Book Review “The Highland Hens” by Judy Leigh

BOOK REVIEW NO : 146

Fiction, comedy, love and friendship

Standalone

Length : 350 Pages

Publisher : Boldwood

SYNOPSIS/BOOK BLURB

The Highland Hens

In the imposing Glen Carrick House overlooking Scotland’s famous Loch Ness, lives eighty-eight-year-old Mimi McKinlay, cared for by her three adult sons. Hamish has inherited his mother’s musical talents, Fin is the responsible brother, and Angus has the complicated and brooding personality to match his dashing good looks.

But what all the brothers share is a concern that their beloved mother is living in her memories of her days on stage, while letting her present days pass her by.

Jess Oliver is at a turning point. Amicably divorced after years of being married, this trip to the Highlands is a first taste of independence. It isn’t long before the beauty and hospitality of Scotland captures her heart.

When Mimi and Jess’s paths cross, a friendship is formed that will change both women’s lives.  And as together they find ways to look forward instead of to the past, long forgotten dreams are within reach, and every new day is fresh with possibilities.

Take a trip to the Highlands with Judy Leigh for an unforgettable story of glorious pasts and fabulous futures, of love, friendship, family and fun. The perfect feel-good novel for all fans of Dawn French, Dee Macdonald and Cathy Hopkins.

Purchase Link – https://amzn.to/3xk9wnd

REVIEW ~ NIKI PRESTON ~ 5 STARS PLUS (as 5 stars just isn’t enough)

I always know when I read a Judy Leigh book that I’m in for the best few hours reading. I fell in love with the wonderful Mimi by the end of the first paragraph. As she “tottered” towards her stereo I just felt that she was going to fill me good feelings full of laughter and joy and I wasn’t wrong. Judy has a creative knack to bring happiness to her characters, they are real and utterly believable. Each one has their own little foibles that just make them wonderful to get to know.

Mimi and her naughty best friend Isabella have a zest for life that is totally infectious. They prove that age is just a number, you get one life so just live it to the best you can. Whether 8 or 88 just do what makes you happy, makes you heart swell and makes you feel loved. Friendships are always a strong theme in Judy’s books and boy does she create simply the best friendships. Everyone and every funny moment is incredibly marvellous with a capital M.

As the story unfolds and more and more stunts are pulled by Mimi I kept thinking “I want to be just like this slightly potty but magnificent lady” Jess is having a fab time looking after Mimi and she helps to open our eyes to the fact that 50 somethings can and do live lives to the full with dreams and hopes yet to be fulfilled.

I am not going to ramble on and on, and believe me I could. I just advise you to grab a copy, a coffee and tissues (for the tears of laughter) you will soon be immersed in the life of marvellous Mimi, her 3 son’s, the dark and brooding Angus, handsome and suave Hamish and Fin who seems t have the world on his shoulders. It’s a journey you won’t regret taking.

Author Bio –

Judy Leigh is the USA Today bestselling author of The Old Girls’ Network and Five French Hens and the doyenne of the ‘it’s never too late’ genre of women’s fiction. She has lived all over the UK from Liverpool to Cornwall, but currently resides in Somerset.

Social Media Links

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Twitter https://twitter.com/JudyLeighWriter

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

Newsletter Sign Up: https://bit.ly/JudyLeighNews

Bookbub profile: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/judy-leigh

With Thanks for Advance Copy to…..

Rachel Gilby https://www.rachelsrandomresources.com/home

Judy Leigh https://bit.ly/JudyLeighNews

Boldwood Books https://www.boldwoodbooks.com/

Book Review “Rough Diamonds” by Gillian Godden

BOOK REVIEW NO : 145

Gangland Thriller

2nd Book in the Diamonds series

Length : 332 pages

Publisher : Boldwood

SYNOPSIS/BOOK BLURB

Rough Diamonds

Flawed, tough, unbreakable….

In the aftermath of her husband’s shocking murder, Patsy Diamond wants answers. Who was Nick really? Where is all his money? And who killed the man she once loved? Patsy knows exactly who to go to first – Nick’s pregnant mistress, Natasha.

Natasha might seem young and innocent, but Patsy’s certain the girl is hiding something. And the only way to find out what is to keep Natasha close and make her part of the Diamond family.

