Secrets of The Lighthouse- Santa Montefiore

What to expect:
“Ellen Trawton is running away from it all – quite literally. She is due to get married to a man she doesn’t love, her job is dragging her down and her interfering mother is getting on her nerves. So she escapes to the one place she know her mother won’t follow her – to her aunt’s house in rural Ireland. Once there, she uncovers a dark family secret – and a future she never knew she might have.
Meanwhile, Caitlin Macausland is mourning the future she can never have. She died tragically in what the village thinks is suspicious circumstances, and now she is stuck in a limbo, unable to move on.
And between the two of them is an old lighthouse – the scene of so much tragedy. Can each woman find the peace she so desperately longs for? And can they find the way to live again?”

What starts off as a sad tale of a Caitlin watching her own funeral and Ellen escaping her own privileged yet empty life, becomes an uplifting tale.

Kooks for your Kindle?– I’ve tagged this under ‘Irish froth’, because although the author herself isn’t Irish, the book is mostly set there and is full of very Irish characters and warmth. Aunt Peg is the main relative, she’s kind and accommodating but doesn’t permit Ellen to remain in denial for too long. She’s also hiding a secret that makes it all the more poignant when she welcomes her sister’s daughter. Ellen’s mother Madeline has become thoroughly English but also horribly snobbish since marrying into the upper classes, she only wants the best for Ellen. So who is Dylan, and why did Madeline leave him behind all those years ago? Ellen is amazed to discover that her Mum also has lots of brothers, although they all blend into one with the exception of overbearing Desmond.

Conor links the two leading ladies, he’s Caitlin’s widower and five years later he becomes Ellen’s great love. He seems like bad news at first, and I thought he would be overly controlling, but thankfully he’s a good egg. However the locals all still view him with suspicion following his wife’s accidental death.

The Bella-Swan-Pathetically-Self-Sacrificing-Factor– Caitlin is the ghost, still jealous by nature and desperate for her husband’s love after all this time. Her journey is the most interesting, she takes a while to catch on, despite another most enlightened ghostly presence nearby. Ellen seems younger than her thirty-something years, and is a little spoiled, but a bit of Irish pragmatism soon beats some of it out of her. Her decision to run off without telling anyone in order to find herself seems a little childish, but it’s exactly what she needs, even if things don’t turn out remotely as she’d expected.

Painting a Picture for your Paperback?– As you might imagine, rural Ireland is lovingly portrayed, with windswept beaches, farmhouses, beautiful castles and a rundown lighthouse. The people are equally well illustrated, the bigger characters having some interesting twists and turns. Back in the UK, we don’t get to know Ellen’s sisters well, they were in background reminding me of the ugly stepsisters in Cinderella. Her mother’s interesting tale is the focus there.

Evaluation of your eBook?– I wasn’t sure at the start of the book, with the first ghostly chapter, but once the real world is established, there are enough mysteries to grab the reader. Unfortunately one of them is blatantly obvious to everyone except Ellen many chapters before the reveal, but there is still reason to stick around. It’s a nice atmospheric misty story with plenty of wise adages thrown around by the older folk mixed in with the modern younger generations. The supernatural element won’t be a surprise to regular readers of the author, I seem to remember a ghost in the last one of hers that I read (to say which would be to spoil that one), but Caitlin’s limbo-like existence is explored in an interesting way here. Few shocks, but a gentle ethereal tale for all ages.

Frothy Ranking: 3.5/5 cocktails.

Can be obtained from:

UK: Amazon for £4.75, although recently it was on 99p special so click for the latest.

US: Not on Amazon, but Kobobooks have it for $12.39.

Wildflowers – Debbie Howells

What to expect:
Frankie Valentine has a dream – of fame and fortune and selling flowers to the stars, but between her friends, a disastrous love life and the brides that flock to her small flower shop, nothing goes quite as she plans.
Then out of the blue, with her dream about to come true, Frankie meets Lulubelle, whose small son is very sick. And slowly everything starts to change.
Drawn into a world where each day is precious, Frankie starts to question her own life – which gets even more complicated when she falls for Alex, who keeps getting her wrong…
As the pressure mounts in the midst of a crazy summer of weddings, she edges closer to a future she could never have imagined…

I didn’t know what to expect from this book, it’s my first from this author (who kindly supplied a copy for review) and I was pleasantly surprised.

