Book Blog, Book Reviews, Guest Reviews

The Transatlantic Marriage Bureau @aurumpress @womentoinspire #GuestReview By J A Warnock

The Transatlantic Marriage Bureau By Julie Ferry
Aurum Press ~ Feb 2017
Review ~ J A Warnock 


On 6 November 1895 Consuelo Vanderbilt married Charles Spencer-Churchill, 9th Duke of Marlborough. Though the preceding months had included spurned loves, unexpected deaths, scandal and illicit affairs, the wedding was the crowning moment for the unofficial marriage brokers, Lady Minnie Paget and Consuelo Yzanga, Dowager Duchess of Manchester, the original buccaneers who had instructed, cajoled and manipulated wealthy young heiresses into making the perfect match.

Fame, money, power, prestige, perhaps even love – these were some of the reasons for the marriages that took place between wealthy American heiresses and the English aristocracy in 1895. For a few, the marriages were happy but for many others, the matches brought loneliness, infidelity, bankruptcy and divorce.

Focusing on a single year, The Transatlantic Marriage Bureau tells the story of a group of wealthy American heiresses seeking to marry into the English aristocracy. From the beautiful and eligible debutante Consuelo Vanderbilt, in love with a dashing older man but thwarted by her controlling mother, Washington society heiress Mary Leiter who married the pompous Lord Curzon and became the Vicereine of India, Maud Burke, vivacious San Francisco belle with a questionable background, this book uncovers their stories. Also revealed is the hidden role played Lady Minnie Paget and Consuelo Yzanga, Dowager Duchess of Manchester, two unofficial marriage brokers who taught the heiresses how to use every social trick in the book to land their dream husband.

The Transatlantic Marriage Bureau dashes through the year to uncover the seasons, the parties, the money, the glamour, the gossip, the scandal and the titles, always with one eye on the two women who made it all possible.

Review By J A Warnock 

Did you ever read an account of a historical event and think “Wow, I wish I had a seat at that dinner table” or “To have been a fly on that wall…”? If your answer is no then ‘The Transatlantic Marriage Bureau’ by Julie Ferry probably isn’t for you. If you answered yes, read on.

There is no question that a stupendous amount of research has gone into the production of this book but there is also a fair bit of imagination.  Ferry uses fictitious scenes of her own imagining to stitch together biographical accounts, contemporary journals, letters and social commentary into a giant (I do mean giant; it is not a short book) patchwork of a story. This makes for a style of writing that not everyone will take to. The flow of more traditional narrative storytelling is regularly interrupted by this or that opinion on the subject and, while it is interesting and reinforcing, it can get a little distracting.

The narrative meanders around the topic of the business of Transatlantic Marriage brokering and its key players with no real predictable structure. There is no attempted to build suspense rather events are presented a historical fait accompli sometimes all at once. It reminded me a little of those stand up comics who start a story at the opening of the show and distract themselves go off on tangents, have moments and asides then have to come back on for an encore because they didn’t actually ever get to the point. Although certainly planned and undoubtedly clever, this can be tiresome and a little disconcerting.

On the whole, Ferry offers up a fascinating insight into an industry (for that is truly what it was) about which I for one knew very little. Rather than provide a dry historical account, her imaginative spice makes this a hugely readable book. Her ideas about what might have gone behind closed doors add both colour and interest and help the reader to identify with characters that may otherwise have felt aloof and unreachable. She offers a fly on the wall view of events and invites you to a seat at several high powered dinner tables as the story unfolds.

You can purchase your copy here ~

Thank you to Julie Ferry and Aurum Press for the ARC copy for review.

We are running a Twitter giveaway ~ head over to our Twitter Page and see the pinned post.


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Book Reviews, Giveaway Prizes, Uncategorized

The Joyce Girl @annabelabbs ~ #Bloomsday @ImpressBooks1 #WIN #Signed Edition


To celebrate a year of publication Impress Books have given us a beautiful signed first edition of The Joyce Girl  and luxury chocolates to giveaway to one lucky reader of Love Book Group.

Here is the review we ran earlier this year, have a wee read and enter the giveaway at the end.

