Book Review: I Owe You One by Sophie Kinsella

I have been a fan of Sophie Kinsella since I read The Undomestic Goddess so was excited to see the news she was releasing a new book, I Owe You One. I signed up for a chance to read it on The Pigeonhole but I was offered the chance to read an arc by Netgalley. Scroll down to see if it lived up to my expectations.

Book Review: I Owe You One by Sophie Kinsella

Book Review: I Owe You One by Sophie Kinsella

Book Cover for I Owe You One

Title: I Owe You One

Author: Sophie Kinsella

Genre: Adult fiction, romance

Publisher: Random House UK

Release date: 15th February 2019

Blurb

‘A gem of a novel’ JODI PICOULT

The irresistible new standalone from Sophie Kinsella is a story of love, empowerment and an IOU that changes everything . . .

Fixie Farr can’t help herself. Straightening a crooked object, removing a barely-there stain, helping out a friend . . . she just has to put things right. It’s how she got her nickname, after all.

So when a handsome stranger in a coffee shop asks her to watch his laptop for a moment, Fixie not only agrees, she ends up saving it from certain disaster. To thank her, the computer’s owner, Sebastian, scribbles her an IOU – but of course Fixie never intends to call in the favour.

That is, until her teenage crush, Ryan, comes back into her life and needs her help – and Fixie turns to Seb. But things don’t go according to plan, and now Fixie owes Seb: big time.

Soon the pair are caught up in a series of IOUs – from small favours to life-changing debts – and Fixie is torn between the past she’s used to and the future she deserves.

Does she have the courage to fix things for herself and fight for the life, and love, she really wants?

My Thoughts

This book is one of Sophie Kinsella’s best novels. I made the mistake of thinking I could read only one chapter before getting out of bed; nineteen chapters later I was still under the duvet and accepted I would be there until I reached the end. It has been a long time since I binge read a book in one sitting but when it happens it is glorious and very decadent.

Family always come first for Fixie Farr even if her siblings make her feel inferior and has a strong compulsion to fix things if she sees a problem which can have chaotic  consequences. As the youngest child, I instantly connected with her and understood her emotional journey dealing with her family.  Sophie Kinsella has a talent of combining a likeable character and an unusual situation to create something magical and believable. It made me laugh and cry. All the characters are memorable and will be revisited again.

Would I recommend?

Yes, it is a joy to read and perfect for a few hours of me time. Since writing this, I have reread it and enjoyed it more the second time. This is definitely one for my forever shelf next to Twenties Girl which is also a well read book by Sophie Kinsella.

Have you read this or other books by Sophie Kinsella? I would love to know your thoughts below

Love

Book Review: Two Little Girls by Frances Vick

It seems ages since I reviewed a book that was not women’s fiction so I am happy to be part of the blog tour for Two Little Girls by Frances Vick.

Book Review: Two Little Girls by Frances Vick

Two-Little-Girls-Kindle

Two Little Girls Book Cover

Title:  Two Little Girls

Author: Frances Vick

Genre: Psychological Thriller

Publisher: Bookouture

Release Date: 17th April

Purchase Links: 

Amazon: https://geni.us/B07MW3ZSDYSocial

Apple Books: https://apple.co/2CrlQ9I

Kobo: https://tinyurl.com/yb5m7j6r

Googleplay: https://tinyurl.com/ybdgj2kg

Blurb:

An innocent girl is taken. The killer confesses.
But that’s not the whole story. That’s not even the beginning…

It’s 1985 and the disappearance of ten-year-old Lisa Cook shocks the nation. Her best friend, Kirsty, traumatised and fearful, gives evidence that helps to put the Cook family’s lodger behind bars.

…But what if Kirsty made a mistake?

