Review: No Safe Place by Patricia Gibney @Trisha460 @Bookouture


Release date: March 22, 2018

Publisher: Bookouture

Genre: Mystery/Thriller


There’s nothing more dangerous than a familiar face…

As funeral mourners stand in silence at Ragmullin cemetery, a deafening cry cuts through the air. Lying crumpled at the bottom of an open grave is the bloodied body of a young woman, and Detective Lottie Parker is called in to investigate.

Knowing the body can’t have been there long, Lottie wonders if it could be Elizabeth Bryne, a young woman who vanished without trace just days earlier. And with a new boss who seems to have it in for her, Lottie is under pressure to solve both cases quickly.

As two more women go missing from Ragmullin, Lottie and her team fear there is a serial killer on the loose. And the disappearances are strikingly similar to a cold case from ten years earlier. Could history be repeating itself?

As journalists begin to interfere with Lottie’s investigation, she fears the killer is about to strike again. Lottie is in a race against time to find the missing women, but the killer is closer than she thinks. Could Lottie be his next target?

If you love Angela Marsons, Robert Bryndza and Rachel Abbott, you’ll love the latest pulse-pounding thriller from Patricia Gibney. No Safe Place will keep you guessing until the very last page.

I’m so excited to be one of the stops on the blog tour for No Safe Place today!


If you’re a regular reader of my little blog you’re probably well aware that I’m a huge fan of the Lottie Parker series and I can’t believe this is already book four! While technically you definitely could read this as a standalone I don’t recommend it as it’s such a great mix of police procedural and thriller with deeply drawn characters and you would truly be missing out on pertinent background information.

Lottie feels like an old friend at this point albeit one that’s a bit of a mess, but a lovable mess. Her personal life is as crazy as ever and her work life isn’t much better. This series has the perfect blend of personal and professional, I’m equally invested in both and I really feel like I know Lottie as a character. Her and Boyd are one of my favorite duos, they just have such a wonderful rapport that leans to the sarcastic side which is right up my alley.

This spans the course of five days as Lottie and team work relentlessly to find missing women and a killer. It all seems like it could be related to a cold case but per usual there are more questions than answers which always keeps things fresh and exciting. There’s a large cast of supporting characters and various interesting subplots that keep things intriguing and impossible to predict where things are headed.

Strong, sharp writing, highly complex plotting and characters that I truly care about combine together to make a recipe for success for me! I’m a firm fan of these books and the author, if you haven’t started them yet, get cracking!

No Safe Place in three words: Intricate, Sharp and Gritty.

Overall rating: 4/5

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.

About the Author:

Patricia lives in the midlands of Ireland. She is an avid crime reader so naturally she found herself writing in the crime genre.

A life changing experience in 2009, with the death of her 49 year old husband, meant she had to give up her career, and over the following few years, she rekindled her love of art and writing.

Initially Patricia wrote and illustrated a children’s book, but her real ambition was to write a novel. And she did!

In January 2016, she joined with Ger Nichol of The Book Bureau Literary Agency. In July 2016, Patricia signed with Bookouture for four DI Lottie Parker crime novels.

The Missing Ones (Book 1) published in March 2017 and to date has reached a high of number 2 in Amazon UK Kindle charts and number 6 in the US. It also achieved number 1 in all its categories. It is a bestseller in UK, US, Canada and Australia and has sold over 600,000 copies and has now also been published by Hachette Ireland in paperback.

Book 2 in the series, The Stolen Girls, published on July 6th, 2017.

Book 3, The Lost Child, was published on October 27th, 2017. 

Review: The Secret to Southern Charm by Kristy Woodson Harvey @kristywharvey


Release date: April 3, 2018

Publisher: Gallery

Genre: Women’s Fiction


Leaving fans “practically [begging] for a sequel” (Bookpage), critically acclaimed author Kristy Woodson Harvey returns with the second novel in her beloved Peachtree Bluff series, featuring a trio of sisters and their mother who discover a truth that will change not only the way they see themselves, but also how they fit together as a family.