My Review ~ Spoiler Free 

Lucia Joyce

Today I have my review of The Joyce Girl By Annabel Abbs. The book is beautifully written. It’s very enjoyable to read and it flows easily.  Actors say when they make movie biographies and they spend so long learning about the character they play that they get a special unique experience. If that’s the case then I hope it goes for writers too. Because I truly want to believe that the spirit of Lucia Joyce, was with Annabel Abbs as she wrote The Joyce Girl. Looking on with pride and love for Annabel’s wonderful work.

Normally, I start my book and I try to read as much as I can over two or three sittings. As I began the book I realised my normal reading practice of forming the characters in my head would not work. As Lucia and her family were real people. So I googled for some photos, then I found a voice recording of James Joyce and so I had it in my head. This is not necessary for the enjoyment of the book. It was just a person thing of mine.

The book takes us through the avant-garde Paris to London and Zurich. I have been to Paris and it is a City with a heartbeat of culture and love. It is captured exquisitely in the book.

As I turned each page, I grew more and more in love with Lucia Joyce and her passion for dance and love. The characters and their journey are brought to life. Her unusual family lifestyle and living in the shadows of Mr James Joyce.

The book would have taken a lot of research and you can tell it was written with care and attention to details.  It covers an array of many topics. With so many strong characters.

The Joyce Family.
Lucia Joyce
The Joyce Family

This is a must read, even if your TBR pile is so high.  After finishing the book I wanted to learn much more about Miss Joyce. Lucky there are some wonderful links on Annabel Abb’s website.

Twitter ~ @annabelabbs
Buy your copy of The Joyce Girl BY Annabel Abbs ~ Published By Impress Books ~ Amazon Click Here


The Cover & Description



The Joyce Girl tells the fictionalised story of Lucia Joyce’s affair with a young Samuel Beckett and then a young Alexander Calder. The only daughter of Irish author, James Joyce, and Nora Barnacle, Lucia aspired to be a modern dancer. Talented and ambitious, she trained with many of the most famous dancers of her time. The novel switches between past and present as Lucia retells her story to the pioneering psychoanalyst, Doctor Carl Jung, who she was sent to by her father to take the ‘talking cure.’

A story of thwarted ambition and the destructive love of a father, The Joyce Girl is a true story but imagined where facts were unavailable.

Described by the author, Emma Darwin, as “a gripping and little-known story at the heart of one of the twentieth century’s most astonishing creative moments…researched deeply and brought to richly-imagined life.”

Profits from the first year UK royalties go to YoungMinds in memory of Lucia Joyce, who spent most of her life in an asylum.


About Annabel Abb’s 

Annabel Abbs

Annabel Abbs grew up in Wales and Sussex, with stints in Dorset, Bristol and Hereford. She has a degree in English Literature from the University of East Anglia and a Masters in Marketing from the University of Kingston. After fifteen years running a consultancy, she took a career break to bring up her four children, before returning to her first love, literature.

Her debut novel, The Joyce Girl, won the 2015 Impress Prize for New Writing and the 2015 Spotlight First Novel Award, and was longlisted for the 2015 Caledonia Novel Award and the 2015 Bath Novel Award. Her short stories and journalism have appeared in various places including Mslexia,  The Guardian, The Irish Times, Weekend Australian Review, Elle, The Author, The Daily Telegraph, Psychologies and the Huffington Post. She has been profiled in Writing Magazine, Sussex Life, Next NZ, Litro and Female First, Her blog,, featured in the Daily Telegraph in August 2015 and May 2016. She lives in London and Sussex with her family and an old labrador.




To enter our exclusive giveaway CLICK TO ENTER ~ GOOD LUCK

UK Only ~ Ends 23/06/2017 Winner picked at random by Rafflecopter

Miss Lucia Joyce 

images (2)
Lucia Joyce

One of the last photographs taken of Lucia Joyce (Source: ) she died on the 12th December 1982, aged 75.

My heart is now etched with never ending compassion and love for  Lucia Joyce. Thank you so much, Annabel Abbs. I don’t think I would have gotten to know her if it hadn’t been for you. Much Love, Kelly xx



Book Blog, Book Reviews

The Health of Strangers by Lesley Kelly @lkauthor @sandstonepress #ReviewbyKelly


I am delighted that’s it’s Love Books Groups, stop on the blog tour for Health of Strangers by Lesley Kelly.

I’ve had the pleasure to meet Lesley on a few occasions and she’s incredibly engaging and so kind.  This year at Noir@TheBar Edinburgh #2 I heard Lesley read from her first novel, A Fine House In Trinity and her reading was filled with such passion and character. It definitely resonated and stayed with me, at an Authors lunch I was surprised to learn that Lesley had been a stand up comedian. Which totally explained her memorable performance at the event.

