Tuesday 30 April 2019

Book Review - The Ticket To Happiness by Faith Bleasdale

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Amazon UK
Title: The Ticket To Happiness
Author: Faith Bleasdale
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: 11th April 2019
Rating: 5 Stars

Could Meadowbrook Manor be the country escape she is looking for…?

It’s been a year since Meadowbrook Manor was transformed into a boutique hotel, and things are running smoothly for the Singer family, who own it.

When they receive a call from Brooke Walker, a 25-year-old woman who wants to swap the sunny shores of California for a quintessential English experience at their hotel, the Singers are delighted to be able to accommodate her for a two-month stay.

Brooke is focused on starting a business in the UK, and wants to discover more about her ancestors from Somerset. She quickly integrates into the day-to-day running of the hotel, lending a hand and becoming a firm friend to both the staff and residents.

But there’s something Hotel Manager Pippa can’t quite put her finger on – is there more to perfect, bubbly Brooke than meets the eye, or is she simply a young woman desperate to start afresh and leave her troubles behind?

In the past few months every time I picked up a book featuring a group of close siblings, I had found myself wishing, or thinking they were the Singer family, so I was delighted to be able to get my hands on The Ticket To Happiness and be reunited with this wonderful family.

I am completely hooked on this series, and although it can probably be read as a standalone, you'd be missing out on two equally great books  by doing so. 

From the first few pages, of chapter 1, i felt like I had come home. The prologue introduces us to a new character, Brooke, who is key to this book, and its various plot points, and was interesting, but it wasn't until a few pages later and I was back in Meadowbrook, that I truly settled. 

I have thoroughly enjoyed seeing how everyone is progressing, now that the hotel  has been running a year, and seeing the latest happenings in all the various family members relationships. 

This book was mainly focused on Pippa, and how she relates to her family, and also to their new long term guest Brooke.  Brooke is essentially miss popular around Meadowbrook, seems unable to put a foot wrong, she loves animals, is good with children, she loves fitness, is quite creative too, and eager to learn vegan cooking from Gwen too. 

In short she appears to good to be true. Pippa at times seemed suspicious of her, and I was too, but I also had a very strong inkling early on what if anything Brooke may be hiding, , so some of the end section didn't come as a total shock, but it didn't matter as I was enjoying the journey getting to that point. 

For fans of the series the big question on everyones lips is whether Pippa will ever meet a man who is able to treat her right, or perhaps even see what could be right under her nose. There were a couple of options in this one, but I whole heartedly agree with the direction she went with. 

This is just a fabulous story of family, new friendships, keeping the hotel running,  a big story featuring the animal sanctuary, as well as seeing how all the siblings develop.   I loved seeing Harriet learn to deal with being a parent to Toby, to Gus finally realising Fleur is growing into a young woman, and Freddie working out what just being in a committed relationship is all about. 

With laughs and good times to be had, this is one story I am sad to say goodbye to.  I just have everything crossed that this isn't the last we see of Meadowbrook and the Singer family. 

Thank you to Netgalley and Avon for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily, 

Monday 29 April 2019

Book Review - The Second Wife by Sheryl Browne - #HolidayReading Thailand

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Title:  The Second Wife
Author: Sheryl Browne
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Bookouture
Publication Date: 29th January 2019
Rating: 4 Stars

She made her bed. You’ll lie in it.

Rebecca only wanted to help out – to be kind. Richard seemed so alone after his wife, Nicole, died, and Rebecca wanted to make sure he knew he had someone to rely on.

But now she’s in Nicole’s immaculate house. Drinking from her favourite crystal wine glass. Keeping shoes in her orderly closet. Comforting her sweet and grieving step-daughter. It feels like Rebecca is living another woman’s life.

And as she gets to know the neighbours, Rebecca hears stories that make her wonder: was free-spirited Nicole happy in this perfect life, or did she feel trapped? Did she feel, as Rebecca is beginning to, that something wasn’t quite right?

