#BlogTour #Review : The Bistro by Watersmeet Bridge by Julie Stock. @wood_beez48 @rararesources #Giveaway

Today I’m taking part in the mini blog tour for The Bistro by Watersmeet Bridge. Many thanks to Rachel’s Random Resources for having me on the tour and sending me a copy of the book to review.

The Bistro by Watersmeet Bridge

Blurb: When Olivia goes to manage Finn’s failing bistro, will they end up sharing a table for two, or will it be a recipe for disaster?

Olivia Fuller longs to manage one of the restaurants in her father’s chain and to break free to live the independent life she’s wanted for so long. When her father finally puts his trust in her and sends her to a failing restaurant in Devon, she’s confident she can prove herself capable of doing the job.

Finn Anderson is about to lose his beloved seaside bistro, unless the bank can find a buyer to dig him out. When George Fuller offers Finn a deal, he has no choice but to accept if he wants any chance of getting his bistro back one day. And then the new manager arrives…

Even after meeting the prickly chef and discovering his complete lack of business skills,
Olivia is confident she can turn the struggling business round. But as Olivia and Finn start working together, a mutual attraction develops between them, and soon, nothing is going according to Olivia’s plan.

When there’s a real chance that the bistro might be sold off, Olivia and Finn determine to fight for it, united by their hard work and their growing feelings for each other.

But can they save the bistro and be together, or does destiny have a different path in mind?

A feel-good contemporary romance set in a bistro beside the sea in Devon.

Purchase Links
US – https://www.amazon.com/Bistro-Watersmeet-Bridge-Julie-Stock-ebook/dp/B07V2K5K8S
UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Bistro-Watersmeet-Bridge-Julie-Stock-ebook/dp/B07V2K5K8S

The bistro-cover-FINAL copy

My Review: I really enjoyed this book, it’s a light and easy read which deals well with the emotions of Olivia and Finn who are struggling with their careers in different ways. Olivia is trying to make her father understand she can do a better job than he believes, and Finn wants to save his restaurant and not feel he’s let the previous owners down.

I liked the way the story unfolded, though I felt the pace was a bit faster than I felt it should be. It was good to see the story switch between Olivia and Finn and give us insights into their lives and how they felt about their challenges and each other. All of the characters, both main and supporting, were well-written and realistic, ones that you felt you could relate too or dislike and for good reason.

It was nice to see the development of both Olivia and Finn through the course of the story. It was also good to see how the village interacted with them and watch the village almost become a character in itself.

I like reading stories of people dealing with obstacles and seeing if/how they overcome them. This is the ideal story if you want something warm and cosy but also something that is uplifting and deals with real-life challenges.

Giveaway to Win Signed copy of The Bistro by Watersmeet Bridget and goodies (UK Only)The Bistro Giveaway Prize

The prize will contain
 Signed paperback,
 Notebook with front cover on
 Postcard magnet with front cover on
 Bookmark with front cover on
 Bag of Devon fudge
*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box
below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and
will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then
Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to
all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is
used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for
fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the
data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

To enter click this link…..
http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/33c69494266/?

About the author: Julie Stock writes contemporary feel-good romance from around the world: novels, novellas and short stories. She published her debut novel, From Here to Nashville, in February 2015 and her second novel, The Vineyard in Alsace in March 2017. Over You (Sam’s Story) and Finding You (Jenna’s Story), her follow-up novellas to From Here to Nashville were published in 2018, making the From Here to You series complete. She has also published a boxed set of the From Here to You trilogy of books. Julie’s next novel, The Bistro by Watersmeet Bridge, will be out in summer 2019. If you’d like to sign up to her newsletter list, you can do so here: https://mailchi.mp/f3a7d28c0ab8/julie-stockcouk . As a thank you, you’ll be able to download Before You, the prequel story to the From Here to You series, for free.
You can connect with Julie via her website – http://www.julie-stock.co.uk , on Twitter – @wood_beez48, via her Facebook Author Page – http://www.facebook.com/JulieStockAuthor , and on Instagram – @julie.stockauthor. Julie is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and The Society of Authors.

When she is not writing, she works in communications. She is married and lives with her family in Bedfordshire in the UK.

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#Review : Marah Chase and the Conqueror’s Tomb by Jay Stringer

Many thanks to Pegasus books for letting me have a copy of this book to review.

 

Blurb: Rogue archaeologist Marah Chase is approached by MI6 with an impossible mission: to help them recover a dangerous treasure lost after the death of Alexander the Great.

Once a rising star in the field of archaeology, Marah Chase is now a black-market treasure hunter, her services available to the highest bidder. But when she’s caught “rescuing” relics in Syria before they’re destroyed by war, an MI6 officer named Joanna Mason approaches her with an offer she can’t refuse: help save the world or rot in prison. All Chase has to do is find Alexander the Great’s lost tomb, recover an ancient weapon of mass destruction he may have used to conquer the earth, and destroy it before the bad guys can get it.