IMG_7112 (Edited)

The Cover:

It’s fabulous, gritty, and creepy ~ everything that jumps out and says READ me!!

My Thoughts

I am always intrigued by books set in my home city of Edinburgh, and even more so by the  altered world that The Health Of Strangers is set. It’s a post viral Edinburgh and now The Health Enforcement Team, have to keep on their toes to keep it safe!

It may sound a little far fetched, but you would be wrong. I could totally relate to the situation with all bugs and virus’s that have plagued the world over recent years, something could happen anywhere. So getting myself into the mindset of what had happened was easy.

The book is well paced and you learn new things with each chapter. Get to know Mona and Bernard as they work had to keep the City safe. Go with them on a dark and mysteries journey as they try to find the two missing students

I recommend the book, it’s different in a great way, Lesley Kelly has a knack of leaving you wanting more.  Which is great as the next book in series is Songs By Dead Girls and it will be coming in 2018

Back Of The Book

Nobody likes the North Edinburgh Health Enforcement Team, least of all the people who work for it. An uneasy mix of seconded Police and health service staff, Mona, Bernard and their colleagues stem the spread of the Virus, a mutant strain of influenza, by tracking down people who have missed their monthly health check. Now two young female students are missing, raising question after question for the HET. Why were they drinking in a biker’s bar? Who are the mysterious Children of Camus cult? And why is the German government interfering in the investigation? Mona and Bernard need to fight their way through lies and intrigue, and find the missing girls – before anyone else does.51tp8YZ5-2L._SX325_BO1,204,203,200_


Thank you to Lesley Kelly and Sandstone Press for the opportunity to be on the tour and for my ARC copy of The Health Of Strangers

You can get your copy TODAY as it’s publication day! Amazon UK

Also available by Sandstone Press is Lesley Kelly’s first novel A Fine House In Trinity ~ Amazon UK

Thank you to Lesley Kelly and Sandstone Press for the opportunity to be on the tour and for my ARC copy of The Health Of Strangers.

We are running a Twitter giveaway ~ head over to our Twitter Page and see the pinned post.


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Book Reviews

When I Wake @JessicaJarlvi @Aria_Fiction #Review

When I Wake Up By Jessica Jarlvi
Aria Fiction ~ 01/06/2017
Review By Kelly 


Jessica Jarlvi 

Jessica Jarlvi photo
Jessica Jarlvi

Born in Sweden, Jessica moved to London at the age of 18 to obtain a BSc Hons degree in Publishing and Business. She worked in publishing in the UK for a number of years before heading to Chicago where she edited a magazine for expats. Back in Sweden, she completed a Masters in Creative Writing. Since 2010, Jessica has taught journalism and media at a local university and has spent the last five years as the marketing and PR manager for a British firm. Last year, she was one of the winners in the Montegrappa Prize for First Fiction at the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature. Jessica is married with three spirited children, and although she’s known for her positivity, her writing tends to be rather dark!

My Review

The Cover:


It’s vibrant, attention grabbing and it is one I would definitely purchase if I came across it in the bookshop or on Amazon.  With the catchy bright colours

My favourite Quote/Sentence:

“I wish this smell could be bottled,” Iris said between bites. “Cinnamon, dark roasted coffee and books. It would be a bestseller.”

My Thoughts

The book hooks you from page 1, with an array of unusual and dodgy characters, you do not know who to trust. They all have a reason to be the culprit. Jarlvi gives you just the right amount of important information and your brain goes into overdrive. A literary tease in more ways than one.

This book is heavily charged with sex, there all at it. Not my usual sort of thing in a book. But it works with When I Wake Up.

There was a trickle of Swedish brands, furniture, mugs and even backpacks spread throughout the book. A gentle reminder of where you were.  It was refreshing, I am now lingering to try a Vanilla Heart.


A wide variety of characters control the story. With a chapter here and there for each one.  Some I loved, Iris, for example, is smart, loving and someone I would love to meet if she was real. I would love to talk to her about books.  Some I strongly disliked, Daniel being one of them, his contempt and lack of love for his poor mother.


I was happy that for once I didn’t know the end of the story. It kept me hooked right till the last page. Don’t worry you can keep reading, I don’t do spoilers.  I didn’t guess who it was so was very shocked when the truth was told.

