Even If the Sky is Falling by Taj McCoy, Farah Heron, Lane Clarke, Charish Reid, Sarah Smith, and Denise Williams

Author: Taj McCoy, Farah Heron, Lane Clarke, Charish Reid, Sarah Smith, and Denise Williams
ISBN: 9781335452559
Publication Date: May 30, 2023
Publisher: Canary Street Press
18.99 US | 23.99 CAN

About the Book:

For readers of Bolu Babalola’s LOVE IN COLOR and Dhonielle Clayton’s BLACKOUT, a collection of six stories filled with hope, humor, and heat that explore the chances a couple may take when they mistakenly believe the world is ending; for fans of Love Actually and all the best 90s disaster films that end in a triumphant kiss, with stories by Taj McCoy, Farah Heron, Lane Clarke, Charish Reid, Sarah Smith, and Denise Williams.
When the global threat of meteor showers – exacerbated by an increasing amount of space debris in our solar system – causes widespread panic, a world-wide siren system alerting people to significant threats is developed. The plan immediately hits a rocky start when the US accidently launches the siren during a routine testing without being able to signal the all-clear, causing people to take immediate shelter.
Each of these 6 stories forces two people – strangers, colleagues, crushes, rivals – to take cover with one another, exploring what chances a person may take when they mistakenly believe the world is ending. Spoiler: it’s a lot of confession making and kissing.
Filled with joy, heat, and emotion, this collection also seamlessly incorporates issues impacting people of color in an authentic and genuine way.

About the Authors:

Taj McCoy is a law grad committed to championing plus-sized Black love stories and characters with a strong sense of sisterhood and familial bonds. Born in Oakland, Taj started writing as a child and celebrated her first publications in grade school. When she’s not writing, Taj boosts other marginalized writers, practices yoga, co-hosts the Fat Like Me and Better Than Brunch podcasts.

Farah Heron writes complex story arcs and uplifting happily ever afters while pursuing careers in human resources and psychology. Her romantic comedies and women’s fiction are full of huge South Asian families, delectable food, and most importantly, brown people falling stupidly in love. She lives in Toronto.

Lane Clarke has been in love with books since the age of two. Her stories feature Black culture and big-hearted characters with self-doubts and big dreams, who—with a little laughter and good friends—can accomplish anything. She currently lives in Northern Virginia and works as an attorney in Washington, D.C.

Charish Reid is a fan of sexy books and disaster films. When she’s not grading papers or prepping lessons for college freshmen, she enjoys writing romances that celebrate quirky Black women who deserve HEAs. Charish currently lives in Sweden.

Sarah Smith is a copywriter-turned-author who wants to make the world a lovelier place, one kissing story at a time. Her love of romance began when she was eight and she discovered her auntie’s stash of romance novels. She lives in Bend, Oregon.

Denise Williams wrote her first book in the second grade. That book featured a tough, funny heroine, a quirky hero, witty banter, and a dragon. Minus the dragons, these are still the books she likes to write. After penning those early works, she finished second grade and eventually earned a Ph.D. in education, going on to work in higher education. Denise lives in Des Moines, Iowa.

Where to Buy:

