Friday 12 April 2024

Book Review - The Ski Trip by Sarah Clarke - #HolidayReading Fuerteventura

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Amazon UK

Title: The Ski Trip
Author: Sarah Clarke
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: HQ Digital
Publication Date: 14th September 2023
Rating: 5 Stars

THE PERFECT TRIP

When four friends embark on a boys’ skiing holiday in the Alps, they anticipate a weekend of fun, drinking, and some healthy competition on the slopes. But their trip is cut short when one of them falls to his death.

A TERRIBLE ACCIDENT…

Tom’s widow, Zoe travels to France with her friend, Ivy to collect his body. While Zoe is consumed by grief, Ivy starts to question everything.

OR COLD-BLOODED MURDER?

The slope Tom fell from wasn’t dangerous, and tensions between the group were at breaking point in the days before his death.

But if Ivy’s suspicions are correct, Tom was killed by one of his closest friends. And they are still in the chalet…

Wow, what a conclusion, didn't see that coming at all. 

So much good stuff in the pages of this incredibly gripping book, that I was totally enthralled by. 

We have Ivy and Zoe, who have gone out to France, after Zoe's husband Tom dies on a boys ski trip. They are all old friends, but there is something about the accident that has Ivy asking many questions. 

We learn a lot about the groups mixed history, in addition to the ups and downs of Ivy's pasts with a few of them in particular. 

And the descriptions of the skiing were to die for!

I couldn't' get enough of this book, and just wanted to keep on reading, even past the end page. 

Was fabulous. 

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

Thursday 11 April 2024

Book Review - Clickbait by L.C. North - #HolidayReading Fuerteventura - #Blogtour

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Amazon UK

Title: Clickbait
Author: L. C. North
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Transworld Digital
Publication Date: 11th April 2024
Rating: 5 Stars

'We're not famous anymore. We're notorious.'

For over a decade, the Lancasters were celebrity royalty, with millions tuning in every week to watch their reality show, Living with the Lancasters.

But then an old video emerges of one of their legendary parties. Suddenly, they're in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons: witnesses swore they'd seen missing teenager Bradley Wilcox leaving the Lancaster family home on the night of the party, but the video tells a different story

Now true crime investigator and YouTuber Tom Isaac is on the case. He's determined to find out what really happened to Bradley - he just needs to read between the Lancasters' lies . . .

Because when the cameras are always rolling, it won't be long until someone cracks.

Wow once again L. C. North has written a captivating and rather twisty novel that I was hooked on. 

She has created the Lancaster family, who are clearly modelled on the Kardashians I would imagine I've never watched them) and they are a car crash of a family that I couldn't get enough of. 

The whole book doesn't have a typical narrative, rather told from pod casts, comments, you tube episodes, police transcripts and more. 

And I would have never guessed how everything would unravel and yet it all made sense. 

Was remarkably easy to follow and totally had me hooked, And you never know who to trust fully. 

The finale was perfection with many gasps from me, as everything came together.  

Just wonderful. 

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

Wednesday 10 April 2024

Book Review - At The Captain's Table by Gervase Phinn

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Amazon UK

Title: At The Captain's Table
Author: Gervase Phinn
Format reviewed: Paperback
Source: Purchased
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Publication Date: 9th June 2022
Rating: 4.5 Stars

Sail away with the delightful new novel from Gervase Phinn, bestselling author of The School at the Top of the Dale

A summer cruise should be just the ticket for a few weeks of luxury and relaxation - but for the passengers and crew of the Empress of the Ocean, the sights of the Mediterranean are nothing compared to the excitement on board...

For bickering couple Albert and Maureen, the trip might prove a much-needed escape - or the final straw. Elegant Frances de la Mare is determined to hobnob with the right kind of people - but her penthouse suite proves lonelier than she ever imagined. Meanwhile, precocious twelve-year-old Oliver discovers that guidebooks don't teach you everything, sparks fly when the port lecturer finds himself upstaged by a popular author, dancers Bruce and Babs can't keep in step, and cruise expert Neville just wants someone to speak to.

