April 2023 Books #AmReading

I don’t think I will even comment on what ARCs I have because whenever I think I get to the end of my pile, another arrives! Still, I am not complaining. It means I have all the more books to share with you! But I hope you will be proud of me. I have also managed to read some already released books, too!

Her Fixer Upper: A brand new friends-to-lovers romance for 2023 by Emily Kerr
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oh my goodness, I LOVED this! I have read some other Emily Kerr books, so I knew I would enjoy this, but I sped through it, wanting to read every last word and to know exactly how things ended!
Freya and Charlie are childhood friends who have lost touch but meet again, by chance, in a pub.
And their fateful meeting couldn’t come at a better time, as both are trying to get on the property ladder, but neither is having any luck, what with the economy, and the state of most people’s finances, right now.
One thing leads to another, and the two friends find themselves celebrating their renewed friendship with the added golden handshake of a joint mortgage on a doozy of a fixer-upper!
I love property renovation, and I pictured Oak Tree Cottage as they gently rid it of its debris and began to make it a house worthy of living in.
And, more than the conversion of the house, I loved how the friendship between the two main characters began to morph, too.
Aided brilliantly by Arthur, Freya’s Grandfather, and her best friend, Leila, and not forgetting Ted, Aarthur’s dog, who ends up with them for a while, it was a pleasure to read the developments!
Hutch and Humph for life!
Many thanks to NetGalley and Harper Collins, One More Chapter for an ARC.

Releasing 19th May, 2023

I Love You, Always, Forever by Charlie Dean
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oh, what a rollercoaster of emotion this book put me through!
Not least because there is sensitive subject matter but because of all the reminiscing I could do, thanks to the book’s timeframe.
The story is set in the now, as an adult Charlie, the main character, is coming to terms with life as a middle-aged woman, and dealing with all that comes with it, including dealing with loss and illnesses of loved ones, as well as a dual timeline of the 90s when she is a student in 6th form (like me), shy, exploring different elements of her personality, and experimenting with a very special relationship.
I loved it because I lived with so many of these experiences as a teenager. The nostalgia I felt was unreal. And then the additional relatability of life as a middle-aged woman. It was just wonderfully written!
There is romance, budding and established, friendships, family and the awakening of sexual feelings. A bit steamy in places too, but honestly, I got all the feels, in a good way!

The one that he wants: A gorgeous and exciting, enemies to lovers romance to escape with. by Lizzie Chantree
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I was absolutely into Cherry Blossom Lane with book 1, so I couldn’t wait to be reunited with the characters and learn more about what was happening with Sasha this time!
And Lizzie Chantree did not disappoint.
It was wonderful to see Poppy again, follow the lead-up to her wedding, and watch with intrigue the development of Sasha’s self-confidence and her romantic life.
Ollie is the Taylor brother in the picture this time round, and he is certainly a complex character.
There were plenty of ‘Will they? Won’t they?’ moments as different characters introduced themselves as prospective spanners in the works!
I love how the intrigue has been built for the next book… And cannot wait for it to be out!

Hopeful Hearts at the Cornish Cove by Kim Nash
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It’s been a while since I stepped into the gorgeous worlds created by Kim Nash and her characters, and I truly enjoyed this foray to the Cornish coast!
Meredith made a bit of a drunken decision to purchase a lighthouse, miles away from the rest of her life, to have a fresh start, a project and to put some distance between her and her old life that, apart from her best friend, seemed to have begun to stagnate.
Well, what can I say? There are always dubious purchases made with the aid of alcohol when you aren’t feeling yourself, and when she arrives at her new, unviewed, apart from some stylised photos, home, she is in for a shock.
And the shocks don’t start there, but at the local supermarket, where she encounters rude locals that get her back up from the off.
I will not go into the story, as what would be the point of you reading it if I was just to regurgitate it here, but I will say that you won’t want to put it down once you start reading!
Meredith is a character who will resonate with many women, especially those of a certain age. She had a fire in her belly that was dampened by her previous life, but the sea and sea air might have just reignited it rather than put it out completely!
There are many characters to keep you wanting to read, not least Vi, who I think is an amazing woman. What a character! And her dog, Gladys, is just adorable!
Meredith has old friends, but the new ones she makes as she begins what feels like a thankless task of renovating and restoring her purchase are a choice bunch.
But there are always that core of locals who ‘hate’ newcomers. She has her work cut out, I’ll tell you.
And, of course, there’s Clem… A brooding, moody man who ends up rather helpful in many ways. But will he be the one who helps her realise she is not just a middle-aged woman undeserving of a fresh start romantically as well as generally?
The restoration of the lighthouse was fascinating to read about, too, and just reading the descriptions makes me want to go and stay in one right now!
A wonderful read from start to finish!