Now, decades later, Kirsty leaves a life she loves to move back to the hometown she hates – tortured by her memories, she’s determined to finally uncover the truth about what happened to Lisa that day. But someone is waiting for her there, someone close to her family. Someone who is hoping to finish off a job that was started years ago…

An absolutely gripping emotional drama for fans of The Couple Next Door, Whisper Me This and Laura Elliot

 My Thoughts:

This is the first book I have read from this author but it will not be the last. It began in 1985 with two best friends Lisa and Kirsty pushing the boundaries and rules of childhood. I was a similar age at the time; I could visualise their lives easily with the mention of Grange Hill, Care bears and Smash Hits but it took me a while to get into the book and relate to both girls. It became easier to form the connection to Kirsty as the harsh consequences of Lisa’s disappearance were revealed. There were times I thought I knew what had happened as she began to uncover the truth but the introduction of two psychics turned my assumptions around. I love books with a potential supernatural element so I became gripped as the tension increased and the pace escalated to the surprising finale.

Would I recommend?

Yes, this a strong psychological thriller with an interesting premise and many twists making it a good book to snuggle down under the duvet with at a weekend. I am looking forward to adding more of Frances Vick book on my TBR list.

Author Biography:

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Frances Vick

The only child of parents who worked at a top security psychiatric hospital, Frances Vick grew up receiving disquieting notes and presents from the patients. Expelled from school, she spent the next few years on the dole, augmenting her income by providing security and crewing for gigs, and being a medical experiment guinea pig. Later jobs included working in a theatre in Manhattan, teaching English in Japanese Junior High Schools, and being a life model in Italy, before coming back to London and working with young offenders and refugees. 

Author Social Media Links:

TWITTER: @franvicksays

WEBSITE: www.francesvick.co.

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/FrancesVickAuthor/

GOODREADS: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/9843604.Frances_Vick

Thank you Bookouture, NetGalley and Frances Vick for the opportunity to be part of this tour and an advanced copy of the book so I could give an honest, unbiased review.

Happy reading!

Love

Book Review and Tour: The Pieces of Me and You by Rachel Burton

Last year I was lucky enough to read Rachel Burton’s previous novel, The Things We Need to Say, which I loved. The review can be found here. When I saw the news she was releasing a new book I was eager to read it and was excited to be invited to this blog tour.

Book Review: The Pieces of You and Me by Rachel Burton

The Pieces of You and Me

Book Cover for The Pieces of You and Me

Title: The Pieces Of You and Me
Author: Rachel Burton
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Publisher: HQ Digital
Release Date: 21st February 2019

Purchase Link: mybook.to/PiecesYouMe

Blurb

They say time can heal all wounds…

When Jess and Rupert parted ways, it was the end of a great love story that might have been. Now ten years later, the very different paths they have taken in life will bring them back together for a chance meeting.

But with so much left unsaid about the break up neither ever recovered from and with each keeping their own devastating secrets, will they finally be able to make the fractured pieces of their love for one another whole again?

My Thoughts

I loved this book and related to it on many levels. As someone who spends too much time under the duvet, I instantly connected to Jess who has ME.  Jess has adapted to life with chronic illness, living at home and has carved out a successful career as a writer despite the tendrils of her condition affecting all aspects of her life. There were times it made me cry and say “I know that feeling”. The frustration of watching peers being busy their lives with no need for naps, medication or pacing, the emotions of having to let go of your old life to make way for a new one and the fear the illness will steal more from you in the future. It describes Jess’s dilemma balancing her heart’s desire with the knowledge how much ME affects relationships and it discusses whether being with your soulmate is enough to face a future of uncertainty together. Rupert has his own demons he faces, and it was refreshing to see the other side of the story.

The depth of emotion between the two characters touched me when Jess’ diary told the story of their lives, from best friends to lovers and the circumstance which ripped them apart. It is a tale of deep love, trust and the importance of revealing your true self. The other topics covered include grief, mental health, but they are dealt with sensitively and does not wallow. It left me with feelings of hope and uplifting.

I am grateful to Rachel Burton for writing an honest heart felt depiction of life with a chronic illness, showing its fears hopes and uncertainty but how with the power of love and determination someone can make a new but different life. As an aspiring writer having a character achieve success while pacing her writing time around fatigue gives me hope.

Would I recommend?

Yes, this novel is a love story but it is also so much more.  I would like a physical copy on my forever shelf to read again when I need encouragement but also to share so others can understand the realities of life when it is turned upside down because of illness.

