Posted in Blog Tour

The Man I Loved Before by Anna Mansell **Book Review** @bookouture

Happy Wednesday all

This was such a unique story filled with heart and healing.❤️

My Thoughts

An emotional and unique story filled with heart and healing. This book gave me all the feels: I laughed, I cried, I got frustrated, I cringed, I rolled my eyes, I smiled, and I shrugged my shoulders. Jem’s Life is a bit of a mess she lost the love of her life, her job, her house, filed for bankruptcy, and worst of all her mom is fighting cancer. Just as it looks as though Jem’s Life might turn around her mother meaning well sends a letter off to her ex Ben. This was a letter that Jem wrote for her own closure, a letter never meant to be seen, a letter that disclosed some pretty deep secrets that Ben was not aware of. What follows is a complicated story of hope, humor, sentiment, and sorrow.

Jem was a very likable and relatable character. I really liked her sense of humor and her strong friendship with Leanne. I really wasn’t sure what to make of the men in her life. Ben seemed to have moved on and Mitch there just seem to be something off about him. This really wasn’t a love triangle though, because there is a clear choice, you just never are sure that things are going to work out that way. The most important bond of this book however was that of Jem and her mother. Her mom really was such a treasure and I loved how supportive they were of one another. This book really does deal with some serious issues and I think they were handled well. I wish however that Jem’s alcoholism was addressed a little more thoroughly, I think it would have been a bit of a tougher battle for her to quit drinking. But there was a lot going on in the story and I think it ended on the perfect satisfying note.

*** Big thank you to Bookouture for my gifted copy of this book. All opinions are my own. ***

About the Book

‘Dear Ben, I can only write you this letter because I know you’ll never read it…’

 

When Jem writes to her ex Ben, it’s to explain everything. All the secrets she kept from him – from the little lies she’d sometimes tell about how new those shoes really were, or how many glasses of wine she’d had that evening… right up to The Big Thing that happened on the night that changed everything. But she never expects he will actually see what she’s written.

 

She is just writing because she thinks it will help to get the words out. Later, she resolves, she’ll burn the letter, and then the past will be in the past for good.

 

Because Jem is doing fine now. She’s busy: working, spending time with her best friend, and looking after her mother, who’s in remission from cancer. She’s even dating again and has just met a guy who she thinks she could actually fall for. At long last, Jem is really, definitely somewhere close to happy.

 

But her mum finds the letter and thinks she’s doing Jem a favour when she posts it to Ben. And Jem’s new, carefully rebuilt life begins to unravel in ways she could never have imagined. Then, when her mother gets ill again, she finds herself asking who has the key to her future. The man she’s falling in love with now? Or the man she loved before?

 

A heartbreaking, beautifully honest novel that will stay with readers long after they finish it. Perfect for fans of Diane Chamberlain, Amanda Prowse, and Susan Lewis.

About the Author

Anna had a brush with ‘fame’ as a magician’s assistant back in 1977. She later decided that being sawn in half by her magical performing father, at barely 6 months old, was too submissive a role. She vowed to channel the trauma into something much more pro-actively creative. Having failed at acting, singing and professional murder mystery parties (she was ALWAYs the one to die!), she fell to something much more solitary: writing. Anna lives on a dairy farm in Cornwall with her two children, her husband, and her ex-racing greyhound, Olive Dog.


Author Social Media Links: 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AnnaMansellWriter/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/AnnaMansell

  

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Have a Beautiful day!🌻

Berit☀️✨

Posted in Audiobook Review, Blog Tour, Historical Fiction, Mystery

This Lovely City by Louise Hare @LouRHare @HQstories @joe_thomas25 #ThisLovelyCity #BookReview

Hello book friends,

Welcome to the blog tour for This Lovely City by Louise Hare

This is a fabulous murder mystery set in post war Britain, and the cover is just gorgeous!

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My Review

1948, the war is finally over and bombed out Britain is set to rebuild, but to that they need people in London after so many were lost in the war, so the government send an invitation to its colonies asking for workers, in exchange for their help, these lucky people will be helped with accommodation and be part of something amazing!

Except, it doesn’t quite work out like that.

Jazz musician Lawrie Matthews travels from Jamaica to the UK along with hundreds of other people on the Empire Windrush, thinking that his life was going to start, there was going to be so many different things for him to do, jobs for him to choose, friends for him to make, he was a British citizen now, and people were going to love him.

Unfortunately, when the ship arrives, it seems that London wasn’t ready at all for the people that they had invited, and had done very little to accommodate them, on arrival they are escorted to an old bomb shelter and told this is where they will be staying until further accommodation was provided!

After eventually being housed, Lawrie gets a job as a Postman, and falls in love with a girl called Evie, who is a neighbour.

Lawrie loves his job, and in the evenings he plays in a Jazz band around SoHo, but what he doesn’t love is the blatant racism towards him and his friends, considering they were there to help, Lawrie doesn’t feel appreciated at all, and even though he is now a British citizen, it doesn’t matter, as the colour of his skin says otherwise!

While doing his post round one morning, Lawrie makes an awful discovery, that sets the future plans that he has with Evie on very thin ice.

This was at times a very hard hitting book mixed in with the mystery, to see all of these people being treated so badly just because of the colour of their skin makes me so angry, and even more so because of the Windrush situation that came to light in the news back in 2018 and is still going on now.

Louise Hare has managed to create a very atmospheric story and I could almost hear the Jazz band, and smell the smoky bars as I listened to this audiobook

Narrated By Theo Solomon and Karise Yansen who did a wonderful job recreating the character voices, I will certainly look for other books they have narrated.

Enjoy
Vicci 📚💛✨

**Thank you to HQ Stories for providing me with a free copy of this audiobook**

ThisLovelyCity_BTB

About the Book

The drinks are flowing. The music’s playing. But the party can’t last.
London, 1950. With the Blitz over and London still rebuilding after the war, jazz musician Lawrie Matthews has answered England’s call for help. Arriving from Jamaica aboard the Empire Windrush, he’s taken a tiny room in south London lodgings, and has fallen in love with the girl next door.
Touring Soho’s music halls by night, pacing the streets as a postman by day, Lawrie has poured his heart into his new home — and it’s alive with possibility. Until one morning, while crossing a misty common, he makes a terrible discovery.
As the local community rallies, fingers of blame are pointed at those who had recently been welcomed with open arms. And before long, London’s newest arrivals become the prime suspects in a tragedy which threatens to tear the city apart. Immersive, poignant, and utterly compelling, Louise Hare’s debut examines the complexities of love and belonging, and teaches us that even in the face of anger and fear, there is always hope.
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