Friday 29 May 2015

Book Review - Life's A Beach and Then.... by Julia Roberts - Blog Tour

Amazon UK

Title: Life's a Beach and Then... (The Liberty Sands Trilogy Book 1)
Author: Julia Roberts
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Review copy from author
Publisher: Ripped
Publication Date: 18th May 2015
Rating: 3 Stars

Holly Wilson has landed a dream job but there is one proviso... she must keep it secret, and that means telling lies. Holly hates telling lies. 

Her latest assignment has brought her to the paradise island of Mauritius where she meets a British couple, Robert and Rosemary, who share a tragic secret of their own. 

The moment they introduce Holly to handsome writer, Philippe, she begins to fall in love, something she hasn't allowed herself to do for twenty years. 

But Philippe has not been completely honest and when Holly stumbles across the truth, she feels totally betrayed. 

The first half of this book is set in Mauritius. You can tell that Julia Roberts really enjoyed her holiday there, as the descriptions of the island are spot on, right down to the selection of goods on offer by the beach hawkers. 

Holly has a job which is allowing her to travel to places beyond her dreams, but with the the proviso that she needs to keep what she is doing secret. Holly though has a cover story in place, but it involves lieing, and she hates lies. 

Soon into the trip she meets Robert and Rosemary, who become friends. Rosemary is hiding a secret of her own though, and they introduce Holly to Philippe, handsome Frenchman, and writer, who is in Mauritius to try and get some inspiration for his new novel, and to get over his writer's block. 

However Philippe may not be all that he seems either. Just what is he hiding? 

The story was interesting enough, and the writing flowed well, but I just wasn't gripped by the book. There are scenes that should be filled with emotion, and unfortunately I just didn't feel anything. The only true feeling I felt while reading this story, was when it ended, and I realised that I would need to read the second book in the series (and probably the third), to have a proper sense of closure. 

I firmly believe that books should make you feel an emotion. It doesn't matter what emotion, but something more than just page turning and absorbing the words. Unfortunately I didn't get any emotion for anyone in Life's A Beach. 

The book, moves between the various perspectives of Rosemary, Holly and Philippe and it does help to get to know more facets of their characters. However my favourite character had to be Harry, Holly's son, who is insightful beyond his years. I hope Harry features more prominently in the rest of the trilogy. 

I was finding that almost all the secrets in the book, were slightly predictable, and thus there were to me at least, no big reveals at all, no shocking moments at all. 

The second half of the book once the Holly has returned to the UK picks up the pace, and is far more interesting, and is why I would definitely consider reading the next book in the trilogy.  There is a lot of potential in both this series and this author, it just didn't quite resonate fully with me.

About Julia Roberts

Following the launch of her first book, Julia needed a well-deserved break and booked a holiday to Mauritius. Her children, now adults, had bought her a notebook with words on the cover that read Hold on people…  I’m having an Idea. On the first morning of her holiday, Julia had just that – the idea for her first novel.

Over the course of the ten days she was in Mauritius, she scribbled copious notes, thoughts and ideas. When she arrived home, she started writing.

Life’s a Beach is part one of the Liberty Sands trilogy.  Julia has already started writing book two, If He Really Loved Me… , which she hopes to finish in the Autumn.


Thank you to Julia Roberts and Jenny In Neverland for my review copy of this book. This was my honest opinion. 

Blog Tour Organiser Links

Wednesday 27 May 2015

Book Review - Evil Games by Angela Marsons

Amazon UK

Title: Evil Games
Author: Angela Marsons
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Bookoutre
Publication Date: 29th May 2015
Rating: 5 Stsar

The greater the Evil, the more deadly the game…

When a rapist is found mutilated in a brutal attack, Detective Kim Stone and her team are called in to bring a swift resolution. But, as more vengeful killings come to light, it soon becomes clear that there is someone far more sinister at work. 

