Claire loves to read!

I'm Claire and I'm a voracious reader. I've loved books all my life and am lucky enough to have lots of time to devote to my favourite hobby - reading!


My favourite genres are crime, police procedural, psychological thriller, suspense, horror, mystery and paranormal; throw in a hint of romance and it'll tick another box. The type of genres I read has been widened considerably by accepting review requests from authors and publishers, so I'm happy to give almost anything a go!   2016 NetGalley Challenge 
      Reviews Published    2015 Challenge Participant


Review: Blood Lines (Detective Kim Stone #5) by Angela Marsons

Blood Lines: An absolutely gripping thriller that will have you hooked (Detective Kim Stone crime thriller series Book 5) - Angela Marsons

Published by: Bookouture (4 November 2016)


ISBN: 978-1786810991


Source: NetGalley


Rating: 4*



A victim killed with a single, precise stab to the heart appears at first glance to be a robbery gone wrong. A caring mother and social worker lost to a senseless act of violence. But for Detective Kim Stone, something doesn’t add up.

When a local drug addict is found murdered with an identical wound, Kim knows instinctively that she is dealing with the same killer. But with nothing to link the two victims except the cold, calculated nature of their death, this could be her most difficult case yet.

Desperate to catch the twisted individual, Kim’s focus on the case is threatened when she receives a chilling letter from Dr Alex Thorne, the sociopath who Kim put behind bars. And this time, Alex is determined to hit where it hurts most, bringing Kim face-to-face with the woman responsible for the death of Kim’s little brother – her own mother.

As the body count increases, Kim and her team unravel a web of dark secrets, bringing them closer to the killer. But one of their own could be in mortal danger. Only this time, Kim might not be strong enough to save them…



As a fan of Angela Marsons' previous novels featuring Detective Kim Stone, I was eagerly awaiting this latest publication, her second to feature Kim's nemesis, the evil Dr Alex Thorne. I was expecting high drama, emotionally charged scenes and a compelling plot...


It took me far longer to read Blood Lines than anticipated, purely because I wasn't plagued by my usual insomnia, so I read until I fell asleep every night, until I dropped my kindle and it hit me in the face or dropped onto the floor! The plot is enticing, it grabs you from the outset and winds itself around you, nudging at you to peek at the horrors within.


Kim is one of my favourite police characters; although she's sarcastic and a bit ferocious on the outside it's all a bit of a front to protect that vulnerable damaged part of her that she's so desperate to keep inside. I think we can all identify with that to a certain extent. I'd like to get to know more about Kim's team members; maybe that'll come in time. One thing I found annoying, and that stopped my flow of reading, was the phonetic spelling of Stacey's accent. Whenever I got to one of those words, I stopped and (unsuccessfully) tried to work out how to pronounce the word. I'm still none the wiser! When I read a book, if I know a character is from a particular place or has a certain accent, when I imagine them speaking, they automatically have that accent. Maybe other readers find it useful but I found it more of a hindrance, to be honest.


Having said that, I did really enjoy this book. The end few chapters felt a little rushed, as though nothing much happened for a while and then all of a sudden there was a buzz of activity and everything happened at once. But I guess the end of a case can be like that when everything falls into place.

Special thanks to Angela Marsons, Bookouture and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC in return for my honest review.

Review: Caribbean Vegan by Taymer Mason

Caribbean Vegan: Meat-Free, Egg-Free, Dairy-Free, Authentic Island Cuisine for Every Occasion - Taymer Mason

Published by: The Experiment (13 January 2017)


ISBN: 978-1615193608


Source: NetGalley


Rating: 4*



There's so much more to Caribbean cuisine than pineapples and coconuts. The real secret is in the herbs and spices: With the right sauce or seasoning blend, everyday ingredients transform into unforgettable Caribbean delights. Taymer Mason welcomes vegan home cooks to this rich tradition that combines African, French, Asian, and Indian influences with an unmistakable local flair. Covering a remarkable variety of tropical flavours and ingredients, Caribbean Vegan serves up 175 recipes--for every meal--that will spice up your diet like no other cookbook.



