Friday, 16 December 2016

Rachel's Mexican Holiday Reading - Part 2

Welcome back, this is the second half of what I read while I was sunning myself in Mexico. 

Oh did I mention I even got to hold an iguana? 

I must say iguanas feel a bit like skin wise, like a snake, but then the claws start moving and it tries to climb up your shoulder and it feels incredibly weird! I may not try that again on future holidays. 

And given I have my #CuteChristmas event staring tomorrow on the blog, I figure the least I can do after showing you a reptile, is to show you the incredibly cute wildlife that was running around the hotel called coatis. There were loads of them, they are scavengers and there was a mix of adult and babies, that would even jump on the sun loungers in the off chance of food! 

But that's probably enough of that, I should probably give you the reviews for the other 14 books I read but didn't review on Wednesday.

Amazon UK
That Loving Feeling by Carole Matthews - 5 Stars

This is an ordinary family that just happens to take on an extraordinary set of circumstance. At points during the book I was actually laughing out loud, and attracting a few odd looks around the pool! I loved how not only is this a story featuring a librarian, but that she while working in the library was regularly giving readers her favourite authors in a whole variety of genres, so you had potential future book recommendations for once this story was finished. This book is vintage Carole Matthews, and I just believe it had been lingering on my kindle for so long. 

Amazon UK
The Bachelor by Tilly Bagshawe - 4 Stars

Starting slowly, it gradually became more and more addictive as it went on. I found that parts two and three were my favourite and absolutely fabulous. I've read the previous Swell Valley books, and this can definitely work as a standalone. I was though delighted to be back in Swell Valley and there were some recurring characters that it was good to catch up with.  There is a large amount of characters, and I generally loved them all. 

Amazon UK
The History of Us by Jonathan Harvey - 3.5 Stars

This was a rather confusing book to get into properly. The time line jumps all over the place, and so does which of the three characters you are focusing on. The best big of the book to me was Jocelyn's story, and I really enjoyed the chapters about her, including the mystery surrounding just what happened on the night she died. Unfortunately I did have high hopes for the book, but this fell short, I definitely prefer other books by the author. 

Amazon UK
Picture Perfect by Kate Forster - 5 Stars

With some deep emotional story lines, in addition to story set in LA in the film industry, Picture Perfect is a wonderful story. I loved seeing just how the past story connected up with the present day, as we were occasionally getting seemingly unrelated snippets of something that occurred in childhood. The view points and focus do shift around, but it was in an easy to follow way, and I really connected with the stories of all the characters, so wanted to know more about them. Picture Perfect features fabulous writing, outstanding stories and at points I was practically in tears.

Amazon UK
The Love of a Lifetime by Melissa Hill - 5 Stars 

Melissa Hill at her best, with a story set in New York at Christmas, but yet it isn't a festive story. In fact its a beautifully written romance that features a treasure hunt around New York, with lots of film references. However Beth has no idea who has set the hunt for her, as all the clues are delivered anonymously. There were a few possibilities and it was fun to guess and also see if I could get the references first. The Love of a Lifetime was very easy to read and featured a completely unpredictable ending that I didn't see coming. 

Amazon UK
Girl Number One by Jane Holland - 4 Stars

This is the first thriller I have read from Jane Holland and I was impressed. There were loads of potential suspects to the crime, and the whole book kept me guessing from cover to cover. I found Girl Number One to be a gripping story, with an unreliable narrator that I couldn't help but feel for, especially as at time it seemed as though no one was willing to believe what in what Eleanore was saying. 

Amazon UK
The Girl From Lace Island by Joanna Rees  - 5 Stars

With two alternating stories that are radically different from each, I couldn't wait to see how they would connect together. When the past and present finally collide I didn't see any of what followed coming, and I was shocked and impressed by that at the same time. The Girl From Lace Island really is the perfect holiday read, and its a bit of a blockbuster in its feel, and would certainly make for a brilliant film. There are some fabulous locations, combined with a whole lot of intrigue. I thought the book was brilliantly written and it has reminded me just how much I enjoy reading this author. 

