The Single Mums’ Book Club – Victoria Cooke

in one word, this book epitomises strength. It is a story about the primal love and loyalty of a Mother for her children, and about adjusting to life as a single parent; about how a single parent has to have the strength to carry on, for the sake of her children. Can there be anything beyond being a single parent? A fantastic book that will appeal to parents and contemporary fiction fans alike. I look forward to a sequal.

Steph is newly divorced with three young children. One day she breaks down in the supermarket when she doesn’t have enough cash to buy loo roll, and is helped out by Janey, a neighbour she doesn’t know that well. They be one firm friends and end up establishing a book club, just the two of them. Two becomes three, when Steph befriends Amanda.

Steph’s ex Jeep’s pestering her to get a job – and she ends up bookkeeping for Edward at his veterinary practice.

There is an instant spark between Steph and Edward, but Steph is wary as her Son hasn’t reacted well to his Dad having a new girlfriend.

The friends end up calling their book group the Single Mums Book Club, but they are more than that; they are a concrete support network for each other.

The relationship between Steph and Edward flourishes, with a few hiccups along the way, but will either Edward‘s ‘woman’ in the village, or Steph’s children get in the way of romance? You will have to read for yourself.


Starting Out – JE Rowney

Starting Out : she thought being a student midwife was tough - now she's newly qualified
A charming book that I know I can relate to, as a woman. Regardless of your career choice, starting a new role can be a tricky time, leading to stress and a lack of confidence. One hopes that by sharing your lack of confidence, it will help others. A must read for anyone who ever worried that someone else was better than them. Just remember that we all have to start out somewhere.

Violet is a newly qualified midwife and she has just moved out of the flat she shared with her best friend Zoe and her fiancé, into her own one one bedroomed flat. Violet is full of anxiety at starting her first post qualification, but Zoe and her mentor Rebecca are on hand to lend an ear, if needed. violet is finding the transition from student to fully qualified midwife, really quite difficult.

Violet can’t help but compare herself to Beth, a new midwife on the ward. She just wishes she could be as confident as Beth; just like Beth. These feeling are exacerbated when Violet discovers that Beth is a Neely qualified midwife, just like her. His is it that she is so confident.

Buy this book and discover how the two women’s fledgling careers pan out.

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Janey Trelawney’s Year of Surprising Triumphs – Georgia Hill

A charming romantic novel, in a gorgeous setting, with added intrigue; who really has Cheney House’s best interests at heart? A beautiful story, not to be missed. A literary triumph; a joyous read from start to finish.

Janey is the Head Gardener at Cheney House. Clare, the owner brings in Will her Grandson and Becca a new general manager, to try and turn the place around and make money. Janey and Becca clash from day 1, and Janey is sure she is up to something. To add insult to injury, Becca seems to be an item with Graham, the grounds guy, who Janey is fancied for ever. Janey initially thinks Will is a stuffy suit, but she warms to him. But, can they trust Becca? She certainly seems to have it in for Janey, especially when Claire is away, Italy. Janey also becomes friends with the Alina, a Hollywood actress who has agreed to be at the Grand reopening of Cheney House – but what has Becca got over her, to make her come to the event? All will be revealed, and more, when you read the book.

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On the Road to Love – Melissa Baldwin

A sensitive story about love and friendship and how the best friends are your oldest friends – the ones that know everything about your past – the ones that you don’t need to explain yourself to!

Stacey comes home from work one night to find that her Husband has had divorce papers drawn up and has even packed his bags. A few months on she is going out with friends for the first time – making her first foray back into her social life, since her ex’s bombshell. She feels out of sorts with her girlfriends though; excluded; as though there is something they’re not telling her. It turns out that one of her friends’ cousin is seeing her ex and, to add insult to injury, this cousin has been invited in a girls trip, whilst Stacey has been snubbed.

Fast forward a few weeks and Stacey has arranged a road trip home to see her parents in Florida and has invited 2 childhood friends to go with her (despite the two friends having fallen out, over a man). When she us back in Florida, Stacey has arranged to see Greg another childhood friend.

How will the road trip go and his will things go with Greg? You will need to read to find out.

The Cornish Midwife – Jo Bartlett

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A captivating love story, set in a beautiful Cornish village, where the location and characters come to life to such an extent that the reader becomes truly immersed in their lives and invested in their futures. My first read by this Author, but it will definitely not be my last. Please join me in reading what may be a first for you too, but will invariably not be a last read for you.

