Publisher: Boldwood Books Ltd

Review: Spring Tides at the Starfish Cafe by Jessica Redlands

Posted September 12, 2022 by louisesr in Review / 1 Comment

Review: Spring Tides at the Starfish Cafe by Jessica RedlandsSpring Tides at The Starfish Café by Jessica Redland
Published by Boldwood Books Ltd on April 5, 2022
Genres: Romance, Women's
Pages: 425
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Buy on Amazon

This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.

Goodreads
five-stars

Welcome back to the Starfish Café - where you will find stunning views, delicious food and lifelong friendships.

A new season...

As winter turns to spring, Hollie - owner of The Starfish Café - is feeling content as she settles into her new life with her loving boyfriend, Jake, and their adorable dog Pickle.

But when an unwelcome visitor threatens the future of her café, Hollie must stay strong to protect her family's legacy...

A leap of faith...

Emerging from an unhappy relationship, Tori finds herself with nowhere to stay and nobody to talk to. The long-hidden secrets of her past weigh heavily on her until a chance encounter with Finley, struggling to come to terms with his own secrets, provides an opportunity to open up.

Can she find the strength to stop hiding from her past and face up to her family? Especially when that would mean letting her guard down and learning to trust again...

A fresh start...?

Little do Hollie and Tori know that their lives are about to collide at The Starfish Café and they may be able to help each other with a fresh start. After all, with good friends in your life, nothing is impossible...

Jessica Redland does it again! I don’t know how such a prolific writer manages to turn out such quality books, is she the UK’s version of Nora Roberts?

Anyway, as ever I loved this book! I feel that the Starfish Cafe series is that little bit extra special for me as it really resonates with my childhood home town, especially with the inclusion of the RNLI.

Hollie and Jake are such a fantastic couple, I loved getting to know them. Then we have Tori and Finley, from the start you are routing for them. At 20% in I knew what I wanted to happen with them through their relationship and their housing, I wasn’t disappointed!

I love how both Hollie and Tori offer such practical advice and literally spell out what a loving, committed relationship should be like. And that you shouldn’t settle for anything less.

five-stars

About Jessica Redland

I live in Scarborough on the stunning North Yorkshire Coast in the UK. My home inspired the creation of the fictional seaside town of Whitsborough Bay where I set some of my books. The Hedgehog Hollow series takes readers to a gorgeous countryside setting on the Yorkshire Wolds.

I live with my husband, our teenage daughter and sprocker spaniel, Ella. I’m a stationery addict with a notepad obsession who loves chocolate (although it doesn’t love me), hedgehogs, 80s music, collectible teddy bears and lighthouses.

My career has mainly been in HR as a trainer and recruiter. I had a brief detour into retail to set up and manage my own specialist teddy bear shop and started writing my debut novel on quiet days in the shop.

In June 2020, I became a full-time author. I’m so very grateful to anyone who has bought or borrowed my books in whatever format, helping me fulfil a long-held dream of writing full-time. I still can’t believe I get to spend every day chatting to my fictional friends and making stuff up.

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BOOK TOUR: Christmas Miracles at Hedgehog Hollow

Posted September 11, 2022 by louisesr in Review, Tour / 1 Comment

BOOK TOUR: Christmas Miracles at Hedgehog Hollow

BOOK TOUR: Christmas Miracles at Hedgehog HollowChristmas Miracles at Hedgehog Hollow by Jessica Redland
Published by Boldwood Books Ltd on September 6, 2022
Genres: Christmas, Women's
Pages: 409
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon
five-stars

It's the countdown to Christmas at Hedgehog Hollow Wildlife Rescue Centre, and everyone is gearing up for a festive season to remember...

It should be the most wonderful time of the year for Samantha and Josh as they prepare for the arrival of their first baby. But life at Hedgehog Hollow rarely goes to plan and the pair are faced with adversaries, old and new, and unexpected challenges to overcome.

Fizz's job at the heart of the rescue centre is a dream come true but her personal life is more like a nightmare. With her love life a disaster and her past about to dramatically catch up with her, she needs the love and support of her Hedgehog Hollow family more than ever.

As the snow falls over Hedgehog Hollow, will Samantha and Fizz find the Christmas miracle they need to overcome their heartache and find happiness?

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

WARNING: As this is the final book in the series, I may make mention to things that have happened in the previous books.

If it’s a while since you read the previous book in the series then Jessica Redland rather helpfully gives a full rundown of all the main characters in the front of the book as well as a “previously in Hedgehog Hollow….” summary. While it may be tempting to think that this will tell you all you need to know to jump into this series at book 6 – don’t.