The book everyone’s talking about! If you loved The Girl on the Train, The Wife Between Us and The Girl Before, you’ll be totally gripped and unable to put down this twisty page-turning psychological thriller.

Took me a while to really get into this story, but once I finally twigged what may be going on, I was hooked. Admittedly had I read the blurb at all it may have helped!

Richard appears to be rather unlucky with wives, given he has now been widowed twice. 

When Nicola dies, her best friend who lives in France comes to finally meet Richard and tries to work out just what happened in the last few months of her friend's life. 

We get chapters from the present and we also see Nicola's relationship with Richard and daughter Olive develop in alternating chapters. 

Even what I initially thinking was so far removed from the truth. 

I can't say I particularly loved any of the characters, apart from Bouncer, but it was story that grew into itself and finished strongly. 

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

Friday 26 April 2019

Book Review - Dry Hard by Nick Spalding

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Amazon UK
Title: Dry Hard
Author: Nick Spalding
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Publication Date: 8th January 2019
Rating: 5 Stars

Kate and Scott’s marriage has always been a lot of fun, with alcohol at the heart of it. After all, what’s more entertaining than a good laugh and a large drink… or six?

But recently, those relaxing drinks have become more crutch than comfort—and the couple have almost forgotten how to talk to each other sober.

Then their teenage daughter Holly uploads a video of their humiliating drunken escapades, which gets picked up by YouTube superstar PinkyPud—and goes horrifyingly viral.

In a last-ditch attempt to prove to the world they’re more than just boozy idiots, Kate and Scott quit alcohol completely. But with Holly’s… er… ‘help’, what begins as a family promise soon escalates into a social media phenomenon: #DryHard!

With the eyes of the Internet upon them, can Kate and Scott stay teetotal—and save their marriage in the process?

As you would expect with a Nick Spalding book this is really funny.  In fact I don't think there is a chapter that doesn't involve an embarrassing incident,  drunken shenanigans, the sublime or ridiculous,  leading to everything from giggles to full on belly laughs. 

I mean you wouldn't think one couples attempt to give up alcohol for a year would be so funny but it is. Yet within the humour there are clearly important modern social issues touched up. 

There is a lot about the whole YouTube "fame" culture, and features assorted YouTuber, there is a young adult who just wants her parents to drink less and as a result videos them over Christmas and ends up with a viral video from which everything spirals. 

Yet even before Christmas, we meet both Kate and Scott in individual chapters, where they both have a rather ridiculous drunken mishap. One involving a tractor and a wedding and the other involving fireworks and a gin distillery! 

Then Holly's chapters felt like they were written from an omniscient point of view, but also fly on the wall documentary tone.  It felt like the voice was all knowing but at the same time, it really was highlighting very key issues that could resonate with readers. 

This is actually a very clever novel, I thoroughly enjoyed whizzing through the pages and really didn't want it to end.  Dry Hard had quite a different feel to it than other books I've read, and I think it would translate perfectly into a sitcom, with each chapter being a different episode. 

Thank you to Lake Union Publishing and Netgalley for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily. 

Thursday 25 April 2019

Book Review - The Dead Can't Speak by M. A. Comley

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Title: The Dead Can't Speak
Author: M. A. Comley
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Author supplied copy
Publisher: Jeamel Publishing Limited
Publication Date: 25th March 2019
Rating:  5 Stars

Some people have secrets...

And there are those who have deadly secrets...

The murder of an unidentified woman in a hotel room proves to be a perplexing case for DI Sara Ramsey.

Sifting through the victim's past reveals numerous inconsistencies and shocking secrets she had taken to her grave.

Why had the killer silenced her?

Sara and her team need to unravel the mystery, but in doing so, do they put yet more lives in danger as well as their own?

In order to find happiness in her personal life, Sara is forced to deal with demons from her past.

I have no idea how M. A. Comley keeps coming up with so many new books, new story-lines, and even more dastardadly villains with each release, but I'm just delighted that she does, as yet again this is a fabulous story. 

I had absolutely no idea who the killer was, nor how the police were going to work out who the victims were, let alone the killer. It all took me by surprise in  a nice way, as I wasn't able to predict it at all. 