Kooks for your Kindle?– Frankie’s best mate and business partner Honey is a little bossy but means well. Her interference puts Frankie on the path to health and, inadvertently, fulfillment. Old friends Charlie and Nina lead interesting professional lives so aren’t always around. Frankie’s quirky employee Skye is more useful than she initially appears. Frankie’s sister and mother both make an appearance, and to be honest all the female characters are distinctive in some way. Frankie has to kiss a couple of frogs first, but it’s clear who her man should be, and you’ll like him. The celebrity couple that make Frankie’s dreams come true are eccentric without being cliched. Finally, village newcomer Lulubelle is a little mysterious and her son Cosmo is extremely sick with leukaemia- but their friendship opens Frankie’s eyes to a whole new world and purpose.

The Bella-Swan-Pathetically-Self-Sacrificing-Factor– Frankie is a complex character with some contradictions- she’ll do anything to help her friends, but will put her foot down if they’re out of order; she has some superficial ambitions, but also wants to make a difference in the world. She has a singular habit of quoting adages in Latin and believes that certain flowers have magical powers. I appreciated her assertiveness and was pleased at her swift dispatch of a useless boyfriend as well as her adept handling of a problematic journalist.

Painting a Picture for your Paperback?– Set in a little English village, the charm of the countryside is reflected in the mass of nearby wedding venues. It’s not too twee, but perfect for the setting of the small flower shop. The flowers were lovingly represented, revealing the author’s love and knowledge of them. I had no idea of the meanings and uses of some flowers and their symbolism in a bouquet but it was surprisingly interesting.

Provoking your Inner-Pedant– There are only a couple of tiny errors (less than usual with a self-published work), they didn’t detract from the story.

Evaluation of your eBook?– I rarely cry at books, but I don’t mind admitting I shed one or two tears with this one. However on the whole it was an amusing tale featuring a smart, quick thinking heroine who learned a lot in the course of the book. Frankie’s journey and her choice of path at the end surprised me, but it made sense and the conclusion was satisfying. The coincidence of me reading about Frankie signing up for a half marathon just as I signed up for a relay marathon seemed rather portentous, although mine is a lot shorter! The author is writing as her real name for the first time, and has previously published two books as Susie Martyn, give her a shot, this is a great frothy read at a great price too.

Frothy Ranking: 4/5 cocktails.

Can be obtained from:

UK: Amazon for 77p.

US: Amazon for $1

Something Like Love – Catherine Dunne

What to expect:
After twenty years of marriage, Ben ups and leaves his wife Rose, their children and their family home in Dublin. Just like that: no words of regret, no compromise, no note – only a simple ‘I don’t love you anymore’. It has taken Rose all this time to get her life together again: she’s brought up her three children, Lisa, Brian and Damien single-handedly, and not without difficulty for never again does she want to be completely broke, or to have to revisit that night in hospital with Damien hovering between life and death. To think about it just makes her shudder. Now Rose is concentrating on her business, the ‘Bonne Bouche’ bakery, and all the clients she’s won, all the friends she’s made. Her accounts are in order, the business is blooming. Life really doesn’t seem too bad. Until Ben returns, again without warning, and it is soon clear that he expects to infiltrate Rose’s carefully created world in the most unwelcome of ways

Don’t be afraid, the story is lighter and more uplifting than the cover suggests (despite its smiley faces it seems sad to me). It’s older than I’d thought- I got it on special assuming it was new- the kindle edition was released last year but the paperback is about 7 years old. There is now a prequel, In the Beginning, released recently.

