a paparazzi snaps unflattering photos and a cruel tabloid article relaunches her career. Instantly she and her fat, feisty dog Baby-Girl are booked for TV’s Reality Rehab.

Gloria is locked up with an American psychotherapist, a rabble of D-list celebrities and umpteen cameras, then put on a starvation diet. But worse is to come, with the shock arrival of her alcoholic ex-husband.

Tears and tantrums ensue as the divorced couple’s joint therapy sessions take over the show and ratings soar. The other celebrities are infuriated to be sidelined and Reality Rehab fast becomes the Tommy and Glo Show. But Gloria and Tommy are hiding explosive secrets from each other and 10 million viewers.


‘Author Soapbox’

Celebrity Memoirs – Fact or Fiction?

My new novel Reality Rehab is a satire on reality TV and the cult of modern celebrity.  Celebrities have always fascinated me. I guess that’s why the minute I qualified as a journalist on a sleepy Cotswold newspaper, I headed to the bright lights of London to work as a TV producer on entertainment and chat shows.

I’ve been privileged to meet literally hundreds of celebrities in a 20 year career working behind-the-screen on prime time TV shows.  Seeing the real star behind the make-up (figuratively and literally), is a rare privilege and sometimes, an eye opener.

Perhaps not surprisingly, my preferred reading is celebrity biographies and autobiographies.  People say “But how can you believe a word a celebrity says in their autobiography? They’re bound to sugar coat the truth to make themselves look good”. A fair point of course, and for this reason many prefer those unauthorised, unflattering biographies written without the famous subject’s consent.

But I believe the way a celebrity presents their life story and themselves, whether in a book or in person, can be very telling.  In my experience, famous and powerful people often reveal fundamental truths about themselves totally unintentionally in the most subtle ways.  I long ago learned to disregard the false currency of face value and reserve judgement on people – whoever they may be.  I trust my instincts on what a person shows, rather than tells me, and I flatter myself I’ve developed a good steer.

I was recently browsing You Tube late at night and stumbled on an ancient audio book of the late actress Joan Crawford’s 1971 autobiography.  Title:  ‘My Way of Life’, Miss Crawford read the book herself, all six hours of it.  And what a treat it was!

Her melodic voice soothed me to sleep over three consecutive bedtimes, the jangling of her bracelets as she turned the pages almost persuading me she was in the room.  I was mesmerised as she spoke of her glittering movie career, her wonderful children, her beautiful clothes, her tastefully decorated homes and her tips on beauty, deportment and etiquette.  Most touching of all were the affectionate passages about her late husband Pepsi millionaire Alfred Steele, who had tragically died of a heart attack aged 58.  Her voice trembled with emotion, as she described the pain of his loss just four years after they wed. I adored every perfectly enunciated word.

You Tube was on autoplay and with spooky irony, the next recording was another audio book – this time, the infamous memoirs of Joan’s eldest adopted daughter, Christina.  It was the same story of course – but ‘Mommie Dearest’ was told very differently!

Christina pulled no punches and with a steady voice and clear delivery, described her late mother Joan’s child abuse.  I lay in the dark listening to harrowing accounts of Joan Crawford’s violent rages, cruel physical attacks and decades long, irrational grudges.  It was chilling stuff and compelling enough to convince me of its truth.

Unlike Joan’s glossy version of the same years, I had no desire to listen to the end and had to switch it off. Christina claimed her stepfather Alfred Steele hadn’t died of a heart attack at all, but perished after mysteriously falling down the stairs at home. Cynics might reflect on the fact Joan Crawford was an Oscar-winning actress! The two books presented the movie star in stark contrast, one as heroine, the other as villainess.  The truth no doubt lay somewhere in between. And don’t we all, to an extent, ‘choose’ our own truth?

