Saturday, December 31, 2022

Review - Snowflakes Over Muddleford Cove

:   Snowflakes Over Muddleford Cove
Author:  Kim Nash
Genre:   Romance
Format:  Kindle ARC
No. of Pages:   193
Date of Publication:   December 4, 2022
My Rating:   5 Stars


Love is in the air and the festive season is just around the corner at the seaside town of Muddleford.

Nellie is happily settled in her gorgeous clifftop home. Her favourite evenings are those spent at her beach hut, cozying up under a blanket with her fiancé. There’s nothing quite like spending time together under the twinkly stars - complete with a delicious hot chocolate and her dog Norman sprawled on their feet.

But she can’t help feeling that there’s still something missing.

When Nellie meets Esme, a mysterious visitor to Muddleford, the pair of them come up with a plan to raise money for the local animal shelter, leading to the grand finale - a Christmas Ball.

But Esme’s keeping a secret about Nellie’s past that promises to throw her whole world upside down.

Will this be Nellie’s perfect Christmas for the first time in forever? Or will it turn into her worst nightmare – one that she’ll never forget?

Sometimes you have to go back to go forward.

A gorgeous festive read to curl up by the fireside with, for fans of Heidi Swain, Jessica Redland and Beth Moran.

In Kim Nash’s previous book, Moonlight Over Muddleford Cove, Nellie and Jack found their way to one another, a with a promising future facing them. Now engaged, aside from getting married, there is something else Nellie really wants in life. Meanwhile, she is busy planning on the yearly Christmas Ball, but also working to raise money for the local animal shelter.

She has help with her ideas after a young woman named Esme shows up in Muddleford but Nellie soon realizes that there’s just something about Esme that is not clear. As the story develops, Esme does indeed have a secret, and this secret will have a direct impact on Nellie‘s past and her life in general.

Esme is not the only one new in town. Nellie’s dearest friend Shivani is also visiting and she can’t help but to drool over the town’s gorgeous young vicar, Kenny. Between Shivani’s joyful and humorous nature, and Esme’s secret, Kim Nash has crafted a truly delightful and enjoyable read for this Christmas season. Other members of the town also add delightful flavor to this wonderful story. 

What a well-balanced story. This was written so well that I felt as I were visiting old friends. This book has some warm and touching moments and I love how Esme’s secret was revealed. For a quick read, I highly recommend this book. 

Please enjoy my YouTube video review -

Kim Nash is an author of uplifting, funny, heartwarming, feel-good, romantic fiction.

She lives in Staffordshire with son Ollie and English Setter Roni, is Head of Publicity for Bookouture and is a book blogger at
Kim won the Romantic Novelists Association's Media Star of the Year in 2016, which she still can't quite believe. She is now quite delighted to be a member of the RNA.

When she's not working or writing, Kim can be found walking her dog, reading, standing on the sidelines of a football pitch cheering on Ollie and binge watching box sets on the TV. She's also quite partial to a spa day and a gin and tonic (not at the same time!) Kim also runs a book club in Cannock, Staffs.

Sign up to be the first to hear about new releases. Your e-mail will not be shared with anyone else and you will only contacted about Kim's books.

Amazing Grace was her debut novel with Hera Books and came out in April 2019. Escape to Giddywell Grange is Kim's second novel and was published in September 2019. Sunshine and Second Chances is Kim's third novel and will be published on June 4th 2020.

You can read Kim's Blog here:

Wednesday, December 28, 2022

BLOG TOUR - The Lipstick Bureau


Inspired by one of the OSS’s few female operatives, Barbara Lauwers, a WWII novel set at OSS’s Morale Office in Rome, which was responsible for creating black propaganda and distributing it behind enemy lines. From the New York Times bestselling author of The Bookseller's Secret.

Inspired by a real-life female spy, a WWII-set novel about a woman challenging convention and boundaries to help win a war, no matter the cost.

“A gripping, fascinating read.” —Kelly Rimmer, New York Times bestselling author of The Warsaw Orphan

1944, Rome. Newlywed Niki Novotná is recruited by a new American spy agency to establish a secret branch in Italy's capital. One of the OSS's few female operatives abroad and multilingual, she's tasked with crafting fake stories and distributing propaganda to lower the morale of enemy soldiers.