I'm always looking to try different meals and really liked the local food I tried on honeymoon in the Dominican Republic. Unfortunately, most of the catering in the hotel was towards the American/British diet but this book has given me the opportunity to try lots more delicious Caribbean food. Most of the ingredients were quite easy to source either in a supermarket, online or in a health food store, but it does seem to be aimed more towards the U.S. market than U.K.

There are options for every meal time, which is great if you want to try something a little different. The recipes are easy to follow and the author is clearly passionate about this type of food. Having the recipes for the seasonings at the beginning is brilliant, as they can be prepared in advance, thus avoiding being held up/loss of mess in the middle of a recipe. My only criticism is that more pictures would've been useful, if only to know if what I was doing looked right! Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with a review copy in return for my honest opinion.

Review: Cooking with Coconut by Ramin Ganeshram

Cooking with Coconut: 125 Recipes for Healthy Eating; Delicious Uses for Every Form: Oil, Flour, Water, Milk, Cream, Sugar, Dried & Shredded - Ramin Ganeshram

Published by: Storey Publishing (13 January 2017)


  • ISBN-13: 978-1612126463


Source: NetGalley


Rating: 4*



Coconut is healthy and delicious. It is also native to cuisines around the world, including Thai, Indian, Filipino, Vietnamese, and many Caribbean cultures. Cooking with Coconut offers a tantalising taste of this tropical superfood's culinary diversity, with 133 original recipes using coconut in all its forms. Options span the menu, from breakfast dishes like Savory Coconut Crepes to dinner and dessert dishes like Asparagus with Shallots and Shredded Coconut, Coconut Pork Kabobs, and Coconut Rum Creme Brulee. Ramin Ganeshram, an award-winning food journalist, dishes up everything home cooks and health-conscious eaters need to know to fully enjoy this delectable powerhouse!



I simply adore coconut and already use coconut oil, sugar, milk, flour, water and desiccated and shredded coconut in a few recipes. With this book, I now have a lot more recipes at hand so I can include this gorgeous fruit at every meal time! Okay, I may be getting a bit carried away, but I'm sure you get the picture. The recipes I've tried have been easy to follow, they aren't too difficult, nor do they have you juggling all manner of pots and pans at the same time as trying to keep track of dozens of ingredients. Coconut need this book!

Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for providing a review copy in return for my honest opinion.

Review: Blink by K. L. Slater

Blink - K. Slater

Published by: Bookouture (16 February 2017)


ISBN-13: 978-1786811295


Source: NetGalley


Rating: 4*



Three years ago, Toni’s five-year-old daughter Evie disappeared after leaving school. The police have never been able to find her. There were no witnesses, no CCTV, no trace. 

But Toni believes her daughter is alive. And as she begins to silently piece together her memories, the full story of the past begins to reveal itself, and a devastating truth.

Toni’s mind is trapped in a world of silence, her only chance to save herself is to manage the impossible. She must find a way to make herself heard. She must find her daughter. 



We're given a lot of information about the main characters in this book, so we get to learn a fair bit about Toni and little Evie, and their life together before Evie's disappearance. I really like it when authors give more background on characters as it makes me feel I know them a bit more, like friends, maybe; or neighbours. Perhaps this is why I felt so invested in Toni - I was rooting for her from the beginning. I got exasperated alongside her and anxious about her, as well as silently (I read quite a lot of this book in a public place!) willing her do/not do certain things! All the characters here are believable and very well written.


As with the author's previous book, Safe With Me, the narrative switches between the present time and a point in the past. In this book, however, I think it comes across almost seamlessly; much improved since the author's debut novel. The point in the past is the time of Evie's disappearance, upon which the tension builds and builds like a pressure cooker.


