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Second Chance Summer by Phillipa Ashley #Review

  I an delighted to be part of the celebrations for Phillipa Ashley's Summer novel, Second Chance Summer which was published by Penguin on June 6th. From the moment Lily Harper arrives at a remote retreat on the breath-taking Scilly Isles, she is itching to get back to civilisation - and her thriving business. Slowing Down simply isn't in her vocabulary, and so she quickly clashes with the gorgeous but dour Sam who runs the retreat. Just as Lily is about to give up and leave, disaster strikes, and she is involved in an incident that changes her perspective on everything. Lily is no longer sure she wants to return to the life she thought she loved. But will she have the courage to give the retreat, and Sam, a second chance? Praise for the Author ‘Full of genuine warmth and quirky characters’   Woman’s Own ‘Filled with warm and likeable characters. Great fun!’ Jill Mansell ‘Utterly glorious … one of the freshest voices to emerge in women's fiction today’   Cl

Upstairs at the Beresford by Will Carver #Review

Today I am featuring another spine chilling thriller by Will Carver. Upstairs at the Beresford is the prequel to his acclaimed novel, The Beresford. You can read my review of The Beresford here. Orenda published Upstairs at the Beresford on November 9th.

There are worse places than hell…
Hotel Beresford is a grand, old building, just outside the city. And any soul is welcome.
 Danielle Ortega works nights, singing at whatever dive bar will offer her a gig. She gets by, keeping to herself. Sam Walker gambles and drinks, and can't keep his hands to himself. Now he's tied up in a shoe closet with a dent in his head that matches Danielle's broken ashtray. 
The man in 731 has been dead for two days and his dog has not stopped barking. Two doors down, the couple who always smokes on the window ledge will mysteriously fall.
Upstairs, in the penthouse, Mr Balliol sees it all. He can peer into every crevice of every floor of the hotel from his screen-filled suite. He witnesses humanity and inhumanity in all its forms: loneliness, passion and desperation in equal measure. All the ingredients he needs to make a deal. 
When Danielle returns home one night to find Sam gone, a series of sinister events begins to unfold. But strange things often occur at Hotel Beresford, and many are only a distraction to hide something much, much darker…


My Thoughts

Having read The Beresford, I was anticipating the tone of this novel and the rich vein of black humour which would be running through the chilling story. The Bersford itself is am imposing presence in the story and its inhabitants and staff all have their own back story and reasons for finding themselves there. It looks at the worst side of human behaviour but also shows you that some people act as they do for the benefit for others. There is a distinction drawn between those who make their life changing decision for their own gain and those who are looking out for others.

    Mr Balliol is an all-seeing presence up in his penthouse. As he watches the inhabitants, you realise that he is not just an observer. He has his own diabolical plan for some of them. Not all are weak but some are. Amongst them is an innocent child and at times, you fear for his safety. You have to keep a strong nerve at times but this is truly individual writing which chills you, raises a sardonic smile and then fills you with horror.

In short: 5 stars


About the Author

Will Carver is the international bestselling author of the January David series. He spent his early years in Germany, but returned to the UK at age eleven, when his sporting career took off. He turned down a professional rugby contract to study theatre and television at King Alfred’s, Winchester, where he set up a successful theatre company. He currently runs his own fitness and nutrition company, and lives in Reading with his two children. Will’s latest title published by Orenda Books, The Beresford came out in July 2021. His previous title Hinton Hollow Death Trip was longlisted for the Not the Booker Prize, while Nothing Important Happened Today was longlisted for the Theakston’s Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year. Good Samaritans was book of the year in Guardian, Telegraph and Daily Express.
You can follow Will here:  Twitter  |  Facebook

Book link -  Amazon UK

Thanks to Will Carver, Karen Sullivan and Anne Cater of Orenda Books for a copy of the book and a place on the tour.

                                      Be sure to check out the rest of this tour!






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