Amazon UK
The Inn at Rose Harbor by Debbie Macomber - 5 Stars

First book in a new series that is a sort of spin off to the Cedar Cove series that I am also reading and enjoying. If you have read the Cedar Cove books then some of the supplementary characters will be familiar and it was a pleasure to see some faces I knew. However this is a brand new series, so no prior information necessary, and I found this to be a hopeful and inspiring start to a series. Like I tend to find with Debbie Macomber books, they are easy, comfortable reads and this was no exception. 

Amazon UK
The Plumberry School of Comfort Food by Cathy Bramley - 5 Stars

Warning - don't read this book unless you have access to snacks at the same time, as it will make you hungry! Split into four parts which can all stand alone, but also move the story along in a good way, my favourite two parts were Cooking up a Storm and Taking Stock. The descriptions of the cooking school and of Plumberry itself made me really want to travel to Yorkshire and visit for myself. I loved how Verity and Tom both had such differing approaches to cooking and food, while Gloria and her best friend are like a breathe of fresh air. There are so many memorable bits, but I really did love the ways the Cooking school were being marketed, with the whole variety of different courses on offer, and the competitions taking part over the bank holiday weekend. With enchanting and captivating writing, this is an absolute delight of a book.  

Amazon UK
Shot Through The Heart by Matt Cain - 5 Stars 

There is one big question at the heart of this book - can an actress and a paparazzi ever really trust each other enough to fall in love with each other. This is a rather glamorous tale that looks at the film industry, with a whole host of different perspectives. The action is fast paced, and I found I was enthralled by the whole book. I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of Shot Through the Heart. 

Amazon UK
A Single Breath by Lucy Clarke - 5 Stars

Set in beautiful Tasmania, A Single Breath is an enthralling web of deceit. When Eva's husband is swept out to sea, it sets into place a whole chain reaction of events, that leads her to discover just how little she really knew him. As Jackson's life unravels, I found it completely interesting and scintillating, and was utterly hooked on this book. 

Amazon UK
Sex, Lies and Cruising by Cathryn Chapman - 4 Stars

Well I love cruising, so when I spotted this book, I couldn't resist buying it. As an ex-holiday rep, I have lived a similar lifestyle to main character Ellie, and I feel confident in saying that although a lot of the wildness in the book may seem exaggerated, it is also incredibly believable. It's a fun and light hearted book featuring plenty of sex, partner swapping, loose morals and a general party lifestyle, while they are cruising around the Caribbean.  However I would have loved to have seen more of the ports that Ellie visited as a contrast to the madness of staff life on board a cruise ship. I did get a strong feeling though of the enclosed living situations, and in sharing small inside cabins with a colleague. Sex, Lies and Cruising is pure escapism and will make you relive your wilder younger years! 

Amazon UK
A Serving of Scandal by Prue Leith - 4 Stars

Featuring two very different characters, and their alternating viewpoints. We have Kate who is a single mum and quality caterer, and Oliver Stapler who is married with kids, and happens to be Secretary of State. They both have one thing in common, a love of good food and slowly start to get to know each other, until outside influences get involved. There are many top notch descriptions of food which were making my mouth water, I loved seeing just how much the press can over exaggerate a very simple situation.  

Amazon UK
Cornwall for Christmas by Ruth Saberton - 4 Stars

New standalone novella in the Polwenna Bay series, which does feature the Tremaine family, but not as the main characters. Instead we are introduced to Kat who is checked into the Polwenna Bay hotel. Shortly afterwards her ex-boyfriend from years ago is checked into the same room, and sparks fly, which aren't necessarily good! This features a slow building romance, an alternative Christmas day and is ultimately another solid installment of the Polwenna Bay series. 

Well I hope you have enjoyed this look at the books that I read while I was on holiday, and hope you will join me tomorrow as my Cute Christmas event starts - a week of books featuring animals, Christmas, guest posts and giveaways! Hope to see you there! 

1 comment:

  1. An iguana! He's actually looking quite content in you arms! Not sure I'd want him in mine though. ;) Rachel, I have no idea how you read soooooo many books! Let alone reviewed, if only short ... ish reviews. Well done you! And well done authors. Some good ones here! :) xx


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