Posted in Adult Fiction, Blog Tour, Historical Fiction

Today I am sharing my review for the exceptional and heartbreaking – The Berlin Zookeeper by Anna Stuart

My Review

A superb book that I struggled to put down as I just wanted to keep reading. This story was historical fiction at its best, this is one of my favourite eras but this is the first book I’ve read where the story is based in Berlin and we see it from the perspective of the citizens of Berlin.

When we look back at World War II we rarely stop to think that many Germans who weren’t Jewish also didn’t agree with Hitler and just wanted the bombing and destruction of their wonderful city to stop.

Written on a dual timeline we meet Beth who is moving to Berlin to work in the zoo, she is keen to solve a puzzle from her mothers past and through this we get to visit the zoo and its keepers in Berlin at the height of the war.

A compelling read based on the history of the Berlin zoo, it grips you as you read about the poor living conditions for both the zoo keepers and the animals as they struggle to keep as many animals as possible alive. By the end of the war they were left with less than 100 animals due to the heavy fire that the zoo undertook. I have learnt so much about what the citizens of Berlin faced through the war torn years and how severe the punishments were if anyone spoke out against what was happening around them.

These wonderful characters will stay with me for a long time from across both timelines as well as the memories of the wonderful animals they lost and those they fought so hard to save from not only from the constant bombings but also the arrival of the Red Army.

A heartwrenching story that pulls you in and breaks your heart as you keep turning the pages.

Book Blurb

Two women. One shocking wartime secret. And a family mystery just waiting to be discovered…

Berlin Zoo, 1943:Ten-year-old Adelaide and her newborn sister are orphaned after a devastating night of bombing. Heartbroken and frightened, Adelaide runs to her mother’s closest friend, Katharina Heinroth, and the kind zookeeper takes the two little girls under her protection. As the bombing intensifies, Adelaide tries to shut out the horrors of war by caring for her tiny sister and playing with the adorable baby monkeys. But when Katharina organises a dangerous operation to enable children and animals to escape the battle-scarred city, something goes wrong. And Adelaide has to promise her adopted mother to keep a shocking secret. A secret that will change Adelaide’s life forever.

Berlin Zoo, 2019: Bethan Taylor notices the elderly lady sitting on the bench next to her seems confused, her thoughts flitting between past and present. Ada talks of her childhood, played out in an underground bunker beneath the animal enclosures during the war. As Ada’s story unfolds, Bethan is surprised to hear a name she recognises…

Katharina Heinroth is at the top of a list of German names Bethan found in a hidden compartment of her late mother’s jewellery box. Bethan’s father couldn’t tell her anything about the crumpled piece of paper and she’s been searching for the meaning ever since.

As the two women are brought together by the pain of the past can they help each other to heal? And after decades of silence, can Ada help Bethan to uncover a long-buried family mystery?

An unforgettable and heart-wrenching novel of a brave orphan girl and a shocking wartime secret. Inspired by a true WW2 story and perfect for fans of Orphan Train, The Tattooist of Auschwitz and The Alice Network.

Available to purchase here

Meet the Author


Anna Stuart lives in Derbyshire with her campervan-mad husband, two hungry teenagers and a slightly loopy dog. She was hooked on books from the moment she first opened one in her cot so is thrilled to now have several of her own to her name. Having studied English literature at Cambridge university, she took an enjoyable temporary trip into the ‘real world’ as a factory planner, before returning to her first love and becoming an author. History has also always fascinated her. Living in an old house with a stone fireplace, she often wonders who sat around it before her and is intrigued by how actively the past is woven into the present, something she likes to explore in her novels. Anna loves the way that writing lets her ‘try on’ so many different lives, but her favourite part of the job is undoubtedly hearing from readers.

Social Media Links

You can reach her on Facebook @annastuartauthor or Twitter @annastuartbooks.

Many thanks for the invitation to join the blog tour and for my copy of the book to read and review.

Massive thanks to everyone who has stopped by to visit my blog, please remember to like and share to help spread the book love far and wide!

