Wednesday 31 May 2017

Rachel's Tenerife Mini Break Reading

I've had a wonderful mini break over in Tenerife. Not sure how rested it has left me, as I was cramming as much into it as possible, from reading, to sunbathing (when the sun was out), to nights out! 

On the first evening we went and saw Gloria Gaynor in concert. There is something amazing about everyone rushing to the front as the opening beats of I Will Survive come on, and singing along to an incredibly long remix version of the song, in both Spanish and English. 

On the second evening, I had dinner with my sister, in a restaurant that can't tell the different between Sirloin and Fillet steak, and then we went onto a bar where Black Lace were performing.  This included Colin Gibb one of the original members of the band, and there is something surreal about seeing a bar of grown adults singing along to cheesy pop songs, and doing the actions to "Agadoo", "Music Man" and "Superman".  The lest said about our Conga related injuries the better!

On the other nights I saw a Temptations tribute act from South Africa, a Rod Stewart act who looks like the real thing, and also an immensely funny comedian, all the while being taken to delicious Canarian restaurants that my sister knows about from living out there. 

So did I fit in any reading over my 4 night break? Well I did manage some, have read 7 books over that time, so let's take a look at them. 

Amazon UK
The Beach Hut Next Door by Veronica Henry - 5 Stars

It was lovely to be able to return to the gorgeous setting of Everdene in this sequel to The Beach Hut. The chapters were all from different people's perspectives, all which had a link to a Beach Hut on Everdene for the summer. Some characters we only really saw once or twice, but a couple recurred quite a bit and I became quite involved in their lives. Elodie's life was very interesting and I also loved the idea of the new seafood restaurant being opened. This was a very enjoyable book, and incredibly fast to read. 

Amazon UK
The Summer Seaside Kitchen by Jenny Colgan - 5 Stars

So glad that I finally found the time to read this book as I have been meaning to since the moment I bought it! First let me just say the whole Isle of Mure sounds like a brilliant setting, its remote, its got gorgeous men on it, its has a rustic charm and generally feels so removed to regular life, would be a great place for a holiday. It took about 30 pages, and then I was completely hooked on this book. I loved the different brothers and their personalities, and the history behind Flora having stayed away from the island for so long. There are multiple men that Flora could end up with which added to the fun of the book.   And the Summer Seaside Kitchen, was such an inspired idea and features a rather special recipe book, and features down to earth, non pretentious food!  This is another wonderful book by Jenny Colgan that I thoroughly enjoyed. 

Amazon UK
The Vets at Hope Green by Sheila Norton - 5 Stars

Originally published as four separate parts, I have waited to read the full book in one, and I'm so glad I did. At least two of the parts had mini cliffhangers, that kept me on the edge of my seat, at least until I turned the pages and just added to the drama of the book.  It is a story filled with cute animals, a not overly happy vet, a girl who just wants to be more than a vets receptionist and seems to really love animals, plus her grandmother who is great. Each of the four parts were short and took in a certain time frame and a new phase in the story, so that worked really well. The writing was easy to follow and I was compelled to keep turning the pages. I would absolutely love to see a sequel to this book or another one set in Hope Green, as I loved the setting and characters so much. 

Amazon UK
Just a Girl, Standing in Front of a Boy by Lucy Anne-Holmes - 4 Stars

I am still highly amused at the names of some of the characters, and just what they sound like if said quickly. I loved the banter between Fanny and her best friend, in fact their friendship is what made the book for me. They are nuts, but equally have each others best interests at heart. I loved the Smiling Fanny Manifesto, which is a set of 10 things Fanny needs to do each day, to try and stave off her depression, and it has assorted results. I found this to be quite a slow book to get into, which really wasn't what I wanted on my holiday, but once I got into the swing of it, it became far more enjoyable. 

Amazon UK
The Once In a Blue Moon Guesthouse by Cressida McLaughlin - 4.5 Stars

The second I got my hands on a copy of this book I knew one thing... and that was that this book was knocking my new Dorothy Koomson book out of my suitcase, and that this was going on holiday with me instead! Now whether that was the correct decision I can't really say yet, as I haven't read both books, but I can say that I adored The Once in a  Blue Moon Guesthouse.

