Second Wives by Carey Baldwin – review.


They both want their happy ever after. But who will kill for it?

We were such good friends… until the day she married my ex-husband.

Now, I’ve married hers, and we’ve agreed to get along for the sake of our families.

It’s all very civilized, but then there’s a freak accident and I wake up in a hospital bed.

As I take in my surroundings, a familiar and loving sight greets me – my darling husband.

He tells me everything is going to be alright. That he loves me and that whatever challenges come our way, we’ll get through them together.

For an instant, I feel safe. I push the nightmare that has haunted my dreams to the back of my mind – an unknown man forcing someone under water, vowing that their next breath will be their last.

But as I gaze into his eyes, I begin to pale. Because I’m sure the man sitting opposite me is not my husband.

He’s hers.

So why do I feel he is the only person in the world I can trust?

My thoughts

I loved the opening to this book. It absolutely kept me turning those pages. The drowning in the water prologue was haunting. I needed to find out why Brigid was having the disturbing thoughts and dreams – or repressed memories. The mystery made it easy for me to become immensely invested.

There was a colourful list of characters – a group of friends who are all part of a supper club. I had my suspicions of nearly all of them during the book. The last quarter had me motoring through the pages with excitement. I needed to know who did it and why.

I enjoyed reading from Charity and Brigid’s perspectives. The mystery POV was chilling. As for the USA location, I thought it was charming.

All in all, a great mystery, one that will have you guessing throughout!

Thanks for reading!

Why not check out one of my other reviews? Maybe you’ll find your perfect read.

The Family Reunion by Karen King – review.

Carla Kovach – author of Amazon and iBooks bestselling DI Gina Harte crime series.

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The Family Reunion by Karen King – review.


The daughter you never knew… wants the life she never had.

I always tried to pretend my life was perfect. A beautiful house, a loving family. But the truth was nobody knew my secret.

About the terrible thing that happened when I was a teenager, and the tiny, fragile baby girl who I couldn’t look after. It broke my heart to leave her, as I did, with just a scrawled note tucked into her soft, yellow blanket, saying her name was Hope.

I’ve never forgotten my secret daughter though, never escaped the guilt. But now she’s made contact. And I’m ready to meet the missing piece of our family.

My family all seem to accept her with open arms, their forgiveness a blessing I barely deserve. And I dare to believe that maybe we are all going to have a happy ending after all.

But nothing is as it seems. And little do I know it, but by the time of the big family reunion I’ve planned for my birthday, my perfect life will come crashing down…

An utterly gripping psychological suspense novel with a twist you’ll never see coming. Perfect for fans of Lisa Jewell, Mark Edwards and K.L. Slater.

About the author

Karen King is a multi-published author of both adult and children’s books. Currently published by Bookouture and Headline, Karen writes about the light and dark of relationships. Her third psychological thriller, The Mother In Law, was published in July, and her eleventh romantic novel, The Spanish Wedding Disaster, in June. A fourth psychological thriller will be published in January 2023.

Karen has also had 120 children’s books, two young adult novels, and several short stories for women’s magazines published. Her thrillers The Perfect Stepmother and The Stranger in my Bed and her romantic novel The Cornish Hotel by the Sea became International Amazon bestsellers.

Karen is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, the Society of Authors, the Crime Writers’ Association and the Society of Women Writers and Journalists. She now lives in Spain where she loves to spend her non-writing time exploring the quaint local towns with her husband, Dave, when she isn’t sunbathing or swimming in the pool, that is.

My thoughts

One word – brilliant!

I found ‘The Family Reunion’ to be absolutely captivating. My heart broke as Mary told her story. I can’t imagine experiencing what she went through. Karen King handled the story sensitivity and skilfully. I was so moved.

This book was a fast read for me as I had to keep finding out what was going to happen next. The drama was on another level. Joanne and Jason brought that conflict to the table, as did Cathy’s presence.

I also felt unnerved by Mary’s present day experiences. This isn’t a psychological thriller to be missed. Super cracking read and one I’ll remember for a long time. Fabulous!

Thanks for reading!

Why not check out one of my other reviews? Maybe you’ll find your perfect read.