Have a great day

Kel x

Posted in Adult Fiction, Blog Tour, Historical Fiction

Kicking off today with my review for A Ration Book Daughter by Jean Fullerton

My Review

Today I am delighted to be helping kick off the blog tour for the latest story in the Ration Book saga. I absolutely loved revisiting the wonderful Brogan family, this time we spent more time getting to know Cathy and her young son Peter.

Cathy is continuing to cope the best she can with a demanding and quite frankly horrid mother in law, Violet is a character that you take an instant dislike too and it makes you root for Cathy as she continues to make Cathy’s life as miserable as possible.

Whilst the bombs continue to fall around them in London, Cathy and her family continue to do the best they can to look out for others and support the families finding themselves without homes and possessions due to being bombed out.

We also get to meet the wonderful bomb disposal team that are stationed near by and the stories are so vivid you can literally picture the team trying to safely diffuse the unexploded bombs that are falling around London and embedding themselves under buildings. I found the more I read about Cathy and her life the more I wanted to keep reading to see if she would ever find a way to shed her violent husband and awful mother in law.

A superb addition to this saga with Queenie once again providing her wisdom as we join the family as they welcome baby Victoria into the fold. I am excited yet sad to hear there will be one more book as I will be disappointed when I reach the end of my journey with the Brogan family.

Book Blurb

Not even the Blitz can shake a mother’s love.

Cathy was a happy, blushing bride when Britain went to war with Germany three years ago. But her youthful dreams were crushed by her violent husband Stanley’s involvement with the fascist black-shirts, and even when he’s conscripted to fight she knows it’s only a brief respite – divorce is not an option. Cathy, a true Brogan daughter, stays strong for her beloved little son Peter.

When a telegram arrives declaring that her husband is missing in action, Cathy can finally allow herself to hope – she only has to wait 6 months before she is legally a widow and can move on with her life. In the meantime, she has to keep Peter safe and fed. So she advertises for a lodger, and Sergeant Archie McIntosh of the Royal Engineers’ Bomb Disposal Squad turns up. He is kind, clever and thoughtful; their mutual attraction is instant. But with Stanley’s fate still unclear, and the Blitz raging on over London’s East End, will Cathy ever have the love she deserves?

Available to purchase here

Meet the Author

Born and bred in East London Jean is a District Nurse by trade and has worked as a NHS manager and as a senior lecture in Health and Nursing Studies. She left her day job to become a full-time writer in 2015 and has never looked back.

In 2006 she won the Harry Bowling Prize and now has seventeen sagas published over three series with both Orion and Atlantic all of which are set in East London.

She is an experienced public speaker with hundreds of WI and women’s club talks under her belt, plus for the past fifteen years she has sailed all over the world as an enrichment speaker and writing workshop leader on cruise ships.

Social Media Links

Website: http://jeanfullerton.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Jean-Fullerton-202631736433230/?ref=bookmarks

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/JeanFullerton_

Giveaway to Win 6 x A Ration Book Daughter Paperbacks (Open to UK Only)

*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

Click here to enter via rafflecopter

Many thanks to Rachel’s Random Resources for the invitation to jump on the blog tour and for 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

Posted in Adult Fiction, Blog Tour, Contemporary Fiction

Today I am jumping on the blog blitz for Starting Out by JE Rowney

My Review

I am loving this series of books and it was great to go back and meet Zoe and Violet again now they are newly qualified and embarking on their careers.

In this story we read a lot about the role of a midwife which is fascinating and gives an insight into both the basic tasks like bed changing to the more emotionally challenging tasks including baby loss. We join Violet on her first day on the ward newly qualified and see how she copes with the demands of the role and her own personal anxiety. Vi has a wonderful support in Zoe and this is evident throughout the story.

A refreshing insight into how people can be displaying a calm demeanor on the outside whilst really struggling on the inside. Mental health is so important and I like how this series is putting it under the spot light and showing that it is ok to not be ok and to ask for help and support.

Another wonderful story that I flew through effortlessly, packed with characters we’ve met before and the introduction of a few new ones. I already can’t wait to read the next book in this series.

Book Blurb

Violet thought midwifery training was tough, but now she has to step out onto the ward as a newly qualified midwife. She’s standing on the edge of her new life, but taking the leap is harder than she ever expected.

Living on her own for the first time, while best friend Zoe starts to build a future with soon-to-be-husband Luke, everything is changing for Violet.

