Cwtch Up Catch Up 2017

2017 Cwtch Up

Hello Cwtchers!

After taking a bit of a blogging break, I’m back to share an end of year Cwtch Up Catch Up post on the lovely books I’ve cwtched up with in 2017. Despite the hiatus I managed to read quite a few books this year so I’ve gone with one sentence reviews to make it a tiny bit more manageable. (I’ve found this discipline really challenging as we know I do love to go on…and on….and on….)

Huge thanks to all the lovely publishers and authors who have really kindly worked with me this year. Apologies for the blog tours I missed due to being poorly, I’m now back on track and super-excited for all the new releases in 2018.

Big cwtches, Kate xx

Here we go, in no particular order…

Braving the Wilderness – Brené Brown

I’d highly recommend getting the audiobook version so that you can pretend that Brené is your best friend calling you to chat some southern-accented sense into you.

Need to Know – Karen Cleveland

A CIA analyst discovers she is married to a deep-cover agent in the Russian sleeper cell she’s tasked with investigating and you might seriously need a reminder to breathe.

Mad Girl – Bryony Gordon

I cried so much with painful recognition that my paperback copy looks like I dropped it in the bath and that’s the official story I will tell people.

Broken Branches – Lee M Jonathan

A big old tree has never been so creepy.

Every Last Lie – Mary Kubica

Grief and deceit get in the way of the desperate search for the truth about a fatal car crash and someone always knows more than you think.

Her Last Secret – Barbara Copperthwaite

A dark diary cleverly works backwards from a family tragedy to reveal the unexpected story behind a grisly un-festive Christmas Day.

The Heart’s Invisible Furies – John Boyne

Huge thwack on the table, epic Irish storytelling in stunning seven year updates.

The Confession – Jo Spain

You already know he did it, but you won’t stop turning the pages until you find out why.

How To Be A Grown Up – Daisy Buchanan

I made such hefty notes in this book I started to realise that if there was such a thing as a grown-up license I should probably have mine taken away from me.

Friend Request – Laura Marshall

Social media messages from beyond the grave confirm that school reunions are never a good idea.

The Postcard – Fern Britton

This sweet story will make you want to pack up and move to Cornwall & have scones with Fern.

Reasons to Stay Alive – Matt Haig

Essential and lifechanging bitesize reading for anyone with a mind, healthy or otherwise.

Anything You Do Say – Gillian McAllister

Cleverly written thriller about a split-second decision which brilliantly alternates between the sliding doors consequences for both the truth and the lie.

Best Day Ever – Kaira Rouda

Chillingly creepy husband plans a perfect day for his wife which will give you all the holiday cabin envy as well as the shivers.

Ice Cream for Breakfast – Laura Jane Williams

Stunning rainbow sprinkled cover with even more stunning words inside which will make you stop, play and know that you’ve made a good decision to do so.

The Hygge Holiday – Rosie Blake

Grab a blanket, light a candle and prepare to be word-hugged by the cosiest book I read this year.

I Found You – Lisa Jewell

You will smugly think you know the connection between the two narratives and you may be very wrong.

Puzzle Girl – Rachael Featherstone

When you leave little love notes for a mystery man on a crossword book in your GP surgery.

The Little Shop of Hopes & Dreams – Fiona Harper

If your fledgling business is helping to stage grand gesture marriage proposals, falling in love for yourself isn’t always straightforward.

Copycat – Alex Lake

Sinister thriller which will make you consider deleting your facebook account.

You Do You – Sarah Knight

The third straightforward advice book from Sarah who is gorgeous, hilarious and perfectly balances ballsy no-nonsense profanity with delicate sentiment.

It Started With A Tweet – Anna Bell

When social media obsession goes bad, a countryside digital detox is the cure.

Yesterday – Felicia Yap

Fascinating concept where everyone can remember only the past 24 or 48 hours and there is a murder to solve.

Safe With Me – K.L Slater

A compelling tale of revenge, manipulation, loneliness, confusion and mistrust.

Kind Hearts & Coriander – April Hardy

Family saga in a country house hotel with a grumpy but gorgeous restaurant manager.

The Story of Our Life – Shari Low

Heartbreaking, bittersweet, emotional tale of love and loss.

