Wednesday, 17 May 2023

A Daughter's Gift


Mollie Walton


 North Yorkshire, September 1940.

It's a year since war was first announced and the dangers are becoming all too real for Rosina Calvert-Lazenby and her courageous daughters. When Raven Hall is requisitioned by the army, Rosina must do all she can to protect her family home from the rowdy troops. After Rosina's burgeoning relationship with young sergeant Harry is interrupted as he's posted abroad, the arrival of an older officer who takes a keen interest in her could also spell trouble...

Meanwhile, Rosina's fearless second daughter, twenty-year-old Evelyn Calvert-Lazenby, decides to join the Auxiliary Fire Service. Determined to help with the Blitz effort in London, she faces extreme danger. Two kind professional firemen, the Bailey brothers, take her under their wing to help protect and guide her. But with the bombings getting worse, there can be no guarantees...

Who will be safe? How can Rosina protect all those she loves? And is love still possible with such high stakes?


This is the second instalment of the series, the first one being A Mother's War and I think this series is going to get better and better. This book concentrates of Rosina and her daughter Evelyn (Evvy).

Rosina is still holding fort at Raven Hall and is so upset to receive news that the Army will be taking over the hall for their use and leaving only a few rooms for Rosina and her daughters and staff to use. The officer in charge is Allan Vaughan who at first is very stuffy and unapproachable, but over time, his demeanour softens and Rosina sees a new side to him, if she can get past his secretary first!

Evvy joins the Auxiliary Fire Service in London and is soon whizzing around town on a motorbike assisting her fellow firefighters and her Station Officer Lewis Bailey, who she holds in high regard, but there is also his brother Sam, who is sweet on Evvy and she is rather fond of him too!

The writing is so good and gives you a real insight in to what it really was like during the blitz.

Again, this book has been thoroughly researched and is a real page turner. This series is getting better and better. The characters are great and each book leaves you wanting more! I really can't wait for number 3.

Tuesday, 2 May 2023

 One Last Letter from Greece


Emma Cowell

Devastated by her mother’s death, Sophie longs to get away from an empty house full of memories and a life that hasn’t quite turned out as she had imagined.

So when a chance discovery among her mother’s belongings hints at a past Sophie knows nothing of, she jumps at the opportunity for escape and a chance to heal. The magical, idyllic Greek town of Methoni awaits…

But Sophie—determined to uncover her mother’s secrets—is about to discover so much more. Among the tranquil waters and cosy tavernas, Methoni’s locals offer Sophie the answers she craves, along with unexpected romance and, if she’ll take it, a chance at her own happiness…

Will walking in her mother’s footsteps help Sophie discover who she was meant to be all along…?


I saved my copy of this book for when I went on my very first cruise, which just so happened to be to the Greek islands and Turkey!

Sophie is grieving for the loss of her dear mother, who was an artist in Greece when she was younger. She is also coming to terms with ending an abusive relationship and so makes the decision to go to Greece to find out more about her mother's past and also to locate a painting which she knows her mother painted, but has been missing for years. 

Once she arrives in Greece, it isn't long before she meets the gorgeous Theo, who could very easily distract her from the reason she went to Greece in the first place, but will her feelings get in the way of her finding the missing painting?

I loved this debut by Emma Cowell and this was a real page turner. Very well researched and made me feel that I was right there in Greece with Sophie!

Can't wait to read the second novel by this author!

Tuesday, 18 April 2023


I have always loved Gill's books and am super excited for this one. I just love the cover and the colours and gowns are superb! Publication day is 31st August, so a little while to wait, but you can pre-order on the link below. The countdown has begun...

In this stunning new novel, bestselling author Gill Paul reveals the infamous rivalry of cosmetic titans Elizabeth Arden and Helena Rubinstein.

They could have been allies: two self-made millionaires who invented a global industry, in an era when wife and mother were supposed to be any woman’s highest goal. Elizabeth Arden and Helena Rubinstein each founded empires built on grit and determination…and yet they became locked in a feud spanning three continents, two world wars, and the Great Depression.