Barnes & Noble
Books A Million


“Willy Song, we are leaving this base and heading to the station in eight minutes, with or without you,” Halley growled through gritted teeth into her phone. She hung up before he could respond. This is the last time I allow this joker off base before a mission.
The dry air kicked up dust in the breeze, but the September heat radiated off the tarmac outside of a small hangar. Halley Oakes was one mission away from being promoted from a NASA senior communications specialist to project manager, and it all depended on the success of this team. Based on those she’d been assigned, Halley had her doubts that her promotion was any closer than it had been a year before. More than once, Song had put her in a bind that left her with egg on her face in front of her superiors. He could complete most of his job, but not before making matters worse. She was sure someone had been joking when she read the team roster days before.
“I’m here, I’m here!” Willy jumped out of an SUV that hadn’t come to a full stop with a cloth grocery bag, clanging its contents in one hand and a mission binder in the other. “Man, I hope we have time for a pit stop, because I think I had some bad shellfish last night, and a three-hour ride with me could be unpleasant.” He scrunched up his nose, waving a hand in front of his face comically until he caught the arctic glare of his superior. His wiry hunched form straightened, and he pushed his floppy dark hair back so it wouldn’t fall into his eyes.
Ew. “What the hell is that you’re carrying, Song?” Willy Song was the tech specialist that no one chose for essential missions. Between his inappropriate jokes, his constant need to overshare and his record for accidents, there was no way he should be assigned to this detail. Of course, tell that to the chief—Song happened to be his only nephew.
Song hesitated briefly before a sly grin spread across his face. “Have you ever tried a peanut butter stout, boss?” He held open the bag by its handles to show off its contents—a six-pack of beer and a bag of pretzels. He practically danced with excitement; his feet tapping the tarmac to the beat of a rhythmless drum. “It’s locally made at a brewery here in Boulder. It’s supposed to be amazing, with subtle hints of chocolate and peanut butter.” He chef-kissed his fingers as his eyes rolled back.
“Ew, no, and don’t call me that. I like Oakes just fine.” Halley wrinkled her nose. Beer was never really appealing to her, and adding peanut butter wasn’t likely to make it better. She smoothed her hands over a self-imposed uniform of black cargo pants, work boots and a thin V neck sweater with a small NASA emblem embroidered high on the left breast. Her curves felt understated in this uniform, and her thick halo of curls was pulled back into her standard “work attire” bun. She pushed the sleeves up her forearms, wishing she’d opted for something short-sleeved in this heat and running through the inventory of other clothes in her go bag.
“Everyone else here, boss?” Song eyed the black Escalade loaded with equipment for the installation.
“Glenn is already in the truck. We’re just waiting on Simmons.” Halley checked her watch for what felt like the millionth time. Jake Glenn, their systems engineer, always arrived like clockwork. Lynn Simmons, a part of the protective detail, usually beat everyone there and would nap until it was time to move. Where is she?
“Simmons? I thought she got reassigned for that detail in Florida?” He shifted his binder under the arm holding his prized beer so he could scratch his head before unsuccessfully trying to smooth his wrinkled clothes.
Halley’s head snapped in Song’s direction. “What?” she barked. A twisting sensation pierced her gut, and she blinked hard before staring at him with laser focus. “She was reassigned? Who is her replacement?”
Song’s eyes widened as if he knew more. “Umm…”
Halley snatched her phone out of her pocket to go through her emails from the chief. Surely someone would have told her that her team assignments changed. Sure enough, Chief Henry had emailed her while they were in the air on their Colorado-bound flight from Andrews Air Force Base, outside of DC. She scanned the email, inhaling a sharp breath when her eyes fell on the last name she wanted to see. Griffin Harper.
Seeing the murderous glint in her dark eyes, Song retreated to the SUV as Halley’s cell rang. Shit, it’s the boss. “Sir,” she answered on the first ring, her tone devoid of emotion.
“Oakes, I sent you an updated roster while you were in the air.” The chief’s no-nonsense tone was enough for Halley to understand that there would be no talking her way out of these last-minute reassignments. She assumed he came out of the womb scowling.
“Yes, sir, I saw the update.” Her mouth formed a straight line. Protesting would just piss off the chief, and Halley was trying her hardest to advance in her career at NASA—something she’d been focused on since she started out as a summer intern in grad school. It had taken a decade to rise through the ranks and gain the trust of her superiors, first by becoming a specialist, and finally having “senior” attached to her title. Halley had built a reputation of reliability and strong leadership, and she could feel that she was right on the brink of advancement yet again. She could taste it. Complaining about assignments wasn’t something that many comms specialists could get away with while still being assigned to lead missions.
Over the years, Halley had become the chief’s go-to specialist on the team; he relied on her efficiency and quick thinking. He especially liked that she didn’t bombard him with questions on how to get things done. Her initiative was a constant topic whenever he had to dress down a slacker in their unit. There were colleagues who teased her for being a favorite, but no one could deny Halley’s work ethic.
“This won’t be a problem, will it, Oakes?” Usually, Halley’s commanding officer wouldn’t have any knowledge of her personal relationships, but she and Griff had a huge blowout argument in the mess hall the last time they saw each other—right after he’d sent the text that ended their relationship. She’d gone after him to give him a piece of her mind, and when he had nothing to say in response, she blew up. The chief and several other senior officials were present. Over a year had passed, but Halley had never shaken her frustration at being led on by a man who promised the world when he ultimately wasn’t ready for an actual commitment or even to communicate his feelings like an adult. Because of her outburst in front of the senior team, her advancement had slowed, as if the higher-ups were waiting to see if she would rally or unravel altogether.
“Not at all, sir. We will conduct ourselves professionally and make sure that the system is installed flawlessly.” Halley stood at attention, her voice firm, even though her insides were swirling.
“Good. Has Song arrived?” Of course, he had to check up on his nephew.
Sweat began to gather across Halley’s smooth brown forehead as she cleared her throat. She whisked it away with the back of her hand. “He has. He’s already in the transport vehicle. We’re just waiting for Harper to arrive, and then we’ll head for the base.”
“Good.” His voice softened slightly, as if he’d stepped away from the earshot of others. He was constantly surrounded by a team of people monitoring any number of projects and emergencies. “Now listen. Song looks up to you, and he could benefit from your guidance, Oakes. Make sure that this mission goes off without a hitch, yes?” The firmness of his tone indicated there was only one right answer. Being on the chief’s bad side could mean a six-month detail in a place no one wanted to go.
“Yes, sir. We won’t let you down, sir.” The phone disconnected, and Halley bit her lip wondering whether she would be able to keep her promise. Her shoulders rounded slightly as she fell deep into thought. The chief’s nephew had already shared that he planned to sneak contraband into the station, and Halley’s emotionally unavailable ex was on his way to distract her and bring back all of the feelings that she never processed. She sucked her teeth, brooding over the inevitable. Sensing movement behind her, Halley’s back snapped straight, and she waited for the figure to identify itself. His smell-good cologne gave him away first.
“Hi, Halley,” the voice behind her rumbled with a gravelly bass tone that reverberated at her very core. “Been a long time.”

