My 2019 Reading Challenge | Books 16-20

I was sent some of the books via Netgalley for free for the purpose of review. This post contains affiliate links.

It’s time for another reading round up and I am here today with books 16 to 20. You can read my other posts here: Books 1-5, Books 6-10, Books 11-15. I’m still very much in a crime/thriller mood but have been enjoying some lighter reads recently too.

The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley – 4/5

The plot is about a group of friends all descending on a remote Scottish hunting lodge for the New Year. They all met many moons ago – except for the girlfriend of one of the male characters – so there are many secrets. When one of them is found murdered, who could be the culprit – and more importantly, why?

I really enjoyed this book although found it lost its steam a little right towards the end. It takes a while to actually find out who the victim is although I thought that was pretty obvious from the offset. I also did work out the perpetrator and why but the way the author tells the tale kept me hooked. You can buy the book on Amazon here {affiliate link}.

Cherringham (A Cosy Crime Series): Cliffhanger (Book 33) by Matthew Costello and Neil Richards – 4/5

I always seem to bounce around the 4 or 5 star rating for the Cherringham series, this one was a 4 star rating. I enjoyed it immensely but couldn’t give it all 5 stars as I worked out the culprit early on and why. It was nice to see a bit more of other local characters though. You can buy the book on Amazon here {affiliate link}.

One Last Greek Summer by Mandy Baggot – 4/5 (ARC sent via Netgalley for review)

I’ve got a full review of this coming soon as part of the blog out but this was just what I needed. Sometimes you just need something a little lighter and I loved this. Recently divorced Beth heads back to Corfu years after her first visit with her best friend Heidi and just so happens to bump into her holiday romance from way back when. I loved Alex the Greek guy from many years ago and absolutely detested her ex husband as I was meant to. A great summer read. You can pre-order the book on Amazon now {affiliate link}. It will be published on July 11th 2019.

I’ll Never Tell by Catherine McKenzie – 3/5

Families always have secrets, right? But the MacAllister family have more than most. Just what happened to Amanda Holmes?

The plot kept me gripped for the most part however I did start to feel things fall apart in the second half. The culprit made sense but it did seem like the author just threw that in out of nowhere when she couldn’t get it to fit another two characters it had been building up to. I’ll definitely check out future work by the author but this certainly wasn’t my favourite read of the year. You can buy the book on Amazon here {affiliate link}.

The Brighton Guest House Girls by Lesley Eames – 5/5 (ARC sent by Netgalley for the purpose of review)

I’ve got a full review coming soon as part of the blog tour but I have to admit I really loved this book. I wouldn’t normally read this type of book but the synopsis had me hooked and upon starting the book, so did that! The book follows the stories of Thea, Anna and Daisy; all strong and independent women in their own right but going through certain trials and tribulations. You find yourself cheering on the good guys, hating on the bad guys and willing everything to be resolved at the end. You really must check it out for yourself! The book is available for pre-order on Amazon now {affiliate link}. It is published on the 4th of July 2019.

What books have you been reading lately?

Guest Post | The Mummy Bloggers by Holly Wainright book review

Today I have a fantastic guest post from Jo who blogs over at Tea and Cake for the Soul. Enjoy!

Terrifying, thought provoking and addictive reading for anyone who writes blogs, read blogs or lives a life on social media. The fluffy title of “The Mummy Bloggers” by Holly Wainright, gives no clue as to what’s to come in this fast paced, shocking read.

This story is about 3 mummy bloggers who have found huge success with their respective blogs and are competing for an award. All three bloggers are very different and certainly not friends, but each lady is connected to the other through their pasts.

Elle is the perfect Instagram mum blogging as The Stylish Mamma. Abi, known as The Green Diva (and other names) is an eco-friendly mum blogger. Leisel, works a full time job on top of blogging as The Working Mum.

The rise in popularity for blogs and Instagram influencers has made it possible for many mums and women to be able to work from home around their family. However, it’s not as easy and glamourous as it looks.

