Thursday, 23 May 2019

Book Review - Coming Home To Wishington Bay by Maxine Morrey

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Amazon UK
Title: Coming Home To Wishington Bay
Author: Maxine Morrey
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: HQ Digital
Publication Date: 1st May 2019
Rating: 5 Stars

Home is where the heart is…

Holly doesn’t have time for a holiday this year. But when her job threatens to send her over the brink, her boss insists she take a sabbatical. So she packs her bags and escapes to her beloved grandmother Gigi’s house on Wishington Bay, which has sat empty since Gigi passed away.

But Holly’s dreams of a coastal escape take an unexpected turn. Holly didn’t expect to spend time with any man this summer – let alone an Aussie Adonis…but when she meets her next door neighbour Gabe and his little dog Bryan, it’s clear her quiet summer of strolling along the sand and wandering through the seaside village’s tiny streets on her own will come with a hefty dose of distraction.

With a summer to fill and Gigi’s wonderful and surprising house to sort through, Holly knew it would be a summer packed with old memories. She just didn’t expect to make so many new ones…

Coming Home to Wishington Bay is the new gorgeous uplifting rom-com from Maxine Morrey, perfect for fans of Sarah Morgan and Tilly Tennant!

It feels like ages since I last read a Maxine Morrey rom-com, but falling into the pages of this book really did feel like coming home.   There was just such a comforting, cosy feel to this story, and even when I wasn't reading, my heart was with Hollie in Wishington Bay. 

I'll admit the basic concept is one that has been done before - girl inherits property from relation in different location to where she lives, and then has to decide what to do with it.  However its all the other bits of the book that make it so special. 

The handsome Australian doctor next door and his adorable sausage dog, Bryan who has an emotional back story of his own.  There is Holly's brother and his pregnant wife, who are so excited for the baby, but also really concerned about Holly.  And there is the Bay itself which is gorgeous sounding, and if its anything like the cover, probably stunning to live in too. 

I just really enjoyed the writing in this story, the descriptions and dialogue.  It doesn't have the largest amount of characters, but that just adds to its charm as the ones that are featured you get to know so much better.  Although not alive Gigi was also a big presence in the book, and I really felt I got to know Hollie's grandmother quite well. It was obvious she had a great sense of humour. 

As much as I was enjoying the book there were moments where I just wanted to lock Hollie and Gabe in a room together and not let them out until they had realised the obvious! 

Coming Home to Wishington Bay is a truly lovely story that I thoroughly enjoyed.  I really hope this isn't the last we see of this location or characters. 

Thank you to Netgalley and HQ Digital for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily. 

Wednesday, 22 May 2019

Book Review - Bridesmaids by Zara Stoneley

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Amazon UK
Title: Bridesmaids
Author: Zara Stoneley
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Harper Impulse
Publication Date: 26th April 2019
Rating: 5 Stars

Meet Rachel, the beautiful bride with BIG plans for the perfect day! The venue is a castle and the dress is designer.  It’s just a shame her husband is a rat.

Maddie and Sally have only one thing in common – they both love the same man!

Beth is a newly single mum with a mystery baby daddy.  Surely the father isn’t someone the girls all know?

And then there’s Jane, the glue holding them all together, but being dumped doesn’t make her the happiest bridesmaid…especially with gorgeous flatmate Freddie complicating things.

Will the bride say, ‘I Do!’?  Or will her bridesmaids save the day…and find love along the way?    

The most hilarious, feel-good rom com of the year!

Completely hilarious and if you love characters that put 2 and 2 together and come up with fifty, then you will love Jane. 

The whole book is told from Jane's point of view, and after being dumped on her hen night, isn't that keen on weddings any more, so its rather tricky when best friend Rachel announces she is getting married.  Even more awkward when Jane knows a secret about groom Michael and has no idea what to do with it. 

Then there are the other bridesmaids /  close friends who Jane hasn't seen in years but Rachel keeps up with.   There is Sally who married Maddie's ex-boyfriend Jack, and well Maddie isn't as ok with it as everyone seems to think. 

Finally there is Beth, who is single mum to baby Joe, responsible for an amusingly disgusting instance in the dress shop, and Beth is definitely hiding things too, like just who the father is. 