With the investigation quickly gathering momentum, Kim finds herself exposed to great danger and in the sights of a lethal individual undertaking their own twisted experiment. 

Up against a sociopath who seems to know her every weakness, for Detective Stone, each move she makes could be deadly. As the body count starts to mount, Kim will have to dig deeper than ever before to stop the killing. And this time - it’s personal. 

The rising star of the British thriller scene returns with a novel that enthrall fans of Rachel Abbott, Val McDermid and Mark Billingham. 

Evil Games is without a doubt an  amazing book. It is scarily disturbing and at the heart of it all is an evil genius who really is playing some incredibly Evil Games.  

It is impossible to give you much more information than the blurb does, as it really does cover the premise of the book fully. Detective Kim Stone has a couple of cases to work on. One of them deals with a subject that is bound to rile up and disgust anyone that reads it. Thankfully the key bits of information in it are not spelt out in techni-colour. I suspect that everyone that reads this will be wanting, and urging Kim to put catch and put away the perpetrators as quickly  as possible. 

The other case is very clever, and as readers we know the whole time exactly what is going on, as there are chapters from the key person's perspective. In some regards it is very intelligent, and I guess there must have been huge amounts of research into the human psyche to be able to write some of this story. There are many facets to this, and we meet a fair few victims from it and their stories are all harrowing. 

What amazes me is yet again DI Kim Stone is investigating people that somehow bare some relation to her childhood and past, which gives her a fantastic empathy with some aspects, despite that she can't really relate to people herself. DI Kim Stone is a fascinating detective, she clearly cares about her team, and her job, and will do anything it takes to pull off an arrest (even if sometimes it goes against protocol). 

Despite Evil Games being the second in a series, I do believe it can be read as a standalone. All the relevant background you learn in the first book is repeated, in even more detail this time around, and the more of this series I read, the more I am learning about Kim as a person. 

If you haven't already read Silent Scream, then go read that first regardless, as it is also a remarkable book, and then come back and read Evil Games. Evil Games is amazing, disturbing and I didn't want to put it down. I also can't wait for the next DI Kim Stone book in the series, as Angela Marsons is proving time and time again, just what a talented author she is. 

Thank you so much to Netgalley and Bookoutre for my review copy of this book. This was my honest review.

Tuesday 26 May 2015

Book Review - Waiting For Prince Harry by Aven Ellis

Amazon UK
Title: Waiting For Prince Harry (Dallas Demons Book 1)
Author: Aven Ellis
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Purchased
Publisher: Soul Mate Publishing
Publication Date: 1st April 2014
Rating: 5 Stars

Twenty-four-year-old Kylie Reed has always been a rule follower. Organized and cautious to a fault, her dreams for life are often filed away for future use—when she has a house, when she meets her future husband, when she has been at her visual display job at a chic Dallas boutique longer. Kylie always has a reason for living her life in the future, not in the present, and fears not living her life to the fullest and reaching her dream of becoming a fashion designer. 

The only exception to rules, of course, would be running away with Prince Harry. But living in Dallas and not knowing Prince Harry make this a non-option. 

Or does it? 

Because when Kylie accidentally falls into the lap of a gorgeous ginger guy—yes, even more gorgeous than the real Prince Harry—all bets are off. Kylie’s life takes some unexpected twists and turns thanks to this encounter. Could this stranger be the one to show Kylie how to live in the present? 

I am a huge fan of Aven Ellis' books, partly because they are absolutely brilliant, and partly because she writes the most amazing male characters, that you can't help but fall in love with. I had just finished chapter two, when I tweeted Aven to let her know I may have fallen in love already with Harrison in this book!

Kylie Reed tends to live in the future, she has files for everything she wishes to achieve in the future, all her dreams and expectations, however she doesn't tend to live in the present. There is always a good reason for her to put off doing things until the future, until she falls into the lap of an incredibly sexy stranger. 

