Blog Tours Monthly Wrap Up

Monthly Wrap Up – May 2020

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Another month is done and I’m writing another wrap up. These seem to come around quicker each month. Does anyone else think the same?

May has been my best reading month in quite some time. I finished sixteen books and took part in fourteen blog tours. The quality of books has again been high with all books being four stars or above.

Here’s what I read in May:

  1. He Started It by Samantha Downing ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  2. Who We Were by B. M. Carroll ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  3. The Happy Couple by Samantha Hayes ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  4. The Secrets of Sunshine by Phaedra Patrick ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  5. One Mistake by Rona Halsall ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  6. Dear Child by Romy Hausmann ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  7. What Lies Between Us by John Marrs ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  8. Ash Mountain by Helen Fitzgerald ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  9. Her Last Mistake (Detective Gina Harte Book 6) by Carla Kovach ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  10. Tsarina by Ellen Alpsten ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  11. The Bride by Wendy Clarke ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  12. The Glass House by Eve Chase ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  13. His & Hers by Alice Feeney ⭐⭐⭐⭐.5
  14. The Ice Cream Girls by Dorothy Koomson⭐⭐⭐⭐
  15. Water’s Edge (Detective Megan Carpenter Book 2) by Gregg Olsen ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  16. The Majesties by Tiffany Tsao ⭐⭐⭐⭐

 You can read the reviews for all the books by clicking on the title except for The Ice Cream Girls and The Majesties. My reviews for those books will be posted in the coming week.

This month there were two books that stood out as favourites for me. They are very different books and I found it impossible to choose one over the over. Therefore, I have two books of the month: What Lies Between Us and Tsarina. What Lies Between Us is an outstanding thriller that was so twisted I can’t stop thinking about it. John Marrs really outdid himself with this book and I’m hoping it is turned into a series or film soon. Tsarina is the epic story of Catherine, Tsarina of All the Russias. Catherine’s story is one so crazy that you couldn’t make it up. The novel is beautifully written and I was utterly immersed in Catherine’s world while reading. I already had a fascination with the fall of the Tsars but this novel brought about a greater interest in the Tsars reign and Catherine and Peter’s stories in particular. I highly recommend both books.

Are any of these in your tbr? What is your favourite book you’ve read this month?

Next month I have a slightly more relaxed schedule of blog tours which I’m looking forward to as maybe I’ll get to do more free reading soon. I’m very excited about my buddy read of The Phone Box at the Edge of the World with Beth as it’s our first buddy read and the book is one of my most anticipated books of the year.

Thank you to all the tagged publishers for my gifted copies of these books.

Hope you are all staying safe and well,
Emma x

Blog Tours book reviews

The Secrets of Sunshine by Phaedra Patrick ⭐⭐⭐⭐


Published: May 14th, 2020
Publisher: HQ
Format: Paperback, Kindle, Audio
Genre: Domestic Fiction, Contemporary Romance, Humourous Fiction

Today is my stop on the blog tour for this beautiful story. Thank you to HQ for the invitation to take part and the gifted copy of the book .


‘A wonderfully hope-filled story’ Sarah Haywood, bestselling author of The Cactus

A single father gets an unexpected second chance at love in the heart-warming new novel from the bestselling author of The Library of Lost and Found.

Only his daughter Poppy knows that behind his prickly exterior, Mitchell Fisher is deeply lonely. He may have sworn off romance, relishing his job cutting off the padlocks that couples fasten to his hometown’s famous ‘love story’ bridge… but underneath it all, he’s still grieving the loss of Poppy’s mum.

Then one hot summer’s day, everything changes when Mitchell bravely rescues a woman who falls from the bridge into the river. He’s surprised to feel an unexpected connection to her, but then she disappears. Desperate to find the mysterious woman, Mitchell teams up with her spirited sister Liza to see if she’s left any clues behind. There’s just one – a secret message on the padlock she left on love story bridge…

Brimming with Phaedra Patrick’s signature charm and a sparkling cast of characters, The Secrets of Sunshine follows one man’s journey to unlock his heart and discover new beginnings in the unlikeliest places.


The Secrets of Sunshine is as heartwarming, uplifting and delightful as its name suggests and is the perfect read on sunny summer days. When I picked up this book I was in need of something lighthearted to refresh my reading pallet after a number of back to back thrillers and I couldn’t have chosen a better book for the job.

Single dad Mitchell Fisher spends his days removing love locks from his hometown’s famous ‘love lock’ bridge and his nights with his nine-year-old daughter Poppy. He is struggling to move on from the death of Poppy’s mother and still writes her love letters he will never send. 

Then one day everything changes. It begins when he rescues a woman who falls from the bridge into the river and then disappears as quickly as she seemed to appear on the bridge. Feeling an unexpected connection to her,  he agrees to team up with her sister Liza to try and find her, starting with a clue she left on her the lock she hung on love lock bridge…

I got totally lost in this beautiful story and devoured it in under a day. A story about celebrating love, finding, hope, overcoming grief and moving on, it was a breath of fresh air. Letter writing is a prominent feature of this story. There are the letters Mitchell writes to Anita, the ones she wrote him, and the many letters he receives from the public after being hailed ‘The Hero on the Bridge’. I loved the personal and emotional dynamic the letters added to the story and enjoyed the touching stories in the letters Mitchell received from strangers. It also made me nostalgic for the days where we took the time to write letters to each other and the joy of receiving them.

Mitchell isn’t an easy man to like at first. He is a prickly, rigid person who lives life by a strictly regimented schedule. But behind all of that he’s a man who’s had his world turned upside down, has been left brokenhearted, and is trying to do the best he can for the daughter he adores. I had a lot of empathy for him from the start but started to warm to him more as he moved out of his comfort zone and relaxed a little more. His story arc was one I thoroughly enjoyed and I loved his character by the end of the book. I found the secondary characters Liza, Poppy, Carl and Graham endearing and thought they added a lot of warmth and humour to the story.

The Secrets of Sunshine is an absolute gem. Charming, quirky, captivating and full of hope, I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for something that will brighten their day.


Phaedra Patrick studied art and marketing and has worked as a stained glass artist, film festival organiser and communications manager. An award-winning short story writer, she now writes full time in Saddleworth where she lives with her family.

Her debut novel, The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper, was translated into over twenty languages worldwide and has been optioned by a major Hollywood film studio. Her second novel, Rise and Shine, Benedict Stone (named Wishes Under the Willow Tree in the UK), is also under option in the US as a TV movie. Her third novel is The Library of Lost and Found, and the fourth one is titled The Secrets of Love Story Bridge (The Secrets of Sunshine in the UK).




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