I was so shocked by the killer twist, which I definitely didn't see coming! To say any more would give the game away,! I found this book compelling in places would recommend it to fans of psychological thrillers.

Thanks to K. L. Slater, Bookouture and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC in return for my honest review. 

Saving Sophie by Sam Carrington

Saving Sophie: A gripping psychological thriller with a brilliant twist - Sam Carrington

Saving Sophie is Sam Carrington's debut psychological thriller, and has been attracting a fair bit of chatter on social media, in addition to some glowing reviews. This prompted me to purchase a copy and pop along to her first ever book signing at Waterstones in Newton Abbot!


Published by: Avon (15 December 2016)


ISBN: 978-0008191818


Rating: 5*



When Karen Finch’s seventeen-year-old daughter Sophie arrives home after a night out, drunk and accompanied by police officers, no one is smiling the morning after. But Sophie remembers nothing about how she got into such a state.

Twelve hours later, Sophie’s friend Amy has still not returned home. Then the body of a young woman is found.

Karen is sure that Sophie knows more than she is letting on. But Karen has her own demons to fight. She struggles to go beyond her own door without a panic attack.

As she becomes convinced that Sophie is not only involved but also in danger, Karen must confront her own anxieties to stop whoever killed one young girl moving on to another – Sophie.



The events that occur after teenager Sophie arrives home are narrated in turn from the perspectives of Karen Finch, Sophie's mum; Detective Inspector Wade, lead investigator; and Sophie herself. This means there is a wonderfully rich blend of information and opinion.

From the time that Sophie was escorted home by the police officers, it was pretty clear to me that something petty serious had happened, and I was hooked. I couldn't put the book down as I was desperate to find out what had happened that night. With each chapter, more is revealed about the narrator too. The story takes shape as Sam Carrington's captivating writing style reveals secrets, as twists and turns are deftly woven in and the reader is pulled in too.

Sophie has a pretty dysfunctional relationship with her mother, but it's hardly surprising as Karen has so many issues herself. Although I initially felt empathy for Karen, after a while I became a little annoyed with her; her daughter is very likely in danger and she seems more concerned about other things! Karen's husband, Mike, doesn't score highly on the parenting scale either. In a book, I do enjoy the characters that irritate me, that really get under my skin. They are much better that the too-nice characters that are just too eager to please. Give me a bad guy, as in genuinely bad, any day! 

I really like the way the story builds with each chapter, adding in more twists, until nobody knows who to trust. Then, Sam Carrington pulls it out of the bag  -  an unforseen final twist! I gave an audible gasp! It would've been much louder and followed by 'Nooooooooooooo!' but it was 4a.m. and I didn't want to wake:

1 - the man that was snoring beside me.

2 - the dog that was asleep on my feet, snoring contentedly.

I'm happy to report that Sam Carrington is busy with her second novel, which I'll definitely be purchasing when it arrives in all good book stores.


Review: A Stranger's House (London& Cambridge Mysteries #2) by Clare Chase

A Stranger's House - Clare Chase

Published by:  Choc Lit (7 February 2017 - paperback)


ISBN: 978-1781893470


Source: NetGalley


Rating: 5*



When Ruby finds out that her partner has done the unforgivable, she has no option but to move out of their home. With nowhere else to go, a job house-sitting in Cambridge seems like the perfect solution.

But it's soon clear the absent owner hurts everyone he gets close to, and Ruby's faced with the fallout. As violent repercussions unfold, her instinct is to investigate: it's a matter of self-preservation. And besides, she's curious...

But Ruby's new boss, Nate Bastable, has his eye on her and seems determined to put a stop to her sleuthing. Is he simply worried for the welfare of a member of staff, or is there something altogether more complicated and potentially dangerous at play?



Clare Chase really impressed me with her first London & Cambridge Mystery, You Think You Know Me, and the author's skill at weaving together intricate levels of intrigue and romance are displayed brilliantly again here. With a solid plot and marvellous characters, A Stranger's House is a fantastic read that is hard to put down!

