Thursday, 7 July 2016

Rachel's Holiday Reading! - #20BooksofSummer

Wow what an amazing 12 night cruise that was. A lovely cruise ship, perhaps not my favourite, but still very enjoyable with plenty of entertainment. 

One of my personal highlights of the cruise was taking part in their version of Dancing with the Stars, where its all about entertainment value, instead of real dancing ability. Somehow I won, and as a result had people coming up to me throughout the rest of the cruise to congratulate me, I suppose this must be how famous people feel! 

With the various ports that I went to, I think Kotor in Montenegro was my favourite. I didn't have any specific plans for that day, but I ended up taking a taxi ride to view a large amount of the Eastern coastline which was very pretty, and then after lunch, took a boat trip to see the Western coastline, and also Lady on the Rock which is a church on a small island, with a great story behind it.  I was overwhelmed by the beauty of this relatively new country and the friendliness of the people. 

I also loved visiting Capri where I went up to the highest point in a chair lift, which scared me slightly, but the views were definitely worth it. Also did a lovely wine tour in Provence, where I learned about Provence wine making and also got to taste 10 different wines all before lunch, thankfully without having to say what flavours we could detect, because my palate isn't sophisticated enough, but I did enjoy it! 

Somehow within the 12 nights, I managed to read 14 books, despite spending a lot of time, trying to work out how I was going to fit in reading time, as I felt constantly busy with many great entertainment options in the evening, and chatting to new friends as well as looking around brand new ports. 

So here are some mini reviews of the books that I read, as I know that is what you are really looking at this post for!

Amazon UK
The Other Wives Club by Shari Low - 4 Stars

When Drew Gold decides to celebrate his birthday on board a med cruise, he is not just content to invite his current wife, but also his first ex wife and their children, as well as his second ex-wife and their family too. Within a fortnight there are all sorts of new friendships forged and lots of questions asked about their various relationships, as well as a fantastic cruise to be enjoyed. I loved reading about this at the start of my own Med cruise, and loved that some of the ports matched up to mine. Was a fantastic way to start my own holiday and was a very enjoyable story. 
Amazon UK

You Had Me At Merlot by Lisa Dickenson  - 5 Stars

This was the perfect book to read while I was docked in Tuscany. It is a splendid summery read, with plenty of sun, wine and of course the Italian location of Tuscany. I loved Elle and Laurie's friendship and reading about what they got up to on this singles holiday. My overwhelming feeling after reading the book was that I wanted to visit the vineyard featured for a holiday of my own, as its sounded wonderful. 

Amazon UK
An Autumn Affair by Alice Ross - 3.5 Stars

This was a really good introduction to the Countryside Dreams series, its four inter connecting storylines. There are many dubious morals that are discussed. The book is very amusing in places and generally is an easy book to read. I loved Josie's birthday party and the thought that went into that impressive. Easily one of my favourite scenes in the book. I'm really looking forward to returning to Buttersley in the next book of the series. 

Amazon UK
After the Storm by Jane Lythell - 4 Stars

After the Storm is a fabulous pool side read, that kept me gripped for the whole book. Two couples are on board a small ship and they are all hiding various things, and the revelations are surprising as everything heats up. Set to a back drop of great locations this is a gem of a book that I loved reading. 

Amazon UK
Tiny Acts of Love by Lucy Lawrie - 4 Stars

Tiny Acts of Love is a great book depicting the very real worries of first time mothers, with regards their precious little bundles of joy. Within the worries which are dealt with sensitively there is a great deal of humour in the book which makes the whole story really enjoyable and believable. 

Amazon UK
Tied Up With Love by Amelia Thorne - 5 Stars

I loved every second of Tied Up With Love from the mistaken identity kidnapping at the start of the book, to Ethan Chase's pure sex appeal. This story talks a lot about the sexual fantasies of rescue and dominance, in a fake set up kidnapping setting, and offered interesting insights into a fantasy that has never crossed my mind. I raced through the pages as I was excited by what I was reading and loving the whole story. Ethan Chase was a fabulous male lead, a sexy bad boy who has hidden depths. I am so glad I finally picked this book on my kindle to read, as it was fantastic. 

