Tuesday, 21 August 2018

Sisley: My Buys

As you'll know I've been enjoying Sisley's Beauty Box Subscription for the last six months (£35 including p&p). Here are the products I'd buy full size:

I'm already a fan of their Black Rose Cream Mask and have it currently in my stash. Ones I'd love full size from March's selection are Black Rose Skin Infusion Cream and Izia EdP.

April - Hair Rituel

It was SO good to try the new haircare range! I totally fell head over heels for their Precious Hair Care Oil. I also fancy their haircare Discovery Kits.

I'm already a fan of their Express Flower Mask so it was lovely to try it again. My top pick from May was White Ginger Contouring Oil for Legs.

I fell totally head over heels for glow inducing Supremya at Night which is an eye watering £475 full size (If I ever win the lottery...) A beautiful night cream. Wake up with luminous soft skin. Love! My second top pick this month was Eau Tropicale Moisturizing Perfumed Body Lotion which is truly summer in a bottle.

In July, I loved Izia Moisturising Perfumed Body Lotion and Purifying Re-Balancing Lotion with Tropical Resins which mattifies and balances the skin.

August - The Cascade

I'm popping the After Sun Care Tan Extender in my holiday bag. I loved Energising Foaming Exfoliator for the Body which was nice to use on wet or dry skin for softer and smoother skin. I also would buy Eau Efficace, a 3-in-1 make up remover for face and eyes.

And guess what? I couldn't resist signing up for another 6 months!

Monday, 20 August 2018

Balm Balm Starter Kit

I'm a sucker for trial sizes and couldn't resist this Balm Balm Starter Kit from Love Lula (there's currently 25% off with code BALM25 - not sure how long this code will be current though). Packaging has been changed to glass for the whole range making it easy to recycle.

It's so sweet..

Inside the organic cotton bag is:

Super Light Coconut Cleanser 10ml - a gentle cleanser which easily removes make up and daily grime.

Rose Floral Water 10ml - a natural toner which refreshes, helps to minimise enlarged pores, combat oiliness and leave the skin feeling comfortable. I've used this a few times and really like it.

Little Miracle Rosehip Serum 10ml - a rich blend of rosehip, jojoba and borage oils infused with frankincense, rose geranium, palmarosa, juniper and mandarin essential oils which nourishes and rejuvenates (REVIEW)

Beauty Balm 15ml - a gentle all-purpose balm - use it for cleansing, exfoliating and moisturising (REVIEW)

Hibiscus Face Mask 15g - mix up with water or hydrosol for an invigorating yet gentle exfoliation or mask.

Organic Muslin Cloth - use with the beauty balm, cleanser or face mask to leave your skin feeling fresh, clean, polished and pampered.

What's your favourite Balm Balm product?

Sunday, 19 August 2018

Adagio Teas Review

Adadio Teas sent me a huge selection of their teas to try - sample packs and full size packs and I've been enjoying trying them either using the paper filters or the Glass Tea Mug with Infuser. The company was founded by Sophie Kreymerman who loves tea. She used to buy from the local Chinese supermarkets to personally enjoy and to offer to friends and visitors when they popped round. She started Adagio Teas in 1999 with 20 teas. 


Now where to begin...

I was sent a vast selection which I've really enjoyed trying (and am still trying!) (prices range from £1.50 sample size (10 cups) and upwards). From the Black Tea selection I enjoyed Scottish Breakfast and Earl Grey Moonlight. The Black Tea range is allowed to oxidise completely (leaves are plucked, withered, rolled, oxidised and can be fired too). The flavour is deep and strong and is ideal served with milk and sugar or served iced.

From the Flavoured Tea range I loved gently floral Summer Rose and aromatic Fiery Cinnamon Spice. I'm a huge Chai Tea fan so loved the selection I was sent. My favourites were sweet Chocolate Chai and spicy and warming Masala Chai.

I loved delicate Jasmine Phoenix Pearls and bright Citrus Mint Green from the Green Tea selection. 

Have you bought any teas from Adagio Teas?


Saturday, 18 August 2018

Uber Sonic Electric Toothbrush

I've been testing out Uber Sonic's fab Aluminium Toothbrush* which you can buy alone or as part of a subscription deal. The starter pack costs £19 and inside you will find a toothbrush, a toothbrush head, a charging point and a free Whitening Kit* (members receive a new toothbrush and free whitening kit every year. Toothbrush heads cost £9 every two months.