One thing I did think was going to happen was a twist of a story from Iris and Rolf’s daughter but it never came to fruition but that was just my own thoughts.

I don’t have anything negative to say, I would thoroughly recommend the book. It was different, in a word truly fantastic!

The book is being promoted as similar to Girl On A Train or Gone Girl, both of which I have read and I have to say even though I enjoyed them both I don’t think they even come up to scratch with When I Wake Up.

I would love love love it to be made into a movie or tv series.

It leaves you wanting more, and I will have zero delays in buying anything by Jessica Jarlvi in the future. An author we should all be watching out for.

Back Of The Book

A breathtaking, heart-pounding, dark debut, sure to delight fans of The Girl on the Train and Before I Go To Sleep.

When Anna, a much-loved teacher and mother of two, is left savagely beaten and in a coma, a police investigation is launched. News of the attack sends shock waves through her family and their small Swedish community. Anna seems to have had no enemies, so who wanted her dead?

As loved-ones wait anxiously by her bedside, her husband Erik is determined to get to the bottom of the attack, and soon begins uncovering his wife’s secret life, and a small town riven with desire, betrayal and jealousy.

As the list of suspects grows longer, it soon becomes clear that only one person can reveal the truth, and she’s lying silent in a hospital bed…


Thank you to Jessica Jarlvi and Aria Fiction for my lovely ARC and for the opportunity to be on the tour.



Buy your copy today!

Amazon UK



Google Play



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Book Reviews, Harper Impulse, Harper Impusle

Summer with the Country Village Vet @ZaraStoneley @HarperImpulse

june 29, 2016

Summer with the Country Village Vet By Zara Stoneley
Published By Harper Impulse  01/06/2017


My Review


The Cover

I love the cover, it’s bright and inviting. It really stands out and if I saw it on the shelf I would pick it up.

My Thoughts

So my preconceived notion that the book would a quick easy enjoyable read, was incorrect. Yes, it was enjoyable but it wasn’t the quick read I expected, in fact, it was so good I didn’t want it to end.  I loved the country village of Langtry Meadow, I would move there tomorrow.

The book although light-hearted at times with an array of jovial animals and adventures actually covers some deep rooted issues.  Zara Stoneley, has a marvellous way of weaving a story. In the Summer with a Country Village Vet, we learn about Lucy and Charlie and their fight to battle life’s troubles and the past, that continue to haunt them. Will they succeed? You will have to pick up a copy of the book to find out.

To summarise my review, I would start by saying  I would recommend this book to my friends and family. I enjoyed the writing style and I wouldn’t hesitate to pick up another novel by Zara Stoneley. The only thing I didn’t love, was the title. It didn’t speak to me and I felt the book had so much more than the title makes you expect.  But that’s just a personal feeling.  The book takes you on a varied path of mixed emotions. One minute I was laughing out loud the next a trickle of tears rolled down my face. Everything you could possibly want from a book. A story with a beautiful core. I am hoping there will be a sequel. I definitely want to visit Langtry Meadow again and again.

If you would like to purchase your copy now and start reading today, you can. Click here to purchase your copy Amazon UK

Back Of The Book

When Lucy Jacobs is made redundant from her inner-city teaching job she fears her career is over. Teaching is all Lucy knows and she’s determined to get back in the classroom as fast as she can.

Except the only job on offer is at an idyllic village school in the middle of nowhere – Lucy’s idea of hell. Where are the disadvantaged kids who need saving, where is the challenge?

But as Lucy finds herself welcomed into the warm-hearted community of Langtry Meadows, she begins to realise new challenges await – like frogs in the classroom, a rather difficult donkey, and a very brooding local vet…

Local boy Charlie Davenport has his own issues about living in the close-knit village of Langtry Meadows. His private life is already fuel for the well-meaning gossips and the very last thing he needs is to get close to the new school teacher…no matter how lovely she is.

But as summer days drift away Langtry Meadows weaves its magic, Charlie and Lucy both get the chance to turn over a new leaf and start anew…maybe with each other?

A fun, romantic story to make you smile and long for your own country escape.

Thank you to Zara Stoneley and Harper Impulse for having me this wonderful tour and for my advanced ARC.  


