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» Listings for February 2016

  1. Synopsis:  Life is full of second chances…if only you keep your heart open for them. 

    Spring Hill Square is a pretty sanctuary away from the bustle of everyday life. And at its centre is Leni Merryman's Teashop on the Corner, specialising in cake, bookish stationery and compassion. And for three people, all in need of a little TLC, it is somewhere to find a friend to lean on. 

    Carla Pride has just discovered that her late husband Martin was not who she thought he was. And now she must learn to put her marriage behind her and move forward. 

    Molly Jones's ex-husband Harvey has reappeared in her life after many years, wanting to put right the wrongs of the past before it is too late. 

    And Will Linton's business has gone bust and his wife has left him to pick up the pieces. Now he needs to gather the strength to start again. 

    Can all three find the comfort they are looking for in The Teashop on the Corner? And as their hearts are slowly mended by Leni, can they return the favour when she needs it most…? 

    KAT’S RATING: 5/5

    KAT’S REVIEW:  Prior to starting this latest Milly Johnson I was in something of a ‘book funk’. Reading on average 3-4 books a week, I suddenly found everything I picked up didn’t hold my interest. I just couldn’t get in to anything and was wondering whether I should take a few days break. However, luckily for me I persevered. Well actually what that meant was closing my eyes and tapping a page on my Kindle for a ‘Lucky Dip’. That ‘Lucky Dip’ happened to be this one by Milly Johnson and what a treat it ended up being!

    Carla Pride is in a position many women may empathise with. She has been married for ten years and her husband dutifully goes off to work, while she sits at home keeping the place spic and span whilst trying to find a new job. When her husband dies suddenly she becomes much more than just a grieving widow. Finding herself in a position where she needs to start afresh she is not only nervous but apprehensive about what is in store for her.

    The Teashop on The Corner is owned by Leni Merryman and soon becomes the centre stage for this story. This book doesn’t just follow one lead character but a few and its done magnificently! Will Linton has lost everything and is starting again, Molly Jones has to deal with the re-appearance of an ex-husband and all together the Teashop becomes their sanctuary. In addition characters pop up such as Sean , Ryan and Mr Singh. It doesn’t feel like you are reading about any one of them, but all of them as a whole.

    I fell in love with the teashop as well as the characters in the book. Milly Johnson has always been a fantastic author who I have loved reading but I must say this book had that extra something and I couldn’t even tell you what that ‘something’ was…it was just there! Read in one day, this book not only got me out of my book funk, but transported me to a town I actually wanted to be a part of. BY the end of this book I wanted to know what happened to them after that, a girl can hope right? A truly magical read which had me smiling, crying and laughing. A highly recommended read! 

  2. Synopsis: As I saw my new-born baby’s face for the first time I tried desperately to capture her face in my mind—to stamp it onto my eyelids. As she was taken from me I knew I might never see my daughter again.

    37 years later…

    ‘You were adopted’. Three short words and Sabina’s life fractures. There would forever be a Before those words, and an After.

    Pregnant with her own child, Sabina can’t understand how a mother could abandon her daughter, or why her parents have kept the past a secret.

    Determined to find the woman who gave her away, what she discovers will change everything, not just for Sabina, but for the women who have loved her all these years.

    KAT’S RATING: 4/5

    KAT’S REVIEW: Having never read Kelly Rimmer, I wondered whether this would be my ‘type’ of book. The synopsis sounded reasonably intriguing, but I realised quite soon after I started reading that this would definitely fit into the category ‘my type of book’. It’s certainly not a ‘romance and flowers’ type of book, but put me in mind of a Susan Lewis type of book.

    The focus is on Sabina a woman who is pregnant with her first child. What should have been an exciting meet up with her parents descended into news that would rock her whole world? We see Sabina take a very emotional and bittersweet journey to find the truth about her past. She is determined to track down her birth mother but her discovery about her birth literally just skims the surface.

    The reader takes a journey back to the days when in Australia in the seventies, women didn’t have the support and strength that they do now. I liked Sabina and this really is an emotional read, however it’s written incredibly well and once past the first few chapters I was loathed to put the book down. I will most certainly be looking out for future reads by this author. Although this may not be to everybody’s taste, people who like authors such as Susan Lewis will no doubt be huge fans of Kelly Rimmer books.   

  3. Synopsis: Two murders. Twenty years. Now the killer is back for more…

    DCI Matilda Darke has returned to work after a nine month absence. A shadow of her former self, she is tasked with re-opening a cold case: the terrifyingly brutal murders of Miranda and Stefan Harkness. The only witness was their eleven-year-old son, Jonathan, who was too deeply traumatized to speak a word.

    Then a dead body is discovered, and the investigation leads back to Matilda's case. Suddenly the past and present converge, and it seems a killer may have come back for more…

    KAT’S RATING: 5/5

  4. Synopsis: Lucy Hall arrives in the Seychelles determined to leave her worries behind. The tropical paradise looks sun-soaked and picture-perfect—but as Lucy soon discovers, appearances can be very deceptive. A deadly secret lurks in the island’s history, buried deep but not forgotten. And it is about to come to light.

    As black clouds begin to gather over what promised to be a relaxing family break, Lucy realises that her father stands in the eye of the coming storm. A shadow from his past is threatening to destroy all that he holds dear—including the lives of his loved ones.

    A dark truth is about to explode into their lives, and that truth is going to hit them right between the eyes.