Kooks for your Kindle?– The supportive characters are not the kooky type, and are beautifully done, although I did get some of Rose’s friends and colleagues mixed up. Her husband is a narcissistic man-child; he has no comprehension of the situation he left Rose in eight years earlier. He’s only interested in money, this is one of the things that hooks the reader- the injustice that Rose is facing. The kids are a mixed bunch, eldest son Damien has addiction issues, teenaged daughter Lisa barely remembers her Dad but feels it nonetheless. All three of the kids are insightfully written by someone who (I suspect) knows teenagers. Rose’s solicitor Pauline is just the kind of woman you want on your side in a messy divorce, she has just the right levels of vengeance. Sam, Rose’s accountant, is also instrumental in extricating her from the situation- in more ways than one. He’s a nice chap.

The Bella-Swan-Pathetically-Self-Sacrificing-Factor– Rose is a little mature and experienced to take things lying down, and fortunately by the time Ben has magically reappeared she means business. Eight years of no answers, paying the mortgage alone and no child support will do that to a woman I imagine. Following the course of action recommended to her by professionals, Rose has nerves of steel; even while handling other serious issues with her business and her children.

Painting a Picture for your Paperback?– Set around Dublin, the tale has all the warmth that frothy readers have come to expect from an Irish novel, but not in a stereotypical way. The main setting is the regular day to day life of a single parent family.

Evaluation of your eBook?– The beginning works well with Ben’s return highlighting the injustice, which sucks the reader in. The midsection didn’t feel overly eventful, but acted as a slow buildup of tension to the end- which initially felt insufficiently explosive but then picked up with a nice twist after all. The added element of romance was a nice touch. It’s a gentle, uplifting tale driven by interesting, brave characters. It’s not a long book, nicely priced, an easy read about characters worth caring about.

Frothy Ranking: 3.5/5 cocktails.

Can be obtained from:

UK: Amazon for only 49p

US: Not on Amazon, but Kobobooks have it for $7.59.

The Naughty Girls’ Book Club – Sophie Hart

This cheeky little book is an homage to the women’s fiction out there with naughty bits, and a good read all in one! Divorcée Estelle owns a struggling cafe in Bristol and despairs of her future until she has the idea of starting a book club- which changes her life. It starts out small, reading the very respectable Tess of the D’Urbervilles until things take a turn for the rude as they tackle ‘Ten Sweet Lessons’ (a thinly veiled 50 Shades). The five club members soon abandon the usual book club staples and head for other saucy numbers like Jilly Cooper and Shirley Conran. As their paths entangle, the club members find their lives changing in unexpected ways.

Kooks for your Kindle?– There’s a nice age range to the main characters, from twenties to sixties. My favourite had to be the young feminine feminist Gracie, librarian by day, aspiring singer by night, whose style seemed to be a cross between Marilyn Monroe and Dita Von Teese. Quietly opinionated, her views on ‘Ten Sweet Lessons’ rang a bell with me. Reggie is a gawky misfit graduate student who initially joins the group for social research before overcoming his embarrassment at the subject matter and getting involved. Rebecca has not been married long, but is already pining for her waning sex life until the books give her some ideas. Sue and her husband George have just retired, but it turns out they have very different ideas of what that means. Sue thinks it’s the beginning and wants day trips and foreign holidays whereas George thinks it’s the end and wants to sit in front of the television all day. Sue’s new-found friends inspire her to get out there and keep living.

The Bella-Swan-Pathetically-Self-Sacrificing-Factor– Estelle is the main character who brings them all together and starts them on their new reading matter. She’s had some confidence knocks, so is hesitant when her son’s football coach Tony shows an interest in her, and has some hilarious moments when he finds out about their reading matter.

Nookie for your Nook?– While the subject matter is naughty, the book itself is merely steamy in parts and would pass the mother-in-law test if she’s fairly modern.

Evaluation of your eBook?– Ironically the book has a cosy, warm, wholesome feel with the community created by the assorted club members meeting over tea and homemade cakes in the midst of their messy lives. It also really captures the essence of the ’50 shades’ craze with the unlikeliest people sneakily reading it on the bus/train, and also the nostalgia of a good eighties bonk-buster like Riders. There’s some nice character development and, of course, a happy ending.