Kylie has always had a thing for Prince Harry, so when she makes a connection with her stranger, and then discoverers his name is Harrison (or Harry to his friends), and is also ginger, she can't help but feel its fate. 

The more I read and learnt about Harrison, the deeper I was falling for him myself.  The way he clearly cares about Kylie, is lovely to see and the incredible connection that the pair of them have is astounding. 

Harrison in Dallas at least has about the same level of celebrity that Prince Harry has in the UK. Everyone tends to want a piece of him, and yet its the private side of him that is so intriguing. He is everything you could want for in a man, and more.

Seeing Kylie's character develop as she falls deeper and deeper for her Prince Harry, and she grows as a person and starts living a bit more in the present is endearing. 

This is a the ultimate in romance books. Amazingly there are very few sex scenes, and there is a greater focus on the emotional connection between Kylie and Harrison than the physical.  Of course, it isn't all plain sailing, and I found myself willing them to sort out their differences.

If you haven't read anything by Aven Ellis before, and you have an e-reader, then please take a look at this or any of her other books. They are all fantastic, and I promise you will fall in love with a whole new group of book boyfriends. 

Coming Soon by Aven Ellis

Amazon UK
Aven Ellis' new book The Definition of Icing is out tomorrow. It is the second book featuring a sexy Dallas Demon player, and from what I have heard on the blogging grapevine, you will fall in love with Nate too. I am looking forward to reading this as soon as I can. 

Kenley Hunter finally has everything sorted out. Fresh from studying chocolate making in Europe, she's gambling everything on her new business, Confection Consultations. 

All Kenley wants in life is people to take her seriously, to see the person on the inside rather than the blond beauty on the outside. While pursuing her passion of chocolate, Kenley discovered people seek her knowledge. They see past the exterior and fall for the chocolate delights in front of them. 

So with work as her focus, Kenley is ready to start her career in Dallas. Men are out of her recipe, because she fears that once they get past her looks, they’ll be disappointed in what they find. Kenley decides she's all about the chocolate now. 

Or is she? 

Because a chance meeting with new Dallas Demon hockey star Nate Johansson might change everything. Sent to Dallas in a blockbuster trade, Nate is somewhere he doesn't want to be, for reasons that have caused him heartbreak on multiple levels. Nate knows he will never trust a woman again after what happened to him in Minnesota. 

But when he meets a woman with an intriguing name and a passion for chocolate, Nate isn't so sure about his theory. And he might just learn a definition of icing other than the one used in hockey with Kenley as his guide... 

Monday 25 May 2015

Book Review - Coming Up Roses by Rachael Lucas - Blog Tour

Amazon UK
Title: Coming Up Roses
Author: Rachael Lucas
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Publication Date: 21st May 2015
Rating: 4 Stars

Would-be gardener Daisy can't believe her luck when her parents announce they're off on a midlife crisis gap year, leaving her in charge of their gorgeous garden. After a turbulent few months, a spot of quiet in the countryside is just what she needs.

 A shoulder to cry on wouldn't go amiss either - so when Daisy comes across Elaine and Jo, she breathes a sigh of relief. But her new friends are dealing with dramas of their own...

As Daisy wrestles the garden into something resembling order, her feelings for handsome Irishman George begin to take root. Daisy's heart's desire − her parent's garden − is under threat, and Daisy's forced to confront nosey neighbours and fight greedy developers. Village life is turning out to be far from peaceful.

Daisy's parents announce that they are travelling around Asia, when she turns up un-announced on their doorstep, following a bad break up. They allow Daisy to house sit while they are gone, and to look after the neglected garden that used to be beautiful. As Daisy is nursing a broken heart, she really doesn't want to make friends, or get into village life in Steeple St John, but yet it all creeps up on her. 

Daisy meets Elaine, after soaking her with a hose, while she was passing by. Elaine is a blogger that exhibits everything to do with a perfect life, with home made food, and everything looking spic and span. Elaine offers Daisy an invite to a get together at her house which Daisy goes along to reluctantly.