Among those adversaries are a powerful church that believes in a forgotten epoch of advanced alien technology, the white supremacist thugs in its employ, and the rival archaeologist who recently left Chase for dead. Chase can’t resist a challenge—or the British spy recruiting her. There’s just one problem. If Chase has any hope of unearthing Alexander’s tomb before the forces hot on her heels do, she’ll need the help of the one person she’s been afraid to see since her fall from grace: Zoe Forrester, the heir to a hidden journal that holds the key—and Chase’s ex-girlfriend.

A contemporary homage to the best adventure stories of literature, television, and film, Marah Chase and the Conqueror’s Tomb is an action-packed, globe-trotting quest, perfect for anyone who’s ever thought Indy really ought to be Jewish, female, and gay.

 

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My Review:  I love Indiana Jones and Lara Croft so this seemed like the perfect read for me, it sounded fun, full of action and like a rewarding romp across a few countries running away from the bad guys. Being honest it was actually all of these things but it didn’t quite deliver in the way I expected it too. The story was good, the details great. It was completely over the top and required a little suspending of disbelief which I had no problem with at all. The bit that was lacking though, was that I didn’t care what happened to any of the characters. Whether Marah or Mason (for the book is split almost equally between them) survived didn’t really matter to me. There was nothing at all wrong with the descriptions, action sequences or any of that, it was just missing an intangible component that would have made it amazing. It was a good read, don’t misunderstand, just lacking in something that I can’t fully explain but that was not there at all, for me. For all of the action, peril and impossible stunts in planes it was all a bit flat.  It’s a good read, definitely an escapist story if you want something quite different, and you may enjoy it more than I did, it definitely seems to be getting mixed reviews but unfortunately didn’t quite live up to my expectations.

 

#Review : Implanted by Lauren C. Teffeau @teffeau @AngryRobotBooks

Continuing my catch up of reviews and books I’ve had for a while but not read. This one has been on my Netgalley list for ages but no longer. Many thanks to Angry Robot books for letting me have a copy of this to review.  It’s a fab read and you can find out more about it below…….

Blurb: When college student Emery Driscoll is blackmailed into being a courier for a clandestine organisation, she’s cut off from the neural implant community which binds the domed city of New Worth together. Her new masters exploit her rare condition which allows her to carry encoded data in her blood, and train her to transport secrets throughout the troubled city. New Worth is on the brink of Emergence – freedom from the dome – but not everyone wants to leave. Then a data drop goes bad, and Emery is caught between factions: those who want her blood, and those who just want her dead.

 

 

My Review:  Sometimes when I finish a book and want to collect my thoughts I have a brief look at other people’s reviews. When I did this I discovered people classing this book as ‘cyberpunk’ a term I was unfamiliar with though on doing some research I have discovered that this term includes films such as Blade Runner and The Matrix, both of which I have watched and enjoyed, so now I know more about it it’s less of a surprise that I enjoyed this book. For those of you who don’t know the term cyberpunk, the definition I found states that it’s futuristic science fiction combined with advanced technology and breakdown or change of the social order.

This definition fits Implanted perfectly as we have the majority of people in New Worth with implants which help them communicate and engage with their surroundings, combined with a desire by the whole community to leave the dome and return to the outside world once it is again habitable. This is contrasted by the Disconnects, those who don’t have implants for various reasons and are shunned by the implanted people as they are seen as inferior because they don’t conform with societal norms.

In the story we follow Emery who is blackmailed into becoming a courier, carrying data in her blood and delivering it to all parts of the city.  One of these deliveries goes wrong, she is unable to deliver the data, leaving her in the city with valuable information in her blood and unable to know who to trust. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was one of those that is hard to put down. Every time I had a spare few minutes I would pick it up and start reading again because it was that addictive. It’s a fairly straightforward story but when you add in the technology and the fact that everyone lives in a dome, because in the past the planet was ruined and it was unsafe to live outside, then you add some new perils and it puts a completely different spin on the whole story.

The descriptions were spot on, it was really clearly written which I loved. I felt claustrophobic every time Emery went down in the dome to the areas where there are less or no daylight and very relieved when she came back up again. Although we have inequality in many countries the majority of us are still, at least, able to see the sky and breathe fresh air. I can’t imagine how society would work if that were to change. In the story there is, understandably, a difference of opinion between the implanted and the disconnects and it was easy to see the perspective of both sides.