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Book Reviews

Run For The Hills @CarlaCaruso79 @EscapePublisher #Review

Run For The Hills By Carla Caruso
Escape Publishing 01/05/2017


My Review 

The Cover:

I read it via Kindle, but I, of course, had the cover for my review, it goes perfectly with the book.  Lovely and bright.


My Thoughts

Bridie Porter is the runaway bride and run she does.  The book had an exciting pace and the tone of Australia was a nice surprise.  I liked the romance between Bridie and Cody. Although they both have a lot of baggage to deal with throughout the story.

The main emphasis really is you can run as far away from your problems but at the end of the day, they are still there.

It was an enjoyable read and I wouldn’t hesitate to pick up another Carla Caruso book. I would love to learn more about the brothers.

You can purchase your copy here  in eBook from ~ Amazon UK

Back Of The Book 

The Belshaw Brothers are back in Balkissoch…

Bridie Porter is wearing her Vera Wang gown and veil in the back of her wedding limo when she receives a compromising text about her hotelier groom. Panicked, she tells the driver to keep going and she flees from Melbourne to the small town of Balkissoch in the Adelaide Hills.

It’s the perfect pit-stop to hide from her ex and the press and to earn enough cash to stay out of sight. Unfortunately, the admin job she gets is for a wedding photography business and she’s had her fill with weddings lately. But it’s slim pickings on the work front in a town so teeny. And her new boss is strangely compelling…

After the rush and adrenaline of his job as an LA paparazzo, the last place Cody Belshaw wants to be is back in the small town where he grew up. But thanks to a clause in his father’s will that amounts to blackmail, Cody and his two brothers are stuck running a wedding business for at least a month. If there’s one thing that he’s learned in LA, however, it’s to keep business and pleasure very, very separate. Which makes his new admin employee the definition of temptation.

Bridie is desperate to stay anonymous. Cody seeks out secrets for a living. As they delve into the world of brides, boutonnières and dogs-as-best-men, both Cody and Bridie will have to decide if this is a fling…or forever.

Thanks to Carla Caruso and Escape Publishing for the review ARC and for being on my blog today.

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Book Reviews, Crime Fiction Takeover, Guest Reviews

Sewing The Shadows Together @Alisonbailliex @ matadorbooks Guest #Review By J A Warnock

Crime Fiction (2)

Review By J A Warnock
Sewing The Shadows Together By Alison Baillie ~ Matador Books ~ 07/08/2015


‘Sewing the Shadows Together’ by Alison Baillie is a masterclass in simplicity. The pace is exquisite. The story is entirely straight forward and elegantly told.

Baillie seems perfectly comfortable in the role of storyteller and relies on the strength of her characters and plot to keep the reader engaged.  There are no clever for the sake of clever narrative tricks. There is no convoluted timeline or staccato structure designed to daze and confuse.  There is a measured reasonableness which I found extremely refreshing.
This feeling of reasonableness is not limited to stucture but is also present in the plot.  I found that suspicions, worries and doubts expressed by the characters often matched my own thoughts as I read. A thought might occur to me and appear to be corroborated by a discovery a few pages later only to be disproved or confirmed by later events. I felt there were just the right number of clues to string the reader along and keep things interesting.
Much of the story is set in either Portobello or Edinburgh and the atmosphere of both locations is accurately captured. I will admit it triggered feelings of nostalgia for my own youth which shared many locations mentioned in the book though my vanity forces me to add I inhabited these streets some years after Baillie’s characters.
As the story unfolds old crimes and old feelings are intertwined. If you want to know if they are reconciled or resolved, you will have to read ‘Sewing the Shadows Together’ for yourself.  Highly recommended.

From The Back Of The Book 

Can you ever get over the death of your sister? Or of your best friend? More than 30 years after 13-year-old Shona McIver was raped and murdered in Portobello, the seaside suburb of Edinburgh, the crime still casts a shadow over the lives of her brother Tom and her best friend Sarah. When modern DNA evidence shows that the wrong man was convicted of the crime, the case is reopened. So who did kill Shona? Sarah and Tom are caught up in the search for Shona’s murderer, and suspicions fall on family and friends. The foundations of Sarah’s perfect family life begin to crumble as she realises that nothing is as it appears. Dark secrets from the past are uncovered, and there is another death, before the identity of the real killer is finally revealed… Set in Edinburgh, the Outer Hebrides and South Africa, Sewing the Shadows Together is a thoroughly modern murder mystery that keeps the reader guessing to the end. Filled with characters who could easily be friends, family or people we work with, it asks the question: Do we ever really know the people closest to us?

