Skip to content

The Secret Keepers Daughter By Samantha King

The Secret Keepers Daughter’‘The Secret Keepers Daughter’ is the latest book by Samantha King.

Holly Mayhew has the perfect family set-up. But when her seven-year-old daughter, Marley, begins to act strangely, refusing to speak and rushing off to hide in her room, she knows something isn’t right. Desperate to understand why Marley has become so withdrawn, Holly creates a worry box, where Marley posts her thoughts each day. At first, the messages seem innocent. But when Holly finds a note saying secrets make me sad, she begins to question everyone entrusted with her care. Including her family.

I’m a bit late to the tour but for the last couple of days, I had my head stuck in this book.

The story is written in the past and present through the narrative of Holly, who’s little girl was withdrawn into herself and is leaving little notes giving Holly an insight into her fears. Holly is trying to deal with a new baby, a husband who’s never around whilst she’s dealing with a turbulent relationship with Amy. A woman who was brought into Holly’s life as a young girl and Holly was forced to adjust from being an only child to having someone disrupt your life at every turn.

I particularly loved the narrative from the past tense as it really gave an insight into Holly’s past and how Amy is introduced into her life. She’s brought to live with Holly’s family as her parents are friends with Holly’s and when her parents move to Paris for work. Her relationship with Holly is upsetting, she hurts her, lies and gets Holly into trouble, whilst Holly’s father fails to believe that Amy would do bad things. But as they grow older, they have a love hate relationship but are there for each other when things are tough they are there for each other.

Holly has a heart condition and because of this, she’s constantly wrapped up in cotton wool with her family tip toeing around her much to her frustration. As the story unfolds, we read new secrets and lies that we’re hidden from her and how her relationship is with her family was far from perfect.

The story is cleverly crafted with characters are both relatable and unlikable. Amy is a bit of toxic character, who’s jealousy toward sweet Holly is prevalent and even as older women, there’s an obvious rift between the pair.

A compelling and observational story about the dynamics of family relationships and the innocence of a child’s mind. ‘The Secret Keeper’s Daughter’ is a great read.

You can buy ‘The Secret Keepers Daughter’ from Amazon

A Mother Never Lies By Sarah Clarke

A Mother Never Lies‘A Mother Never Lies’ is the latest book by Sarah Clarke.

I had the perfect life – a nice house, a loving husband, a beautiful little boy. But in one devastating night, they were all ripped from me. It’s been fourteen years, and I’m finally ready to face the past. I’m taking my son back. He just can’t know who I am…or why we were torn apart.

I started this book one evening and once I started, it was difficult to put it down.

The story is seen through the narrative of mother and son Phoebe and Charlie. Phoebe had to give up Charlie for adoption but she’s never given up on him and now 18 years later, she’s hoping to reunite with him. Charlie who’s now called Ben is unaware of the strange woman who rescued him from almost being beaten up.

The flawed characters in this story make for fascinating reading. The story is written in past and present tense and it’s obvious that Phoebe once was happily married but her world fell apart and she’s now paying the price. Leaving with her parents, her alcoholic disillusioned mother who’s quite a sweet character. Ben has anger issues but sees something in Phoebe who is known as Fiona.

As the story flows between the various years, it gives a real insight into the type of person Phoebe was, carefree, happy and in love. The aftermath of that tragic night, has left her scared, unsettled and longing for a better life and to get her family back.

From the first page it’s obvious that something terrible has happened and Sarah has cleverly created a story that is filled with tension and intrigue as we delve into Phoebe’s life. Phoebe is a sympathetic character that we can relate to, she’s the underdog of the story that we all champion for a better life.

A tense and atmospheric domestic noir with short and snappy chapters that made for gripping reading, ‘A Mother Never Lies’ is a complex drama about the strength of a mothers love.

You can buy ‘A Mother Never Lies’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Pug Actually By Matt Dunn

Pug Actually‘Pug Actually’ is the latest book by Matt Dunn.

Loyal rescue pug Doug wants his adoring owner Julie to find unconditional love and happiness – and he knows she won’t find either in the arms of Luke, her married boss. Doug is terrified that Julie will become a lonely cat-lover if she stays single too long, but he can’t let her fall for any more of Luke’s empty promises. Julie needs to move on – and Doug is convinced that Tom, a newly divorced V-E-T, is perfect for her (despite his questionable occupation). There’s just one problem: Julie and Tom can’t stand each other. Doug doesn’t quite understand the quirks and complexities of human relationships, but he won’t let that get in the way of his mission to bring Tom and Julie together. After all, being a ‘rescue’ works both ways.

It’s been a while since I’ve had the delight of reading a book by Matt Dunn. So when I was offered a chance to read his latest book, I jumped at the chance.

The story is seen solely through the narrative of Doug, a rescued Pug who has a good instinct and sense of smell. He loves his owner Julie and dislikes her boyfriend, a married man called Luke who’s just stringing Julie along and when they finally break up. Doug is delighted as this is the perfect time for Julie to find someone else and uses his match making skills to pair Julie up with a man called Tom and even though he’s a V-E-T, Doug thinks they’re perfect for each other.