But as unlikely friendships are forged, feuds bubble in the laundry room, and everyone jostles for a seat at the Captain's table, they might find all their plans going overboard....

Warm, funny and uplifting, this is the perfect escapist read for fans of Gervase Phinn's Yorkshire novels, as well as readers of Celia Imrie, Alan Titchmarsh and Maeve Haran.

Although being aware of Gervase Phinn and thinking I'd probably enjoy his books,  I had never got as far as reading one before At The Captain's Table, and I know it was the fact it was set on a cruise ship that attracted my attention.

After all I love all travel and cruising and couldn't want to see just what Empress of the Ocean is like.  And I get the impression that it was most likely modelled on one of the Cunard Queens  - which makes it not the sort of ship that I would prefer to cruise on, but made it perfectly suited for the sort of story that was being told. 

For we meet absolutely loads of the guests and crew, in short snippets, in a manner that you may think would be confusing but in fact made perfect sense and once I was used to the writing style I loved the way everything was told to us.

Because being on a cruise ship you do keep running into the same guests over and over, so you do start to get to know them a bit better than the initial surface cruise ship chat my imply.  And there is a wide ranging group of people on this particular Med cruise. 

Easily my favourite was Oliver,  who is a rather unusual 12 year old boy, and proud of it. He is eloquent, knowledgeable and genuinely interested in the ports and their historic sides.  Although I did feel it rather unrealistic that he was being allowed to explore the ports on his own, even if his grandparents had disembarked with him.  It just didn't ring true to anything that I know which was a slight shame. 

Other than that, I recognised elements of many of the guests on board, and that of the entertainers and crew too.  I felt as though I was on the voyage alongside everyone and was curious to see the various ports on this itinerary too. 

However again, I did feel that some elements weren't realistic, like a ship that has just done a med cruise, having a Caribbean cruise as it's very next sailing. Given just about every ship would do a transatlantic between the cruising seasons, sold separately to a Caribbean cruise, as they attract different clientele. 

With the few weird things aside, I was invested in these characters, and curious to see how their holidays would turn out. 

A completely different narrative style to what I'm used to, but I felt it really worked well for this book.  And I really do think  I should get around to reading other books from this author at some point.

Tuesday 9 April 2024

Book Review - Winning At Life by Kathryn Wallace

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Amazon UK

Title: Winning At Life
Author: Kathryn Wallace
Format reviewed: Paperback
Source: Secret Santa Present
Publisher: Sphere
Publication Date: 6th February 2020
Rating: 5 Stars

Thank god for back to school at the end of the summer!

The kids are back at school after a long summer. Gemma and Becky can finally breathe a huge sigh of relief and reach for the gin bottle.

Except it seems that Becky is accidentally a little bit pregnant...

But that's not the first shock for the parents in the playground. Over the summer, part of their beloved Redcoats Primary has burned down. The school needs to raise thousands of pounds to stay open - and Gemma and Becky have been forced on to the fundraising committee (just to add to the millions of messages from their online parent groups).

In year that will see new babies for Becky, new schools and a whole new business for Gemma, can they keep their heads above water and find that they're #winningatlife?

I devoured this book, I literally couldn't read it fast enough. 

After all any book that starts with "Mum! Ava keeps showing me her vagina" as an opening sentence is definitely going to grab my attention and make me think the kids in this will be brilliant. 

And that was a fair assumption as Ava is totally amazing, I can't believe her logic and everything she comes out with and what she does over the course of her new school year. I actually felt sorry for her old brother Sam, who is having his own problems but it's harder to notice as Ava is a limelight grabber! 

I loved Gemma and Becky's friendship and their dynamics, as they juggle parenting,  new jobs (or roles at work), and being roped into the save our school fundraising campaign (which had a rather unfortunate acronym for it's real title). 

This is just a lot of fun, while being a realistic look at motherhood, and with Becky being pregnant again, her comments about pregnancy especially in ante-natal classes are classic, hilarious, almost certainly truthful and real, but not really the dynamic the group leader was going for! 