    KAT'S RATING: 4/5

  5. Synopsis: A marriage is what you make it, isn't it? It's what you put into it. It's not just about love, it's about understanding another person's point of view. Sometimes there are things you find out about yourself and each other which means the marriage has to end. Sad, particularly when kids are involved - but all pretty normal.

    Normal that is, until there's a murder.

    DS Jane Bennett and DI Mike Lockyer are called in to investigate one of the South London murder squad's most difficult and distressing cases yet - where family and friends come under scrutiny in the hardest of circumstances.

    KAT’S RATING: 4/5

    KAT’S REVIEW: Okay, so this series is relatively new and I felt like book one got off to a shaky start. Book 2 was a definite improvement and this latest release is another good read. It seems like the author is still finding her feet with the characters and I think this series will improve with each book that is written.  Mike Lockyer seems to be well on his way to being ‘back to normal’ following books 1 and 2. Jane on the other hand is in for a whole host of upsets especially involving her personal life.

    On a work front, the death of Richard Taylor at first seems like death by natural causes; however it soon becomes clear that this isn't the case. After the initial outcome of foul play the investigation makes a slow but steady start and we are introduced to all aspects of Richard Taylor’s life. The plot was a bit of a slow starter, but it seemed as the story progressed there were more suspects than it first appeared. Mike has been newly promoted to Senior Investigating Officer so both he and Jane are involved in the case.

    Jane’s personal life then seemingly takes hit after hit, which in one respect I enjoyed. You certainly feel like you are getting to know the characters and their weaknesses and other elements to their personal life. Jane was again the stand out character for me, however the story works with both Mike and Jane involved and the loss of one may make for a weaker book.

    Overall this was certainly an enjoyable book and the pace and plot kept me interested right until the end. I liked the fact I only guessed the culprit towards the very end and the story involving this murder was played out in stages. I am hoping that with each book the pace picks up as readers get to know the characters more and more. There is certainly a lot of ‘wiggle room’ for expanding storylines involving both Jane and Mike. This is definitely a series I will be keeping up with.

  6. Synopsis: Given a back-room computer job when the beloved Birmingham library she works in turns into a downsized retail complex, Nina misses her old role terribly - dealing with people, greeting her regulars, making sure everyone gets the right books for their needs. Then a new business nobody else wants catches her eye: owning a tiny little bookshop bus up in the Scottish highlands. No computers. Shortages. Out all hours in the freezing cold; driving with a tiny stock of books... not to mention how the little community is going to take to her, particularly when she stalls the bus on a level crossing.

     KAT’S RATING: 4/5

    KAT’S REVIEW: Jenny Colgan novels never fail me and thankfully this one is no different. Nina is the main character and if I’m honest she is a little wet behind the ears at first. She works in a library which is suffering cutbacks and when she is finally offered a ‘back-room computer’ job she decides to make some brave decisions. The first few chapters went by but I wasn’t as absorbed as I normally would be. I think that Nina was a little too weak for my liking and it was only when she decided to take some chances that she started to shine.

    Nina discovers that her passion for books is all consuming and she isn’t prepared to give up on her dream of running a bookshop. Only how her dream turns out is a little different from the one she has in her head. What transpires is a van situated in the Scottish Highlands and a complete change of life for her. Jenny Colgan has as always doen a stellar job with describing where Nina moves to and I could literally picture Nina Parked up in her book bus.

    With her whole life turned around she meets her new Landlord Lennox who is a brusque and seemingly unhelpful man who has little time for Nina and her fanciful ideas. Nina then makes a terrible faux pas and ends up getting her bus stuck on a set of railway lines which ends up opening up a whole new thread to the story. This novel is packed full of laughter and is a complete escapist read which will no doubt cheer you up no end. I’m afraid it didn’t quite live up to my favourite Colgan books featuring the Little Beach Street Bakery but is still a cracking read for those in need of some light reading to cheer you up.

  7. Synopsis: What would you do if you saw your husband killed right in front of you … identified his body … had him cremated … then six months later received a letter written by him two days ago?

    Amy Barrowman grew up on the wrong side of the tracks. So when she falls in love with millionaire Riley Hart and he asks her to marry him she can’t believe her luck. She has found true love and her happy ever after. 

    Riley Hart is a Millionaire Man about Town. Men want to be him and women want to bed him. But to achieve Riley’s status, you have to tread on a lot of toes and make a lot of enemies. 

    When Riley is gunned down at the nightclub they own, Amy is determined to avenge his death. She receives a mysterious letter detailing a list of suspects including Riley’s sworn enemy, actor Grant Wilson. But with an obsessive passion brewing between her and Grant and a dangerous assassin trailing her every move it would seem Amy has opened a deadly and tempting Pandora’s Box. In settling the score for her husband has Amy put herself into terrible danger? 

    KAT’S RATING: 5/5

  8. Synopsis: I escaped the box. The coffin that was both my prison and my lifeline. My prison as I waited each day for release. My lifeline as being locked inside meant being away from him. I escaped the box, but I didn't escape its consequences. Now danger's irrelevant. All I care about is making them pay. The other predators out there. Those just like the man who took me. And if someone tries to grab me again? I know how to protect myself. And when another girl is taken? Have no doubt: I will do anything, anything, to find her.

    Escaped kidnap victim Flora Dane has once again disappeared. Has the self-proclaimed vigilante become a victim? Or is something far more sinister at play? D.D. will have to race against the clock if she is going to Find Her.

    KAT'S RATING: 4/5