Source: Random Things Tours

BOOK TOUR: The Blame Game by Sandie Jones

Posted September 13, 2022 by louisesr in Review, Tour / 1 Comment

BOOK TOUR: The Blame Game by Sandie Jones

BOOK TOUR: The Blame Game by Sandie JonesThe Blame Game by Sandie Jones
Published by macmillan, Macmillan Audio on August 22, 2022
Genres: suspense
Pages: 336
Format: eBook
Source: Random Things Tours
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
four-stars

As a psychologist specializing in domestic abuse, Naomi has found it hard to avoid becoming overly invested in her clients' lives. But after helping Jacob make the decision to leave his wife, Naomi worries that she's taken things too far. Then Jacob goes missing, and her files on him vanish... But as the police start asking questions about Jacob, Naomi's own dark past emerges. And as the truth comes to light, it seems that it's not just her clients who are in danger.

Naomi is a psychiatrist who specialises in working with victims of domestic abuse. Throughout this story we only hear from 2 of her clients. Jacob who is suffering from domestic violence and Anna who is having marriage difficulties following the loss of her son a year earlier. We also have a side story from Naomi’s past which gives us some insight as to why she has chosen this career path.

I wanted to like Naomi but I just couldn’t warm to her, she’s a mess. Her past is interfering with her head and she’s incapable of setting boundaries. I appreciate that dealing with victims of domestic abuse must be really hard, it’s not something I could do. BUT, on the same note, this is a job where you cannot take the work home with you – or the clients for that matter. And the lack of boundaries is what is getting Naomi into trouble.

There are a number of happenings around Naomi’s house (which is also where her office is) that sets her on edge. Did she hear footsteps on the stairs? Did she leave her office door unlocked? Where did she put Jacob’s file?

When Jacob decides he can take no more and leaves his wife it’s not long before the police are involved.

This is one where you want to shout at Naomi to just tell the truth, don’t ommit things, don’t spin them. Things would be a lot easier if she told the truth and got on with things. Yes, things would look bad, she’d look like an idiot (she is an idiot, and an annoying one at that) but it would benefit everyone in the long run.

The phrase “there’s two sides to every story and then there’s the truth” is so apt for this book. It perfectly sums it up.

four-stars

About Sandie Jones

Sandie Jones has worked as a freelance journalist for over twenty years, and has written for publications including the Sunday Times, Woman’s Weekly and the Daily Mail. She lives in London with her husband and three children. The Other Woman is her debut novel.

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Book Tour: The Party House by Lin Anderson

Posted August 17, 2022 by louisesr in Review, Tour / 0 Comments

Book Tour: The Party House by Lin AndersonThe Party House by Lin Anderson
Published by macmillan on 04/08/22
Genres: Thriller
Pages: 368
Format: ARC
Source: Random Things Tours
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
four-half-stars

The Party House by Lin Anderson is a deeply atmospheric psychological thriller set in the Scottish Highlands, for fans of Lucy Foley, Ruth Ware and Sarah Pearse’s The Sanatorium.

Devastated by a recent pandemic brought in by outsiders, the villagers of Blackrig in the Scottish Highlands are outraged when they find that the nearby estate plans to reopen its luxury ‘party house’ to tourists.

As animosity sparks amongst the locals, part of the property is damaged and, in the ensuing chaos, the body of a young girl is found in the wreck. Seventeen-year-old Ailsa Cummings went missing five years ago, never to be seen again – until now.

The excavation of Ailsa’s remains ignites old suspicions cast on the men of this small community, including Greg, the estate’s gamekeeper. At the beginning of a burgeoning relationship with a new lover, Joanne, Greg is loath to discuss old wounds. Frightened by Greg’s reaction to the missing girl’s discovery, Joanne begins to doubt how well she knows this new man in her life. Then again, he’s not the only one with secrets in their volatile relationship . . .

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

The description says it’s for fans of Ruth Ware, Lucy Foley and Sarah Pearse – those are some pretty big names to live up to but I think you can quite comfortably add Lin Anderson to the list.

The party house is about to open its doors again. It broke the rules during lock down and hosted a party (no, it’s not 10 Downing Street), a party that brought a new variant to the isolated community where it is situated. A party that led to the deaths of six locals, mainly children. You can see why the locals are not to keen on any more parties being held there. The day before the party is due to happen a number of locals break in and destroy a hot tub, unearthing a body.