Despite limited resources, Niki and a scrappy team of artists, forgers and others—now nicknamed The Lipstick Bureau—find success, forming a bond amid the cobblestoned streets and storied villas of the newly liberated city. But her work is also a way to escape devastating truths about the family she left behind in Czechoslovakia and a future with her controlling American husband.

As the war drags on and the pressure intensifies, Niki begins to question the rules she's been instructed to follow, and a colleague unexpectedly captures her heart. But one step out of line, one mistake, could mean life or death…

Title:   The Lipstick Bureau 
Author:   Michelle Gable
Publisher:  Graydon House 
Genre:   Historical Fiction 
Format:  Kindle ARC 
No. of Pages:   464
Date of Publication:   December 27, 2022
My Rating:   4 Stars 

Propaganda was the name of the game for Niki Novotná and a small group put together by the OSS. Her team was called The Lipstick Bureau. In this inspiring read that was based on the true story of Barbara Lauwers, we read of the harrowing exploits that Niki undertakes in order to thwart the actions of the Nazis during World War II. Niki and her team worked really hard in their efforts. 

Sometimes Niki received help from her friend Paloma, who was a prostitute. In fact, the story is relayed from both Niki and Paloma’s perspectives. Niki went to any extreme she found necessary in order to get the job done. Although married to an American at the time Niki was a part of the Lipstick Bureau, she fell deeply in love with Will, one of her colleagues, and he himself was also married. Niki’s strengths were her incredible talent for languages, as she spoke seven. She was also a very hard worker and was quite dedicated, even if meant breaking rules as she saw fit.

As the focus was to try to bring an end to the war, Niki and her team came up with intriguing ideas. Things were beyond challenging, but they never gave up the fight. As mentioned, this story was based on a real life woman, so the author Michelle Gables did exceptional research, and even includes a bibliography at the end of the book for anyone wanting to learn more about that aspect of the second World War.

Many thanks to Graydon House and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.

Please enjoy the following excerpt:

May 1989 

Washington, DC 

Niki’s stomach flip-flops, and there’s a wild fluttering in her chest. You’re fine, she tells herself. In this buzzing, glittering room of some three hundred, she’s unlikely to encounter anyone she knows. Not that she’d recognize them if she did. It’s been almost forty-five years.

“Jeez, what a turnout,” her daughter, Andrea, says as Niki takes several short inhales, trying to wrangle her breath. “Did you know this many people would show up?” “I had no idea what to expect,” Niki answers, and this much is true. When the invitation arrived three months ago, she’d almost pitched it straight into the trash.

You are invited 

to a Black-Tie Dinner 


The Ladies of the O.S.S. 

The ladies of the OSS. A deceptively quaint title, like a neighborhood bridge club, or a collection of wives whose given names are not important.

“You should go,” Niki’s husband had said when she showed him the thick, ecru cardstock with its ornate engraving. “Relive your war days.”

“Manfred,” Niki had replied sternly. “Nobody wants to relive those.”

Though he’d convinced Niki to accept the invitation, it hadn’t been the hardest sell. Manfred was ill—dying, in fact, of latestage lung cancer—and Niki figured the tick mark beside “yes” was merely a way to delay a no.

The week before the event, Manfred was weaker than ever, and Niki saw her chance to back out. “I’ll just skip it,” she’d said. “This is for the best. You’d be bored out of your skull, and no one I worked with will even be there!”

“Zuska,” Manfred said, using her old pet name. As always, he’d known what his wife was up to. “I want you to go. Take Andrea. She could use a night out. It’d be like a holiday for her.”

“I don’t know…” Niki demurred. Their daughter did hate to cook, and no doubt longed for a break from her two extremely pert teenagers.

“You can’t refuse,” Manfred said. “What if this ends up qualifying as my dying wish?” It was a joke, but what could Niki possibly say to that?