This story exposes the lengths that some people will go to, to get or show the perfect life. The extremes and character traits of some of the women in this story are really despicable and shocking, but that makes for compelling reading. I really couldn’t put this book down.

This book exposes everything that is wrong with social media and today’s world of comparison. When did life get so complicated?

This book was previously published in 2017 but has been re-released on 3 June 2019.

Please be aware that the vast majority of bloggers are nothing like these characters. I’m sure our three mummy bloggers set out with the best of intentions too. I’m quite happy to poodle along with my blog as it is 😉

Jo blogs at Tea and Cake for the Soul about the nicer things in life such as music, travel, books and cake, as well as covering important topics such as mental health, menopause and eco issues. If you like to read more of her book reviews check out her Recommended Reading section.

Find Jo on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

My 2019 Reading Challenge | Books 11-15

This post contains affiliate links.

Guess what? I’ve completed my 2019 Goodreads reading challenge! I initially set it at 12 books as I have really struggled with finding time and motivation for reading in recent years. However, I have found myself reading a lot since 2019 started so I have managed to achieve my goal!

I am planning on reading as much as I can for the rest of the year and seeing what the final number is. Today I want to talk to you about books 11-15 of my challenge – you can read all about books 1-5 here and 6-10 here.

So here are books 11-15 and what I thought about them!

The Girl In The Pink Raincoat by Alrene Hughes – 5/5 (sent for review)

I’ve written a full review here but I was really surprised with just how much I loved this. I don’t normally read books set in the wartime but this was gripping and I really loved the characters. It kept me turning the pages right until the very end and I really enjoyed it. You can buy the book on Amazon here {affiliate link}.

Without A Hitch by Bettina Hunt – 4/5

Screenshot from my Goodreads app

Having read Bettina’s debut A Tempting Trio, I knew I was going to read her next book. I loved some of the characters, found others rather annoying (although I think that was the point – Sienna was very irritating for the majority of the book!) and couldn’t wait to see how the weddings of each woman panned out. I’ve ordered the follow up book of the ladies on honeymoon so can’t wait to see what happens. You can buy the book on Amazon here {affiliate link}.

Cherringham (A Cosy Crime Series): The Gentleman Vanishes (Book 30) by Matthew Costello and Neil Richards – 5/5

Screenshot from my Goodreads app

Yep, I’ve delved back into the Cherringham series! I love this series and find it great for when I need an easygoing read. I really enjoyed this book – I didn’t see it coming and I found the outcome very satisfying. You can buy the book on Amazon here {affiliate link}.

Cherringham (A Cosy Crime Series): Trail of Lies (Book 31) by Matthew Costello and Neil Richards – 4/5

Screenshot from my Goodreads app

This was an interesting read, telling the tale of three young girls on a hiking trip where only two return home. I had my suspicions from the start and they were founded but it was interesting to see the how and the why and how Jack and Sarah ultimately solved it with some clever detective work. You can buy the book on Amazon here {affiliate link}.

Cherringham (A Cosy Crime Series): Death Trap (Book 32) by Matthew Costello and Neil Richards – 4/5

Screenshot from my Goodreads app

I always find it interesting when the Cherringham books talk about local businesses and a crime occurs with them. It is fascinating to get to know the residents of the area a little better. I was surprised with the outcome, I must admit. You can buy the book on Amazon here {affiliate link}.

So these are my books 11-15 – what have you been reading recently?

Expanding Our Reading With

We were kindly gifted a coupon code so we could purchase these books for review. All thoughts and opinions are our own.

Reading is so important and is something I definitely actively encourage. Jack reads a lot of school books, library books and his own books – he’s definitely got the perfect mix going for him of reading, gaming and outdoor activities. He’s happy doing all of them in equal measure which is rare to find these days.

When offered the chance to review some books from, we couldn’t wait to look at the site. Armed with a £30 code, Jack decided to opt for two series sets – a Minecraft book set for him and The Dinosaur That…set which is great for both him and his sister Olivia.