This book has the best setting. I love books set in Scotland, not just those set int he grizzly cities like Glasgow but those in the haunting Highlands. It really does become so atmospheric, almost like a character in itself, I could really imagine being there.

There is a very “them and us” between the owners of the party house and the locals, there’s a lot of mistrust there (understandably) and I thought this was written really well. The arrogance of the owners really came across and got my back up.

This took a little while for me to get into, but the payback on sticking with it was more than worth it.

There is so many twists and turns and so much tension, that once I got into this I really didn’t want to put it down.

Now, my biggest warning is – this features COVID – if you have an issue with books that have covid in them, don’t read it. You’ll be missing a treat but I really hate it when people mark a book down because they’re not ready to deal with stories featuring the pandemic.

four-half-stars

About Lin Anderson

Lin Anderson was born in Greenock of Scottish and Irish parents. A graduate of both Glasgow and Edinburgh Universities, she has lived in many different parts of Scotland and also spent five years working in the African bush. A teacher of Mathematics and Computing, she began her writing career four years ago. Her first film, Small Love, which was broadcast on STV, was nominated for TAPS writer of the year award 2001. Her African short stories have been published in the 10th Anniversary Macallan collection and broadcast on BBC Radio Four.

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Book Tour: All The Wicked Games by Lauren North

Posted August 17, 2022 by louisesr in Review, Tour / 0 Comments

Book Tour: All The Wicked Games by Lauren NorthAll The Wicked Games by Lauren North
Published by Penguin on 01/09/22
Genres: Thriller
Pages: 368
Format: ARC
Source: Random Things Tours
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
four-half-stars

Are you ready to play?

Best friends Cleo and Rachel spend their evenings pretending to be people they're not, inventing elaborate stories to escape the monotony of their real lives. It's all harmless fun - until they play the game on the wrong person...

It's your move now.

Five years later, Cleo is still struggling to come to terms with the night that destroyed her friendship with Rachel and almost cost them their lives. And then she receives a text: Rachel is missing. Have you seen her?

There's only one person to blame.

Wracked with guilt for failing Rachel the last time they were in danger, Cleo races to find her friend. But could the past be repeating itself? Only this time, they're caught up in a far darker game.

The rules don't matter when the goal is revenge.

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

Ah, you know me, I love a good dual timeline thriller!

The book starts with Cleo who is on leave from her job on a cruise ship, receiving news that her friend Rachel has disappeared. Rachel was her best friend, but they’ve not been in touch for years. We then cut back to 5 years ago when Cleo and Rachel shared a flat and played an online “game” together – chatting to others and making up elaborate stories. They thought it was harmless fun. Until it wasn’t. Cleo learns that the games have started up again, and heads to London to investigate.

This has such a sinister feel to it and you know that something bad is going to happen, North spends some time building up to let us know what it was, moving backwards and forwards between then and now. We see the friendship between the two but we also see it all fall apart.

This is one of those books where at one point or another I suspected EVERYONE, I had no clue who to trust or who it might be. And some of the characters… there’s a phrase in Northern Ireland which perfectly describes them (and it’s one of my most favourite phrases ever).. they’re a wee bit west of the Woowah! Not entirely sure how I’m supposed to spell that and unsurprisingly spell checker was absolutely zero help. I quite liked Cleo in the now, but the person she was before, yeah, I’m not a fan, however Rachel, I don’t even know where to begin.

Lastly, the end. Wow. Sometimes I felt it was a wee bit slow getting there but it was worth it. I had the dawning as to what was going on right before it was spelt out for me. And WOW. So good.

four-half-stars

About Lauren North

LAUREN NORTH writes psychological suspense novels that delve into the darker side of relationships and families. She has a lifelong passion for writing, reading, and all things books. Lauren’s love of psychological suspense has grown since childhood and from her dark imagination of always wondering what’s the worst thing that could happen in every situation.
Lauren studied psychology before moving to London where she lived and worked for many years. She now lives with her family in the Suffolk countryside.

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Book Tour: From The Ashes

Posted August 2, 2022 by louisesr in Review / 1 Comment

Book Tour: From The AshesFrom the Ashes by Deborah Masson
Series: Eve Hunter #3
Published by Random House on July 21, 2022
Genres: Thriller
Pages: 368
Format: ARC
Source: Random Things Tours
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
four-half-stars


As the house burns, the hunt for a killer begins...

In the dead of night someone starts a fire in a home for underprivileged children in Aberdeen. The flames spread quickly, and one person doesn't make it out alive.

