A Lover of Books

Archive for the month “February, 2014”

‘The Lemon Grove’ by Helen Walsh

The Lemon Grove

I was sent a proof copy of ‘The Lemon Grove’ to review by Georgina Moore from Headline Publishing Group.  This is Helen Walsh’s brand new novel and it is being published by Tinder Press tomorrow.  The title of this book is one thing which drew me to it.  It sounds really lovely.

Jenn and her husband Greg are on holiday in Deia, a village in the west coast of Mallorca.  It’s where they go every year for their break.  But this summer things are about to change.  Jenn’s stepdaughter Emma and her boyfriend Nathan are going to be joining them both in a week’s time and it feels as if they will be sharing their holiday with a stranger.

The first time Jenn sets eyes on Nathan is when he comes into the kitchen.  He seems to stir something unexpected in her right from the start and she finds herself becoming attracted to him.  As Jenn is increasingly seduced by the notion of Nathan’s youth and the promise of passion, the line between desire and obsession starts to blur.  A highly-charged liaison takes place which puts both lives and relationships at risk.

One of the first things to impress me about this novel was the wonderful descriptions of Mallorca.  I almost felt as if I was there especially when it came to reading about the beach and the market.  Helen Walsh certainly has an eye for detail.

I enjoyed ‘The Lemon Grove’ right from the start.  This story is amongst other things about forbidden passion.  Shocking and deliciously erotic it kept me reading on.  The only thing I didn’t like was a particularly crude sexual reference.  I felt that it could have been replaced with another word.

I give this book 4 out of 5.

‘The Half-Life of Hannah’ by Nick Alexander

The Half-Life of Hannah

I got myself a copy of ‘The Half-Life of Hannah’ for my kindle when Black and White Publishing were doing an Amazon promotion.  This is the first of two novels, ‘Other Halves’ being the sequel.  Having heard a lot about this book I really wanted to read it for myself.

Hannah is thirty-eight years old, happily married to Cliff and is the proud mother of eleven year old Luke who means the world to her.  Its summer and they are on their way to the south of France for a two week holiday sharing a villa with Hannah’s younger sister Jill and her daughter, plus Jill’s good friend Tristan who is gay.

Hannah is really looking forward to relaxing with her family for a couple of weeks.  Little does she know that a ghost from the past is about to come back into her life.  Hannah makes some shocking discoveries about Cliff and realises that for years he has been deceiving her.  She ends up questioning everything.  Is it time for her to live the other half of her life?

I thoroughly enjoyed reading ‘The Half-Life of Hannah’ and really didn’t want to put it down.  It’s one of those books that you just can’t wait to get back to.  This novel has been beautifully written and it has a good mixture of characters.  I really liked Hannah and felt bad for her.  Though her life wasn’t bad it could have been so different.

Tristan being a chef enjoyed cooking for the others throughout the holiday.  Some of the descriptions of the food he made were mouth-watering, even the salads.

Now that I’ve read this book I will most definitely be reading ‘Other Halves’ as I really want to know what happens next.

I give this book 5 out of 5.


For this and other great books from Black and White Publishing click on this link:-


To find out about Nick Alexander’s previous novels and what he’s up to now visit his site here:-


‘A Flash of Lightning’ by Tony Drury + Competition

A Flash of Lightning

‘A Flash of Lightning’ is Tony Drury’s fourth novel.  It was published last year by City Fiction and I was sent a copy by Cathy Wright to review.  Tony Drury is a corporate financier and is based in the City of London.  I haven’t read any of his previous books, so this was a new experience for me.

Jessica Lambert works for a bank.  At nearly 38 years old she agrees with her mother that it’s time to have a baby before it’s too late.  But it’s not that easy finding the right man.  Matthew Orlando Buckingham is a city financier.  He doesn’t know it yet but the £6 million pounds he is able to raise in order for a film to be made is about to go missing.  Detective Chief Inspector Sarah Rudd has learnt that terrorists are planning to murder at least 400 people.  But where and how are they planning to do this and can Sarah prevent this from happening?