Brought up in poverty, Canadian-born Arden changed popular opinion about make up—persuading women from all walks of life to buy skincare products promising them youth and beauty. Rubinstein left her native Poland, launching her own company with scientific claims about miracle creams and anti-aging herbs.

And when it came to business, nothing was off-limits: poaching employees, copying products, planting spies, hiring ex-husbands, and one-upping each other every chance they had. This was a rivalry from which there was no surrender!  And through it all, were two women, bold, brazen, and determined to succeed—no matter the personal cost.

 Publication dates are August 31st in the UK, Australia and NZ, September 5th in the US.


Friday, 31 March 2023

 A Mother's War


Mollie Walton

North Yorkshire, September 1939.

Rosina Calvert-Lazenby, the widowed matriarch of Raven Hall, must be strong for her five daughters as the war approaches. When the RAF come to stay, Rosina is intrigued by their charismatic – albeit young – sergeant. But is there time for love with the war looming?

Grace Calvert-Lazenby is twenty-one years old and ready for a new adventure. Joining the Women's Royal Naval Service, she trades the safety of Raven Hall for exhausting drills and conflicting acts of secrecy. It's not easy, but Grace knows that everyone has a part to play in what's to come.

With so much on the line, will Rosina and Grace have the courage to lead those around them into the unknown?


This first instalment tells the story of Rosina Calvert-Lazenby and her daughter Grace who joins the WRENS at the outbreak of WWII. They have had a privileged life until now and when Grace and her siblings are sent to different parts of the country, it is her mother Rosina who is left to look after the great house with minimal staff to help.

The army ask Rosina if they can use Raven Hall for some of their officers to have their meals and Rosina is only too willing to help the war effort, but also to have company and bring life back into the house. When a dashing young officer called Harry comes to the house, Rosina instantly takes a shine to him and he to her, but she is instantly aware that he is much younger than her and what will people think.

Grace trains to become a morse code breaker and becomes great friends with Nancy, who just happened to be one of the maids at Raven Hall before the war! Together they work hard, but also go to dances together and poor Grace, who isn't very street wise at first, learns the hard way that not everyone is as nice as they seem, even if there is a war on!

This was a thoroughly researched book and kept me interested from the very first page and as I love wartime sagas, this was right up my street! This was powerful, moving, beautifully written and I really can't recommend it enough.

I am off now to read the second instalment, A Daughter's Gift! 

Wednesday, 15 March 2023

 Queen of Clubs


Beezy Marsh


This is the follow up to the fabulous Queen of Thieves and I couldn't wait to catch up on the women of South East London who earned their living thieving from the department stores in the West End of London.

This book starts with Zoe who is evacuated to the country during the war and is so excited to be leaving London and her uncaring mother. She loves her life in the country and when her mother decides it's time for her to come home, she knows she is going to hate it. 

Zoe wants to make a life for herself without her mother and so decides she wants to be a dancer and comes across Nell who is the owner of a nightclub called Rubies. Little does Zoe know that Nell is the leader of the female gang known as the Forty Thieves and it isn't long before Zoe is drawn in to a world which will test her to the very core.

Nell runs the nightclub Rubies (named after her daughter) with her partner Jimmy, who is well known on the London gangland scene. Zoe is smitten with Jimmy and it doesn't take long for Nell to notice this and this can only mean one thing. Trouble.

What a real page turner this book is. Full of suspense and sometimes difficult storylines to read about, but written superbly and with great insight into the world of the forty thieves, so hats off to the author for her thorough research. I said it about the first book (Queen of Thieves), but this would truly make a great film and I am chomping at the bit to read the next instalment!

 Thank you Beezy Marsh for taking me back to my birth place of South East London. It was a real treat!

Tuesday, 24 January 2023

Snowed In For Christmas


Sarah Morgan

She’s snowed in with the family. The only problem? They’re not her family.

