Poppy’s Recipe for Life by Heidi Swain – Book Review

Poppy’s Recipe for Life – published by Simon & Suchuster Uk (30 May2019)

Poppy’s recipe for life invites readers back to Heidi Swain’s Nightingale Square.

Poppy’s dream is to live in Nightingale Square and share in the community garden where they grow and eat the fresh produce. Working for the local grocer, Poppy has already encouraged him to ditch the plastic. And with her home made recipe cards is helping the community to cook fresh.

Poppy’s dream is realised when owner Kate needs a reliable tenant for her cottage in the square. Despite meeting the Mr Grumpy neighbour Poppy feels she has found her happy home.

But will it last… thrown by the arrival of her insecure teenage brother who’s been abandoned by their neglectful selfish mother. This could prove to be the end of Poppy’s simple life.

Can sisterly love and a helping hand offered from Mr Grumpy help turn around a troubled teenager and give Poppy the life she craves.

This is another heartwarming story by Heidi Swain. Very topical with ditching plastic and the desire to eat what you grow. We catch up with characters from Sunshine & Sweetpeas as they come together again in the Square. Heartbreak and the effects of a neglectful parent bond the characters together and turn lives around. Wounds are healing and confidence growing but will they all find their happy ending?

A great summer read.  ☆☆☆☆☆


Booklovers: New Spring reads on the way

Do you plan your next read?

Like many booklovers I’m always looking ahead and often have a few books lined up for reading. Sometimes I can’t resist a title, or a cover, or especially the newest book from my favourite authors.

Here’s a few that are on their way to publication for spring.

Book. Poppy's Recipe for Life by Heidi Swain

Pre order

 Heidi’s books are always a good read . I love the way they are set around one location and sometimes the characters crossover from one book to another. This is the second book set in Nightingale Square.


Things haven’t always been straightforward in Poppy’s life but her dreams are finally within reach.

She’s moving into a cottage in beautiful Nightingale Square. Close to the local community garden, where she can indulge her passion for making preserves and pickles. She may not have the best relationship with her family but she is surrounded by loving friends, and feels sure that even her grumpy new neighbour, Jacob, has more to him than his steely exterior belies.

But the unexpected arrival of Poppy’s troubled younger brother soon threatens her new-found happiness. As the garden team works together to win community space of the year, Poppy must decide where her priorities lie and what she is prepared to fight for …

Book. Bring me Sunshine by Laura Kemp

Pre order

I’ve read all of Laura Kemp’s books. Her characters are always so real, they have quirks and issues that you can relate to. I’m currently reading a pre-publication copy of this and love the setting and the mix of characters.


Charlotte Bold is nothing like her name – she is shy and timid and just wants a quiet life. When her job doing the traffic news on the radio in London is relocated to Sunshine FM in Mumbles, she jumps at the chance for a new start in Wales.

But when she arrives she discovers that she’s not there to do the travel news – she’s there to front the graveyard evening show. And she’s not sure she can do it.

Thrust into the limelight, she must find her voice and a way to cope. And soon she realises that she’s not the only person who finds life hard – out there her listeners are lonely too. And her show is the one keeping them going.

Can Charlotte seize the day and make the most of her new home? And will she be able to breathe new life into the tiny radio station too…?

Book. New starts & cherry tarts by Liz Eeles

Pre order

My next early read from Netgalley is by Liz Eeles. I haven’t read anything by this author but seeing the cover and reading the synopsis assures me it’s my kind of book. A cup of tea and a feel-good romance makes for a cheery spring read.


After yet another failed romance, twenty-six-year-old Callie Fulbright is giving up on love. She’s determined to throw all her efforts into her very own, brand-new café: The Cosy Kettle.

Serving hot tea, cherry tarts and a welcoming smile to the friendly locals proves to be the perfect distraction, and Callie feels a flush of pride at the fledging business she’s built.

But her new-found confidence is soon put to the test when her gorgeous ex reappears in the quaint little village. She’ll never forget the heartache Noah caused her years ago. But when they bump into each other on the cobbled streets of Honeyford she can’t help but feel a flutter in her chest…

As Callie and Noah share laughter and memories, she starts to wonder if this could be her second chance at happiness. But when Callie discovers that someone is mysteriously trying to ruin the café’s reputation… she has an awful suspicion that Noah knows who’s involved.

Was she wrong to ever trust him again? And can she find out who’s behind the lies and rumours, before it’s too late for the Cosy Kettle?


book - Don't turn around by Amanda Brooke


Finally, I’ve decided to include this one. Don’t Turn Around by Amanda Brooke is out now and it is totally different from my other recommendations. But I’m adding this as I recommended it on Instagram and so may people said it’s their kind of book.

Wow! you all love the scary thrillers and murder. I haven’t read this but I have read a couple of books by Amanda and you do get drawn in, they’re a great read and page turner.


She died.
You’re next.
Now he’s coming for you

Ten years ago, Jen’s cousin Meg killed herself after failing to escape an abusive relationship.

