Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Book Review - Million Love Songs by Carole Matthews

Amazon UK
Title: Million Love Songs
Author: Carole Matthews
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Sphere
Publication Date: 22nd March 2018
Rating: 5 Stars

After splitting up with her cheating ex, Ruby Brown is ready for a change. She's single again 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, and yet Ruby can't help feel that something is missing. Joe on the other hand is kind and attentive, but he comes with the sort of baggage Ruby wants to avoid: an annoyingly attractive ex-wife and two teenage children.

And though 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.

I only have one regret from having read this book, I feel like my enjoyment would have been heightened had I had Take That on a loop in the background. I say this as Ruby's best friend, Charlie was my favourite character of the whole book. 

And Charlie is a massive Thatter and even has a life size cardboard cutout of Gary Barlow in her house.  In fact she is devoting her life to Gary Barlow,  I regard myself as a huge Take That fan, or at least I did until I read about Charlie and her antics, and the sheer amount of other events going on around the country for fans, in addition to chasing down potential sightings.  

Obviously Charlie was the character I connected with most, but what of Ruby our main character? Well I enjoy reading all of Ruby's antics and there are some very memorable scenes including some in Paris, a birthday party, and another moment of potential bonding with one of her prospects teenage children. 

Ruby for most of the book seemed to be bouncing back and forth between two men,  Mason who is a known womaniser and Joe who is a diving instructor when he can spare the time.  They are completely different in all aspects of life and Ruby seems to gain different things from each of them. 

I really enjoyed reading Million Love Songs, and despite needing Patience with Ruby's male dilema, I did have to Pray that Charlie may get a man for herself.  Sure there were some highs and lows, especially since Mason seemed to want to Rule the World at private member club ownership, and there were many Promises being made by both the men to Ruby. 

This is a book which I took a real Shine to, and it seemed like The Flood of Take That references would make it so that you could Never Forget just who it was Charlie loved. Being a massive fan of Carole Matthews, it always is the Greatest Day when a new book from her is announced. Just How Deep Is Your Love going to be for this marvellous book?

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

Monday, 19 March 2018

Book Review - The Whitstable High Tide Swimming Club by Katie May - Rachel Reads Randomly Book #90

Amazon UK
Title: The Whitstable High Tide Swimming Club
Author: Katie May
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Trapeze
Publication Date: 8th February 2018
Rating: 4 Stars

Dive into The Whitstable High Tide Swimming Club - the uplifting novel about friendship, community spirit and how ordinary people protect what they love.

When Deb (ageing bikini, sunglasses) and Maisie (black wetsuit, swimming shoes, goggles) keep meeting on Reeves Beach, they strike up an unlikely friendship based on their love of swimming and their recent divorces. Soon, they are joined by other high tide swimmers, each with a crisis of their own to weather. Ann, a bossy organiser, is caring for her elderly mother at home; Julie has somehow (although she's not quite sure how) managed to produce three children under school age; and Chloe, a bright, brittle girl of fifteen, finds calmness in the water, and Quiet, anxious Bill is soon welcomed into the heart of the club. When the swimmers discover plans for their beach to be paved over for a leisure complex, together they are determined to make a stand, and to prove that the beach is more than just a place to swim - it is the heart of the community.

Brace yourself for a group of people who are happy to swim in the English sea once or twice a day when it is high tide, sometimes in the early hours of the morning.  As someone that recalls paddling in English seaside resorts as a child all I can say is these characters must be just slightly bonkers as the water is always freezing, that and its been snowing while I have been reading this. 

As it so happens the characters you meet in this book are all just ordinary people, especially Deb and Maisie the main protagonists, who are the first two women we meet that happen to be there every day swimming when its high tide.  

Whether they like it or not when they meet Anne, suddenly a club is being formed and soon there are a whole host of them that meet on a regular basis to swim and become friends.  Maisie and Deb are in the prime of their lives,  and you have a complete mix of people who enjoy swimming from the teenage, you busy mothers, to the elderly. 