After finding out her military husband is missing in action, middle sister Sloane’s world crumbles as her worst nightmare comes true. She can barely climb out of bed, much less summon the strength to be the parent her children deserve.

Her mother, Ansley, provides a much-needed respite as she puts her personal life on hold to help Sloane and her grandchildren wade through their new grief-stricken lives. But between caring for her own aging mother, her daughters, and her grandchildren, Ansley’s private worry is that secrets from her past will come to light.

But when Sloane’s sisters, Caroline and Emerson, remind Sloane that no matter what, she promised her husband she would carry on for their young sons, Sloane finds the support and courage she needs to chase her biggest dreams—and face her deepest fears. Taking a cue from her middle daughter, Ansley takes her own leap of faith and realizes that, after all this time, she might finally be able to have it all.

Harvey’s signature warmth and wit make this a charming and poignant story of first loves, missed opportunities, and second chances and proves that she is “the next major voice in Southern fiction” (Elin Hilderbrand, New York Times bestselling author).


Last year I read Slightly South of Simple and fell head over heels in love with not only Peachtree Bluff, but also the characters and Harvey’s smooth, fluid writing. I couldn’t wait to revisit Ansley, Caroline, Sloane and Emerson and now I want to pack my stuff move to Peachtree Bluff! Ok, at least take a vacation there?!

If the cover of STSC doesn’t make you long for warm weather then I don’t know what will, it’s gorgeous and the inside is just as pretty. This time around the story centers more on Sloane and her despair and hopelessness as her husband Adam, is missing in action. It flips between her point of view and Ansley’s and the entire family is in crisis mode for various reasons. This was much more emotional for me than the first book, it played off of some of my own worst fears and Harvey writes with a passion that tugs on the heart, it’s beautiful and insightful.

The characterization in this series is fantastic, this family of women are all relatable on some level and are the kind of people I would want as friends. I loved finding out more about Sloane, many of her chapters began with an old letter from Adam and they simultaneously broke my heart and made me swoon. You do still uncover some more details about the rest of the family, but Sloane is definitely front and center and her thoughts and feelings about motherhood, being a sister, wife and daughter were SO relatable that Harvey could be plucked them right out of my own head.

Once again this had it all, family drama, secrets, romance, humor and charm, I literally cannot wait for the next book. This is one to pick up when you want to be lost in the pages of a book, pack it for your next vacation, I don’t think you’ll regret it.

The Secret to Southern Charm in three words: Endearing, Warm and Wise.

Overall rating: 5/5

Thanks to the author for my review copy.

Head over to Instagram for a chance to win a copy of STSC!

About the Author:

Kristy Woodson Harvey is the author of Dear Carolina (Berkley/Penguin Random House, 2015), Lies and Other Acts of Love (Berkley/Penguin Random House, 2016) and the Peachtree Bluff Series, beginning with Slightly South of Simple (Gallery/Simon & Schuster, 2017). Dear Carolina was long-listed for the Pat Conroy Southern Book Prize, has been optioned for film and has appeared on numerous “must-read” lists. Lies and Other Acts of Love was a Romantic Times top pick, a Southern Booksellers Okra Pick and was chosen to be a part of the 2017 Trio display, an integration of story, art and song, which will spend the year traveling the country.

She blogs with her mom daily on Design Chic, the inaugural member of Traditional Home’s design blogger hall of fame, about how creating a beautiful home can be the catalyst for creating a beautiful life and loves connecting with readers at

Harvey is a Phi Beta Kappa, summa cum laude graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s school of journalism and holds a master’s in English from East Carolina University, with a concentration in multicultural and transnational literature. Her writing has appeared in numerous publications and websites, including Southern Living, Domino, Houzz and Our State. She has been seen featured in Readers’ Digest, The Huffington Post, USA Today’s Happy Every After, North Carolina Bookwatch, PopSugar, Glitter Guide and The Sits Girls. She lives in North Carolina with her husband and five-year-old son where she is working on her next novel.