The Uber Sonic Electric Toothbrush is the world's first Aluminium toothbrush and is winner of Red Dot Design Awards 2016 and German Design Awards 2018. The toothbrush is German engineered and developed in collaboration with dentists.

The brush is lightweight, and fairly quiet and easy to use. It uses sonic high speed movement giving 3500 vibrations per minute and deeply cleans the teeth ensuring plaque and bacteria are removed and teeth are brighter and clean. 

Pick yours up HERE.

Find Uber Sonic on Instagram HERE and Twitter HERE

I was really impressed with the toothbrush and it's performance and will definitely be picking up some more toothbrush heads in the next week or so.


Friday, 17 August 2018

Love Lula Beauty Box: August 2018

My July Love Lula Beauty Box* arrived the other day. This month it's worth £55 and contains 2 full size products, 3 trial size and 1 sachet. So what's inside:

And for a closer look..

I've always wanted to try more products from pure & light organic skincare and inside is a 15ml tube of their Revitalising Facial Exfoliation, a dual-action cleansing cream which will revitalise and rejuvenate the skin. Cleansing is combined with gentle daily exfoliation. Look out for a review on this one shortly!

From new brand at Love Lula is Bowe Organics with their Lash Oil (10ml - £19.99). I've actually got an unopened bottle awaiting my use from a recent Skin Organics Clean Beauty Box. A review will be forthcoming.

I love sachets and trial sizes are they are great trymes or for weekends away and holidays. Inside this month is a 1.5ml sachet of Kimberly Sayer's fabulous Ultra Light Facial Moisturiser SFP30 (which incidentally I used long before I blogged!) I'll be popping this one in my travel bag.

There are two 5ml trial sizes from fabulous Gallinée which I've tried before - Hydrating Face Cream (REVIEW) and Hand Cream (REVIEW). I'm happy to have these fab products back in my stash!

Rounding up the box this month is a full size product which we've had a couple of times before in the box - Madara's AHA Peel Mask (60ml - £24). I love Marada products but I'd love to see a new product in the box - maybe one of their soaps, something from the Infusion Vert range or a sample size of one of their face oils.

As ever, it's a great value box. What do you think of the contents? Are you a subscriber?

*sent to me as part of the Love Lula Accredited Blogger Program. All thoughts are genuine.

Thursday, 16 August 2018

Blog Tour: Stitch Up by William McIntyre

Today I'm on the Blog Tour for Stitch Up* by William McIntyre the latest book in the Best Defence series and it's also publication day!

"Everything is coming up roses for Robbie Munro, newly married and living in the country with his wife and child. That is until his wife takes up employment abroad just as old flame, Jill Green asks him to investigate the unexplained death of her partner. Suspecting foul play, Jill insists Robbie turns poacher to gamekeeper and does whatever it takes to find the killer - with no expense spared. 

Another killer on the loose is child-murderer Ricky Hertz whose twenty-year-old conviction is under scrutiny. Was the evidence at his trial fabricated? Suspicion falls on Robbie's father who now faces a criminal prosecution. The only way to prove ex-Police Sergeant Alex Munro's innocence is for Robbie to show there was no miscarriage of justice".

My thoughts?

This is my first read of the series (I'll definitely be going back to read the others!) I thoroughly enjoyed this fast paced and gripping read with interesting characters and storylines.

The story opens with Criminal Lawyer, Robbie Munro meeting up with old friend and acquaintance, Cammy Foster who is looking for some assistance. Ricky Hertz is getting out of prison after 18 years and Cammy is totally raging. Hertz killed three girls including his sister, whose body has never been found. He'd like to take matters into his own hands but Robbie warns him against it.

New evidence has been uncovered and the Counter Corruption Unit are looking into the case. Robbie's dad, Alex Munro was a Police Sergeant at the time and is being investigated. Some unexpected things happen which shed a whole new light on the case and could change everything..

Meanwhile, ex-girlfriend Jill wants Robbie to look at the suspicious death of her rich husband, Hercule Mercier who died suddenly in his suite at The Newberry.  Jill hands Robbie a large amount of cash to pay for his time although he and others believe it was suicide rather than murder. 

There are a few of twists near to the end which I didn't see coming (a couple of which I'm still thinking about now!) Would highly recommend this un-put-downable and fast-paced read.