The book was originally published in three parts, and you can see that in the three parts the book is split into with each of part 1 and two ending on a mini cliffhanger to keep your reading.   The first part focuses on the formation of the the club and largely works as a great introduction to all the characters,  part two is about the beginnings of the fight to save the beach, and then part 3... well part 3 culminates all of this and much much more. 

Even at Deb's age of a grandma in her sixties, i would almost describe this as a coming of age story for her, as she learns to stand on her own two feet after leaving her husband, and starting to figure out just who she is as an adult.  There are some hilarious scenes early on with regards the temporary job she has taken on, and although at times I wasn't sure how much I liked Deb, but I could sympathise with her, and loved the development of her character. 

I loved the ups and downs of this community and by the end I felt as though I was part of their club. Its a great story of the underdog, touches on assorted serious topics, but also some great comedy too.  Just an all around enjoyable book. 

Thanks to Trapeze and Netgalley for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily. 

Thank you to everyone that voted for this this week,  I was very surprised at the start of the week that this would be the one I would be reading, but incredibly glad that in my mind the underdog won, given the book features an underdog too   So what will you all be voting for this week? Go check it out if you haven't already.

Rachel Reads Randomly - Vote #91

Thank you everyone for your input last time. The results of the last vote were:

3 Votes -  The House of Hopes and Dreams by Trisha Ashley
4 Votes - How Not To Be A Bride by Portia MacIntosh
7 Votes  - The Whitstable High Tide Swimming Club by Katie May

It is not often that a result from this takes me completely by surprise, but given I am big fans of the other two authors, I am rather pleased you voted for The Whitstable High Tide Swimming Club, as it may have been waiting for me for a lot longer to read it.  Really enjoyed it, and you can see my full review here later today. 
For the next few weeks we will be randomising from my review back log - until each book in the back log has been up for a vote once....as I keep falling further behind this may take a while,   Also hoping it means there are books more of you have heard of and thus will be more engaged with the vote!  

Below is my initial theory for this feature, and then a bit further, what you are all waiting for... This weeks's vote! Enjoy!

I am also awful at deciding what book to read next, as I often have about 10 titles or authors jumping into my brain at any time, shouting at me to read them, and I tend to worry I have made the wrong decision while reading a perfectly good book. I am hoping this will save me having to make at least 1 choice a week, while possibly providing a review to the site of a book you all either love or are curious about yourselves. 

So what I am proposing, is my lovely loyal readers of Rachel's Random Reads, select one book for me to read a week, and I will post the review the following week. 

This week's random numbers are...

And the books these numbers correspond to are...

So the 5 choices with my gut feeling responses are:

2 - A House to Mend A Broken Heart by Alison Sherlock - I have really enjoyed books by this author in the past, and I have spotted on release schedules that there is another book in this series due out later this year, so perhaps I should catch up. 
5 - All The Stars in the Sky by Paul Curtis - I agree to review this is a moment of good will last year, and then well..evidently haven't started it yet! 
13 - Best Practice by Penny Parkes - This is the third book in this fabulous doctors surgery and makes me always remember the programme Doctors when I read them. Loving this series from the first two books. 

Hmm I know that one of these is a rather long book, one of them I should really enjoy and the third well I have no real idea but I wouldn't have agreed to read any of them if there weren't something appealing me.  So its over to you! 

And authors, if its your book up on this feature, feel free to take part, vote for yourself, or stir up excitement amongst your fans! 

Pick your favourite or the one you most want me to review, or just the one you are curious about, and leave me a comment below, before midnight on Wednesday. 

I look forward to seeing what I will be reading over the weekend, courtesy of you all. 

The explanation if you haven't seen the feature before. 

How is this going to work?

Every Monday, I am going to have a post like this, which is going to have some choices on it. I am planning on using random.org to select 7 random numbers, to coincide with my spreadsheet of unread books.  

I will from that produce a list of hopefully 5 books, I reserve the right to veto any books, and will give reasons for them, if it occurs.

I will take screenshots and post them, of the chosen books, and also give you my instinctive reactions to the choices (without checking blurbs or any other info about them, which could be interesting as there are probably many forgotten about books on my spreadsheet!). 