Frothy Ranking: 4.5/5 cocktails.

Can be obtained from:

UK: Amazon for £1.99

US: Amazon for $8.89, or $4.29 from Kobobooks.

Flat-out Love – Jessica Park

Here’s something different, in theory it could be classed as YA, but it felt more grown up than that. Julie is leaving her midwestern small town for college life in Boston- but she’s totally ready. Armed with confidence and keen to learn she dives right in- but a problem with her accommodation is resolved by her unexpectedly boarding with an old friend of her Mother’s, Erin Watkins and her family. Erin and Roger are both academics, and distant from their children. Matt is a few years older than Julie, studying hard and taking care of his his thirteen year old sister. Celeste is unusual, she doesn’t fit in with her school friends and has an unhealthy dependence on a flat cardboard cutout of her other elder brother Finn who’s away travelling. Julie, who is studying psychology, quickly becomes an invaluable part of the family and makes a project out of socially integrating Celeste to prevent her getting thrown out of school, but it’s hard when the family won’t tell her more about Celeste’s history. When Julie starts communicating with Finn online she doesn’t get any answers- but she does fall in love.

The Bella-Swan-Pathetically-Self-Sacrificing-Factor– Regular readers will know strong female leads are appreciated here, and we have a good one in this tale. Julie is tough, bold, resilient and positive, surprisingly strong for an eighteen year old. Perhaps this is why the book felt older than a YA. The only time she acts like a teenager is on a visit to her mother- but then it’s easy to regress on a visit back home. She doesn’t have your typical college experience, she makes a few friends, dates a nice guy for a little while and socialises somewhat, but most of her time is taken with studying and working on helping Celeste.

Kooks for your Kindle?– The Watkins family are a mess, the aforementioned distant parents not helping matters. Put it this way, they are all stunned one night when Julie cooks them a meal and they don’t have to order take-out. All of them are highly intelligent and academic, but this does not explain the underlying tensions between them and Celeste’s mental state. Matt is the only one whose behaviour resembles normal, but he’s under a lot of pressure from his parents and studies. Seth is the guy that Julie meets in a coffee shop and dates for a while, but Julie’s focus is elsewhere.

Painting a Picture for your Paperback?– Seeing Boston through Julie’s eyes is great, a small town girl keen to learn goes to one of the great college towns in the States. But the Watkins’ home life has the strongest portrayal here.

Nookie for your Nook?– Julie does steam up Facebook at one point.

Evaluation of your eBook?– This was not at all what I had expected, and I loved it. The underlying mystery kept me gripped, and while I guessed at part of it, that didn’t ruin it. The heroine may be very young but she’s so grown up and smart that the story works for older audiences too, the subject matter helps this too. The dialogue is witty and Julie’s personality is quite sharp. Celeste’s issues were extremely well done and fascinating from a psychological perspective. Apparently there is a companion piece to this, but don’t click here or look into it before you’ve read this one first, or you’ll spoil the ending!

Frothy Ranking: 4/5 cocktails.

Can be obtained from:

UK: In May I picked it up on special for 99p, but it’s currently £3.49, click here for the latest price from Amazon.

US: Amazon for $3.99, can’t be found on Kobobooks at present.

A Weekend With Mr Darcy – Victoria Connelly

This is a delightfully english tale of two women who attend a weekend Jane Austen themed retreat at a beautiful country house in Hampshire. Katherine is a University lecturer in English Literature, and her speciality of Austen gets her a place at the weekend giving a talk. Having recently been betrayed by two different men, Katherine’s not looking for love, but is very interested to meet a best-selling author with whom she’s recently become pen-pals.

Then there’s Robyn, whose Austen obsession is of amateur status, but just as passionate as Katherine’s. She’s longing to go to this event for the first time, thus escaping from her mundane life and boyfriend. Jace has been there for her since they were kids, but they have nothing in common and Robyn longs for some time apart and then possibly to break up with him- until he decides he’s joining her for the weekend! At Purley Hall, the home of their host and celebrated actress Lady Pamela Harcourt, kindred spirits gather to celebrate their love of all things Austen and happen upon a few surprises.

