Somewhere to review books I'm reading without giving away any spoilers!
I originally posted my review for this delightful story on its release day but I loved it so much I’m posting it again today as part of the blog tour organised by the publisher, Aria. In this post you’ll find additional information about Julie Houston, an extract from the story and the cover for the sequel….
Title: Sing Me a Secret
Author: Julie Houston
This story is tagged as ‘a laugh out loud, heartwarming novel from the bestselling author of ‘A Village Affair” – and it really is! I’d thoroughly enjoyed reading ‘A Village Affair‘ so jumped at the opportunity to read this. Set in the village of Westenbury, this time it features the four Sutherland sisters and most of the story is told from the point of views of Juno and Lexia. All four sisters have their own secret that the others are unaware of but as the siblings reconnect there will be revelations, surprises, news and singing. It is a lovely read, set in a delightful community where everyone knows everyone else – and everyone assumes they know each other’s secrets. However, this story proves they don’t! It is a story with everything from infidelity, blackmail, family drama, a musical production and, of course, romance. It has a great range of characters who all have their own contribution to the unfolding drama. Can the show go on regardless? What will happen when secrets from the past are revealed? How will others react?
This is an emotive read, exploring relationships in a serious yet fun manner. It is a taste of rural community, sprinkled with stardom, touched by anxiety, packed with love and laughs. I really enjoyed reading it and have no hesitation in highly recommending it!
I requested and was gifted a copy via NetGalley and this is my honest review after choosing to read it and thoroughly enjoying doing so – I can’t wait to read more from this talented author in future!
The four Sutherland sisters have all had very different paths in life, but one secret and a slighty tense production of Jesus Christ Superstar are about to bring them all back together again…
When the news that pop-superstar Lexia Sutherland is returning to Westenbury, not everyone is thrilled by the news – including Lexia. There are too many memories she doesn’t need to face – or need re-surfacing.
Meanwhile, Juno Sutherland just wants a little peace and quiet. As the local village doctor, she’s got her priorities in order; kids, job, husband, tenacious pony, a role in the village musical… So when the sexy new locum turns up – and steals her office – the last thing she needed was to be hit with rising temperatures and an over-active imagination.
Will these sisters be able to uncover the past, deal with the future and put on the performance of a lifetime?
Return to Westenbury this spring and find out.
Here’s an extract to whet your appetite!
‘Good day?’ Doreen was already waiting with her coat on, buttoned up almost to her chin, and on the starter block to make a quick exit. ‘The kids have eaten what was left of that fish pie you had for your tea last night but there wasn’t a great deal—’ Doreen looked pointedly towards the empty dish ‘—so Gabriel will be starving again in half an hour. I microwaved some frozen peas and they said you’d be OK with them having a Magnum for their afters.’
‘Who said?’ Juno asked vaguely, scanning the post left neatly on the dresser for anything interesting. ‘The frozen peas?’ With her mind still on the possible return of her little sister back to Yorkshire, she wasn’t concentrating.
‘Sorry?’ Doreen frowned. ‘Matilda says she’s done her spelling homework but I don’t believe her. She was wanting to go out and see Harry Trotter but I said she’d have to ask you: it’s dark out there, and anyroad, Brian’ll have seen to him.’
Doreen and Brian came as a pair. When Juno and Fraser had finally capitulated – worn down to the ground by Tilda’s constant nagging and worrying at them, like the little terrier she was, for a pony of her own once they’d moved down from Scotland – they’d been given the name of Brian Goodall who ‘knows all about horses and sorting gardens’. Neither Fraser nor she knew the first thing about either, and pretty quickly came the realisation they’d just bought a house with two acres of vegetable garden, fruit trees and a paddock, and the dream Juno had of spending weekends in harmonious togetherness, lovingly tending serried rows of peas and runner beans was absolute bollocks. They therefore pursued the said Mr Goodall and lured him into working for them by offering ridiculous amounts of money for doing two days in the garden and basically being at the beck and call of both Tilda and Harry Trotter. All three – man, girl and pony – were as curmudgeonly as one another and got along famously, but part of the deal was that Doreen – Juno was never sure if she was married or living in sin with The Constant Gardener – would spend a couple of mornings cleaning for them as well as being at the house to welcome Tilda home from the local village school, Little Acorns, on the three days Juno worked at the surgery.
The problem was that, while Brian might be a superb gardener and stood no nonsense from either Harry Trotter or his mistress (Harry’s, not Brian’s; Doreen definitely wore the trousers in the Goodall household) Doreen was a pretty crap cleaner and nosy into the bargain.
‘So,’ she now said as she pulled on pink woollen gloves and covered her permed hair with a rather snazzy purple rain hood, ‘I see your sister and brother-in-law are coming back to Westenbury.’ She gave Juno a sidelong glance from underneath the purple plastic, gauging her reaction to what she’d just said.
‘How on earth do you know that, Doreen? Did Tilda tell you she was my sister?’ Juno did wish Doreen and her daughter wouldn’t get so chummy over the packets of custard creams and Yorkshire tea Doreen always had to hand in her bag.
‘She certainly did. Ooh, I remember your Lexia winning TheBest all them years ago.’ She paused, cocking her purple-covered head to one side like some inquisitive tropical bird, as she tried to remember the date. ‘2004, wasn’t it?’
‘I believe so, somewhere around then.’
‘You believe so?’ Doreen frowned. ‘Weren’t you there with her then? You know, behind the curtains, offstage, like? Smiling and cheering her on and crying like the families do?’
‘No, Doreen, I wasn’t.’
‘Oh, right. Bit of a funny do that then?’ Doreen wasn’t going to let it go.
Buy Link: Amazon
About the Author
Julie Houston is the author of The One Saving Grace, Goodness, Grace and Me and Looking for Lucy a Kindle top 100 general bestseller and a Kindle Number1 bestseller. She is married, with two teenage children and a mad cockerpoo and, like her heroine, lives in a West Yorkshire village. She is also a teacher and a magistrate.
Cover for the sequel –
Coming soon, another laugh-out-loud read from bestselling author Julie Houston!
Praise for Julie Houston:
‘A warm, funny story of sisters and the secrets they keep’ Sheila O’Flanagan.
‘Warm, funny and well written, with a page-turning plot, this book has everything! I loved it!’ Katie Fforde.
‘Julie Houston at her best – heartfelt and hilarious’ Sandy Barker.
‘Laugh-out-loud hilarious and heartwarming!’ Mandy Baggot.
‘This book is an absolute gigglefest with characters you’ll fall in love with!’ Katie Ginger.
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