Your task is to post a comment on this post, with the book you would like me to read this week. At midnight on Wednesday I will take a tally of the votes and the book with the most, I will read and review for the following Monday, where you will also get a new choice post. 

In the event of a tie, I will chose which one appeals most, for the Monday review, and possibly try and read and review the other to appear when I can. 

I am hoping this will provide some variety to the books appearing, and will let me potentially read or discover some great authors that I have wanted to read but not got around to yet.

Sunday, 18 March 2018

Would You Rather? - Q&A with Emily Williams - Blog Tour

I am delighted to welcome Emily Williams to my blog today, and she has answer a series of fun questions all entitled - Would You Rather?

 1. Would you rather live under the sea or in space?

I would much rather live under the sea. There is something so peaceful and serene about swimming underwater. I love snorkelling on holiday amongst the rocks and marine life and think I would be completely at home in the sea. Space would terrify me!

2. Would you rather only read your genres you write in, or all other genres for the rest of your life? 

All other genres! Although, so far, I haven’t completely stuck to one genre with my writing but they both have elements of romance. I do like variety, so think I would get bored just reading one genre for the rest of my life!

3. Would you rather ride a camel or an elephant?

I’d rather ride a camel, as long as the conditions the animal were ridden in were good. There are horror stories about how elephants are trained to be ridden so I would be very cautious about riding an elephant – although I’d still love to and would find the experience amazing. The animal would have to be kept in exceptional conditions as would the camel, but I choose the camel!

4. Would you rather eat sweet or savoury food? 

Hard one! Ahhh, can I say both?! I’m not sure I can choose as it depends on my mood but overall, I’d probably pick savoury as there as so many things I’d miss if I couldn’t. I could never give up cheese for example!

5.    Would you rather pick all future books to read by their covers only, or their blurbs?

Blurbs as I am incredibly influenced by the cover, but with the blurb I can make a much better judgement as to whether I’d enjoy the book or not. It’s true a great cover does pull you in but the blurb would give me a hint of the story.

6. Would you rather go skiing or sit by a beach on holiday?

The beach. I can’t read when skiing! I love being active but not too fond of being cold. So the beach, with a beautiful sea to swim in, warm sun and a good book would be perfect.

7. Would you rather go to the cinema or the theatre?

Cinema, unless the theatre production is very good. I haven’t been to many theatre shows so couldn’t really compare, but I’d like to experience more.

8. Would you rather read ebooks, audiobooks or physical books?

I definitely would rather read physical books. There is nothing like the feel and smell of a good book. However, practicalities mean that I normally read from an eBook, sadly.

9. Would you rather be rich but unhappy or poor and happy?

Poor and happy. I value happiness above everything.

10. Would you rather play or watch sports? 

I would prefer to play, if my body allows. Sadly, I have an autoimmune condition which means my body wouldn’t cope with sports but I’d still rather play than watch! I can cope with watching the Olympics but that’s about it!

11. Would you rather always have to tell the truth, or always have to lie?

Hard one! Occasionally white lies are useful but if I had to choose, I would go for always tell the truth. Otherwise, the world would be a terrible place.

12. Would you rather only be able to whisper the whole time, or shout the whole time?

Whisper. I’m a bit noise sensitive and can’t bare shouting so would find my own voice terrible to listen to all day!

13. Would you rather always be late or always be unprepared?

Always be late, but then at least I’d be prepared and could just waltz in and complete whatever needs doing! I normally hate being late but I’d rather that that be unprepared for something.

14. Would you rather have your own luxury car, or private plane?

Neither! I’m not too bothered by luxury stuff, but I suppose a car would be more practical.

15. Would you rather be aged 10 or 30 forever?

30 forever. Thirty is a good age. You are past the horrific teenage years but still have youth on your side. I’d happily go back to be thirty again!

16. Would you rather look like a fish or smell like a fish?

Haha, I’d probably prefer to look like one?! I think I would be put off by myself if I smelt like one. As much as I love eating fish, the smell is strong!