Author Biography

The Pieces of You and MeIMG_20181116_124903 (1)

Rachel Burton

Rachel Burton is the author of the international ebook bestseller The Many Colours of Us.

Rachel spent most of her life between Cambridge and London but now lives in Yorkshire with her fiance and their three cats. The main loves of her life are The Beatles and very tall romantic heroes.

Find her on Twitter & Instagram as @bookish_yogi or follow her blog at rachelburtonwrites.com. She is always happy to talk books, writing, music, cats and how the weather in Yorkshire is rubbish. She is mostly dreaming of her next holiday….
Social Media Links 

Twitter: twitter.com/bookish_yogi
Instagram: Instagram.com/Bookish_yogi
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Rachel-Burton-353151308524664/
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/rachelburton6/pins/

Thank you to Rachel Random Resources and HQ Digital for my advanced copy so I could review.

Happy reading!

Love

 

Book Review: Stalker by Lars Keplar

Those who were following me last year may remember how I loved Lars Keplar’s The Sandman so I was eager to read the next in the series Stalker. When I was offered the chance to be involved in this blog tour I knew I had to squeal “yes please”. Thanks @AAknopf for a free advanced copy of the book to review.

Book Review for Stalker by Lars Keplar

Stalker by Lars Kepler

Stalker by Lars Keplar

Title: Stalker

Author: Lars Keplar

Publisher: Alfred A Knopf

Genre: Crime, psychological thriller

Release Date: 5th February 2019

Blurb

The internationally bestselling authors of The Sandman and The Hypnotist return with a
terrifying new thriller:

Detective Joona Linna–recently returned from compassionate
leave–reunites with hypnotist Erik Maria Bark in a search for a seemingly unassailable
sadistic killer.The Swedish National Crime Unit receives a video of a young woman in her home, clearly unaware that she’s being watched. Soon after the tape is received, the woman’s body is found horrifically mutilated. With the arrival of the next, similar video, the police understand that the killer is toying with them, warning of a new victim, knowing there’s nothing they can do. Detective Margot Silverman is put in charge of the investigation, and soon asks Detective Joona Linna for help. Linna, in turn, recruits Erik Maria Bark, the hypnotist and expert in trauma, with whom Linna’s worked before. Bark is leery of forcing people to give up their secrets. But this time, Bark is the one hiding things. Years before, he had put a man away for an eerily similar crime, and now he’s beginning to think that an innocent man may be behind bars–and a serial killer still on the loose. . .

My Thoughts

Lars Keplar have a unique style which I love and their books are always dark common in the Scandinavian noir genre. This is no exception. The murders are graphic and tap into the fear of being watched while living your life or getting dressed. I was always paranoid about the curtains being open at night but now I am even more cautious.

It follows on from The Sandman and though this book could be read as a standalone the complex lives and relationships between the characters may mean you may miss some of the depth of the story and the motivation of their actions.  Joona Linna is assumed dead allowing another detective Margot Silverman to take on his role to investigate. I liked her as a protagonist and think she could have carried the story alone. Heavily pregnant she is determined to solve the case before maternity leave so reluctantly accepts help when Joona reappears along with Erik Bark from the book The Hypnotist.

I was drawn in with the intensity of the first murder and the urgency to catch the killer before he strikes again. The fast pace at the beginning made me eager to know who the murderer was and why but there was a lull in the middle and I began to lose interest. If I was not reviewing I may have put it to one side but I am glad I didn’t as the pace quickened towards a satisfying conclusion. With the unexpected twists and turns as it delves into the world of drugs and human psyche, Stalker is a good read but it lacked the connection for the characters I have felt with the previous books.

Would I recommend?

Yes despite my misgivings Lars Keplar are strong talented authors and Stalker is still a high quality, enjoyable Nordic thriller.

About Lars Kepler:

Lars Kepler_photo credit_Ewa-Marie Rundquist

LARS KEPLER is the pseudonym of the critically acclaimed husband and wife team Alexandra Coelho Ahndoril and Alexander Ahndoril. Their number one internationally bestselling Joona Linna series has sold more than twelve million copies in forty languages. The Ahndorils were both established writers before they adopted the pen name Lars Kepler and have each published several acclaimed novels. They live in Stockholm, Sweden. Translated by Neil Smith.