Can Violet adapt and adjust, or will anxiety get the better of her?

“Starting Out” – the new book from the world of “Lessons of a Student Midwife”.

Available to purchase here

Meet the Author

J.E. Rowney spent several years in the cold Yorkshire hills, but now lives on the south coast of England. She spent ten years working as a midwife before turning in her gloves to become an author.

She is an award winning poet, and also enjoys writing short stories. In May 2020 she was the winner of the Dinesh Allirajah Prize for Short Fiction.

“Charcoal”, her first novel, was published in 2012 to wide critical acclaim, and was a bestselling novel on Amazon within days of release.

She spends lots of time writing in coffee shops, so if you see her, say hello.

Ms. Rowney says: “I always dreamed of being a writer, until I realised that I was. Then I started to write.”

Social Media Links

http://twitter.com/jerowneywriter

http://facebook.com/jerowneywriter

http://instagram.com/jerowneywriter

https://www.bookbub.com/authors/j-e-rowney

Many thanks to Rachel’s Random Resources for the invitation to jump on the blog tour and for 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

Posted in Adult Fiction, Blog Tour, Chick Lit, Publication Day

Ending this week with my review for the brilliant The Single Mums Book Club by Victoria Cooke

My Review

In this story we meet some lovely ladies who are all experiencing a turning point and seeking friendship to help them along the way.

Stephanie is navigating a new world after splitting with her husband a year before and is finding looking after their small children and juggling finances really difficult. In a chance encounter in the supermarket she bumps into her neighbour Janey who she quickly becomes fast friends with.

I really enjoyed this book, it was brimming with the realities of being a parent and was really focused around the kids maintaining a happy and normal life to create the very best memories despite everything that Stephanie couldn’t control.  We got to know her ex husband in this story and watch as she navigates the path to decide if she is ready to move on or if she still wants to be with her ex husband.

The wonderful ladies who form the book club made me laugh, with their wall climbing escapades and created a wonderful friendship which in turn helped each of them when they needed the most.

I love reading books by Victoria Cooke and as expected I flew through as I kept wanting to know what would come next. It made me giggle throughout and was a wonderful light hearted read with lovely characters.

Book Blurb

Three friends, three single mums, one quest to find love…

It’s 8:30am and I’m already utterly exhausted. My son has lost his football boots, my daughter is ready for school dressed only in her vest and knickers, and of course, my 1-year-old has filled his nappy for what feels like the tenth time this morning.

As for my husband? He’s decided marriage doesn’t suit him, and well… buggered off.

All hope of ‘me time’ has but dwindled to sipping half a glass of wine whilst shouting after the kids. But everything is about to change.

I’m taking control of my life! I’ve joined… a book club.

Yes, I know what you’re thinking. ‘Wow… live a little.’ But my fellow book clubbers, Amanda and Janey, are my lifelines. They understand the daily struggle because they’re mothers too.

And in between the prosecco, Doritos and googling everything about Mr Darcy on SparkNotes, they’ve convinced me to go on a date with my boss.

A single mum of three looking for romance… what could possibly go wrong?

A gloriously funny and relatable read for anyone who just needs a little more ‘me time’. Fans of Why Mummy Drinks and Has Anyone Seen my Sex Life? will snort with laughter at this utterly hilarious and heart-warming read.

Available to purchase here

Meet the Author

Victoria Cooke grew up in the city of Manchester before crossing the Pennines in pursuit of a career in education. She now lives in Huddersfield with her husband and two young daughters and when she’s not at home writing by the fire with a cup of coffee in hand, she loves working out in the gym and travelling. Victoria was first published at the tender age of eight by her classroom teacher who saw potential in a six-page story about an invisible man. Since then she’s always had a passion for reading and writing, undertaking several writers’ courses before completing her first novel, ‘The Secret to Falling in Love,’ in 2016.

Her third novel, Who Needs Men Anyway? became a digital bestseller in 2018 and her debut, The Secret fo Falling in Love was optioned in 2020.

