Tag: RATED 4/5

One Night on Ice by Mandy Baggot

51Wx1pEKuuL._SY346_ Synopsis: When routine-driven box office assistant, Samantha Smith, meets the stars of Skating on Broadway her life is turned upside down.

Immediately attracted to lead skater, Jimmy Lloyd, Samantha does her best to deny her feelings. But when all you can do is burst out laughing and hyperventilate every time you’re under pressure, keeping things under wraps is a hard task.

When the future of her beloved Civic Hall is threatened, Samantha must rise to the challenge to ensure its survival. Constantly scrutinised and criticised by her zany sister Cleo and her brogue-wearing boyfriend Jeremy, can Samantha save her job, save the Civic Hall and stop her panic attacks just long enough to give away her heart?

My Rating: 4/5

My Review: I really enjoy Mandy Baggot books and realised it had been way too long so I picked up this one as it was from back in 2019. I have read a fair few crime and thrillers so I needed something a little more light hearted. Samantha Smith is a pretty neurotic, socially challenged and complex character but for some reason one I liked a lot almost from the get go. She works as a box-office assistant for the Civic Hall and takes her job very seriously (like she does with most of her life).

The Civic Centre is hosting a show with the celebrity lead skater Jimmy Lloyd. Of course Samantha’s interests only seem to stretch as far as her beloved job so when their is the threat of the Centre closing she goes to pieces. The other character in this story other than Sam and Jimmy is Sam’s sister Cleo. Cleo is everything that Sam isn’t and is actually a decent balancing character for the book.

This isn’t one of my absolute favoruites by this author but was certainly a really good book that I thoroughloy enjoyed. It’s light-hearted and funny and such an easy read. I have yet to be dissapointed by any of Mandy Baggot’s and this is no exception.

Cathy’s Christmas Kitchen by Tilly Tennant

Cathys Christmas Kitchen Synopsis: As the snow flutters down in the little village of Linnetford, escape to a cosy farmhouse kitchen, scented with the rich aromas of fruitcake and gingerbread, where a love of baking is about to unite two lonely hearts…

Cathy cooked at her mother’s side her whole life and could bake a fairy cake before she could ride a bike. Now she is facing her first Christmas without her beloved mother, she’s determined to use her memories for something positive. She decides to organise a weekly cooking class, sharing her mother’s precious recipes with other lonely souls.

There’s just one small spanner in the works: teenager Tansy, who attends Cathy’s classes even though she’s rude to everyone there and seems to hate every minute. Cathy is poised to ask Tansy to leave, but her uncle, physiotherapist Matt, begs her to give the teenager another chance. And Cathy can’t resist Matt’s sparkling hazel eyes and incredibly kind heart… Continue reading “Cathy’s Christmas Kitchen by Tilly Tennant”

Buried Angels by Patricia Gibney (Lottie Parker #8)

51jWwqHF-AL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_ Synopsis:

When Faye Baker discovers a fragile child’s skull behind the walls of her new home, Detective Lottie Parker is called to investigate. The house has been owned for years by the family of Faye’s boyfriend Jeff, so when Jeff starts acting suspiciously, Lottie wonders what he might be hiding…

Lottie doesn’t have long to dig deeper before a child’s bones are found by eleven-year-old Gavin on nearby railway tracks. The bones don’t match the small skull behind the walls, but Lottie can’t ignore the coincidence. Someone out there must be missing their loved ones and it’s up to her to put right a terrible wrong.

Unable to shake a feeling of foreboding, Lottie goes to speak to Faye, and discovers that she hasn’t turned up for work. When Faye’s body is found stuffed in the back of her car, Lottie needs to find out who wanted her to keep quiet.

As Lottie hunts for Faye’s killer, the case takes a darker turn when Gavin goes missing. Faye and Gavin are connected only by the grisly body parts they discovered. But who are these little victims and why has their killer come back? Can Lottie find the answers before another precious life is taken?

My Rating: 4/5

My Review: I was very pleased to get stuck into this latest book. I have been a little gripped with this series and it’s characters, although I am finding I would love to see some changes. The opening of this book (and ending of the last one) may well be what I was waiting for. The storyline this time around involves a LOT of people. It starts with a lady named Faye when decorating her new home discovering a skull. What follows is the discovery of a childs bones on a nearby railway track. The story and writing were as previously very engaging, but with each book I read I feel like maybe there are some things missing.

This storyline although good involves a lot of characters, and sometimes it seems like the plot could have done with being more simplified. In addition I am coming back to the same things I have mentioned in previous reviews. As an avid reader part of the draw for me with a series is the characters and the investment and time we as readers make for them. I feel like Lottie continues to make the same mistakes and additional characters never get a look in. I would really love to see some characters such as Kirby get their own air time as well as Lottie maybe finally learning a few lessons. I do feel like her personal life and the decisions she is making with Boyd will maybe create a basis for more stability (Jesus I would hope so) and hopefully will enable the readers to get a feel for other people.

This is certainly a series that has grown on me and the writing is fabulous. It would be great to see changes in future books and I will still eagerly read the next installment.