It’s here, and it’s everything that I expected it to be!

This is it, the final book in the series, I’ve been looking forward to this coming out but I’m also ready to cry because it’s the last one in my favourite series. I know it won’t be saying goodbye to the characters for ever as I’m sure that Jessica Redland will feature them in some of her other novels around Whitsborough Bay, but I’m really going to miss our spikey little friends.

Given the characters who have featured in the previous books I had a few things in mind that I knew I needed to happen in this final book –

  • I expected Fizz to be the main focus point
  • I needed for her to have a relationship with Phoebe
  • I hoped for more action around Hedgehog Hollow than in the previous book
  • I wanted to see the further development of the relationship between Sam and her mum
  • Maybe relationships developing for Sam’s parents (but not with each other)
  • A baby for Sam and Josh given the ending to book 5

Did I get everything I wanted? I’m not telling you but what I will say is that it was a very satisfactory ending to the series.

I started crying following a hedgehog incident at around the 50% mark and I was still crying at the 75% mark. Holy Moly, this book was a roller coaster. Fizz’s storyline went in a direction that I never expected and my heart broke for her. She is such a gorgeous, loving character and I really wanted her to have her happily ever after and not be so hurt and broken.

I loved the Christmas setting for the book. We start off around October time with the preparations taking place (wreath decorating anyone) and end in the middle of the following year but the majority of the action takes place in the run up to Christmas. We have a Christmas Fair at the Hollow with more amazing decorations and then we have Christmas Day, told from a number of perspectives.

As ever there are a number of trigger warnings in here but the warmth and love and community definitely outshine them.

My best advice for anyone considering this book is to go to Book 1 and start the series from the beginning. They’re all quick, easy reads and they’re free on Kindle Unlimited. Click on the book title below to be taken to the Amazon UK page

Book 1 – Finding Love at Hedgehog Hollow

Book 2 – New Arrivals at Hedgehog Hollow

Book 3 – Family Secrets at Hedgehog Hollow

Book 4 – A Wedding at Hedgehog Hollow

Book 5 – Chasing Dreams at Hedgehog Hollow

Book 6 – Christmas Miracles at Hedgehog Hollow

I’ve also added a list of all Jessica Redlands books here – her series are one of the few where I would say, READ THEM IN ORDER. With recurring characters who have major life changes in each book, there will be spoilers if you don’t and you won’t get the same level of enjoyment.

five-stars

About Jessica Redland

I live in Scarborough on the stunning North Yorkshire Coast in the UK. My home inspired the creation of the fictional seaside town of Whitsborough Bay where I set some of my books. The Hedgehog Hollow series takes readers to a gorgeous countryside setting on the Yorkshire Wolds.

I live with my husband, our teenage daughter and sprocker spaniel, Ella. I’m a stationery addict with a notepad obsession who loves chocolate (although it doesn’t love me), hedgehogs, 80s music, collectible teddy bears and lighthouses.

My career has mainly been in HR as a trainer and recruiter. I had a brief detour into retail to set up and manage my own specialist teddy bear shop and started writing my debut novel on quiet days in the shop.

In June 2020, I became a full-time author. I’m so very grateful to anyone who has bought or borrowed my books in whatever format, helping me fulfil a long-held dream of writing full-time. I still can’t believe I get to spend every day chatting to my fictional friends and making stuff up.

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Review: A Wedding at Hedgehog Hollow by Jessica Redland

Posted September 9, 2022 by louisesr in Review / 2 Comments

Review: A Wedding at Hedgehog Hollow by Jessica RedlandA Wedding at Hedgehog Hollow by Jessica Redland
Series: Hedgehog Hollow #4
Published by Boldwood Books Ltd on January 6, 2022
Genres: Romance, Women's
Pages: 440
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
five-stars

It's time for the wedding we've all been waiting for...

Life at Hedgehog Hollow is never dull, although Samantha hopes that the new year ahead will be a little less chaotic as she prepares to marry the love of her life, Josh. But disaster strikes when she checks the rescue centre's bank account after the festive season and discovers it has been emptied. Who would do such a thing, and why? With the future of Hedgehog Hollow now in jeopardy, planning a wedding has lost its shine.

Phoebe is desperate to escape the shadow of her family, infamously known for their attacks on Samantha's beloved rescue centre. Could the kindness of the Hedgehog Hollow team be the chance she needs for a fresh start, or will her family's secrets continue to drag her back?

I received this book for free from Purchased in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Love, love, love, love, love. Oh how I love this series. Every time I read it I want to give up my life, move to the country and start an animal sanctuary.