Deadly Passion by MA Comley – review.

Carla Kovach – author of Amazon and iBooks bestselling DI Gina Harte crime series.

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Deadly Passion by MA Comley – review.


Liars seldom prosper…

When a distraught woman reports witnessing the murder of her lover, DI Sara Ramsey soon realises the case is far more complex than she anticipated.

With numerous clues to sift through, and yet more murders to deal with, Sara soon has her DCI breathing down her neck, urging her to solve the crimes swiftly.

However, with the killer evading capture several times, Sara’s career is at risk.

Can Sara and her team catch the elusive killer or will this intriguing case have a devastating impact on Sara’s professional and personal life?

About the author

M A Comley is a KINDLE UNLIMITED ALL-STAR author as well as being a New York Times, USA Today, Amazon Top 20 bestselling author, she has topped the book charts on iBooks as a top 5 bestselling and reached #2 bestselling author on Barnes and Noble. Over two and a half million copies sold world wide. She’s a British author who moved to France in 2002, and that’s when she turned her hobby into a career.

When she’s not writing crime novels as well as caring for her elderly mother, she’s either reading or going on long walks with her rescue pup Labrador, Dex.

My thoughts

What a fabulously fast crime thriller! Lots of chasing about the town, following leads and interviews led by the team. Once again, the relationships between Sara and the police family, and Sara and Lorraine were a pleasure to read. Another winner.

The killer – creepy and sinister. This was a non stop full throttle race against time that had me gripped right up to the exciting denouement. That ending was kapow!

Thanks for reading!

Why not check out one of my other reviews? Maybe you’ll find your perfect read.

Shannon Hollinger – Best Friends Forever – review.

Carla Kovach – author of Amazon and iBooks bestselling DI Gina Harte crime series.

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Their Cold Hearts – DI Gina Harte cover reveal!

Their Cold Hearts

Publication date for Kindle, paperback and audio – April 19th.

She shuts the door behind her, relieved to be in the safety of her own home. But tonight her house is the most dangerous place she could be. Someone has been waiting for her, and they know she’s home alone…

Sasha loves her job finding accommodation for homeless people, and she’s proud of the small but cosy apartment she rents on the good side of town. She’s worked hard to leave her dark past behind her and make amends for the accident that still haunts her memories. She knows she was innocent, though she’s still careful about who and what she tells of her old life. But not all secrets stay hidden forever…

When her phone rings loudly in the middle of the night, Sasha fears what she’ll hear when she picks up – a deathly silence. It’s happened every night for weeks. Is it a childish prank, or a chilling warning that someone has uncovered her secret?

But the news of a body found at a local shelter means her worst nightmare has come true. It can’t be a coincidence that evidence related to the victim has been found at the same location where the most devastating moment of Sasha’s life took place.

Days later, a second body is found and Sasha’s heart pounds wildly as she takes in the victim’s unforgettable green eyes. She hasn’t seen her in a long time, but she’d know her old friend anywhere. She was the only other person who knew Sasha’s secret, so how can Sasha prove her innocence now?

Sasha doesn’t know who’s coming for her, but she’s certain of one thing: she’s next on the list…

Fans of Angela Marsons, Cara Hunter and Clare Mackintosh will love Their Cold Hearts – a totally thrilling and addictive crime thriller that will have you up all night!

PRE ORDER LINKS for digital format:





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Shannon Hollinger – Best Friends Forever – review.


I emerge from the trees, drenched in sweat, my voice lost as I take in the scene in front of me. The blood. The body. Emma’s eyes meet mine for a second. “It was an accident,” she whispers.

Emma and I were childhood best friends. We did everything together. Until that terrible night in the woods.

I couldn’t tell anyone what I’d seen. We never discussed it, but our bond was too strong; I could never betray my best friend. Even if she had killed someone.

But I also couldn’t stay in town and watch her live a normal life, knowing what she’d done. So I left.

Now, ten years later, I’m back. The guilt and the fear have stayed with me. And I have realized I need to reveal the truth if I’m ever going to move on.

But I never get the chance. Because the day I turn up, Emma is found dead, and the way she died means I start to doubt everything I thought I knew about that night all those years ago.