17. Would you rather be an only child or have siblings?

I have a sister, I’m not sure it would be fair to answer this question! Only joking, from experience, I think it’s great having a sister. I’m pleased my children have each other to talk to and play with, so siblings are important.

18. Would you rather lose your keys or forget your mobile phone?

I’m terrible at both of these! I absolutely hate losing my keys. My daughter recently put them down behind the radiator and it took days to find them! With a phone being left behind, by the end of the day I’d have it back. So I’d probably choose the phone.

19. Would you rather have free books for life or free food for life?

Probably free books, although this was a hard decision. I do love food, very much so. But with free food, I would just eat and eat and eat, which wouldn’t be very healthy. So for my health’s sake, I’d choose books.

20. Would you rather give up social media or alcohol?

Social media! I love gin and wine too much! Social media has only really become important to me since I started blogging and joined the author world and I can see how important it is. But to give up alcohol forever, hmmm I’m not sure I could! 

A word from the author…

I wrote Rafferty Lincoln Loves… as I have always wanted to write a novel involving horses. I read many pony stories as a child, but have found that there are very few to read as a young adult/adult so I wanted to fill this void. I have been around horses from a very early age and spent many years saving to afford my own horse. Sadly, due to a road accident and then a fall of a horse, I can no longer ride. However, my passion and love for equines hasn’t diminished. Due to arm injuries from the accidents, I have had to dictate the novel, Rafferty Lincoln Loves… and am donating the proceeds of the novel to the British Thoroughbred Retraining Centre – a charity I have supported since childhood.

Many thanks for supporting the novel and I do hope you enjoy it!
Emily x

Link to the novel: http://amzn.eu/dzZSU0y

Rafferty Lincoln doesn't like horses. Not one bit. But when the popular high school girl of his dreams, Liberty Ashburn, pulls him into a world of lead ropes and horse brushes, who is he to say no?

Except this isn't any old horse. This is the missing racehorse, Profits Red Ridge. The horse Rafferty and three of his friends are hiding from the world. And Liberty Ashburn isn’t just any ordinary high school girl. How far will Rafferty go to win her over?

An intense, witty and powerful coming of age story with startling consequences.

About the charity ‘The British Thoroughbred Retraining Centre’

 The proceeds from the novel ‘Rafferty Lincoln Loves…’ will be donated to The British Thoroughbred Retraining Centre.

BTRC is dedicated to improving and promoting the welfare of retired racehorses through education, retraining and suitable rehoming in order to ensure that our Thoroughbreds have a rewarding and valuable life after their racing careers have ended.

Each year thousands of horses leave racing, some because they reach the natural end of their career and others through injury or lack of ability. Established in 1991, The British Thoroughbred Retraining Centre was the UK’s first charity dedicated to ex-racehorse welfare, retraining, rehoming and protection for life.

‘It is fantastic to see a contemporary novel for young adults embracing passion and love for horses, as well as advocating for their welfare. Emily’s fast-paced novel not only explores the relationship and incredible bond between horse and rider but also delves into darker aspects relevant to today’s challenging world of growing up. Rafferty Lincoln Loves… deserves to be celebrated for bringing an important cause to the forefront of today’s young adults.’ Frankie Dettori MBE

‘I am thrilled to have written this novel for the BTRC and to be donating the proceeds to such an important and dedicated charity for the welfare of retired racehorses.’ Emily Williams 

Author Bio

Emily Williams lives by the seaside in West Sussex with her family and a menagerie of small pets, including her own horse Bella, and welsh mountain pony, Lucy. After graduating from Sussex University with a BA in Psychology, Emily trained as a primary school teacher and teaches in a local school. 

Rafferty Lincoln Loves... is her first YA novel after the success of her debut adult novel, Letters to Eloise, released in 2017.

You can follow Emily on twitter @EmilyRMWilliams
Find out more about Emily’s other books on Amazon: http://amzn.eu/dzZSU0y 
Read reviews and find out more on her blog: emilywilliamsauthor.blogspot.com

Saturday, 17 March 2018

Book Review - Plan Cee by Hilary Grossman - #HolidayReading Book 20

Book 20 of 30 that I read on my holiday to Fuerteventura in December 2017

Amazon UK
Title: Plan Cee
Author: Hilary Grossman
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Author supplied copy
Publisher: Self Published
Publication Date: 8th March 2017
Rating: 4 Stars

Would you abandon your present for a second chance at your past?

