Book Review “We Belong Together” by Beth Moran

We Belong Together

SYNOPSIS

Eleanor Sharpley has been living a lie…

Needing to escape her London life quickly, Eleanor throws her things into the back of her car, and heads to her erstwhile best friend Charlie’s family farm.

But Charlie isn’t there. Instead she finds Charlie’s grieving brother Daniel, her eight-month old daughter Hope (a daughter Eleanor had known nothing about), and a crumbling and unloved Damson Farm.

Damson Farm lies at the edge of the village of Ferrington, with the river Maddon flowing at its heart. But Ferrington is a village divided by more than just a river – it is split in two by an age-old feud – between the Old Side and the New Side. Eleanor has run from her problems, straight into a family and a world that has problems of its own.

But Damson Farm has magic too, and as winter gives way to spring, the old farm starts to come to life under Eleanor’s love and care. The orchard starts to blossom with daffodils and bluebells, and the sound of bees busy in their hives fills the warming air.  Can Eleanor bring Daniel and the feuding village of Ferrington back to life too, or will her secrets catch up with her first?

Purchase Link – https://amzn.to/3g55WF3

BOOK REVIEW BY NIKI PRESTON

STAR RATING 5***** STARS

I adored this book from the first moment. A very different take on a romance story. Eleanor Sharpley, alias Nora Sharp is a big shot food critic with a sting in her tail. After a traumatic break up Eleanor decides she just has to get out of London and get some perspective on where she wants her life to go after Nora.

After throwing her belongings in her she sets off and literally crashes into a grieving man’s life and turns everything upside down.

This is a truly marvellous read filled with great friendships, strong blossoming love alongside Eleanor’s desire to try and carry out her friends Charlies dream for, what has become a very run down Damson farm. You get a definite sense that even though Eleanor portrays a strong character outwardly to those around her, inside she is in turmoil. She doesn’t really know where to turn so keeps her biggest secret for fear of scaring Daniel away. Daniel comes across as the strong silent type who only wants to bring up his daughter in peace. He slowly begins to thaw not only to Eleanor’s ideas but also to her. As their friendship unfurls you, as the reader get carried along with them and you find yourself telling them what to do in your head and desperately hoping they will listen.

A beautifully written book that draws you right in to these characters lives. A great romance evolves with a fair few bumps in the road. It is not always obvious how this couple will end up. I am not going to spoil that, you will just have to read this fab book for yourself.

Author Bio –

Beth Moran is the author of three previous romance novels, including Making Marion. She regularly features on BBC Radio Nottingham and is a trustee of the national women’s network Free Range Chicks. She lives on the outskirts of Sherwood Forest. Beth’s first novel for Boldwood, Christmas Every Day, was published in September 2019.

Social Media Links –

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/bethmoranauthor

Twitter https://twitter.com/bethcmoran

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/bethmoranauthor/

Newsletter Sign Up Link http://bit.ly/BethMoranNewsletter

Bookbub profile https://www.bookbub.com/authors/beth-moran

REVIEW by NIKI PRESTON www.nikipreston.com

Book Review “A Winter Baby For Gin Barrel Lane” by Lindsey Hutchinson

ISBN 9781838894030

A Winter Baby for Gin Barrel Lane

SYNOPSIS

Dolly Perkins and Jack Larkin have grown up in the notorious gin palaces of Birmingham.

It’s a world of happiness and friendship, but also violence and poverty. Now that Dolly runs the Daydream Gin Palace on Gin Barrel Lane she can finally control her own destiny, but sometimes fate still plays its hand.

Keen to expand her empire, Dolly and Jack take on a new pub, but they are in for a shock when a foul smell in one of the bedrooms turns out to come from a body hidden in the wall.

As the police hunt for their suspect, rumours abound, spread by the local urchins – happy to be used as runners for a little bit of food and a coin or two.

But rumours can be dangerous, and as one of the worst winters on record covers everything in snow, Dolly and Jack have to fight for the lives they have made for themselves, and for the urchins that they have come to think of as family.  Will the arrival of a new baby on Gin Barrel Lane bring the promise of new hope, or will the long-awaited thaw uncover new secrets and new tragedies…

The Queen of Black Country sagas is back on Gin Barrel Lane with a rip-roaring, heart-warming, page-turning story of family, friendship and beating the odds. Perfect for fans of Val Wood and Lyn Andrews.