My novel Reality Rehab started out as a non-fiction book, memoirs entitled: ‘I’m a Celebrity Booker… Get Me Out of Here!’ A jaw-dropping account of my TV career, the book was chock-a-block with juicy stories about famous and infamous people I had worked with. There was a buzz about it, my anecdotes featured as a two page spread in the Daily Mail and a top literary agent took me on, confident it would sell.  But no publisher would take the bait, fearing a libel suit.  The solution was to share my celebrity gossip in fictional form, and so Reality Rehab was born.

Reality Rehab explores the current world of television and celebrity, so inevitably it names checks around 200 real stars.  But the fictional characters I’ve created are ‘real’ too, based on all kinds of genuine stars and TV executives I’ve known over the years. I think that gives the book an authenticity that could only come from a TV insider. And presenting a fictional account gave me the freedom to write more honestly than I could have done, were I naming names.

Those remarkable, talented and charismatic individuals I was so blessed to spend time with have imprinted on me and can all be found, in some shape or form, in the pages of the book. If Reality Rehab is even half as entertaining as the real people it’s based on, I’ll be a very happy author.  Because as my extraordinary experiences in television have taught me, reality is stranger than fiction!


Thank you so much Lisa for this brilliant guest post! And many thanks to Emma Mitchell for the opportunity to join the tour!

Reality Rehab is available now!

Amazon US  | Amazon UK | Goodreads


 photo Reality Rehab Banner.jpg

Dear Internet : It’s me, Avery by Jennifer Ammoscato @JenAmmoscato


Author : Jennifer Ammoscato
Title : Dear Internet : it’s me, Avery
Pages : 258
Series : Avery Fowler 2.0
Publisher : Carmel Communications
Publication date : May 4, 2017


When newspaper reporter Avery Fowler discovers her husband is having an affair, the online help site is where she turns to navigate this challenging stage of her life.

If the Internet is Avery’s information god, then is her Holy Grail. Its live chat option is like having a virtual life coach for the low, low price of $14.95 a month:

Add into the mix a new boss whose managerial style calls to mind the Wicked Bitch Witch of the West—or the Anti-Christ—and the poor girl needs all the help she can get! The stakes rise and hilarity ensues as our heroine struggles to take control of her personal life and topple her boss after she learns Victoria’s guilty secret.

With Clementine (virtually) in tow, our heroine tackles such tricky situations as dating after divorce, sex once nothing points north anymore, and how to cover attempted murder scenes (despite a paralyzing fear of blood) as the new and improved Avery Fowler 2.0.


Dear Internet is the first instalment in a trilogy of books about Avery Fowler, written by Jennifer Ammoscato.

Avery Fowler’s life isn’t exactly going so well. First she finds out her husband is having an affair. Then her new boss turns out to be an absolute nightmare. So not only is she desperately trying to hang on to her job, or somehow find a way to get rid of her boss, she’s also trying to pick up the pieces of a broken marriage and navigate the dangerous minefield of dating. And she does all this with the help of the Internet. In particular, a site called which has a live chat option.

Avery has an incredibly fun personality and I warmed to her immediately. She’s really likeable and frequently had me in fits of giggles. She’s also very much glued to her phone. It’s almost like an extra hand. She will ask Clementine, the virtual life coach, pretty much everything from how to get rid of red wine stains on a white carpet to how to tell the signs when your husband is cheating on you, or even how to get away with murder. Throw in the banter with her circle of friends and this very much reminded me of Bridget Jones.

This isn’t my usual type of read, as you all should know by now. But I found it to be thoroughly entertaining as Avery tries to reinvent herself. The author has a delicious sense of humour and frequently throws in some fabulous one-liners. So if you’re looking for a little something that’ll put a smile on your face and would like to try out the chick-lit department, then this is the book for you!

Many thanks to Jennifer Ammoscato for my copy, which I chose to review honestly!

Dear Internet : It’s me Avery is available now!