Cecelia Reynolds has spent most of her life trying to forget the commitment-phobic man who broke her heart. It wasn’t easy, but eventually she did it, or so she thought…

As Cecelia and her husband gather for a friend’s wedding, her perfect world is thrown into complete turmoil. Even though it’s been twenty years since she last laid eyes on Keith Emerson, all it takes is one glance for her to feel emotions she thought were long gone. When Keith ends up officiating the ceremony, she quickly realizes his message of love is directed at her, not the happy couple. But can she believe him?

We live our entire lives thinking we know ourselves. But do we ever really?

As secrets and lies cause Cecelia’s world to spin completely out of control, she is forced to seek advice from the most unlikely ally. In the process, she must confront the demons of her past and the events that shaped her into the woman she is now. Will she finally learn the real meaning of love, friendship, and family?

While this book is a sequel to Plan Bea, it also reads as a standalone.

Book that had me interested from the first few pages, I just had to find out more about Cecelia and Keith.

Just what was Keith all about and why did his presence at Beatrice's wedding cause Cee so many problems?

As the story progressed, I struggled to have much sympathy at times with Cee, its not that she is a bad person, just seemed to struggle to make good decisions.

Then again I wasn't overly enamoured by Keith either. In fact the characters I liked the best were Bryce, Cee's husband, and Walter, Beatrice's husband. 

This is the sequel to Plan Bea, and although you don't need to have read the first book to know what is going on in this one, it does give a better foundation for your knowledge of some of the characters. 

I enjoyed the writing, and the story is a reasonably quick one to read.  I was though surprised by the rather abrupt ending, especially as the book finished at 89% which I found slightly off putting. 

Overall I have enjoyed the second book that I have read by the author and I will be curious to see what the next one will be. 

Thank you to Hilary Grossman for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily. 

Friday, 16 March 2018

Book Review - The Cafe at Seashell Cove by Karen Clarke - Blog Tour

Amazon UK
Title: The Cafe at Seashell Cove
Author: Karen Clarke
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Bookouture
Publication Date: 15th March 2018
Rating: 5 Stars

Welcome to the Café at Seashell Cove, where you’ll find irresistible home-baked cakes, smiling friendly faces – and maybe even a second chance at love…

When Cassie Maitland needs a holiday from her glamorous but stressful job in event management, she escapes home to gorgeous Seashell Cove, where her family’s cosy café sits perched on the cliffs above sparkling waves and golden sand.

But a lot has changed while Cassie’s been away: her parents have transformed their tired café into a welcoming haven, her friends Meg and Tilly have whole new lives, and old flame Danny’s twinkling eyes and winning smile make Cassie feel even more flustered than they used to.

Keen to throw herself back into local life, Cassie starts to run themed events – including a not entirely successful cat-café day, complete with dozens of felines. Luckily Danny is always around to lend a helping hand, and Cassie soon begins to wonder if her life in London was really all she made it out to be…

Could a new start in Seashell Cove be exactly what Cassie needs?

What a refreshing change for a book that feature the word Cafe in the title to not be completely about food and life in the cafe!  The book is really about Cassie who has returned to her home town after working in London for years, to try to set up her own events planning business, and intending to run a series of events at her parent's cafe to build up local contacts. 

Given she had been working as an event planner in London, a fact her parents continually boast about, should mean that things go according to plan for Cassie but as you may have guessed from the start of that sentence, things aren't quite that simple. 

I absolutely loved the variety of ideas that Cassie came up with for the cafe, and the events certainly sounded a lot of fun. Cassie is able to re-connect with old friends and feel closer to her family too, but is she truly happy? Well you will need to read to see exactly what is is Cassie should be doing with her life. 

One of my favourite scenes involved a comedy night, the one liners from the comedian were perfectly pitched both for the audience he was performing to, and also for my sense  of humour. They were clever but groan worthy at the same time, I loved them. 

