Advanced Review Copy · Blog Tours · Books · fiction · Linn B. Halton · Lucy Coleman · Review Copy · Reviews

A Sarah’s Vignettes Book Review: Summer in Provence by Lucy Coleman (@LucyColemanauth) ~ @BoldwoodBooks ~ @rararesources #SummerinProvence #BlogTour & #Giveaway

Welcome to Sarah’s Vignettes stop on the blog tour for Summer in Provence by Lucy Coleman.

Thank you to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to take part and to Boldwood Books for sending me a digital copy of the book via NetGalley.

I am thrilled to be involved with this tour. I love Lucy Coleman’s writing, having previously read and reviewed Magic Under the Mistletoe and A Springtime to Remember as well as The Secrets of Villa Rosso and A Greek Affair by Linn B. Halton (also writes under the pen name of Lucy Coleman). I am delighted to be able to share Summer in Provence, Lucy Coleman’s upcoming novel, with you today.

I have my review to share with you and there is also a chance for you to win a paperback copy of A Springtime to Remember by Lucy Coleman and a Boldwood Tote Bag. But first, here is a taster of what Summer in Provence is about.

~ Publisher’s Description ~

Is a change as good as a rest?

When married couple Fern and Aiden have a windfall, their reactions could not be more different. While Fern is content to pay off their mortgage and build a nest egg before starting a family, her husband is set on traveling the world.

Fern’s not much of a back-packer so, before she knows it, the idea of a ‘marriage gap year’ takes shape. And, as Aiden heads off to the wilds of Australia, Fern chooses the more restful Provence for her year out.

Set amidst the glorious French scenery, Château de Vernon offers a retreat from the hustle and bustle of normal life, and Fern agrees to help out in return for painting lessons from the owner – renowned, but rather troubled, painter Nico.

As their year unfolds in very different ways, will the time apart transform their marriage, or will it drive Fern and Aiden even further apart…

Let Lucy Coleman whisk you off on a heart-warming, sun-drenched and magical French adventure.

~ My thoughts ~

I am in serious danger of repeating myself in this and future reviews for any book I read by Lucy Coleman or Linn B.Halton. How many times can I say I absolutely love Lucy/Linn’s books! If you’ve visited my blog recently, you will know I reviewed A Springtime to Remember and loved it. Well, guess what? I loved Summer in Provence too!

I read Summer in Provence before we all had to stay at home and I was captivated for hours. If I picked it up now, I would be so grateful to Lucy Coleman for transporting me to Provence and helping me escape the current situation for a few hours.  This book gave me hope and warmed my heart.

I like the storyline for Summer in Provence. Fern and Aiden have been together since their late teens and married for seven years. When they win some money on the lottery, Aiden has an itch he needs to scratch: to backpack around the world and discover more about himself…alone. He suggests to Fern that they both take a year out of work and use the time to each do their own thing. So, Aiden goes around the world and Fern goes to Château du Verdon, a retreat in Provence. The story then follows Fern on her year at the retreat and the people she mets. She goes on quite a journey of self discovery. There is a real sense of community at the retreat. Each person has their own reasons for needing the escape and the solace the retreat provides, including Fern.

Summer in Provence has some good messages about finding yourself, taking a step back to reflect, and discovering what it is you truly want in life.

I instantly connected with Fern, as I do with all Lucy’s female protagonists. I really cared about her from the first page. For me, a writer possesses a great skill to provoke this reaction in a reader. 

There is no question that Lucy Coleman knows how to tell a story and to draw her reader in from the beginning. She always goes much deeper than I am expecting and knows how to pull on my heart strings. Summer in Provence is no exception.

Thank you to Lucy Coleman for writing such beautiful stories that I devour in hours.

~ Where to find Summer in Provence ~

Summer in Provence by Lucy Coleman

Summer in Provence by Lucy Coleman is due to be published as an eBook in the UK by Boldwood Books on 2 April 2020. It can pre-ordered at Amazon UK and found on Goodreads.

~ About Lucy Coleman ~

Lucy Coleman

From interior designer to author, Linn B. Halton – who also writes under the pen name of Lucy Coleman – says ‘it’s been a fantastic journey!’