With the two women forming an unlikely bond, they begin to dig deeper into Nick’s secret life and discover things that shock…and terrify them.

Because Nick Diamond played a deadly game and if the women in his life want payback, then they are going to have to follow his rules – or break them and make their own.

But the strongest diamonds are created under pressure and these women are no exception…

Purchase Link – https://amzn.to/3xG944n

REVIEW ~ NIKI PRESTON ~ 4 STARS (excellent)

Gritty Gangland really sums this book up to a T. Its starts off strong and just doesn’t stop until the last breath taking page. Patsy is one feisty woman who perhaps has bitten off more than she can chew. She was totally in the dark about her dead husbands links to the gangland underworld. She needs to find his missing money and fast before she becomes the next victim. She wants to get to the bottom of it all and doesn’t care who she uses or upsets along the way. She is just brilliant. unfortunately for her, the bad guys think she knows everything which places her in great danger.

Natasha, Nick’s pregnant mistress gets herself embroiled in everything without realising that Patsy is more than likely just using her as a means to an end. She can cry at the drop of a hat and gets the sympathy that makes her appear weak and that she knows nothing. But what does she know? Will Patsy get anything from her? Who will win in the end?

Gillian Godden has a great style that creates brilliant characters. As the pace began to pick up I found myself reading faster as though the book was just encouraging me to read quickly and find out who does what to whom. An utterly compelling read that leaves no stone unturned. There is violence a plenty and raw emotions that have you on the edge of your seat. The perfect Gangland thriller.

Author Bio –

Gillian Godden is a brilliantly reviewed writer of gangland fiction as well as a full-time NHS Key Worker in Hull. She lived in London for over thirty years, where she sets her thrillers, and during this time worked in various stripper pubs and venues which have inspired her stories.

Social Media Links –  

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100063044839506

Twitter https://twitter.com/GGodden

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

Newsletter Sign Up: https://bit.ly/GillianGoddenNews

Bookbub profile: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/gillian-godden

Book Review “Marriage and Mayhem for The Tobacco Girls” by Lizzie Lane

BOOK REVIEW NO : 144

WW2 Saga

Book 5 in The Tobacco Girls Series

Length : 300 pages

Publisher : Boldwood

SYNOPSIS/BOOK BLURB

Marriage and Mayhem for the Tobacco Girls

War is fleeting, but true love last forever…

May 1944

Hope and excitement is in the air when news breaks of the allied forces landing in Normandy. D Day has arrived. However, the day-to-day struggles for the Tobacco Girls continue.

Carole Thomas wants her old life back. She is burdened with the guilt of being a young single mother and considers having baby Paula adopted, but Maisie Miles will do anything to stop her.

Phyllis Mason having found the love of her life is getting married in Malta to Mick Fairbrother, but will the dangerous legacies of war plague her happy day?

Bridget O’Neill finds herself posted to one of the hospitals receiving the injured from the D-Day landing beaches. Her most fervent hope is that her husband, Lyndon, does not become one of them.

Peace is on the horizon, but will their wishes and dreams win through and bring them a happy ever after?

Purchase Link – https://amzn.to/3NJ4w2u

REVIEW ~ NIKI PRESTON ~ 5 STARS

Here we are back with the girls. I am super excited to have read the brilliant next instalment of The Tobacco Girls. These girls feel like they have become part of my life. I can imagine sitting with Maisie next to her fire, having a good old chat. Maisie is still my absolute favourite Tobacco Girl. She is so loyal, no matter what she will do what it takes for her friends. She is feisty and open and says it just as it is. I love her. All the Girls are so vividly created by Lizzie, they just shine out from every page. The emotions are strong and I felt every emotion alongside them. I laughed, cried, held my breathe and prayed for their men to return safely. They all feel so real to me. I just totally lose myself in this awesome Saga.