But the victim wasn't found in their bedroom; they were discovered locked inside a secret basement underground. As DI Eve Hunter and her team search the blackened ruins, the case takes them into even darker territory.

Soon Eve unearths a horrific discovery at the heart of the property - one that turns the whole investigation on its head. Everyone in this home has something to hide, but who has a secret worth killing for?

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

Today it’s my stop on the Random Things Tour for From The Ashes by Deborah Masson.

I was discussing with some of the ladies in my book group last week and we were all in agreement that we’ve been introduced to some fantastic new (to us) authors through doing book tours and this is one of them! In fact, after reading this I’ve nominated the first book in the series as the September read for our book club so that we can introduce Deborah Masson to a whole new group of people.

As you can probably guess from the fact I want us to read the rest of the series, I really enjoyed this book.

I seem to have a lot of “tartan noir” on my reading list at the minute and Aberdeen is a brilliant, dark and gritty backdrop to this novel. I don’t know what it is about Scotland, it’s such a picturesque nation but at the same time the cities are always portrayed as grey and brooding. Maybe this is just a reflection of the books that I read.

This story is told from multiple perspectives; Eve who investigating the fire and the body that has been found, DC Scott Ferguson who is hiding a secret and neglecting the investigation while he concentrates on a child who has been run over; and that of the perpetrator

I spent much of the novel not understanding how all of the strands would pull together and be related to each other but they do, they all come together brilliantly, through a series of twists and turns that I didn’t see coming.

four-half-stars

About Deborah Masson

Deborah Masson was born and bred in Aberdeen, Scotland. Always restless and fighting against being a responsible adult, she worked in several jobs including secretarial, marketing, reporting for the city’s freebie newspaper and a stint as a postie – to name but a few.
Through it all, she always read crime fiction and, when motherhood finally settled her into being an adult (maybe even a responsible one) she turned her hand to writing what she loved. Deborah started with short stories and flash fiction whilst her daughter napped and, when she later welcomed her son into the world, she decided to challenge her writing further through online courses with Professional Writing Academy and Faber Academy, where she wrote her
award-winning debut novel Hold Your Tongue, the first in the DI Eve Hunter series. Since then she has published two more books in the series, Out For Blood and From the Ashes.

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Blog Tour – The Choice by Penny Hancock

Posted July 29, 2022 by louisesr in Review / 1 Comment

Blog Tour - The Choice by Penny Hancock

Blog Tour – The Choice by Penny HancockThe Choice by Penny Hancock
Published by Pan Macmillan on July 21, 2022
Genres: Thriller
Pages: 336
Format: ARC
Source: Random Things Tours
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
four-stars

An estranged daughter. A missing grandson. A mother faced with an impossible choice.

Renee Gulliver appears to have it all: a beautiful house overlooking a scenic estuary on England’s East Coast, a successful career as a relationship therapist, three grown-up children, and a beloved grandson, Xavier. But then Xavier vanishes after Renee fails to pick him up from school, and the repercussions are manifold.

Renee is wracked with remorse; the local community question her priorities, clients abandon her; and, as long-held grievances surface, her daughter Mia offers her a heartbreaking ultimatum. Amid recriminations, misunderstandings and lies, can Renee find a way to reunite her family?

Wow, there’s no hanging around with this one. That opening chapter. Wow.

Renee seems to have it all, a fantastic career as a therapist, a loving family and a beautiful house. But she’s part of that generation that are trying to do it all, balancing a successful career, caring for her mother and her husband, looking after her grandson. It’s a balancing act and when Renee forgets to pick up Xavier from school one day, everything comes tumbling down.

‘Xavier isn’t here.’

‘What do you mean he isn’t there? Where is he? You were picking him up from school today.’

‘But it’s Monday.’

It is Monday, not one of my usual Xavier days. But Mia’s away, Mia’s in Amsterdam, on a course. I took Xav to school this morning and was supposed to pick him up this afternoon. The kitchen turns vivid, as if until this moment, I’ve been viewing it through soft focus.

Things aren’t always what they seem.

The truth will always come out.

I know it sounds cliched but these two sentences really are at the heart of this book. This is a beautifully written, character driven story of how secrets and misunderstandings can tear a family apart.

Alongside the story of what has happened to Xavier we also look back at what has happened in the past which has led the family to be where they are now.