Linn is the bestselling author of more than a dozen novels – including Summer on the Italian Lakes, Snowflakes over Holly Cove, The French Adventure and A Cottage in the Country. She is represented by Sara Keane of the Keane Kataria Literary Agency.

When she’s not writing, or spending time with the family, she’s either upcycling furniture, working in the garden, or practising Tai Chi.

Living in Coed Duon in the Welsh Valleys with her ‘rock’, Lawrence, and gorgeous Bengal cat Ziggy, she is an eternal romantic.

Linn is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and the SoA and writes feel-good, uplifting novels about life, love and relationships.

Connect with Lucy at:

~ Giveaway ~

Win a signed paperback of 'A Springtime to Remember' and a Boldwood Tote bag (Open INT)

Win a signed paperback of ‘A Springtime to Remember’ and a Boldwood Tote bag (Open INT)

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

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Advanced Review Copy · Blog Tours · Books · fiction · Review Copy · Reviews · Sarah Butler

A Sarah’s Vignettes Book Review: Jack & Bet by Sarah Butler (@SarahButler100) ~ @PicadorBooks ~ @annecater #RandomThingsTours #BlogTour

I am thrilled to be sharing my review of Jack & Bet by Sarah Butler with you today.

My thanks to Anne Cater for inviting me to be a part of the blog tour and to Picador for sending me a copy of the book in return for my honest review.

Before I share my review with you, here is what Jack & Bet is about.

~ Publisher’s Description ~

Even the longest marriages have their secrets . . .

Jack Chalmers is a man of few words, married to a woman of many. He and Bet have been together for seventy years – almost a lifetime – and happily so, for the most part.

All Jack and Bet want is to enjoy the time they have left together, in the flat they have tried to make their home. Their son Tommy has other ideas: he wants them to live somewhere with round-the-clock care, hot meals, activities. Bet thinks they can manage just fine.

When they strike up an unlikely friendship with Marinela, a young Romanian woman, Bet thinks she has found the perfect solution – one that could change Marinela’s life as well as theirs. But this means revisiting an old love affair, and confronting a long-buried secret she has kept hidden from everyone, even Jack, for many years.

Tender, moving and beautifully told, Sarah Butler’s Jack & Bet is an unforgettable novel about love and loss, the joys and regrets of a long marriage, and the struggle to find a place to call home.

~ My thoughts ~

I wasn’t quite sure what I was expecting from Jack & Bet but I didn’t anticipate it being so emotional. I feel like I should have realised it could be with two 90 year olds as the main characters but this one caught me. I really enjoyed it though.

Jack and Bet Chalmers are celebrating 70 years together. Their son, Tommy, wants them to move into a home but they want to stay in their flat in Elephant & Castle, London. When they meet Marinella, a student from Romania, Bet thinks they have found the perfect solution. However, for Bet, this means unearthing a secret that has long been buried.

The story is told from 3 points of view: Jack, Bet and Marinella. I liked how this gave the perspective of the past and the future. For a shorter novel, 256 pages, the depth of detail into each character’s story is impressive. It would have been good to have had some of the story from Tommy’s point of view though as I found it hard to warm to him.

Sarah Butler explores many themes in Jack & Bet including: long-term marriages, past lives, how we don’t always communicate with those we love when we have been with them for a long time, jealousy, society’s view of old people, how old people view the world, grief, loss, love, role reversal between parents and children, the relationship that we have with properties. The later one is an interesting one. Jack and Bet moved into their current flat after the block of flats they were in previously is being knocked down. They haven’t really settled into the new one, even though they have been there for a few years. Their old flat holds so many memories for them and both Jack and Bet are naturally reflective about it.

Jack & Bet is a heartwarming story with kindness at it’s core and I am glad that I got a chance to read it.

~ Where to find Jack & Bet ~

Jack & Bet cover

Jack & Bet by Sarah Butler was published in Hardback by Picador in the UK on 5 March 2020. It can be found in all good bookshops as well at Amazon UK and on Goodreads.