*copy sent to me by the publisher

Tuesday, 14 August 2018

Love Lula: Kure Bazaar Organic Cuticle Oil & 3-Way Nail Buffer Block

I've been testing out Kure Bazaar's gorgeous Organic Cuticle Oil (£32 - 10ml)* and their 3-way Nail Buffer Block (£5)* both of which are fabulous and available to buy at Love Lula.

The Organic Cuticle Oil* is exquisitely presented in it's own little box (it's the little things..) The brand is a "nail game changer" offering eco-natural 10 free formulas in vibrant shades. They also offer products like the new Organic Cuticle Oil, the 3-way Nail Buffer Block, Manicure & Pedicure Rituals and a glass nail file as well as beautiful polishes.

The cuticle oil* is formulated with 10 precious oils including Organic oils of Argan, Borage, Hemp, Cameline, Jojoba, Hazelnut, Sweet Almond and Virgin Bean along with Virgin Biological Linseed Oil, Oil of Onagre and Rosa Damascena. There are also petals suspended in the oil which make it pleasing to the eye and are a nice touch. It's super rich and nourishing and I use it every night before bed. The scent is woody, earthy with a light sweet floral note and is one of the most luxurious nail care products I've ever used.

The 3-Way Nail Buffer Block* is a combination file and buffer which will shape and smooth nails, removing ridges, imperfections and discolouration and leaves your nails shiny and healthy looking.

To use: use the black coarse side to shape, the green soft side to smooth ridges and the white side to maintain a high glossy shine.

I'm shhh... a bit of a nail nibbler so I'll give you an update a few months down the line as to my progress in my quest for beautiful nails! 

*sent to me as part of the Love Lula Accredited Blogger Program. My post contains 2 Affiliate links. My thoughts are genuine. These nailcare products are fabulous!

Monday, 13 August 2018

Love Lula: Kiss the Moon CALM After Dark Face Oil

I'm always picking up trial sizes with purchase at Love Lula (pick up to 5 with a £10+ purchase - the prices of the samples range from 25p upwards. Last month as part of my Love Lula Accredited Blogger picks I chose a 3ml sample of Kiss the Moon's CALM After Dark Face Oil (£5)*. It's a great try me size or to pack for holidays as it gives several uses (or dare I say it a perfect stocking filler!)

The face oil smells exquisite. It's formulated with Apricot Kernel, Wheat Germ, Camellia Seed and Rosehip Fruit Oils and is scented with Sandalwood, Roman Chamomile, Jasmine Absolute and Ylang Ylang. It instantly calms and relaxes, soothing, nourishing and hydrating the skin before bed.

To use: apply a few drops to your palm, breathing in before massaging onto the skin. 

You'll probably have guessed full size is now firmly on the wishlist! What's your favourite Kiss the Moon product?

*complimentary - sent to me as part of the Love Lula Accredited Blogger Program. My post contains one affiliate link


Sunday, 12 August 2018

Sisley Beauty Subscription: The Cascade

This is my last month of my 6 month subscription with Sisley and the theme is The Cascade: Immerse yourself in a waterfall of freshness in the heart of summer...Rejuvenate your skin with the essentials from Sisley. I'm tempted to sign up for another 6 months as I've really enjoyed the samples.

Eau de Sisley No.1 1.4ml sample vial - this is a refreshing scent (reminds me slightly of Chanel's Cristalle which I love).

Moisturiser with Cucumber 4ml sachet - a daily moisturiser with a light silky texture and the scent of cucumbers.

After Sun Care Tan Extender 8ml - which will help to prolong your tan. It contains low-dosage self tan ingredients and will soothe and nourish the skin. I'll be popping this one in my holiday bag.

Eau Efficace 3-in-1 Make Up Remover 30ml - which will gently remove make up and cleanse and tone the skin.

Energising Foaming Exfoliant for the Body 15ml - a fresh scented gentle exfoliator which removes dead skin cells and smoothes.

As I said I've really enjoy the subscription and I'm tempted to sign up for another six months. What's your favourite Sisley product?

Saturday, 11 August 2018

4160 Tuesdays Buys

It's been a while since I picked up any new perfumes from 4160 Tuesdays. I have to say my absolute favourite is London 1969 a delicious blend with top notes of Lemongrass, Grapefruit, Mandarin and Cedrat, with a heart of Moroccan Cedarwood, Sandalwood, Incense, Lavender and Violet with a base of Indian Patchouli, Labdanum and Musk. It featured in my favourite scents last summer. I was also lucky enough one year to have "that" Advent Calendar which was a dream come true.