Purchase your own copy at Amazon UK

Huge thanks to Alison Baillie for the advanced copy for review and for featuring on my blog today.

We are running a Twitter giveaway ~ head over to our Twitter Page and see the pinned post.


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Crime Fiction

Book Reviews, eBook Deal, Review

Finding Alison #DeirdreEustace @bwpublishing #Review

Finding Alison By Deirdre Eustace
Published By Black and White

My Review 

The Cover:

Sometimes with book covers, they don’t sync with the book. But with Finding Alison it’s a true fit. I like how they haven’t made the water a sparkling unrealistic blue.  It’s dirty and true to life. With the figure of women who is representing Alison, gazing out across the water. If I saw this in the bookstore or in Amazon would I be enticed to pick it up? I would say yes. With a recommendation from Carmel Harrington, it all fits together and it works.

My favourite Quote/Sentence:

The Sea was falling back into a grudging sleep, lazily licking and frothing the cliffs, it’s gluttonous appetite almost stated.

My Thoughts

I enjoyed the book and would recommend it to my friends. At its core, it is really about letting go of the things and events that keep us prisoner in our lives. Events beyond our control that emotionally scar us and hold us back from being happy and living life. Haunted by ghosts and old feelings and how we drag them along every day.

The main character is Alison, I really liked her and felt very connected to her from the start. She’s terribly flawed as a result of the past. Battling not only with her inner demons but with an emotionally damaged teenager, we go on a journey of love, loss and clarity. I took a lot from this book. It makes you reflect on what you carry from the past that you need to let go. I enjoyed Deirdre’s carefully constructed sentences and her true to life characters. People you could relate to and connect.

In a way, the book was a wake-up call for me. It taught me to live in the now, this very moment. To stop worrying about the what ifs and the future. What’s important is the now.  Also, it reminded me with a gentle nudge to make sure the people closest to me knew how much I love them.

This book is perfect for any time of year be it a sunny beach day or at home by the fire with a hot cuppa and a sneaky biscuit on a nippy day.

It’s currently only £1.00 on Amazon for the eBook at the time of this blog going live (29/6) You can get your copy here Amazon UK

Back Of The Book 

Grief and guilt. Love and resentment. A community divided.

No one in Carniskey has ever truly understood what led Sean Delaney, a seasoned local fisherman, to risk his life in a high storm in the dead of night. Now, three years on from that tragic night, his wife Alison is still struggling with her unresolved grief and increasing financial worries.

After three difficult years, Alison has grown distant from her daughter and estranged from her friends and fellow villagers, particularly her best friend Kathleen who harbours a deeply guarded secret of her own. Isolated by its stunning yet often cruel surroundings, this is a community used to looking after its own but the arrival of an outsider – artist and lifelong nomad, William – offers Alison a new perspective on life and love that threatens to unearth the mysteries of the past.

A story of courage and enduring humanity, Finding Alison follows the community through their struggles in love, loss and betrayal, each coming to understand that only in truth can we find the peace and liberation essential for true happiness.

Thank you to Lina L, at Black and White Publishing for the ARC and Deidre Eustace for the opportunity to be on the tour.


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Book Reviews, Kelly Talk

The Returning Tide @liz_fenwick @orionbooks #Review


Two sisters and one betrayal that will carry across generations . . .

In wartime Cornwall, 1943, a story between two sisters begins – the story of Adele and Amelia, and the heart-breaking betrayal that will divide them forever. Decades later, the effects of one reckless act still echo – but how long will it be until their past returns?

The Returning Tide will sweep you away to the beautiful Cornish coast, full of secrets and mystery, perfect for fans of Kate Morton.

Liz Fenwick 

@liz_fenwick Twitter

Writer, ex-pat expert, wife, mother of three, and dreamer turned doer….

Award-winning author of The Cornish House, A Cornish Affair, A Cornish Stranger and Under A Cornish Sky. After nine international moves, Liz is a bit of a global nomad. It’s no wonder her heart remains in Cornwall.

My Review ~ The Returning Tide ~ Liz Fenwick

 Published 23rd March 17, Orion Books 

Sometimes a book comes along and you know you were destined to read it. I purchased The Returning Tide in audiobook form. So I could listen whilst I worked.  The problem was I was getting no work done. I was hooked from chapter one. I really enjoyed the audiobook version but I read faster so I took to kindle to read during the day and on my evenings I listened to the audiobook.