Don’t Close Your Eyes – Holly Seddon

Estranged twin sisters’ paths cross again in an unsettling and powerful story.

The Honeymoon – Tina Seskis

A missing newly married man with a stomach-churning conclusion.

Hot Mess – Lucy Vine

Hilariously relatable and scarily accurate single girl freshness.

Follow You – Richard Parker

Whatever you do, don’t tweet #BeMyKiller.

Her Last Breath – Tracy Buchanan

Finding the twisted connections between a missing teenager and a soon-to-be-published food writer.

36 Questions that changed my mind about you – Vicki Grant

I definitely fell in love with this YA romance and I didn’t even need all 36 questions to confirm it.

Just For The Rush – Jane Lark

Significantly more substance than the usual steamy thrills.

Keep Me Safe – Daniela Sacerdoti

A brilliantly atmospheric novel, with just enough spookiness to keep you intrigued but not so much to scare your pants off.

The Picture House by The Sea – Holly Hepburn

Vintage dress-ups and really smart movie nostalgia make this a beachy dream.

Lies – T.M. Logan

A thrilling, twisty social media tale with a satisfying ending that you’ll race to get to.

The Secret Life of Lucy Lovecake – Pippa James

Sumptuous cakes, vintage lingerie and French passion.

The Summer House – Jenny Hale

Jenny never fails to create the most attractive leading men to swoon over, this summer love is no exception.

True Love at the Lonely Hearts Bookshop – Annie Darling

A romance-only bookshop is the greatest idea in the world.

The Last Piece of My Heart – Paige Toon

If every relationship takes a little piece of your heart, this stunning story of stepping into someone else’s life is what happens when you reach the final piece.

Sweetpea – C.J. Skuse

A psycho serial killer has never made me laugh out loud so much.

The Ludlow Ladies Society – Ann O’Loughlin

Classic out-of-towner becomes charming community champion.

The Big Little Wedding in Carlton Square – Lilly Bartlett

Warm wedding feels with class issues and bunting.

The Break – Marian Keyes

Classic Keyes’ heartfelt lesson in when he asks for a relationship break, let him have it.

Mixing It Up – Tracie Banister

If TV chefs are the food of love, this is a feast.

Nineteen Letters – Jodi Perry

A strong contender for the most romantic book I’ve ever read.

The Dangers of Family Secrets – Debby Holt

Secrets, lies and mistrust.

The Beachside Sweet Shop – Karen Clarke

A lovely, gentle, feelgood read which will make you smile & crave a quarter of rosy apples.

To Have and To Hold – M.L.Roberts

Ended too soon, I really wanted more.

The Light We Lost – Jill Santopolo

The epic power of first love and serendipity.

Roadie: My Life on the Road with Coldplay – Matt McGinn

Interesting behind the scenes insight into stadium tours and being a rockstar sidekick.

The One That Got Away – Annabel Kantaria

A cautionary fidelity tale which reminds us that if someone is in our past, they’re usually behind us for a good reason.

Liar – K.L. Slater

A modern lesson to always listen to your Mum, her instincts are rarely mistaken.

The One – John Marrs

The obsessively intriguing dark side of love, science and DNA matchmaking.

The Cows – Dawn O’Porter

A sassy, smart & witty story which brilliantly captures a moment in our social media obsessed society.

The Choir on Hope Street – Annie Lyons

Uplifting community spirit still exists and it’s mostly found in song.

Rome is Where the Heart Is – Tilly Tennant

A perfect romantic holiday read, whether you’re actually leaving the house or just eating ice cream on your sofa.

The Idea of You – Amanda Prowse

An emotionally difficult but sensitively written story of miscarriage and motherhood.

The Kicking The Bucket List – Cathy Hopkins

Totally relatable bickering sisters are forced to strengthen their relationships through a series of challenges set by their departed mother.

The Escape – C.L. Taylor

The cliff scenes are some of the most exciting, pacey and exhilarating writing I’ve been totally immersed in for quite a while.

The People at Number Nine – Felicity Everett

A modern, dark suburban story about envy, new friendships and keeping up with the Jones’.