Review: The Fear by C. L. Taylor @callytaylor @AvonBooksUK #OvercomeYourFear


Release date: March 22, 2018

Publisher: Avon Books

Genre: Psychological Thriller


When Lou Wandsworth ran away to France with her teacher Mike Hughes, she thought he was the love of her life. But Mike wasn’t what he seemed and he left her life in pieces.

Now 32, Lou discovers that he is involved with teenager Chloe Meadows. Determined to make sure history doesn’t repeat itself, she returns home to confront him for the damage he’s caused.

But Mike is a predator of the worst kind, and as Lou tries to bring him to justice, it’s clear that she could once again become his prey…

The million copy Sunday Times bestseller returns with a taut, compelling psychological thriller that will have you glued to the edge of your seat.

Happy publication day to C. L. Taylor, I’m thrilled to be helping to kick off her blog tour today! I have my thoughts about the book to share, but first I have an extract.


I hate surprises. So much so that when Ben rang me at work on Monday and told me to keep the weekend free because he was going to surprise me, I almost ended the call. Instead I pretended to be thrilled.

‘You okay?’ he asks now. ‘You don’t get travel-sick do you?’

If I look pale it’s got nothing to do with the fact that we are rocketing down the A2 in Ben’s battered VW Golf.

‘I’m fine,’ I say. ‘But I wish you’d tell me where we’re going.’

He taps a finger against the side of his nose and smiles. ‘You’ll find out soon enough.’

Ben was never meant to be more than a one-night stand. I figured he’d be straight out of my bed, and my life, the moment our sweat-slicked bodies cooled. But he stuck around. He stayed all night and then insisted on taking me out for breakfast the next day. I said yes, partly because it was less awkward than saying no. Mostly because I was hungry and I didn’t have any food in the house. We ended up staying in the café for over two hours. I learnt that he was a self-employed graphic artist, he’d never been to a gig, and his dad was a massive hypochondriac. He learnt that I was an only child, a project manager for an eLearning company and that my dad had recently died. Ben immediately reached across the table, squeezed my hand and said how sorry he was. When he asked if we’d been close I changed the subject.

I need to go back there at some point, to my childhood home in the rolling green Worcestershire countryside, to clear and clean the farmhouse and put it on the market, but there’s a good reason why I haven’t been back in eighteen years.

Are you intrigued?! You should be, this was a fantastic read!


From the moment I started The Fear I was totally hooked, Taylor drew me into a dark and tangled web and didn’t let me go until the final chapter. Lou was groomed by a much older man when she was a young teenager and now it’s many years later and she’s still struggling to get past it. Grooming is one of those words that sends a chill down my spine as a parent to two girls, the manipulation and abuse associated with it put the fear into me, what an aptly titled book.

This is told from multiple perspectives, Lou both in 2007 and via her diary entries when she was fourteen, then you hear from Chloe, the teenager who Lou fears is being used in the same way that she was and finally, Wendy. You’re never quite sure exactly what Wendy’s angle is or how she fits into the story, but when it’s revealed I did one of those, oohhh I see what you did there moments, super clever! This is extremely fast paced and sharply written, it begs to be read in one sitting as there’s so much tension and anticipation about what will happen next, both in the flashbacks and the 2007 storyline.

I don’t want to discuss the plot much more, just know that if you’re a psychological thriller fan, this is a must read. The characterization is just as strong as the writing and the story is gripping, I really couldn’t ask for more!

The Fear in three words: Absorbing, Shocking and Thrilling.

Overall rating: 5/5

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.

#BlogTour The Gardner’s Daughter by Kathryn Hitchins @KathrynHitchins


Release date: March 15, 2018


Motherless nineteen-year-old Ava has always believed brilliant botanist Theo Gage to be her father. But when a chance discovery reveals she is not his daughter, her world falls apart. Determined to discover her true identity, Ava impetuously runs away and enlists the help of inexperienced private detective, Zavier Marshall. Pursued by shadowy figures, she takes on a new name and follows in her dead mother’s footsteps to work at the mysterious Fun World Holiday Camp. Penniless and cut-off from everything she’s ever known, and trapped in a deadly game of cat and mouse with a ruthless criminal gang, will Ava survive in a world where she s more valuable dead than alive? Will she discover the shocking truth behind her mother’s death? And will she find her real father before it s too late?