Excerpted from Even if the Sky is Falling, “All the Stars” by Taj McCoy. Copyright © 2023 by Taj McCoy. Published by arrangement with Harlequin Books S.A.

Uncontrollable by Sara Staggs @SaraStaggs @CoffeeAndThorn

About the Book:

Amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/Uncontrollable-Sara-Staggs/dp/1685132014
Goodreads link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/122634071-uncontrollable
Genre: Contemporary fiction; medical fiction
Print length: 308 pages
Age range: This is an adult book but suitable for mature teens aged 16+
Trigger warnings: covers serious mental health issues (anxiety and depression), and includes a scene of brief suicidal ideation
Amazon Rating: New book, not yet published; Readers Favorite 5 star review

About the Book:

At 36-years-old, Casey Scott appears to have it all: a booming career as a civil rights litigator, a loving husband, and two sweet young children. But she also has epilepsy, and her worsening seizures threaten to destroy the life she toiled to build.
When her doctor says she is likely to die if her seizures are not controlled, Casey is at a crossroads: will she choose her career and lifelong aspirations, or her family and health?
The decisions she makes affect her marriage, children, and future in ways she could never expect.
Told by Casey and her husband, Uncontrollable is an emotional roller coaster that examines both what happens when the life we may be forced to live is not the life we planned to live, and the compromises we make to survive in the face of adversity.

Praise for Unconrollable:

“UNCONTROLLABLE is UN-PUT-DOWN-ABLE…A brave and harrowing novel that will sweep readers up, UNCONTROLLABLE reminds us all that life and love are so often founded on a fragile, but persistent courage. A touching, hopeful read that tackles tough subject matter with a skilled and confident hand.” —Alisa Kennedy Jones, bestselling author of Gotham Girl Interrupted: My Misadventures with Motherhood, Love, and Epilepsy.

“Sara Staggs does a wonderful job of creating a believable story with a powerful protagonist…It is almost a coming-of-age story that will be loved by many.” Readers’ Favorite

“Sara Staggs has created a compelling story that tackles complex themes with sensitivty and nuance…Well written, incredibly interesting, raw and unique, Uncontrollable is a book readers are not likely to forget.” Pacific Book Review

About the Author:

Sara Stagg writes: “I write fiction and creative nonfiction. I have been published in several literary journals, the BrainAblaze blog, and the Huffington Post. I attended the Yale Writer’s Workshop, and won the Globe Soup 2021 Summer Fiction contest.

My debut novel Uncontrollable is coming out in May 2023.

I practiced civil rights litigation and have always loved writing. I can be found exploring the outdoors, reading, bike riding, and (of course) writing anything and everything. I live in Portland, Oregon, with my husband and two children.”

Contact Sara:

Twitter: @SaraStaggs
Instagram: @sarastaggswrites
Website: https://sarastaggswrites.com/
Amazon page:

My Review:

I have personal experience of living with permanent disabilities. I have Cerebral Palsy and Hydrocephalus. I’m married but don’t have children. Casey and Jonah have 2 children and Casey lives with epilepsy.

I was pulled into the story right from the start and was gripped by the ups and downs of Casey and Jonah’s life,

It’s true that living with a chronic health condition that has huge effects on your life and those around you and that it can test relationships. There can be good and bad days and living with chronic disabilities means you can go from feeling good to not so good in an instant and it can take time for you to feel better again.

Uncontrollable is a rollercoaster ride I was glad to be taken on. It’s real, gripping, and emotional. It stayed with me long after I finished it.It’s a great way to spread awareness too.

Thanks to Sara Staggs and Coffee and Thorn for my eARC in exchange for an honest and voluntary review.

5 stars

A Taste of Italian Sunshine by Leonie Mack @LeonieMAuthor @BoldwoodBooks @bookandtonic @rararesources

About the Book:

Jenn has always prided herself on being a city girl – she insists on easy access to good coffee, great food from around the globe, not to mention an easy commute. So, when her job takes her to one of the most famous Italian wine regions in search of the perfect Prosecco, travelling to meetings on a tractor is a bit of a culture shock.
Tiziano hates the city. He was made for the mountains and vineyards of Veneto, and generations of his family have earned their living from the land. But times are changing even in the Italian countryside, and the arrival of Jenn at his grandmother’s B&B opens up a window on a different world.
Jenn has two months to persuade the Prosecco producers to trust her with their business, and Tiziano has one summer to persuade Jenn that there’s more to life than the rat race. But can a city girl and a country boy ever find enough in common to see a future beyond one long summer of sun…

Purchase Link – https://mybook.to/ItalianSunshinesocial

About the Author:

Leonie Mack is the bestselling author of romantic novels including My Christmas Number One and Italy Ever After. Having lived in London for many years her home is now in Germany with her husband and three children. Leonie loves train travel, medieval towns, hiking and happy endings!

