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The Last First Date By Hayley Quinn

The Last First Date‘The Last First Date’ is the latest book by Hayley Quinn.

At 31-years-old, Helen Pines is far from where she thought she would be. Whilst her ex-boyfriend is now engaged, Helen’s ordering Deliveroo for one, wistfully dreaming of her last first date. Determined to give online dating a go, she matches with drop-dead-gorgeous Brody, and they hit it off immediately. One date later, Helen’s heart is still singing. Brody’s everything she’s looking for in a man – sexy, charismatic, and the perfect gentleman. But then she receives an error message on the app… all her contacts have been deleted. With nothing but Brody’s name and job title to go on, Helen is determined to track him down. But despite the initial chemistry, Helen realises she knows surprisingly little about her mystery man… Was it really love-at-first like, or will she find a new love along the way?

If you’re looking for a warmhearted love story then look no further, as ‘The First Late Date’ is the perfect love story to get lost in.

The story is seen from the perspective from Helen, heartbroken after finding out that her ex was newly engaged and she was alone. After some gentle engagement from her granny, Nanny B, she joins an online dating app where to meets Brody. After the perfect first date, she’s convinced she’s found the one until the app crashes and all the data is lost including Helen’s connection with Brody. Helen is determined to find Brody and have the second date. During this quest, Helen finds herself, looking up her grandmother’s long lost lover whilst meeting a historian blogger called Ish.

I loved this story and I adored Helen. She’s a romantic and wants to find the one. A bakery blogger, she’s trying to build her platform and audience but it’s taking longer than she hope on She’s kind and thinks that after finding Brody and his sweet words that he could be her forever. But, when she doesn’t hear from him with the help of her two best friend Sophie and Elle and then Ish, a quirky historian befriends her and joins her on her quest.

This story is a fantastic love story that drifts between the bustling streets of London and the beaches of Cornwall. The cast of characters are a great mix of personalities, the fieriness of Elle, the sharp wit of Nanny G, along with the quirky kindness of Ish. Sweetly written, ‘The First Last Date’ is a story of hope, adventure and new beginnings.

You can pre-order ‘The Last First Date’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops from 12th August 2022.

The Party House By Lin Anderson

The Party House‘The Party House’ is the latest book by Lin Anderson.

The village of Blackrig in the Scottish Highlands was shocked when seventeen-year-old Ailsa Cummings went missing five years ago. While a recent pandemic has stirred up old tensions and sparked an animosity in the small community towards outsiders. Angry that the local estate is to reopen its luxury ‘party house’ to tourists results in an angry mob causing damage to the property’s hot tub, only to unearth the buried body of the missing girl in its foundations. The discovery ignites old suspicions among the villagers, especially the men, who’d known Ailsa. Men like Greg, who has invited Joanne to stay with him having met her on a recent business trip in London. When questioned about the girl, he angrily refuses to discuss the case. Joanne, disturbed by his reaction, questions how well she knows this new man in her life. Then again, he’s not the only one with secrets in their volatile relationship. When a police team arrives to excavate the remains, they find a close-knit community who would prefer the past to stay buried.

The first book that I’ve read by Scottish author and this story set just after the pandemic makes for additive and intense reading.

The story is seen though the perspective of Greg and Joanne. New lovers, Joanne decides to visit the small village that Greg lives in, just as a body of a young woman is found in the estate that Greg is the groundskeeper of which has come to to be known as ‘The Party House’ As the small village recovers from the pandemic and reopens to the swarm of police, media and tourists. They are still reeling from the deaths during the pandemic when they were safe but out of towners brought the virus in so they are distrust and are wary of newcomers.

Joanne has come to the village under the guise of a writer but really she’s writing an article about the girl who disappeared five years ago only to be found dead and Greg is trying to keep his head together as the guests from five years when the woman went missing. As history and secrets are revealed, both Joanne and Greg find themselves discovering and hiding lies, all whilst ruining from their past.

This story is a suspenseful one, set in a small claustrophobic village where everyone knows everyone’s business and tourists are not welcome. The story is cleverly crafted, riddled with drama, it’s also packed with Scottish history and culture that was really insightful. Joanne and Greg are interesting couple, the chemistry between them is obvious and makes for thrilling as they get to know each other and deal with with small village drama and dynamics.

A story of mystery, secrets and suspense, ‘The Party House’ is a compelling Scottish thriller.
You can buy ‘The Party House’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

We Were Never Here By Andrea Bartz

We Were Never Here‘We Were Never Here’ is the latest book by Andrea Bartz.

It was meant to be the holiday of a lifetime. Until Emily found their hotel suite covered in blood. Her friend Kristen claims a backpacker attacked her . . . she had no option but to kill him. And with no evidence of the assault, Emily must help her hide the body. But back home, as the walls close in around the events of that night, Emily is forced to ask herself: Can her closest friend be trusted?

There’s no surprise that ‘We Were Never Here’ has been chosen for Reese Witherspoon’s book club and is now being adapted as a Netflix movie, this book is addictive with a capital A.

The story is seen through the narrative of Emily, who’s best friends with Kristen. They take themselves away to Chile on an adventure, only for tragedy to strike and Emily to come back a nervous wreck and fearing that the body that herself and Kristen buried will be discovered. Now settled back in Milwaukee and starting a new relationship with Aaron, Emily can relax until Kristen comes back from Australia for a surprise visit and Emily finds herself wondering if she really truly knows her best friend.