The book flip-flops from the 1940’s to 2015, it’s a lovely switch that I really enjoyed. We are taken from Cornwall to Cape Cod, having been to both placesI was lucky to be able to be able to have the advantage of remembering the smells and scenes from my travels.

I fell in love with the characters, the paths that life (Liz Fenwick) chose for them. For once I didn’t know the ending of the book, the big reveal was shocking to me. I am usually pretty sure of how a book will end, but not with The Returning Tide, I found it very refreshing that the outcome was not rushed and that I to had to go through the journey with Adele, Lara, Amelia, Bobby and more.

A definite highlight of my year, it’s truly fantastic. I cried, laughed and broke with the characters.  I cannot wait to read Liz Fenwicks other reads


You can order your copy today of The Returning Tide ~ Amazon UK

Huge thanks to Liz Fenwick for the story and the characters. I will cherish them always. Thanks to Orion and Net Galley for my advanced copy to review. 

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Author, Book Reviews, Kelly Talk

Not Your Average Nurse Maggie Groff @TransworldBooks #Review #FavFive


‘Over time, I nursed victims of war, the posh, the poor, the famous and the infamous… Oh, the stories I can tell!’

To a young girl the life of a nurse sounds exciting, but with long hours and short shrift, it’s never easy. So when Maggie Groff embarks on her training at London’s King’s College Hospital she must quickly get to grips with a demanding career. It’s sink or swim.

From the watchful gaze of stern sisters and the trials of nursing on a poor south-east London housing estate to the explosive dramas of staff health checks at sophisticated Selfridges, Maggie shares warm and witty stories of mistakes and mayhem, tea and sympathy, and the life-affirming moments that make it all worthwhile.

Played out against the march of feminism and fashion, IRA bombings and the iconic music and movies of almost half a century ago, Not Your Average Nurse is a delightful romp through time.

My Review

I always have the attitude that I try not to judge a book by its cover. But when I saw the title included ‘Nurse’ I was a little nervous. I am not a fan of medical dramas on tv. I am squeamish so I was worried.  I shouldn’t have been. Maggie Groff writes in such a comfortable style. I was happily shocked that the book was so funny. With one-liners that had me laughing out loud.

 My favourite quote from the book is on page one ‘The god of bright young things has always had a custard tart ready to smack in the face of a girl like me’.

The only thing I didn’t love about the book was the cover and somewhat the title, I don’t feel either connects with the book. I found the cover very bland.  It’s not something I would pick up in a store. Which is a shame as the content is such a fun, emotional journey.

 Maggie Groff is a super storyteller.  I fell in love with Margaret in the book. I loved her attitude and I hated the hard life lessons she had to experience.  The book is a memoir of Maggie’s life, which she was inspired to write for her daughter. Who had no knowledge of her mums working life before she became an author. What a fabulous gift to give your daughter! Wow!

Not Your Average Nurse by Maggie Groff is released on the 18th May 2017 @TransworldBooks.

You can order your copy here: Amazon UK

#FavFive with Maggie Groff 

What’s your favourite book cover by another author and why?

Not sure that I have a favourite, but the best book cover relating to a book’s content that I have ever seen was the 1966 Faber and Faber (UK) cover of Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar. Ever diminishing black and white circles, it screamed of a trapped life spiralling out of control. It was intensely disturbing, like the book.

What is your favourite time to read?

In the afternoon when it’s raining. And in the afternoon when it isn’t raining.

Do you have a favourite snack to nibble whilst reading?

Feet up, a cup of tea and a bar of chocolate, and nibble isn’t the right word for the chocolate. Scoff is more accurate. Then I have a second cup of tea. I sip the tea.

Who is your favourite book character that has stayed with you long after the book ended?

There are quite a few, but today I’m leaning towards Sir Percy Blakeney in The Scarlett Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy.

What is your favourite book quote?

Ha! Sir Percy Blakeney…

‘We seek him here, we seek him there

Those Frenchies seek him everywhere!

Is he in heaven? Or is he in hell?

That demmed Elusive Pimpernel?

You can pre order your copy of Not Your Average Nurse today! : Amazon UK




Huge thanks to Maggie Groff and @TransworldBooks for my ARC of the book.

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