Ruby is the perfect mix of feisty and vulnerable, and a great amateur sleuth to boot! She's so well written, as are all the other characters, they spring to life from the pages. Village life is described in idyllic detail too, I could just imagine myself sitting in the pub garden facing the river.

Thanks to Clare Chase, Choc Lit and NetGalley for providing an ARC in return for my honest review. The third book in the series, One Dark Lie, is out now. I, for one, will be grabbing a copy!

Review: Little Girl Lost (Detective Robyn Carter #1) by Carol E. Wyer

Little Girl Lost: A gripping thriller that will have you hooked (Detective Robyn Carter crime thriller series Book 1) - Carol E. Wyer

Published by: Bookouture (19 January 2017)




Source: NetGalley


Rating: 4*



Abigail lives the perfect life with her doting husband and adorable baby Izzy. But someone knows a secret about Abigail and they want the truth to be told.

When Izzy is snatched from a carpark, it becomes as case for Detective Robyn Carter. Someone has been sending threatening messages to Abigail from an anonymous number. What is Abigail hiding?

Robyn’s instincts tell her there’s a connection between Izzy’s abduction and two murders she is investigating. But the last time she acted on impulse her fiancé was killed. To break this case and earn her place back on the force, she must learn to trust herself again – and fast. Robyn is on the hunt for a ruthless serial killer. And unless she gets to the twisted individual in time a little girl will die ….



This story is told from the perspectives of three different people; Robyn, who is working as a private detective whilst taking a break from regular police work; Abigail, who is clearly hiding something; and eight year old Alice, whose story begins in the past. There are other central characters that add rich layers to this darkly compulsive, well written tale. 


Robyn isn't one of those characters I warmed to immediately, but more of a slow burner. By the end of the novel, I found I'd grown to like her. Setting her interact with people outside work, particularly her cousin Ross and her fiancé's daughter and ex made her seem so much more human. I'm really looking forward to catching up with Robyn on her next case. Thanks to the author, publisher and NetGalley for the ARC.

Review: The Christmas Party by Carole Matthews

The Christmas Party - Carole Matthews

Published by: Sphere (23 October 2014)


ISBN: 978-0751552164


Rating: 4*



Louise Young is a devoted single mother whose only priority is providing for her daughter, Mia. Louise has a good job in a huge international corporation and she's grateful for it. The only problem is her boss who can't keep his hands to himself, but Louise can handle him. What she really doesn't have time for is romance - until she meets the company's rising star, Josh Wallace.

Louise usually says no to evenings out but she's decided to let her hair down tonight. It's the office Christmas party, she has a pretty dress to wear and she's looking forward to some champagne and fun. She's completely unaware that others around her are too busy playing dangerous games to enjoy the party - until she's pulled into those games herself . . .



I spotted this book in a charity shop and thought it looked a fun festive read. My mum was in hospital just before Xmas, so I took it in to cheer her up and give her something to do. By the time she came home 3 days later, not only had she read it, but the lady in the next bed had read it too! 

Louise is a well written, believable character who I warmed to straight away. She seems like the kind of girl I'd probably be friends with, or at least say hello to at work. Some of the supporting characters are just great. The author has a way of writing that makes them come to life in your imagination and leap from the page. The description is fantastic! Not as predictable as I'd first thought and definitely more entertaining!

This is a laugh out loud riotous romp of a festive frolic! Just when I thought things couldn't get any funnier, more hilarity ensues. Brilliant! 

Review: Wool (Wool trilogy #1) by Hugh Howey

Wool Omnibus (Silo, #1, Wool, #1-5) - Hugh Howey

Published by: Arrow (25 April 2013)


ISBN: 978-0099580485


Rating: 3*



In a ruined and hostile landscape, in a future few have been unlucky enough to survive, a community exists in a giant underground silo.