The writing is fabulous and with ever book I read of Karen Clarke's she is becoming a firm favourite of mine. The setting of Seashell Cove sounded divine and I would have loved to visit for myself.  This is a warm hearted, uplifting story of family, romance, and of being true to yourself and I would recommend it to anyone. 

Just don't expect lashings of gorgeous cake descriptions, as although there is small bit of food, as I said at the start this is not a typical cafe story, and shouldn't be read with that expectation. The cafe does have a place to play but more of as a hub for where Cassie tries out some of her ideas. 

Thanks to Netgalley and Bookouture for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily. 

Author Bio:
Karen Clarke writes romantic comedy novels. Her BEACHSIDE series is set in the fictional seaside town of Shipley and features recurring characters, but each book can be read as a standalone. She is currently working on a new, three-book series set in Devon- the first, The Café at Seashell Cove is out March 15th 2018. 

Karen has also written three romcoms with a paranormal twist, all available to download

When she's not working on her novels, Karen writes short stories for women's magazines and has had over three hundred published globally. Some of them can be read in her short story collection 'BEHIND CLOSED DOORS...and other Tales with a Twist' 

Karen lives in Buckinghamshire with her husband and three grown-up children.

Author Social Media Links:

Thursday, 15 March 2018

Book Review - Mums Just Wanna Have Fun by Lucie Wheeler

Amazon UK
Title: Mums Just Wanna Have Fun
Author: Lucie Wheeler
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Harper Impulse
Publication Date: 16th March 2018
Rating: 5 Stars

Meet Nancy…

Single mum Nancy will do anything for her little boy. Jack’s autism makes life difficult at times, but she’s determined to ensure he lives the best life possible. So, when her best friend Harriet suggests a holiday to Ibiza, Nancy is torn: will Jack cope with the change in routine…will she?

And Harriet…

Workaholic mum Harriet convinces Nancy it’s the break they all need. A chance to have some fun with the kids, away from the stresses of normal life. And she’s determined to switch off her laptop, ignore her inbox, and just have fun with her kids for seven whole days…

Cocktails and kids’ club – what could go wrong?

Ibiza is beautiful, but Jack struggles with everything, Harriet refuses to put her laptop away, and Nancy begins to think she’s made a huge mistake. And then Nancy meets Cameron and his young son, Aiden and discovers that sometimes the best fun happens when you least expect it…

Can these two single-mum’s swap their mummy guilt for sunglasses and sangria?

Absolutely fabulous - this combines loads of my favourite things for books into one week long story that has a huge effect on the lives of the characters.  We have a holiday to Ibiza, two single mothers, three children, new people to meet, cocktails to be consumed and a whole lot of fun to be had. 

What struck me instantly about this book, baring in mind I hadn't paid that much attention to the blurb, I saw new book by an author I enjoyed the debut from and instantly knew I had to read it, was that Nancy's son Jack is autistic. 

There is always a great need to have slightly more diverse characters so it was great to see how a single mum and her autistic son were going to cope on a holiday to a big all inclusive hotel.  We learn all about some of Jack's triggers but as the holiday progressed what I loved seeing was the huge strides in personal development not only Jack made, but Nancy did in getting to know how to try to improve life for Jack. 

They are on holiday with best friend Harriet and her two children, and lets just say not only is Harriet a slight workaholic, she is by all accounts a completely realistic mum and its great to also read about a mother who isn't too sure of herself or motherhood, and what felt like a really honest account of what life with two young children and a very small support network is like. 

I loved getting to know these two families, and their quirks, while also having a fabulous holiday in a gorgeous setting, and both ladies each meet a new potential friend on their holiday.  I loved the introduction of Jayne and how she seemed to understand what Harriet was going through, and Cameron, single dad to Aiden is one of the sweetest guys I have read about for ages. 

There were just little gestures that mean the world to Nancy,  and I looked forward to seeing how the friendships progressed. 