During the get-together she meets Jo. Jo is a single mother to Martha who is 14, and is the school counsellor, where Elaine's husband Leo works. Before long Elaine, Daisy and Jo become firm friends. 

Daisy also becomes friends with Thomas, an old man, who used to do the gardens not only at Orchard Villa, but also all over the village. I loved the friendship between Thomas and Daisy, as well as seeing all of Daisy's hard work in the garden. 

There is of course a potential love interest in George, the dashing Irishman, who has a few surprises up his sleeve. 

Coming Up Roses was an enjoyable story of village life, friendship and healing your heart. There are plenty of entertaining moments, and the differing personalities of the three girls makes for a rounded friendship group. 

Elaine and Jo are both hiding secrets, which are interesting to discover, and see how they are resolved. 

The interactions between Daisy and her parents (on the phone) and not completely typical parent/daughter.  Her parents even from abroad manage to throw Daisy a bombshell, that could completely destroy all the progress she has been making with her heart and garden.

I really hope this won't be the last book set in Steeple St John, as its a lovely village and I think there are at least a few more characters books could be set around!

Thank you to Pan Macmillan and Netgalley for a copy of this book. This is my honest review. 

Thank you to Rachael Lucas and Lucie for allowing me to be part of the Coming Up Roses blog tour. 

Sunday 24 May 2015

Book Review - No One Wants to Be Miss Havisham

Amazon UK

Title: No One Wants to Be Miss Havisham
Author: Brigid Coady
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Harper Impulse
Publication Date: 28th May 2015
Rating: 4 Stars

What the Dickens is going on?

Edie Dickens is a shark of a divorce lawyer. She doesn’t believe in love and she scoffs at happily ever afters, however she’s agreed to be maid of honour for her oldest friend, Mel in two weeks and she still has the hen night to endure. But she has even more to endure when she’s visited by Jessica Marley’s ghost and finds out she must change her ways or end up being damned to an eternity watching other people’s happiness. Edie is visited by the Ghosts of Weddings Past, Present and Future, every Friday night until the day of the wedding. Can she learn from her mistakes in time? And did the ghosts send the hunky new lawyer, Jack Twist, to distract her?

Have you ever read or watched any of the many versions of A Christmas Carol? If so then you will find the basic plot of this book very familiar, however this has nothing to do with Christmas. This is to do with a girl called Edie Dickens, who is a divorce lawyer and is very cynical and hates wedding and doesn't believe in love. In this story instead of finding out the true meaning of Christmas, we see if Edie can learn how to let people in, and can she rid herself of the bad reputation as a "cold hearted bitch" to become a more rounded human being. 

Between the blurb and the first sentence, I realised that this was going to be a very clever book. There are plenty of similarities to the Charles Dickens classic, but there is also a fresh new voice. The ghosts are spaced out, one a week over a fortnight, in the lead up to Edie being the maid of honour at her best (and only) friends wedding. 

There are amusing name checks back to the original, including a modern current "tiny Tim". During the visits of Edie's ghosts, you get to learn a lot about the background of her character, as well as other people's perceptions of Edie. 

It is in the time between the hauntings that this book really shows what it's about. After each ghost Edie is determined to change her ways, and there is the gorgeous ex-professional rugby player Jack Twist who keeps showing up to challenge her too. 

Edie is initially a hard character to like, in fact she is hard and has more sharp edges than a knife. However as you learnt what is at the root of how she behaves, I found myself having a real sympathy towards her.  As she tries to set things right with her life, she goes about things in the wrong way which is very amusing. 

Watch out for the scene involving a fundraising attempt, it has everything, fear, tenderness and is probably one of my favourite scenes in the book. Oh and the hen party is great fun too!

Even though if you know of the story this is a homage to (and I suspect there are more Charles Dickens references in there than the ones I got), you have a vague idea what the ending will be, this story feels like an old friend, and the journey of reading it is very enjoyable. 