~ About Sarah Butler ~

Sarah Butler

Sarah Butler is the acclaimed author of two previous novels, Ten Things I’ve Learnt About Love and Before the Fire. Her writing has been translated into fourteen languages. She is also the author of a novella, Not Home, written in conversation with people living in unsupported temporary accommodation. Sarah is a part-time lecturer in Creative Writing at Manchester Metropolitan University and lives in Manchester with her family.

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Advanced Review Copy · Blog Tours · Books · fiction · Lucy Foley · Review Copy · Reviews

A Sarah’s Vignettes Book Review: The Guest List by Lucy Foley (@lucyfoleytweets) ~ @HarperCollinsUK ~ @annecater #RandomThingsTours #BlogTour

I am thrilled to be sharing my review of The Guest List by Lucy Foley with you today. I loved The Hunting Party so I jumped at the chance to get my hands on a copy of The Guest List.

My thanks to Anne Cater for inviting me to be a part of the blog tour and to Jen Harlow at HarperCollins, for a copy of the book.

Before I share my review with you, here is what The Guest List is about.

~ Publisher’s Description ~

On an island off the windswept Irish coast, guests gather for the wedding of the year – the marriage of Jules Keegan and Will Slater.
 
Old friends.
Past grudges.

 
Happy families.
Hidden jealousies.

 
Thirteen guests.
One body.

 
The wedding cake has barely been cut when one of the guests is found dead. And as a storm unleashes its fury on the island, everyone is trapped.

All have a secret. All have a motive.
One guest won’t leave this wedding alive . . .

~ My thoughts ~

Ooh, just reading the blurb gives me the chills – and this book has a lot of them!

The Guest List is a classic whodunnit, with an Agatha Christie vibe. It is set on Cormorant Island, a remote island off of the Irish coast, where the only way on and off is by boat – and that’s when the weather is behaving itself. It’s the perfect setting for the wedding of the year but also for tragic events to unfold.

The Guest List begins on the evening of the wedding party where a body has been found on the island. The story then plays out between the day before and the party. It is told from the points of view of 5 characters: Jules, the bride, Olivia, the bridesmaid, Hannah, the plus-one, Aoife, the wedding planner, and Johnno, the best man. They really are an interesting bunch, each with their own stories and memories of the past. The closer it gets to the wedding, the more tense the atmosphere becomes and the more unsettled the characters are.

The island is a character in itself and acts as the catalyst for the events that unfold. The island’s remoteness and isolation plays with the characters, tormenting them. They feel trapped and, bit by bit, their true colours begin to show and decades old secrets and grudges emerge.

Lucy Foley has a brilliant way of creating an atmosphere in very few words. She is an intelligent and accomplished writer. Like The Hunting PartyThe Guest List is an outstanding read and deserves the numerous accolades it has already received (it was only published nine days ago!). I am already looking forward to the next book.

~ Where to find The Guest List ~

The Guest List by Lucy Foley

The Guest List by Lucy Foley was published in Hardback by HarperCollins in the UK on 20 February 2020. It can be found in all good bookshops as well at Amazon UK and on Goodreads.

~ About Lucy Foley ~

Lucy Foley

Lucy Foley studied English Literature at Durham and UCL universities and worked for several years as a fiction editor in the publishing industry, before leaving to write full-time. The Hunting Party, an instant Sunday Times and Irish Times no.1 bestseller, was Lucy’s debut crime novel, inspired by a particularly remote spot in Scotland that fired her imagination. Lucy is also the author of three historical novels, which have been translated into sixteen languages. Her journalism has appeared in ES Magazine, Sunday Times Style, Grazia and more.

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Advanced Review Copy · Blog Tours · Books · Christy Lefteri · fiction · Review Copy · Reviews

A Sarah’s Vignettes Book Review: The Beekeeper of Aleppo by Christy Lefteri (@christy_lefteri) ~ @ZaffreBooks ~ @Tr4cyF3nt0n #BlogTour

I am thrilled to be sharing my review of The Beekeeper of Aleppo by Christy Lefteri with you today.

My thanks to Tracy Fenton for inviting me to be a part of the blog tour and to Zaffre Books, for a proof copy of the book.