I had occasional sense of wonderings while I was reading this, as to whether that had been any other books, but it wasn't until I got to the back matter of the book that I knew for sure that this was actually a sequel.  Which I think just shows it totally reads well as a standalone. 

So many great one liners to make you giggle. 

This is just a whole lot of fun, that I absolutely adored reading. 

Monday 8 April 2024

Happy 9th Blogiversary to Me!

My mind is boggling at the thought that 9 years ago today, I nervously pressed publish on my first ever blog post.  In some ways it feels like no time at all has passed, and I certainly still think I'm at least 9 years younger than my current age! 

And what a 9 years it has been, without my blog I would never have made so many friends, managed to create a job that I absolutely adore (blog tour organising as Rachel's Random Resources for those of you who aren't aware), have read and reviewed far more many books than I know how to count - I easily ran out of fingers and toes in the first month or two, and just feel as though I have found my tribe - which is extra specially true at any RNA events I attend. 

Ok, so for pure curiosity I thought I'd just add up how many books are noted on the Goodreads challenges from 2015 to now - so will include a few months of 2015 before the blog was set up and I have to know just how many books I've read in 9 years....

....

drum roll please...

...

OMG! Apparently we are looking at 2771 books and counting, almost all of them with reviews (and not counting the 12 or 13 pending reviews I've written but not had time to turn into blog posts or put on Goodreads, since coming back from my cruise!). 

Ok that is an astonishing number. 

I have to ogive a big, huge, mahooosive thank you to to every single author and publisher that has trust me to read their books, and for just writing them in the first place.  I also want to give a massive thank you to everyone that has followed my blog at any point over the past 9 years. I do sometimes wonder if I'm shouting into the great void of cyberspace, but even if just occasionally someone enjoys a book they bought on my recommendations then it is worth it to me. 

Seriously though 9 years.. this is easily the longest I've kept anything going in my life, and I'm determined to make it to at least the 10th blogiversary this time next year, even if it does feel at time recently that my reading and reviewing has been a bit slower, and not quite as coherent as normal.  

Bring on Ayia Napa in August for two weeks of reading in the sun...! 

And how on earth has it been 9 years... wonder if I'll still be feeling the book love and being a blogger in another 9 years time...  keep following to find out! Thanks! 

Book Review - The Crew by J. M. Hewitt - #HolidayReading Fuerteventura

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Amazon UK

Title: The Crew
Author: J. M. Hewitt
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Canelo Suspense
Publication Date: 19th October 2023
Rating: 5 Stars

All kinds of secrets get lost at sea...
Ella loves the nomadic lifestyle of working on a luxury superyacht. She can leave her past behind and over the years she's found a new family to return to every summer – the crew of the Ananke.

Now she's returning to work on the Ananke following a tragedy the previous summer, when one of the deckhands died in an accident. Newcomer Ashley was confident, capable and beloved by everyone.

But everything Ashley told them was a lie. And if nobody knows who you really are, then can someone get away with your murder? As the Ananke sets sail again, it becomes clear that nothing about last summer was as it seemed...

A tense and unputdownable thriller perfect for fans of Below Deck, Catherine Cooper and Cameron Ward.

What a wonderful twisty tale this is.

Based on the prologue, I was wondering if this might be similar to other thrillers set on yachts / boats I've read recently, but once it got going I could tell this was definitely different. 

And refreshingly so, for the tragedy happened a year ago, but was it really an accident and how affected were the crew from Ashley's death, as they reconvene on the same ship with the first same set of guests. 

And just how well did they really know Ashley. 

Split into multiple parts, we get not just what is happening this season with Ella and the crew, and how suspicion is being pointed in all directions, but also the previous summer in real time too, as we get to know far more about the victim. 

Loved discovering just where this book was taking me, and was gripped throughout. 