Brigid Coady is not a writer I had come across before, but is definitely someone who I will be keeping an eye out for in the future. Overall No One Wants to Be Miss Havisham is a fun and entertaining read that will seem familiar to some readers, but regardless is worth reading. 

Thank you to Harper Impulse and Netgalley for my review copy of this book. 

No One Wants to Be Miss Havisham is out on Thursday. 

Saturday 23 May 2015

Book Review - Mad About You by Snead Moriarty

Amazon UK
Title: Mad About You
Author: Sinead Moriarty
Format reviewed: Paperback
Source: Purchased
Publisher: Penguin
Publication Date: 8th May 2014
Rating: 4 Stars

Sinéad Moriarty's riveting novel, Mad About You, makes you stop and think about the importance of trust in relationships - how fragile it can be, how easily damaged, how hard to repair. Sinéad combines the storytelling genius of Jodi Picoult, and the compassion and humour of Marian Keyes, in a gripping story of contemporary marriage.

Emma and James Hamilton have weathered lots of storms in their ten-year marriage. From the heartbreak of infertility, to the craziness of then becoming parents to two babies in one year, to coping with James losing his job, somehow they have always worked as a team.

However, the pressure of moving for James's new job puts them under stress like never before. So when James starts getting texts from a stranger - texts that show startling insights into their lives - Emma is not sure what to think. She is far from home, isolated and before long finds herself questioning everything about their relationship.

Somehow she has to get a grip, but how can she do that when a stranger seems set on driving Emma out of her home and her marriage?

Emma and James have 2 adorable young children. Lara who is 3, and Yuri who is 4 and was adopted from a Russian Orphanage as he tells everyone. When James is offered the job at London Irish Rugby Club based in London, he has no choice but to uproot his family and they move from Ireland to London.

James starts working incredibly long hours, leaving Emma in charge of the children in a place she doesn't know, away from her main support network. It doesn't take long for Emma to get a new job, and amazingly she hires a perfect sounding child-minder, Claire, to look after the children while she is at work. 

Not long after James starts his new job, he starts receiving text messages insinuating he's having an affair, then Claire starts receiving completely inappropriate gifts. Before long it is clear that someone is stalking them, and that they want Claire out of the picture. 

Keep your eyes peeled for the scene when the first "present" arrives. Absolutely hilarious.

Emma's sister Babs is outspoken, opinionated and incredibly loveable and is responsible for most of the more light hearted moments in the book, in addition to the very adorable children.

Unfortunately it was under half way through, before I figured out (correctly for a change!), who was sending the texts and presents, which left me reading the second half of the book purely to see if I was right, and just how it would all resolve itself. 

Despite this, Mad About You is a very engaging story, one that did interest me from start to finish, partly due to the support characters. Yuri and Lara are two of the cutest children I've read about this year, and were very well written.

Friday 22 May 2015

Book Review - Truly, Madly, Greekly by Mandy Baggot

Amazon UK
Title:  Truly, Madly, Greekly
Author: Mandy Baggot
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Bookoutre
Publication Date: 22nd May 2015
Rating:  5 Stars

Sun, sea and a sexy stranger - a whole lot of fun just got a lot more complicated

Capable, confident and career-driven, Ellen had her dream job and a marriage proposal from boyfriend Ross. Life was good, her future set. Until it wasn’t and everything fell apart… 

Whisked off to the beautiful island of Corfu to plan her sister Lacey’s big, fat, Greek wedding, Ellen is hoping some time out will help clear her head and heal her heart. But letting go of her past is not going to be easy. 

With Lacey in full on Bridezilla mode, Ellen is soon distracted from her own problems. And when the all-inclusive treats on offer at hotel Blue Vue include one gorgeous, brooding Adonis – Yan – Ellen  finds him difficult to resist. 

But Ellen isn’t looking for love or lust, or anything involving too much ouzo…or is she? 

