Posted in Adult Fiction, Blog Tour

My second review of today is for the Diary of a Prison Officer by Josie Channer

As soon as I saw the blurb for this one, I knew it would appeal to me and I found this an educational and very interesting read.

My Review

The Diary of a Prison Officer is one of those books that once you pick it up you are pulled in and want to keep reading. I enjoyed the diary format and how you progressed through Amber’s career from when she started at HMP Holloway Prison and met a wonderful selection of people who became friends who she knew had her back when she needed it the most.

A story that is particularly poignant in the current climate and highlights many of the injustices as well as racial prejudices that have taken place throughout the history of both female and African/American prison officers. With HMP Holloway being the largest European Women’s Prison this story packs a real punch as you are reading, it makes you ponder what it means not to be a British White prison officer and what impact does this have on your career and potential. It makes you really stop and reflect as to what life is really like for both the prison officers and the inmates, it highlights the fragile relationships that exist and the destructive behaviours that often to lead to frequent reoffenders.

I like the reflection through Amber’s blog posts and her trip to Africa linking back to her ethnic roots as she meets with different tribes and learns more about the history of Africa. This is a passionate story full of hope and determination with descriptions that are vivid and realistic, pulling on Josie Channer’s experience working at HMP Holloway leaving little to the imagination. This all helps shape the story and increase the lasting effect the story will have on the reader.

A story that I found gritty and enlightening, it’s great to really sink your teeth into a story and with the diary layout I flew through this book and found it captivating from beginning to end.

Book Blurb

It’s 2003, Tony Blair is still Prime Minister and a shy loner from London, Amber Campbell, joins the prison service searching for purpose.

Behind the walls of the women’s prison Amber is determined to prove that she has what it takes. She makes a packed with two close friends to support each other no matter what. However, the three Black women struggle when they experience discrimination and disappointment at every turn. 

There is rising racial tension in her home town when twelve far right local councillors are elected. Amber reflects on the prison system in her blog and takes an emotional journey off the beaten track through Africa to find love.

Available to purchase here

Meet Josie Channer

Josie worked as a prison officer at Holloway Prison for many years and has a unique and specialist knowledge of how a prison is run. 


Josie likes writes about criminal justice system, politics, women’s issues and Black British history. Her work has been published with online political magazines a number of times. She is passionate about addressing the barriers that women of colour face.

You can find Josie on Twitter @JosieChanner

Many thanks to Rachel’s Random Resources for the invitation to jump on the blog tour and all the wonderful books you invite us to read.

Please remember to like and share to help spread the book love!

Thanks for visiting Love the Smell of a Book today and I hope you have a great day!

Kel x

Please note this post contains Amazon affiliate links, this does not affect the great price you pay for the book but enables me to earn a little extra to keep funding my blog and recommending great books!

Posted in 5*, Adult Fiction, Blog Tour, Chick Lit, Seasonal

Today I am so excited to share my 5* review for the wonderful Winter Wishes at Swallowtail Bay by Katie Ginger

Today it is my absolute pleasure to share my review for the final book in the Swallowtail Bay series by the lovely Katie Ginger.

My Review

What an absolute festive treat this book was, brimming with Christmas and romance, I didn’t want to put it down and just had to keep reading. Amazing descriptions of the Christmas market, describing sights and smells to bring it to life so it was a real assault on the senses and increased my excitement for Christmas with each chapter that I inhaled.

I loved Nell and her huge heart, she was so desperate to get everything right, she always put everyone ahead of herself. There was drama in relation to the wedding plans and the angst and frustration for the wedding was really well portrayed for all characters. The jitters were so realistic that I could feel my heart rate rising as I read in anticipation of the disaster that might follow. As I neared the end the emotions were building and I could feel myself welling up.

A story that I absolutely loved with links to characters we’ve previously met at this gorgeous seaside town. I will miss this series as I have loved each book and the individuality and the different characters we have met in Swallowtail Bay.

The whole series has featured vibrant character and memorable characters with real life issues and lots of delicious food with detailed descriptions for tastes and smell to leave out mouths watering.

A truly wonderful 5* read, such a heartwarming story oozing with Christmas and romance that totally swept me along.

Book Blurb

Grab your cosiest jumper and escape to the beautiful Swallowtail Bay!

Christmas and romance are in the air and Nell is obsessed! She can’t stop watching her favourite Christmas romcoms and dreaming of the day when she meets her own romantic hero, especially as she is hosting the first ever wedding at her small hotel, Holly Lodge.

Nell’s best friend, Tom, has been in love with her ever since they met. But Nell has never seen him that way, and he’s always kept his feelings a secret in case it ruins their friendship.

After the opening of the glamorous Langdon Mansion Hotel in the bay, Nell’s hotel is struggling for survival and she must fight, with Tom’s help, to keep Holly Lodge open. Can the magic of Christmas help two old friends save Holly Lodge and open Nell’s eyes to a love that was always there the whole time?

Winter Wishes at Swallowtail Bay is the hilarious new romantic comedy from Katie Ginger, perfect for fans of Cathy Bramley, Veronica Henry and Holly Martin!

Available to purchase here

Meet the Author

KATIE GINGER lives by the sea in the south-east of England, and apart from holidays to very hot places where you can sit by a pool and drink cocktails as big as your head, she wouldn’t really want to be anywhere else. Winter Wishes at Swallowtail Bay is her sixth novel. She is also the author of Spring Tides at Swallowtail Bay, Summer Strawberries at Swallowtail Bay, Snowflakes at Mistletoe Cottage and the Seafront series – The Little Theatre on the Seafront, shortlisted for the Katie Fforde Debut Novel of the Year award, and Summer Season on the Seafront.

When she’s not writing, Katie spends her time with her husband and two kids, and their dogs: Wotsit, the King Charles spaniel, and Skips, the three-legged Romanian rescue dog. (And yes, they are both named after crisps!)

For more about Katie, you can visit her website: www.keginger.com, find her on Facebook: www.facebook.com/KatieGAuthor, or follow her on Twitter: @KatieGAuthor.

Many thanks to Rachel’s Random Resources for the invitation to jump on the blog tour and all the wonderful books you invite us to read.

Please remember to like and share to help spread the book love!

Thanks for visiting Love the Smell of a Book today and I hope you have a great day!

Kel x

Please note this post contains Amazon affiliate links, this does not affect the great price you pay for the book but enables me to earn a little extra to keep funding my blog and recommending great books!