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

Friday 5 April 2024

Book Review - My Fake Italian Marriage by Romy Sommer - #HolidayReading Fuerteventura

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Amazon UK

Title: My Fake Italian Marriage
Author: Romy Sommer
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: One More Chapter
Publication Date: 3rd November 2023
Rating: 4 Stars

Cleo Arendse: You know how almost every movie set in Italy seems to be about a woman who travels to Tuscany and is swept off her feet by a charming, gorgeous but arrogant aristocrat? Well, that’s not this story.

Luca Fioravanti:
Challenge accepted.

British Banker Cleo Arendse is nothing like the women lawyer Luca Fioravanti is used to – both because she’s only in Tuscany to oversee his family vineyard’s business and because she’s impervious to the charm that has never failed him before now.

But Luca has never shied from a challenge, and when circumstances arise that allow him to step in as Cleo’s knight in shining armour, he leaps…right into a fake marriage! The romance may be a ruse but the passion burning between Luca and Cleo is very, very real, and as the ‘honeymoon’ glow envelops the pair, all bets are off…

Italian vineyard - Tick
Romy Sommers book - Tick
Gorgeous male lead - Tick
Delicious Italian food - Tick
Fake relationship trope - Tick

Well this ticked all the right boxes for me, to read a very entertaining and easy to read story, 

I thoroughly enjoyed this one, and seeing how Cleo and Luca get on, and just how they end up in a fake marriage. 

I loved the circumstances of it all, and generally enjoyed every last word of this book. 

Was a joy to read, and to spend time in the heat of the Italian sunshine,  Fabulous holiday reading. 

Thank you to One More Chapter and Netgalley for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily. 

Wednesday 3 April 2024

Book Review - Mother Hens by Sophie McCartney

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Amazon UK

Title: Mother Hens
Author: Sophie McCartney
Format reviewed: Hardcover
Source: Publisher supplied copy
Publisher: Harper North
Publication Date: 30th March 2023
Rating: 5 Stars

Welcome to a hen do where revenge is served colder than a frozen margarita…

Cara Carmichael’s bestie is finally getting hitched, and she’s over the moon because it means one thing… Whoah, they’re going to Ibiza! Mums on Tour: ditching kids, partners and better judgement for a long-weekend of sun, sea, and sex…y support pants. What could possibly go ‘Pete Tong’?

Lazy days, crazy nights and child-free hangovers sound like hedonistic heaven – but it turns out you can get into a hell of a lot of trouble on the party island where rules are meant to be broken.

For Cara, it’s a chance to forget about her messy divorce and explosive feud with a stardom-seeking sister and Pina-Colada pickled mother. Swapping emotional baggage for 10kg of hand luggage, she soon realises even on holiday, the darkness of your past has an alarming way of catching up with you.

When a twist of fate causes feathers to fly – a dangerous opportunity for retribution arises. Faced with secrets, lies, and betrayal – does it pay to be a good egg, or do bad chicks reign supreme?

Four friends, three nights, two murders – one heck of an adventure. A rollocking rollercoaster ride from Ibiza to Vegas, via Cheshire, Mother Hens will make you laugh, wince, and wonder what any of us are really capable of when push comes to shove…

Easily one of the funniest books I've read in a long long while. 
Easily one of the most outrageous and unpredictable books I've read in a long while. 
Easily some of the best hijinks and insane situations and completely unbelievable books I've read in a long while. 

All three of those statements are definitely true, and the direction this went it was completely unexpected. 

And even before that it was bonkers, it was funny, there is a colour cast of characters, and from the moment they get to the airport for the start of the hen party, it kicks up a gear.  The previous pages were a great set up for us to have an intro to the characters, their personalities and also just an inkling into Cara's family situation. 

My only slight issue with this book, as how easily I got Camilla, Cara and Connie Carmichael confused, the first of those being Cara (our main character's) mother, and the other being her half sister. 

On this mother hens weekend to Ibiza are Cara, mother of two and who really has horrible other family,  Jac the bride to be and for a police officer seemed to be involved in a lot of highly dubious situations during this book, Deb who is a brand new mother who keeps falling asleep, and Amy, Cara's cousin, and the wildest of the bunch. 