I am puzzled as to how I had never read a book by Mandy Baggot before this one. I have five others by her, sitting on my kindle that I have either bought or picked up as Kindle freebies, over the past four years, but yet I haven't read them. I suspect that will be changing in the coming months, as having read Truly, Madly, Greekly, I now know I have been missing out. 

I think I knew I was going to enjoy this book when in the first chapter there is the first encounter with Yan, who mentions he is part of the animation team at the hotel in Corfu. Added to the knowledge that it was an All Inclusive holiday, and that is enough for me to know that the story was going to based in the exact sort of hotel I would pick for myself on holiday. There is nothing I like more than eye-ing up sexy members of animation, and I was intrigued to see what would happen to Ellen and Lacey on their holiday there. 

Lets start with the cover, its a stunning image that brings up the imagery of a holiday, and the tag line "Sizzling summer reading"  I can assure you is telling the truth. This is an incredibly summery read, one that if you don't have the means to read it on a beach, then find a warm spot somewhere, relax, read this book and you will completely believe you are in Corfu with Ellen, Lacey and Yan.

Ellen and Lacey are off to Corfu, to the Blue Vue Hotel, where Lacey is hoping to plan, and have her wedding. Lacey fell in love with the wedding venue at the hotel, and having dragged Ellen around various UK venues, is now taking her to Corfu to look at this one.

Ellen has been going through a tough time recently, although she has kept it all secret from her loved ones, and doesn't really want to be away from the office, let alone relax into a holiday. As they arrive at the hotel, an incredibly sexy foreigner tries to take their bags... Well Ellen thinks he is trying to steal them, but all he is trying to do is his job. He is Yan, from the Animation team, who had stayed up late as part of his job to welcome the girls to the hotel, and act as a porter. 

To say Yan and Ellen don't exactly hit it off to start with would be a complete understatement. In fact on subsequent meetings they are downright rude to each other. but there are definitely sparks flying.  Lacey becomes slightly distracted from the wedding planning when she meets Serg, another of the animation team. 

We get chapters focusing on Yan and on Ellen's points of view, so we get a sense of who Yan really is, and get a hint at what he may be hiding. 

Based on my own experiences at these sorts of hotels, I can say with certainty that the animation team at the Blu Vue Hotel, is definitely an amalgam of assorted animation guys from hotels around the world. In Yan, I could see bits of 2 or 3 others that I have met and become close to on holiday. And that Monica that is constantly trying to attract his attention, for a bit of after hours affection, I have seen similar people myself. Serg is your typical playboy, love them and leave them after their week's holiday is up type, and has a partner back home. He is your stereotypical hotel worker in that respect. I was amazed and just how real these men were, and how much I felt as though I was on that holiday.

It is very rare for me to 100% feel completely as though I could have been the main character of the book. So much of what Ellen experiences on this holiday, I have either experienced or known someone that has. The difficulties in her work life are foreign to me, but I completely understood what she had been trying to do, even if she may have got herself into a sticky stituation. All will be revealed as you read this book. 

If found the story to have some hilarious bits, but equally some more serious sections, including an adrenalin producing rescue. I was immensely emotional at the end of Truly, Madly, Greekly, in part just due to my empathy with Ellen. 

Truly, Madly, Greekly really is a perfect holiday book, about a holiday that turns into so much more for Ellen and Lacey. It was an absolute pleasure to read and learn their story. While reading I was reminded of so many happy holidays of the past, and I'm sure that when I'm next on holiday, I will think of this book, and hope that I will meet a complete Yan of my own. 

Thank you so much to Netgalley and Bookoutre for my review copy of this book. This was my honest review. 

Happy Publication day to Mandy Baggot, enjoy your day. Truly, Madly, Greekly is out now!