Brilliantly constructed, I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

four-stars

About Penny Hancock

Penny Hancock is the author of internationally bestselling novels including Tideline a Richard & Judy book club pick, The Darkening Hour and A Trick of the Mind and I Thought I Knew You. She writes articles and short stories on family psychology for the national press. Penny divides her time between a village outside Cambridge and her children and grandchildren in London. The Choice is her fifth novel.

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Book Tour: All I Said Was True

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

Book Tour: All I Said Was TrueAll I Said Was True by Imran Mahmood
Published by Bloomsbury Publishing on July 1, 2022
Genres: Thriller
Pages: 320
Format: ARC
Source: Random Things Tours
Buy on Amazon
four-half-stars

I didn't kill her. Trust me...
When Amy Blahn died on a London rooftop, Layla Mahoney was there. Layla was holding her. But all she can say when she's arrested is that 'It was Michael. Find Michael and you'll find out everything you need to know.'

The problem is, the police can't find him – they aren't even sure he exists.

Layla knows she only has forty-eight hours to convince the police that bringing in the man she knows only as 'Michael' will clear her name and reveal a dangerous game affecting not just Amy and Layla, but her husband Russell and countless others.

But as the detectives begin to uncover the whole truth about what happened to Amy, Layla will soon have to decide: how much of that truth can she really risk being exposed?

Why did no-one tell me about Imran Mahmood before? Seriously, how have I never heard of him! Not only does he write outstanding books (I’m assuming from how great this book is that his others are belters) but one of his books is a tv show that I have also somehow missed (I’ve just added it – You Don’t Know Me – to my Netflix list).

OK, if you like thrillers, unreliable narrators and dual timelines then YOU HAVE TO READ THIS BOOK!!!!!

I didn’t know which way to turn, what to believe from Layla and I had no clue what actually happened.

Amy has died, Layla is found with the body. Layla is holding something back. She’s telling the truth – or at least some of it. Why is she holding things back? Why doesn’t she just tell them what happened? Who is Michael? Does Michael actually exist or is Layla making him up?

SO MANY QUESTIONS!!

This is an ideal book to read with a friend then you can throw about theories and ask each others opinion. Be prepared for your head to be spinning, maybe grab a notepad and pen 😂

You do have to suspend belief at some points, but it’s a work of fiction – you have to suspend belief on a regular basis watching the soaps!

four-half-stars
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Blog Tour: The Last Time We Met by Emily Houghton

Posted July 26, 2022 by louisesr in Tour / 1 Comment

Blog Tour: The Last Time We Met by Emily Houghton

Blog Tour: The Last Time We Met by Emily HoughtonLast Time We Met by Emily Houghton
Published by Transworld Publishers Limited on May 31, 2022
Genres: Romance, Women's
Pages: 416
Format: ARC
Source: Random Things Tours
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
four-stars

ONE PROMISE Best friends Eleanor and Fin are inseparable. They are convinced that it will always be this way. But to be sure, they make a pact to keep their lives intertwined. And of course, they'll get married if they're both 35 and single. TWO DECADES Eleanor and Fin haven't spoken in fifteen years. They live on different continents, but more than an ocean separates them. Everything has changed since the last time they met. CAN THEY STILL KEEP THEIR WORD? So, when newly single Fin reappears, there's no way they can keep their promise. Is there?

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

Thank you so much to Random Things Tours for the invite to take part in this.

Recently I met my friend from school. We were friends from as soon as we began primary school until we left home after our A levels. I haven’t seen him since (about 25 years). We kept vaguely in touch via social media for a while but his account was deleted a few years ago so I’ve literally had zero idea of what’s been happening in his life. It was good to pick up after all this time. But, could you pick up with your best friend and then turn it into a marriage?

I, Eleanor Ruth Levy, and I, Finley James Taylor, hereby declare that if such a time occurs at the ripe old age of thirty-five that both members of this agreement find themselves single then it shall be mandatory for the individual parties to wed each other. The marriage shall take place in accordance with this binding contract, willingly entered into by both.

……………………………………. …………………………………………

We pick up the story with Eleanor having just been through a breakup with her boyfriend of 10 years. Finn is returning to the UK as his mother is sick. They’re both single and they haven’t seen each other for 15 years.

We all have a good idea of how this is going to end, but as ever with books like this, we know we’ll get the satisfying ending that we want. They joy is in the process of reaching that ending.

Told from the viewpoints of both Finn and Eleanor, in two different timelines this could have been confusing – but it wasn’t. They blended together perfectly. We got to see what had gone wrong for them both that they hadn’t been in touch for so long, while also watch them try to navigate their new friendship and get to know each other all over again.