It's also Amy who booked the hen do and was in charge of organising it, with some rather unusual choices for what is meant to be four mums living it up without their children for 3 nights, having the hen party they would have wanted 20 years before hand in their youth!

I am already excited to see what this author comes up with next, as I couldn't get enough of this book, and laughed out loud so so many times, and then later on was open mouthed in disbelief while having to ignore real life to keep reading to the end as I really couldn't work out how it would end! 

It ramps up and up and up to one memorable finale. 

Utterly brilliant. 

Tuesday 2 April 2024

Book Review - Seven Summers by Paige Toon - #HolidayReading #Cruise

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Amazon UK

Title: Seven Summers
Author: Paige Toon
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Penguin
Publication Date: 28th March 2024
Rating: 5 Stars

Two epic love stories. One impossible choice. The stunning new novel from Paige Toon.

Six summers ago

Liv and Finn meet working in a bar on the rugged Cornish coastline, their futures full of promise. When a night of passion ends in devastating tragedy they are bound together inextricably. But Finn's life is in LA with his band, and Liv's is in Cornwall with her family - so they make a promise. Finn will return every year, and if they are single they will spend the summer together.

This summer

Liv crosses paths with Tom - a mysterious new arrival in her hometown. As the wildflowers and heather come into bloom, they find themselves falling for one another. For the first time Liv can imagine a world where her heart isn't broken every year.

Now Liv must make an impossible choice. And when she discovers the shocking reason that Tom has left home, she'll need to trust her heart even more . . .

Paige Toon always writes the loveliest of books and this is no exception. 

I loved how the main narrative was from this current summer, but then we would get sections of a few chapters from each of the previous summers, since the first time that Liv and Finn meet. 

We get to see their love story play out, while being aware that things are a bit different with the current summer which Liv is actually interested in newcomer Tom. 

I loved seeing how this all unfolded and trying to work out just who Liv might end up with.  I loved all of the main characters, and was really rooting for happy ever afters for everyone! 

This was a joy to read, and was very entertaining. 

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

Monday 1 April 2024

Book Review - Beer Fest by Lilo Moore - #HolidayReading Fuerteventura

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Amazon UK

Title: Beer Fest
Author: Lilo Moore
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: LM Books
Publication Date: 31st August 2023
Rating: 4 Stars

Two best friends, a tipsy Oktoberfest dare and one kiss that could change everything.

It’s been fifteen years since big-shot marketing manager Fi first met her bi best friend Max. Living on different continents has had its challenges, but she’s determined that their friendship will be as strong as ever when she arrives in Munich for an Oktoberfest reunion with their study abroad friends. There’s no one she loves like her Max, even if he has finally grown up a bit and now runs a microbrewery.
But instead of lazy conversations and comfortable day-drinking, as they’d always done when they were younger, the reunion is a slightly desperate meeting of disillusioned millennials escaping real life – until Fi’s jetlagged, drunken rant about being a woman working in beer marketing goes viral and they’re roped into a bad-taste beerfest challenge. As she and Max and their friends from the international dorm tackle fairground stunts, physical challenges and bad karaoke, the one dare that changes everything is the simplest: kiss your teammate.
Now she can’t stop thinking about him in a very more-than-friends kind of way. When kissing leads to more and she discovers that her screwball best friend can talk dirty and light the sheets on fire in the bedroom, she can’t help seeing the years of their friendship in a new – and terrifying – light.
As the challenge progresses with thrill rides, pretzels, lots of lederhosen and a little public nudity, the dares are actually fun, when Fi completes them on her own terms. But the truth questions present the biggest danger to her future. What happens to her precious friendship – and her big promotion – when she admits to herself just how much Max means to her?

A spicy romcom with a bit of snark and a lot of swoon, for fans of Helen Hoang and Christina Lauren.

I really enjoyed this latest book from Lilo Moore, set to a backdrop of Oktoberfest. 