I found ‘A Flash of Lightning’ to be a thoroughly enjoyable and exciting read.  Well written, this novel gave me a good idea about how the finance world works and I felt I was learning something.  The storyline was great with a couple of really good plots.

Split into two parts, the first part includes the very interesting story of The Great Train Robbery which took place on the 8th August 1963.  At first I wondered why it was included in this novel, but all become apparent to me later.  A gripping read especially towards the end it was very hard to put this book down.

I give this book 5 out of 5.

Look out for Tony Drury’s fifth novel ‘The Lady Who Turned’ which is due to be published this Summer.


Below are some useful links.

For more information about Tony Drury visit his website at tonydrury.com/

Tony’s Facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/tony.drury.921

You can also follow him on Twitter – @mrtonydrury

If you are on Goodreads you can find Tony here – https://www.goodreads.com/TonyDrury

City Fiction have information about all of Tony’s novels on their website.  Visit them at http://www.cityfiction.co.uk/

Their Facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/pages/City-Fiction-Publishing/1434318926804533

You can follow Cathy Wright on Twitter – @cathywright17


Five very lucky people have the chance to win a signed copy of ‘A Flash of Lightning’.   To enter this competition leave a comment telling me whether you like lightning or not.

Terms and Conditions

This competition is open to UK residents only.

The closing date is 11:59 p.m. on the 2nd March 2014.

Winners will be notified within 7 days and their details will be passed on to Cathy Wright at City Fiction who will send out the prizes.

Good Luck! 🙂

‘Beyond the Valley of Sex and Shopping’ by E. P. Rose

Beyond the Valley

Panpathic Communications sent me a copy of this book for my kindle to read and review.  ‘Beyond the Valley of Sex and Shopping’, published by Table Thirteen Books is E. P. Rose’s debut novel and since then he has written a second book.

This is the story of the Perry Family, but mostly it’s about Suzie and her younger brother by two years, George who is known as “The Porge” Perry, a nickname he understandably doesn’t really like.  As children they are looked after by their lovely live-in nanny, Mary Poppins.  Mary, having lost a number of her family members including her husband was a bit lonely and so when she saw the job advertised she applied for it.

Over the years as Suzie and George grow up they have many experiences.  Poor George starts wetting his bed which affects his confidence badly.  Suzie meets Victor, a man who thinks he can write but who keeps being rejected by publishers.  They eventually get married and have a daughter.

‘Beyond the Valley of Sex and Shopping’ is a tale about family and the ups and downs of everyday life.  As the title suggests this story includes sex and shopping but there is a lot more to it as I soon discovered.  It deals with a number of other topics including jealousy, money, drugs, leaving home, illness and death.

I found this novel to be a very entertaining read with aptly named chapters.  It was both funny and tragic at the same time.  Out of all of the characters I liked George the best.

I give this book 4 out of 5.

‘Wake’ by Anna Hope


‘Wake’ is Anna Hope’s debut novel and it was published by Doubleday on 16th January 2014.  I was very kindly sent a proof copy to review by Alison Barrow at Transworld.

This story is set in November 1920 and it takes place over five days.  The body of an unknown soldier begins his journey home from France to be greeted by mourners at the Cenotaph.  In the meantime three women are each overcoming the aftermath of the war in their own way.  They all have a story to tell.  These women are strangers to each other, they’ve never met but in one way or the other they are connected.

Hettie dances for a living at the Hammersmith Palais earning sixpence a waltz.  Evelyn comes from a rich family but chooses to work in the Pensions Office.  Ada is a housewife who hasn’t got over the death of her son and keeps catches glimpses of him in the street.  As each woman struggles to move on with their lives, a shocking wartime mystery begins to unravel.

I knew from the very first page that I was going to enjoy ‘Wake’.  I found myself wanting to savour every single minute of this wonderful novel and ended up taking my time to read it.  Beautifully written, Anna Hope has done a very good job of portraying what life must have been like in those days and just how horrific the war was.

This year marks the 100th anniversary since the Great War began and this incredible story is a very fitting tribute.  I think ‘Wake’ would make a very good TV drama.

I hope there will be more books from Anna Hope soon.

I give this book 5 out of 5.

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