Mums Just Wanna Have Fun is a delight to read, completely entertaining, full of fun, and just a wonderful way to spend a few hours, curled up with my kindle on holiday with these fabulous, realistic, relatable to characters.  This has proven that Lucie Wheeler's debut novel wasn't a fluke of greatness, and that I am already eager to find out what she is writing next, as I want to be first in line to read it! 

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

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Book Review - Until Love Do Us Part by Anna Premoli - #HolidayReading Book 19

Book 19 of 30 that I read on my holiday to Fuerteventura in December 2017

Amazon UK
Title: Until Love Do Us Part
Author: Anna Premoli
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Aria
Publication Date: 1st June 2017
Rating: 4.5 Stars

What happens when two people who hate each other are forced to cooperate by law? A fun, feisty, feel-good romance for fans of Sophie Kinsella and Lindsey Kelk.

Amalia and Ryan met at Yale Law School, from which their mutual dislike for one another was born.

Amalia Berger is a successful, high society New York lawyer. Chicago-based lawyer Ryan O'Moore is the eldest of four sons whose chaotic family run a pub in the heart of the Big Apple.

New York beckons after Ryan is offered a promotion. But when the defence lawyer of his first case is the one and only Amalia Berger, things become complicated.

The courtroom clash escalates between them to the point that the judge sentences them both to a punishment of community service, forcing them to spend time together...

Fabulous quick witted dialogue between Amalia and Ryan, both in and outside of the courtroom. 

I loved the series of punishments Judge Wyatt though of for his two warring lawyers, and thought it added another great dimension to the story. 

Loved Ryan's whole family dynamic, with all of his brothers, while at the same day really relating to elements of Amalia's family. 

The two main characters are as different as they are similar which leads to many conflicts of interest, which I loved reading. 

This is a very entertaining romance, that isn't fully predictable, and will raise a few laughs in the process of reading it.  This is the second book I have read by the author, and it certainly won't be the last. 

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

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Book Review - Sunshine at the Comfort Food Cafe by Debbie Johnson

Amazon UK
Title: Sunshine at the Comfort Food Cafe
Author: Debbie Johnson
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Harper Collins
Publication Date: 8th March 2018
Rating: 5 Stars

My name is Willow Longville. I live in a village called Budbury on the stunning Dorset coast with my mum Lynnie, who sometimes forgets who I am. I’m a waitress at the Comfort Food Café, which is really so much more than a café … it’s my home.

For Willow, the ramshackle café overlooking the beach, together with its warm-hearted community, offers friendship as a daily special and always has a hearty welcome on the
menu. But when a handsome stranger blows in on a warm
spring breeze, Willow soon realises that her quiet country
life will be changed forever.

Another absolutely amazing story set around the village of Bubury and featuring The Comfort Food Cafe.  I felt so at home really quickly, with all of the recurring characters, and this book focuses on Willow's story, whereas she has previously just been a side character. 

This totally works as a standalone, and the mechanism used to give the relevant back details for all the previous books in a quick and easy to understand way, or as a great reminder for those that haven't got the best memories, was really clever and fitted into the book seamlessly. 

I won't lie this story may affect some people a lot more than others, due to Willow's mum Lynnie and what they have to deal with on a day to day basis. Not only that but Willow as well as caring for her mother, also runs a cleaning business, and is a waitress at the cafe. She is distanced from her three older siblings, and just doesn't think she has time for love. 

Enter Tom, gorgeous new guy to the area, a bit socially awkward, slightly geeky but generally all around fabulous once you start to get to know him.  He and Willow hit it off instantly and I loved their rather weird conversations, as well as their normal ones, was impressed they seemed to be on the same wavelength. 

All of the familiar villagers are present and I loved seeing more of all of them, as well as the latest updates to all the other previous main characters in this series which just adds to my love of a series Catching up with old friends and making new ones. 

In fact with the depth of Willow's story I think this may be the best book in the series so far, and I'm positive that with every book I read from Debbie Johnson they really do just get better and better. 

I loved every last second of this wonderful book, it was pure escapism and took me to warmer climes in the middle of a cold snap in the UK, which is just what I love about books.   I can't wait to read more from this fantastic author. 

Thanks to Netgalley and Harper for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily. 
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