Social Media Links

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16345710.Victoria_Cooke

https://www.facebook.com/VictoriaCookeAuthor/

https://www.instagram.com/victoriacookewriter/

www.twitter.com/victoriacooke10

Many thanks to Rachel’s Random Resources for the invitation to jump on the blog tour and for 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

Posted in Adult Fiction, Blog Tour, Psychological Thriller

Today is my turn to jump on the blog tour for the eagerly awaited The Whole Truth by Cara Hunter

My Review

I was very excited to receive the email offering a space on the blog tour for the latest release by Cara Hunter as I have loved the previous DI Fawley books in this series and couldn’t wait to pick up my copy and start reading.

This was another brilliant visit to DI Fawley and his team, within a few pages I was hooked and struggled to put it down as was so keen to keep reading. When I initially received this book, I had been experiencing a reading slump and this was the perfect prescription to lift the slump and reignite my passion to read.

A story with great characters introduced throughout and I quickly became invested in the characters as I couldn’t believe what was unfolding on the pages before my eyes. I loved the suspense and intrigue, it left me eager to keep reading and kept me on tender hooks waiting to see where the story would take me next.

I loved this visit to DI Fawley and love how this story reignited my passion for reading, I read until the early hours of the morning as I had to know what was coming next. A highly recommended read, that I have been recommending since the day I finished reading it.

Book Blurb

An attractive student. An older professor.

Think you know the story? Think again.

THE NEW UP-ALL-NIGHT THRILLER FROM THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER CARA HUNTER, PERFECT FOR FANS OF LINE OF DUTY

She has everything at stake; he has everything to lose. But one of them is lying, all the same.

When an Oxford student accuses one of the university’s professors of sexual assault, DI Adam Fawley’s team think they’ve heard it all before. But they couldn’t be more wrong.

Because this time, the predator is a woman and the shining star of the department, and the student a six-foot male rugby player.

Soon DI Fawley and his team are up against the clock to figure out the truth. What they don’t realise is that someone is watching.

And they have a plan to put Fawley out of action for good…

Available to purchase here

Meet the Author

I’m lucky enough to live in the city I write about. Oxford will be familiar to crime fans across the whole world because of the fabulous Morse novels and TV, but my version of the town is a long way from the beautiful ivy-clad colleges. A much edgier place where the crimes are darker and closer to home.

I’ve always been a voracious reader and viewer of crime – I’ve learned so much from the outstanding writing that we now see on crime TV like Line of Duty or Broadchurch, and I’ve tried to recreate the experience of watching series like that for my readers. I love true crime TV as well – my husband used to tease me about it but now just nods sagely and says ‘research’ !

What else about me? I have pet cats who do their best to distract me whenever I get close to a keyboard (if you have cats, you’ll know), I love travelling, spending time with friends, and I have never knowingly turned down a glass of champagne….

Sign up to my newsletter at https://www.penguin.co.uk/newsletters/carahunter/

Many thanks for the invitation to join the blog tour and for my copy of the book to read and review.

Massive thanks to everyone who has stopped by to visit my blog, please remember to like and share to help spread the book love far and wide!

Have a great day

Kel x

Posted in Adult Fiction, Blog Tour, Chick Lit

Today I am delighted to be sharing my review for Janey Trelawney’s Year of Surprising Triumphs by Georgia Hill

My Review

Janey Trelawney is one of my favourite characters from any of the books I’ve read this year, she is wonderfully quirky and full of love and compassion. I adored reading this book and literally took my kindle everywhere with me so I could keep stealing moments and reading more about the delightful Janey.

I love gardening and this story was a riot of colour and delectable food, what is there not to love! Janey is a character that is loyal and passionate about her job, she loves to dance under trees and be in her dirty dungarees whilst recommending plants to her loyal customers.

Cheney House captured my heart and just left me turning the pages to see how Janey would deal with the evolving changes and if this would signal the end of her time spent nurturing the plants and precious snow drops.

Brimming with lovely characters and gorgeous destinations as the story transports you between Devon and Italy. In this story you see Janey overcoming fears as deals with unrequited love and forms new relationships whilst learning to stand up for herself. I loved this book and am so disappointed to have reached the end. I loved the gardening tips scattered amongst the pages, the use of blog posts throughout the story and the romance that blossoms in the wings.