Kooks for your Kindle?– A gathering of Janeites is a good recipe for some eccentric characters, mostly of the dotty older variety here. The men are lovingly portrayed, Lady Pamela’s younger brother Dan would have been at home in a Jilly Cooper novel with his animal loving nature. Warwick is a mysterious writer- but he’s made a grave mistake in not being upfront with Katherine before the sparks begin to fly. Jace’s surname is Collins; this should have given Robyn some clue of what to expect from him as she knows her Pride and Prejudice better than most. There’s nothing badly wrong with him, he’s just wrong for Robyn.

The Bella-Swan-Pathetically-Self-Sacrificing-Factor– Katherine is in her thirties and a little jaded by her romantic experiences. Fortunately a little Austen can restore most women’s faith in the not-so fairer sex. Katherine’s confident, knows her own mind and is quite stubborn. Robyn is younger and hasn’t fully found herself yet, but knows she’s not satisfied with the life she’s drifted into. While she doesn’t yet know where her future lies she knows she doesn’t need rescuing. The question is does she have the courage to leave it all behind and branch out?

Painting a Picture for your Paperback?– The majority of the book takes place at Purley Hall, which seems to be so vast and beautifully appointed it could have passed for Netherfield. Speaking of which, the atmosphere and focus of the tale is very Austen-centric, as are the discussions and excursions, all of which I loved, but might not appeal to non-lovers of the books. If you are a Janeite, even to a minor degree, there is much to appreciate here.

Nookie for your Nook?– There’s more action than you’d expect at this event, but nothing that would make the lady herself blush.

Evaluation of your eBook?– It’s a gentle tale, with pet chickens named after Austen characters, kindly butlers and an eccentric actress, but it’s also a modern love story (or two), with present day men and the accompanying problems. It’s not hard to foresee the romantic outcomes, but it’s an enjoyable, warm journey with much reflection on the comfort of old favourite books, the wisdom of Austen and her sadly short life. And it’s totally made me want to go and re-read all six…

Frothy Ranking: 4/5 cocktails.

Can be obtained from:

UK: Amazon for £2.99 at the moment, sometimes it seems to be on special for less.

US: Amazon for $10.09.

Righteous Exposure – A K James

Now if I was to tell you this book was written by the same author as one of our recent frothy reads: A Stitch In Time, you might not believe me, for this has a different look to it, it’s more of a conventional thriller and the heroine is an American doctor from a latino family. The strange thing is, it also works as chick lit for there’s a strong female lead, a touch of romance, some family drama and it’s unputdownable.

Dr Alita Ramirez is thirty years old and works in a Houston hospital, her busy schedule helping to distract her from commitment issues and increasingly recurring nightmares about a blue-eyed man. When her father is hospitalised for a kidney transplant, her mother Liliana confesses her darkest secret to Alita, who realises that those weren’t nightmares, they were flashbacks to an event that would forever affect both her and her mother. In her darkest hour Alita comes up with a desperate plan to exact her revenge on the man who shares her own strange blue eyes.

Kooks for your Kindle?– Although the story is mainly about Alita, there are some great three dimensional characters, in particular twelve year-old Jackson and his mother Joanne, both of whom show surprising strength under pressure. Tony, Alita’s persistent ex-boyfriend is extremely understanding of her scheming, and is supportive in the background. The bad guy, Robson, is horribly evil and fully deserving of the troubles that come his way.

The Bella-Swan-Pathetically-Self-Sacrificing-Factor– Alita is a modern, intelligent and capable woman, the first in her family to achieve such a prestigious post as a doctor. So it is quite a surprise when her revenge plan turns out to be a serious crime potentially punishable by prison time. This doesn’t come out of nowhere though, the increasing nightmares have taken their toll and Alita has to do something. Fortunately she thinks it through and plans for most contingencies.

Painting a Picture for your Paperback?– There is great atmosphere to this book, I really got a feel for the fierce Texan heat, the vast distances, the relief of the beach.