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The Ludlow Ladies’ Society by Ann O’Loughlin @annolwriter @bwpublishing


Author : Ann O’Loughlin
Title : The Ludlow Ladies’ Society
Pages : 288
Publisher : Black & White Publishing
Publication date : July 4, 2017


Connie Carter has lost everybody and everything dear to her. To help nurse her grieving heart and to try and find answers, she moves from her home in America to Ludlow Hall, deep in the Irish countryside. All she knows about Ludlow is that her late husband spent all their money on the house – without ever mentioning it to her. Now Connie needs to know why.

At Ludlow Hall, Connie befriends Eve and Hetty and is introduced to the somewhat curious Ludlow Ladies’ Society. But can Connie ever reveal her hurt? And, more importantly, can she ever understand or forgive? As the Ludlow Ladies stitch patchwork memory quilts to remember those they have loved and lost, the secrets of the past finally begin to surface.


The Ludlow Ladies’ Society is a truly beautiful story about love and loss, but above all of compassion, friendship and the strength and resilience of women.

Connie moves into Ludlow Hall after leaving behind devastating events in America. Her late husband has spent all their money on the house without her knowing about it and now she wants to find out why.

Eve is the former owner of Ludlow Hall. She was forced to leave her home when the bank foreclosed on it. And then there’s Hetty, also a widow, who still hides a secret about her husband.

The Ludlow Ladies’ Society, of which Eve and Hetty are members, comes together to create memory quilts for an exhibition that will be attended by Michelle Obama. Soon secrets are shared and mysteries will be solved but more importantly, friendships are formed that will change these women’s lives. I loved getting to know each and every one of these characters.

I found this novel to be absolutely heartwarming and sometimes I felt it was so incredibly heartbreaking that I actually reached for a tissue. (Totally blame the hormones!) But there are also a few chuckles. These ladies will worm their way into your heart and they made me proud to be a woman. I envied this warm circle of friends and wished I could be a part of it. Each in their own way is an inspiration, putting their own grief aside to care and show compassion for someone else.

Many thanks to Black & White Publishing for my advanced copy, which I received through Netgalley and chose to review honestly.

The Ludlow Ladies’ Society is published today!

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The Widow of Wall Street by Randy Susan Meyers @randysusanmeyer @AtriaBooks #guestreview

Christine is back on the blog today with her review of The Widow of Wall Street. Read on for her thoughts!


Author : Randy Susan Meyers
Title : The Widow of Wall Street
Pages : 339
Publisher : Atria Books
Publication date : April 11, 2017


What’s real in a marriage built on sand and how do you abandon a man you’ve loved since the age of fifteen?

Phoebe sees the fire in Jake Pierce’s belly from the moment they meet as teenagers in Brooklyn. Eventually he creates a financial dynasty and she trusts him without hesitation—unaware his hunger for success hides a dark talent for deception.

When Phoebe learns—along with the rest of the world—that her husband’s triumphs are the result of an elaborate Ponzi scheme her world unravels. Lies underpin her life and marriage. As Jake’s crime is uncovered, the world obsesses about Phoebe. Did she know her life was fabricated by fraud? Did she partner with her husband in hustling billions from pensioners, charities, and CEOs? Was she his accomplice in stealing from their family and neighbors?

Debate rages as to whether love and loyalty blinded her to his crimes or if she chose to live in denial. While Jake is trapped in the web of his own deceit, Phoebe is faced with an unbearable choice. Her children refuse to see her if she remains at their father’s side, but abandoning Jake, a man she’s known since childhood, feels cruel and impossible.


Outstanding! What a HEFTY piece of women’s fiction this is.

The tale is spun over 5 decades. We learn in chapter one that Jake Pierce, a high echelon broker, ends up in prison for fraud in his mid 60s, 45 years or so after marrying 18-year-old Phoebe. This is their story.

I must say the first half of the book was slow in places. This was not helped by the fact that I had really mixed feelings about Jake, with more bad than good vibes. During that time frame I had not made up my mind about Phoebe. I don’t care how nice someone is; when they spend $20,000 on something I would spend $20 on, there is a disconnect.