Set in three parts, where we meed the bridesmaids,  the hen party and then the wedding, this is one of the most amusing books I've read this year.  If there are cross purposes to be had, then Jane is your woman. 

And in amongst Jane trying to make sure the wedding goes without a hitch, despite her misgivings and tension in the bridesmaids ranks - she is just coming to the realisation of what she feels for a couple of key men from her life. 

Bridesmaids has a wonderful feel to it, and I could easily see it as a film (although in some respects it feels a bit like elements from the film of the same name, but completely and utterly different too).  Or maybe it should be a sitcom, there is definitely enough humour, romance and conflict in this for a TV series! 

Another incredibly enjoyable and entertaining book from one of my favourite authors, Bridesmaids is triumph! 

Thank you to Harper Impulse and Netgalley for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily. 

Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Book Review - Never Be Broken by Sarah Hilary

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Amazon UK
Title: Never Be Broken
Author: Sarah Hilary
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Headline
Publication Date: 16th May 2019
Rating: 4 Stars

Children are dying on London's streets. Frankie Reece, stabbed through the heart, outside a corner shop. Others recruited from care homes, picked up and exploited; passed like gifts between gangs. They are London's lost. 

Then Raphaela Belsham is killed. She's thirteen years old, her father is a man of influence, from a smart part of town. And she's white. Suddenly, the establishment is taking notice.
DS Noah Jake is determined to handle Raphaela's case and Frankie's too. But he's facing his own turmoil, and it's becoming an obsession. DI Marnie Rome is worried, and she needs Noah on side. Because more children are disappearing, more are being killed by the day and the swelling tide of violence needs to be stemmed before it's too late.

NEVER BE BROKEN is a stunning, intelligent and gripping novel which explores how the act of witness alters us, and reveals what lies beneath the veneer of a glittering city.

Kicking off with a prologue that will instantly draw fans of the series straight into the pages, and make you wonder just what Sarah Hilary has come up with for us this time, , with such a clever opening that had me worried. 

In fact I was worried about DS Noah Jake throughout the book, as he is not handling the events at the end of the previous one that well, although its hardly surprising. 

I would say that this book can't be read as a standalone, and that if you are new to the series to pick it up from Book 5 at the very least, just so that this, book 6, will make that much more sense. The story lines that have been running through the series are incredibly apparent in this instalment. but we also have fresh crimes to turn our attention to. 

This is where I struggled slightly initially as there were a bunch of names that kept cropping up, for deaths that we didn't fully learn about but seemed relevant somehow.  And then there are two deaths within 24 hours, seemingly at first unconnected, but as crime readers know its very rare for their not to be a connection, the question was what and how. 

And that is what stumped me and kept me reading, while I learnt along with the police just what was happening. Because the Marnie / Noah dynamic was different in this book, I felt less connected, as it was so hard seeing Noah like he was,  yet there was still evidence at how great a policeman he his. 

This is another solid book in the series, I just didn't feel it was the best, but still very enjoyable and had me wanting to continue reading even when real life intervened.  

Thank you to Netgalley and Headline for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily. 

Please follow along with all the other wonderful bloggers on this tour 

Monday, 20 May 2019

Book Review - A Wedding at the Comfort Food Café by Debbie Johnson - #HolidayReading Thailand

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Amazon UK
Title: A Wedding at the Comfort Food Café
Author: Debbie Johnson
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Harper Impulse
Publication Date: 7th March 2019
Rating: 5 Stars

Return to the Comfort Food Cafe for the wedding of the year!
Wedding bells ring out in Budbury as the Comfort Food Café and its cosy community of regulars are gearing up for a big celebration…

But Auburn Longville doesn’t have time for that! Between caring for her poorly mum, moving in with her sister and running the local pharmacy, life is busy enough – and it’s about to get busier. Chaos arrives in the form of a figure from her past putting her quaint village life and new relationship with gorgeous Finn Jensen in jeopardy. It’s time for Auburn to face up to some life changing decisions.

Settle in for a slice of wedding cake at the Comfort Food Café – a place where friendships are made for life and nobody ever wants to leave.

I can't believe after 6 amazing books we finally have to say goodbye to Budbury, and The Comfort Food Cafe.  I adore this series, but understand good things apparently must come to an end. 