Now she regrets having shown Manfred the invitation and is discomfited by the scene. Niki feels naked, exposed, as though she’s wearing a transparent blouse instead of a black sparkly top with double shoulder pads.

“Do you think you’ll spot anyone you know?” Andrea asks as they wend their way through the tables, scanning for number eighteen. Every Czech native considers eighteen an auspicious number, so maybe this is a positive sign.

“It’s unlikely,” Niki says. “The dinner is honoring women, and I mostly worked with men.” Most of whom are now dead, she does not add.

Soon enough, mother and daughter find their table, and exchange greetings with the two women already seated. Niki squints at their badges and notes they worked in different theaters of operation. Onstage is a podium, behind it a screen emblazoned with O.S.S. Beneath the letters is a gold spade encircled in black.

“What a beautiful outfit!” says one of their tablemates in a tight Texas twang.

“Thank you.” Niki blushes lightly, smoothing her billowy, bright green chiffon skirt.

“You’re the prettiest one in the place,” Andrea whispers as they sit.

“What a load of shit,” Niki spits back. In this room, it’s sequins and diamonds and fur for miles. She pats Andrea’s hand. “But thank you for the compliment.” And thank God for Manfred, who’d raised their girl to treat her mother so well.

Manfred. Niki feels a quake somewhere deep. She is losing him. She’s been losing him for a long time, and maybe this is the reason she came tonight. Those three letters on-screen call up—rather, exhume—a swarm of emotions, not all of them good. But they also offer a strange kind of hope, a reminder that Niki’s survived loss before, and this old body of hers has lived more than one life.

Excerpted from The Lipstick Bureau by Michelle Gable Bilski. Copyright © 2022 by Michelle Gable Bilski. Published by Graydon House Books.

Please enjoy my YouTube video review - 


MICHELLE GABLE is the New York Times bestselling author of A Paris Apartment, I'll See You in Paris, The Book of Summer, and The Summer I Met Jack. She attended the College of William & Mary and spent twenty years working in finance before becoming a full-time writer. She grew up in San Diego and lives in Cardiff-by-the-Sea, California. Find her on Instagram, Twitter, or Pinterest, @mgablewriter.


Author website:



Friday, December 23, 2022

BLOG TOUR - Their Burning Graves


They are picture perfect. A young, happy family sat around the kitchen table. But no one moves as wisps of smoke filter into the room and the house becomes a burning grave around them…

When reports come in of a family trapped in a burning house, 
Detective Morgan Brookes rushes to the scene. But as soon as she enters the ruined home, she is devastated by what she finds. Tied to the kitchen table, Sally and David Lawson, and their young son, had no chance of escaping the flames and the smoke…

Neighbours all agree the Lawsons were the perfect family, and CCTV shows nothing suspicious. Morgan’s only clue is the silver crucifix necklace around Sally’s neck. Because according to friends, she wasn’t religious. Was someone passing divine judgement on this mother and her family?

Focusing on Sally’s last steps, Morgan gets the breakthrough she needs – just days ago Sally had confided in a friend that she felt someone was watching her. And when Morgan finds photos of Sally on her neighbour Luke’s phone, all the pieces slot together.

Only then another local woman reports feeling watched. Nothing seems to link her to Luke, but Morgan can’t ignore it. Could the killer still be out there? Going deeper into Sally’s past and uncovering the killer’s motivations is her only chance to save more innocent lives, but can she solve the twisted puzzle in time?

A completely addictive and gripping crime thriller! Perfect for fans of Angela Marsons, Robert Dugoni and Rachel Caine.



Title:   Their Burning Graves
Author: Helen Phifer
Series:  Detective Morgan Brookes #8
Genre:   Mystery & Thrillers
Format:  Kindle ARC
No. of Pages:   265
Date of Publication:   December 19, 2022
My Rating:   5 Stars

Three dead bodies. A small family of three. When Detective Morgan Brookes is called to the case it is actually a scene of a fire. It doesn’t take long for evidence to reveal that the fire was set to cover over the murders. No one had a chance of surviving. In fact, as this book begins, the wife Sally is driving home and enters her home and finds it too quiet. That is when she herself is immediately killed in the same manner as her husband and son.