Broken Souls by Patricia Gibney (Lottie Parker #7)

51s04OK7aGL Synopsis: One dark winter’s morning, bride-to-be Cara Dunne is found hanging in her home, dressed in her wedding dress, with a lock of hair removed. Detective Lottie Parker is first on the scene. Looking at Cara’s bruised and battered body, she wonders who could have hated her enough to kill her at the happiest time of her life.

The case takes a darker turn that afternoon with another shocking discovery – the broken body of a second young woman, pushed from the roof of the hospital where she worked. Fiona Heffernan was also due to be married, and her body is clad in a wedding dress, a lock of her hair cut off.

The killings seem so personal that Lottie is convinced the girls have been killed by someone they knew. When she goes to break the news to Fiona’s family, she’s on the alert for anything suspicious. But then she makes a discovery that causes her blood to run cold – Fiona’s eight-year-old daughter Lily didn’t return home from her dance recital that afternoon. Terrified that Lily will be the next victim of a twisted and dangerous individual, Lottie takes the case into her own hands, risking her life when she comes face-to-face with the killer…

My Rating: 4/5 Continue reading “Broken Souls by Patricia Gibney (Lottie Parker #7)”

The Waffle House on The Pier by Tilly Tennant

51fRdkTflxL Synopsis: Run away to Sea Salt Bay, where the sand is warm and soft, the sea is a perfect blue, and a candy-coloured waffle house is about to change Sadie’s life…

For as long as she can remember, Sadie’sgrandparents have run the waffle house on the pier at Sea Salt Bay. With its pretty painted chairs, sweet smells, and the warm advice of her beloved grandparents, the waffle house is like a second home

But when Sadie’s grandfather dies, leaving her grandmother without an anchor, Sadie must make a difficult decision. She quits her job and moves back home, determined to keep things going. The trouble is, she knows nothing about running a business, and learning at a million miles an hour with a shop full of hungry people isn’t easy. When she nearly burns the waffle house down, she has to admit she needs to get some help. Continue reading “The Waffle House on The Pier by Tilly Tennant”

Tell Nobody by Patricia Gibney (Lottie Parker #5)

51BH3yWrGhL Synopsis: The boy’s body was so white it was almost transparent. But that’s not what caused the nausea to rise up her throat. He was so young. His body was unmarked, surrounded by a halo of plucked wildflowers.

One hot summer evening, eleven-year-old Mikey Driscoll is on the way home from playing with friends. Two days later, his body is discovered on a bed of wildflowers by some local teenagers.

The case is assigned to Detective Lottie Parker and this time it’s personal. The victim was a close friend of her son, Sean, from the run-down Munbally estate on the other side of town. Sean tells his mother Mikey was behaving normally before he died, but Lottie can’t help but feel that her son is keeping something from her… Continue reading “Tell Nobody by Patricia Gibney (Lottie Parker #5)”

The Mum Who Got Her Life Back by Fiona Gibson

51gR96Xe0IL Synopsis: When her 18-year-old twins leave for university, single mum Nadia’s life changes in ways she never expected: her Glasgow flat feels suddenly huge, laundry doesn’t take up half her week, and she no longer has to buy ‘the Big Milk’. After almost two decades of putting everyone else first, Nadia is finally taking care of herself. And with a budding romance with new boyfriend Jack, she’s never felt more alive.

That is, until her son Alfie drops out of university, and Nadia finds her empty nest is empty no more. With a heartbroken teenager to contend with, Nadia has to ask herself: is it ever possible for a mother to get her own life back? And can Jack and Nadia’s relationship survive having a sulky teenager around?

My Rating: 4/5

My Review: I really enjoyed this book and it made for a nice light-hearted read. Nadia is finally in a position where her twins go off to University and she is left with nobody but herself to answer to. She has her first relationship with a great guy named Jack and things seem to be going swimmingly…until her son Alfie drops out and returns home.

Suddenly her life is just not the same as she battles to try and keep things on an even keel. There are some real laugh out loud moments in this book which I think many people will relate to and I found myself chuckling on several occasions. The story tells a very relatable tale to many which makes the reader really will Nadia on to make the right decisions.

This book took me no time at all to finish and one that I would definitely recommend for a bit of escapism.

The Importance of Being Me by Caroline Grace-Cassidy

The Importance Of Being Me Synopsis: Thirty-eight-year-old divorcee Courtney Downey has no idea who she is any more. She has devoted her life to bringing up her beloved 15-year-old daughter Susan, but Courtney just doesn’t get the celebrity-obsessed, Snapchat-filtered teenage world Susan is part of, and they’re growing apart. When Susan announces she wants to live with her dad and his new, younger girlfriend, Courtney is devastated. But could the end of one life be the beginning of another?

When Courtney is offered a job in beautiful, sun-kissed Cornwall, she and her vivacious best friend Claire follow their hearts and leave their problems behind for a summer of sand, sea and second chances. And when she meets sexy but infuriating builder Tony, Courtney rediscovers her passions for life, for cooking and for love.