Inside, men and women live an enclosed life full of rules and regulations, of secrets and lies.

To live, you must follow the rules. But some don't. These are the dangerous ones; these are the people who dare to hope and dream, and who infect others with their optimism.

Their punishment is simple and deadly. They are allowed outside.

Jules is one of these people. She may well be the last.



This first book in the Wool trilogy has very good reviews and a little quote on the front cover proclaiming it to be "the next Hunger Games", so my expectations were high as I delved into this gift from my hubby (on our wool anniversary!).


Initially I found it quite tough to get into and ended up abandoning it and restarting a few times before persevering and getting past the first few chapters. After that, I found it hard to put down! Once Jules appeared on the scene it became much more appealing, more interesting somehow and seemed much more animated.


Some of the points in the book didn't quite add up. It seemed to take an awfully long time to get between the lower and upper floors. I realise everyone would've needed to walk as there was no lift facility, but it seems excessive. 


Having said that, I really liked most of the characters, especially Lukas, Jules and Solo. For me, these guys really made the book. I'm looking forward to reading the next book in the series, Shift.

Reading progress update: I've read 293 out of 542 pages.

Wool Omnibus (Silo, #1, Wool, #1-5) - Hugh Howey

Review: Miss Wrong and Mr Right by Robert Bryndza

Miss Wrong and Mr Right - Robert Bryndza

Published by: Bookouture (15 December 2016) 


ISBN: 978-1786811080


Source: NetGalley


Rating: 4.5*



Natalie Love has worked hard to have it all. She runs a successful London theatre that's about to host one of Hollywood's leading stars, Ryan Harrison. She’s pretty sure she’s found her man in yoga boyfriend Benjamin, despite his annoying habit of saying Namaste! every time he speaks. And her eccentric, glamorous Gran is always on hand to offer sage advice and steaming bowls of goulash. Life in the bright lights of London has always been Natalie's escape from her chaotic country family in rural Devon and Jamie, the childhood sweetheart she left at the altar fifteen years ago. Until he turns up at her theatre door... Jamie is in town producing a West End show and with rivalry suddenly clouding old feelings, this isn’t quite the reunion Natalie was expecting. Will Benjamin prove to be Natalie’s perfect match? With Ryan turning her head, Natalie is more confused than ever. And what about Jamie – could he be her second chance at first love?



I'm a big fan of the author's crime series but have only just discovered his romcoms through finding this available on NetGalley. I don't generally read much chick-lit but do enjoy the odd bit of light relief from my regular crime/horror/psychological thriller type books every once in a while! 

The author has a great way of building characters that seem so real, and Natalie is no exception. I adore her Gran, she's an absolute delight! I like both Jamie and Ryan, can't choose between them. No wonder Natalie's so confused! 

There are some real laugh out loud moments here as well as some that will make you chuckle to yourself or even just smile. I know I'll be checking out Rob's other offerings in this genre to see what I've been missing out on! Thanks to Bookouture, NetGalley and the author for the ARC in return for my honest review.



Review: Dark Water (Detective Erika Foster #3) by Robert Bryndza

Dark Water - Robert Bryndza

Published by: Bookouture (17 October 2016)


ISBN: 978-1786810694


Source: NetGalley


Rating: 5*



When Detective Erika Foster receives a tip-off that key evidence for a major narcotics case was stashed in a disused quarry on the outskirts of London, she orders for it to be searched. From the thick sludge the drugs are recovered, but so is the skeleton of a young child.

The remains are quickly identified as seven-year-old Jessica Collins. The missing girl who made headline news twenty-six years ago.

As Erika tries to piece together new evidence with the old, she must dig deeper and find out more about the fractured Collins family and the original detective, Amanda Baker. A woman plagued by her failure to find Jessica. Erika soon realises this is going to be one of the most complex and demanding cases she has ever taken on.

Is the suspect someone close to home? Someone is keeping secrets. Someone who doesn’t want this case solved. And they’ll do anything to stop Erika from finding the truth.