Thursday 21 May 2015

Book Review - Someone Out There by Catherine Hunt

Amazon UK
Title: Someone Out There
Author: Catherine Hunt
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Killer Reads
Publication Date: 21st May 2015
Rating: 4 Stars

A story of obsession, revenge and deceit, of a woman caught up in terrifying circumstances. Perfect for fans of The Girl on the Train, by Paula Hawkins, Into the Darkest Corner, by Elizabeth Haynes, and The Lie, by C L Taylor.

Laura Maxwell appears to have it all – perfect career, perfect husband, perfect life. But how well do you really know the people around you? All it takes is one tiny crack to shatter the whole façade.

A series of accidents causes Laura to believe that someone out there is deliberately targeting her, trying to harm her. The fear starts to pervade every part of her life, affecting her work and her marriage. Increasingly, she feels that no one believes her story, and she must face down her attacker alone.

Laura Maxwell is a high powered divorce lawyer, with what appears to be a perfect life. As you would expect in her line of work, she is likely to have made some enemies in her time, and thus there are plenty of possible suspects when it looks like someone may be trying to harm her. 

Laura becomes increasingly convinced that someone is out to get her, and she has some ideas who, but trying to get her husband or the police to take her seriously is very hard work. 

The book starts with Laura getting a sense of foreboding about a monster of a 4x4 trying to chase her down, and the first chapter is a thrilling high speed chase that really draws you in, and takes you right into the action. It does become obvious during this, that there is somebody wanting to either scare her, or kill her. 

The view points move between Laura, Anna one of her clients whose case is fascinating, and Harry, the soon to be ex-husband of Anna. As the story moves on, I was becoming more and more shocked at some of the revelations. At one point I had to put my kindle down for a moment to absorb a hidden piece of information that I didn't see coming at all.

I really felt for Laura, and could feel her fear, and the slight paranoia that was starting to emanate from her. The boss at the law firm that she work s for seems to skirt around moral issues with some regards, and I found myself wishing that Laura would quit her job just to get away from the guy. 

Someone Out There is good thriller, but I felt it slowed down a bit on places, and it didn't always hold my interest like I thought it would. I still enjoyed the story, and there were some great sections, and the book has a clever idea behind it. 

This is a solid debut book from an author with a promising future. 

Thank you to Netgalley and Catherine Hunt for a review copy of this book. This is my honest review. 

Happy Publication day to Catherine Hunt. Someone Out There is out today!

Wednesday 20 May 2015

Book Review - We Are All Made of Stars by Rowan Coleman

Amazon UK
Title: We Are All Made of Stars
Author: Rowan Coleman
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Ebury Press
Publication Date: 21st May 2015
Rating: 5 Stars

Do not miss me, because I will always be with you…I am the air, the moon, the stars. For we are all made of stars, my beloved... Wherever you look, I will be there.

Stella Carey exists in a world of night. Married to a soldier who has returned from Afghanistan injured in body and mind, she leaves the house every evening as Vincent locks himself away, along with the secrets he brought home from the war.

During her nursing shifts, Stella writes letters for her patients to their loved ones - some full of humour, love and practical advice, others steeped in regret or pain – and promises to post these messages after their deaths.

Until one night Stella writes the letter that could give her patient one last chance at redemption, if she delivers it in time…

There are two main characters in We Are All Made of Stars, and everything that occurs in the story relates to one of their stories, whether you realise it at the time or not. We Are All Made of Stars is a very cleverly crafted story, that is a pleasure to read. 

Stella Carey, works in a hospice, offering love and care to all those patients there, whether in the hospice for a short of long time. She is a compassionate nurse and it is obvious she takes good care of anyone that comes across her path. She only works night shifts, as since her husband, Vincent, returned from Afghanistan, their relationship has changed. 

Stella, has got a reputation in the hospice for writing final letters, for those too frail to write themselves any more, and to post them to correct people after the writer's passing. The contents of the letters varies a great degree, but they are wonderful to read, and definitely add to the story, and fell of the book. 