Amazon UK
White Lies by Emily Harper - 4 Stars

This was a really pleasurable way to spend an afternoon. Natalie is determined to meet her perfect man, and continually writes him letters as to the sorts of qualities she would like him to have. She also works for a shoe shop and I loved the shoe concepts that are created with Natalies input. This is a funny story with clear chemistry between two specific characters. 

Amazon UK
Tequila & Tea Bags by Laura Barnard - 4 Stars

I loved this book, the ladies in the care home that Elsie ends up volunteering at are all huge characters and even though Elsie isn't volunteering for the most selfless of reasons, its clear she starts to care about everyone involved in the home. This is a hilarious story with plenty to make you laugh out loud, and I loved Will, who manages the home. I found Else though was a bit too flakey for my liking but she grew on me regardless, and overall I found the book to be incredibly entertaining. 

Amazon UK
A Good Catch by Fern Britton  - 4.5 Stars

This is a story of two very close families, they grew up together interlocked in each others lives, and this is the story of just how their lives have developed from childhood to the present day. It is told from multiple view points and is a story of friendship and secrets. At times the book becomes impossible to set down for even a minute, and the story becomes compulsive, as you find out just how its all going to turn out. 

Amazon UK
The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper by Phaedra Patrick - 5 Stars

Arthur Pepper is 69 years old, and the love of his life Miriam died a year ago. On the anniversary of her death, he starts to clear his house of her belongings and finds a charm bracelet that he has never seen before, and he decides to discover more information about each of the charms. This story takes him on a journey far out of his comfort zone, and involves elephants, tigers, Paris and the tales of the colourful past of his wife. I loved the narrative and the way the story was told, and its really inspiring. I loved hearing about Miriam in this highly enjoyable debut novel. 

Amazon UK
Summer Nights by Allie Spencer - 5 Stars

Summer Nights is very funny throughout although there are some hair raising moments. I loved the setting of San Francisco and any book with an Abba tribute band is always going to be a winner in my eyes. This is just a fun light hearted summery book and I'm so glad I finally read this as its been on my kindle for ages. 

Amazon UK
Career Game by Louise Mensch - 5 Stars

There are two very strong leading ladies in Career Game, Topaz Rossi and Rowena Krebs, both at the top of their chosen careers but having some recent troubles with work. This is a book that starts slow but soon drags you into a very gripping and dramatic story with lots of ups and downs. I found myself smiling my way through a lot of the book, and even if you haven't read Career Girls, this can definitely be read as a standalone book. 

Amazon UK
One Summer in Venice by Nicky Pellegrino - 5 Stars

Well I love Nicky Pellegrino's books and I happened to be in Venice when I started reading this. My only regret was not reading it slightly earlier in the holiday, as this gave me such a different view to the city, than the small touristy bit that I wandered around for a few hours. This gives a fabulous insight into the real Venice, and the way the Venetians live. I loved the Milongas (tango parties) and Dolly's friendship with Coco. This is a brilliant cast of characters and Dolly's search for true happiness is a pleasure to read about. I just wish this book didn't have to end, as I was enjoying it so much. 

Amazon UK
Twisted Justice by M.A. Comley - 5 Stars

I am a huge fan of the Justice series, and of DI Lorne Warner, so seeing this latest book in the series, which teams up with DI Sally Parker, whose series I am now very eager to start reading. This story features a different sort of criminal to the some of the series, and given half the the book was written from that point of view, it gave a great new insight into some very unsavoury people's thought processes. This may be book 13 of a series, but it can easily be read as a standalone and I'm already eager to read the next book whenever it comes out. 

Have you read any of these books? What did you think of them? Are you going anywhere on a summer holiday yourself? I would love to hear from you. 


  1. Wow! You have to have been reading in your sleep, Rachel! Well done you! Glad you had a fab time, lovely. I'm quite fancying Kotor now! Oooh, congrats on winning Dancing with the Stars! Talented little dancer you! :) xx

  2. What a fabulous time you had- congratulations Dancing Queen!! So many books too - heavenly.

  3. It looks like you had an amazing time! You've also read many great books, I will definitely add some of them to my wish list.


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