However what intrigued me more was the big ongoing series arc storyline in Sara's personal life, which leads to some awkward decisions, but also means we get to know her boss Carol a lot more too. 

We really didn't get to see to much of the rest of Sara's team this time, but I'm sure with future books I'll get a more rounded idea about them all. They all seem to be solid hard workers which is what you need while investigating serial killers. 

The killer was truly evil in this book, and the few insights into his mind, had me thinking what an unpleasant person he was - but then again you don't really meet pleasant killers! 

This is another excellent addition to this very promising series. Bring on book 4! 

Thank you yo Mel Comley for my copy of this book which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily. 

Wednesday 24 April 2019

Book Review - Maybe Baby by Carol Thomas

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Amazon UK
Title: Maybe Baby
Author: Carol Thomas
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Publisher supplied copy
Publisher: Ruby Fiction
Publication Date: 2nd April 2019
Rating: 5 Stars

Just when you thought you had it all worked out …

Best friends Lisa and Felicity think – maybe, just maybe – they finally have everything sorted out in their lives.
Lisa is in a happy relationship with her old flame, and busy mum Felicity has managed to reignite the passion with her husband, Pete, after a romantic getaway.
But when Lisa walks in on a half-naked woman in her boyfriend’s flat and Felicity is left reeling from a shocking discovery, it becomes clear that life is nothing but full of surprises …

Sequel to The Purrfect Pet Sitter

Incredibly entertaining, this book has everything,  animals, humour, romance, an old flame and a pregnancy test! 

I mean what better mix can you think of, I loved being back with Lisa, Nathan and Felicity and her tribe of children. However this can easily be read as a standalone book, as you don't need the prior book to be able to follow this one. 

I don't really want to say much about the plot, but expect some laughs, some aww moments,  some well I wish these characters would see some sense moments, a trip abroad,  and just some witty dialogue.  

It was lovely to see that Lisa is now a far more competent pet sitter than she was, but she now has something even bigger in her life, that could be about to change everything for her.  In the meantime, Felicity is determined to take up running, if for no other reason than time away from her brood. 

I found this to be an incredibly quick and enjoyable book to read, the pages just flew by and I read it pretty much in two sittings.  The writing flowed well and I really enjoyed all the characters both human and furry! 

Thank you to Liz from Choc Lit for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily. 

Tuesday 23 April 2019

Book Review - A Wedding on Lily Pond Lane by Emily Harvale

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Title: A Wedding on Lily Pond Lane
Author: Emily Harvale
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Author supplied copy
Publisher: Crescent Gate Publishing
Publication Date: 26th March 2019
Rating: 5 Stars

The Angel Bell is ringing for Mia and Jet’s Big Day – but will the Wedding of the Year go without a hitch?

Every bride wants the perfect wedding and Mia Ward is no exception. But she is the only bride in Little Pondale and everyone in the village has ideas for her Big Day. Drowning in suggestions, Mia needs some help.

When she bumps into childhood friend, Breanna Wright on a shopping trip to London, Mia’s convinced it’s Fate. Breanna’s only ambition was to be a wedding planner with her own business, The Wright Wedding … so Mia doesn’t hesitate.

Breanna’s now got three months to plan a wedding where the sky’s the limit, budget-wise. She should be over the moon. Especially as she’ll get a chance to see old friends again, including her first love. There’s just one tiny hitch ... Breanna doesn’t have a wedding-planning business.

She should tell Mia there has been a slight mistake, but as usual Breanna’s life isn’t running smoothly and she could really use a break. And when you’ve dreamt about planning weddings all your life, how difficult can it be?

Will this be the chance Breanna’s longed for? Or will Mia’s Dream Wedding be Breanna’s biggest disaster yet?

I was deliriously happy to be hack in Little Pondale along with Mia, Jet and everyone else.  It feels like only yesterday that I read Return to Lily Pond Lane, so it was much easier for me to pick up the story than it had for me in previous installments. 

