Finding Jess (Drumbeats book 3) by Julia Ibbotson – Blog Tour


A huge thanks to Rachel and Random Resources for organising this blog tour and to Julia Ibbotson and New Generation publishing for an ARC copy of this book in return for an honest and unbiased review.

This is my Review of the Month for the review collection on

Drumbeats Trilogy Full Tour Banner.jpg

I am sharing my review date today with the fabulous Zoe over at and a new discovery, the lovely Natalie over at


Single mother, Jess, has struggled to get her life back on track after the betrayal of her beloved husband and her best friend. When she is on the brink of losing everything, including her family and her job, she feels that she can no longer trust anyone. Then she is sent a mysterious newspaper clipping of a temporary post back in Ghana. Could this be her lifeline? Can Jess turn back time and find herself again? And what, exactly, will she find?

Finding Jess is a passionate story of love, betrayal and second chances – and of one woman’s bid to reclaim her self-belief and trust. It is a feel-good story of a woman’s strength and spirit rising above adversity.

Finding Jess purchase link

My Thoughts

Do you know when you’re reading a book that you love and you want to finish to find out what happens but don’t want it to ever end as you are so invested in the characters? That’s me! I’m devastated that I’ve actually finished this trilogy and I can’t believe I’ll never find out any more about Jess.

I’ve spent the past few weeks heavily invested in the character of Jess.  In Drumbeats (Read my review here), I was in Ghana with her, teaching and nursing the locals.  In Walking in the Rain (Read my review here) I was angry for her and I hurt when she did.  My poor husband even got snapped at during a particularly frustrating event.  There is just something about the character of Jess that crawls into your heart and embeds itself there.

After the events of walking in the Rain, Jess had finally found a semblance of happiness but of course, things never seem to work that way for long for Jess and we soon find her thrown into more heartbreak and intimidation.  At this point I believe she is so broken and worn down, there isn’t enough fight left in her to stand up for herself.

Mysteriously,  the post comes, offering the chance for Jess to go back to where she was happiest.  With nothing to lose, Jess returns to Ghana but can she find peace?

Such a beautiful way to close off the trilogy.  There was no doubt in my mind that Jess would return to Ghana but the ending I was very unsure about.  I wasn’t disappointed.  Julia has such a talent for the most beautiful and emotionally engaging storytelling.  She has created a character that you want to mother, take as your best friend and at times give a little slap too.  Equally, some of the more unfavourable characters in the book are also written with great skill.  I can imagine it’s much harder to create a convincing character with such undesirable qualities as Simon and Polly (and a few others) and to do so in a way that they make the reader so angry and invested.

I cannot recommend these books enough and I want to say thank you to Julia for bringing the character of Jess into our lives.


Author Bio

drum - author photo image 3

Award-winning author Julia Ibbotson is fascinated by the medieval world and concepts of time travel. She read English at Keele University, England (after a turbulent but exciting gap year in Ghana, West Africa) specialising in medieval language, literature and history, and has a PhD in socio-linguistics. She wrote her first novel at 10 years of age, but became a school teacher, then a university lecturer and researcher. Finding Jess (2018) is her sixth book and the last of the Drumbeats trilogy (which begins and ends in Ghana). Apart from insatiable reading, she loves travelling the world, singing in choirs, swimming, yoga and walking in the countryside in England and Madeira where she and her husband divide their time.

Acclaimed author of:

Drumbeats (2015), the first of the trilogy set in 1960s Ghana: sometimes you have to escape to find yourself.

Walking in the Rain (2016), the second in the trilogy set in 1970s and 1980s England: never give up on your dreams.

Finding Jess (2018), the last of the trilogy set in 1990s England and Ghana: can the past ever be left behind?

Also by Julia Ibbotson:

A Shape on the Air (2017): historical (Dark Ages/early medieval) time-slip romance. Two women 1,500 years apart, with one aim: to reclaim their dreams and fight the dangers that threaten them both across the ages …

The Old Rectory: Escape to a Country Kitchen(first published 2011, rereleased 2017)a feel-good story of the renovation of a Victorian rectory interwoven with period recipes to feed the soul, all from the rectory kitchen.

S.C.A.R.S (first published 2012, rereleased 2016) (children’s novel): a troubled boy slips through a tear in the fabric of the universe into a parallel medieval fantasy world of knights, dragons, and a quest for the triumph of Good over Evil. But can he save himself?

Social Media Links –

Facebook Author page:



Author website:

Pinterest page: includes boards with pics and images that inspired each book

Goodreads author page:

RNA (Romantic Novelists Association) website author page


  1. Wow! Ha ha! – I was just going to leave a tearful (happy!) thank you for such a lovely review, but you folks above have now made me sob – with delight! How wonderful that you have become so engaged with the series. I thought it was all over … but maybe, just maybe, I have to write a sequel (maybe a novella?)??? x

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is a great review, thanks! I’ve not read any of this series but you make it sound so engaging, my interest has really piqued. I know exactly what you mean about a great book pulling you in two directions: enjoying the enthusiasm to read without putting it down versus trying to savour every moment so it doesn’t end too soon. I think that’s a hallmark of a great read. Thank you for leading me to discover a new author.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It sounds like you became even more invested in book three! I completely understand that feeling of not wanting to finish a series because you just don’t want it to be over. My kindle is already bursting from your recommendations so I guess I should add this series to the tbr :-p

    Liked by 1 person

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