Morgan jumps into this case. There is a particular clue left that gives Morgan just enough information to get started on her investigation. She thinks at the very beginning that she has a strong suspect because everything begins to fall into place rather quickly. However, when a similar event occurs, she realizes her chief suspect just might not be the killer. 

While Morgan is working on this investigation, her team, including her boyfriend Ben, are still dealing with the loss of one of their own. Already sensitive to the loss of one of her colleagues, Morgan finds herself very emotional about these murders and wants them solved as quickly as possible. If this means placing herself in danger in order to solve this case, then that’s what she will do.

Having been drawn into this series from the very beginning, I have found Morgan to be quite a strong protagonist. Helen Phifer displays yet another facet of Morgan’s intense personality in this book. In this latest installment, I felt that Morgan was more sensitive than she has been on other cases. I was truly riveted to this book and any lover of intrigue and drama would be as hooked as I was. Factor in a few surprises that led to a powerful conclusion and this book easily earned five stars. In fact, I loved being truly surprised at the killer’s identity. As always, I am more than eager for the next book in the series.

Many thanks to Bookouture and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.

Please enjoy my YouTube video review - 


Helen Phifer is the Bestselling writer of the hugely popular Annie Graham, Lucy Harwin, Beth Adams and her current series featuring Detective Constable Morgan Brooks published by the fabulous Bookouture.

She lives in the busy town of Barrow-in-Furness surrounded by miles of coastline and a short drive from the glorious English Lake District.

Helen loves reading books that scare the heck out of her and is eternally grateful to Stephen King, Dean Koontz, James Herbert and Graham Masterton for scaring her senseless in her teenage years. Unable to find enough scary stories she decided to write her own and her debut novel The Ghost House released in October 2013 became a #1 Global Bestseller.

She has written over twenty books in various genres and you can follow her over on Instagram

Or find her over at

Monday, December 19, 2022

BLOG TOUR - A Small Affair



A twisting novel of psychological suspense about a young woman whose life is torn apart when her wealthy ex-lover is found dead, along with his wife.

Vera is ruthlessly ambitious, beautiful by her own account, and knows how to get exactly what she wants--no matter who stands in the way. When she starts a relationship with a wealthy older man who tells her he’s separated from his wife, she thinks litte of it. After only a few dates, she ends things, but that’s only the beginning. Days later, the man and his wife are found dead in their home, leaving behind a note saying Vera’s rejection had driven him to the horrible act of violence.

Vera is immediately blamed for the couple’s deaths, demonized by the press, fired from her job, and when stalkers and paparazzi begin to haunt her apartment, she flees to her mother’s house upstate. A year later, emerging from a cocoon of self-pity, she tries to re-enter the world, to get her job back—or any job—but the specter of scandal still clings to her. Then she’s invited to a memorial for the wife of the man she had an affair with. As she learns more about the family, and about the couple and their friends, she begins to suspect there was much more to the story than a simple affair gone wrong. In a quest for redemption, Vera soon begins uncovering layers of lies and close-kept secrets held by an inner-circle of filthy rich tech millionaires who will go to any lengths to protect their reputations.

Books A Million:

Title:   A Small Affair
Author:  Flora Collins
Publisher:  MIRA
Genre:   Mystery & Thrillers
Format:   Kindle ARC
No. of Pages:   336
Date of Publication:   December 27, 2022
My Rating:   5 Stars 

Three dates does not a relationship make. However, when Vera MacDonald discovered that a man she briefly dated has passed away, murdered in fact, her life becomes turned upside down. Her friends write her off and she loses her job. His name was Tom and she really was drawn to him but there were so much that she did not know about him. Apparently he was part of a murder suicide, and now Vera is left to wonder what it was that he had been hiding from her.

The story was delivered from multiple viewpoints - Vera, Tom, and Tom’s wife Odilie. This made the story very intriguing, especially when it came to trying to sort out what led to Tom’s death. Although Vera knew when she started to date Tom is that he had been separated from his wife and was soon to be divorced, there were things that she did not like about Tom. Perhaps if she dated him longer those things would’ve faded away. But now Tom is dead and so is his wife. Somehow, Vera gets blamed for their deaths. Trying to prove that her relationship with Tom was very limited really does Vera no good and now she has to start over. 