Evaluation of your eBook?– The story is well plotted and paced, a good tense page-turner. It also didn’t go quite where I expected it to, let’s just say some outside influences livened things up! It’s a brave thing for an author to write for a character of different nationality and heritage, it seems to work (although Americans could tell me if I’m right, the language seemed standard English) but Alita seems a little more mature than her thirty-odd years. Definitely worth a look for something a little different with a satisfying ending; everybody got what they deserved, good or bad! Especially if you love a good revenge tale as I do.

Frothy Ranking: 4/5 cocktails.

Can be obtained from:

UK: Amazon for £1.99.

US: Amazon for $2.99.

The Pollyanna Plan – Talli Roland

Emma is something of a control freak; her life is perfectly ordered, she works hard as an insurance underwriter, she owns her own well organised flat and is engaged to a similarly employed suitable man, George. But within a week she is laid off at work and discovers George’s faithfulness isn’t quite as his boring personality would suggest. Her best friend Alice helps her pick up the pieces, and believes Emma should try acting her age (thirty-two) and having some fun for a change. Alice devises the Pollyanna plan- Pollyanna being a fictional character who always sees the positive in any situation- and challenges Emma to change her perspective on life. Thanks to some sensible savings Emma does not have to rush into her next job and makes some surprising discoveries.

Kooks for your Kindle?– Part of the story is told from the point of view of Will, the enigmatic stranger Emma meets in her local DIY store. His viewpoint allows us to understand his mystery, which stems from his difficult relationship with his father, the family business, and some health problems. Alice makes a nice contrast to the uptight Emma, she’s a more fun loving, daring actress/bartender. There are a few other minor characters, still with heartfelt roles, such as Will’s eccentric neighbour Lou, and Emma’s (oddly 25 years younger) half-sister Meg.

The Bella-Swan-Pathetically-Self-Sacrificing-Factor– Emma has some scars and they all hark back to the early death of her father and subsequent withdrawal of her mother. By keeping control of her adult life and not feeling anything she can avoid getting hurt again. Once she lets go and begins to live she has a bit of a scare, not really surprising with such a big change.

Painting a picture for your paperback?– The tale has both a sad and hopeful tone, and is a little more poignant and thoughtful than you might expect having seen the truly frothy cover. The setting is more picturesque than your average London-based story, with canal boats and a side trip towards the end which i probably shouldn’t reveal.

Evaluation of your eBook?– It’s fairly short as books go, I read it in just a few hours, but that might just be because it was quite gripping. The ending isn’t a big surprise but it’s a good journey, and an uplifting one at that. Emma’s personality changes are extreme, and the ensuing fear has a boomerang effect, but a nice balance is eventually achieved. There is one aspect of the story that concerns illness, and again I don’t want to spoil anything, so lets just say it was very nicely handled. Overall a nice easy read with a positive ending, cheap too.

Frothy Ranking: 4/5 cocktails.

Can be obtained from:

UK: Amazon for only 79p

US: Amazon for only 99c

Leftovers – Stella Newman

Susie’s immediate plan is pretty precise- survive her job as advertising account director for another 307 days, obtain her promised promotion and bonus, then quit. After that she’s not totally sure, but it will involve cooking, at which she is talented and innovative. Amid a sea of fellow thirty-something attached friends, Susie is single and still a little heartbroken, but cooking is the answer to that too.

At first glance it resembles one of our recent reads, except British instead of American, and Susie is a little older and knows her own mind.

Kooks for your Kindle?– Susie has lots of friends, some more reliable than others. Dalia is the kind to drop her friends when there’s a man on the scene, Rebecca is a man eater on the verge of reforming, Polly is lucky in love the second time around, Marjorie is her crotchety old neighbour, and Sam is her unmotivated work ally with no qualms when it comes to a little recreational computer hacking if it helps his friend Susie. Various other characters both at work and home are also really well observed.