Contact Leonie:

Facebook: Leonie Mack – Home | Facebook
Twitter: Leonie Mack WE’LL ALWAYS HAVE VENICE (@LeonieMAuthor) /
Instagram: Leonie Mack (@leoniejmack) • Instagram photos and videos
Newsletter Sign Up: https://bit.ly/LeonieMackNews
Bookbub profile: Leonie Mack Books – BookBub

My Review:

Leonie Mack is a new-to-me author. 

The synopsis sounded very fun. And there were some fun, and even funny parts in the book. Two characters who are completely different from each other. I found Jenn hard to like. I spent most of the book trying to decide if the part of her that didn’t like the taste of wine or “bubbles” in drinks was a quirky trait or a silly one, given her job and how glamorousit was made to sound. I was even annoyed by her at times as she seemed childish. 

Tiziano was an original character and I thought he really tried to do the best he could for Jenn. He was fun, and hillarious at times and a gentleman at others. 

The descriptions of the Italian countryside, food, wine and scenery were amazing and these and Tiziano made the book for me. Nonna was charming and I wanted more scenes with her. 

I liked the snippets of infomation about wines in between chapters: they were a unique addition to the plot, and a good way to learn more about wine. I like white wine but only very very occasionally. This as well as the scenery and customs made the book immersive. 

I did feel pulled out of the story by Jenn often. But then I was pulled back by Tiziano, Nonna and the scenery and atmosphere. 

I wanted to like this so much more, but the writing style was very wordy at times. Some of the jokes, like the lady from northern England whose name is Carmen or Carmel, got tired pretty quickly and wasn’t funny, at least I didn’t find it funny. If someone had spent time in the UK like Jenn had then they would understand it.

I found the repitition of Jenn’s backstory chapters into the story unneccesary.

Despite this, it had quick pacing. 

I had hoped to see more character growth in Jenn than I did. I wished throughout the book that she were more grateful and enthusiastic about the opportunity to go to Italy that was given to her, and not so judgemental and fussy about everything and everyone. 

Maybe someone acting like this would be fun and funny to some people, but it isn’t to me, and made Jenny seem even more petulant. 

I have to say, this part of her almost put me off wanting to continue the book. 

I’m glad I did, though, and I did because of all the things mention in this review that I thought were good about it. 

Thanks to Leonie Mack, Boldwod Books and Rachel’s Random Resources for an eARC in exchange for an honest and voluntary review. 

3 stars

The Sandycove Sunset Swimmers by Sian O’Gorman @msgorman @BoldwoodBooks @bookandtonic @rararesources

About the Author:

Can learning to say ‘yes’ change your life?

When Cat Jones is given the opportunity of a lifetime to present one of Ireland’s most popular live daytime shows, alongside TV royalty David Fitzgerald she isn’t sure she is ready for the challenge.

But after being pushed by her mother’s friend Lorraine to say ‘yes’ to everything for a month, she reluctantly agrees.

What follows is a whirlwind of opportunities where Catisforced outside her comfort zone with varying degrees of success.

Once she accepts the challenge to take the plunge with the eclectic sea swimming tribe The Forty Footers’in Dublin Bay, she never looks back. She is warmly welcomed into their lives, and learns to find reserves of strength she never knew existed which helps her deal with a toxic ex, and a growing attraction for a handsome TV executive.

With best friends, Becca and Sinead also in need of a re-boot, can Cat empower them to choose ‘risk and adventure’ or willthey go back to their old, safe lives?

Say ‘yes’ and your whole life will open up in wonderful ways

Where to Buy:


About the Author:

Sian O’Gorman was born in Galway and now lives just along the coast from Dublin. She works as a radio producer alongside writing contemporary women’s fiction inspired by friend and family relationships.

Contact Siân:

Twitter https://twitter.com/msogorman

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

Newsletter Sign Up: https://bit.ly/SianOGormannewsletter

Bookbub profile: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/sian-o-gorman

My Review:

I really enjoy Siân Gorman’s books, and have reviewed some in the past. They are all heartfelt and centered around tough subjects which are dealt with sensitively.

The Sandycove Sunset Swimmers was no exception.

I really felt for Catriona as she went through feeling like she was stuck in a rut in life. It is reminiscent of Bridget Jones’ Diary too. with the TV appearance people laugh at.

I liked Catriona and was glad she had supportive friends. I wouldn’t have liked to have been in the Irish Sea, she and her friends were brave. I’m glad she decided to to take more chances and risks in life.