 

 

 

 

Social media

Author Website: http://larskepler.com/

Author Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/larskepler/

Author Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/larskepler/

Have a good weekend and happy reading!

Love

Kepler_Stalker_TourGraphic

Blog Tour & Book Review: Summer on the Italian Lakes by Lucy Coleman (@LucyColemanAuth) @Aria_Fiction @RaRaResources

It is a miserable grey day outside and I am reluctant to move from under my duvet. I am pleased to share my review of Summer on the Italian Lakes by Lucy Coleman which brightened up these recent wintery days. Thank you to Rachel Random Resources for my free book and inviting me to this tour.

Book Review for Summer on the Italian Lakes by Lucy Coleman

Lakes yellow

Title: Summer on the Italian Lakes

Author: Lucy Coleman

Publisher: Aria

Genre: Romance, General fiction

Release date: 5th February 2019

Blurb

Bestselling Brianna Middleton has won the hearts of millions of readers with her sweeping – and steamy – love stories. But the girl behind the typewriter is struggling… Not only does she have writer’s block, but she’s a world-famous romance author with zero romance in her own life.

So the opportunity to spend the summer teaching at a writer’s retreat in an idyllic villa on the shores of Lake Garda – owned by superstar author Arran Jamieson – could this be just the thing to fire up Brie’s writing – and romantic – mojo?

Brie’s sun-drenched Italian summer could be the beginning of this writer’s very own happy-ever-after…

Escape the January blues with this sun-drenched, heart-warming story from the bestselling author of Snowflakes Over Holly Cove.

Purchase Links:

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Summer-Italian-Lakes-bestselling-feel-good-ebook/dp/B07HPD2KNV

US – https://www.amazon.com/Summer-Italian-Lakes-bestselling-feel-good-ebook/dp/B07HPD2KNV

My Thoughts

As soon as I met the main character of this book, Brie surrounded by snotty tissues while she dealt with her heartbreak I knew I was in for a treat. I love this book for three reasons.

1.The characters – Brie is an open-hearted, old-fashioned romantic and is usually a strong woman who is a defender of romance novels against those who look down at them. She comes across as balanced and despite her confidence plummeting at the beginning, current doubts and loneliness, she has a certainty about herself which makes this a refreshing read. Handsome Arran is aloof, and comes with a back story that drew me in, making me care for him. Along with Brie’s editor and best friend the characters leapt from the page making it easy to see the story like a good rom-com in my imagination.

2.The scenery – oh my! Lucy Coleman paints a picture with her words and I was there in the sunshine enjoying Lake Garda with Brie and strolling through the streets of the Italian towns. The landscapes are stunning making them the perfect location for some literary escapism.

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Lake Garda, Italy

3.The writing tips – as an aspiring writer the tips and insights Brie offers her students at the writing retreat and the reader are invaluable. They are cleverly blended into the story but cover topics such as characterisation, writer’s block, doubts and joy of romance novels. It is a romance writing companion in disguise. I only wish I could be at the retreat in reality to soak up the tranquillity and expertise while learning how to write 3000 words before breakfast.

Would I recommend?

Summer on the Italian Lakes is uplifting and entertaining making it a perfect summer read or a pick me up on a grey, miserable day. With the characters, landscape, sun and chemistry I was reluctant to come out of the book into reality. It will be a story I will return to again and again.

Author Biography

LBH

Lucy Coleman

From interior designer to author, Linn B. Halton – who also writes under the pen name of Lucy Coleman – says ‘it’s been a fantastic journey!’

Linn is the bestselling author of more than a dozen novels and is excited to be writing for both Aria Fiction (Head of Zeus) and Harper Impulse (Harper Collins); she’s represented by Sara Keane of the Keane Kataria Literary Agency.

When she’s not writing, or spending time with the family, she’s either upcycling furniture or working in the garden.

Linn won the 2013 UK Festival of Romance: Innovation in Romantic Fiction award; her novels have been short-listed in the UK’s Festival of Romance and the eFestival of Words Book Awards.

Living in Coed Duon in the Welsh Valleys with her ‘rock’, Lawrence, and gorgeous Bengal cat Ziggy, she freely admits she’s an eternal romantic.