This story is told alternately between Samantha – our hedgehog rescuer – and Phoebe, a member of the Grimes family who’ve been making Samantha’s life a misery.

This book tackles some really heavy subjects; child neglect, abuse, drug use/dealing, theft. And yet, I would still class it as feel good fiction. This is every credit to Jessica Redlands writing talents. She has created a cast of characters that I love, and a few others that I love to hate.

I love how we have seen the characters develop over the course of this series and while this can be read as a standalone (the first couple of chapters recaps on what has happened previously) I would recommend going back to the start and reading the first 3 books in the series before settling into this one.

I was so sad to hear that there’s only going to be another 2 books in this series, I understand why this has got to happen, but it doesn’t mean I have to be happy about it!

five-stars

About Jessica Redland

I live in Scarborough on the stunning North Yorkshire Coast in the UK. My home inspired the creation of the fictional seaside town of Whitsborough Bay where I set some of my books. The Hedgehog Hollow series takes readers to a gorgeous countryside setting on the Yorkshire Wolds.

I live with my husband, our teenage daughter and sprocker spaniel, Ella. I’m a stationery addict with a notepad obsession who loves chocolate (although it doesn’t love me), hedgehogs, 80s music, collectible teddy bears and lighthouses.

My career has mainly been in HR as a trainer and recruiter. I had a brief detour into retail to set up and manage my own specialist teddy bear shop and started writing my debut novel on quiet days in the shop.

In June 2020, I became a full-time author. I’m so very grateful to anyone who has bought or borrowed my books in whatever format, helping me fulfil a long-held dream of writing full-time. I still can’t believe I get to spend every day chatting to my fictional friends and making stuff up.

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Tour: Chasing Dreams At Hedgehog Hollow

Posted July 7, 2022 by louisesr in Review / 1 Comment

Tour: Chasing Dreams At Hedgehog HollowChasing Dreams at Hedgehog Hollow by Jessica Redland
Published by Boldwood Books Ltd on June 28, 2022
Genres: Romance, Women's
Pages: 395
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
four-half-stars

Samantha has a secret. Returning home from her dream honeymoon to the normality of running her beloved Hedgehog Hollow rescue centre, she's ready for the next chapter of her life with Josh. Or is she? Samantha is hiding something which could forever change the dreams they shared and bring their happy ever after crashing to the ground.

Lauren has given up on love. Twenty-six years ago the love of her life, Shaun, left her a note and was never seen again. Two painful divorces later she still can't face opening up to anyone. But little does Lauren know that the closure she's dreamt of for all these years may be closer than she thinks, and perhaps the only way to let new love in is to forgive and forget.

Samantha and Lauren will need the love and support from the Hedgehog Hollow family more than ever. After all, some dreams are worth chasing...

Top 10 bestseller Jessica Redland welcomes you back to glorious Hedgehog Hollow where love, family and friendship conquer all.

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

We’re back at Hedgehog Hollow for the penultimate book in the series. I honestly think I may shed a tear when I finish the last one later this year. Poor Jessica Redland couldn’t even go on holiday without me stalking her around the Lake District earlier this year!

I know people who read this blog regularly are used to me sharing the dark worlds of Karin Slaughter and Chris Carter type authors but at the other end of the scale, I absolutely LOVE these books, it’s one of my most favourite series, hence my stalking of Jessica Redland.

The main character in this novel is Lauren (Josh’s Aunt), I won’t lie – when I started this book I really didn’t remember who Lauren was but Redland eases you into the story by repeating the last scene from the previous book but from an alternative POV. It quickly settled back in to life at Hedgehog Hollow.

Lauren is Josh’s aunt, she is currently letting Sam’s father, Jonathan, stay with her. At the end of the previous novel she was having thoughts that their relationship may develop further but she had been seriously hurt in the past and so she was fighting her feelings, and then Jonathan’s actions prevented her from taking anything further. The rest of the novel focuses primarily on Lauren’s story, we flit between Lauren’s life now, her past and life at Hedgehog Hollow with it’s full cast of characters.

In the lead up to the Hedgehog Hollow family fun day we get to see Lauren develop a great friendship with Chloe, they haven’t been present together in previous books and Lauren really wasn’t keen on Chloe due to how she had previously treated Sam. I loved watching this friendship build and the difference that it made to both of the characters.

What has been evident throughout this series and something that I’ve loved from the start is the great sense of community. Having friends and family gather round and lend their support when one of the characters is having a rough time.

As ever this book does include some difficult subjects and some characters developed in ways that were unexpected (these could be TW for some) but they’re sensitively handled.