The book reminded me of Faith Hogan’s The Midnight Ladies’ Swimming Club because of the swimming and supportive friends, but Siân O’ Gorman has her own writing style, and the blend of themes is one that’s easy to enjoy, since I loved both Faith Hogan’s book and Bridget Jones’ Diary (book and movie).

Who hasn’t questioned their decisions and actions in life? This book will resonate with everyone who has, and will hopefully encourge them to make changes.

It’s very feelgood and the atmosphere of Sandycove, Ireland, and the experiences Catriona and her friends live are unique and inspiring.

Every time I come across a book by an Irish author, I feel proud to be half Irish, and it was nice to experience the area around Dublin, as Dublin is one of the places my family are from.

Thanks to Siân O’ Gorman, Boldwood Books and Rachel’s Random Resources for my eARC in exchange for an honest and voluntary review.

4 stars

Freya’s French Farmhouse (Blossomwood Bay #2) by Daisy James @daisyjamesbooks @rararesources

About the Book:

Welcome to Freya’s French Farmhouse, the second book in a brand new series from the author of the Hummingbird Hotel series and the Cornish Confetti Agency series.

Escape to the French Riviera!

After losing her aromatherapy studio in the BlossomwoodBay fire, Freya Farnham finds herself at a loose end, especially when her trusty Renault decides that it’s time to head to the scrapyard in the sky. Now she has no excuse not to agree to her parents’ request to head to the pretty village of Saint-Julien to find out why her late Uncle Toby’s gorgeous French farmhouse isn’t selling, even when the real estate agent, Xavier Deschamps, advertises himself as “the best in the whole of Provence”.

As soon as she arrives, Freya realises what the problem is, and so, with the help of handsome local car mechanic Jacques Jordan, she invests her last euro in a kaleidoscope of cleaning products and sets about transforming the drab and dusty dwelling into a chic and shiny château. Little did she know that in the process she would discover more about her family’s history than she bargained for.

Can she come to terms with her past? Or will the demons that have been snapping at her heels since childhood prevent her from seizing the chance to achieve a much-longed-for sense of belonging in the friendly community where she’s treated as one of their own?

Why not join Freya as she explores the lavender-infused Provençal countryside, and enjoy a trip filled with fun, fragrance, and delicious foodie treats with a dash of heart-warming romance thrown in for good measure!

Where to Buy:

US – https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0BHT1FRR3

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B0BHT1FRR3

About the Author:

Daisy James loves writing stories with strong heroines and swift-flowing plotlines. She especially likes to create sunshine-filled settings in exotic locations – the Caribbean, Tuscany, Cornwall, Provence – so she can spend her time envisioning her characters enjoying the fabulous scenery and sampling the local food and drink.

When not scribbling away in her peppermint-and-green summerhouse (garden shed), she spends her time sifting flour and sprinkling sugar and edible glitter. She loves gossiping with friends over a glass of something fizzy or indulging in a spot of afternoon tea – china plates and teacups are a must.

Contact Daisy:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/daisyjamesbooks

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100009889775019

My Review:

I was so happy when I was sent the blog tour invite for Daisy James’ new book: Freya’s French Famhouse. It was so great to be back in Blossomwood Bay with Freya and friends. The devastating boardwalk fire was something that didn’t leave my mind since Tilly’s Tuscan Teashop, the first book in the series which I was also on the blog tour for.

Blossomwood Bay was the perfect place to spend time. Devon is a place I love and have fond memories of from childhood family vacations.

I really felt for Freya and the circumstances surrounding her leaving her cottage in Blossomwood Bay.

I was rooting for Freya as she tried to move on from what happened. Daisy James is brilliant at backstory, atmosphere and quirky, loving, fun supportive characters.

I liked Tilly, Freya’s best friend in Tuscany since the previous book and how she was so supportive. Jacques was handsome, helpful and easygoing. Daisy has so many unique experiences. I enjoyed the hairdressing experience and liked Esmée from the moment she was introduced. . Gérard was a great character, very wise.

I was praying that things could work out for Freya with her life and her time in France.

Freya’s French Farmhouse tugged at my heartstrings and was utterly enjoyable, as only a Daisy James book can be. Provence was beautiful and I thoroughly enjoyed going on Freya’s journey of self-discovery and healing in a place where she spent some of her childhood as it was her uncle Toby’s house.

I really loved the house and the town. The fact the house had a perfume making business included was really original and so was Freya’s dream to open her own perfumerie. I loved the scene where created her own perfumes for people who were important to her.

There was a real sense of being somewhere so familiar and of treasured memories.

The attention to detail is always excellent with Daisy James books. The food and drink was amazingly detailed, as were the descriptions of French culture and mannerisms.

Thanks to Daisy James, Boldwood Books and Rahel’s Random Resources for my eARC in exchange for an honest and voluntary review.

5 stars.

Adrift by M. A. Hunter @StephenEdger @BoldwoodBooks @bookandtonic @rararesources

About the Book:

A stag do, six old friends … and a secret they’d all kill to protect.