This book picks up pretty much where the previous one finishes, so I reckon its best to read these two as a pair, but they are both wonderful, and quick and easy to read, so it really wouldn't be any hardship. 

This was so amusing, romantic, and also just proves at a magical place Little Pondale is to live in.  It was lovely getting to know Breanna, and there is plenty going on to keep the village gossips happy. 

It's hard to know what to share with you, as the book is really quick to read, a sheer pleasure, a bit of a whirlwind, but with assorted sub plots. There are even some lovely surprises to look forward to.  

I loved every moment I spent hoping that the wedding would go smoothly, and that Mia and Jet would be happily married by the end of it.  Of course that doesn't mean that is the only romance, and there are some lovely interactions between some of the other villagers too. 

All in all another triumph of a book in this very popular series. 

Thank you to the author for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily. 

Monday 22 April 2019

Book Review - The Happy Home For Ladies by Lilly Bartlett - #HolidayReading Thailand

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Amazon UK
Title: The Happy Home For Ladies
Author: Lilly Bartlett
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Harper Impulse
Publication Date: 31st August 2018
Rating: 5 Stars

Meet Phoebe, who’s 28, and Laney, Dot and Maggie, who are 68, 78, and none of your business. Together they'll prove that age doesn’t matter when it comes to friendship, belonging and an unquenchable zest for life.
A hilarious, uplifting novel about the ties of community, the strength of love and how nobody is truly ordinary.

When Framlingham’s famously all-female senior living home goes co-ed, a war between the sexes is declared.

Stuck in the middle, chef Phoebe Stockton is desperate to help her friends plot to keep the community that means so much to them. It’s become her life raft, too. She finds comfort in her beloved career that might finally make her parents proud. But Phoebe’s darling Nick is lining up on the other side of the battle, and their relationship is suffering collateral damage.

The stakes couldn’t be higher. If the home’s owner can’t improve business by moving the men in, he’ll have to evict everyone.

The women aren’t about to let that happen.

Always a joy to read a book from Lilly Bartlett and this really is no exception. 

I loved getting to know all the residents at The Happy Home for Ladies, which is care home for ladies of a certain age, and has far more of a community feel to it than some.  There are many clubs and activities daily, and it sounded like a really pleasant place to live. 

We meet Phoebe on the day of her mother;s funeral, and I instantly felt a sort of kinship with her, as her relationship with her mother isn't simple, and neither is mine, 

Phoebe is the cook at the care home, but not only that her best friend is the manager, her crush is the all around dogsbody of the place, and they are all friends to ladies that live there. 

I loved hearing about the ins and outs of the home and its various residents, there were some very interesting sub plots at play, in addition  to a few more serious ones too. 

It is a well thought out, fun book that I thoroughly enjoyed reading. 

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

Sunday 21 April 2019

Book Review - Rachel's Pudding Pantry by Caroline Roberts - Blog Tour

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Title: Rachel's Pudding Pantry
Author: Caroline Roberts
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Harper Impulse
Publication Date: 18th April 2019
Rating: 5 Stars

Primrose Farm is Rachel’s very own slice of heaven. Come rain or shine there’s always a pot of tea brewing by the Aga, the delicious aroma of freshly baked puddings, and a chorus of happy memories drifting through the kitchen.

But the farm is in a spot of trouble. As the daffodils spring, Rachel must plant the seeds of change if she wants to keep the farm afloat, and it’s all resting on a crazy plan. She’ll need one family cook book, her Mum Jill’s baking magic – and a reason to avoid her distractingly gorgeous neighbour, Tom . . .

Swapping their wellies for aprons, can Rachel and Jill bake their way into a brighter future? The proof will be in the pudding!

I clearly drawn to this book the second I saw its title, and author. Well I love the author, and when the main character shares my name, and I also love desserts, it seemed fated that I needed to read this book. 

And boy and I glad that I did.  However first a warning - don't read this on an empty stomach, make sure you have snacks to hand while you are reading, it will make you that hungry.  There are puddings in practically every chapter, which if you are anything like me could make you drool. 