Can Vera get her life back? As the story was delivered, the intrigue grew exponentially, especially as this story had a slow build. What shocked me was the ending, which gave me chills and is something that I will think about for a long time. Flora Collins has written an exceptional thriller, one that any lover of this genre will not want to miss. 

Many thanks to MIRA and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.

Please enjoy the following excerpt:

One year ago

We met on an app, one of those achingly boring, exclusive ones. White text on a black background. Where you have to work in a certain industry, have a certain type of education, a pedigree to differentiate yourself from the riffraff.

Oddly, or perhaps not oddly at all, I remember the exact moment we matched. I was on my couch under a heavy knit green blanket, my legs splayed across my best friend and roommate’s legs. We were watching Real Housewives—though which franchise, I can’t recall—ignoring each other, ignoring the TV. Classic millennials on our phones, doom scrolling.

I wish with all my might I could do that again. Sit next to Quinn on that olive green couch we’d found in a West Village Housing Works and ignore each other without these ghosts separating us, sitting on my chest. Incapacitating me. Incapacitating all my relationships.

“Ugh, can you move your legs? Mine are asleep,” Quinn whined, throwing his end of the blanket in my face and getting up on unsteady feet, stretching. He padded across to our small kitchen and took out a beer, watched me on my phone, my face lit by the glare of the TV.

I looked up. “Want to help? I’m back on the apps.” Quinn set his beer down and clapped his hands. Quinn didn’t date much. He’d been on and off with his partner, Sam, for seven years now, since we were sophomores in college. Right then they were off, had been off for the past six months or so. I knew it would only be so long until they got back together; they rarely dated other people. It was like they were actually meant for each other.

But he loved to live vicariously through me. Loved to vet and interrogate all the guys who had come home with me over the years, commenting on their clothes, their hair, their smell, to their faces, forcing me to tell every minute detail about the sex, the morning after, whether they snuggled me up close at night. Whether they followed my instructions in bed, asked what I wanted, needed.

So I wasn’t surprised when he plopped back down on the couch, grabbed my phone away from me and began to swipe.

“All these people have liked you?” he asked, eyes roving over the screen. I nodded. “Damn, Vera, you haven’t been on this app in ages, have you? You have like fifty likes.” I nodded again. I hadn’t gone out with anyone in a few months, mostly because of new responsibilities at work. It wasn’t even like I felt incapacitated by those responsibilities; I just had no wish to spread my enthusiasm for work thin. Dating forced me to spread it thin, and if I were being honest, the whole process of dating made me utterly exhausted.

But now I had a handle on everything. I was ready to start anew, begin the process yet again like every other mad straight woman always assuming the next man will be different. And I was bored. I hate that most of all, that I was bored. My whole life in pieces because I didn’t buy a good enough vibrator.

“So you get to ‘like’ them back? And that’s a match?”

“Yes. If you gave me my phone, I could show you.” But it was no use; he was already at it. “You know, we have different tastes. You keep swiping no on people I think are cute.”

But Quinn kept the phone. “Babe, I have better taste than you. Just trust me.” And I did.

In a few minutes he passed back my phone. He’d only “liked” three people back: a tall, built guy with too many selfies. A dweeby-looking dude with excellent education credentials, but barely any neck.

And Him. Tom Newburn. Older, the oldest end of the spectrum I’d set. Thirty-seven—ten years older than I was then. Square jaw. Slicked back, dark hair. Shapely lips. One child. Liberal.

Within minutes, he’d messaged me. And it occurred to me, as my phone buzzed with a notification, that there was no way to tell when he’d “liked” me first, that he could have been waiting for months, since the moment I’d first logged off the app. And just like that, he pounced the moment I “liked” him back.

Are you a fan of Eyes Wide Shut?