I’m delighted to have on my blog today, K A Hitchins, author of The Girl at the End of the Road and The Key of All Unknown, both short-listed for Woman Alive magazine’s Reader Choice Award 2017. I asked her about the inspiration of her latest novel, The Gardener’s Daughter, released on 15 March 2018.

“It was only when I lost my father and began speaking to friends about what he had meant to me that I realised how many people don’t have a good relationship with their dads, or even had any real contact with them during their childhoods.  I decided I wanted to write a novel about how much our identity is tied up with knowing where we’ve come from.

“A friend had told me of a girl who’d discovered in her teens that she was the result of an extra-marital affair. The other man had backed off when he realised his lover was pregnant with his child. The marriage survived the affair and – after seeing the ultrasound scan – the husband decided to commit himself to raising the baby with his wife. He adopted her officially when she was born, to prevent the biological father coming back on the scene in later years. The girl had a normal and happy childhood, but in her teens her parents told her that her Dad was not her biological father.”

That must have been quite a shock. How did she react?

She was completely devastated: her older sister was her half-sister; her beloved paternal grandparents were not relatives at all. There was a short spell of rebellion before, thankfully, she managed to work through these issues.

So this was the inspiration for your third novel?

Yes. This story fascinated me. I began to realise that many of the positive things in my life were a direct result of the happy and secure upbringing my parents had given me, rather than any intrinsic goodness or talent in me. I decided I wanted to write about identity and how this is affected by the fathers we have – good fathers, bad fathers and absent fathers. My motherless nineteen-year-old heroine, Ava Gage, accidentally discovers she’s adopted when trying to do a good turn for her Godfather. In a fit of anger, she impetuously runs away in search of her biological identity. Penniless and cut-off from everything she’s ever known, and trapped in a deadly game of cat and mouse with a ruthless criminal gang, she unearths the shocking truth behind her mother’s death and discovers who her real father is – with a sprinkling of romance and humour along the way!

‘The Gardener’s Daughter’ is a Young Adult thriller. Have you written YA before?

This was my first attempt at YA, but as I have two teenagers at home I thought I would try and write something that would appeal to them. My first novel, The Girl at the End of the Road, is a mystery/romance about a man who loses everything in the credit crunch and goes back home to live with his parents in the Suffolk village of his birth. He bumps into a mysterious woman from his past and discovers that things are not always what they seem, people aren’t always who they appear to be, and a ‘successful life’ depends very much on your perspective.

My second novel, The Key of All Unknown, is the story of brilliant scientific researcher who wakes up in hospital unable to speak or move and with no recollection of what happened to her. Determined to find answers and prove to her family and doctors that she’s not in a persistent vegetative state, she searches for clues in the conversations she overhears and in the fractured memories that haunt her. Slowly realising that nearly everyone she loves or works with has a motive for wanting her dead, her only hope of survival is to discover the truth and unlock the key of all unknown.

I have to admit, that writing YA was more difficult than I envisaged. Having two novels under my belt I thought it would be a breeze to write something for a younger audience but in fact the opposite is true. It isn’t a question of simplifying the writing. Teenagers don’t like to be talked down to, and they won’t waste their time reading something unless they’re gripped from the word go and the storyline relates to the issues in their life.  After all, YA authors aren’t just competing with each other for teenagers’ attention, they’re competing with computer games, YouTube, and social media. Thankfully, the initial pre-release reviews have all been five star, so I must have done something right!

Author Bio

K A Hitchins studied English, Religious Studies and Philosophy at Lancaster University and later obtained a Masters in Postmodern Literatures in English from Birkbeck College, London University. Her debut novel, The Girl at the End of the Road, was published by Instant Apostle in March 2016, followed by The Key of All Unknown in October 2016. Both books were short-listed for Woman Alive magazine’s Readers’ Choice Award 2017, with The Key of All Unknown reaching the final three. Her third novel The Gardener’s Daughter was published on 15 March 2018. She is married with two children and lives in Hertfordshire.