So not only do we finally get Auburn;s story, we get to see Laura and Matt's story resolve itself. 

And what a story it is, with a massive secrete from Aubern's past being revealed. 

I loved meeting up with all the Comfort food regulars, and seeing the latest instalments in their lives. 

This was just a great feel good, massive celebration of a book, with a Wedding thrown in for good measure, and fabulous wedding it was too. 

I loved every second of this book. 

Thank you to Netgalley and Harper Impulse for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily. 

Saturday, 18 May 2019

Book Review - The Ice Cream Parlour by Isabella May

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Amazon UK
Title: The Ice Cream Parlour
Author: Isabella May
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Author supplied copy
Publisher: Self Published
Publication Date: 18th May 2019
Rating: 5 Stars

Giovanna Tonioli is a successful stockbroker with a famous sports star boyfriend, but things aren't as sweet as they seem. When life in the city of Bath goes from Vanilla to Rocky Road, she takes herself off to Italy for an 'Eat Pray Love' style tour of all things gelateria. What she doesn't expect to find on her travels is one smooth, hot dollop of temptation that she just can't shake. 

How will her spiteful twin sister react when Giovanna returns to open a rival ice cream parlour? Will Natalia get her just desserts? Or will things become even stickier? All's fair in love, war and ice cream. Isn't it?

*Marian Keyes meets Paulo Coelho meets Nigella*

The Ice Cream Parlour is a mouthwatering tale of fate, family, love and jealousy - with a delectable drizzle of alchemy besides.

Warning: Don't read this book without a mountain of ice-cream or food around you, every time I picked this book up my stomach was rumbling within seconds of losing myself within the pages! 

I'm really not sure what to make of this book or how to describe it, but what I can safely say is that I definitely enjoyed it. 

The opening feels as though the story is part autobiographical, still fiction, but had a this is my life to date sort of feel to it, with assorted key instances from Giovanna's childhood and early life to date.  The writing was lyrical in style and flowed wonderfully. 

Then at the point that Giovanna's boyfriend of 10 years is caught cheating, with the one person you would like to think would never do such a think to Giovanna, we are caught up with the present day, and the next section of the book was definitely my favourite. 

It involved our heroine travelling around Italy for a few months, and sampling gelato and ice cream and coming up with flavour combinations that sounded mouthwateringly delicious for her own parlour,  Not to mention the Italian men that try to chat her up! 

We also have parts of the book featuring Kelly, the new age best friend, who persuades Giovanna to try something that I was really sceptical about, but I found it quite interesting the way it was all explained. 

And then the finale felt like another genre again, full of action, pulled together assorted threads and was impossible to put down. 

In between all of that there was ice-cream.  Lots and lots of ice cream.  If Isabella May ever decides to stop writing books, or wants a new career on the sidelines then she needs to make The Bath Ice Cream Parlour into a reality.  Who wouldn't want to visit a place with 100 flavours, all that sound wonderful, with fabulous concepts behind them. 

The travel elements in Italy all seemed well researched too, and a lot of it matches up to either bits I've seen myself, or what I've imagined the country to be like from other fiction.  I loved all the places that were visited and just wish I had been Giovanna's assistant or something to experience it with her! 

This is the second book I've read by the author and this is definitely my favourite of the two. It's a bit unusual in places, if feels as thought it could be a mix of many genres,  but its also got great characters, fabulous descriptions and most importantly, it has ever flavour of ice cream you could ever imagine!! And what more could you want from a book simply titled The Ice Cream Parlour?!

Thank you to Isabaella May for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily. 

Friday, 17 May 2019

Book Review - The Trouble With Rose by Amita Murray - #HolidayReading Thailand

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Amazon UK
Title: The Trouble With Rose
Author: Amita Murray
Format reviewed: Paperback
Source: Publisher supplied copy
Publisher: Harper Collins
Publication Date: 16th May 2019
Rating: 5 Stars

A missing sister. A broken heart.
A whole lot of trouble…

‘A fresh and hilarious debut about family in all its brilliant, messy glory… You’ll laugh, you’ll cry’ Dawn O’Porter

Rilla is getting married. Except she isn't. She's running away – from her confused fiancé Simon, her big mad family, and the memories nipping at her heels.

Her sister Rose would know what to do in such times of crisis.