I’ve always loved sci-fi, more tv than books, but I’m trying to expand my reading of sci-fi and fantasy and happily Angry Robot books are supplying the most fabulous books in order for me to be able to do this, and this book is no exception. Even if you don’t think science-fiction is your thing, if you like stories that have differences in society, heirarchical groups and stories that make you question what you believe then this is worth a read.  It’ll make you wonder whether the technological advances that we have at the moment are going to lead to the world imagined here or not and whether that is a good thing. A fabulous read and an author that I am excited to see more from!

#Review : Blood Orange by Harriet Tyce. @harriet_tyce @Wildfirebks

Today I’m reviewing a book that honestly did manage to achieve that over-used tag line of the twist you won’t see coming. This had a twist in it that I honestly didn’t expect so many thanks to Wildfire Books and Headline for organising the debut author event that I attended in Edinburgh a few months back from which I got a copy of this book to review.

 

Blurb:   Alison has it all. A doting husband, adorable daughter, and a career on the rise – she’s just been given her first murder case to defend. But all is never as it seems…

Just one more night. Then I’ll end it.

Alison drinks too much. She’s neglecting her family. And she’s having an affair with a colleague whose taste for pushing boundaries may be more than she can handle.

I did it. I killed him. I should be locked up.

Alison’s client doesn’t deny that she stabbed her husband – she wants to plead guilty. And yet something about her story is deeply amiss. Saving this woman may be the first step to Alison saving herself.

I’m watching you. I know what you’re doing.

But someone knows Alison’s secrets. Someone who wants to make her pay for what she’s done, and who won’t stop until she’s lost everything….

 

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My Review:  I went away for a weekend, just for time for myself as I needed a break from everything for a few days. While I was away I read this book. There were times I didn’t want to read it, I wanted to put it down and walk away from the chaos and confusion that was in it but I couldn’t. I read it in a day because I just couldn’t pull myself away from it, it was like when I started reading it attached an invisible thread to me and it wouldn’t break until I’d finished the book.

In the story we follow Alison who is progressing in her career and has her first murder trial, something of an achievement in her line of work. Her home life is a mix of confusion and chaos, her husband appears unsupportive but also like he’s hiding something, I found him quite suspicious and untrustworthy but I couldn’t work out why. Alison is far, far from perfect but her husband seemed to be out to put her down at every opportunity and that’s never going to endear me to someone like that. However, having said that I was ambivalent about Alison for most of the book too. I didn’t like her behaviour but I did come to realise that it wasn’t all her fault, there were some other factors at work too.

The above might sound like I didn’t enjoy the book and I would understand that thinking but it’s completely wrong. This is one of those books where I’ve not liked the main character, or many of the others either to be fair, but really enjoyed the book itself. For me, liking the characters is not essential as long as the story works, and it did. As I’ve said earlier, I was hooked and struggled to tear myself away from Alison’s car crash of a life.

This is a very cleverly written book that makes you question what you are reading and how true the perspective you are being presented with is. The ending is definitely one I didn’t expected but it fitted really well with the rest of the story and rounded it off well. For a debut novel I was impressed and can’t wait to see what this author writes next.

 

 

 

#Review : Poppy’s Recipe for Life by Heidi Swain. @Heidi_Swain @TeamBATC

Hoping there will be a few catch up reviews coming throughout August and beyond and I’m kicking them off with this little gem which follows on from Sunshine and Sweetpeas in Nightingale Square but can be read as a standalone. For more thoughts on the book, read on……

 

Blurb:  Things haven’t always been straightforward in Poppy’s life but her dreams are finally within her reach.

She’s moving into a cottage in beautiful Nightingale Square, close to the local community garden, where she can indulge her passion for making preserves and pickles. She may not have the best relationship with her family but she is surrounded by loving friends, and feels sure that even her grumpy new neighbour, Jacob, has more to him than his steely exterior belies.

But the unexpected arrival of Poppy’s troubled younger brother soon threatens her new-found happiness and as the garden team works together to win community space of the year, Poppy must decide where her priorities lie and what she is prepared to fight for …

 

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My Review:  Although I’ve had a Heidi Swain Christmas book on my bookcase for a while now my first taste of her writing was with Sunshine and Sweetpeas in Nightingale Square which I loved but oddly have never reviewed (it happens sometimes). As I’d loved that book, when I saw this one was coming out I was excited, especially as it’s set in the same area, Nightingale Square.

This time we follow Poppy who moves into the square in a bid to have a bit more of a settled life away from her family who she doesn’t get on well with. Her mother is demanding and tries to guilt trip her every 5 minutes and her brother thinks she abandoned him when she moved out. Poppy’s move into the square isn’t without a bit of drama as she clashes with another newcomer, her neighbour Jacob who would rather be left alone to brood than be roped into the plans and festivities that the square’s residents set up. As demonstrated in the previous Nightingale Square book, things do not go smoothly or according to plan, Poppy’s brother moves in, Jacob’s grumpy side continues to puzzle his neighbours who won’t accept no for an answer and the weather (this being the UK) has an impact on the community garden.