Website Link

Twitter @KathrynHitchins

Facebook Kathryn Hitchins

K A Hitchins, Author page

Instagram kathryn_hitchins

#CoverReveal The Chosen Ones by Carol Wyer @carolewyer #TheChosenOnes @bookouture

It’s cover reveal time! AND even more exciting it’s for one of my favorite series, book five in the amazing Carol Wyer’s Robyn Carter series.


They had not been forgiven. And they would never be forgotten ….

When a doting young father is murdered and his body discovered in a cornfield for his family to see, it’s a harrowing new case for Detective Robyn Carter.  But just as Robyn starts to investigate, a popular local doctor and young mother, is found dead outside her surgery.

As Robyn tries to find the link between the victims, she uncovers a dark web of secrets.  Were these much-loved members of the community as innocent as they seemed?

The killer has a message for Robyn and the carefully chosen victims.  Can Robyn get to the truth before she becomes the next target?

If you love Angela Marsons, Patricia Gibney and Rachel Abbott, you’ll love the latest pulse-pounding thriller from Carol Wyer. The Chosen Ones will keep you guessing until the very last page.

I can’t wait to get my hands on this! Now for the big reveal…

I love it, that color combo is gorgeous!

Review: The Baby Plan by Kate Rorick #TheBabyPlan

About The Baby Plan

Paperback: 432 pages
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (March 20, 2018)

Smart and funny, The Baby Plan is irresistible! A winner. Susan Mallery, #1 New York Times bestselling author

In The Lizzie Bennet Diaries creator Kate Rorick’s first adult fiction novel, we enter the wild, bewildering world of modern pregnancies. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll shake your head as you wonder where everyone’s sanity went…

Meet the mothers

Nathalie Kneller: Nathalie’s plan: to announce her pregnancy now that she’s finally made it past twelve weeks! But just as she’s about to deliver (so to speak) the big news to her family, her scene-stealing sister barfs all over the Thanksgiving centerpiece. Yup, Lyndi’s pregnant too, swiping the spotlight once more.

Lyndi Kneller:Lyndi’s plan: finally get her life together! She’s got a new apartment, new promotion, new boyfriend. What she didn’t count on, a new baby! She can barely afford her rent, much less a state-of-the-art stroller.

Sophia Nunez: Sophia’s plan: Once she gets her daughter Maisey off to college, she’ll finally be able to enjoy life as make-up artist to one of Hollywood’s biggest stars, and girlfriend to one of rocks hottest musicians. But after 18 years she discovers the stork is once again on its way.

Now these women are about to jump headlong into the world of modern day pregnancy. It’s a world of over the top gender reveal parties (with tacky cakes and fireworks); where every morsel you eat is scrutinized and discussed; where baby names are crowd-sourced and sonograms are Facebook-shared. And where nothing goes as planned…

Purchase Links

HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble


I’ve long been drawn to books about pregnancy and motherhood, even well before I had my own kids, but it’s been awhile since I read one this dang good! It reminded me of the chick Lit I used to read when I was younger, sassy and smart with relatable characters and issues, I couldn’t get enough.

This follows three women at very different stages in their lives making it easy to find someone to relate to. Nathalie is a by the rules kind of girl who has everything in her pregnancy planned out perfectly then there’s her sister, Lyndi who is much more laid back, almost too laid back. Sophia already has one child who’s about to graduate high school so a new baby means starting ALL over. Out of them all I liked Sophia the most but all three were well drawn and went through some growth over the course of the book.

Set in L. A. you get a glimpse into the glitzy side of the city as Sophia is a makeup artist for a TV show and you also get to see the over the top personalities and lifestyle choices Cali residents are known for. The modern day look at motherhood is spot on, from online mommy forums to ridiculous gender reveal parties, Rorick nailed every aspect of pregnancy today with humor, this was a funny one y’all! If you enjoy books about friendship, family, parenthood with some sweet and emotional moments add The Baby Plan to your TBR.

The Baby Plan in three words: Witty, Funny and Light.

Overall rating: 4/5

Thanks to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for my review copy.