Now I've never read anything set at Oktoberfest before, nor do I drink beer, or know anything about this annual beer festival, so have no idea how accurate anything is, but if you like doing loads of wacky things in and amongst increasingly drunk people then it could be the festival for you. 

Fi hasn't seen best friend Max in a few years in the flesh, and the rest of their group in many years, but its like a reunion for them all. 

And they get suckered into taking part in a team contest over the fest that takes in truth or dares in addition to assorted challenges. 

And Fi and Max are rather competitive and so we get to see a whole lot of fun and funny activities as they attempt to win.

But in that they grow closer and there is clear chemistry between them, even though they are allegedly just good friends. 

Max was easily my favourite character and I would love to see more of him in he future. 

And the raunchy scenes were fabulous. 

This was a greatly enjoyable romp through Oktoberfest, featuring friends, sex and more! 

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

Friday 29 March 2024

Book Review - Baby, One More Time by Camilla Isley - #HolidayReading Fuerteventura

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Amazon UK

Title: Baby, One More Time
Author: Camilla Isley
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Boldwood Books
Publication Date: 20th January 2024
Rating: 5 Stars

Driven and smart, Marissa Mayer has worked her way to COO at a major Fintech startup as well as launching her own successful app on the side. Now what she wants more than anything is a baby. And having given up on love after her heart was broken by the boy next door, she’s prepared to do it alone.

Recently returning to New York from LA, Dr John Raikes is an expert in his field of neonatal medicine. But when John introduces himself as Marissa’s doctor, sparks fly, and not in a good way. Because Dr John Raikes is no stranger: he’s her teenage sweetheart all grown up.

Marissa knows she should keep John at arm’s length, lest she have her heart broken again... But there’s something about a man in a white coat. And with John determined to show Marissa he’s changed, can she keep saying no when her heart is saying yes?

A gorgeously funny enemies-to-lovers, second-chance rom com, perfect for fans of Sarah Adams, Lynn Painter and Jo Watson.

Have I mentioned recently how much I love Camilla Isley's books? And this one is another fabulous one right up there with her best. 

Featuring Marissa who is Blake from Not in a Billion Years best friend, and John, the man who broke her heart when she was 18, and has never seen since. 

And i can't really comment on all of the amazing bits as I'd be giving away spoilers.... but suffice to say that there are sparks flying and not always of the romantic variety. 

There is a situation that is utterly fabulous in setting things up Oh and Nora, John's daughter is utterly adorable and I fell for her as much as I did for John and Marissa. 

The way they come back into each others lives is hilarious and sets the tone for the whole book. 

And I was hooked on every second of it and found I was wishing the really good hotel entertainment that I was watching to be over sooner, so I could go back to devouring this book.

I loved it so much, it's definitely another winner from Camilla Isley. 

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

Thursday 28 March 2024

Book Review - Mrs Quinn's Rise to Fame by Olivia Ford - #HolidayReading Fuerteventura

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Amazon UK

Title: Mrs Quinn's Rise to Fame
Author: Olivia Ford
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Penguin
Publication Date: 28th March 2024
Rating: 5 Stars

Mrs Quinn is the unlikely star of Britain's favourite baking show, but could her newfound stardom cause her biggest secret to unravel?

Jennifer Quinn has a secret. Her love of baking has just won her a spot as a contestant on a primetime TV show. It's only the second time in fifty-nine years that she's kept something from her beloved husband Bernard.

She's about to be whisked into an unfamiliar world of cameras, timed challenges and celebrity judges. She could be in with a chance of being crowned the best baker in Britain.

But, as Mrs Quinn's quiet ambitions turn into unexpected stardom, the other secret she's been keeping is in danger of resurfacing. It was supposed to stay hidden forever.

Will Mrs Quinn rise to the challenge? Or, will her success become a recipe for disaster?

Absolutely adored this heartwarming book, that left me incredibly hungry. 