I adored this book, it’s a cute and quirky love story that instantly brought a smile to my face. Having the narrative seen through the eyes of a Pug made for adorable reading as we saw the world through this tiny dogs’ eyes and how he wanted to put his owners world to right. He’s witty, fun and always up for a walk even when his little legs are tired. I loved how he saw the goodness in Tom and confronted his fear of the vets as well as getting himself attacked purely for Julie to spend some time with Tom.

I liked Julie, she lacked confidence and didn’t see herself worthy of love or full time relationships and was content with the short morsels that Luke threw at, she finds solace in drink and it was lovely to see her grow in confidence and begin to warm to Tom. Luke was extremely dislikable and I loved Doug’s interactions with Luke as their dislike was evident from the very start. The story doesn’t just focus on Julie’s relationships but also her dad’s, who’s also still grieving the wife he lost many years ago.

It was lovely to sink back in a book by Matt as his books always bring a smile to my face and they are so cleverly written. upbeat story about love, moody cats and a kind Pug called Doug, ‘Pug Actually’ is a pawsome story that was deliciously fun and filled with warmth and wit.

You can buy ‘Pug Actually’ from Amazon.

Spring Tides at Swallowtail Bay By Katie Ginger

Spring Tides at Swallowtail Bay‘Spring Tides at Swallowtail Bay’ is the first book in a new series by Katie Ginger called ‘Swallowtail Bay’.

Licking her wounds from her divorce, Stella impulsively buys a gift shop and two holiday lets in glorious Swallowtail Bay, hoping for a fresh start with her King Charles Spaniel Frank. When the neighbours meet her with a warm welcome, Stella knows she’s found the new home she was looking for. Even gorgeous but grumpy local Miles can’t take the shine off things. But then her ex-husband announces he’s getting married again, and someone in the village starts gossiping about Stella… Is Stella’s dream over already? Or, with her new friends behind her, can Stella fight back and save her new life – and find the happy ever after she’s been waiting for?

This book is a heartwarming introduction to a new series packed with loveable characters against the backdrop of a sleepy town, it was charming from start to finish.

The story is primarily seen through the narrative of newcomer to Swallowtail Bay, Stella as she waves goodbye to the bustling city of Oxford and prepares for single life in a strange town with a new business under her belt. Thankfully support comes in the form of Lexi, who helps Stella fit into the new community but is also a shoulder to cry on when Stella’s ex husband announces his new marriage.

From the outset, this is a charming tale that can easily be absorbed in one sitting. Fun and heartwarming, it’s hard not to connect with the relatable characters and their situations that make for interesting reading. I love Stella, she’s fun, creative and it’s lovely to watch her blossom throughout the story particularly when she catches the eye of Miles, who adds an injection of charm to the story. Lexi is also a great character as she battles being a single parent with two boisterous children, she made me giggle at times with her wit.

A beautiful story that will leave you grinning from ear to ear, ‘Spring Tides at Swallowtail Bay’ is the perfect laugh out loud comedy to curl up with in a world of current doom and gloom.

You can buy ‘Spring Tides at Swallowtail Bay’ from Amazon and will be avaialble to buy from good bookshops from 14th May 2020.

A Fatal Secret By Faith Martin

A Fatal Secret‘A Fatal Secret’ is the fourth book in Ryder and Loveday series by Faith Martin.

A family day out at Briar’s Hall ends in tragedy when a young boy goes missing – and his body is found at the bottom of a disused well in the orchard. It looks like a simple case of an eleven-year-old exploring where he shouldn’t: a tragic accident. But Coroner Clement Ryder and Probationary WPC Trudy Loveday aren’t convinced. If Eddie had been climbing and fallen, why were there no cuts or dirt on his hands? Why would a boy terrified of heights be around a well at all? Clement and Trudy are determined to get to the truth, but the more they dig into Briar’s Hall and the mysterious de Lacey family who live there, the murkier things become. Could it be that poor Eddie’s death was murder? There are rumours of blackmail in the village, and Clement and Trudy have a horrible feeling that Eddie stumbled on a secret that someone was willing to kill for…

Even though this is the fourth book in the series, it was the first one for me and I found it to be a highly enjoyable and suspenseful story.

Set in 1961 we follow Trudy Loveday and Clement Ryder as they investigate the death of a little boy that everyone thinks is an accident but they suspect murder. As they delve into the history of the de Lacey family, owners of the land that the little boy died in and as they delve into the past they’re uncover some secrets that people would like to remain hidden.

This is a real murder mystery that the reader can really sink their teeth into. The story is cleverly plotted with complex and suspicious characters that really makes for interesting reading. Set in the 1960’s, the story highlights the female officers were treated back then in regards to equality and respect. The relationship and friendship between Trudy and Clement is also quite interesting, only starting out in the police and with Clement being old, we see the difference in viewpoints from the generations and how the pair of them work together to solve the crime.

A short novel that can be gobbled in one sitting, this book was an engaging story from the beginning. With a great plot, complex characters and drama throughout, ‘A Fatal Secret’ is an addictive page turner of a crime novel.

You can buy ‘A Fatal Secret’ from Amazon.