Book Blurb

Janey’s life becomes more disaster movie than romcom when the ruthless Becca steams in to manage Cheney House. Her job as head gardener in peril and her self-confidence in tatters, Janey must fight back. Finding an ally in Will, who’s more Clark Kent than Superman, it’s up to them to save the day while owner Clare is away having her Shirley Valentine moment. It doesn’t help that everyone is in love with the wrong people!

Why can’t people love the one who loves them back?

Will Cheney House survive – and will Janey ever get her When Harry Met Sally happy ending?

Find out in this warm-hearted romance from the author of the best-selling Millie Vanilla’s Cupcake Café, full of Gregory Peck look-a-likes, snowdrops, cake, and a cocker spaniel called Camilla.

Available to purchase here

Meet the Author

Georgia Hill writes warm-hearted and up-lifting contemporary and timeslip romances about love, the power and joy in being an eccentric oldie and finding yourself and your community. There’s always a dog. It’s usually a naughty spaniel of which, unfortunately, she has had much experience. Her books are firmly rooted in small seaside towns similar to the one she lives in and she loves history especially when it insists on rearing up and battering at the present.

As a child she had an invisible friend called Gonky who lived on the third stair from the bottom. As an adult her invisible friends inhabit her head and refuse to leave until she commits them to paper. Readers of her books can escape into a warm bath of words and, no matter what challenges her characters face they will, ultimately, have a happy ending.

Social Media Links

Twitter @georgiawrites

Website www.georgiahill.co.uk

Instagram georgiahill5681

Facebook georgiahillauthor

Many thanks to Rachel’s Random Resources for the invitation to jump on the blog tour and for 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

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

Today I am delighted to share my review for Summer Secrets at Streamside Cottage Samantha Tonge

My Review

Wow what a read, another superb book by Samantha Tonge. This story really packed a punch and I loved the way it unravelled as I kept reading, taking me on an emotional and unexpected journey.

Lizzie is a tattoo artist who is happy with the life she is forging for herself but since a falling out with her parents a few years before she has many unanswered questions. I loved getting to know Lizzie and learn about her relationship with her parents, there are lots of mysteries contained within the pages of this story and once I had started to read I loved losing myself in her story

When Lizzie discovers her parents owned another property she decides to visit Streamside Cottage, yet she doesn’t realise just how significant this visit will be to peeling back the layers of her life to get some answers to questions that she never had the chance to ask her parents. 

Set in a picturesque village, Lizzie quickly got to know people in the village and made friends that in turn helped reignite her passion for art and designing tattoos. I personally love tattoos and love this form of expression and the significance of this in the story and the ideas explored as to why tattoos can be so popular.

Throughout the story there are little facts and anecdotes under the chapter numbers and I looked for them every time I started a new chapter. The perfect mix of love, mystery and loss to hook you early on and make you eager to keep turning the pages. A highly recommended read that I loved from the very first pages and that is a wonderful story to lose yourself in.

Book Blurb

A new start can come from the most unexpected places…

It’s been years since Lizzie Lockhart spoke to her parents. But she was safe in the knowledge she knew everything about them. Once upon a time, they were as close as could be. Until they weren’t.

After receiving the earth-shattering news of their passing, Lizzie decides it’s time to unearth some family secrets and find out just who her parents really were… starting with Streamside Cottage. A cottage Lizzie never knew existed, in a place she’s never heard of: the beautiful English village of Leafton.

Leaving behind London, and the tattoo parlour she called home, Lizzie finds herself moving to the countryside. Faced with a tight-lipped community, who have secrets of their own, Lizzie is at a loss for what to do, until her rather handsome neighbour, Ben, steps in to help.

As Lizzie finally begins to piece together the puzzle of her family history she realises she has to confront the truth of the past in order to face her future.

Available to purchase on Kindle or pre-order in Paperback

Meet the Author

Samantha Tonge lives in Manchester UK with her husband and children. She studied German and French at university and has worked abroad, including a stint at Disneyland Paris. She has travelled widely. When not writing she passes her days cycling, baking and drinking coffee. Samantha has sold many dozens of short stories to women’s magazines. She is represented by the Darley Anderson literary agency. In 2013, she landed a publishing deal for romantic comedy fiction with HQDigital at HarperCollins and in 2014, her bestselling debut, Doubting Abbey, was shortlisted for the Festival of Romantic Fiction best Ebook award. In 2015 her summer novel, Game of Scones, hit #5 in the UK Kindle chart and won the Love Stories Awards Best Romantic Ebook category. In 2018 Forgive Me Not heralded a new direction into darker women’s fiction with publisher Canelo. In 2019 she was shortlisted for the Romantic Novelists’ Association romantic comedy award.

