Archive | September 2023

An Italian Secret by Ella Carey

Secrets & Lies

An Italian Secret by Ella Carey is a simply marvellous dual timeline novel. It is the first book in the Daughters Of Italy series which promises to be fabulous.

The action is set in present day and in Northern Italy in 1944. 1944 was naturally a time of great unrest as the partisans were fighting against the occupying Nazis. All around was great danger as one was not always sure where sympathies lay. It was a time of great risk and extraordinary bravery. Rumors existed but where did the truth lay?

In present day a deathbed letter throws a character into confusion. Has her whole life been a lie? She travels from America to Italy in search of the truth.

Since 1944 there have been rumors about a baby existing whose father was a high-ranking Nazi. A branch of the family is seen as originating from a black sheep. Will the truth ever be known?

There are beautiful bonds between fathers and daughters in both time periods. The love radiates through the pages.

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Christmas At The Cat Cafe by Jessica Redland

Purrfectly Wonderful

Christmas At The Cat Café by Jessica Redland is the most wonderful contemporary festive offering that I just could not get enough of. I think Jessica Redland wrote her book just for me! I am a crazy cat lady who also has fibromyalgia. I like nothing better than to be surrounded by cats whilst wearing cat themed clothing! I talk to every cat I meet. I adored all of our cats and miss those who are now running free over Rainbow Bridge.

Christmas At The Cat Café spoke to my heart and soul. I ‘lived’ the role of the lead character. My heart broke at one stage and tissues were definitely needed!

Another thing that helped me step into the role was the cats’ names. I too, had a Smudge and a Marmalade. Sadly, now both are running free over Rainbow Bridge.

I identified with the lead character and the way she viewed fibromyalgia. She echoes everything that I feel and do about the very misunderstood fibromyalgia. I see myself with brain fog, aching limbs, restless limbs and more. Hopefully after Jessica Redland’s marvellous book, more people will have an understanding of fibro.

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The Gingerbread House In Mistletoe Gardens by Jaimie Admans

Believe In Me

The Gingerbread House In Mistletoe Gardens by Jaimie Admans is a perfectly charming contemporary festive offering that left me feeling warm and fuzzy.

The novel is very community minded as the residents band together to save Mistletoe Gardens.

This is the essence of Christmas in a book – from gingerbread houses to mulled wine to mistletoe – the festive season comes alive under the artistic pen of Jaimie Admans.

Some characters are hiding from life. Some have erected walls around their hearts as past pain still hurts. Others are hiding physical scars.

We see characters getting to know each other. “Eyes don’t make someone attractive, personality does.” Kindness is always a very attractive feature.

We witness the cruelty of dementia. How hurtful it is when our loved ones do not remember us. “She might not know you, but she can sense love.” Our loved ones may forget us but they will not forget how we make them feel. Love shines through.

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The Baby Left Behind by Jen Craven


The Baby Left Behind by Jen Craven is a totally gripping tale that consumed me from the start. I ‘lived’ through the book as I clung on for an emotional roller coaster read.

The book is about motherhood and the desire for a baby. It seems most unfair that some women get pregnant so easily whilst for others it is a struggle or even impossible. All the carefully laid plans amount to nothing.

In contrast to the full preparation of some, we see a woman thrust unexpectedly into motherhood.

Both women have bonds with a baby. Both women elicit feelings of empathy from the reader. Both women cannot win – there will always be a loser. Where will your sympathies lie?

We see the bonds between mothers and daughters. No matter how old we get, there is nothing a mother will not do for her daughter. There are no regrets just armfuls of love.

Sibling rivalry exists into adulthood. There seems to be the golden girl and the other one. However, when the chips are down, new bonds are formed as a family pulls together.

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