As my grief turns to anger at all those lost years of friendship, I realise with horror that Emma might not have been the only killer. Someone else is out there. Someone who was close to us both, someone who knew the smallest details of what had happened back then. Who from our small town could have murdered not once, but twice? And who’s next…?

An utterly gripping and compelling psychological thriller with twists and turns to die for. If you love Karin Slaughter, Paula Hawkins and Freida McFadden, you’ll love Best Friends Forever.

About the author

With degrees in Crime Scene Technology & Physical Anthropology, Florida author Shannon Hollinger hasn’t just seen the dark side of humanity – she’s been elbow deep inside of it! She finds writing to be a much cleaner way to spend her time than the autopsy suite. Most days it smells better, too.

Her debut novel, the psychological thriller Best Friends Forever, will be released in January 2023 and is the first of a five-book deal with publisher Bookouture.

Her short fiction has appeared in Suspense Magazine, Mystery Weekly, and The Saturday Evening Post, among a number of other magazines and anthologies, and her story Lady Killer was a finalist for the 2021 Al Blanchard Award sponsored by the New England Crime Bake.

To see where you can find more of her work, check out

Find Shannon at your favorite hangout!

My thoughts

If you enjoy a mystery that will have you glued to the pages, then this is it. We have Kate, a woman who has to go back to the town she’s avoided for years, until her mother needs her. I loved how the tentacles of doom she left behind easily sucked her back in as the mystery kicked off with a bang.

What really gave depth were the ‘then’ chapters, taking the reader on a journey to the night in question. I enjoyed getting to meet the group of friends as I read on, each of them creating theories in my mind.

If you enjoy playing investigator as you go along and trying to decipher the clues, you need this mystery on your bookshelf. Throughout, I didn’t know who to trust and the ending is a whopper. A person can’t run from the truth forever!

Thanks for reading!

Why not check out one of my other reviews? Maybe you’ll find your perfect read.

Snowflakes over Muddleford Cove by Kim Nash – review.

Carla Kovach – author of Amazon and iBooks bestselling DI Gina Harte crime series.

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Snowflakes over Muddleford Cove by Kim Nash – review.


Love is in the air and the festive season is just around the corner at the seaside town of Muddleford.

Nellie is happily settled in her gorgeous clifftop home. Her favourite evenings are those spent at her beach hut, cozying up under a blanket with her fiancé. There’s nothing quite like spending time together under the twinkly stars – complete with a delicious hot chocolate and her dog Norman sprawled on their feet.

But she can’t help feeling that there’s still something missing.

When Nellie meets Esme, a mysterious visitor to Muddleford, the pair of them come up with a plan to raise money for the local animal shelter, leading to the grand finale – a Christmas Ball.

But Esme’s keeping a secret about Nellie’s past that promises to throw her whole world upside down.

Will this be Nellie’s perfect Christmas for the first time in forever? Or will it turn into her worst nightmare – one that she’ll never forget?

Sometimes you have to go back to go forward.

A gorgeous festive read to curl up by the fireside with, for fans of Heidi Swain, Jessica Redland and Beth Moran.

About the author

Sign up to Kim’s newsletter at

Kim Nash is an author of uplifting, funny, heartwarming, romantic, feel-good fiction and has wanted to write books since she was a little girl.

She lives in Staffordshire with her son Ollie and English Setter rescue dog Roni, is Digital Publicity Director for publisher Bookouture (a division of Hachette UK) and is a book blogger at

When she’s not working or writing, Kim can be found walking her dog at Cannock Chase, reading, writing and binge-watching box sets on the TV. She’s also quite partial to a spa day and a gin and tonic (not at the same time!) Kim also runs a book club in Staffordshire and organises local and national reader/author events.

Amazing Grace was her debut novel which came out in April 2019.

Escape to Giddywell Grange is Kim’s second novel and was published in September 2019.

Sunshine and Second Chances is Kim’s third novel and was published in June 2020.

Moonlight Over Muddleford Cove is her fourth book and was published in March 2021.

