This months reads are a mixed bag of mystery, murder, love and friendship and have taken me to Italy, Jersey, 'Up North' the South of France and the English countryside.
Last month I waxed lyrically about a new author that I had discovered Helen H Durrant, May saw me continue with the Calladine / Bayliss police partnership in the 4th book of this detective series with Dead Lost. The pair find themselves investigation a series of events which lead to a group of homeless people that have set up camp in a disused cotton mill, which as the story develops becomes more horrific. Alongside this the pair have to juggle their personal lives alongside their professional, as the investigation develops they find that the crimes are are further reaching than they imagined. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and with each story they become a little more darker and complex. D.I Calladine is definitely becoming a little bit of a guilty pleasure and look forward to reading the next in the series.
My next read saw be hoping the channel to Jersey for Georgina Troy's – A Jersey Kiss – here we meet Bea who along with dealing with a messy divorce is learning to live without her beloved god mother. Bea's god mother has left her, her beautiful home along with "A Jersey Kiss" which is proving to be a bit of a mystery. At work an old flame Tom reappears in her life, along with a gorgeous builder Luke who she hires to action some repairs to her home. With her ex-husband threatening court action for half of her home, Bea's life is a little chaotic, with the thought of losing her home, and some serious trust issues she has little time for romance, however things aren’t always as they seem and the mysterious legacy could be the thing that saves it all. This is a lovely story and I really liked Bea, being familiar with Jersey having spent some time there in my teens it was easy to visualise some of the places within this book. Having enjoyed this book I immediately downloaded the 2nd book within the series which is loosely connected to book 1.
A JerseyAffair is Georgina's 2nd book and features Paige. Paige is jilted days before her wedding and decides to spend her honeymoon for one in Sorrento. Paige is a shoe designer and has a small shop within one of Jersey's old department stores. Whilst on her 'onemoon' she meets Sebastian Fielding, a wealthy entrepreneur, he spends a platonic 2 weeks with Paige showing her the sights and sounds of Sorrento and its surrounding coastline and Paige's broken heart slowly begins to mend. On returning to Jersey Paige finds out that her department store is being taken over and the mystery buyer is none other than Sebastian, can their budding romance survive the threat of Paige losing her shop and dealing with the press intrusion. Another delightful read from Georgina and had me scouring travel sites for a short stay in Sorrento. Sebastian is quite delicious and I enjoyed catching up with some of the characters from the previous book…. Book 3 is now downloaded and sitting in my "to read" list.
My 4th read of the month is a Jill Mansell novel – Three Amazing things about You. Jill is one of my all-time favourite authors and yet again she didn’t disappoint with this book. In this book we meet 3 women, Hallie, Flo and Tasha unbeknown to each of them they will all become connected in ways that they never would have thought of; Hallie is a young women who is on a donor lost awaiting a lung transfer having suffered with cystic fibrosis all her life. We meet Hallie as she is heading for the hospital having received the call that a donor has been found. Hallie for the past few years has been hiding a number of secrets; 1. She is the author of a blog which answers peoples problems via 3 things about you, what she has never shared is who she is and the condition she has, she shares her secret on route to the hospital. Her other secret is that she is in love with the most perfect man, something she has never shared with her best friend or even him an now time is running out should she share that secret too? Flo has met Zander through the most bizarre circumstances, Zander's scary sister loathes Flo and the thought of them becoming friends would send her apoplectic, anything more would send her crazy. Tasha meets her perfect man and the only issue is that he is a bit of an adrenaline junkie, the complete opposite to safe, planned Tasha. She spends her tome apart from him worrying that something terrible is going to happen. One day all these womens lives collide and their lives will be intricately woven for ever more. This was a thought provoking emotional read, and Jill manages to make you laugh, cry and think in every chapter. I loved Hallie and desperately wanted her life to be better… I will leave it up to you to read to find out if she got her happy ending and got the courage to share her secrets.
My final read for the month is The Little French Guesthouse by Helen Pollard – Emmy Jamieson books a fortnights escape to a guesthouse in the French Countryside with her boyfriend Nathan. After 5 years their relationship has become a little dull and Emmy is hoping a couple of weeks in the south of France will inject a little life into their lives. Having barely unpacked Emmy's holiday takes a turn when she finds her boyfriend with his pants down with the owners cougar wife Gloria and the owner Rupert collapsing with a suspected heart attack unaware of his wifes antics. Nathan & Gloria scarper and leave Emmy holding the fort at the guesthouse and gites. With Rupert convalescing, Emmy agrees to stay and help out for the remaining holiday. She finds herself thrust into the heart of the local community which involves a sexy young gardener, and a infuriating delicious accountant. Emmy finds herself extending her stay and with Ruperts support she has some decisions to make about her future. This is a lovely read and one that I devoured whilst travelling through the French countryside on Eurostar with a large coffee and croissant. I loved Emmy and the characters were delightful. I do hope that Helen does a follow-up as I am sure that there are future stories with some of the supporting cast.
Thankyou authors for 5 fab reads for May, I've enjoyed travelling in Italy, France, Jersey alongside some heartache, murder, mystery, fun and friendship…. I am now 33 books into my 75 book reading challenge…. Here's the previous 28 from 2016.