REVIEW BY NIKI PRESTON

5 STARS

Wow is my first thought to say about this glorious Novel. I loved everything about A winter Baby for Gin Barrel Lane. From the characterisation of the main protagonist Dolly which is absolutely superb, to the love she finds with Jack after seeing him as a close friend for a long time, its only when the thought of losing Jack happens that she sees what her family have always known, that she loves him and he adores her. She is a strong and feisty young woman, living in the impoverished streets of Birmingham in the 1860s. Dolly though wants to improve things for those around her and her loved ones. A business woman who makes decisions, at times rashly but always with the well being of others close to the heart of all her decisions.

This book is very engaging and the style of the writing brings to life incredibly well how hard living in the 1860s was for very many people. The poverty is brought into the plot seamlessly and runs alongside the story of love and friendship that binds the whole plotline together.

This is actually a sequel but it works well as a stand alone book. I had not read the previous book but nothing is lacking because of it. However I will definitely go and read it now and eagerly await the next novel from Lindsey Hutchinson.

Purchase Link – https://amzn.to/3wWp5Qa


Author Bio –
 

Lindsey Hutchinson is a bestselling saga author whose novels include The Workhouse Children. She was born and raised in Wednesbury, and was always destined to follow in the footsteps of her mother, the multi-million selling Meg Hutchinson. Lindsey’s first title for Boldwood was published in February 2020.

Social Media Links –  

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Lindsey-Hutchinson-1781901985422852

Twitter https://twitter.com/LHutchAuthor

Newsletter Sign Up Link http://bit.ly/LindseyHutchinsonMailingList

Bookbub profile https://www.bookbub.com/authors/lindsey-hutchinson

Review can be found www.nikipreston.com

Book Review “A Midwinter Match” by Jane Lovering

Synopsis

A Midwinter Match

Ruby Oldbridge needs to learn to take her own advice.

A brilliant counsellor at work in York, she is however floundering in her own life. Her romantic track record is woeful, her finances are in a pickle, and she’s back in a house-share after splitting up with her useless ex.

Happy-go-lucky, Mr Positivity, Zac Drewe also loves his job – the trouble is, it’s the same as Ruby’s, and the management have decided to ‘rationalise’ their department. There’s only room for one of them.

As the snow and winter close in on York, Ruby and Zac have everything to lose, and Ruby starts to wonder if the happy face Zac shows the world, might be disguising a sadder secret.

But one thing Ruby is brilliant at, is helping other people find a way through their problems, and she excels at the job she loves, doing just that.

Set against one another, they are unlikely friends. But perhaps, if they could take the time to understand each other, they might discover that rather than rivals, they could be the best thing that ever happened to one another…

REVIEW BY NIKI PRESTON

4 stars

A Midwinter Match is a glorious read that starts out with the two protagonists, Ruby and Zac seemingly set to hate each other whilst they fight for the same job. A company merger forces them to work together and they certainly do not get off to a good start. Ruby lets her anxiety, which stems from her previous, horrendous break up get the better of her. She judges Zac by his handsome appearance, he seems a bit arrogant to her and she decides immediately that she doesn’t like him or his style of counselling. Zac comes across as somewhat stand offish yet whenever Ruby finds herself in need of help he is always there to offer her a helping hand.

I enjoyed how the relationship between Ruby and Zac grows and changes slowly throughout the book, as the reader you really urge them to see the good in each other. Topics touched upon like anxiety, dementia and loss are dealt with sympathetically and gives a view into how hard and at times heart-breaking these issues can be. These topics are dealt with in a sensitive manner that serves to bring you closer to each character.

Each of the main characters back stories are revealed gradually yet in a timely manner that only makes Ruby and Zac more likeable. The readers empathy slowly builds along with the plotline which definitely works well throughout the book.

I would highly recommend A Midwinter Match to anyone who enjoys a romantic slow build with plenty of hiccups along the way. Jane Lovering is a new author to me but she now has a new fan.