Pssst...this week's half price perfume is the exquisite White Queen.  Sample vials 2.25ml cost £7.50 including p&p you can add extra ones to your order for £4.00 (so you don't have to pay for postage & packaging twice!) Nice touch!

Onto my picks.. of course I had to have White Queen which was made with ÇaFleureBon's founder, Michelyn Carmen to celebrate the community's 8th birthday. It's a non-sweet neo-gourmande and is lush! With notes of Frankincense, Hazelnut, Jasmine, Opoponax, Vetivert, Patchouli, Musk and creamy lactones and is inspired by Alice in Wonderland. 

I also couldn't resist Creamy Vanilla Crumble a sweet concoction of creamy vanilla custard, crumble, hay and tobacco. Delicious! This was a Mrs Gloss and the Goss creation. A complimentary sample vial of Rhubarb & Custard 1:29 completed my order (thanks Sarah!) It's also from the Mrs G & the G stable and is sweet and sharp (and FS is now on the wishlist!) with notes of Vanilla Absolute, Vanillin, Musks, Hay, Tobacco, Bergamot, Lemon, Blackcurrant and a Rhubarb-like molecule. Delicious!

What 4160Tuesdays scents have you picked up lately?

Thursday, 9 August 2018

Friction Free Shaving Gift Set & Monthly Delivery Service

I've been testing out Friction Free Shaving's products via their Gift Set* (£33) which along with your personalised razor (cute or what!) you receive blades, a blade cover and shower holder and 3 products to help you have the best shave ever - Pre-Shave Scrub, Shave Cream and Post Shave Balm.

You can also sign up to a monthly razor delivery service which is currently on Special Offer - get 4 blade heads and a handle for £5 instead of £9 and receive fresh blades every month for £9 (if you find you don't need new blades every month you can pause your subscription). You can also engrave your "Shaviour" (normally £6 but this is currently free!) For an extra £6 each you can add Pre-Shave Scrub, Friction Free Shave Cream and Post Shave Balm which help make shaving a breeze (they smell delicious and work very well).

I've found the 6 diamond coated German engineered stainless steel blades sharp and they make light work of hair on the legs and underarm. The blade also has a lubricating Vitamin E strip which helps to make the blade glide more easily.

So true! "nothing beats the smooth feeling you get from shaving with a brand new razor".

Pick your monthly subscription up HERE or if you fancy the Gift Set more pick it up HERE - you can choose between a Rose Gold or Silvia Shaviour.


Wednesday, 8 August 2018

NEOM Organics: Nourish & Breath for Day & Night Hand Balm Duo

Of course I had to stop by NEOM's recent sale where I picked up their Nourish & Breath for Day & Night Hand Balm Duo (2 x 50ml) at a bargainous £15 plus p&p. You can pick up a single one at £15 so I was delighted with my purchase.

The hand balms are super rich, smell glorious and deeply nourish and soothe the hands and the soul! Formulated with ingredients including shea and cocoa butters and pure essential oils. Inside the set is: from their scent to boost your energy range - Nourish, Breathe & Energise Hand Balm which has a delicious fresh, zesty and uplifting scent - this one sits beside my chair in the living room or comes out and about with me in my handbag. The second one in the duo is scent to sleep - Nourish, Breath & Sleep Hand Balm which contains sleep inducing essential oils of Lavender, Chamomile and Patchouli among others which makes the balm perfect to use before bed.

My hands and nails feel cared for, nourished and pampered and these will be bought again! I recently picked up their latest skincare launch Perfect Night's Sleep Cleansing Balm & Cloth so expect a review soon! I'm totally in love with NEOM Organics at the moment!

What's your favourite NEOM Organics product(s)?

Tuesday, 7 August 2018

Zing Organics: Sacred Woods Perfume Oil Review + Giveaway! - it's over!

As you'll know I'm a huge fan of wonderful Zing Organics. I've been trying out their amazing Sacred Woods Perfume Oil in Palo Santo, Frankincense, Sandalwood and Myrrh (16ml - £29.50)* which has an aromatic grounding scent and was inspired by a yoga instructor friend.

An "all enveloping and haunting aroma blend of exotic woods and resins". Apply a drop or two to pulse or chakra points or simply rub a few drops between your palms inhaling deeply to calm and relax. It can be used before any purification ritual, meditation or savasana. The perfume oil has a smokey, musky and woody scent (and is gorgeous!)