Before I share my thoughts with you, here is what The Beekeeper of Aleppo is about.

~ Publisher’s Description ~

In the midst of war, he found love

In the midst of darkness, he found courage

In the midst of tragedy, he found hope

Nuri is a beekeeper; his wife, Afra, an artist. They live a simple life, rich in family and friends, in the beautiful Syrian city of Aleppo – until the unthinkable happens. When all they care for is destroyed by war, they are forced to escape. But what Afra has seen is so terrible she has gone blind, and so they must embark on a perilous journey through Turkey and Greece towards an uncertain future in Britain. On the way, Nuri is sustained by the knowledge that waiting for them is Mustafa, his cousin and business partner, who has started an apiary and is teaching fellow refugees in Yorkshire to keep bees.

As Nuri and Afra travel through a broken world, they must confront not only the pain of their own unspeakable loss, but dangers that would overwhelm the bravest of souls. Above all – and perhaps this is the hardest thing they face – they must journey to find each other again.

~ My thoughts ~

I read The Beekeeper of Aleppo back in March 2019 but then life happened and I didn’t write my review. The story is so compelling that it has stayed with me all this time. Over the past week, I have refreshed my memory of the finer details of the story by listening to the audio book, read beautifully by Art Malik.

My journey with The Beekeeper of Aleppo started in late 2018 with a tweet from Zaffre Books, asking if book bloggers and reviewers would like a copy of the book to read and review. So I filled out a form in which I was given two choices: do I leave my spouse in search of a better life abroad or do I stay with them in a war torn country. A few weeks later, I received an email from Zaffre Books with the subject line: It’s time for your journey to begin. The email reminded me of the choice I had made and explained the decisions Nuri and Afra have to make in the story. It also confirmed that my book was on it’s way. Little did I realise that the real journey was only just beginning.

The Beekeeper of Aleppo begins in the UK with Nuri, the beekeeper, introducing us to his artist wife Afra and the rundown B&B they are staying at with 8 other refugees, awaiting immigration paperwork. Half way through the chapter, the story switches to Nuri and Afra’s life in Syria. Each chapter incorporates both the present and Nuri and Afra’s journey from Syria to the UK. Christy Lefteri has a clever way of dividing the past and the present in each chapter but I’ll let you discover what that is. 

Like us reviewers were given, Nuri and Afra have two choices: either stay in their home in war torn Syria and be killed or risk their lives with smugglers trying to get to the safety of the UK. I cannot imagine how you make that decision and I am fortunate that I have never had to.

What Afra and Nuri have been through before they even start their journey is horrifying, so much so that Afra has gone blind. Nevertheless with just a rucksack, they eventually decide to leave their home to make the journey to England, where Mustafa, Nuri’s cousin and business partner, is waiting. Nuri and Afra dangerously cross Turkey and Greece and are witness to some horrible realities with the refugee crisis: homelessness, poor sanitation, child slavery, abuse to name but a few.

Throughout the story, Nuri and Mustafa keep in contact by email, when Nuri can get access to the internet. Mustafa has started an apiary in Yorkshire and is teaching fellow refugees how to care for bees. We learn about Nuri and Mustafa’s bee business back in Syria and how they plan to work together in the UK. When I went to a blogger brunch with Christy Lefteri last April, she explained how the bees remind us that war destroys not only people but nature too. It reminds us of our interdependence with nature – I think the cover captures this perfectly.

The Beekeeper of Aleppo is a powerful and significant story, compassionately and beautifully told. Whether you read it or listen to it, I believe that The Beekeeper of Aleppo is a story that we should all experience. 

~ Where to find The Beekeeper of Aleppo ~

The Beekeeper of Aleppo

The Beekeeper of Aleppo by Christy Lefteri will be published in paperback by Zaffre Books in the UK on 20 February 2020. It can be found in all good bookshops as well at Amazon UK and on Goodreads.

~ About Christy Lefteri ~

Christy Lefteri was born in London in 1980 to Greek Cypriot parents who moved to London in 1974 during the Turkish invasion. She completed a degree in English and a Masters in creative writing at Brunel University. She taught English to foreign students and then became a secondary school teacher before leaving to pursue a PhD and to write. She is also studying to become a psychotherapist.