In fact please don't read this unless you have a lot of snacks on hand to nibble on as you read, especially baked goods, as this is definitely a book that will appeal to anyone that loves a bit of baking or bake off, or eating!

Jennifer Quinn is a wonderful character and I'd love to be her when I'm older, I'd especially love her baking ability! 

She is in her 70s and has applied to be on British Bakes, keeping the application a secret from her husband. In their almost 60 years of marriage this is only the second thing she has hidden from Bernard. 

The first is slowly revealed to us as readers, over the course of the British Bakes, and of what Jennifer is baking, as from those bakes we are taken on a trip down memory lane to when she was a teen,  Thus reinforcing a theme in the book that good baking can evoke memories. 

I just loved every single thing about this book, and devoured it in a few very short hours. 

The backstory and secret revelation is so understated throughout, that the emotion of it actually took me by surprise by the time we have discovered everything. 

It's a joyous read, and I look forward to seeing what else this author writes in the future. 

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

Wednesday 27 March 2024

Book Review - It's Complicated by Camilla Isley

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Amazon UK

Title: It's Complicated
Author: Camilla Isley
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Boldwood Books
Publication Date: 23rd February 2024
Rating: 5 Stars

Lori has been in love with her best friend Aiden since college. Now Aiden (handsome, fair, All-American dream doctor) is getting married, and Lori desperately needs a date to the wedding.

So she asks the best man, Jace (tall, dark, and brooding), to pretend their platonic friendship is something more not to have to face the worst day of her life alone.

Fake dating one best friend to forget the other should be easy… Plot twist—it’s not. When Jace starts acting like the sweetest, most attentive boyfriend, Lori begins to wonder if she’s been seeing him wrong all this time?

They've been an inseparable trio since freshman year, but now everything is changing — and that's not even bringing Jace's feelings into the mix.

Basically? It’s complicated.

Within the first few chapters, I was sure of two things - 

1) That Camilla Isley had come up with yet another fabulous premise and that I was going to thoroughly enjoy this book - which I did. 
2) That the title was incredibly apt - to say the situation between Lori, Aiden and Jace is complicated may be an understatement.

There is fake dating, there is fifteen year long unrequited love for two of the characters, and there is a stag do and a wedding to get through. 

It's just so so good, I loved Lori (and her unconventional hobbies), and Jace (wow, I was falling for him), and Aiden the other friend and key to it all, I liked but although he is a focus, we don't get to know him as much, since this really is the story of Lori and Jace. 

I just loved everything about this, and the sexual chemistry is so hot, it jumps off the page. 

I had a lot of fun devouring this book, and found it really quick to read.  I always love this author and this for me is another hit from her.  Just so so entertaining. 

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

Tuesday 26 March 2024

Book Review - The Guest by B. A Paris

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Amazon UK

Title: The Guest
Author: B.A. Paris
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Publication Date: 20th February 2024
Rating: 4 Stars

Iris and Gabriel have just got home from a make-or-break holiday. But a shock awaits them. One of their dearest friends, Laure, is in their house - sleeping in their bed, wearing Iris' clothes, even rearranging the furniture. She has walked out on her husband - and their good friend - Pierre over his confession of an affair.

Iris and Gabriel want to be supportive. But as Laure's mood becomes more unpredictable, her presence begins to unravel secrets in all their pasts - until things reach breaking point ...

I'm a massive fan of this author, so was incredibly keen to lose myself in their latest novel. And from the prologue I was certainly intrigued. 

I needed to know just who these characters were, and just why did it sound like someone had just been blown up! 

And this is certainly a twisted sort of a story, where you are never completely sure what the truth is, but I was certainly invested in finding out what would happen next at all points. 

All I did know was that Laure wasn't just getting on Iris and Gabriel's nerves after a while, but mine too. But i could never have guessed how some of the sub plots were going to interconnect. 

It was brilliant, and certainly had me guessing until the last pages, where I was open mouthed.  It's another great book from this talented author and it definitely hooked me in.

Thank you to Hodder & Stoughton and Netgalley for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily. 
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