But just as Courtney is finally looking to the future, a crisis with Susan pulls her back to Dublin, and back into old habits. Will she ever be able to let go of the past and embrace the importance of being herself?

My Rating: 4/5

My Review: I have only read I think one other Caroline Grace-Cassidy book and am certain I enjoyed it so have become determined to read some books on my Kindle that have been waiting for ages for me to read. The synopsis seemed okay for this story but I didn’t have any pre-conceived opinions and I was so happy I decided to read this as I really enjoyed it.

I did have a couple of niggles with the characters but aside from that this story really does highlight a theme of looking after yourself. Courtney is the lead character and is in her late 30’s with a teenage daughter Susan and an ex-husband. Courtney has spent her whole life devoted to her daughter and always putting her first, however when Susan announces she wants to live with her Dad and his new partner her life seems to have turned on its head.

She decides to take a chance and take a temporary job assignment down in Cornwall. Along with her closest friend Claire who also has her own problems they decide to take the bull by the horns. I admit I didn’t particularly have too much sympathy for Courtney in the beginning as she seemed such a doormat, however as the story progressed she grew on me.

By the halfway mark I was totally engrossed and the last half of the book absolutely flew by. It wasn’t quite what I was expecting but thoroughly enjoyed it and would definitely recommend it.

No Safe Place by Patricia Gibney (Lottie Parker #4)

51d8jYa8ztL Synopsis: As funeral mourners stand in silence at Ragmullin cemetery, a deafening cry cuts through the air. Lying crumpled at the bottom of an open grave is the bloodied body of a young woman, and Detective Lottie Parker is called in to investigate.

Knowing the body can’t have been there long, Lottie wonders if it could be Elizabeth Bryne, a young woman who vanished without trace just days earlier. And with a new boss who seems to have it in for her, Lottie is under pressure to solve both cases quickly.

As two more women go missing from Ragmullin, Lottie and her team fear there is a serial killer on the loose. And the disappearances are strikingly similar to a cold case from ten years earlier. Could history be repeating itself?

As journalists begin to interfere with Lottie’s investigation, she fears the killer is about to strike again. Lottie is in a race against time to find the missing women, but the killer is closer than she thinks. Could Lottie be his next target?

My Rating: 4/5

My Review: I am very involved with this series now and know that I will continue to read until I am totally up to date (only 4 more to go!). After the end of the last series I wasted no time in launching straight into this book. An open grave is the opener for this storyline and as usual Lottie’s trusty colleague Boyd is by her side. In addition her colleagues Lynch and Kirby are back in addition to a new but familiar boss!

The storyline was more engaging than the last book but in this book we once again delve into the characters and their personal lives more. Lottie has her three children, her grandson and her Mother to deal with, and in addition we meet Boyd’s sister Grace! There are a lot of elements to this story and it kept me engaged from start to finish. 

Once I had finished this I literally opened page one of book 5…and then stopped myself. I decided to break it up with another genre so will eagerly go back to book 5 in a few days. This series is getting stronger with each book that is released and I would certainly recommend it.

The Lost Child by Patricia Gibney (Lottie Parker 3)

The Lost Child Synopsis: ‘Let me out! Please…’ My tiny fists pound the door, but my voice reverberates off the stone walls and hangs in the air as if suspended by spider’s webs. No one comes…

Years later, a woman is found face-down in a pool of blood. Detective Lottie Parker is called to the remote farmhouse in the bleak Irish countryside. Inside, she finds a scene that speaks of uncontrollable rage: glasses smashed, chairs ripped apart, the woman’s body broken.

A black rain jacket makes Lottie think she knows the killer’s identity, but then she finds a disturbing clue: is the murder linked to an old case at St Declan’s asylum? A case investigated by her own father, just before he took his life.

When another victim is left without her tongue on the hospital steps, and a young girl goes missing, Lottie knows she has to act fast. Can she face her own demons and uncover the truth before another life is taken?

My Rating: 4/5

My Review: I have recently started this series and was pleased to move onto book 3. Lottie Parker is a character that I really enjoy reading about even though she has serious issues and isn’t actually a pretty selfish and screwed up woman (but in a likeable way if you know what I mean). Her colleague Boyd is back alongside her other colleagues Kirby and Lynch and they are as usual assigned to the newest murder. In this case its the death of an elderly woman who is found in her daughters house.

I have to say I enjoyed the actual murder case storyline less than the last two in this book, however the personal elements of the story mad up for that in my opinion. In addition to the murder enquiry we see Lottie’s friend Annabelle in her own crisis of a situation. IN addition we see Lottie’s relationship and more development of this in terms of her Mother, three kids and grandchild.

The murder case they are working made the story at times a little muddled as there was so much going on, but eventually it gained traction. Boyd her colleague is as usual taking the abuse that Lottie dishes out, but by the end of the book he was the best person to be there for her. The ending was a corker and made me want to just go straight through to book 4, but I’m trying to pace myself. I think this read was a little more middle of the road but the series is definitely one I am keen to continue.