The Bella-Swan-Pathetically-Self-Sacrificing-Factor– Susie is resiliently chirpy and practical with a few self-aware moments where she admits to herself that her loneliness and loss is easily distracted by cooking. I love the way she doesn’t stand for second best when it comes to men, and doesn’t waste too much time with those that we can soon identify as incidental. She’s quick thinking and resourceful; my favourite kind of lead character.

Painting a Picture for your Paperback?– The standout here is the food, ensure you have some pasta and tomatoes in stock just in case the urge takes you while reading this, especially once you hit the recipes at the end.

Evaluation of your eBook?– There are some heroines who make crazy decisions along the way and you have to wait for the inevitable fallout towards the end of the book- this is not one of those! Which makes me happy. Susie may be the leftover among her friends, the only single one, but it doesn’t hold her back socially. There are moments of depth and poignancy when her loneliness bubbles to the surface, but most of the time she’s a positive, caring, strong leading lady and I’d love to see a sequel. The ending was great- surprisingly unpredictable. The work characters in particular might resonate with those of us that have worked with similar types, particularly Susie’s chilly boss Berenice. The tone is modern and real without being too gritty, and most of all- warm.

Frothy Ranking: 4/5 cocktails.

Can be obtained from:

UK: Price has recently ranged between 99p and £1.49 on Amazon, click here for the latest. Either way it’s a bargain.

US: Kobobooks have it for $7.29

A Stitch In Time – Amanda James

Sarah has suffered a double betrayal: Despite delaying their own baby-making for seven years, her husband Neil has accidentally knocked up her beautiful best friend Karen during a one night stand. Eighteen months later, Sarah is divorced and going about her everyday life as a history teacher when she has a visitation from the kind and mysterious John. Long story short, she is required to make three trips back in time to ‘stitch a hole’ and save three people, who will go on to make three more people (one of whom will be of historical significance) etc, hence the title. Once Sarah’s established that she’s not hallucinating, she is catapulted back to 1940 where her instincts and knowledge help her save a man from the Sheffield blitz. As Sarah’s success as a stitch continues (via the suffragette movement in London and the old American west), her relationship with John upsets the powers that be, and she is asked to complete one extra, highly important mission.

Kooks for your Kindle?– An abundance of varied characters here, from the Downton Abbey style domestic staff in frightful Lady Attwood’s 1913 London home, to the desperate farmers in 1870s Kansas, fighting a plague of locusts. Many of the characters in Sarah’s real life are truly horrible, including one of her fellow teachers, one of her pupils, her ex-husband, her ex-friend and someone she meets through John. But there are plenty of kindly folks and all jump off the page and stick in your head. John is a strong leading man, kind and attractive, although he comes across as being about ten years more mature than he really is, but so does Sarah.

The Bella-Swan-Pathetically-Self-Sacrificing-Factor– Sarah has been hurt in the past in the worst way, and it does cause her to give up on love at one point, thankfully she doesn’t wallow, and soon gets back into the action. She’s a take charge heroine whose quick thinking saves the day on her missions, paired with her historic knowledge this makes her a great stitch.

Painting a picture for your paperback?– The best aspect of the story- the trips back in time- are not large sections of the book, but they are vividly related, right down to the smells and the smallest detail that take you there. My favourite was when Sarah jumped into the extended family trying to make a living and stake their claim in Kansas, just after the civil war. The author has a clear love of history and brings it to life, especially the terror of delivering a baby there.

Evaluation of your eBook?– If you like your romance with a hint of time-travel, or your Quantum Leap with a hint of romance (something I don’t recall Sam Beckett and Al ever having!), there’s something for everyone here, and if you like your fiction to be firmly set in the real world I think you’ll still love it. The author does a fabulous job of taking you wherever Sarah goes, and it’s hard to put it down. The tone was humorous at times, Sarah was at her funniest when a little stressed and unhinged. It was nice to have a few chapters from John’s point of view, he does a good job of concisely explaining the inexplicable without getting tangled up in paradoxes or bothering the space-time continuum.

Frothy Ranking: 4.5/5 cocktails.

Can be obtained from:

UK: Amazon for only £1.97, sometimes on special for 99p, click the first price to check.

US: Amazon for only $2.99.