#TuesdayBookBlog ‘The Runaway Wife’ by Dee Macdonald #Women’sFiction #BookReview

Today I offer you a review of a hilarious, heart-warming novel about Connie, wife, mother, grandmother, extraordinaire, who at 66 has decided she’s had enough of them all and sets out on a journey of self-discovery!

The Runaway Wife: A laugh out loud feel good novel about second chances by [MacDonald, Dee]

From the Blurb

One evening in early August, while mashing the potatoes for dinner, Connie McColl decides she’s had enough…

Connie is tired of solving one family crisis after another – usually involving her unruly grandchildren – while her husband Roger spends all day at his beloved golf course. Surely it must be time for her to shake off her apron and start living again?

So Connie packs a bag, gets in her little green car and drives off…

As Connie journeys from England to Scotland on an unexpected adventure, she finally begins to rediscover herself. And she starts to wonder, will she ever be ready to return home? Or will this summer change her life forever?

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My Review

There are so many reasons why I loved this book!

It’s hilarious, heart-warming (did I already say that? well that’s because it’s very-heartwarming, indeed!), optimistic, adventurous, interesting, realistic, romantic, sad, and ultimately uplifiting, because Connie reminds us that it’s never too late, for anything!

I’ve had a very eventful Christmas-New Year festivities. catering for my three children and four grandchildren has been fun, but exhausting, and although my husband, fortunately, is nothing like Roger, (and by the way, no-one’s husband should be anything like Roger), there were moments when I felt, just like Connie. I wanted to say, “Look, I’ve had enough of cooking, shopping, advising, counselling, being understanding, playing with the kids, babaysitting, and generally supporting everyone’s family! I want my own life back!”

Connie’s travels from Sussex to Inverness are such fun. I enjoyed all the different types of people she meets and the enriching and diverse awakenings she narrates.

She garners unforgettable experiences and meets some amazing people, who will help her understand her past and embrace her future with renewed optimism. In spite of the last, shocking encounter when she returns home, Connie can cope because she’s become stronger and more assertive than she’s ever been.

Especially for anyone who enjoys reading well-written, humorous, women’s fiction set in the UK. The Runaway Wife is a real gem! A different and exceptional novel.

I’ve discovered a new favourite author. Next on my list is her latest novel, The Silver Ladies of Penny Lane.

The Silver Ladies of Penny Lane: An absolutely hilarious feel good novel by [MacDonald, Dee]

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Dee MacDonald

The Runaway Wife is Dee’s first (published) novel but in fact she wrote her very first book – at around seven years of age! This was a love story which she duly illustrated before sewing all the pages together up one side. Writing was what she ‘was good at’ in school and she won several essay competitions, but then life got in the way and she didn’t pick up a pen again until after retirement.

Dee left Scotland and headed for London at the beginning of the swinging sixties. After typing her way round the West End she became an air stewardess on long haul routes with BA (then BOAC) for eight years. After that she did market research at Heathrow for both the government statistics and for BA, she became a sales rep., and was the receptionist at the Thames Television Studios in Teddington when they had the franchise.

She then ran a small B&B for ten years in Cornwall, where she lives with her husband. Dee has one son and two grandsons who live locally.

Dee’s Amazon UK link

Dee’s Amazon.com link

#FridayReads ‘Ryan’s Christmas’ by @LJRoss_author #BookReview

Still waiting for your perfect wintry read? Try this cosy, crime mystery set in England’s most haunted castle in Northumbria and written by international bestselling author, L J Ross.

Ryan's Christmas: A DCI Ryan Mystery (The DCI Ryan Mysteries Book 15) by [Ross, LJ]

From the Blurb

DCI Ryan and his team of murder detectives are enjoying a festive season of goodwill, mulled wine, until a freak snowstorm forces their car off the main road and into the remote heart of Northumberland.

Their Christmas spirit is soon tested when they’re forced to find shelter inside England’s most haunted castle, where they’re the uninvited guests at a ‘Candlelit Ghost Hunt’.

It’s all spooky, fun and games—until one of the guests is murdered. It seems no mortal hand could have committed the crime, so Ryan and Co. must face the spectres living inside the castle walls to uncover the grisly truth, before another ghost joins their number…

Murder and mystery are peppered with romance and humour in this fast-paced crime whodunnit set amidst the spectacular Northumbrian landscape.

Imagen

Partial View of Chillingham Castle, where the novel takes place.