When Pete and his friends set sail on a private yacht in the Balearics to celebrate Fergus’ upcoming wedding, they’re all looking forward to sun, sea and copious quantities of alcohol.

But there’s a reason they are still entwined in each other’s lives a decade after leaving university. A terrible event they’ve all been trying their hardest to forget.

They say you can’t outrun the past … And these six friends are about to find that out the hard way.

Where to Buy:


About the Author:

M.A. Hunter is the pen name of Stephen Edger, the Amazon bestselling author of psychological and crime thrillers, including Snatched, and the Kate Matthews series. Born in the north-east of England, he now lives in Southampton where many of his stories are set, allowing him to use his insider knowledge to deliver realistic and unsettling suspense on every page.

Contact M.A. Hunter:

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

Twitter https://twitter.com/StephenEdger

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/stef.edger/

Newsletter Sign Up: https://bit.ly/MAHunterNews

Bookbub profile: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/m-a-hunter

My Review:

TRIGGER WARNING: Death scenes of varying graphic intensity, some scenes with a knife or a bad prank. Experience of rape/ bondage and unwanted sex.

Pete and his sister and friends are on a stag celebration for his friend Fergus, They’re on a boat in the Balearics. I was pleased when I was invited onto the blog tour for this because of the location and the plot. The characters and attention to detail leap off the page and the pace is quick.

Thoughts, feelings secrets and lies abound in this thriller. It’s gritty, realistic and imaginative and is so twisty and full of surprises. It hooked me instantly and kept me there except in the parts where people died or the talk of experiences of rape/ bondage. That was way too much for me.

Bondage and unwanted sex made me think of Fifty Shades of Grey.

I was reluctant to like some people in Adrift, and was suspecting everyone. It made me feel very uneasy in parts. I wanted to stop and did because some parts were horrific and too gory.

I went back to it because I wanted to get to the end because of the twists.

Pete and Sophie seemed good people and Pete and Carly seemed to have a good romantic relationship, although romance is hinted at/ mentioned, not detailed or explicit.

The dual timeline between present day when the friends are on the boat and their time at university is the perfect structure for this novel, because the (often graphic and unpleasant) goings on at university explain some of the backstory for the present day scenes . It’s well written but was way too graphic in terms of deaths and other unpleasant things for me.

Adrift is anything but a fun time with friends in a paradise location, and one you have to be strong to finish. It begs the questions: How well do we really know our friends and are they really friends at all?

Fortunately,I had a great time at university and it was a safe place, and they were some of the best years of my life.

Thanks to M.A. Hunter/Stephen Edger, Boldwood Books and Rachel’s Random Resources for my eARC in exchange for an honest and voluntary review.

4 stars.

Summer at Croftwood Cinema by Victoria Walker @4victoriawalker @rararesources

About the Book:

Patsy Clements lives in Croftwood. It’s been her sanctuary for three years while she rebuilt a life for herself that is safe and happy. Out of necessity, she has learnt to live without ambitions or dreams, but she does have her best friend Oliver who means everything to her.

Oliver Jones owns the trendy local coffee shop and establishes himself as the town entrepreneur when he buys the derelict old cinema in the park. Bringing it back to life is going to be a challenge and he wants his best friend Patsy to be his business partner. 

After lying low for three years is it a mistake for her to change the life that has kept her safe or is it time to start living again? Will stepping into the limelight tempt fate and mean her past catches up with her and can she survive if it does?

Join Patsy and Oliver in the small town of Croftwood for a summer where friendships are made, challenges are everywhere and romance blossoms at the cinema in the park.

Where to Buy:

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Summer-Croftwood-Cinema-Finding-chances-ebook/dp/B0C2JGYYCZ/

US – https://www.amazon.com/Summer-Croftwood-Cinema-Finding-chances-ebook/dp/

About the Author:

Victoria Walker has been writing romantic fiction since a visit to Iceland in 2014 inspired her first novel. As well as writing, she spends her free time dressmaking, knitting and reading an inordinate amount of contemporary romance, occasionally punctuated by the odd psychological thriller and saga.

In the past she has worked as a cinema projectionist, a knitting and sewing tutor and has owned a yarn store, all things which will no doubt appear in her books if they haven’t already.

Victoria lives in the Malvern Hills with her husband.

Contact Victoria:

Website www.victoriaauthor.co.uk

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

Twitter -@4victoriawalker

Instagram – victoriamakes

My Review:

After having loved Victoria’s previous book, Hideaway in Iceland, I was very keen to review Summer at Croftwood Cinema. As if the title isn’t original enough, the blurb is that plus nostalgic and realistic. I loved the idea of buying an old cinema and Croftwood is a lovely homely place.

Patsy, Oliver, Ed and Toby were all distinct characters and I liked Patsy and was keen to be on her journey. Oliver was a good person.

Real life, nostalgia, teamwork and romance collide in this novel with romance too.