Social Media Links

Facebook: @SamanthaTongeAuthor

Twitter: @SamTongeWriter

Instagram: @samanthatongeauthor

Many thanks for the invitation to join the blog tour and for my copy of the book to read and review.

Massive thanks to everyone who has stopped by to visit my blog, please remember to like and share to help spread the book love far and wide!

Have a great day

Kel x

Posted in Adult Fiction, Blog Tour, Contemporary Fiction

Kicking off the weekend with a review for my latest read Finding Home by Kate Field

My Review

I love discovering new authors to try and this was my first book by Kate Field and I instantly loved Mim as a character.

This is a story that draws you in early on and envelopes you in the Howard family, a family full of love and support which is something that is totally alien to Mim. She has had a really tough life to date and the night she meets Bill & Bea they have a massive impact on the direction of her life that she never anticipated with her impulse offer.

With no ties and no family, Mim decides to trial relocating to Devon and works to build a new life. She experiences what it is like to have the support of family and friends and you get to see a whole other side to her character as she starts to find her feet. She is a kind, compassionate and sensitive character who has a lot of love to give when she can overcome the obstacle of not feeling like she is good enough or worthy.

Brimming with a selection of wonderful characters set on the coast in Devon which is the most idyllic setting, I loved everything about this story and its stunning descriptions of the rugged coastline.

A wonderful feel good read that provides some much needed escapism and left me smiling and wanting to read more about the wonderful Howard family and Mim.

Book Blurb

She might not have much in this world, but it cost nothing to be kind… 

Meet Miranda Brown: you can call her Mim. She’s jobless, homeless and living in her car… but with a history like hers she knows she has a huge amount to be grateful for.

Meet Beatrice and William Howard: Bill and Bea to you. The heads of the Howard family and owners of Venhallow Hall, a sprawling seaside Devonshire estate… stranded in a layby five hours from home the night before their niece’s wedding.

When fate brings the trio together, Mim doesn’t think twice before offering to drive the affable older couple home. It’s not like she has anywhere else to be. But as the car pulls into the picturesque village of Littlemead, Mim has no idea how her life is about to change…

An uplifting story of found family and true love perfect for fans of Fern Britton and Veronica Henry.

Available to purchase on kindle or paperback

Meet the Author

Kate writes contemporary women’s fiction, mainly set in her favourite county of Lancashire,

where she lives with her husband, daughter and mischievous cat.

She is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association.

Kate’s debut novel, The Magic of Ramblings, won the RNA’s Joan Hessayon Award for new writers.

Social Media Links

Twitter: @katehaswords

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KateFieldAuthor/

Many thanks to Rachel’s Random Resources for the invitation to jump on the blog tour and for 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

Posted in Adult Fiction, Blog Tour, Historical Fiction

Today we take a step back in time as I share my review for The Railway Girls in Love by Maisie Thomas

I love reading historical fiction and am very excited to be jumping on the blog tour for this wonderful read The Railway Girls in Love by Maisie Thomas

My Review

Today I am delighted to be jumping on the blog tour for The Railway Girls in Love set in Manchester during World War II. This is my first book in this series but it read great as a standalone and I loved getting to know this extraordinary selection of women who have become firm friends working on the railways.

A story that demonstrates some wonderful friendships despite the difficult circumstances everyone found themselves in. Once I hit the 50% mark this story just ran away and I was flying through the pages to see what would happen to Mabel & Harry’s relationship as Mabel returns to face some truths from her past and Joan discovers secrets that her Nan had hidden from her. I loved the smaller stories within the main story and how it meant we got to know more about each individual lady and how they came to be such firm friends to start with. As I reached the end, I was left with a feeling of happiness that despite being in a war torn country families still found ways to have their happily ever afters.