The first set Jack chose was the Minecraft : The Survival Collection 4 book set. As I mentioned, Jack likes gaming and just like any other seven year old, absolutely adores Minecraft. This 4 book collection from Mojang helps guide builders to stay alive in the world.

The set retails at £14.99 and is what any Minecraft loving kid needs to get them through the game successfully. Jack has been reading these non stop and is eager to get back onto the game and give these tips a try.

The second collection of books we opted for – and which Olivia especially has been enjoying – is The Dinosaur that Pooped 4 book collection. Jack chose these because they are perfect for both him and his sister – he can read them to himself and Olivia can have them read to her and enjoy looking at the pictures.

This set retails at £15.99 and contains the books The Dinosaur That Pooped The Past, The Dinosaur That Pooped Christmas, The Dinosaur That Pooped A Planet and The Dinosaur That Pooped The Bed. They are written by McFly band members Tom Fletcher and Dougie Poynter.

These are fun and colourful and follow the character Danny and his dinosaur friend on poop filled adventures.  Maybe not for you if you don’t like toilet humour but plenty of fun for young ones who love that sort of stuff.

Reading is incredibly important in our day to day routine and these books have made a great addition to our reading routine. If you are looking for some great new reads for the family, definitely consider – they have such a wide variety of kids books to choose from, you’d be hard pressed to choose just a few – especially at their bargain prices!

Jack’s already got a shopping list ready of the next few books he wants!

Do you encourage reading in your children?

Blog Tour & Review | The Girl In The Pink Raincoat by Alrene Hughes

I was sent a copy of the book for the purpose of review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. This post also contains affiliate links.

I’m very happy to be today’s stop on the blog tour for The Girl In The Pink Raincoat by Alrene Hughes. Be sure to check out the other blogs on this blog tour too!


In wartime it takes courage to follow your heart.

Manchester, 1939.
Everyone hated the heat and the deafening noise, but for Gracie the worst thing was the smell of chemicals that turned her stomach every morning when she arrived at the Rosenberg Raincoats factory.
Gracie is a girl on the factory floor. Jacob is the boss’s charismatic nephew. When they fall in love, it seems as if the whole world is against them – especially Charlie Nuttall, who also works at the factory and has always wanted Gracie for himself.

But worse is to come when Jacob disappears and Gracie is devastated, vowing to find him. Can she solve the mystery of his whereabouts? Gracie will need all her strength and courage to find a happy ending.

My Review

It is very rare to find me reading a book set around wartime but this book intrigued me. The book starts in the days and weeks before the Second World War where everyone is anticipating the potential of something happening but still going on with life as normal.

Gracie is your normal everyday girl, working for a local business, going out with her friends, returning home to her widowed mother of an evening. She never expected to fall in love with the nephew of her boss, it seems to completely take her by surprise. They enjoy a whirlwind romance and go through the ups and downs that all relationships go through before Jacob suddenly disappears and Gracie is left with lots of unanswered questions.

As the war rages on, you begin to wonder if she will ever be reunited with her lost love and feel her anguish as she tries to find out where he is. The pain and distress she goes through due to certain events in the book had me almost weeping with her and I truly admired her bravery through such emotional times. Not only did Gracie have to deal with the disappearance of the man she was going to marry but she also had plenty of other things happening in her personal life – more than any one woman should have to deal with at one time.

The author is incredibly talented – she wrote the characters well and I found myself constantly rooting for Gracie to get her happy ending. I did feel a little sorry for her mother but also couldn’t quite believe she had kept a secret from her daughter for so long. I also loved Maria, she sounded like the best friend every girl needs.

I really enjoyed this book. The ending was lovely, if a little bittersweet, and I’m glad I got to see Gracie blossom into a woman as the novel went on. I will definitely be checking out more books by this author.

About The Author

Alrene Hughes grew up in Belfast and has lived in Manchester for most of her adult life. She worked for British Telecom and the BBC before training as an English teacher. After teaching for twenty years, she retired and now writes full-time. You can find her on Facebook here and Twitter here.

You can buy the book on Amazon here {affiliate link}, Kobo, iBooks and Google Play.