All of the books in this series are available on Kindle Unlimited.

four-half-stars

About Jessica Redland

I live in Scarborough on the stunning North Yorkshire Coast in the UK. My home inspired the creation of the fictional seaside town of Whitsborough Bay where I set some of my books. The Hedgehog Hollow series takes readers to a gorgeous countryside setting on the Yorkshire Wolds.

I live with my husband, our teenage daughter and sprocker spaniel, Ella. I’m a stationery addict with a notepad obsession who loves chocolate (although it doesn’t love me), hedgehogs, 80s music, collectible teddy bears and lighthouses.

My career has mainly been in HR as a trainer and recruiter. I had a brief detour into retail to set up and manage my own specialist teddy bear shop and started writing my debut novel on quiet days in the shop.

In June 2020, I became a full-time author. I’m so very grateful to anyone who has bought or borrowed my books in whatever format, helping me fulfil a long-held dream of writing full-time. I still can’t believe I get to spend every day chatting to my fictional friends and making stuff up.

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The Serial Killers Girl Mini Review

Posted April 28, 2022 by louisesr in Review / 1 Comment

The Serial Killers Girl Mini ReviewThe Serial Killer's Girl Published by Boldwood Books Ltd on 27/04/2022
Genres: Thriller
Pages: 285
Format: ARC, eBook
Source: NetGalley
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
three-stars

Lexi Jakes thought she could run from her past.

But when her biological mother is found dead, strangled with a red silk scarf and holding a chess piece, Lexi knows that her worst nightmare has come true. Because the murder has all the hallmarks of her own serial killer father, renown strangler Peter Graves.

Now with her own precious daughter’s life in danger, Lexi will do anything to keep her child safe…she is her father’s daughter after all.

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

I thought this book showed great potential, the premise was really good but I felt it was let down by the execution. I was looking for a book that had me on the edge of my seat and I just didn’t think that this quite managed to pull it off. 

Lexi is the daughter of a serial killer. Following his arrest she was taken into care and changed her name. Now her mother has been killed in a copycat attack. 

Nobody knows who she is. But Lexi is worried, that she or her daughter might be next.

I felt that the suspense was lacking in this, there was too much story around Lexi’s relationship with her husband and not enough excitement. 

three-stars
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The Perfect Holiday Mini Review

Posted April 28, 2022 by louisesr in Review / 1 Comment

The Perfect Holiday Mini ReviewThe Perfect Holiday by T. J. Emerson
Published by Boldwood Books Ltd on April 20, 2022
Genres: Thriller
Pages: 331
Format: ARC
Source: NetGalley
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
three-stars

Perfect for fans of T.M. Logan's The Catch and The Couple at No. 9 by Claire Douglas.

'This taut, elegant thriller thrums with dark menace and dread. I couldn’t look away' Kate Riordan, bestselling author of The Heatwave

Olivia and Julian are enjoying lazy days in their Spanish villa, a well deserved break from their busy lives. Especially for Julian, who after a lifetime as a carer was thrust into the public eye following the tragic murder of his first wife.

The languid heat and peace of the villa is broken only by clifftop walks, sun drenched lunches and cooling swims. Until a chance encounter with Gabriel - an attractive man, many years their junior - changes everything.

Soon their idyllic break turns into a dangerous, high-stakes game of cat-and-mouse. Will any of them get out alive?

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

This is a dual timeline novel, set now (which is “after”) and “before”. In the before timeline we have Julian who is caring for his wife after she’s been paralysed in a car accident. Now/After, he is on holiday with his second wife, Olivia.

I find it difficult to enjoy a book when I really don’t like the main characters, and I really didn’t like Julian, he has no redeeming features. I also wasn’t a fan of Gabriel (although that’s intentional from the authors pov, I can’t imagine anyone would like him). There was potential for Olivia to be a decent enough character but she was never allowed to reach her potential, she was almost secondary to the narrative, a part of the setting rather than an actual person.

This is another example of a domestic thriller, which I never find thrilling. I always love the idea from the synopsis and then find that they fall short.

three-stars

About T. J. Emerson

Before writing fiction, she worked in theatre and community arts. As well as acting, she ran drama workshops in healthcare settings, focusing on adults with mental health issues. Her short stories have been widely published in anthologies and literary magazines, and her feature writing has appeared in Stella magazine, Woman’s Own and The Sydney Morning Herald. Her first psychological thriller, She Chose Me, was published by Legend Press in 2018.
She has a PhD in Creative Writing from The University of Edinburgh and works as a literary consultant and writing tutor. She is also the Creative Director of The Bridge Awards, a philanthropic organisation that provides micro-funding for art and community projects.

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