Obviously this wasn’t plain sailing and along with plenty of laughs there were plenty of tears shed along the way.

There was a great set of supporting characters who added to the storyline, hopefully Emily Houghton will expand on some of these in future and give them their own book, I loved that we really got a feel for them and could imagine them having so much more to tell us.

Emily says: “Last Time We Met is a story of love, loss and enduring friendship. How sometimes the things that aren’t said are the words we need to hear the most; and how forgiving others is nowhere near as important as forgiving ourselves.”

four-stars

About Emily Houghton

EMILY HOUGHTON is the author of Before I Saw You. She is an Essex girl at heart, but now spends most of her time between London and Suffolk. Emily worked in digital product management at Tesco and Barclays for seven years, and it was during a sabbatical from work, travelling around India, that her first book was born; the first draft is still written on her phone!
After a whirlwind few months, Emily quit her corporate job to live her dream of writing full-time. A true Gemini at heart, she’s got many interests and is a trained spin and yoga teacher. She has a curiosity for life and a passion for all things well-being, one day hoping to create her own retreat space with a lot of dogs! Her writing, while centering around love stories, often touches on deeper emotional themes such as self-love, healing and the power of finding yourself.

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Blog Tour – Deep Water by Emma Bamford

Posted July 19, 2022 by louisesr in Tour / 1 Comment

Blog Tour - Deep Water by Emma Bamford

Blog Tour – Deep Water by Emma BamfordDeep Water by Emma Bamford
Published by Simon and Schuster on July 7, 2022
Genres: Thriller
Pages: 400
Format: ARC
Source: Random Things Tours
Buy on AmazonBuy on Bookshop

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
four-stars

Lies can be buried... Secrets always come to the surface

Amarante is paradise...
An uninhabited, unspoilt island somewhere in the Indian Ocean.
Only those who know it exists can find it.
 
But paradise comes with a price...
Virginie and Jake sail to Amarante for their honeymoon, but they are not alone.
They have to adjust to life on the island with five strangers.
 
And not everyone will live to tell the tale…
Dark secrets surface and their dream abruptly turns into a nightmare.
Removed from society, they find out what they’re truly capable of.

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

A slow burn atmospheric mystery, this wasn’t the action packed thriller that I had expected but it had me hooked from first page to last wanting to uncover what had happened.

This is one of those books that begins at the end, a navy vessel in the middle of the Indian Ocean receives a distress call from Virginie’s private yacht as her husband needs urgent medical attention. Virginie then announces that she has “killed them all” and proceeds to tell their story.

Virginie and her husband Jake have escaped the rat race, purchased a luxury yacht and headed off to an isolated island Malaysian paradise that they’ve heard of. Except they get their and it’s already inhabited by a crew of expat soldiers.

four-stars

About Emma Bamford

Emma Bamford, a freelance journalist, is working on an MA in prose fiction at University of East Anglia, UK. She is the author of Deep Water and the memoirs Casting Off and Untie the Lines.

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Tour – The Eye of The Beholder

Posted July 13, 2022 by louisesr in Review, Tour / 1 Comment

Tour - The Eye of The Beholder

Tour – The Eye of The BeholderThe Eye of the Beholder by Margie Orford
Published by Canongate Books Limited on July 7, 2022
Pages: 304
Source: Random Things Tours
Goodreads
four-stars

When danger lies in the eye of the beholder, what happens when you reject its pull?

Cora carries secrets her daughter can't know. Freya is frightened by what her mother leaves unsaid. Angel will only bury the past if it means putting her abusers into the ground. One act of violence sets three women on a collision course, each desperate to find the truth, when the people they love are not what they seem.

Today is my stop on the tour for The Eye of The Beholder by Margie Orford. Many thanks to Anne and Random Things Tours for including me on this tour and for introducing me to this fantastic author.

Wow. This book was so different to what I expected. The synopsis gives away very little and it’s quite hard for me to review while also not sharing any spoilers but I’ll do my best.

Set between Scotland, Canada and South Africa this is a dark and atmospheric thriller detailing the lives of 3 women Cora, her daughter Freya and Angel. Going from the present time to flashbacks of the past detailing how they’ve ended up in their current situations and Freya’s discovery of photographs and cine-film giving her insight into her mothers past.