Connect with Christy Lefteri:

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The Beekeeper of Aleppo by Christy Lefteri
Advanced Review Copy · Blog Tours · Books · fiction · Review Copy · Reviews · Stacey Halls

A Sarah’s Vignettes Book Review: The Foundling by Stacey Halls (@stacey_halls) ~ @ZaffreBooks @bonnierbooks_uk ~ @Tr4cyF3nt0n #BlogTour

I am thrilled to be sharing my review of The Foundling by Stacey Halls today. I loved Stacey’s debut novel, The Familiars (read my review) so I was excited to get a chance to read The Foundling ahead of its publication. I was lucky to get my hands on an early copy at a proof party last September but I’ve only just had a chance to read it.

My thanks to Tracy Fenton for inviting me to be a part of the blog tour and to Manilla Press, for the proof copy of the book.

Before I share my review with you, here is what The Foundling is about.

~ Publisher’s Description ~

Two women, bound by a child, and a secret that will change everything . . .

London, 1754. Six years after leaving her illegitimate daughter Clara at London’s Foundling Hospital, Bess Bright returns to reclaim the child she has never known. Dreading the worst, that Clara has died in care, she is astonished when she is told she has already claimed her. Her life is turned upside down as she tries to find out who has taken her little girl – and why.

Less than a mile from Bess’s lodgings in the city, in a quiet, gloomy townhouse on the edge of London, a young widow has not left the house in a decade. When her close friend – an ambitious young doctor at the Foundling Hospital – persuades her to hire a nursemaid for her daughter, she is hesitant to welcome someone new into her home and her life. But her past is threatening to catch up with her and tear her carefully constructed world apart.

From the bestselling author of The Familiars comes this captivating story of mothers and daughters, class and power, and love against the greatest of odds . . .

~ My thoughts ~

Two years ago, I went to The Foundling Museum in Brunswick, London to a book talk. Before the event, we had a chance to look around the museum. One thing that really struck a chord with me were the tokens each mother left when she handed over her baby to the care of the Foundling Hospital. If a mother ever returned to collect her child, she could be identified by the token. Women would mainly leave a piece of fabric from their dresses – one of their few possessions. It was heartbreaking to see the objects on display but stories about the objects owners started playing around in my head. When I went to a party to celebrate The Foundling, Stacey Halls spoke about how the tokens had inspired her novel. In The Foundling, Bess Bright leaves half of a heart made from whalebone when she leaves her baby Clara at the hospital, just hours after her birth.

The Foundling really touched me. The book starts off with Bess going to the Foundling Hospital to hand over Clara because she doesn’t have enough money to care for her. There is a particular event that takes place at the hospital for the benefactors so they can watch mothers handing over their babies. This felt so cruel and unkind. As the book progresses to 6 years later, Bess has worked hard to save all earnings to care for her daughter and returns to the hospital to collect Clara, only to find that another woman got there first. We then follow Bess’s journey to track down her daughter and the woman claiming to be Clara’s mother.

I really liked the character of Bess. She is a strong woman to have handed over her daughter, hoping it would give her a better life. The pain of losing her child and the determination to find her screams off of the pages. Stacey Halls puts so much emotion into her writing. A mother’s love knows no bounds.

The story alternates between Bess’s story and the story of Alexandra Callard. Alexandra is a young widow who has become a recluse, which means her daughter Charlotte does not leave the house either. Alexandra is a cold woman and I did not warm to her until the end of the story. Alexandra’s story is a powerful one and I felt sorry for her.

Bess and Alexandra’s lives are complete contrasts and highlight the class and power struggles at the time. Bess, living in one room with her brother and father, selling fish at the market, saving all the money she can. Alexandra, wealthy and living in a townhouse in Bloomsbury with two servants and Charlotte. Both women’s personalities are contrasts too: Bess, loving and caring; Alexandra, cold and unfeeling.