This story is dark, gritty and really gets under your skin. Right from the offset, we see that this isn’t a normal friendship. Kristen is the leader and Emily follows and the story is incredibly claustrophobic as Emily looks for space to start her new relationship but Kristen is there at every turn.

The toxicity of the friendship drips from the pages as Emily tries to distance herself from Kristen but the more she tries, the more Kristen tangles herself into Emily’s life.

An immersive and original story that was impossible to put down. ‘We Were Never Seen’, is an intense psychological thriller about obsession, deceit and manipulation and delves into intense female friendships and false memories. With suspense building with every page and twists that left me reeling, this book is an cinematic experience and it’s not even hit the screens yet!

You can buy ‘We Were Never Here’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

The Weekend Before The Wedding By Tracy Bloom

The Weekend Before The Wedding‘The Weekend Before The Wedding’ is the latest book by Tracy Bloom.

All Shelley wanted on her hen weekend was to enjoy three days of sun, sea and sangria. But instead of being surrounded by the A-team of her closest friends, she somehow ends up with a Golden Girls-meets-the-Spice Girls B-list that includes her mother, a rebellious teenager, and a best mate ‘on the verge’. The squabbling starts at the airport, and on arrival in Spain, Shelley barely has time to unpack her suitcase before getting an unwanted text ̶ one that throws her wedding into doubt. Shelley has got a BIG decision to make, but her unruly medley of nearest and dearest seem determined to confuse matters with their own problems. Have they got what it takes to get her through the most important weekend of her life?

‘The Weekend Before The Wedding’ was the perfect book to get absorbed in, particularly during this beautifully sunny weather.

The story is written in the past and present tense leading up to the eventual wedding of Shelley. An older bride, her mother Peggy is relieved that’s she finally off the shelf and found herself a husband. To celebrate her nuptials, her friends whisk her away to the Spanish island of Andelica and there she has the unforgettable weekend ever, filled with mishaps, drama and plenty of laughs along the way.

I loved this story, the characters were such a magical and eclectic mix of personalities that made for such enjoyable reading. I loved Shelley, the older bride who’s always wanted to find the one but thought her day would never come. She’s quiet and thoughtful, unlike her outspoken and crabby mother Peggy, who’s not one for heart to hearts. Shelley is engaged to Colin, a bumbling idiot of a character that has stolen Shelley’s heart, he comes from a wealthy family and Shelley can’t believe her luck that he wants to spend his life with her.

Becca, Shelley’s best friend is looking to party and not have to look after her twin babies. Shelley’s aunt, Nancy is a fantastic woman, the older sister to Peggy, she’s wise and fun and never shies away from banging into people with her mobility scooter, her daughter Rosalind is more set in her ways, more conservative whilst Chloe, her teenage daughter who’s doing everything in her power to annoy her mother with her outspoken ways and drama. This perfect mix of women really made the book a wonderful story to get absorbed in and I really found myself warming to them as they wanted Shelley’s hen to be best time ever for her, but in doing so, they had to face dramas and conflicts but this only made the unique bunch even closer.

The past tense reflects on the dramatic hen weekend whilst the present tense, is Shelley’s wedding day and is a nostalgic journey down memory lane as the women reflect on the weekend away.

A story of new friendships and finding love no matter your age, ‘The Weekend Before The Wedding’ is a heartwarming and fun story that will have you smiling throughout.

You can buy ‘The Weekend Before The Wedding’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

The Choice By Penny Hancock

The Choice‘The Choice’ is the latest book by Penny Hancock.

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 things aren’t always as they seem on the surface, as Renee is all too aware. And when Xavier vanishes after she fails to pick him up from school one day, the repercussions are manifold. Renee is wracked with remorse; her daughter Mia can’t forgive her, the local community question her priorities and her clients abandon her. But as long-held family secrets threaten to tear her world apart once and for all, those same secrets might also hold hope for the future—because it’s not always the secret itself that has the power to destroy, sometimes it’s the act of keeping of it.

If you enjoy stories of family conflict, then ‘The Choice’ is the just hard hitting drama for you.

Renee has had a difficult life, estranged from her middle daughter and struggling to adapt to her husband Tobias since his stroke, she wishes her family was much more straight forward. The irony is that she’s a family therapist, helping others whilst her own family is falling apart. Her eldest daughter is strong willed and doesn’t want to have anything to do with her younger sister, Irena who hurt their youngest brother for life with an accident. But one day, distracted by life Renee forgets she has to pick up her grandson and this opens a world of new wounds that she fears will never be healed.

This story is an emotional and turbulent one that really made me sympathise with Renee, her life is far from easy, with a demanding husband and daughter, an estranged daughter and her mother is battling dementia and is obsessed with the state of her daughter’s hair.
The different narratives from Renee and Irena made for interesting reading. I really warmed to Irena, from Renee’s perspective you’re lead to believe that Irena is the bad guy, refusing to reconnect with her family. But, once you read her perspective, you realise that she’s a lovely, warm perspective person who’s been severely wronged by her family.

A story of reconciliation and heartbreak, ‘The Choice’ is a tender and insightful exploration into family conflict and dynamics and the hardship that’s encountered when forced to take sides.

You can buy ‘The Choice’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.