Book review: Surprise Me by Sophie Kinsella

Health has made the call of the duvet irresistible so luckily I had Sophie Kinsella’s new book Surprise Me keep me company. Thank you to the mobile library service for getting it to me so quick!

 

Title: Surprise Me

Author: Sophie Kinsella

Publisher: Bantam Press

Release date: 8th Feb 2018

Blurb

NUMBER ONE BESTSELLING AUTHOR Sophie Kinsella’s emotionally charged, witty new standalone novel about love and long-term relationship survival – and how those we think we know best can sometimes surprise us the most . . .

After being together for ten years, Sylvie and Dan have a comfortable home, fulfilling jobs, beautiful twin girls, and communicate so seamlessly, they finish each other’s sentences. They have a happy marriage and believe they know everything there is to know about each other. Until it’s casually mentioned to them that they could be together for another sixty-eight years… and panic sets in.

They quickly decide to create little surprises for each other, to keep their relationship fresh and fun. But in their pursuit of Project Surprise Me – anything from unexpected gifts to restaurant dates to photo shoots – mishaps arise with disastrous and comical results.

Gradually, the surprises turn to shocking discoveries. And when a scandal from the past is uncovered, they begin to wonder if they ever really knew each other after all…

My thoughts

This book did surprise me but not in the way I hoped. I love Sophie Kinsella’s books for their humour, relatable characters and her ability to make absurd situations believable; some of her books especially Remember Me and Twenties Girl are on my go-to shelf when I need a lift and visit an old friend. This book, however, will not be.

It is an enjoyable read and I love that Sylvie is a married woman instead of singles looking for love. The premise is very relatable and the emotions as they are hit with realisation they are together for another 68 years hit home. Some of the surprises are pure Sophie Kinsella magic and made me chuckle but Sylvie annoyed me with the utter idolization of her dad and I found myself drifting off wanting to read something else that wasn’t about her. Dan, her husband is lovely though.

I am left wondering as I finished it,  how much of my disappointment is just me as I know many fans love her Shopaholic series while I found Rebecca annoying to the point I could not read them,  rather than the book. It feels more a personality clash and having too high expectations than anything so I would hate to put people off trying it.

Would I recommend?

It is an ok book and many will love it but I prefer her previous one A Not So Perfect Life and older standalone novels.

Please let me know your opinions below and I  hope I am the only one with this personality clash.

Happy reading!

Book Review: Million Love Songs by Carole Matthews

With a title of a Million Love Songs, you don’t have to read the blurb of Carole Matthew‘s latest release to know you need to put the radio on and sing along to Gary Barlow as you read this book.

Million Love Songs cover

Million Love Songs Cover

Title: Million Love Songs

Author: Carole Matthews

Publisher: Sphere

Release Date: 22nd March 2018

Blurb

Feel-good and full of emotion, Carole Matthews will make your heart sing with this glorious read.

After splitting up with her cheating husband, Ruby Brown is ready for a change. She’s single for the first time in years and she’s going to dive into this brave new world with a smile on her face and a spring in her step. The last thing she’s looking for is a serious relationship.
Mason represents everything Ruby wants right now: he’s charming, smooth and perfect for some no-strings-attached fun. Joe, on the other hand, is kind and attractive, but comes with the sort of baggage Ruby wants to avoid: an annoyingly attractive ex-wife and two teenage children.

Ruby thinks she knows what she wants, is it what she needs to be truly happy? It’s about to get emotional in Million Love Songs.

My thoughts

Million Love Songs is a perfect book for Take That fans or Thatters as they are called or those who enjoy a good sing to their music. It is littered with references to the band and they would understand the appeal of a cut out of Gary Barlow.

Ruby Brown is a recent divorcee finding her feet in the new world of singledom, dates, and independence. She is helped by her best friend TT fangirl, Charlie. I enjoyed the story from one of my fave authors but I struggled to connect with Ruby unlike the main characters in her other books. I found Charlie had more depth and interesting backstory making me long for it to be her story instead. Maybe one day Carole Matthews will revisit her.

As for the leading men,  while I loved Joe, I shared Charlie’s opinion on Mason. He made my skin crawl from the start.

It is enjoyable though it had a different feel to her other books and Carole Matthews talent pulled it off where other authors may not have been able to but I doubt it will be one I revisit again and again, unlike many of her other books.

Would I recommend?

Yes, if you love Take That or want an enjoyable light-hearted read.

Thank you, NetGalley and Sphere for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.

Have you read it?  Let me know your thoughts below.

 

Happy reading!