Formulated with 100% natural ingredients including Organic Jojoba and Sweet Almond oils along with wild crafted Palo Santo and Myrrh, Organic Frankincense and Sandalwood. 99% certified organic and Vegan. Brand purity testing takes place at Strathclyde University in The Chemistry Clinic. Packaged in a amber glass bottle with pipette.

One of my UK readers can win their very own bottle. Just follow the rafflecopter instructions below. Good luck! 

*Thanks to Kirsty for my bottle and the bottle for the giveaway.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, 6 August 2018

Naturismo: Hair Food Discovery Box

As you'll know I can never resist a Naturisimo Discovery Box. I snapped up their latest one Hair Food Discovery Box (£17.95) which is worth £47.

Inside are 12 hair treats - travel and sample size - which are great for try-me or holidays.

I've used Yarok's Feed Your Ends (59ml) before and found it really suited my hair. It detangles, lightly conditions and protects the hair from blow drying and straightening. It's a great summer must-have.

From John Masters Organics is one of my summer must-haves Sea Mist (60ml) which gives the hair body and beachy waves. Love!

I was excited to see a new to me product from Meow Meow Tweet, a sample size (32g) of their Rosemary Avocado Shampoo Bar which nourishes, conditions and softens the hair. I'm looking forward to trying this out!

I just love Tabitha James Kraan's Scented Organic Hair Oil 3ml which leaves the hair shiny, glossy and silky smooth. See my review HERE. I'm really happy to have this little beauty back in my stash!

From Rahua there are two very generous trial sizes (22ml each) of their Voluminous Shampoo & Conditioner. These will add volume and shine. I've tried these before and my hair seems to like them!

From Briogeo is their Rosarco Milk Reparative Leave-In Conditioning Spray (22ml) which is currently in my stash (love). It lightly conditions and provides long lasting hydration.

From Madara there are two 10ml sachets - Colour & Shine Shampoo and Conditioner and sachets from Green People (both 5ml) of their Intensive Repair Shampoo & Conditioner.

The final item is geared more towards curls Boucleme Intensive Moisture Treatment 50ml which deeply nourishes and enhances beautiful glossy curls.

It's a great box - what are your thoughts? Did you pick one up?

Sunday, 5 August 2018

Time for Me: AA Skincare, Lucidlure, Beatitude & Dr Hauschka

Sometimes it's good to take some time out and relax with a few favourite treats.  I've been enjoying a pampering face mask with AA Skincare's delicious Vanilla & Honey Skin Polishing Face Mask (£7.98 for 100ml)* which as well as being excellent value for money is very effective. This clay based mask nourishes and exfoliates the skin leaving it brightened, smooth and glowy - it's a keeper!

My hair has been enjoying Lucidlure's Allava Conditioning Hair Treatment which deeply nourishes and cares for the hair. See my review HERE.

I received the Dr Hauschka Regenerating Hand Cream 15ml via the Jan de Vries Goody Bag* which featured in my June Loves. This hand cream is fantastic and a proper review of it will be on the blog soon!

Rounding up my pampering treatment are two products from East Lothian based beatitude in Joy - an uplifting and gloriously happy scent. See my review of the body oil* (which is now in new easier to use packaging - a pump action bottle) HERE and the bath oil* HERE.

What are your favourite pamper treats?


Saturday, 4 August 2018

Skin & Tonic: Sea Salt Body Scrub

I've had the real pleasure of trying Skin & Tonic's latest launch, their Sea Salt Body Scrub with Bergamot, Rose and Spearmint (300g - £20)*.

Made using sustainably harvested sea salt which is rich in marine minerals and micro nutrients that help to eliminate toxins and hydrate the skin. The essential oil blend is unusual but works - uplifting Bergamot, soothing Rose and Zingy Spearmint.

To use: massage onto clean skin before rinsing or apply all over the body before soaking in a warm bath for a detoxifying treat (my fav).

The texture is a bit like wet sand and it's easy to use. It is quite pricey so definitely in the treat range...but I'd buy it again in a heartbeat! Pick yours up HERE.


Thursday, 2 August 2018

Olio E Osso Samples

Naturisimo is one of my favourite online stores as they have a wide selection of hard to find and new brands. I recently came across Olio E Osso, a US brand founded by makeup artist and stylist Paola LaMorticella who created a natural balm to soothe her son's skin (this became Balm No.1). May Albano who has a design and global business background joined forces with Paola in 2014 when they launched the Olio E Osso brand.