As I’ve already said this book can be read as a stand alone, there is enough, but not too much, background information given to enable the reader to gain an understanding of the square and it’s residents.

As someone who likes spending time alone I’m not sure how well I would cope with the enthusiastic residents of Nightingale Square. However, I do like reading about them and what they get up to. I loved reading Poppy’s story, it was hopeful but also realistic in the way that she dealt with her concerns about her brother, settling into her new home and supporting her friends with their various hopes and dreams. She strikes me as the sort of person who would, nicely, not leave me alone if I was feeling down, but would also have me smiling away by the end of the day. This is a beautifully cosy read, it warms you up and makes you feel like everything is right with the world and all the bad things have miraculously been fixed. It doesn’t shy away from serious issues but does give a good dose of escapism and leaves you with a warm glow any time you need to put the book down to do something else.

As I’ve said I have a Christmas book by this author and I will be reading it this year, once the weather gets a bit colder. I’m also greatly looking forward to her next book, whether that is another Nightingale Square book or something else. It’s been a pleasure watching the characters develop over the course of the story and it would be great to see where they go next but I’d be equally happy meeting new characters. Whatever the next book is I’m fairly certain it will be as much of a fabulous read as this one is.

#BlogTour #Review : The Fifth Grave by Rob Jones. @AuthorRobJones @BOTBSPublicity

Today I’m reviewing The Fifth Grave, the first in a new series featuring DCI Jacob.

Many thanks to Sarah from Book on The Bright Side for letting me be part of the tour and sending me a copy of the book to review.

Blurb: Poised to return to work after a long bereavement leave, Detective Chief Inspector Jacob is called away from the sanctuary of his home to attend the grim discovery of human remains over a quarter of a century old. Found deep in woodland with its own grim history, they give little up, but he is soon confronted with local gossip of hauntings and witches.

The mystery deepens when a second person is murdered in the same woods, and Jacob soon realises he is hunting a killer who will stop at nothing to keep the darkest of secrets buried in the past. Working alongside Dr Sophie Anderson, a criminal psychologist with her own damaged past, they close the net until tragedy strikes again in this gripping romantic suspense thriller.

Set in the wild and beautiful Wiltshire Downs, The Fifth Grave is a fast-paced whodunit with a dash of humour and romance and a killer twist.


My Review: I like police procedurals, always have because I like the investigative and methodical method of these and this one is no different. It’s a solid detective story which is exactly what I look for in stories like this. The characters are well-written and while they have personal issues to deal with it is the investigation that is the focus of the story.

The investigation focuses on one area or woodland with a past that leads people to believe that the crimes in the book are connected to the occult. While this area is not ignored it also doesn’t overly dominate the story so it doesn’t go down a route that could be unbelievable and disrupt the flow of the story.

There were some twists and unexpected parts in the story which helped keep the pace flowing well. There was also a layer of creepiness when there were woodland scenes, particularly when it was one character on their own. I wasn’t there and even I was feeling jumpy.

There were backgrounds to the main characters that were not fully explored but being the first book in a series there is certainly plenty of space to cover these in later books.

Overall I really enjoyed this story, it kept me gripped at a time when I have a lot of other thing soccupying my head space so that was quite an achievement. I liked DCI Jacob and am intrigued to see what he does next.

Author Bio:
Rob Jones is the internationally bestselling author of seventeen archaeological adventure novels, including thirteen in the Joe Hawke series. Originally from England, today he lives in Australia with his wife and three children.
Twitter: @AuthorRobJones

#BlogTour #PromoPost : Fixed Odds by William McIntyre @cerisanne @sandstonepress #williammcintyre #fixedodds

Today I’m meant to be reviewing Fixed Odds but recent illness has meant I’ve been unable to concentrate on any reading. Once I’m recovered I will be reading and reviewing this book but for today I’m sharing the blurb to whet your appetite.

Huge thanks to Ceris at Sandstone Press for having me on the tour and sending a copy of the book for review.

Blurb:   George ‘Genghis’ McCann has stolen – and lost – a priceless masterpiece. Snooker champion Oscar ‘The Showman’ Bowman is charged with betting fraud. With a second baby on the way, and promises of great rewards if he wins Bowman’s case and recovers the painting, defence lawyer Robbie Munro has never been so tempted to fix the odds in his favour.

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About the author:

William McIntyre is a partner in Scotland’s oldest law firm Russel + Aitken, specialising in criminal defence. He has been instructed in many interesting and high-profile cases over the years and now turns fact into fiction with his Robbie Munro legal thrillers. He is married with four sons.