But then, approximately midway through the book, the story suddenly reeled me in like a prize-winning fisherman—hook, line and sinker.

The themes of this story are numerous and are handled extremely well. What is real love? What is family? How well do you know your family? How does one carry on when struck by major blow after major blow? We see deception galore, we see people put in positions where decisions are almost impossible to make and there is seemingly no way out, we see how people rise or fall when faced with tragic circumstances. And that’s only some of it. Again, the novel is meaty and a real thinker. I will remember this one for a long time.

Let me not fail to mention that a total noninterest in financial matters should not deter anyone from reading this book. Ms. Meyers does a phenomenal job in making that part of the book not only understandable, but engrossing. I’m sure this took intense research on her part and explains to me what she was doing between the time Accidents of Marriage (which I loved) was published in 2014 and this one came out. The wait was worth it. Kudos, Ms. Meyers, not only for learning your stuff, but for keeping it from being boring.

I never like to go into any detail about the plot in my reviews as I am a “go in as cold as possible on all books” type of reader. I do however want to emphasize the brilliant job the author did on the characterization of Phoebe. Her struggles to deal with her situation and to  try to salvage her life throughout the second half of the book were written beautifully, profoundly, and poignantly.  This is what pushed my 4.5 rating to 5 stars.

Randy Susan Meyers has written a couple of older books that I have yet to read. They are now holding two spots on my very selective TBR. I strongly recommend The Widow of Wall Street for anyone looking for a strongly written and powerful story.

Thank you Net Galley, Atria Books, and Ms. Randy Susan Meyers for an e-copy of this novel. The opinions are mine alone and are not biased in any way.

The Widow of Wall Street is available now!

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Curves, Kisses and Chocolate Ice Cream by Sue Watson @suewatsonwriter @bookouture #blogtour

Absoluted thrilled to be hosting a stop on the blog tour for this delightful book by Sue Watson! Many thanks to Kim at Bookouture for the opportunity!


Author : Sue Watson
Title : Curves, Kisses and Chocolate Ice Cream
Series : Ice Cream Café
Pages : 280
Publisher : Bookouture
Publication date : June 27, 2017


Dani’s on a mission to get her life back on track by the end of the Summer. Running, rowing, aerobics and more, but perhaps all she needs are sweet treats and a second chance?

Twenty years ago, Dani fled Appledore with a broken-heart and a suitcase full of shattered dreams. Only now is she brave enough to put her past behind her and return for a summer selling homemade ice-cream and getting fit by doing sit-ups by the sea.

But the new-look cafe is filled with old memories of Jude, her teenage sweetheart-turned-sour. She thinks of him every time she swirls warm sauce onto a “chocolate-bockaglory” and even with the help of Chris, her gorgeous personal trainer, the urge to break her diet is everywhere she turns.


You may remember from my review of the first book in this series, Ella’s Ice-Cream Summer, that this isn’t my typical type of read. But after having enjoyed the first one so much, I couldn’t resist picking this one up as well and it’s every bit as heartwarming.

Dani has a bit of an unhealthy relationship with food. Twenty years ago, she left Appledore but life didn’t quite pan out the way she thought it would and now she’s back. Determined to finally let go of the past and get fit in the meantime, she signs up for gym lessons with a gorgeous personal trainer, Chris. But temptation is everywhere, especially when you work in an ice-cream parlour.

I found Curves, Kisses and Chocolate Ice Cream a bit more of an emotional ride than its predecessor but that’s not a bad thing. The story is incredibly realistic and believable and I’m sure us women can all relate to Dani’s circumstances as far as body issues and low self-esteem are concerned. Yet she’s an amazing and funny lady and I warmed to her instantly. Her diary entries about numerous diets she’s tried are hilarious!

There are appearances from characters from the first book which I thoroughly enjoyed. They may not be the main attractions in this story but they leave their mark regardless. Their help and support is invaluable to Dani. I found myself truly caring and by the end of the book, all I really wanted to do was hug Dani and say “you go, girl!”