Lizzie, I feel I can call her just Lizzie as I have spoken to her on Facebook a few times, (That means we are friends doesn’t it?) have a wonderfully emotive style of writing. She draws you right in and gets right into your heart. She leaves nothing out, descriptions of the scenery and the destruction of war are superbly written. Marriage and Mayhem is a powerful and compelling read that sent me off on an emotional journey that had me fighting for these girls, through the injustice they all experience to the love and joy the find in the small things as well as the huge big things, like Marriage that really does come with a lot of Mayhem. Carole very nearly broke my heart. She has major decisions to make now that she is a mother to the gorgeous Paula. How will Maisie react to her decision? Will she let her go ahead? Will the Tobacco Girls finally get the reunion that they so richly deserve? The 3M’s back together just as they should be? I urge you to get this fabulous book, it really is just epically brilliant. LOVE IT!

If you have read the previous books in this incredible series then you absolutely won’t be let down with Marriage and Mayhem. I loved every single word and finished with a very satisfied sigh. I f you haven’t read any of this series then I’m quite jealous as you are about to be immersed in the wonderful world that is The Tobacco Girls. A MAGIFICENT READ.

Author Bio –

Lizzie Lane is the author of over 50 books, a number of which have been bestsellers.  She was born and bred in Bristol where many of her family worked in the cigarette and cigar factories.  This has inspired her saga series for Boldwood The Tobacco Girls

Social Media Links –  

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

Twitter https://twitter.com/baywriterallat1

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/lizzielane40/

Newsletter Sign Up: https://bit.ly/LizzieLaneNews

Bookbub profile: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/lizzie-lane

With thanks for the Advance Copy to ……

Rachel Gilby https://www.rachelsrandomresources.com/home

Lizzie Lane https://bit.ly/LizzieLaneNews

Boldwood Books https://www.boldwoodbooks.com/

Book Review “The Other Girlfriend” by Alex Stone

BOOK REVIEW NO: 143

Psychological Thriller

Standalone

Length : 344 pages

Publisher : Boldwood

SYNOPSIS/BOOK BLURB

The Other Girlfriend

She loves him…

Lizzie Green once loved Tom Murphy with a passion that bordered on obsession. All she wanted was his love to be returned. Then one night something terrible happened and Tom left Lizzie broken hearted. She swore she would never let him hurt her again….

She loves him not.

Now, ten years later, Tom turns up on Lizzie’s doorstep still as charming as ever. Lizzie knows he still has the power to break her heart and destroy her life again. But Lizzie can’t say no to him….

Can she?

Purchase Linkhttps://amzn.to/3vNxKa9

REVIEW ~ NIKI PRESTON ~ 4 STARS

This is my second book by Alex Stone and I loved this one just as much. Alex has a great knack for creating Psychological intrigue and intensity. I read The Other Girlfriend in a couple of days and for me that is the indicator for a great read.. It doesn’t drag and the pace is set just right so that I never lost interest. I absolutely wanted to find out what Tom was really up to. He clearly needed something from Lizzie and very very quickly took over her life again after 10 years. How did he manage to do that? Lizzie herself even says to herself that him being there is “risky” I instantly thought “oo why is it risky?, what happened all those years ago”? “Why has Lizzie allowed Tom to become so ingrained in her life so fast”? questions questions, they all get answered and superbly well to.

Lizzie, now Beth is full of self doubt. She has Agoraphobia which is brilliantly dealt with and the level of research that Alex Stone must have done really shines out. Lizzie’s desperate need for Tom’s approval is unnerving and I found myself really disliking Tom. He made me feel uncomfortable from the minute he arrives and I wanted to grab Lizzie and warn her to get rid of him and fast.

The Other Girlfriend is a powerful read filled with complicated friendships that go back years and years. Trust and mistrust, lies and deceit on almost every page. I was completely drawn into this brilliant cleverly written thriller that just keeps you wondering who did what to whom and how on earth will any of it be resolved. I highly recommend this to all who just love a great read and a bit of creepy intensity. Loved it.

Author Bio –

Alex Stone, originally an accountant from the West Midlands, is now a psychological suspense writer based in Dorset. This beautiful and dramatic coastline is the inspiration and setting for her novels. She was awarded the Katie Fforde Bursary in 2019 and her debut thriller The Perfect Daughter was published by  Boldwood in October 2021.

Social Media Links –  

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

Twitter https://twitter.com/AlexStoneAuthor

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

Newsletter Sign Up: https://bit.ly/AlexStoneNewsletter

Bookbub profile: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/alex-stone-69a67039-4aed-4e8c-9319-9e93eba46d5b