Connect with Kim on Social Media here:





My thoughts

What a heartwarming read to round off my lighter Christmas picks! It was lovely to revisit Nellie and pals in Muddleford Cove. I lapped up the laugh-out-loud rude bits, especially the sausage jokes. Still sniggering!

There’s something captivating about the location and that something is the beach, the cute cottages and the beach hut. To take me there in winter felt magical.

I enjoyed the family drama, the heartache and the revelations. Joyful, tearful, happy and festive – that’s what this book will make you feel. Another fantastic winner from Kim Nash!

Thanks for reading!

Why not check out one of my other reviews? Maybe you’ll find your perfect read.

Her First Child by Sheryl Browne – review.

Carla Kovach – author of Amazon and iBooks bestselling DI Gina Harte crime series.

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Her First Child by Sheryl Browne – review.


A perfect mother. A loving daughter. A secret that could destroy them both.

New mother Eve is overwhelmed with love for her baby son, Kai. As she swaddles him in a fluffy white blanket, she shudders at a memory of her own childhood. She hasn’t seen her heartless mother Lydia in years, and she hasn’t told a soul about what really happened the night her baby brother died in the squalid little house she grew up in…

When the phone rings in the dead of night, Eve’s heart pounds as she hears the voice at the other end. ‘Hello Mother’, she replies, an ice-cold chill creeping down her spine. She grips her son’s tiny frame close to her trembling chest as she reluctantly agrees to let her mother visit.

But when Eve has to make an emergency call from Kai’s bedroom early one morning, she curses herself for allowing her mother back into her perfect little family.

‘Kai was fine when I checked on him a few hours ago.’ Her mother says, breathlessly as she watches her daughter’s face change from fear to rage.

Why was Lydia in Kai’s bedroom during the night? And as Lydia pleads her innocence, could it be that she’s not the most dangerous mother in this family?

Fans of The Girl on the Train, Gone Girl and The Wife, will absolutely love this gripping and addictive thriller. Her First Child will have you hooked from the very first page!

About the author

Bestselling Author, Sheryl Browne, writes taut, twisty psychological thriller. Sheryl’s latest book publishing with fabulous BOOKOUTURE is HER FIRST CHILD. Her previous works include several psychological thrillers with Bookouture, the DI Matthew Adams Crime Thriller series and contemporary fiction novels The Rest of My Life and Learning to Love. A member of the Crime Writers’ Association and the Romantic Novelists’ Association, she also has short stories in Birmingham City University anthologies where she completed her MA in Creative Writing. Sheryl has obtained a Certificate of Achievement in Forensic Science and – according to readers – she makes an excellent psychopath.

Sheryl lives in Worcestershire UK with her husband and her rescue dogs, Brie and Pablo.

To find out more about Sheryl’s novels, go to or follow @SherylBrowne on Twitter. To find out more about Sheryl, go to

My thoughts

I loved this twisty story! This book had my heart humming and my mind working hard. Eve being a new mum had all those new parent anxieties and I felt my own anxiety heightening when Lydia turned up.

There were so many tense moments as you can imagine, especially with there being a baby involved. I enjoyed how the past entwined with the present and my opinions on what was happening changed with every chapter.

The Lydia chapters were most insightful and the domestic abuse theme was tackled brilliantly and with sensitivity. I felt Eve and Lydia’s fear and was saddened by the lingering effects that were so prominent throughout their lives: Eve’s nightmares and Lydia’s grief.

‘Her First Child’ is a fabulously written book, full of depth and clever misdirection. There’s plenty to talk about after reading so it would make a great book club read. There was a sense of danger at every turn. It’s psychological thriller and drama at its best. A must read for fans of this genre!

Thanks for reading!

Why not check out one of my other reviews? Maybe you’ll find your perfect read.

The Retreat by Phil Price – review.

Carla Kovach – author of Amazon and iBooks bestselling DI Gina Harte crime series.

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The Retreat by Phil Price – review.


Nestled under a vast forest, clinging to the Cornish coast, Sandy Shores welcomes holidaymakers looking to bask in the idyllic setting.

The park runs like clockwork, Joe Stuart ensuring his guests have a memorable holiday, using the extensive facilities at Sandy Shores.