I picked up a sample set and an individual sample with my order - the Face Oil Sample Kit (£9.50) and contains try me sizes of of Oil Cleanse (5ml), a beautiful cleansing oil which makes cleansing into a real ritual. Make up and daily grime are swept away and the skin is left feeling comfortable and clean. The second item in the duo is the fabulous Finishing Oil (2ml) which deeply nourishes and leaves the skin looking glowy and healthy.

I also picked up a sample size (15ml - £4.80) of their lush Lustero Body Oil which smells glorious - slightly fruity with a hint of spice. The shimmer is perfect for enhancing a suntan and deeply nourishes the skin too. 

I've now got my eye on their Tinted Balm (£27) which adds a pop of colour to lips and cheeks and comes in a variety of covetable shades.

Have you tried anything from Olio E Osso?

Wednesday, 1 August 2018

Shopping my Stash #102

Here's what I've been reaching for..

It's been years since I've used hair mousse* but I've found this one by Eco Cosmetics (150ml - £9.95) to be fabulous!  It's suitable for all hair types and gives great volume and hold. Enriched with pomegranate and goji berries it leaves the hair smooth and silky with maximum volume.

I love Balm Balm's single note scents and these ones - mandarin and bergamot have been perfect for hot summer days. Zesty, fruity and uplifting and easy to pop in a handbag or pocket!

Weleda's Pomegranate Body Lotion 20ml* lightly moisturises the skin leaving it feeling nourished and delicately scented. The lotion is lightweight and perfect to use in summertime.

As you'll know I adore Tropic Skincare's having loved everything I've tried. The coconut scented sun care range is beautiful and very effective. I've been using their Sun Shade SPF 50* and been suitably impressed. See my review HERE

I love Minyara's Lip Balms, they are super nourishing and great value for money!

The final item I've been reaching for is Sofia Latif's glorious jasmine scented face oil*. See my review HERE.

What have you been reaching for lately?


Tuesday, 31 July 2018

July Book Round-Up

Here's what I've been reading in July -

Her Watchful Eye by Julie Corbin* - Ruby, an ex-copper works as a CCTV operative in Edinburgh. She sees someone on the screen who she hasn't seen in five years and begins to watch her - following her moves on the screen as she goes to her job at the restaurant and back to her flat and hanging out with her boyfriend...she's just watching out for her...she's not being an obsessive stalker is she? Lennie, her friend and colleague gives Ruby's life some grounding when she lets him in.

We learn of the heartaches in Ruby's life and how she can't forget or forgive herself for the thing she's done. Her soon to be ex-husband who never wanted a family is soon to be father to twins which causes Ruby no end of pain. All Ruby wanted was a child and a second chance. A twisty read with an ending I just didn't see coming. Would recommend.

Stalker by Lisa Stone* - Derek Flint is middle aged and still lives at home with his mum. He works in home security and every night watches over his clients on CCTV in their homes. They've become like his virtual family.

A series of crimes take place and all the victims have CCTV installed by Derek's company. DC Beth Mayes digs deeper and finds that somehow Derek is involved. Unbeknown to him he's been hacked and they can see everything he can... A twisty read which I enjoyed.

The Death of Mrs Westaway by Ruth Ware* - Hal Westaway, who lives alone in Brighton following her mother's tragic death suddenly receives a letter from a solicitor in Penzance telling her that her grandmother has left her a substantial amount in her will. She doesn't believe the letter is for her - her grandparents are dead after all. She owes a lot of money to a loan shark and her day job as a tarot reader doesn't bring in much money so this might be the answer to her prayers.

She travels to Cornwall and Trespassen House and meets her relatives who are a mixed bunch, some of whom are enraged their mother has left almost everything to a stranger. The house is creepy and surrounded by resident magpies which makes everything feel more threatening. Hal's installed in an attic far away from everyone else with bars on the window and a lock on the outside of the door. The housekeeper, Mrs Warren seems to take an instant dislike to her.

There's a story running alongside from the past and two girls who have happy and unhappy times at Trespassen House. It's very cleverly woven into the story in the present day. Hal unearths a lot of secrets, myster and tragedies and you wonder if she'll make it out of Trespassen House alive...A brilliant, brilliant read which I loved.