Purchase Link – https://amzn.to/34LSbpq

Author Bio –  

Jane Lovering is the bestselling and award-winning romantic comedy writer who won the RNA Novel of the Year Award in 2012 with Please Don’t Stop the Music. She lives in Yorkshire and has a cat and a bonkers terrier, as well as five children who have now left home.  Her first title for Boldwood will be published in September 2020.

Social Media Links –.

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Jane-Lovering-Author-106404969412833/

Twitter https://twitter.com/janelovering

Newsletter Sign Up Link https://bit.ly/JaneLoveringNewsletter

Bookbub profile https://www.bookbub.com/authors/jane-lovering

Review blog page https://www.nikipreston.com

Book Review “The Mersey Angels” by Sheila Riley

ISBN: 9781800485846

Synopsis

The Mersey Angels

1916 LIVERPOOL

Following the death of her father, Ruby Swift, and husband Archie finally move back into Ashland Hall.

As the Great War rages, fathers and sons take the King’s Shilling and head off to fight the unknown enemy, not knowing what horrors lie ahead.

With Ned Kincaid in the Navy, Archie signs up to the volunteer constabulary and nurses Anna Cassidy and Ellie Harrington enlist to do their bit for King and Country.

Soon the true casualties of war are being brought home in droves, Ruby converts Ashland Hall into an auxiliary hospital for wounded servicemen.

It’s not long before the true cost of war is brought closer to home and Anna and Ellie enlist in the British Military Nursing Corp and soon find themselves in the battlefields of France in search of the truth.

But they soon discover more than they bargained for…

REVIEW BY NIKI PRESTON

5 stars

The Mersey Angels is an absolute marvel of a book. It is a gut-wrenching novel based around the First World War and truly brings home the utter brutality of war, how it devastated many lives whilst also making people stronger and seeing people coping in situations they never believed they would see.

Anna and Ellie dream of being nurses on the frontline, however their romantic ideals are soon shattered when they arrive ankle deep in mud, bodies strewn all over, men in agony with Doctors and nurses never having time to rest. The job is relentless, yet strong relationships are still formed amidst all the anguish.

I found this book almost impossible to put down, a definite “just one more chapter” book. I needed to know the outcome for Anna and Ellie. Were they safe? Did they really find the answers they were looking for? did they find love? I am not going to spoil that. You will just have to read for yourself. In many ways this book is uplifting and shows just how resilient people can be in the face of adversity. The characters and their emotions are brought to life in a striking manner that makes the reader have a great affinity for them, from the main characters to the injured solders. A Heart wrenching read that takes you through happiness, despair, disbelief at what the brave nurses had to endure and how they remain resilient throughout and right back to happiness again.

I would highly recommend this book to those who love an historical fiction book written from mainly a woman’s’ perspective of war and all its horrors.  A story of endurance in the face of devastation and a belief that they will make a difference to this awful war and boy did they make a difference.

Purchase Link – https://amzn.to/3cfGsUl

Author Bio –  

Sheila Riley wrote four #1 bestselling novels under the pseudonym Annie Groves and is now writing a new saga trilogy for Boldwood under her own name. She has set it around the River Mersey and its docklands near to where she spent her early years. She still lives in Liverpool. Her new trilogy began with The Mersey Orphan in September 2019.

Social Media Links –

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/SheilaRileyAuthor

Twitter https://twitter.com/SheilaR76607533

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/sheilarileynovelist/

Newsletter Sign Up Link http://bit.ly/SheilaRileyNewsletter

Bookbub profile https://www.bookbub.com/authors/sheila-riley

REVIEW LINK www.nikipreston.com

ISBN: 9781800485846

Book Review. In Just One Day by Helen McGinn

ISBN 9781800483620

Pub date 5 Aug 21

Star rating 5

Synopsis

In Just One Day

Flora has always adored her brother Billy. Born just eighteen months apart, their childhood was spent like two peas in a pod – no one could separate them. Now, as adults, they remain the best of friends. And as Flora is immersed in family life, Billy is always there to lend a hand.

But, in just one day, everything changes.

In just one day, Flora’s life falls apart.

In just one day, Flora has to learn how to live again.