Angel and Cora are both trying to escape their pasts and the relationships that they’re refusing to let define them. These are strong women, they are survivors. I know that they’ve endured a lot but I wasn’t drawn to these characters, they weren’t people I’d like to get to know better. However, that is my only real criticism of the novel.

When Yves, an art dealer disappears, you’re questioning what has happened and who was responsible. There was no one I didn’t point the finger at while reading.

This is an emotional, dark novel, with a lot of trigger warnings that I hadn’t expected. It is beautifully written, especially when you consider the subject matter at the heart of it and it will stay with you a long time after finishing it.

four-stars

About Margie Orford

Margie Orford is an award-winning journalist who has been dubbed the Queen of South African Crime Fiction. Her Clare Hart crime novels have been translated into ten languages and are being developed into a television series. She was born in London and spent her formative years in Namibia and South Africa. A Fulbright Scholar, she was educated in South Africa and the United States, has a doctorate in creative writing from the University of East Anglia and is an honorary fellow of St Hugh’s College, Oxford. She is President Emerita of PEN South Africa and was the patron of Rape Crisis Cape Town. She now lives in London.

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Tour – Retreat To The Spanish Sun

Posted June 23, 2022 by louisesr in Review / 1 Comment

Tour – Retreat To The Spanish SunRetreat to the Spanish Sun by Jo Thomas
Published by Random House on June 1, 2022
Genres: Romance
Pages: 352
Format: ARC
Source: Random Things Tours

'Warm and life-enhancing, I wanted to move to Spain with these wonderful characters' Katie Fforde

'A fabulous read celebrating the good things in life - fun, friends, family and food' Jill Mansell

From the bestselling author of Escape to the French Farmhouse comes a deliciously feel-good new story...

Eliza has a full house! When her three children grew up and moved out, she downsized to a smaller property... but now they're all back. Every room in the house is taken and Eliza finds herself sharing her bed with her eldest daughter and her daughter's pug. Combined with the online course she's trying to finish, plus her job to fit in, there just isn't the peace and quiet that Eliza needs.

So when an ad pops up on her laptop saying 'house-sitters wanted', Eliza can't resist the chance to escape. She ends up moving to a rural finca in southern Spain, looking after the owner's Iberico pigs, learning about secret gastronomic societies... and finding a new zest for life and love along the way.

Readers have fallen in love with Retreat to the Spanish Sun
⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ 'Perfect for a summer holiday read'
⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐'You'll be craving tapas, Flamenco and the southern Spanish sun after reading this 5-star book'
⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ 'A lovely read from Jo Thomas, her books never fail to make me happy'
⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐'A lovely, warm and sunny read'
⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ 'Fabulous location, delicious descriptions of food & drink & wonderful characters, an all round feel-good book'

If you love Jo's books, her next Christmas novel, Keeping a Christmas Promise, is available to pre-order now

Today is my turn on the Tour for the fabulous Retreat to the Spanish Sun by Jo Thomas.

As a “woman of a certain age” this book appealed to me. The idea that you hit your mid forties and realise that you no longer have an identity outside of mum is all too real. As my children are 4 and 6 (hello geriatric motherhood!) I have a long wait until my kids leave home but I can imagine that it’s tiring going from them leaving and being an empty nester to them all returning and upturning your life (again). I don’t know whether my time of life affected my reading, I so understand where she’s coming from in having put everyone else first for so long that it’s hard to remember who you actually were before the kids come along.

Oh to get the chance to house sit in the sun!

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Having been in the rain of the UK for the past 2 years, this is the closest to a sunny holiday I’ve had in some time. I can’t wait until I’m on Spanish shores again. This has really whet my appetite for it!

The opening to the book was a little rushed; we pretty much had “oh the kids are back, they’re driving me crazy, I need some space, hello house sitting in Spain” which is fair enough as the “meat” of the story happens once Eliza is rediscovering herself (see what I did there, meat – pig farming 🤣 – it’ll mean more once you’ve read the book).

Anyway, as a bit of a foodie I loved learning about Iberico ham and pig farming. I loved the escape to the sun, the friendships, the romance. It really wasn’t the quiet break that Elixa had been hoping for – but then that wouldn’t have made such a good novel.

This was my first Jo Thomas book and I’m not sure why as I love this genre of “feel good fiction” the sort that has so much going on, not always positive, but that written in such a way as to have a constant smile on your face while reading.

I highly recommend reading this, especially if we get a little bit of sun, while armed with an antipasti platter and a nice glass of something alcoholic!

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