Fatal Inheritance by Rachel Rhys**It's 1948 and Eve Forrester is trapped in a dull and lonely marriage with straight laced husband Clifford. She receives a solicitors letter out of the blue in which she learns that a wealthy stranger has left her a quarter share in his villa. She's got no idea who or what Guy Lester means to her.

Clifford and of course her mother Mary almost forbid her to leave England for the beautiful and sparkling French Riviera. She's been invited alone to find out more about her inheritance. Used to rationing and penny pinching she falls head over heels for the decadence, abundance and glamour of the Riviera.

The Lesters are not at all happy to welcome this stranger to their midst. Who is she in relation to their father? A twisty read which made me gasp out loud when I learned of the connection(s). Eve was a brilliant character who grew and developed over the course of the story, ready to make her own decisions and forge her way in life. Totally brilliant and highly recommend.

In Love and War by Liz Trenow* - the story is set in July 1919 and three very different women are searching for three men very dear to them who lost their lives at the battlefields of Ypres in Belgium.

Ruby, is just married and looking for her husband's grave. Confident Alice, a loud American is looking for her younger brother and Martha and her son Otto, looking for someone close to them. Three very different women who when it comes down to it are not very different at all.

The women go to look for their men in the cemeteries around Ypres and beyond. You feel transported there to the battlefields, trenches and feel the devastation of war. Freddie, a British soldier who stayed there after the war is an interesting character who is also searching for who he is. The women grow and change and find out they are in fact stronger than they could ever believe. The characters and storylines stayed in my mind long after I'd finished the book.

Islands in the East by Jenny Ashcroft* - The story is set in Singapore in the 1890s and the 1940s and the two stories are intertwined. In 1897, identical twins Mae and Harriet, born from an affair have always had each other despite the malicious gossip. They are sent to Singapore by their benefactor and one of them has to marry creepy businessman David Keeley. 

When dashing Alex Blake comes into their lives the twins, for the first time in their lives fall out and their loving relationship fractures. The interwoven story is set in 1941 and Ivy, an Intelligence Officer is posted to wartime Singapore. She's going to be such an asset to the war effort as she speaks fluent Japanese and will work interpreting and tracking their movements. 

She has ghosts from war-torn London and when she meets gorgeous Kit she doesn't believe she should be allowed to be happy. She also meets up with friends of her grandmothers and is truly surprised to learn they lived in Singapore. The story is about love, rivalry, betrayal, war and friendships. I thought it was a brilliant novel. Highly recommend.

The Ice Maiden by Sara Sheridan* -  I adore Sara's Mirabelle Bevan series so pretty much knew I'd fall for The Ice Maiden and what a fabulous, well researched, engrossing and un-put-downable read it is.

The story is set initially in 1842 when Karina stows away on a boat leaving Deception Island. She's destitute and hungry, owing money here and there since her husband went missing at sea. She dresses as a boy and sneaks onboard a boat she believes is bound for England for onward journey to her sister in Amsterdam. But, the ship is bound for the chilling and unforgiving Antarctica. 

It's soon discovered that she's a woman and she forms a friendship with the ship's surgeon, Joseph Hooker. Life on board is tough and fascinating to read about. There's a twist in the tale which shocked me and took me a while to get used to. Karina is brave, plucky, passionate, impatient and wants it all. She's a great character. The fact interwoven into the story is an expedition - the Voyage of Discovery and the attempt to take the South Pole by Scott and Shackleton. I absolutely loved the story and would highly recommend.

The Girl in the Letter by Emily Gunnis* - The story opens in 1956 when Ivy Jenkins falls pregnant by her footballer boyfriend. He wants nothing to do with her or the child and she's sent in disgrace to St Margaret's, a house for unmarried mothers run by nuns. Her baby Rose is adopted against her will. 

In the present day, Samantha Harper is a journalist who is juggling her busy job and caring for her four year old daughter with the help of her Nana and sometimes her ex, Ben. Her Nana has a series of letters from a young mother who is begging to be rescued from St Margaret's which makes heartwrenching reading. Samantha delves into the past desperate to get the story which will be the making of her career. She also cares deeply about what happened to Ivy and Rose and getting to the bottom of what happened at St Margaret's. 

Kitty, a famous TV host is searching for her sister and will stop at nothing to find out the truth. The stories are intervoven and there are some surprises in store for Samantha. With twists and turns I didn't see coming. A thrilling but sometimes harrowing read. Highly recommend. 

What have you been reading this month?

*copy from the publisher via Netgalley **copy from Love Reading