About Kate Rorick

Kate Rorick is an Emmy Award winning writer who has worked on a number of television shows, most recently The Librarians on TNT. She was also a writer for the hit web series The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, and authored the two series tie-in novels, The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet and The Epic Adventures of Lydia Bennet. In her other life, she writes bestselling historical romance novels under the name Kate Noble. Kate lives in Los Angeles with her family.

Find out more about Kate at her website, and connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Review: Mathimals by Jon Hales @jonhalesauthor


Release date: February 5, 2018

Genre: Children’s


Do you find it hard to add? Brace yourself for a slightly unusual and mildly chaotic lesson in basic addition! What happens when you add 1 mouse + 1 sheep, for example? Or 4 caterpillars + 4 fish? You’ll find out in this hugely entertaining picture book filled with weird and wonderful creatures. Packed with brightly coloured illustrations, clever wordplay and lots of fun details, this rhyming story is sure to capture the imaginations of young children and is designed to help simple sums stick in the mind. Perfect for ages 2-6 but with plenty for older children and even adults to enjoy.


My kids and I are always on the hunt for new books to read, there’s only so many times I can read Brown Bear, Brown Bear before I go cross eyed after all, and when I can find a book that’s fun, engaging AND educational I’m thrilled! Mathimals was a clever and fun little book that my youngest child, Jackson (3) actually paid attention to. This is a big deal as he has autism and struggles to stick with any activity for more than a couple of minutes but he honestly seemed to enjoy this one and I know we’ll be reading it again.

So the concept of this is simple addition but with a unique spin, it adds animals together to form new creations in an adorable and fun way. It’s set in a catchy rhyme and I found myself reading it in a sing song way that heightened the enjoyment. The illustrations are so cute, colorful, striking and bold with plenty for little eyes to soak in. Highly recommended by me and will definitely appeal to the younger crowd!

Overall rating: 5/5

Thanks to the author for my review copy.

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #imwayr

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a weekly post to share what you recently finished reading, what you’re currently reading, and what you plan on reading this week. It’s hosted by Kathryn at Bookdate.

What I Read Last Week:

The Neighbors : Sneaky, subtle and riveting

The Flight Attendant didn’t really work for me.

Hot Mess: Sexy, snarky and delicious

The Summer of Secrets: Sweet, delightful and heartfelt

The Broken Girls: Creepy, chilling and captivating

Currently Reading:

Up Next:

Not a bad week considering my kids were on spring break and my husband was out of town so I was solo parenting!

How was your week?

Review: The Cafe at Seashell Cove by Karen Clarke @Karenclarke123 @bookouture #BlogTour


Release date: March 15, 2018

Publisher: Bookouture

Genre: Romantic Comedy


Welcome to the Café at Seashell Cove, where you’ll find irresistible home-baked cakes, smiling friendly faces – and maybe even a second chance at love…

When Cassie Maitland needs a holiday from her glamorous but stressful job in event management, she escapes home to gorgeous Seashell Cove, where her family’s cosy café sits perched on the cliffs above sparkling waves and golden sand.

But a lot has changed while Cassie’s been away: her parents have transformed their tired café into a welcoming haven, her friends Meg and Tilly have whole new lives, and old flame Danny’s twinkling eyes and winning smile make Cassie feel even more flustered than they used to.

Keen to throw herself back into local life, Cassie starts to run themed events – including a not entirely successful cat-café day, complete with dozens of felines. Luckily Danny is always around to lend a helping hand, and Cassie soon begins to wonder if her life in London was really all she made it out to be…

Could a new start in Seashell Cove be exactly what Cassie needs?

A heart-warming and hilarious read about friendship, belonging and seaside living. Perfect for fans of Debbie Johnson, Holly Martin and Jenny Oliver.

I’m delighted to be one of the stops on the blog tour for The Cafe at Seashell Cove today!


This book opens with Cassie interrupting her parents in an…AHEM intimate moment and I about fell out of my chair laughing, I just knew I was in for a good time and was I ever right! It was hysterical and really set the tone for how fun this story was. Clarke is one of my favorite authors to turn to when I need a pick me up, she achieves that perfect balance between humor and romance that works so well for me.