Linn is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and writes feel-good, uplifting novels about life, love and relationships.

Social Media Links –

Website: http://linnbhalton.co.uk/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LinnBHaltonAuthor/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LucyColemanAuth

Giveaway – Win a Chocolate dipping set (UK only)*

Writing Retreat Prize

Chocolate Dipping Set

Enter here

If you want to know more about the book and author why not pop along to the other blogs on the tour, details below.

Thank you again to Rachel at raresourses for inviting me to this tour and NetGalley for the chance to read it for free.

Happy reading and good luck.

Love

Summer on the Italian Lakes Full Tour Banner

Other bloggers on this tour.

 

 

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

 

Blog Tour: Book review for The Hopes and Dreams of Lucy Baker by Jenni Keer

It is the start of a new week and there are rumours the weather is turning bitterly cold so I am pleased to bring you a review for Jenni Keer’s debut The Hopes and Dreams of Lucy Baker. You may be tempted to stay under the duvet, in the warm with a cup of tea and read.

Book Review: The Hopes and Dreams of Lucy Baker

the hopes and dreams final cover

The Hopes and Dreams of Lucy Baker Book Cover

Title: The Hopes and Dreams of Lucy Baker

Author: Jenni Keer

Publisher: Avon Books UK

Genre: Romance

Release Date: 10th January 2019

Blurb

Meet Lucy, aged 25, and Brenda, aged 79. Neighbours and unlikely friends.

Lucy Baker is not your usual 25-year-old. She is more at home reading and knitting in her cluttered little flat than going out partying and socialising.

79-year-old Brenda is full of wise and wonderful advice, but when she’s diagnosed with dementia her life begins to change. Before her memories slip away for ever, Brenda is desperate to fulfil one last wish – to see Lucy happy.

Gifting Lucy the locket that helped Brenda find her own true love, she hopes to push her reticent neighbour in the right direction. But is Lucy Baker ready for the opportunities and heartbreaks of the real world? It’s about time she put her knitting needles aside and found out…

The Hopes and Dreams of Lucy Baker will be the most charming, heart-warming and feel-good novel you will read this year, perfect for fans of Ruth Hogan and Gail Honeyman.

Purchase Links

Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hopes-Dreams-Lucy-Baker-heart-warming-ebook/dp/B07DQ7HKPX/

Amazon US – https://www.amazon.com/Hopes-Dreams-Lucy-Baker-heart-warming-ebook/dp/B07DQ7HKPX/

My Thoughts

When Brenda with her purple hair, mystical air and cheeky side arrived in the first few pages I knew I would love this book. The warm, honest writing style drew me into Lucy’s life and kept me there until the last page.

This charming, quirky story is driven by the characters Jenni Keer has created; I loved them all from the main ones Lucy, Brenda and George to the men in the warehouse where Lucy works and Scratcat the stray. They all have distinct personalities and feel real. Where I could relate to Lucy with her tendency to prefer romantic books and knitting to experiencing life or rock the boat by saying “no”, it was Brenda who captured my heart. She is who I would like to be when I am older; full of life, humour and kindness with a penchant for magic. I did not want the book to end because I did not want to leave her behind. Maybe a prequel of her youth is needed, I am sure she will have an interesting tale to tell. Her battle with dementia is heartbreaking but the topic is dealt with sympathetically and gives an insight into the pressures of caring and the challenges it creates. The love and deep friendship between Lucy and Brenda shines and proves age does not matter when you are friends.

The introduction of Scratcat, George and the locket created many memorable moments and I will never forget the knitted Poldarks which also feature in this tale of friendship, love and personal growth. I enjoyed Lucy’s journey as she tackles the insecurities at work, her colleagues and potential relationships. This debut has got under my skin and I am still thinking about the characters a couple of weeks since I read The End.

I am looking forward to reading more from this author.

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Knitted Poldark one of the stars of the book

Would I recommend?

This beautiful story is perfect for snuggling down under the duvet with a cup of tea or on the beach in the summer. The humour and strong characterisation means I will revisiting this book in the future and needs to be on my forever shelf.