A Summer on the Riviera: a gorgeously heartwarming and escapist summer read of friendship, forbidden love and family secrets by Rachel Barnett
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Definitely, an easy read for the coming summer!
Bella, the MC, has found herself the perfect summer job, as the first stewardess on a super yacht, using all the hospitality skills she has learned over the years working in hotels and restaurants, except she forgot that it is on a boat for the whole summer. And she gets travel sick! Oops!
First hurdle.
The second one is her roomie for the duration, who seems rather miffed at this newbie coming in and taking the position on the boat that she had hoped for.
Third, the first guests she has to host include a famous actress and her extremely tasty nephew.
And she CANNOT get involved… Can she?
This was an easy book to get into, with a good solid boy-meets-girl romance and several twists and turns along the way.
I can tell you that there was a moment towards the end before the climax when I literally held my breath, thinking that things might not work out…
So good!
Many thanks to NetGalley and Embla Books for an ARC.

Releasing 2nd May, 2023

Borrowed Time by Kay Bratt
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Kay Bratt has wowed me again with this fantastic addition to the Hart’s Ridge series!
We meet Taylor Grey again in her role as a small-town cop, dealing with another heinous crime, this time against a very close friend of hers, Sissy, who has gone missing.
Aside from the investigation, we get to meet another of Taylor’s sisters, Anna, in more detail. Anna is the one who has remained rather aloof through the series, having married well and living in an affluent part of the town, with an Instagram-perfect kind of life.
Until it begins to crumble.
The sisters continue to build their support network together, and it is a joy to read about how their mother, Cate, is faring.
Obviously, there is Diesel, the dog, and several others that join the cast, sure to have starring roles in future stories!
So much happens in this book, and Kay touches upon many topics, such as suicidal thoughts and IDV, sensitively.
There are plenty of twists and turns throughout the book, which I have come to expect from the Hart’s Ridge Series, and the hint of what is to come in book 5, Instant Karma, makes me even more impatient as I wait for its release!
Thank you to Kay Bratt and the publishers for an ARC.

The Bay of Lost Souls: A Beautiful, Uplifting, Perfect Summer Read. by Kiltie Jackson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oh, Kiltie Jackson. Well, you’ve done it again, haven’t you?
This is the third of your books I have read so far, and I thoroughly enjoyed it!
Each one I have read has a slightly different genre, and each has its own beauty.The Bay of Lost Souls centres around Perrie, a woman who is running from something to the isolated Broatiescombe Bay to be alone and come to terms with her life.
Morgan is a single father to one gorgeous little girl, Daisy, who has his own tragedy to overcome.
Fate rolls them into one another (literally), and the beauty of the bay, and a little girl obsessed with Disney princess Merida, try their hardest to seal the deal.
Thing is, nothing is ever what it seems.
I loved the bay and the little cottage Perrie moves into for her stay and her cats, Timothy and George. What a pair of characters!
All the book’s characters are believable, real souls to whom you can relate.
Daisy was a firm favourite, too, as a feisty little pre-schooler who knows what she wants.
The secret Perrie carries is a big twist and causes all manner of drama, as it should, but everything is revealed and handled in an extremely sensitive manner.
A love story with secrets, twists and turns, and adventure, too.
Definitely worth a read.

The Half Moon by Mary Beth Keane
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

After reading and thoroughly enjoying Ask Again, Yes, by Mary Beth Keane, I was excited to delve into another of her books.
The Half Moon centres around a bar named The Half Moon and a short period of time during which the owners, Malcolm and Jess, are going through their own marital struggles.
It’s that time-old tragedy of the threat of infertility taking its toll on a relationship.
Coupled with a little disappearing person case.
I found it a little tough to get into if I am honest. The same emotions that I felt reading Ask weren’t awakened.
Many thanks to NetGalley, Michael Joseph and Penguin Randon House for an ARC.

Releasing 13th July, 2023

Wish Upon a Cornish Moon by Amanda James
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oh, What a beautiful story!
I will probably end up gushing about this story to more than one person because I loved it that much!
This story spans several eras through two families, but they are all connected by a thread: the power of the moon and a belief in magic.
During and after WW2, Lamorna, and later on, her sister Morwenna, follow an old folk tale known in their community, harnessing the magic of the moon and a particular cove near where they live, in Cornwall, to launch their wishes for a love of their own, using a short incantation, and a message in a bottle.
In the present day, Merrin is not very easily adjusting to her life as a newly divorced mother to a teenager who is due to spread her wings and leave the family nest, too.
Fate brings her in touch with Morwenna, a lonely elderly lady who lives locally and shares the moon’s secret with her.
And the way everything falls into place is just beautifully planned.
I don’t want to go too far into it, but I can say that it is a gorgeous story filled with – fate, or maybe it really is magic.
I loved all the characters, and honestly, if I weren’t happily settled down, I’d be ready to rush to that cove and take a punt on a message in a bottle, helping me with my own future!
Many thanks to NetGalley and Harper Collins, One More Chapter for an ARC.