Ella is back in her tiny home town, Port Agnes in Cornwall after a spectacular 21st century dumping in London on her wedding day. I say 21st century, due to the fact that Ella achieved notoriety for the said jilting, via various forms of social media. She moved back home with her parents, in order to hide from her notoriety to an extent. Ella has netted a 6 month temporary contract as a midwife in the local birthing centre, to give her the chance to ‘get her ducks in a row’ and decide about her future.

Unbelievably, Ella’s first community midwife appointment turns out to be with Lissy, the Sister of Ella’s first love, Dan, from back when she was 18. Dan was meant to follow Ella to university in London after a year, by which time he should have dealt with the fall out from his parents death. This never happened however and he just became increasingly distant towards her.

Ella is holding a grudge against Dan, not helped by the bad reputation he has in the village. However a combination of things start Ellie thinking that perhaps they are all wrong about him – giving a pregnant teenage girl somewhere to live, rent free, helping out his Sister, making his property renovations in keeping with the rest of the village, painting a wonderful mural in the birthing centre.

It becomes increasingly clear that Dan and Ellie still have feelings beyond ‘friends’ for each other, but how can Ellie start to trust him or indeed any other Man again, having been let down by both Dan and her former fiancé, Weller ?
Michael, a local, continues to threaten Ella and her parents regarding a business deal; can Ella get around his threats to resolve the issue of the Old Forge, before it bankrupts her parents and their friends? Will she jeopardise her future happiness with Dan, in order to resolve these problems?

Summer Secrets at Streamside Cottage. Samantha Tonge

A truly amazing, multi-faceted tale, the outcome of which will leave you lost for words. A beautiful story about a hidden past; about family, love, sorrow and guilt, intertwined with the buds of a fresh start. A veritable noeud de vipères’. A book to be put at the top of not only your ‘to read’ list, but of your ‘to do’ list.

This story starts with a tragedy and a mystery. Lizzie’s estranged parents are very sadly killed in an accident. Up until their estrangement around 6 years ago, they used to share everything – or so Lizzie thought. They had however always been rather over protective of Lizzie and she had lived a rather sheltered childhood.

Upon visiting her parents solicitor, Lizzie discovers that they had bought a cottage in the countryside in a village called Leafton, around twenty years ago. They left the cottage to Lizzie’s Aunt Fiona. Lizzie cannot understand how she did not know about the cottage, and in a bid to find some answers, she rents the cottage for a month. When she arrives at Streamside Cottage and lets people know where she is staying, it is fair to say that people are behaving strangely towards her. Ben, the local postie does however seem to be going above and beyond to help Lizzie; help that she gratefully receives.

The mysteries surrounding the cottage and Lizzie’s relationship with her parents are eventually unravelled, but the revelations are beyond my wildest imagination! You simply must read the book to find out what happened in the past!

The Charity of Strangers – Alison Burke

A touching, poignant, yet heartbreaking novel, tackling difficult topics. A compassionate story about true friendship and about the depth of a mother’s love; a reminder that not everyone returns to a nice warm home at night.

An extraordinary page turner that will capture you in its wake, from the first page to the very last.

How can anyone, as a parent, possibly treat a child the way Zaffron has been treated, forcing her to take the blame for a terrible incident and leaving her as a young child, torn between telling the truth and protecting her Mother?

How can a Mother deal with her child having been taken away from her soon after birth, while she is sleeping off a ‘mickey’?

How can an adult cope with learning how he was taken away from his Mother, as a newborn baby?

I did make the mistake of starting to read this book at bedtime, and became so engrossed in the intertwining strands of the story, that before I knew it, I had been up all night reading. Whilst I don’t recommend staying up all night reading, I do heartily recommend this book.

Zaffron is a broke anorexic living in an awful squat. Her failed attempt at stealing a coat from a charity shop, results in her volunteering to work in said shop for a couple of days per week. It’s here that she meets Blaire, a lovely gay man of indeterminate age. The two become friends.

Blaire and Zaffron end up living together with some others in Zaffron’s squat,, in what Blaire likes to refer to as a ‘housing cooperative’ – basically living together in the squat, but laying the utility bills, in an attempt to prove their residency. All ‘rent’ received is ploughed back into the house in some way, very it gsintebance it just The pair talk about Zaffron’s past, but it is clear that she is still harbouring some dark secrets. Martin, a soldier/shop customer leaves his number for her, but is Zaffron mentally up to a romantic relationship?

Zaffron is buoyed up by the thought of her application for the Deputy Manager position at the charity shop. Could this be her chance to come off benefits, or will someone else apply and scupper her chances?

Meanwhile, Ida who also works in the charity shop has a heart attack, leading to her Sister, Beverley, revealing the tragedy that Ida subjected her to at the age of 19! Another life changing tragedy for all involved, with Blaire being more involved than we initially realise.