Author Biography

the hopes and dreams jk mono 2

Author Jenni Keer

Jenni Keer is a history graduate who embarked on a career in contract flooring before settling in the middle of the Suffolk countryside with her antique furniture restorer husband. She has valiantly attempted to master the ancient art of housework but with four teenage boys in the house it remains a mystery. Instead, she spends her time at the keyboard writing women’s fiction to combat the testosterone-fuelled atmosphere with her number one fan #Blindcat by her side. Much younger in her head than she is on paper, she adores any excuse for fancy-dress and is part of a disco formation dance team.
Social Media Links

FaceBook Jenni Keer Writer

Twitter @JenniKeer

Instagram jennikeer

Website – https://jennikeer.co.uk/

Competition

I am pleased to share with you the chance to win a bundle of The Hopes and Dreams of Lucy Baker goodies (UK only – sorry)*. The prize contains – Thornton’s fudge, a Nu notebook, a Hopes and Dreams bookmark and a set of five “Scratbag” blank greetings cards designed by Jenni Keer.

the hopes and dreams giveaway prize

The Hopes and Dreams of Lucy Baker prizes

Enter here

Thank you Rachel Random Resources for inviting me on this blog tour and the opportunity to read this book early. This my honest, unbiased review.

Happy reading!

Love

the hopes and dreams of lucy baker full tour banner

*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box above. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

Book Review for The List That Changed My Life by Olivia Beirne

I stumbled upon this book on Twitter. People were raving about the laughs it induced and with recommendations from my favourite authors I needed to give it ago. I was pleasantly surprised to discover it was available on NetGalley and thrilled to receive it. Scroll down to read my unbiased, honest opinion.

Book Review: The List That Changed My Life by Olivia Beirne

The List that Changed My Life cover

The List that changed my life by Olivia Beirne

Title: The List That Changed My Life

Author: Olivia Beirne

Publisher: Headline

Genre: Romance

Release date: 22nd November 2018

Blurb

Sometimes all you need is a little push…

‘One of the most hilarious books I have read for a very long time. Olivia writes with great warmth and wit – a fantastically funny debut.’ Emma Cooper, author of The Songs of Us

Perfect for fans of Sophie Kinsella, Katie Marsh and Marian Keyes, Olivia Beirne’s The List That Changed My Life takes its readers on an hilarious and heart-warming journey of a lifetime, showing us what it means to really be alive.

Georgia loves wine, reality TV and sitting on the sofa after work. She does not love heights, looking at her bank account, going on dates, or activities that involve a sports bra. And she will never, ever take a risk.

That is, until her braver, bolder, big sister finds out that she won’t be able to tick off the things she wanted to do before turning thirty, and turns to Georgia to help her finish her list.

With the birthday just months away, Georgia suddenly has a deadline to learn to grab life with both hands. Could she be brave enough to take the leap, for her sister?

And how might her own life change if she did?

My thoughts

I started to read this late Christmas Eve and was hooked. Luckily, I had a quiet Christmas and  could read between the pressie openings, munching of mince pies and dinner when everyone was distracted. This is a heart-warming, uplifting book which I needed to read and was the perfect antidote for the overindulgence of festive reading. Believe me, like mince pies with Baileys cream there comes a point when your mind says no more Christmas storylines.

Georgia is an every day 26 year old facing the daily battles with her job, rent and dating until she steps out of her comfort zone to complete her sister’s list. I could relate to her in every way so when faced with the challenges I cringed, laughed and cheered with her. Her observations and inner dialogue are accurate and funny. Though she sees Amy as the more confident, pretty and mature sister their closeness shines through. This is a story about the bond between sisters which gets stretched in difficult times.

I was intrigued to see how M.S would be conveyed but Olivia Beirne tackled Amy’s diagnosis sensitively and it was nice to see how illness affects not only the person with it but those around them. The only other book I have read with M.S central to the plot was The Breakdown Lane by Jacqueline Mitchard which traumatised me when I was facing similar neurological tests. The List That Changed My Life shows the devastation of the disease and how everyone has to adapt but it is full of fun, laughs and warmth so I came away from the book feeling positive and upbeat. It also inspired me to be more involved with charities who work tirelessly to support those in need.