Cassie returns home sort of down on her luck, she’s been fired from her London job and her romantic life is pretty stagnant. Instead of the typical plot where the heroine goes home to lick her wounds and get comfort from family, Cassie actually keeps things a secret from then and pretends she left her job willingly and is super happy about it. I love the originality of Clarke’s novels, there’s never anything cookie cutter about them, but she does consistently create lovable and quirky characters that charm me. Cassie’s parents were my favorite they were sweet and doting and always embarrassed Cassie with their affection for each other.

This is set in another idyllic location making it a perfect vacation read, plenty of fun loving moments, a dash of romance and so many laughs my sides were sore after reading! I’m hopeful this is the start to a new series as there were so many characters that I would love to read about again.

The Cafe at Seashell Cove in three words: Charming, hilarious and Effortless.

Overall rating: 5/5

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.

About the Author:

Karen Clarke writes romantic comedy novels. Her BEACHSIDE series is set in the fictional seaside town of Shipley and features recurring characters, but each book can be read as a standalone. She is currently working on a new, three-book series set in Devon- the first, The Café at Seashell Cove is out March 15th 2018.

Karen has also written three romcoms with a paranormal twist, all available to download

When she’s not working on her novels, Karen writes short stories for women’s magazines and has had over three hundred published globally. Some of them can be read in her short story collection ‘BEHIND CLOSED DOORS…and other Tales with a Twist’

Karen lives in Buckinghamshire with her husband and three grown-up children.



Author Social Media Links:





Review: The Broken Girls by Simone St. James


Release date: March 20, 2018

Publisher: Berkley

Genre: Mystery/Thriller


Vermont, 1950. There’s a place for the girls whom no one wants–the troublemakers, the illegitimate, the too smart for their own good. It’s called Idlewild Hall. And in the small town where it’s located, there are rumors that the boarding school is haunted. Four roommates bond over their whispered fears, their budding friendship blossoming–until one of them mysteriously disappears. . . .

Vermont, 2014. As much as she’s tried, journalist Fiona Sheridan cannot stop revisiting the events surrounding her older sister’s death. Twenty years ago, her body was found lying in the overgrown fields near the ruins of Idlewild Hall. And though her sister’s boyfriend was tried and convicted of murder, Fiona can’t shake the suspicion that something was never right about the case.

When Fiona discovers that Idlewild Hall is being restored by an anonymous benefactor, she decides to write a story about it. But a shocking discovery during the renovations will link the loss of her sister to secrets that were meant to stay hidden in the past–and a voice that won’t be silenced. . . .


It’s rare for me to enjoy a book that blurs the lines between genres, sometimes books that straddle two (or more) genres read kind of messy to me but when I can find an author that manages to blend several genres in a coherent and seamless manner, well, I’m thrilled! The Broken Girls was at it’s core a mystery but it also had historical elements and just enough of the supernatural to be creepy yet plausible.

This is told in dual timelines, you have Fiona in 2014 who is a journalist with painful ties to Idelwild Hall then it also flips back to 1950 when Idelwild Hall was a school for wayward girls and you hear from four friends and roommates. Initially it had a somewhat slower start, but around the halfway point things picked up for me and I was hooked. Fiona and her backstory did reel me in early on but it took me a bit longer to become invested in the four girls, but once I was in, I was all in. Their individual stories were terribly sad and sometimes tragic but their time together at Idelwild Hall was disturbing and at times shocking.

This was an eerily atmospheric read, both narratives are set in Vermont and St. James did an amazing job at creating a hauntingly beautiful setting. The sections in the past were downright scary at times but the more recent chapters were also freaky as the school was long ago abandoned and derelict. Add in a purported ghost named Mary Hand and a handful of cold cases begging to be solved and you have the perfect combination of intrigue and fear. This was a really solid read for me from a talented writer, if you don’t mind a small dose of the supernatural in your mysteries then you should check this one out!

The Broken Girls in three words: Creepy, Chilling and Captivating.

Overall rating: 4/5

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.