When one of my favourite authors has a new book scheduled for release, I'm more excited than a kid in a candy store! So, I couldn't wait to get my hands on Detective Erika Foster's third outing, having been super impressed with books 1 and 2.

The action starts from the very first page, when we're drawn into the sinister goings on at the original crime scene, as the body of a young girl is dumped into the water. This scene was so well written, it really gave me the shivers!

Fast forward 26 years and Erika Foster wants to find out who killed Jessica Collins. That it's a tough cold case receiving media attention thrusts more focus onto Erika, piling on extra pressure. This story has so many twists and turns! The author is a masterful storyteller who is adept at leading you up the garden path and in the wrong direction! At one time or another I think I suspected almost everyone except Erika herself! 

I really enjoyed catching up with Foster's colleagues,  Peterson and Moss, again, and getting to know Erika a bit more. Her sister, Lenka also makes an appearance, together with her children.

The only downside was that I seemed to read this book far too quickly, as I read it in one sitting! I cannot wait to meet Erika Foster again; I hope it isn't too long. Thanks to Bookouture, NetGalley and the author for the ARC in return for my honest review.

Review: Safe With Me by K. L. Slater

Safe With Me: A psychological thriller so tense it will take your breath away - K. Slater

Published by: Bookouture (1 November 2016)


ISBN: 978-1786811066


Source: NetGalley


Rating: 3*




Anna lives a solitary existence, taking solace in order and routine. Her only friend is the lonely old lady next door. She doesn’t like to let people to get too close – she knows how much damage they can do.

Then one ordinary day Anna witnesses a devastating road accident and recognises the driver as Carla, the woman who ruined her life all those years ago. Now it’s Anna’s chance to set things straight but her revenge needs to be executed carefully …

First she needs to get to know Liam, the man injured in the accident. She needs to follow the police investigation. She needs to watch Carla from the shadows…

But as Anna’s obsession with Carla escalates, her own secrets start to unravel. Is Carla really dangerous or does Anna need to worry about someone far closer to home?

A compelling, gripping psychological thriller.



Despite liking the blurb on the back cover, I initially found this book quite hard to get into. I found the way the timeline kept shifting between the present time and the 'event' some years previously quite distracting. The timing in general seemed problematic too. Although Anna got up early for work, it quickly seemed to be the afternoon. There were also general inconsistencies and/or unexplained things occurring like the smell at Anna's - was it real or did she imagine it? There seemed to be various disappearing and reappearing cats!

This book definitely made me think.

The last third of the book was altogether more gripping, meaning I could even forget most of what had previously bothered me about the writing. Even though not all the questions were answered by the time the book concluded, it was a pretty good read. Thanks to Bookouture, NetGalley and the author for the ARC in return for my honest review.


Review: Love You to Death (DS Ruby Preston #1) by Caroline Mitchell

Love You to Death: An Absolutely Gripping Thriller With a Killer Twist (Detective Ruby Preston Crime Thriller Series Book 1) - Caroline Mitchell

Published by: Bookouture (13 November 2016)


ISBN: 978-1786810854


Source: NetGalley


Rating: 5*



Women who’ve had to give up children for adoption are being killed. A knock at their front door begins a nightmare from which they will never wake up.

Detective Ruby Preston and her team must hunt down a disturbed individual before someone else is taken. But just when they think they’ve made a breakthrough, Ruby receives a sinister email, and the case takes a terrifying personal twist.

When bodies start turning up, staged in perfect, domestic scenes, Ruby realises they’re chasing the most frightening serial killer she has ever faced.

Can Ruby catch the killer before they strike again? Or will her troubled past catch up with her first?



I'm a huge fan of the author's Detective Jennifer Knight series, and I'll admit I was a little surprised when I heard she was introducing a new character series.  I was expecting this book to be more or less the same as those in the Detective Knight series, but I couldn't have been more wrong! I absolutely love Ruby Preston! She's strong, feisty, with a personal interest in the case that she is determined to solve.