From the first few chapters I was hooked, and given they were short chapters throughout, its a very easy book to fall prey to just one chapter syndrome, and find you are still reading half an hour later.   I was resenting real life while reading this, as I just wanted to get back between the pages. 

I loved all the generations of women in the Swinton family, from the lovely Granny Ruth, who Rachel visits occasionally, to Jill, Rachel's mum and pudding baker expert,  Rachel whose ideas will be key to giving Primrose Farm a chance of surviving, and Rachel's daughter, the almost 5 year old Maisie. 

I adored Maisie, she may be young, but she is adorable, smart, insightful and apparently is a good little waitress too.  She is though starting to ask Rachel about her father, and let's just say in terms of fatherhood,  Jake could be considered a "learner father". 

Then there is Tom, the neighbour who is always there for Rachel and her family.  I don't think I have a bad thing to say about the man, other than he isn't real and therefore can't be interested in me!  

Set to a farming background, especially featuring sheep, this is the story of how you can try to turn around your fortunes after a tough few years. with plenty of pudding, good friendships, and a large helping of family. 

This is such a cosy read, its a warm hearted story that I thoroughly enjoyed. It's another fabulous book from an author who by now is an auto  - must read author. 

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

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Friday 19 April 2019

Book Review - You, Me and Italy by Sue Roberts - #HolidayReading Thailand

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Title: You, Me and Italy
Author: Sue Roberts
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Bookouture
Publication Date: 6th March 2019
Rating: 4 Stars

Three best friends, Italian sunshine and a handsome stranger can fix just about anything… Can’t it? 

Maisie Knight had it all. A gorgeous husband. A successful business. A beautiful home. Until one day, after walking into the storeroom of their shop, she loses it all at once – catching her husband cheating on her with the girl from Checkout 3. So when she wins a holiday to Italy, a week under the Tuscan sun couldn’t come soon enough. 

Treating best friends Cheryl and Emma to a girls’ trip, the terracotta-roofed Villa Marisa on a rustic farm awaits them. The fields of golden sunflowers could be the perfect cure for Maisie’s broken heart – and local farmer, suspiciously perfect Gianni, with his thick black hair and twinkling brown eyes is a welcome distraction from her broken heart.

Mornings waking up to freshly brewed coffee and views of the rolling hills, moped rides with cheeky Italians, and feasts of prosecco and pasta help Maisie forget her troubles. After all her heartache, she’s surprised when she starts opening up to Gianni – she’s even more surprised when the temperature rises and it’s not just the rays of the Italian sunshine…

Maisie could get used to the good life. But just as she’s getting her spark back, disaster strikes. The next thing she knows, her past is catching up with her, reopening old wounds and Maisie has a life-changing decision to make. Should she say ciao to her summer of love and limoncello?

A laugh-out-loud page turner about second chances, finding happiness when you least expect it and the restorative power of Italian food!

Another delightful story from an author I really do enjoy reading. 

I felt sorry for Maisie quite early on in the story, when she discovers the truth about her husband, 

We then fast forward to her current situation, which leads to another amusing scene early on when Maisie quits one he jobs, in a rather public way. 

However her luck is due to change with a competition with for a holiday to Tuscany, Who knew that this would be a life changing holiday for her. 

From the moment Maisie and her friends Cheryl and Emma arrive in Italy, I completely fell for this book.  The divine food descriptions, the sense of location, the sexy Italian men, its all just fabulous. 

This is a story of love, friendship and finding new life opportunities when you least expect them. 

What a lovely summery read this is, I would expect to see this on kindles poolside all over the coming months as we move into Summer Holiday season (or even wishful thinking there could be sun season,)

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

Thursday 18 April 2019

Book Review - The Bad Mother's Book Club by Keris Stainton - #HolidayReading Thailand

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Title: The Bad Mother's Book Club
Author: Keris Stainton
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Trapeze
Publication Date: 18th April 2019
Rating: 4 Stars

Since moving to the Liverpudlian seaside after her husband's career change, Emma Chance's life consists of the following: long walks on the beach (with the dog), early nights (with the kids) and Netflix (no chill).