Now, Meg’s ex is back and Jen’s domestic abuse helpline has started getting frightening calls from a girl who knows things about Meg – details that only the dead girl or the man who hurt her could have known…

As Jen starts to uncover the past, someone is determined to stop her. Can she save this young woman from Meg’s fate? Or is history about to repeat itself?

Hope you like my recommendations, let me know if you read any of them, find me on twitter . Happy reading.


The Wives – Lauren Weisberger, book review

The Wives is the latest novel by Lauren Weisberger of The Devil Wears Prada fame.

The Wives by Lauren Weisberger

This book continues the life of Emily Charlton, once assistant to Miranda Priestly at Runway Magazine. Now a highly sought after stylist to the stars.

But all is not well…

Emily’s business is taking a hit from an up-and-coming social media whizz. At the same time Emily is avoiding Miranda Priestly who is persistently hounding her to plan a prestigious event. Emily sees an item on the news and escapes to help a friend in need.

Old friend and Model from the Runway days Karolina, is now the wife of a US senator. She is arrested for drunk driving while ferrying children home from a party. She is NOT drunk, so why have the police ignored her plea for a breathalyser and put her in a cell overnight.

Is it a set up? Where is the Senator?

As the story unfolds Emily’s expertise in people management and with the help of their lawyer friend Miriam, they head off into the suburbs to piece together the awful truth.

This novel, although set in a glamorous world, is a tale of friendship, love and family. There are funny situations and heartfelt moments throughout and with the added mystery I found it a very good read.

Although there are some references to The Devil Wears Prada this is a totally stand alone novel, ideal for old & new Lauren Weisberger readers. I highly recommend it.

My Rating ✭✭✭✭✭

The Wives – Lauren Weisberger – pub date 12/7/2018

(USA title – When life gives you Lululemons)

Sunshine and sweet peas in Nightingale Square – book review

Sunshine and sweet peas in Nightingale Square by Heidi Swain

Publication date 31 May 2018

When Kate’s happy ever after marriage falls apart she ups sticks and buys a cottage far away from her ex, her work and her friends. Kate plans to live alone quietly, putting her efforts into renovating the old cottage and gardens. Hoping the move to a place where no one knows her gives her the solitude she craves.

Little did she know the quaint Nightingale Square, a close knit sharing neighbourhood, are determined to include their new neighbour. Wether she likes it or not.

The cottages have a history connected to the old mansion house across the square. When a developers sign goes up the residents fear their little idyll will be destroyed. They soon discover the buyer is far from what they expected.

From nosey neighbours to handsome men, kids, cats, kittens and an unsolved mystery, Kate ends up in the middle of it all.

A heartwarming story of new beginnings and second chances, even when you don’t believe in them.


Firstly I loved the cover of this book, it’s very much the cheery style that attracts me. This is my first Heidi Swain book and I really enjoyed it. A great mix of characters all going through their own issues while weaving their lives together in the square.

You find yourself caring about Kate as she leaves her thriving business to escape from her cheating husband David. You can understand why she’s devastated and  wants to be alone and away from questions about her marriage but she’s quickly drawn in to the lives of her neighbours. When David suddenly reappears it’s more about him than her and Kate’s emotions are once again on a roller coaster.

All of the characters complicated lives are revealed and you find yourself hoping for Kate to find her real happy ever after.

A great read from an author I’m definitely going to read again.

I’m so pleased to be included in this blog tour of Heidi’s latest book, follow the tour below




Welcome to the real world by Carole Matthews – Book Review

book review, welcome to the real world by carole matthews

The sun is shining on my favourite seat, a place I love to sit with a book. So I found my kindle and quickly looked through my recommended reads and wow, I found a treat.

Life, dreams, unrequited love and family drama make this book a great read. Drawing me in and wanting to know what happens next.

Broke barmaid Fern has a regular singing set between bar shifts in the London pub where she works. Singing her heart out to drunken chatting customers night after night.

Always trying to help her family. Fern supports her fed up Mum, selfish Dad and single brother who’s raising a poorly child.  As her best friend and music partner Carl says, never taking time to care for herself.

Living in a shabby flat over an Indian restaurant dreaming of being a singing star while constantly trying to earn extra money. This story takes Fern to a random job as a PA for a renowned opera singer where she sees how the other half live.

Opera singer Evan David has a tragedy in his past that has affected his ability to form lasting relationships. Living in a world of private jets, chauffeured cars and luxurious homes. When Fern turns his world upside down Evan realises he is lonely. Little references to the Operas Evan is starring in and giving brief outlines of their story is an interesting addition.

When best friend Carl talks Fern into their chance to audition for a big tv talent show these events change her life. But not in the way you would expect and certainly not smoothly. Eventually Fern’s voice gets her the life she yearns for, for her and her family.

Welcome to the real world is an easy read, funny in parts and a little predictable in others but overall a good read. I would definitely look for more Carole Matthews books after reading this one.