I now want to go back and read the beginning of this series and will keep my eyes eagerly peeled in the hope that more will be released so I can spend more time on the Manchester Railways.

Book Blurb

Love is in the air, and together the railway girls can overcome even the hardest of times.

Mabel has finally put the past behind her, and her relationship with the dashing Harry is stronger than ever. That is, until an old flame shows up, leaving Mabel questioning her future.

Meanwhile Joan has made amends with Bob – if only she could do the same with Gran. And there’s still that family mystery she wants answer to, isn’t there?

As a mother and grandmother, Dot Green has always put her family first. Her job as a parcels porter has brought new purpose to her life, so is it finally time to start following her heart . . .

Life as a railway girl is busy but as war rages on and air raids disrupt daily life, the women realise they need each other more than ever, especially when there might be wedding bells on the horizon.

Available to purchase here on kindle or paperback

Meet the Author

Maisie Thomas was born and brought up in Manchester, which provides the location for her Railway Girls novels. She loves writing stories with strong female characters, set in times when women needed determination and vision to make their mark. The Railway Girls series is inspired by her great aunt Jessie, who worked as a railway clerk during the First World War.

Maisie live on the beautiful North Wales coast with her husband and their two rescue cats. They have enjoyed many holidays chugging up and down the UK’s heritage steam railways and their favourite is the Severn Valley Railway.

Many thanks for the invitation to join the blog tour and for my copy of the book to read and review.

Massive thanks to everyone who has stopped by to visit my blog, please remember to like and share to help spread the book love far and wide!

Have a great day

Kel x

Posted in Adult Fiction, Blog Tour, Chick Lit

Today I am delighted to join the blog tour for The Cornish Midwife by Jo Bartlett

Today I am very excited to be sharing my review for The Cornish Midwife, a wonderful series drawing attention to the wonderful work that midwives do and set in a stunning location.

My Review

Last year was the first time I had picked up a book by Jo Bartlett book and I instantly fell in love with her writing style and jumped at the chance to join the blog tour.

Set against the wonderful backdrop of St Agnes I loved this story right from the beginning. Ella is looking for a stop gap whilst she reassesses her life plan and decides to return home

A story full of wonderful characters and brimming with love and hope, I really enjoyed my visit and felt keen to keep turning the pages to see what birth story or dilemma Ella would face next. Connected to her birth place by memories, reacquainting with old friends whilst making new friends this is a refreshing read that is a dose of escapism.

Over the past year we have all cherished time with family and this story is brimming with the importance of family and unconditional love. I can’t wait to read more by Jo Barlett and hopefully revisit these lovely ladies that are so important and whose praises aren’t sung enough within our community.

Book Blurb

WELCOME TO THE BEAUTIFUL SEASIDE TOWN OF PORT AGNES.

A fresh start…

Midwife Ella Mehenick left the small Cornish town of Port Agnes for London and never looked back. But when her seemingly perfect life crashes down around her, there’s only one place she can heal her battered heart – the place she once called home. 

A new arrival…

Ella is quickly welcomed into the small community midwife team and loves her new job caring for mums and their precious babies – it’s what she does best! But being back also means facing ex-flame Dan Ferguson…the first man to break her heart. 

A second chance at love?

Dan is still as gorgeous as ever, but he’s never forgiven Ella for leaving. And now she’s back it’s clear that there is unfinished business between them. As Ella settles into her new/old life, she can’t stop the memories of how she once loved Dan so completely – and maybe never stopped.

Maybe coming home to Cornwall is Ella’s chance to love again…

Meet The Cornish Midwives of Port Agnes- where community, friendship and love are always delivered.

An uplifting and escapist read, perfect for fans of Christie Barlow, Jessica Redland and Holly Martin!

This book was previously published as Return to Port Agnes.

Available to purchase here

Meet the Author

Jo Bartlett is the bestselling author of nineteen women’s fiction titles. She fits her writing in between her two day jobs as an educational consultant and university lecturer and lives with her family and three dogs on the Kent coast. Boldwood is publishing the first title in The Cornish Midwife Series – part of a twelve-book deal – in April 2021.

Social Media Links

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JoBartlettAuthor/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/J_B_Writer

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jo_bartlett123/

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

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

Kel x