He also accommodates other guests away from the main park-influential men, who younger women entertain as the sun dips below the horizon.

But will the arrangement stay off the radar?

Find out when you visit The Retreat.

About the author

Phil Price was born in Sutton Coldfield in 1974. He lived in various places in the UK until his family settled in Rednal, a suburb on the outskirts of Birmingham in 1979. Growing up with an older brother and sister, he always flirted with reading, his home always littered with books. Then in 1997, Phil embarked on a travel expedition that took him from Greece to Thailand, via East and Southern Africa. Sitting in dusty bus stations in Kenya, Tanzania and Malawi with Wilbur Smith and James Herbert accompanying him, his imagination was sparked into life. Since those far-off days, he has never been without a book to read.

Phil started toying with the idea of writing a book in 2009. After writing a few short stories, he caught a whiff of an idea in his head. It started to evolve in 2010 until he had enough to begin his writing journey. Marriage and two children came along, with the story being moved to the back burner for periods of time. However, during those periods of writing inactivity, the story continued to manifest until it just needed one thing. To be written down.

The story was littered with places that had influenced Phil’s life. From the Lickey Hills in Birmingham to the Amatola Mountains in South Africa, with other many other locations, in-between and far beyond.

The book was finished sometime in 2014, left on his computer until a chance conversation with an author friend made Phil take the bold step to publish his story, Unknown.

From there, Phil’s love for the first book spurred him on, creating The Forsaken Series. A vampire/paranormal/horror saga, set in our world, and others too. His love of horror and all things supernatural, inspired by authors such as King, Herbert and others helped create the epic series.

After writing a science fiction novel, titled Zoo, Phil released his first psychological thriller, Ashes of Innocence, a story that he’d kept bubbling away for many years. This was quickly followed up by his seventh book, His Dark Shadow with a Cornish thriller series in the making, along with a standalone horror, The Awakening.

Aside from his writing, Phil lives on the edge of a small town in Worcestershire, UK. A wife and two sons keep Phil happily occupied as he steers his way through life, playing the husband, dad and world creator in equal measure.

My thoughts

This book packs in an abundance of drama. Centring around a family with huge problems and criminal secrets, there’s never a dull moment. I found myself quite often waiting for the multitude of conflicts to come to a head and boy was I in for a ride to get there.

I found myself closely empathising with Cara and Steve, two of the primary characters who drive the story. The Cornish costal setting was divine, contrasting that harsh rock and cliff danger with the joy of holiday-making. This book is seedy, perilous and dramatic in all the right places.

If you love organised crime thrills, family drama and a mystery from the past, ‘The Retreat’ is all that. Sit back, enjoy, and pretend you’re at the seaside, but just be glad you’re not visiting The Retreat!

Thanks for reading!

Why not check out one of my other reviews? Maybe you’ll find your perfect read.

If Every Day Was Christmas by Donna Ashcroft – review.

Carla Kovach – author of Amazon and iBooks bestselling DI Gina Harte crime series.

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Her Deadly Promise – out today!

Available on Kindle, audio and paperback.


Four-year-old Kayden has been sitting alone on the little patch of tired grass outside his house for hours. His cheeks are wet with tears as he waits for his mother’s warm embrace. But she’ll never arrive to pick up her darling boy. She’ll never be seen again…

Church Road is a quiet corner of suburbia where happy families play in the local park and neighbours smile as they pass in the street. But behind the bright red door of number 8 lies the body of Billie Reeves, a young mum who just took her last breath.

Serena is Billie’s sister. When she found out her boyfriend had been obsessively calling Billie, she’d all but cut her from her life. But not before vowing she would make Billie pay for ruining her relationship…

Shaun is Billie’s ex-boyfriend. He left her the moment she fell pregnant. When he turned up at Billie’s door, demanding to see Kayden, she refused to take the risk of him hurting her precious son. He’ll do whatever it takes to get his little boy back…

Nadia is Billie’s best friend. Their kids attended the same school and Billie often opened up to Nadia about her struggles as a single mother. She knows Billie’s deepest, darkest secret. She promised never to tell, but that was before the argument…

When police investigate the quiet little street, they discover everyone was whispering about Billie’s late-night callers. What was going on behind the closed door of Billie’s small home? And if someone was prepared to kill her, what do they know, and who will be next?