1700s London is a period of history I am unfamiliar with and I actually don’t feel that comfortable reading historical fiction set in that time. Maybe because I don’t know much about it and I usually find the stories hard work to read. However, Stacey Halls intelligent writing made it easy to read and get into the story. She uses language from the time but yet her prose still feels contemporary. I’ve learnt a lot about London’s history too, for example, how you paid a linkboy to light your path on your journey because there were obviously no street lights – not sure why this has stayed with me! Stacey Halls attention to detail is strong and it plays with the senses like the noise of the carts on the cobbles, the smell of fish in Billingsgate market.

I really enjoyed The Foundling. I think it is equally as good as The Familiars , if not better – they are both outstanding reads – and I am curious to see whose story Stacey Halls tells next.

~ Where to find The Foundling ~

The Foundling by Stacey Halls

The Foundling by Stacey Halls was published in hardback by Manilla Press in the UK on 6 February 2020. It can be found in all good bookshops as well at Amazon UK and on Goodreads.

~ About Stacey Halls ~

Stacey Halls
Stacey Halls

Stacey Halls grew up in Rossendale, Lancashire, as the daughter of market traders. She studied journalism at the University of Central Lancashire and moved to London aged 21. She was media editor at The Bookseller and books editor at Stylist.co.uk, and has also worked as a journalist for Psychologies, the Independent and Fabulous magazine. TV rights of The Familiars have been sold to The Bureau production company.

Bought in a nine-way auction, The Familiars was received with much praise and is nominated for an HWA award. Say hello to @stacey_halls on Twitter and @staceyhallsauthor on Instagram.

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A Week in Books · Advanced Review Copy · Blog Tours · Book events · Book Hauls · Book Post · Books · Crime · fiction · Glynis Peters · Laura Jane Williams · Libby Page · Literary Lowdown · Lucy Foley · Review Copy · Reviews · Rory Clements

Sarah’s Vignettes Literary Lowdown ~ 20 January – 26 January 2020

Welcome to this week’s round-up of book life at Sarah’s Vignettes.

Keep scrolling to get the lowdown on what’s been going on here at Sarah’s Vignettes, the books I’ve been adding to my shelves and other bookish delights.

~ On the blog ~

Hitler's Secret by Rory Clements

On Monday, I shared my review of Hitler’s Secret by Rory Clements. It’s a gritty, dark, historical spy thriller that took me on quite a journey. 

On Thursday, it was a pleasure to promote The Orphan Thief by Glynis Peters.

~ On my calendar ~

An Evening with Libby Page and Laura Jane Williams

On Thursday evening, I went with fellow book bloggers Meggy, Rachel and Karen to An Evening with Libby Page and Laura Jane Williams at Waterstones Piccadilly, London.

It was publication day for Libby Page’s latest novel The 24-Hour Café and she joined author Laura Jane Williams to celebrate it. It was a fun evening, hearing all about Libby’s inspiration for the story, her love of outdoor swimming and her writing.

~ On my bookshelf ~

I’ve added 2 books to my shelf this week.

At the event on Thursday, I took the chance to get a signed hardback copy of The 24-Hour Café . It looks lovely alongside my signed hardback of Libby’s debut novel, The Lido.

The 24-Hour Café by Libby Page

The 24-Hour Cafe by Libby Page

Welcome to the café that never sleeps. Day and night Stella’s Café opens its doors for the lonely and the lost, the morning people and the night owls. It is many things to many people but most of all it is a place where life can wait at the door. A place of small kindnesses. A place where anyone can be whoever they want, where everyone is always welcome.

Meet Hannah and Mona: best friends, waitresses, dreamers. They work at Stella’s but they dream of more, of leaving the café behind and making their own way in life.

Come inside and spend twenty-four hours at Stella’s Café; a day when Hannah and Mona’s friendship will be tested, when the community will come together and when lives will be changed…


The other book I added to my shelf this week is a hardback copy of The Guest List by Lucy Foley, out on 20th February. The lovely people at Harper Collins kindly sent me a copy to read ahead of the blog tour next month. I am so excited to read it. I loved The Hunting Party, Lucy’s debut, and The Guest List sounds just as good.

The Guest List by Lucy Foley

On an island off the windswept Irish coast, guests gather for the wedding of the year – the marriage of Jules Keegan and Will Slater.
 