Of course there are some emotional moments where I almost shed a tear and that doesn’t happen often, let me tell you. But there’s ice cream and the beach, romance, plenty of chuckles and laugh-out-loud moments and so yes, this is a perfect feel-good summer read!

Many thanks to Bookouture for my advanced copy which I received via Netgalley and chose to review honestly!

Curves, Kisses and Chocolate Ice Cream was published on June 27th.

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Sue Watson was a TV Producer with the BBC who combined motherhood and family life with a busy career. However, one day it dawned on Sue that Cosmo magazine may have been telling porkies about ‘having it all,’ and her life had become a slightly crazed juggling act.

So after much soul searching (and comfort eating) Sue abandoned her TV career, bought a pink laptop and wrote a novel. ‘Fat Girls and Fairy Cakes,’ tells the story of Stella Weston, whose life is a constant struggle with a nasty boss at work, the weighing scales and being a mum, wife and daughter.

Originally from Manchester, Sue now lives with her husband and teenage daughter in Worcestershire. When she’s not toiling over her latest novel, Sue bakes (and eats) cake and enjoys very large tubs of Caramel Chew Chew ice cream all to herself while watching ‘The Biggest Loser USA.’


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Safe With Me by Grace Lowrie @AccentPress #blogtour


Author : Grace Lowrie
Pages : 356
Publisher : Accent Press
Publication date : June 22, 2017


Abandoned as children, Kat and Jamie were inseparable growing up in foster care. But their bond couldn’t protect them forever.

From a troubled upbringing to working in a London greasy spoon, Kat’s life has never been easy. On the surface Jamie’s living the high-life, but appearances can be deceiving.

When they unexpectedly reunite, their feelings become too intense to ignore. But as secrets come back to haunt them, are they destined to be separated once more?


Kat and Jamie grew up together in foster care until Jamie was adopted and they were separated. Decades later, their lives couldn’t be more different. Kat went from foster care, to living on the streets, to being caught up in an abusive marriage. Jamie works in insurance and has a gorgeous actress girlfriend but cracks are starting to show in the relationship. Then Kat and Jamie meet again unexpectedly.

I thoroughly enjoyed the first half of the book, where I think its strength lies. Kat’s life especially had me engrossed. I really felt for her as it becomes increasingly clear she’s a prisoner in her marriage, working her fingers to the bone and never knowing what mood her husband will be in.

Chapters alternate between Kat and Jamie. I liked the concept where the reader knows what’s going on but the characters don’t. That being said though, I think the big plot reveal happened a bit too early in the book, even though it was really well done. But it did make me wonder how the rest of the story would unfold.

The second half of the book didn’t hold my attention as much but I’m admittedly not much of a romance reader. There is conflict and tension as the focus of the story shifts to the relationship between Kat and Jamie but the pace slowed down a bit too much for me.  I also felt a little disappointed in how quickly the husband situation was resolved.

That said Safe With Me is well written, very atmospheric and realistic. This isn’t a fast paced read with buckets of drama but it is full of emotion and romance so if that’s your thing, I’m sure you’ll enjoy it!

Many thanks to Karen at Accent Press for the advanced copy and for inviting me on the tour!

Safe With Me is published today! Happy publication day, Grace Lowrie!

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Having worked as a collage artist, sculptor, prop maker and garden designer, Grace has always been creative, but she is a romantic introvert at heart and writing was, and is, her first love.

Safe With Me, the first women’s fiction novel in The Wildham Series, is published by Accent Press, who also released her debut contemporary romance novel, Kindred Hearts, in 2015.

A lover of rock music, art nouveau design, blue cheese and grumpy ginger tomcats, Grace is also an avid reader of fiction – preferring coffee and a sinister undercurrent, over tea and chick lit. When not making prop costumes or hanging out with her favourite nephews, she continues to write stories from her Hertfordshire home.


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