Fans of Angela Marsons, Cara Hunter and Clare Mackintosh, will love Her Deadly Promise – a completely gripping crime thriller that will have you hooked from the very first page!

What people are saying

Jonnan S

There is something engrossing and mind-bending about it. This psychological thriller is not to be missed!

Pamela Fagan H

Socked me in the gut and then took me on a twisty ride that kept me reading… and reading… and reading.

Melissa B

OMG!!!!! This one left me shocked and speechless

Wendy C

Now to wait for book 13, it can’t come quick enough!

Michelle D

Her dealing with the menopause. (Yes, I know how Gina feels) and I liked how she added the recent subject in the cost-of-living crisis too. It made the story more believable.

Peggy B

The ending blew me away. Full of misdirection and heart stopping moments. Another MUST READ from one of my favourite and very talented authors. Loved, loved it!!!!

Reviewer (anon)

Wow! What a book! I couldn’t read it fast enough. The tension and pace were absolute magic!

Emma B

I’m going to start by saying that this is quite possibly my favourite book of the series so far!

Louise A

Amazing plot twist.

Reviewer (anon)

Books like this are why I love reading thrillers!

Marjorie W

Put everything on hold when you start this book.








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If Every Day Was Christmas by Donna Ashcroft – review.


Snow is falling, fires are crackling merrily, and Lockton tradition has everyone hanging a promise they’re determined to keep this Christmas on the tree in the village square…

Meg Scott has promised to make a success of her first solo Christmas. She runs a year-round Christmas shop in the little Scottish village, and is a fan of all things mulled, sparkly and festive. So when her warring family shows up on her doorstep, ready to spread discord and tension, Meg is determined not to let them ruin her favourite time of the year.

Meanwhile, Christmas-hating Tom Riley-Clark has been called to the Highlands to help his old friend at The Apple Cross Inn. He’s ready to work hard and has no time for mince pies, tinsel or hanging a promise on the tree: the thought of every day being Christmas is his worst nightmare, and you wouldn’t catch him dead buying a bauble. So everyone is surprised when Christmas-loving Meg and grinch Tom start to get cozy under the mistletoe.

But Tom has a big secret about his past, and in a small town like Lockton it’s hard to keep anything hidden for long. Will everything fall apart when Meg discovers who he really is? The pair are about to learn the hard way that some promises are impossible to keep…

It’s time to curl up for an enchanting festive romance about learning to trust yourself, taking chances and not being afraid to fall in love. Perfect for fans of Nicola May, Debbie Macomber and Milly Johnson.

About the author

Donna Ashcroft was born in London, England and grew up in Buckinghamshire. She went to university in Lancashire and, among other things, worked as a copywriter, buyer, waitress, secretary and marketing manager.

Donna was shortlisted for the RNA Debut Romantic Novel of the Year in 2019, has had ten books published with Bookouture and is working on her next which is due out in spring 2023.

Donna loves a happy ending and is never happier than when she’s escaping into a romance novel or movie. When she’s not reading or writing she’ll probably be found hoovering … or negotiating with her kids about who is doing the washing up.

You can find Donna on Twitter @Donnashc or visit her at

My thoughts

It’s Christmas! Seriously this book oozes Christmas from the get go and it doesn’t slow down. I loved it. It was fun, festive and heart warming – just what a person needs in the run up to Christmas.

The relationships had me gripped. With Meg and Tom, the tension kept me glued. Then Meg’s family brought bags of drama with them. Who doesn’t love a bit of drama?

The setting couldn’t have been more perfect. Who doesn’t want snow and lots of it, with surrounding mountains and a little town where everyone knows everyone?

If you want to step into the festive season, this fab read will definitely get you in the mood. There’s romance and humour, and it comes in abundance so you can keep those pages turning!

Thanks for reading!

Why not check out one of my other reviews? Maybe you’ll find your perfect read.

The People Before by Charlotte Northedge – review.

Carla Kovach – author of Amazon and iBooks bestselling DI Gina Harte crime series.

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