Everything But The Truth – Gillian McAllister

One late night email notification starts to unravel everything and you might want to start some low-key background checks on your loved one just as a precaution.

How To Mend a Broken Heart – Anna Mansell

If you’re a fan of a weepy with a soft side of gentle mystery then you’ll love this as much as I did.

Me, You & Tiramisu – Charlotte Butterfield

This will make you hungry for love and/or deli snacks but certainly not Youtube fame.

The Fifth Letter – Nicola Moriarty

A really interesting picture of toxic female friendships and frenemies.

The Breakdown – B.A. Paris

Sharp and smart domestic noir with a really clever title.

If ever I Fall – S.D. Robertson

Smarter than your average sad tale.

The Girl Before – J.P. Delaney

Alternating voices and repetition make a pacey, exciting thriller you’ll want to tell people about.

Paris for One and Other Stories – Jojo Moyes

A tidy little collection of lovely short stories.

How To Win Back Your Husband – Vivien Hampshire

A 30 day divorce deadline and a fight, fight, fight, fight, fight for this love (if it’s worth having it’s worth fighting for)

Good Me, Bad Me – Ali Land

Unnerving, uncomfortable & undeniably beautifully written.

Three Men and a Maybe – Katey Lovell

Include the word “cwtch” in your cute New Year novella and I’m guaranteed to love it.

The One Memory of Flora Banks – Emily Barr

For everyone who loves adventure and who believes that first kisses are unforgettable.

How to Stop Time – Matt Haig

Such a beautiful story, again I’d recommend the audio version so that you can cry without worrying about word blurring.

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine – Gail Honeyman

A quirky tale of habit, loneliness and human kindness.

Phew….if you made it this far, well done! And thank you, big cwtches for 2018 xxxx

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Everything But The Truth – Gillian McAllister

We’re all hiding something

One late night email notification starts to unravel everything. 

You’d look, wouldn’t you? If it just flashed up in front of you? But exactly how far would you go to uncover the truth about the partner you realise you know very little about? 

This book has so many secrets and lies and twists and turns it made me dizzy. First I loved Rebecca, then I thought she was crazy-loco, then I loved her again, then I started to realise she’s harbouring her own secrets and I wasn’t too sure again….I also had the exact same rollercoaster with Jack. Both characters’ behaviour is really odd and unpredictable at times and I found the uncertainty about who I was rooting for really exciting in this story. Just like Rebecca it made me desperate for answers. 

Without giving away too much of the plot, I really enjoyed the reveals, I thought they were well-timed to keep you guessing but also keep you reading. I couldn’t resist just one more chapter and I absolutely love that feeling! 

You’ll learn a bit about Scottish law that perhaps you didn’t know before and you might want to start some low-key background checks just as a precaution. It scared me how much of Jack’s “other life” was able to be buried and adds another level of terror to my already toppling pile of fears around new relationships. Can you ever really know someone? Especially if your new love is saying all the right things? 

A really twisty read that you’ll whizz through to get to the truth, four cwtches! Thanks to Netgalley & the publishers for the chance to read and review honestly. Get your copy here

The Beachside Sweet Shop – Karen Clarke


I love going to the beach. I love eating sweets. I love falling in love. Karen Clarke has beautifully created a world I want to be a part of! 

Marnie is running her late grandfather’s sweet shop but is unsure if her award-winning success is enough to fulfill her long-held ambitions. Her ex boyfriend has left the country and a local yummy mummy blogger is on a one-woman evil sugar crusade, hell-bent on trying to close her down. 

I fell a tiny bit in love with Shipley and its cast of colourful characters. Each of them are painted brilliantly, even the infuriating ones! 

Marnie is a likeable lead, you know she absolutely adores her hometown even if she doesn’t always realise it herself. Josh is a dreamboat and after all that tension & drama I can’t help questioning if she ended up with the right guy. Also, in future Shipley books – which I certainly hope there are – I’d really like to see more of the beachside bit coming through in the storylines. If you’re going to create an amazing location, it’s a crime not to use it more. 

A lovely, gentle, feelgood read which will make you smile & crave a quarter of rosy apples (remember them?) A very sweet (sorry) five cwtches! Thanks to Netgalley & the lovely publishers for the chance to read & review honestly. Get your copy here