The room designs in the guest house itself were rather unique, and I loved the thought and story behind each of them. As Robin has previously run an event company, some of her large plans for various things in Campion Bay seemed unrealistic until everyone pitched in and they pulled off some great things.  There were many guests to the guest house and some became more like friends than others, and they generally were all interesting characters as you may expect from a guest house. I really disliked Robin's ex-boyfriend who kept cropping up, he was a real pain, and I'm not sure who if anyone liked him. Whereas Will the man who is sorting out his aunts house next to the guesthouse, was my sort of guy! There are also two adorable pets in this book, one kitten and one dog.  This book is a fantastic poolside read and yet again the author has come up with an incredible book that has some great storylines in. 

Amazon UK
The Lipstick Killers by Lee Martin - 5 Stars

Story involving a family of kick-ass women that won't take anything lying down. I was impressed with the attitudes of two of the family members in particular, as they try to work out exactly what is was that Monty was involved in before his untimely death.  Mags and Roxie both really know how to handle themselves, and due to personal circumstances have very little to lose by trying to see justice is served. The pacing in the book is fantastic, frenetic and kept me intrigued and reading the whole way through.  For a book that I have had on my kindle for over 4 years and that I keep forgetting about, this was unexpectedly great for me, and I am already looking forward to reading other books by the author. 

Amazon UK
The Summer of New Beginnings by Helen Rolfe - 5 Stars

Set in Primrose Bay, near Melbourne this was a story of family, in particular of sibling relationships and rivalries that have been present for their entire lives. The Marcello family have 3 children, Will is the oldest who is now living in New York, Mia is the middle child, close in age to Will, and has a teenage daughter, and youngest daughter by far Jasmine, who lives in London, and seems to get on best with her niece. 

There are all manner of jealousies in this book as the siblings get together to try to keep the family business running, while their parents are seemingly going through a crisis. There is plenty of family bickering in this story, and I loved the way the three siblings evolved as characters as the book progressed. I loved Mia's picnic hamper company, clearly a lot of thought had been put into it, I loved the food in the hampers and the cafe. I really enjoyed everything about this book, and it was the perfect way to end my holiday reading, with such an entertaining story. 

As you can see I managed to pick a fantastic selection of books for my holiday this time. I thoroughly enjoyed them on the whole, and even got to read a couple of books that have been lurking on my kindle for too many years!

What do you think of these? Are you going anywhere on holiday anytime soon? Would love to hear from you. 

1 comment:

  1. So glad you had such a fabulous mini break! I've never been to Tenerife, but it sounds great. I've never been to a concert either (not quite sure it's my thing), but I do love the song I Will Survive.

    Your selection of books sounds indeed fantastic. Not sure though how you managed to fit in so much reading when visiting your sister =) Or is she a bookworm too and didn't mind? I've read The Vets at Hope Green and The Summer Seaside Kitchen this year and loved them both. I think The Summer Seaside Kitchen is my favourite Jenny Colgan book after the Rosie Hopkins series.
    I've read Just a Girl, Standing in Front of a Boy a few years ago and it's a firm favourite of mine. I struggle with depression myself and could therefore really relate to Fanny. And it's an incredibly funny book.

    I also have The Once in a Blue Moon Guesthouse sitting on my Kindle and keep meaning to read it, altough it'll probably take me a few weeks yet. Can't wait for all the June releases, especially Summer at Hope Meadows by Lucy Daniels out tomorrow and Summer at Buttercup Beach by Holly Martin out at the end of the month (just a few of the gorgeous books I've spotted on your Publicaten Dates site!). What are you planning to read this month?

    Not sure if I will go on holiday this year myself, I've got an important exam coming up in July and want to concentrate on that first. I would LOVE to go to Cornwall though. I've never been and I love all the books set there so want to see for myself how beautiful and wild it's supposed to be.



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