Bored and lonely, when Emma is cordially invited to the exclusive cool school-mums' book club, hosted by Head of PTA and footballer's wife, Jools Jackson, she thinks her luck may finally be about to change. She soon realises she may have made a grave mistake when she realises it's all about books, and less about wine and gossip - but it's always better to stick things out, isn't it?

Or not.

After a few months and a few awkward moments involving a red wine on white carpet accident and a swear-word incident involving Jools's daughter, Emma is ungraciously kicked out of the book club. Exhausted and exiled, she decides it's about time she fights back against the shame and humiliation. Enlisting the help of some similar-thinking mums, Emma sets up her own book club - no cleaners, polite conversation or reading required: this is the Bad Mother's Book Club.

I really enjoyed this book about a group of mothers at the same school, all which do like reading. 

Yet although there are some book club meetings featured, this story is about so much more than that. 

It shows just how different people are coping with being parents, the challenges they face in parenting, professional and personal lives. 

There are many moments that will make you laugh, and then there is Jules' much more serious story line. 

I adored Sam and Rosie, Emma's two children, who are worlds apart, with individual personalities, and who both get rather a starring role in this book. 

The Bad Mother's Book Club is a fun story, that was reasonably quick to read. It was the first book I have read by the author, and now i am wondering why on earth that is!

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

Wednesday 17 April 2019

Book Review - The Little Vintage Carousel by the Sea by Jaimie Admans

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Amazon UK
Title: The Little Vintage Carousel by the Sea
Author: Jaimie Admans
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: HQ Digital
Publication Date: 3rd April 2019
Rating: 5 Stars

What if one moment could change your life forever?
Ness has almost resigned herself to being single forever, when she catches sight of the most gorgeous man she’s ever seen on the train to work.

But just as she plucks up the courage to speak to him – he steps off the train and disappears into the crowds, without realising he’s accidentally dropped his phone!

It’s her ‘glass slipper’ moment, she’s sure of it, she just needs to track him down – all the way to the gorgeous seaside village of Pearlholme, where she finds him restoring a vintage carousel by the sea…

Maybe it’s finally time to follow her heart?

A joyous read, this is absolutely wonderful. Its enchanting, and funny and just a fabulous story. 

The amount of times during this story that I was laughing along with Ness and Train Man's dialogue, was ridiculous. Just every interaction they had as sort of awkward, but sort of perfect at the same time. Train Man really is gorgeous but also a bit dorky, and Ness isn't the most graceful of women, so the pair just works.  

All the dialogue generally in the book was just en-point and engaging. 

However they are both adamant they aren't looking for love, but they really do bond when Ness goes up to Pearlholme to return train man's phone.  Previously there had just been eye contact and smiles on crowded commuter tube trains - which pretty much never happens in real life. 

It turns out that Train Man is a carousel restorer and we learn a lot about Carousels, and more specifically this rather special one. It has the most beautiful story behind it, which is slowly discovered. 

Pearlholme itself is a gorgeous little Northern coastal village, so picturesque, and when you meet Charles and Camilla there are even more laughs to be had. 

This book is just so funny and entertaining. 

My only niggle with the book is that the characters seemed to love the film Carousel so much, whereas to my own personal taste it is the only musical I've ever seen that I've not enjoyed one bit, even despite the iconic You'll Never Walk Alone coming from it.  There are just too many mentions of a film that sends me to sleep, and the stage show which I saw first was one of the most underwhelming productions of anything I've watched in the West End. 

Apart from that I can't fault this book, I just loved every moment of it.  Jaimie Admans is fast becoming one of my go to authors, and her books seem to be getting even better and better with each release. 

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

Tuesday 16 April 2019

Book Review - Sorry Not Sorry by Sophie Ranald

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Title: Sorry Not Sorry
Author: Sophie Ranald
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Bookouture
Publication Date: 13th February 2019
Rating: 4 Stars

A fabulously feel-good novel that will make you laugh till you cry and leave you living life to the full, margarita in hand! 