Old friends.
Past grudges.

 
Happy families.
Hidden jealousies.

 
Thirteen guests.
One body.

 
The wedding cake has barely been cut when one of the guests is found dead. And as a storm unleashes its fury on the island, everyone is trapped.

All have a secret. All have a motive.
One guest won’t leave this wedding alive . . .

~ On my bedside table ~

The 24-Hour Cafe by Libby Page

I’m currently reading The 24-Hour Café by Libby Page and can confirm it is good! Watch out for my review this Friday, 31 January.


What books have you been reading and buying this week? Let me know by leaving a reply in the box below.

Until next week, happy reading!

Advanced Review Copy · Blog Tours · Books · fiction · Review Copy · Reviews · Rory Clements

A Sarah’s Vignettes Book Review: Hitler’s Secret by Rory Clements ~ @ZaffreBooks ~ @Tr4cyF3nt0n #BlogTour

It’s a real pleasure to be kicking off the blog tour for Hitler’s Secret by Rory Clements.

Thank you to Tracy Fenton for inviting me to take part in the tour and to Zaffre for sending me a digital copy of the book via NetGalley in return for this honest review.

Before I share my review with you, here is what Hitler’s Secret is about.

~ Publisher’s Description ~

In the Autumn of 1941, the war is going badly for Britain and its allies. If the tide is going to be turned against Hitler, a new weapon is desperately needed.

In Cambridge, brilliant history professor Tom Wilde is asked by an American intelligence officer to help smuggle a mysterious package out of Nazi Germany – something so secret, even Hitler himself doesn’t know of its existence.

Posing as a German-American industrialist, Wilde soon discovers the shocking truth about the ‘package’, and why the Nazis will stop at nothing to prevent it leaving Germany. With ruthless killers loyal to Martin Bormann hunting him down, Wilde makes a desperate gamble on an unlikely escape route. But even if he reaches England alive, that will not be the end of his ordeal. Wilde is now convinced that the truth he has discovered must remain hidden, even if it means betraying the country he loves . . .

~ My thoughts ~

When the invitation for this blog tour popped into my inbox, I was quite excited as I enjoy reading stories set in World War 2. Hitler’s Secret is quite different to other books I’ve read from this period though. It’s a gritty, dark, historical spy thriller that took me on quite a journey. 

When history professor Tom Wilde is asked to go undercover to Germany to pick up a ‘package’ to smuggle back to England, I’m not even sure he realises what he is taking on. What ensues is espionage, Boorman’s men chasing Wilde across land and sea who will do anything, and I mean anything, to destroy the package, mortal danger as well as other things that come with war: road blocks, checkpoints, not knowing who to trust, the list is endless. 

I thought the story was well plotted, researched and flowed. There are quite a few characters in the story so I had to concentrate a little but it soon become clear how they all fit together. I really like Tom Wilde as a character. He is a decent man and makes a brilliant agent.

Hitler’s Secret is the 4th book in a series featuring Tom Wilde. I’ve not read the other books in the series nor experienced Rory Clements writing before. I felt that it was fine to read as a standalone novel. However, I do like a back story and would love to know more about Wilde’s background and what missions he has been sent on in the past. This was a mission and half to say the least. I will definitely be reading the other books in the Tom Wilde series.

~ Where to find Hitler’s Secret ~

Hitler's Secret by Rory Clements

Hitler’s Secret by Rory Clements will be published by Zaffre in the UK on 23rd January 2020. It’s available to pre-order from all good bookshops as well at Amazon UK, Amazon US and can also be found on Goodreads.

~ About Rory Clements ~

Rory Clements

RORY CLEMENTS is a Sunday Times bestselling author. He is twice winner of the CWA Historical Dagger Award, most recently in 2018 for Nucleus, the second Tom Wilde novel. A TV series of Rory’s previous series, the John Shakespeare novels, is currently in development. Rory lives in Norfolk with his family. Find out more at www.roryclements.co.uk

*Author photograph from Goodreads

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Be sure to drop by the other stops on the Hitler’s Secret blog tour!