Her complicated relationship with ex Nathan is a highlight. Will her head rule her heart? The battle within her is brilliantly written, as are Ruby and Nathan as characters.

Protagonist Lucy is absolutely terrifying! I rarely get scared by anything I read but she gave me the shivers! Hats off to Caroline Mitchell for getting the detail in the characters just right. I really feel I got to know them and was watching the story unfold alongside them.

I struggle with insomnia, and actually read this from cover to cover in one sitting, completely oblivious to the outside world! I'm totally in awe of this author's massive talent and I'm so looking forward to DS Ruby Preston's next case.

Thanks to Bookouture, NetGalley and the author for the ARC in return for my honest review.

Review: Games People Play Owen Mullen

Games People Play:  A Gritty Gripping Scottish Crime Thriller (Charlie Cameron Series Book 1) - Owen Mullen

Self-published (15 February 2016)


ISBN: 978-1519126351


Source: Author provided review copy


Rating: 4*



On a warm summer’s evening thirteen month old Lily Hamilton is abducted from Ayr beach in Scotland, taken while her parents are yards away. Three days later, the distraught father turns up at Glasgow PI Charlie Cameron’s office and begs him to help. Mark Hamilton believes he knows who has stolen his daughter. And why. Against his better judgement Charlie gets involved in a case he would be better off without. But when a child’s body is discovered on Fenwick Moor, then another in St Andrews, the awful truth dawns: there is a serial killer out there whose work has gone undetected for decades. Baby Lily may be the latest victim of a madman. For Charlie it’s too late, he can’t let go. His demons won’t let him. The stunning first novel in a gripping mystery series. Games People Play will have you guessing to the very last line.



While I do read a lot of crime thrillers, they tend to mainly be police procedurals, so getting to know Charlie Cameron, P.I., was a real treat. He's a well written character who I warmed to from the beginning. He throws himself into the case like a man possessed, determined to find out what happened to Lily. The twisting tale that ensues is gripping. I found it really hard to put down, I was desperate to find out what had happened, so I read through the night until I reached the conclusion. I'm so pleased I got the chance to read a review copy of Games People Play and I can't wait to read the next book in the series.


Review: A Cornish Christmas by Lily Graham

A Cornish Christmas: A cosy Christmas romance to curl up with by the fire - Lily Graham

Published by: Bookouture (28 September 2016)


ISBN: 978-1786810755


Source: NetGalley


Rating: 3*



At last Ivy is looking forward to Christmas. She and her husband Stuart have moved to their perfect little cottage by the sea - a haven alongside the rugged cliffs that look out to the Atlantic Ocean. She’s pregnant with their much-longed for first baby and for the first time, since the death of her beloved mother, Ivy feels like things are going to be alright.

But there is trouble ahead. It soon emerges that Stuart has been keeping secrets from Ivy, and suddenly she misses her mum more than ever. 

When Ivy stumbles across a letter from her mother hidden in an old writing desk, secrets from the past come hurtling into the present. But could her mother’s words help Ivy in her time of need? Ivy is about to discover that the future is full of unexpected surprises and Christmas at Sea Cottage promises to be one to remember. 



With this book I was expecting a cosy, festive read with lots of detail about the gorgeous setting of Sea Cottage and the surrounding countryside and coast. What I actually got was something entirely different. This was originally entitled The Postcard, which is entirely more apt. Yes, the story takes place in Cornwall, and at Christmas, but neither of these have any great relevance on the main point of the story. It could be set anywhere in the world and at any time of year! That said...I did find Stuart's jam making an amusing aside, and I found both Stuart and Ivy interesting, well written and believable characters.

I enjoyed some aspects of the story more than others and I felt the ending was a little rushed, but I would read another book by this author. Thanks to Bookouture, NetGalley and the author for an ARC in return for my honest review.

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