Thanks to Victoria Walker, Ever After Books and Rachel’s Random Resources for my eARC in exchange for an honest and voluntary review.

5 stars.

One Moment in Time by Shari Low @sharilow @BoldwoodBooks @bookandtonic @rararesources

About the Book:

Sometimes the best surprises reveal the most shocking secrets.

After three decades of marriage, Brenda Jones has decided to leave her husband, just as soon as they both return from a mystery trip with their daughter Zara. But she has no idea that Zara is flying them to Las Vegas to renew their vows.

Zara Jones has recreated almost every detail of her parent’s original wedding – now her only challenge is tracking down the two friends who were pictured with her mum and dad back in 1993.

Aiden Gregg is dealing with his own relationship woes when he receives an unexpected message from a complete stranger. With the help of Facebook, Zara has tracked him down and is asking if his parents are the other couple in the old photo? And if so, could he bring them to Vegas for a surprise reunion?

What Zara and Aiden don’t know is that thirty years ago, One Moment In Time changed everything.

Will rewinding the clock right the wrongs of the past?

Or are they all counting down to a rendezvous with disaster?

About the Author:

Shari Low is the #1 bestselling author of over 30 novels, including My One Month Marriage and One Summer Sunrise and a collection of parenthood memories called Because Mummy Said So. She lives near Glasgow.

Contact Shari:

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

Twitter https://twitter.com/sharilow

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

Newsletter Sign Up: https://bit.ly/ShariLownews

Bookbub profile: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/shari-low

My Review:

Shari Low’s books always hook me, and One Moment in time was realistic, heartwrenching and funny at times. Millie and Zara and the flower shop they inherited from their Gran was a great way to start the story.

The letter from their Gran made me tear up. I loved her cocktail ring as well as her pearl earrings and necklace and her generosity. And her outlook on life.

The fact Millie and Zara wanted to honor their parents for being great people with a trip to Vegas was very humbling and just a beautiful idea.

I loved being a part of all the planning for the Vegas reunion. I have never been to Las Vegas but I really felt like I was there thanks to the detailed descriptions of the sights.

The other subplots for Brenda, and Colin, Bernadette all the characters were interesting and realistic.

Shari Low really knows how to create a realistic, atmospheric page-turner and her books are always nostalgic, irresistable and unforgettable.

Thanks to Shari Low, Boldwood Books and Rachel’s Random Resources for my eARC in exchange for an honest and voluntary review.

5 stars

Where to Buy:


The Lost Daughters of Ukraine by Erin Litteken @ErinLitteken @rararesources

About the Book:

A story of the strength of the human spirit, the personal cost of conflict and how love can be found even in the darkest times.

Summer 1941. War rages in Europe. The Germans march towards Ukraine. Halya, Liliya and Vika are no strangers to sorrow. They lost family during the Holodomor, loved ones in Stalin’s purges, and war looms once more on the horizon.

Vika lives in fear for her children. She and her sister survived the terror famine by leaving their whole family behind. Now, years later, many believe the Germans will free them from the Soviets, but she’s not so sure. Should they stay in Volhynia or flee the approaching Eastern front?

Liliya has lost too much in her 17 years. As those around her join the resistance, Liliya wonders how she can fight for her friends, family, and country. When the choice is made for her, can she find the will to survive and protect those still with her?

Twelve-year-old Halya is struggling to discover who she is. But as the war escalates, can her mother Katya’s tactics keep her safe from the Nazi soldiers rounding up slave laborers? How can a child survive the horrors of war on her own?

These daughters of Ukraine will face devastation and loss as they fight to survive and protect the ones they love.

A gripping page-turner of love, loss and resilience for fans of The Tattooist of Auschwitz.

Where to Buy:


About the Author:

Erin Litteken is a debut novelist with a degree in history and a passion for research. At a young age, she was enthralled by stories of her family’s harrowing experiences in Ukraine before, during and after World War II. She lives in Illinois, USA with her husband and children.

Contact Erin:

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

Twitter https://twitter.com/ErinLitteken

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

Newsletter Sign Up: https://bit.ly/ErinLittekenNews

Bookbub profile: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/erin-litteken

My Review:

Halya, Vika, and Liliya are Ukrainian. I enjoyed the way their backstories were the focus of the plot and the alternating chapters made the already excellent story even better. I love novels with alternating chapters as it allows me to get into the characters’ lives. I especially liked Vika’s horse scenes because I love horses. Emotions and scenes depicting difficult moments surrounding the war were dealt with in a way that was sensitive to the reader but did not hide the reality or sugar coat what was happening.

The attention to detail was top notch. I felt like I was in the Ukraine.

The pace is great given the complexity of the subject matter. This really helped me follow the story.

The Lost Daughters of Ukraine is as beautiful as it is harrowng. Halya, Vika, and Liliya each have their personal battles and lives, and it was humbling to witness their lives by their side. Halya, being the youngest at 12, has extra battles as she’s discovering what the world is like with a war around her. It’s a learning curve for all the characters whatever their age and circumstances really.