When I first discovered what Stella does for a job, and that it would be the main setting for the book, I was worried that it would be a weepy, sad and traumatic story with no light points. I couldn't have been more wrong. I found the book to be written with such compassion and care, and Stella's letters are simply superb. I was in tears at the feelings in some of the letters (that tend to occur at the end of chapters), and laughing at others, which obviously must reflect the various states of mind a person can be in, as they approach their final days. 

The other main lead that we hear a lot about is Hope. Hope is a 21 year old Cystic Fibrosis sufferer. She is only present in the hospice, as she recovers from a bad infection (or as Hope would say, 'she stared at death, and beat it up). At the beginning she is surly, not interested in the world around her, and has a really bad attitude. As the story progresses you see many more sides to her personality, and I loved the story between her and Ben.

At the start of each chapter you get a header telling you who the chapter is focusing on, which is helpful, as it allows you to see a lot more into the lives of many other people, and lets you feel closer to all of them. At the end of the majority of chapters, you get to see one of the letters. All of them will make you stop and think for a minute, and I found myself wondering who I would write such a letter to and what it would contain.

I don't believe that We Are All Made of Stars is the best book that Rowan Coleman has written, but she has written some absolute crackers and it is still an incredibly good story. It is definitely worth all 5 of the stars I am giving it. 

We Are All Made of Stars is a life-affirming, courageous story that I thoroughly enjoyed reading.  

Thank you to Ebury Press and Netgalley for a copy of this book. This is my honest review. 

We Are All Made of Stars is out tomorrow, in hardback and ebook, and in paperback later in the year. 

Tuesday 19 May 2015

Book Review - Access All Areas by Charlotte Phillips

Amazon UK
Title: Access All Areas
Author: Charlotte Phillips
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Harper Impulse
Publication Date: 21st May 2015
Rating: 5 Stars

Sexy, addictive and just pure fun, don’t miss the next instalment in the Do Not Disturb series!

After losing her elderly parents, portrait photographer Anna will do anything to avoid losing the family home – the only thing she has left of her perfect childhood.

When a friend who works at the exclusive boutique hotel, The Lavington, provides a hot tip – an A list film star is staying there with her rumored toyboy lover – Anna comes up with a plan. A photo of them together could be the answer to all Anna’s money problems.

Unfortunately, she’s the worst paparazzi photographer on the planet and Jack, the hotel’s new head of security, back in England after globetrotting as bodyguard to the stars, isn’t about to allow a picture on his watch. No matter how cute the photographer might be…

Anna, is normally a portrait photographer, however after losing both her elderly parents in recent months, she has been left with a house she can no longer afford. Her best friend works at The Lavington Hotel, and provides her with a hot tip, for a paparazzi style photograph, of an A-List film star and her new younger lover. They believe if she can get the photo, it will solve both of their financial problems. 

When we meet Anna she is attempting to get back through a window that had slammed shut, after she stepped onto a balcony, hoping to be able to twist round a corner to get that all important shot, after a 3 hour stakeout that left her very bored.

Turns out though no matter what she tries to get the shot, new security guy Jack has her measure. Anna also has a bit of a concious, so isn't entirely comfortable trying to get the photo. 

Jack, has just left a job as bodyguard to an ageing film star, and is thinking about giving up his globe-trotting lifestyle in favour of placing roots in the UK. There is an instant almost undeniable chemistry between Jack and Anna, and its amusing watching it develop.

There is a great sense of humour in this book. The story doesn't take itself too seriously, and there is a sense of light hearted fun about the whole story. 

This was the first book I have read by Charlotte Phillips, and it certainly won't be the last. Access All Areas is an entertaining novella, full of fun and sexual chemistry.

If you have a spare hour or two, and want something to just while away an afternoon, then take a look at Access All Areas, as it provides an excellent escape. 

Thank you to Harper Impulse and Netgalley for allowing me to review this book. This is my honest opinion.. 

Access All Areas will be out on Thursday. 
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