Would I recommend?

Olivia Beirne has written a wonderful strong debut full of emotion and humour.  Now is the perfect time to read it as we hurtle to the end of this year and make our own lists for the upcoming one. I can’t wait to read more of her work.

Thank you NetGalley and Headline for the opportunity to read this book.

Happy reading and wish you a brilliant New Year!

P.S What are you looking forward to reading next year? Let me know in the comments below.

Book Review: No one cancels Christmas by Zara Stoneley

It may only be October but it is never too early for a festive romance and the first one of the season is No One Cancels Christmas by Zara Stoneley.

Book Review for No One Cancels Christmas by Zara Stoneley

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No One Cancels Christmas Book Cover

Title: No One Cancels Christmas

Author: Zara Stoneley

Genre: Romance, Festive

Publisher: Harper Impulse

Release Date: 19th October 2018

Blurb:

It’s the most magical time of the year, and for travel agent Sarah it’s also the busiest! But this year one man threatens to ruin Christmas for Sarah’s customers – Mr Grinch, Will Armstrong.
The Shooting Star Mountain resort is a magical place, and Sarah has fond memories of Christmas here as a little girl – visits to Father Christmas, husky rides in the snow and hot chocolate by a roaring fire. But as the resorts new owner, Will refuses to play snowball or to deck the halls with anything remotely resembling tinsel!
With customers complaining their Christmas is ruined, Sarah decides it’s up to her to convince Scroogey Will just how magical Christmas can be….
But getting Will into the Christmas spirit is hopeless – he is Bah Humbug personified! But as Sarah gets to know him better, she realises that underneath all the gloom is a man struggling with a pain of his own.
With the big day approaching, Sarah realises that the magic and sparkle can wait. This year, she’s going to spend Christmas day with someone special her very own Mr Scrooge…

Purchase Link

Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/No-One-Cancels-Christmas-romantic-ebook/dp/B07CWTVJGD
Amazon US – https://www.amazon.com/no-one-cancels-christmas-romantic-ebook/dp/B07CWTVJGD

My Thoughts

Zara Stoneley is a new author to me but within a couple of chapters, I was hooked by her writing style and the prospective trip to Shooting Star Mountain Resort. The festive feel forced me to consume my first mince pie though I resisted the urge to play Christmas music.

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With the backdrop of mountains, snow and log cabins the setting alone is ideal for a festive romance. When travel agent, Sarah was younger the Shooting Star Mountain Resort flourished providing perfect Christmas holidays so she highly recommended it to her customers. With news of complaints and run ins with Will Armstrong she decides the tackle the problem head on. She is not prepared to let the business responsible for many memories fail without a fight. Sarah’s unique feisty personality complements moody Scrooge-like Will Armstrong who I connected with immediately. With a bundle of fun characters including flirtatious Ed and beautiful husky Rosie it is a joy to read. This is a story of how a person’s history affects their present, brewing secrets, romance and the magic of Christmas. The unexpected elements made this story its own; it will not be lost in the mass of festive reads available.

Do I recommend?

Yes, it is a humorous, romantic festive read to snuggle down under the duvet and perfect for this time of year.

Author Biography

ZaraStoneley authorpic

Zara Stoneley

Born in a small village in Staffordshire, I wanted to be a female James Herriot, a spy, or an author when I grew up. After many years, and many different jobs, my dream of writing a bestseller came true.

I write about friendship, dreams, love, and happy ever afters, and hope that my tales make you cry a little, laugh a lot, and occasionally say ‘ahhh’.

I now live in a Cheshire village with my family, a lively cockapoo called Harry, and a very bossy (and slightly evil) cat called Saffron.

Where you can find her

Website: http://www.zarastoneley.com
Twitter: @ZaraStoneley
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ZaraStoneley
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/zarastoneley/

Thank you Rachel’s Random Resources for an advanced copy and inviting to this tour.

Happy reading!

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Book Review for the Quaker

Book Review: The Quaker by Liam McIlvanney

This book was not the typical crime novel I would chose to read  but the title spiked my interest and the blurb lured me in to read. Thank you NetGalley and HarperCollins UK for giving me an advanced copy in exchange for my honest and unbiased opinion.