Though war is a huge backdrop, there’s also love, loss and friendship and courage as themes. Resilience is a trait all the characters share as they fight for a sense of normality despite the terrible affects of war.

I felt so many emotions: fear, a sense of foreboding, and some parts moved me almost to tears while others were happier moments. Whatever I was feeling, I was compelled to continue the story as it was just so immersive. What makes things more raw and real is the plot is based on the author’s own experiences. That makes the novel more special and poignant.

One thing I do wish ever more after having reviewed The Lost Daughters of Ukraine is that Ukraine will have peace from the current war situation soon.

Thanks to Erin Litteken, Boldwood Books and Rachel’s Random Resources for my eARC in exchange for an honest and voluntary review.

5 stars. I’d give it more if I could.

The Attic at Wilton Place @C.E.RoseAuthor @CazEngland

About the Book:

The perfect life. The perfect home. But at what price?
Introspective Ruth Parker is desperate for love and attention. Overlooked as a child by her cold and critical mother, her pain manifests in loneliness and a crippling lack of self-esteem. When glamorous actress ‘Aunt’ Vanessa, her mother’s childhood friend, shows an interest in her, Ruth basks in the blinding light of her attention.

Once Ruth escapes to university in London, Aunt Vanessa invites her to Wilton Place, her stunning Belgravia residence. As she blossoms under Vanessa’s guidance, Ruth finds herself torn between student life and the hypnotic, luxurious confines of Wilton Place. Belgravia wins out, but when Ruth explores the gloomy attic of her new home and finds a hidden, locked door, she discovers that Vanessa is hiding the darkest of secrets from her childhood, secrets that threaten everything Ruth knew about her own mother.

How far will Ruth go to find the truth – and how much does she really want to know?

A twisty, Gothic-inspired chiller that fans of Kate Morton, Louise Douglas and Kathleen McGurl will love.

About the Author:

WA Dagger shortlisted Caroline England is known as the ‘Duchess of dark domestic noir’. Her psychological suspense thrillers are BENEATH THE SKIN, the top ten ebook bestseller MY HUSBAND’S LIES, BETRAY HER, TRUTH GAMES and THE SINNER. THE STRANGER BESIDE ME will be published on the 3rd August 2023.

Caroline also pens gothic-tinged psychological thrillers as CE Rose. Stand alone THE HOUSE OF HIDDEN SECRETS was followed by THE HOUSE ON THE WATER’S EDGE and THE SHADOWS OF RUTHERFORD HOUSE. THE ATTIC AT WILTON PLACE will be published on 30th March 2023.

Both CE and Caroline write multi-layered, dark and edgy ‘domestic suspense’ stories that delve into complicated relationships, secrets and the moral grey area.

Drawing on her days as a divorce and professional indemnity lawyer, she loves to create ordinary, relatable characters who get caught up in extraordinary situations, pressures, dilemmas or crime. She admits to a slight obsession with the human psyche, what goes on behind closed doors and beneath people’s façades. She also enjoys performing a literary sleight of hand in her novels and hopefully surprising her readers!

WATCHING HORSEPATS FEED THE ROSES and HANGED BY THE NECK are her dark, twisty short story collections.

Contact Caroline:

Website: https://carolineenglandauthor.co.uk

Twitter: https://twitter.com/CazEngland

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CazEngland1/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cazengland1/

TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@cazengland1

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/caroline-england-35888064/

AmazonUK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/~/e/B009UQC1YS

My Review:

I couldn’t wait to get started on C.E. Rose’s new novel, The Attic at Wilton Place, because I loved all her previous novels and reviewed them as ARCs, with Caroline herself sending out the advance review copy every time.

I first heard of The Attic at Wilton Place when Caroline invited me onto the cover reveal. I couldn’t resist the dark and mysterious cover, and said yes. I was eagerly awaiting the blog tour too and am so glad I got onto it.

I was immediately gripped by the atmospheric prologue. This set the tone for the book really well and I was soon immersed in it. Ruth’s backstory as well as Joy’s, Clive’s and Tim’s was well woven into the story. There was a clever contrast between Joy and Clive in how they interacted with Ruth: Joy’s dismissal versus Clive trying to offer financial help and want Ruth to be happy.

I immediately sympathized with Ruth and so wanted her to be somewhere better. Joy was manipulative. I was sorry that Tim was the favourite in the family and

I had hopes for her when she met Vanessa.

The book was so twisty, yet real and very dark. It was very gripping.

C.E. Rose has an excellent gift for immersive thriller writing, and she is a go-to favourite author of mine for the genre.

Thanks to C.E. Rose for my eARC in exchange for an honest and voluntary review.

5 stars

Where to Buy:

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3MWTglN
Apple: https://bit.ly/3uQybz2
Waterstones: https://bit.ly/3KjzEWY