From the nostalgia of seaside Britain to the breath-taking beauty of Venice, in tears and laughter, join Helen McGinn for this emotional, uplifting and joyful story about love in all its guises. But above all, this is an unforgettable story of one little girl and the brother she adores.

REVIEW BY NIKI PRESTON

This wonderfully written book grabbed me by the heart from the beginning. A story of love and strength in the face of tragedy, highlighting just how important family and good friends really are.

Flora, the main character finds herself in a life changing moment that she struggles to cope with. Her heart is truly shattered. She is in such emotional turmoil that I really wanted to give her a great big hug. For me this is a sign of outstanding characterisation, Flora is brought to life so totally that I felt every emotion that she had to go through.  

The relationship between Flora and her Mother is strained at best and Flora finds herself holding a secret that she wishes she hadn’t stumbled upon regarding her father. The one main stay in Flora’s is her brother Billy, they adore each other and are there for each no matter what. Billy of course, is the apple of his mother’s eye. Flora decides she must confront her Father about what she knows then tragedy strikes the whole family that changes everyone’s lives forever.

 Firstly, they are dealing with her husband’s redundancy and the potential loss of her much-loved job in a wine shop, which actually turns out to be the best thing for them both, just as life feels good and Flora can immerse herself in her love of fine wine a tragic event occurs that changes Flora’s outlook on life and she struggles with her heartbreak.

I loved every single page of this beautifully written book. A rollercoaster of emotion that had me laughing, crying, crying a bit more, and ending on an overwhelming feeling of joy for Flora and her Husband Johnny. The descriptive style of the wonderful countryside was very reminiscent of old family seaside holidays. I felt like Flora had become a firm friend. I held my breath for her, sighed with relief for her and truly felt heartbroken for her. I think I can safely say I adored this book, its characters and the fabulous descriptive writing draws the reader in. The sumptuous wine descriptions are wonderful, you can almost taste it. A book that I would recommend to everyone.

Purchase Linkhttps://amzn.to/3piy6R2

Author Bio –  Helen McGinn is a much-loved wine expert on TV and in print and an international wine judge. She spent ten years as a supermarket buyer sourcing wines around the world before setting up her award-winning blog (and now best-selling wine book) The Knackered Mother’s Wine Club. She is the drinks writer for the Daily Mail and regularly appears on TV’s Saturday Kitchen and This Morning. Helen lives in the New Forest and Boldwood are publishing her debut women’s fiction title in Spring 2021

Social Media Links:

Twitter  https://twitter.com/knackeredmutha

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/knackeredmother/

Newsletter Sign Up Link https://bit.ly/HelenMcGinnNewsletter

Bookbub profile https://www.bookbub.com/authors/helen-mcginn

REVIEW LINK www.nikipreston.com

Book Review “Bound By the Scars We Share” by Vivien Churney

Star Rating : 5 Stars

This incredible Debut Novel gripped me right from page one. A harrowing story following the two main characters, Zoshia and Grace during WW2 and beyond. This is the story of the trauma both women endure throughout their lives despite being worlds apart. Zoshia is a young, strong minded Jewish girl who loves playing the piano and dreams of becoming a concert pianist. Her family have to go into hiding and Zoshia decides she must help Jewish children escape the Nazi invasion. This colours her entire life and leaves with a never ending feeling of “why me”? Grace, an English girl living in Lyme Regis. She adores Ballet but she lives with a cruel father and Grace yearns to escape, only to find herself in the worst situation that she could have ever imagined.

The chapters deal with each character in turn, which I really enjoyed. I felt like I grew to know each character inside and out. I have to admit to a few tears. The cruelty both women see and endure is absolutely heart-breaking. There is a lot of sadness with lives that at times seem impossible to live. Both Zoshia and Grace endeavour to lead good lives and try to fill it love and laughter despite all the dreadful situations both have found themselves in.

The final chapter really brought everything together. No loose ends or “but what about so and so” questions. The ending is spot on and leaves you, as a reader with a sense of relief and eventual happiness for both Women, however long the journey, they both endured it with a fierceness that can only be admired.

I loved every single page of this incredible book, not a word wasted.

Publisher : Matador

Publish date : 7th May 2021

ISBN : 9781800469167

Reviewed By : Niki Preston

#netgalley #matador #boundbythescarsweshare