Book review for The Quaker

The Quaker by Liam McIlvanney

 

Title: The Quaker

Author: Liam McIlvanney

Publisher: HarperCollins UK

Genre: Crime

Release Date: 28th June 2018

Blurb

His name fills the streets with fear…

In the chilling new crime novel from award-winning author Liam McIlvanney, a serial killer stalks the streets of Glasgow and DI McCormack follows a trail of devastating secrets to uncover the truth…

A city torn apart.
Glasgow, 1969. In the grip of the worst winter for years, the city is brought to its knees by a killer whose name fills the streets with fear: the Quaker. He takes his next victim – the third woman from the same nightclub – and dumps her in the street like rubbish.

A detective with everything to prove.
The police are left chasing a ghost, with no new leads and no hope of catching their prey. DI McCormack, a talented young detective from the Highlands, is ordered to join the investigation. But his arrival is met with anger from a group of officers on the brink of despair. Soon he learns just how difficult life can be for an outsider.

A killer who hunts in the shadows.
When another woman is found murdered in a tenement flat, it’s clear the case is by no means over. From ruined backstreets to the dark heart of Glasgow, McCormack follows a trail of secrets that will change the city – and his life – forever…

 

My Thoughts

Set in 1960’s Glasgow the author descriptions took me into the heart of city and East End. I have no knowledge of Glasgow and my knowledge of the 1960’s and the police is a mish mash of the television programmes Call a Midwife, Heartbeat and vague recollections of Inspector George Gently and a hint of Life on Mars but Liam McIlvanney made it real. I could taste the whisky,  smell the cigarette smoke and hear the music of the dancing halls as he took me into the slums and condemned buildings and murky criminal underworld.

The story follows DI McCormack as he deals with the backlash and resentment from murder team after he arrives because they have been unable to crack the case. He is deep, thoughtful and has is own secrets. I enjoyed the tension and relationship between him and Goldie who takes the role of his antagonist.

Liam McIlvanney wove the threads murders, backstories and gangsters together to produce a novel I struggled to put down. It may not be fast paced like some crime novels where action follows action but the strength of character and plot made me want to read one more chapter. He produced twists I did not see coming which left me wanting to read more of his work and I truly hope this book will not be the only time I meet DI McCormack.

Would I recommend?

Definitely if you enjoy a crime whodunit novel with strong characters and powerful imagery.

Book Review: The Coven by Lissy

For those who know me and read my other blog, it is no surprise I was excited to receive this in my NetGalley shelf. I love books about witches and the blurb for this first installment sounded ideal.

 

The Coven book cover

The Coven book cover

 

Title: The Coven

Author: Chrissy Lessey

Publisher: BooksGoSocial

Release date: 27th June 2017

Blurb

The future queen awakens…

Newly single mother Stevie Lewis divides her time between raising Charlie, running a store with her best friend, and avoiding the meetings of her mother’s Beaufort Historic Society. Although her life has its challenges, it’s altogether average. Just the way she likes it.

When Vanessa, a ruthless dark witch, launches an attack against young Charlie, Stevie’s simple life derails, and her long-dormant powers awaken. A 300-year-old secret is exposed, revealing her destiny to one day rule the clandestine community of witches who hide in plain sight.

Now she must master her own magical powers before it’s too late. Because Vanessa’s on the warpath, and only Stevie can stop her.

My Thoughts

This was an enjoyable, easy read which delivered a sprinkle of magic on a dreary day. I love the illustration on the cover which would attract me instantly if I saw it on a shelf.

The town of Beaufort is full of magical secrets, known only to a select few.  When a stranger arrives Stevie’s life is turned upside down. She is a likable protagonist and I instantly felt a connection as she struggled to bring up son with autism. The book is littered with quirky characters with imaginative gifts that I loved.  It is part of a trilogy but it could easily become a bigger series by delving into the other older members of the coven. They must all have their own tales to tell. I am looking forward to reading the second installment of The Crystal Coast Series.

Would I recommend?

Yes. it is perfect for light, magical escapism.

 

Happy reading!