But the trouble is, Rose is the crisis. She disappeared years ago, and Rilla's heart went missing too.

Where is Rose? And who is Rilla without Rose?

If she's to rescue some happiness out of all this chaos, she needs to find out.

Perfect for fans of Marian Keyes, The Trouble with Rose is an unforgettable story about a messy family, a big secret at its heart, and the unbreakable bond between sisters.

I love reading about characters from different heritages than my own, as they are always really interesting, and so I was delighted to hear very early on about Rilla's GIF. 

Ok, so the geek in me had to think as every time I saw GIF written instantly thought of the graphic file type for small animations, but in Rilla's case she means her Greater Indian Family. 

There are masses of well meaning, interfering aunts, making any family get together rather amusing especially to an outsider. 

The next thing that drew me into this story was the writing style, thee way Rilla was telling the story, especially the account of how she came to be arrested on her wedding day at the start of the book!

It soon becomes apparent that Rilla never got over the disappearance of her sister Rose, and none of the family ever mention her, but it seems to be holding Rilla back from lots of things. 

I loved her friends, there are many really amusing moments in this story, as well as far more poignant ones. 

I believe this a debut novel, in which case I'm very impressed, its rather accomplished and really is quite uplifting.  I wholeheartedly recommend it. 

Thank you to Harper Collins for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily. 

Thursday, 16 May 2019

Book Review - A Summer to Remember by Sue Moorcoft - Blog Tour

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Amazon UK
Title: A Summer to Remember
Author: Sue Moorcroft
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: 2nd May 2019
Rating: 5 Stars

WANTED! A caretaker for Roundhouse Row holiday cottages.

WHERE? Nelson’s Bar is the perfect little village. Nestled away on the Norfolk coast we can offer you no signal, no Wi-Fi and – most importantly – no problems!

WHO? The ideal candidate will be looking for an escape from their cheating scumbag ex-fiancé, a diversion from their entitled cousin, and a break from their traitorous friends.

WHAT YOU’LL GET! Accommodation in a chocolate-box cottage, plus a summer filled with blue skies and beachside walks. Oh, and a reunion with the man of your dreams.

PLEASE NOTE: We take no responsibility for any of the above scumbags, passengers and/or traitors walking back into your life…


Well that was definitely a memorable summer for Clancy and everyone involved in The Roundhouse in the small village of Nelson's Bar in Norfolk.  

What started as an escape for Clancy, soon turns into something so much more, as she gets to know the residents of the village, and one in particular. 

The book opens with a jilting at a wedding thanks to Alice, Clancy's cousin, of Lee, who is Aaron's brother - and its 6 years later that Clancy and Aaron really meet and sparks fly for all manner of reasons. 

This has all the fabulous feeling to it of a typical Sue Moorcroft book.  It is warm, you find yourself drawn into the book, and are filled with regret when real life intervenes and you have to leave Nelson's Bar and return to the real word - always eager to get your next reading fix. 

I loved watching how this story unfurled, especially given Nelson's Bar is almost pre-historic in its charm - in that there is now proper mobile or internet signal, plus the anticipated reaction from one man to a revelation, made me convinced there had to be dinosaurs living there!    

I really did enjoy every moment of this book,  and I would love to see more stories set in Nelson's Bar, it had such a great feel to it.  The writing was great, I loved most of the characters while at the same time really hating the ones you weren't meant to like.  It was just an all around comfortable and huggable sort of a book. 

Thank you to Netgalley and Avon for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily. 

Please do follow along and check out all the other wonderful bloggers on this blog tour. 

Wednesday, 15 May 2019

Book Review - Four by Andy Jones - #HolidayReading Mexico

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Amazon UK
Title: Four
Author: Andy Jones
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Publication Date: 16th May 2019
Rating: 4 Stars

In the time they've known each other, Sally, Al and Mike have shared - well, almost everything.

Sally and Al have been married for seven years, though now their relationship is hanging by a thread.

Sally and Mike have been best friends since university. And on many occasions something more.

Mike and Al have been friends and colleagues for many years. Yet with Al poised to become Mike's boss, their friendship comes under threat.

And now there's Mike and Faye. They haven't been together long, but Mike's pretty sure that, this time, it's the real deal.