Book review: We will always have Christmas by Jenny Hale

We will always have Christmas

Title We will always have Christmas
Author Jenny Hale

Blurb

An enchanting story about the magic of Christmas, the importance of family, and the joy of falling in love during the most romantic season of the year…

Christmas has always been a special time for Noelle Parker. Winter evenings spent with family and friends, drinking hot chocolate and eating cookies at her family’s cozy bakery have shaped her love for all things festive. But this year everything is changing…

The beloved bakery is facing closure and Noelle needs a miracle to save Christmas.

Determined to raise funds for the family business, Noelle sets about revamping the bakery while juggling a surprise new job, caring for the elderly and cantankerous William Harrington in his luxurious, sprawling mansion.

As Noelle melts the frostiness of the house with cake baking, snowball fights and glittering decorations, she helps William to reconnect with a romance that has spanned decades and unexpectedly finds herself falling for his grandson – the gorgeous but mysterious Alexander Harrington…

In the countdown to Christmas, can Noelle save the bakery, reunite a family and create some magical memories of her own along the way?
This is a delightful read and is perfect to help you get in the mood for the Big Day or relax with when you need to take a break from the chaotic preparations.

Jenny Hale has captured Christmas in the pages of this book with her descriptive festive scenes and taste bud tingling food.  By the end of the story I longed to be in the kitchen of the bakery eating cake and drinking hot chocolate.

This is book that can happily be reread next year when you need a festive fix.

Thank you NetGalley for sending me an ARC to review.

 

Happy reading!

Book review: Moonlight over Manhattan by Sarah Morgan

Moonlight over Manhattan

Title Moonlight over Manhattan

Author Sarah Morgan

Blurb

Determined to conquer a lifetime of shyness, Harriet Knight challenges herself to do one thing a day in December that scares her, including celebrating Christmas without her family. But when dog-walker Harriet meets her newest client, exuberant spaniel Madi, she adds an extra challenge to her list – dealing with Madi’s temporary dog-sitter, gruff doctor Ethan Black, and their very unexpected chemistry.
Ethan thought he was used to chaos, until he met Madi – how can one tiny dog cause such mayhem? To Ethan, the solution is simple – he will pay Harriet to share his New York apartment and provide 24-hour care. But there’s nothing simple about how Harriet makes him feel.
Ethan’s kisses make Harriet shine brighter than the stars over moonlit Manhattan. But when his dog-sitting duties are over, and Harriet returns to her own home, will she dare to take the biggest challenge of all – letting Ethan know he has her heart for life, not just for Christmas?

For those who love romance, there is nothing like a Sarah Morgan book to make reality fall away and transport you into the lives of her characters. In this book, you find yourself in Manhattan near Christmas with Harriet. I instantly felt a connection with quiet, shy Harriet who is more comfortable talking to the dogs she walks than people. Her love life is going nowhere fast after some disastrous dates until she stumbles across Dr Ethan Black or Dr Hot as others describe him. I like how none of her characters are perfect and they all have relatable flaws; it makes them more real. The plot flows well and old favourite characters from Sarah Morgan’s other books make an appearance as an added treat.
This story hits the spot for a good festive read while curling up under the duvet with a luxurious hot chocolate.

Happy reading!

 

Book Review: This Love by Dani Atkins

As a fan of Fractured and Our Song I was excited to see Dani Atkins’ new book This Love sitting on the library bookshelf. I was not disappointed and could easily have read it in one session.

 Title  This Love

Author Dani Atkins

Blurb 

Sophie stopped believing in happy endings a long time ago, but could this love change all of that?

Sophie Winter lives in a self-imposed cocoon – she’s a single, 31-year-old translator who works from home in her one-bedroom flat. This isn’t really the life she dreamed of, but then Sophie stopped believing in dreams when she was a teenager and tragedy struck her family.
 
So, to be safe, she keeps everyone at arm’s length. Sophie understands she has a problem, but recognising it and knowing how to fix it are two entirely different things.

One night a serious fire breaks out in the flat below hers. Sophie is trapped in the burning building until a passer-by, Ben, sees her and rescues her.

Suddenly her cocoon is shattered – what will be the consequences of this second life-changing event?

After reading Dani Atkins’ other books, I should have known this one would require a box of tissues. I think her books are top contenders for those requiring a tissue warning and possibly come with a supply of Kleenex and chocolate to help you recover from the emotional rollercoaster you experience while reading them. She has an ability to create interesting characters you become attached to and stay with you long after you turn the last page.

It is a romance which deals with love, friendship, grief and loss as well as living for the moment. The story begins with a bang and ends with a twist you would not imagine. It is a must for fans of Jojo Moyes, Jill Mansell and Dorothy Koomson.

It will take me a while to recover rom this one so my next read – Tom Hanks’ Uncommon Type – needs to be very good to keep my attention.