Is this all there is? I scraped the last dregs of Caramel Chew Chew ice cream out of the bottom of the tub with my finger and licked it. It left a sticky smear on my phone’s screen when I typed into Google, “How to find love, sex and happiness.”

Charlotte has always been a good girl. But being good is getting boring…

She’s not just stuck in a rut – she’s buried in it up to her chin. The only company she has in bed is the back catalogue of Netflix and falling in love feels like the stuff of fairy tales. So when she stumbles across a popular podcast, ‘Sorry Not Sorry’, which challenges women to embrace their inner bad girl, she jumps at the chance to shake things up.

Old Charlotte would never ask for a stranger’s number, go on a blind date or buy lacy lingerie… But New Charlotte is waving goodbye to her comfort zone (with a side order of margaritas). And it turns out that good things happen to bad girls…

After a bit of a slow start, where I was struggling to work out who worked where, and what all the characters connections were - admittedly I was very tired when I read the first half of the book, which possibly affected my initial enjoyment - I'm glad I continued as I thoroughly enjoyed the second half of the book. 

What really intrigued me initially and kept me reading was the pod cast series that Charlotte was following called Sorry Not Sorry, all about getting in touch with your inner bad girl. I loved all the various challenges that were set and how Charlotte tried to embrace them. 

There were a couple of men in the book and I always had a weird inkling who she may end up with.  I really enjoyed the hot and steamy times she had with Miles, the office architect, although whether I ever trusted him would be another matter. 

Getting to know Tansy, Charlottes new flat mate was enjoyable, and I was interested in what she was clearly hiding.  And when the secret was revealed it made me think too. 

After around 50% was when I became properly engaged with the story, and found it was coming together in my mind more. I found I was really caring about the characters, and was interested to see how various situations would resolve themselves.  

There are even a good selection of people to hate if you are that way incline, and Charlotte's job exhausted me just thinking about it. 

An enjoyable book, and the hint in the notes at the back that we may get more books featuring  Tansy and Adam, Charlotte's other flatmates is rather intriguing, and I really hope we do as I'd love to get to know Tansy even more. 

Thank you to Netgalley and Bookouture for this copy which i have reviewed honestly and voluntarily. 

Monday 15 April 2019

Book Review - In High Places by J J Holland

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Title: In High Places
Author: J J Holland
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Quercus
Publication Date: 18th April 2019
Rating: 4 Stars

Ever since the death of his wife, Lina, in a Kabul bombing, Aubrey Savage has been determined to fulfil his promise to her: to find out what happened to her brother, Jarrah, a disavowed MI5 agent who has been missing for two years.

An ex-SAS officer, Savage is used to noticing the small things. So when he offers a lift to a terrified runaway bride on the moors, he knows there's more to her story than meets the eye.

But when she is snatched away immediately, leaving behind a holdall and a Glock that he recognises to be that of an MI5 agent, he is thrust into a deadly world of corruption, and a threat that's all too close to home...

I can now understand why the talented Jane Holland has yet another pen name, as this is very different to her normal thrillers.  In fact I'm not entirely sure what I thought of it. 

However I did find myself incredibly caught up with the action, it gave me a disturbed night's sleep, and I found I kept thinking about the book.  I was also utterly gripped whenever I was reading it. 

But yet its not the sort of story  I would tend to look for, and only read it as I knew I could trust the author's writing and I was curious.  I'm still convinced books with ex-SAS officers, and all manner of violence from the main protagonist aren't really for me. 

That being said I was rooting for Aubrey Savage the whole way through and was hoping he would get answers about his missing friend, and his protection of women in a situation that is so far removed to most people's realities was very interesting to read. 

Everything that was going on at the Green Chapel was very disturbing and there and the arrogance of the main criminal mastermind was shocking.  

I loved all of Aubrey's theories, and how he was able to get people onside to help him, and his background was rather surprising too. 

If you like your books quite dark, definitely dastardly and full of action then this is definitely the book for you. 

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