 

My Review

Ryan’s Christmas is a real treat! It reads as a traditional whodunit, in the style of Agatha Christie, unlike the other DCI Ryan Mysteries.

It is an atmospheric and compelling crime novel, set in an authentic, 12th century castle in the north of England, which is in my bucket list to visit asap!

It was thriling to see the main characters of the series (DCI Ryan Mysteries), solving a crime at Christmas, while stranded in a spooky castle! It’s book 15 in the series, so plenty of crimes have been solved and the characters have taken on a life of their own!

But don’t worry if you haven’t read the previous 14 books (I haven’t read them all, yet!), the best thing is that Ryan’s Christmas can be read as a standalone by readers who haven’t read any of the previous books, although no doubt if you read this novel you’ll want to read the previous books in the series!

What can I say, I love all the characters, especially Ryan, who is the perfect gentleman and police inspector, admired by all his staff, and Anna, his wife,whom he met in book 1, Holy Island, a scholar of local, ancient history and lecturer at Newcastle University.

Holy Island: A DCI Ryan Mystery (The DCI Ryan Mysteries Book 1) by [Ross, LJ]

Ryan’s Christmas is especially for lovers of well-written, cosy, crime mysteries, set in the UK, in winter.

LJ Ross

LJ Ross is an international bestselling author, best known for creating atmospheric mystery and thriller novels, including the DCI Ryan series of Northumbrian murder mysteries which have sold over four million copies worldwide.

Her debut, Holy Island, was released in January 2015 and reached number one in the Amazon UK and Australian charts. Since then, she has released a further fourteen novels, all of which have been top three global bestsellers and twelve of which have been UK #1 bestsellers.

#TuesdayBookBlog ‘Hold Me In The Dark’ by Helena Newbury #Romance #BookReview

I’ve read, enjoyed and reviewed most of Helena Newbury’s books to date, so I’m pleased to be reviewing her latest novel, Hold Me In The Dark, published this week, and it’s already on the amazon bestseller list.

Hold Me in the Dark by [Newbury, Helena]

Helena Newbury has written another fabulous standalone, romantic suspense!

Sam Calahan is an FBI agent, who is pursuing a ruthless and disturbing serial killer. His victims have nothing in common and the crime scenes are covered with complex mathematical equations, written with the victims’ blood, no one in the FBI can solve.

Yolanda, a reclusive and eccentric mathematical genius, and hacker by trade, is the only person who can help unravel the case by solving the equations. As they work together, and close in on the murderer, both their lives will be in danger.

Ms Newbury has created another unlikely and compelling couple, who will gradually fall in love as they are faced with challenging external situations, as well as their own egos, complexes and personal differences.

There is plenty of suspense, with many twists in the plot, the most surprising one, regarding the motivations and identity of the killer, was shockingly unexpected.

Yolanda is an intelligent and independent woman who is coping with tortuous mental and physical issues, while Sam, an obsessive workaholic, is also suffering from his own remorse. Together they will solve the case and perhaps repair their tormented minds.

The author combines plot and characterization perfectly to create a fast paced novel with likeable and unique characters who encourage the reader to turn the pages to find out what will happen next.  

It was a treat to see the three-woman hacker and internet vigilante group, Sisters of Invidia, again, Lily and Bull and Gabriella and Alexei, who starred in previous novels (Texas Kissing and Kissing my Killer), were finally able to meet up in person.

I enjoyed the Manhattan setting, the sweet and then steamy romance, and the action packed and suspenseful final scenes.

Especially for lovers of romantic suspense with plenty of action, and of course, happy ever afters with larger than life main characters. A wintry treat at just over a dollar! (for a short time!)

****

Helena Newbury is the author of well-written romantic novels with plenty of suspense, some steamy scenes, engaging characters and captivating stories.

Here are my reviews of some of her other novels, including one of her most popular books, the medical thriller, Mount Mercy.

Mount Mercy by [Newbury, Helena]

Many of her novels, such as Kissing my Killer, one of my all-time favourites, are included in  Audible Escape.

Kissing My Killer audiobook cover art

#SundayWalks ‘Even in Winter’ #Haiku #HappyNewYear

Even in winter,

Yellow daisies shine like gold,

Smiling at frail sun.

Even in winter,

Tired leaves fall from dry branches,

Shining on pavement.

Even in winter,

Vibrant green-leaved bushes hide

Red flowers gleaming.

Even in winter,

Bare trees stretch, because they know

Spring’s not far away.

Photos taken this weekend walking around Fuengirola, Malaga.

Happy winter walking!