Releasing 5th May, 2023

The Reading List by Sara Nisha Adams
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oh, what a gorgeous read!
Mukesh is grieving the loss of his wife.
Aleisha is stuck in a dead-end summer job before returning to Sixth Form in September.
Neither of them enjoys reading.
Then, a twist of fate, and a certain list, throw them together to forge an unlikely friendship as they learn to love books and the messages they can give.
I was invested from the off with the elderly Mukesh. His unexpected transformation regarding reading is sparked by his trying to keep a closeness to Naina, his wife, who loved her books, and the library.
And Aleisha, as a young adult, just needs a simple job since she is helping her brother care for her mother. Books take on a different meaning, allowing her to accept life and see situations through different eyes.
Of course, the selection of books on that reading list was brilliant, too.
A must-read for book lovers and one for non-readers, too. Who knows, it might spur you on to read something different.

Poetry Treasures 3: Passions by Kaye Lynne Booth
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Another beautiful poetry anthology featuring some familiar names and some new-to-me poets.
Kaye Lynne Booth has collated a fantastic selection of poems centring around Passions, and some of these verses really tug at your heartstrings.
Robbie Cheadle, with her verses relating to family and illnesses and Willow Willers, exploring her passions and the feelings passion can encourage, had me speeding through the book.
Colleen Chesebro and D. Wallace Peach also feature in this fantastic collection, with examples of their evocative poetry.

The Twilight Garden: Escape with the life-affirming, uplifting new novel for 2023 from acclaimed author of The Reading List by Sara Nisha Adams
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I loved The Reading List, so when I heard that there was a second book from Sara Nisha Adams, I was thrilled, and, having read it, I was not disappointed at all.
Winston lives in a rented house with his partner Lewis. They have a huge garden that is shared with their neighbouring house, which has been empty since they lived there. The garden is overgrown but a solace to him as he ponders his life, not quite what his parents envisaged when they sent him to London from India.
Then one day, they have new neighbours: Beatrice and her young son, Seb. Beatrice is a recently divorced woman, who wants the best for her child and is excited to have this home with a large garden for her child, only she isn’t quite sure of the shared part.
Animosity brews, and then a set of anonymous letters start to arrive, first for Winston, then for Beatrice, which causes a chain reaction that changes their lives in a huge way.
There is a dual timeline, showing the house’s history, with the POV of the previous residents, Maya and Alma, which gives the story a solid background.
I loved learning about Maya and her start in England and Alma, the grumpy neighbour who becomes family to Maya, her husband, Prem and their daughter.
The anonymous list/letter seems to be a device in both Adams’ books, and it has also been used well this time.
A crew of flawed characters who you come to care about.
A good read.
Many thanks to NetGalley and Harper Collins UK for an ARC.

Releasing 8th June, 2023

Review to follow in a Book & A Brew post, soon! But, it’s ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️!

Releasing 1st May, 2023 Blog Tour post to follow!

The Coach Trip by Izzy Bromley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this read about a couple of younger women who end up on a coach trip, typically for the more mature holidaymaker.
Emma wants to give her best friend, Mel, a birthday to remember, but double books herself when she promises to go with her grandmother on a coach trip, originally booked as an anniversary present for her husband. Sadly, Grandad passed away before the trip, but Emma wants to make her grandma happy.
Emma and Mel end up on this coach trip with many preconceived ideas about older people, and it is a pleasure to see how these misconceptions are sh=mashed as the week-long trip progresses.
Getting old isn’t fun in many ways. It is often hard for the younger generation to sympathise with that old lady who takes so long to walk or the man who is holding up the supermarket checkout line…
This is a book that makes you rethink your ideas, and it definitely reinforced my already strong respect for the elderly.
And… Mel did have a great birthday too!
Many thanks to NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing for an ARC.

Releasing 10th May, 2023

Releasing 23rd May, 2023 – Look out for my review and a Book & A Brew with Ritu Post around publication date! But, again, another ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ read!

So, tell me what you have been reading and what caught your eye from the above!

14 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Cindy Georgakas
    May 04, 2023 @ 22:56:24

    Impressive how many books you review Ritu.

    Liked by 2 people


  2. Isayas Marga Garoma
    May 02, 2023 @ 10:06:02

    Hy Ritu are you fine

    Liked by 1 person


  3. OIKOS™- Art, Books & more
    May 02, 2023 @ 09:46:02

    Hey Sis, it seems you soon have to build your own library in the garden. 😉 Or alternatively a own Kindle Cloud Center. 🙂 Thanks for the recommendations and the great reviews. Best wishes, Michael

    Liked by 2 people


  4. robbiesinspiration
    Apr 30, 2023 @ 20:14:21

    Gosh, Ritu What a lot of books you’ve read. I really like the sound of the one about Meredith and her lighthouse. Thank you for this lovely review of PT3. I am delighted you enjoyed it 💞

    Liked by 2 people


  5. willowdot21
    Apr 30, 2023 @ 17:23:32

    Thank you Sis for all these fabulous recommendations, especially as Poetry Treasures 3 Passion was in amongst them 💜💜

    Liked by 2 people


  6. D. Wallace Peach
    Apr 30, 2023 @ 17:07:47

    That’s a lot of reading, Ritu. I’m so glad you enjoyed Poetry Treasures, and thanks for the mention. 🙂 Borrowed Time looks good to me too (I enjoy small-town sheriff characters). Thanks for the recommendations!

    Liked by 3 people


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