And that made me smile, because that was my answer to the prompt “What’s one thing you can never stop talking about?” And I’d said: “Nicole Kidman’s poison green Galliano for Dior dress from the 1997 Oscars.” It was a cheeky answer for a straight woman to give; it easily filtered out the men who would automatically dismiss me as a “fashion chick” and swipe left.

I typed out a reply. Then deleted it. Typed it out again. Quinn wasn’t paying attention to me anymore; he was back on his own phone. I didn’t want his opinion, anyway. Yes, but I prefer To Die For if you really want vintage Kidman.

That was the beginning of the end, I guess.

Excerpted from A Small Affair by Flora Collins, Copyright © 2022 by Flora Collins. Published by MIRA Books.


Flora Collins was born and raised in New York City and has never left, except for a four-year stint at Vassar College. When she's not writing, she can be found watching reality shows that were canceled after one season or attempting to eat soft-serve ice cream in bed (sometimes simultaneously). Nanny Dearest was her first novel.



Instagram: @floracollins_author

Saturday, December 17, 2022

BLOG TOUR - Her Fight


If you love reading Martina Cole and Kimberley Chambers, you won’t be able to put down this absolutely gripping gangland crime thriller from bestselling author Emma Tallon.

Scarlet Drew is hellbent on getting revenge on her cousin Ruby after she exposed Scarlet’s illicit affair with a Met detective. Scarlet fears she’ll never see her boyfriend again now he’s in hiding, and she wants to make Ruby pay.

With all her focus on Ruby, Scarlet fails to notice an old enemy rearing its ugly head. Trapped in an abandoned warehouse on the outskirts of London with her aunt Lily, she realises too late the danger they’re in, and that someone has been feeding their most dangerous rival information – someone from inside the family firm…

As the Drews face their most deadly fight yet, they know that with just one wrong move, their entire world could come crashing down. Can they catch the mole working alongside them? And when Scarlet finally gets her hands on Ruby, will she get the revenge she’s been waiting for?



Title:   Her Fight
Author:  Emma Tallon
Series:  Drew Crime Family #5
Publisher:  Bookouture
Genre:   Mystery & Thrillers
Format:  Kindle ARC 
No. of Pages:   404
Date of Publication:   December 13, 2022
My Rating:   5 Stars

Scarlet Drew has spent years trying to deal with her difficult cousin Ruby. However, Ruby has truly crossed the line with her latest drama. In fact, things have reached the point of no return for Scarlet. Ruby will pay. Of that Scarlet has no doubt. In any game of tug of war there is only one winner and this latest installment in this stellar series will indeed reveal who that winner will be. 

Ruby thinks that she has more cards to play, and she has her own plans. However, as she is responsible for revealing Scarlet‘s relationship with her detective boyfriend, which caused that relationship to come to a sad ending, she knows that she must get the upper hand once and for all.

Meanwhile, the crime family has other drama that is in fact creating a dangerous situation for all of them. Scarlet’s aunt Lily is dealing with the fact that her adult sons are not speaking with her based on a long held secret that they have learned. As if all of this was not enough, there might be somebody on the inside that could break this family apart once and for all. So, from all angles, this crime family appears to be breaking apart. Can Lily and Scarlet get past their personal situations and team together to strengthen their family enough to wage the wars facing them?

This book is aptly titled because it just might be a fight to the finish on more than one level. This Drew Family series is fabulous.  I love how Emma Tallon has made this family real. One way is their Sunday dinners, much like the Regan family on the Blue Bloods television series. Although the values and principles may differ in these two families, the bonds that tie them together are indelible.

While this book could work as a standalone, the dynamic that exists in this family is one that strongly develops over the course of the entire series. So my recommendation is that the series be read in order. I am so eager for the next book in the series. In fact, the moment these books become available, I have to stop everything and read them from cover to cover which is exactly what I did with Her Fight. It came to no surprise that this book was as addictive and compelling as every book in the series has been thus far.   

Many thanks to Bookouture and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.

Please enjoy my YouTube video review - 



Emma Tallon is a British author of gripping, gritty, organised-crime thrillers. With a number of bestsellers published by Bookouture since early 2017, Emma continues to write full time and has many ideas in the pipeline for future novels.

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