A family gathering
This Christmas the Miller siblings have one goal – to avoid their family’s well-meaning questions. Ross, Alice and Clemmie have secrets that they don’t intend to share, and they are relying on each other to deflect attention.

An uninvited guest
Lucy Clarke is facing a Christmas alone, and the prospect of losing her job – unless she can win a major piece of business from Ross Miller. She’ll deliver her proposal to his family home in the Scottish Highlands and then leave. After all, she wouldn’t want to intrude on the Miller’s perfect family Christmas.

A Christmas to remember
When Lucy appears on the Miller’s snow-covered doorstep, she is mistaken for Ross’s girlfriend. But by the time the confusion is cleared up, a storm has hit and Lucy is stuck. As everyone settles in for a snowed-in Christmas, tensions bubble to the surface and suddenly Lucy finds herself facing a big family fallout with a family that isn’t hers…


Lucy Clarke loves her job so much, that she decides to go to Scotland to personally deliver a proposal to Ross Miller who is the CEO of a sports wear company. As she is on her way to the family home that he will be spending Christmas in, the weather decides to make a turn for the worse and Storm Scrooge closes in, promising everyone a white Christmas! 

Lucy meets Ross on the doorstep who is none too pleased that a total stranger has come to his family home and when Lucy tries to leave out of pure embarrassement, she takes a tumble in the snow and breaks her ankle!

Ross Miller has two siblings. Alice is a Doctor in a hospital and has just been proposed to by her boyfriend Nico, but she is such an overthinker, that she can 't say yes straight away and that puts pressure on their relationship because Nico doesn't know whether Alice really loves him or not. 

Clemmie is the youngest and is a nanny in London. She has decided to move back to Scotland as she has made a lifechanging decision, but will her family like it? and also, the fact that her childhood friend Fergus still lives in the village and she wants nothing more than for them to be more than friends, but she is sure that he doesn't feel the same. 

Nanna Jean is the Grandmother who says it like it is. She is just hilarious and had me snorting with laughter on more than one occasion and mum Glenda is so anxious that Christmas is going to be a disaster and always overthinks things and is adamant she is a bad mother.

I thoroughly enjoyed the mix of characters in this book and it gives a good insight into all the characters personal lives and how even the craziest of families can come together in a crisis!

I'm going to own up to something now - this is the first book by Sarah Morgan I have read (I know!), but I can honestly say, it won't be my last! I already have some from my very good friend Julie to read and I can't wait for her new one to come out in May!

Thursday, 8 December 2022

 Meet Me Under the Mistletoe


Jenny Bayliss

A winter wedding of school friends should be the highlight of Nory Noel’s festive calendar. But that group has long since drifted apart, and Nory is dreading the lavish, week-long affair. Still, she supposes, being the only single person means she gets a king-size bed in the idyllic castle venue all to herself.

As the champagne flows, the years roll back and soon the air is alive with old sparks and old tensions. Desperate for a moment of peace, Nory escapes and crashes into Isaac, the castle’s gardener – and her former school rival.

Nory and Isaac have more in common these days than they could ever have imagined. But as she steals more time away to spend with him, Isaac reveals an astonishing secret about his past. Nory is in a unique position to help right this wrong – but uncovering the truth might mean pushing Isaac away once more . . .


Nory is attending the wedding of her school friend which happens to be near the boarding school where they all attended. She is not relishing the thought of spending a week as the only single one of her friends until she meets Isaac, who is head gardener at the country estate and who she remembers being an annoying teenager, but now he has certainly changed and Nory is smitten and finds any opportunity to run into him.

The story unfolds over the coming week in the build up towards the wedding. It has a great mix of characters who are all fully relatable and some actual laugh out loud moments that had me roaring!

This was the first book I have read by this author, but I have promptly bought the other two christmassy ones as I really enjoyed this one and really didn't want it to end!