As the three old friends sit on a train heading towards Brighton to meet Faye, little do they know that after this weekend, the four of them will have shared . . . everything.

They all know they have made a mistake.
But they could never have imagined the consequences.

Have you ever considered having a foursome or partner swapping? 

This is the story of Sally and Al who are married, that are best friends with Mike who is going out with Faye who is considerably younger than they are. 

On the groups first meeting with Faye, with rather too much alcohol and drugs taken, there is an idea that they would swap partners for the night. 

What follows is a story from all perspectives looking into how the various relationships and group dynamics change. 

I was slightly disappointed that the main sex of the book was predominately behind closed doors, but apart from that I really enjoyed seeing the aftermath of their hedonistic night!

I was completely absorbed by the story, and really wasn't sure what the final outcomes would be, but thoroughly enjoyed finding out. 

Thank you to Netgalley and Hodder & Stoughton for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily. 

Tuesday, 14 May 2019

Book Review - Friend of the Family by Tasmina Perry - #HolidayReading Mexico

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Amazon UK
Title:  Friend of the Family
Author: Tasmina Perry
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Headline Review 
Publication Date: 16th May 2019
Rating: 4 Stars

She thinks your life is perfect. She thinks you don't deserve it.

Your job
Amy is more than happy to offer the daughter of an old friend work experience at her London magazine. Josie is young and ambitious. She just needs a foot in the door.

Your home
When Josie arrives, she swiftly makes herself indispensable at work and at home. And when childcare falls through before a long-awaited university reunion in Provence, it begins to look as if Josie may be staying longer than Amy had bargained for.

Your husband
In the heat of Provence, Josie's presence starts to unsettle Amy, especially around her husband. As cracks begin to appear in Amy's perfect life, she cannot shake the feeling that the family friend may not be a friend at all...

Don't miss this gripping, addictive read. It will make you think twice about who you invite into your home...

When Amy invites the daughter of an old friend of hers to do work experience at her magazine, little did she know her world was going to be turned upside down. 

Josie's arrival is the catalyst for a whole heap of disasters, and just shows you should never let a young girl who has stated she wants to be you, into your house!

Although that is simplifying it a bit, and there is far more too the book than just that, 

I liked how Amy's university times were interspersed into the present day, strengthening the readers bonds with all the characters by showing some of their shared history. 

From around the midway point, once I knew the characters, I found the plot picked up pace and it was at point I found myself really loving the book. 

I didn't see most of what was going to happen coming, so was pleased to be surprised greatly by the end. 

Thank you to Netgalley and Headline for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily. 

Monday, 13 May 2019

Book Review - If You Could Go Anywhere by Paige Toon - #HolidayReading Thailand

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Amazon UK

Title: If You Could Go Anywhere
Author: Paige Toon
Format reviewed: Paperback
Source: Book Event
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: 16th May 2019
Rating: 5 Stars

Angie has always wanted to travel. But at 27, she has still never left her small mining town in the Australian outback. When her grandmother passes away, Angie finally feels free to see the world – until she discovers a letter addressed to the father she never knew and is forced to question everything.

As Angie sets off on her journey to find the truth – about her family, her past and who she really is – will enigmatic stranger Alessandro help guide the way?

Paige Toon has done it yet again and delivered a wonderful book, that had me almost crying poolside in places as I read it. 

Angie has always wanted to travel, but for various reasons has never really left her small mining community, in Coober Pedy, Australia, let alone gone abroad anywhere. 

When her beloved Nan dies, she is finally free to explore and by chance she discovers details about the father she had never met or known the name of.

Which leads to her flying to Rome for the summer to meet her remaining family for the first time.  And the gorgeous Alessandro is on hand to help translate and generally smooth things over.

I loved discovering just what secrets Alesssandro is hiding, and he is a far more complex character than you would realise at first glance.

There is not too much of the touristy bits of Rome, but we do get to see some other parts of Italy too, and since Giulio, her father, owns a restaurant, there is plenty of food mentioned.

I was hooked from the first few pages, as Paige explains what life is like for Angie, and then the travel aspect I was always going to adore. 

This is a wonderful story and a must for all Toon fans, or generally women's fiction with heart fans! I adored this book. 

Thank you to the Spring Blogger Evening at Simon & Schuster for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily. 
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