Please read this highly recommended book for yourself, to find out the ending!

Summer in Andalucia – Lucy Coleman

Summer in Andalucía
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A beautiful, eloquent book that made me feel that I was there, in Andalucia, basking in the weather and scenery and eating the wonderful food. I was entirely captivated and found myself consumed by the story, falling in love with Andalucia and Rick, just as much as Lainey did. The monastery is described in the book as ‘totally captivating’ and the descriptive language was such, that if I closed my eyes, I really could find myself immersed in the magical sounding monastery and its surroundings. If you love food and medieval history, you will love this book. Actually, regardless of your interest in food or history, if you are like me, you will love this book, with its unique story and characterisations.

Lainey works as a journalist for ‘Upscale Dining’, a foodie magazine. A chance meeting with chef of the moment Rick, leads to him offering Lainey an exciting opportunity – to be part of a new TV cooking competition, shot in Andalucia, Spain. The filming is all going to take place in a old monastery and the production crew and contestants will all be staying there during filming too. It feels as though there is some kind of romantic chemistry sparking between Lainey and Rick, but is this futile on Lainey’s part, since Rick and his business partner Cathy are in a relationship. Rumour has it that they are engaged, but to Lainey, to say that the relationship seems tumultuous, is an understatement, testimony to this being the social media activity that one of Lainey’s colleague’s is sending, at Lainey’s request; mostly depicting Cathy’s bad behaviour.

As filming progresses, the relationship between the starcrossed pair becomes increasingly close as they explore the local area, indulging in their shared loves of food and history.

Lainey returns to the office post filming to yet more turmoil. Can she hold herself together or will she be left with neither a job nor any romance? I am not going to spoil the ending for you – make sure you buy the book to find out whether or not Rick and Lainey have a future together!

Half the World Away – Rebecca Banks

An enchanting romantic novel that instantly reels you in, and leaves you wanting more. The kind of story that dreams are made of. Please read for yourself and you will not be disappointed.

To the casual observer, Abbie is managing her work life and the fallout from her divorce just fine. However an incident at work, where she is threatened, and the news that her ex, who coerced her into aborting their baby, is expecting a baby with his new partner, combine to make her want to make a fresh start.

Abbie moves to Salt Lake City to start a job as a publicist with an up and coming football (soccer) team. Kittie, the CEO’s PA becomes an instant friend, helping Abbie to settle into her new city. She does however warn Abby against getting involved with Kyle, the team scout. Abbie quickly integrates herself into her new surroundings and is complemented on the amazing job she is doing for the team. She also gets involved in the local music scene, setting up a successful blog reviewing local bands. There is an instant spark between her and Kyle and this develops as the book unfolds; he proves himself to be the ultimate romantic!

Kittie learns of the romance between Abbie and Kyle, and is not impressed – and then a couple of major mishaps happen at the football club – on the surface Abbie seems culpable for both. In addition there is a misunderstanding regarding accommodation and Abbie finds herself having to search for a new place to live at the last minute.

What is Kittie up to? On the surface she seems so helpful, but what feelings is she harbouring for Kyle? Can Abbie be cleared of any wrong doing? Will she last in the USA? All questions that you will find answers for by reading the bookl

Moonlight Over Muddleford Cove – Kim Nash

Moonlight Over Muddleford Cove: An absolutely unputdownable feel good romantic comedy by [Kim Nash]

A beautiful, heartwarming tale of love and romance, with echos of what could have been, intertwined with hope for the future. An unmissable book that will fill your heart with joy.

As far as weeks go, this had been a bad one for Nell, losing both her fiancé and her job within a matter hours. Then she gets a mysterious call from a solicitor in Dorset and finds herself the only beneficiary of her late Aunt’s will. A house, a beach hut and a fancy car later, she finds herself staying at her new house in Muddleford Cove.

Nell is delighted that her old friend /sweetheart, Jack is still living next door. However any sniff of romance with him seems to be completely thwarted by his relationship with Natalia – or is it? She certainly seems think that there is a lot more to their relationship, than Jack does. Natalia does however waste no time in warning Nell to stay away from Jack, treating him like a prized possession .

Callum, the ex fiancé turns up wanting to start up where they left off! The nerve!

You will have to read for yourself to find out:

  • Is Natalia and Jack’s ‘relationship’ a two way thing, or a figment of Natalia’s overactive imagination?
  • Will there be any romance between Jack and Nell!
  • Will Nell stay in Muddleford?
  • Will Nell get back with Callum?

What I do know is that you WILL enjoy this book.