Friday, 30 August 2013

The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriaty

I'm very excited to be the second on stop The Husband's Secret blog tour, here you will find my review, Q&A with Liane Moriaty and this wonderful bespoke video


Synopsis
At the heart of The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty is a letter that's not meant to be read . . .

Mother of three and wife of John-Paul, Cecilia discovers an old envelope in the attic. Written in her husband's hand, it says: to be opened only in the event of my death.

Curious, she opens it - and time stops.

John-Paul's letter confesses to a terrible mistake which, if revealed, would wreck their family as well as the lives of others.

Cecilia - betrayed, angry and distraught - wants to do the right thing, but right for who? If she protects her family by staying silent, the truth will worm through her heart. But if she reveals her husband's secret, she will hurt those she loves most . . .



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What good is a secret if I tell you, so with that in mind please forgive me for just jumping straight into what i thought of the story, but the synopsis really does tell you, all you need to know!

At first I found it hard keeping up with the separate sub plots that started the story, but several chapters in, I discovered 'The Husband's Secret' to be a truly gripping read that left me reeling in shock as Cecillia finally opened her husband's letter and discovered the secret, a secret I could never have foreseen..
Once the contents of the letter were out in the open, I found the story took on a faster pace and I was pulled into the world of mystery and intrigue even more and wondered how the characters would react to the discovery.

I found myself connected to the characters, with so many of them being likeable, it's hard not to get emotional with them and wanting to fight their battles.
I found Tess to be a wonderfully shy and lovely character but her cousin Felicity was like a cat that got the cream and that riled me!
As much as my blood boiled with Felicity, my heart went out to Rachael, she is extremely organised and has a hidden strength that her 70 years don't reflect in the mirror.

I love the way story pulled things together and the Epilogue was amazing, I'm very much a what if girl and this appealed to me.
When I first picked up the book, I wasn't expecting the journey my emotions would take, I wasn't expecting to have to put a book down to digest what had happened. Through the writings of Liane Moriaty, I felt the impact, of that secret.

Mystery, intrigue, love and trust, I suggest you find out what 'The Husband's Secret' is.

5/5

I would like to thank Katie from Michael Joseph, Penguin, for allowing me to be part of this wonderful blog tour!




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1. Since you became a writer, what’s the most exciting thing to happen to you?
I am trying to choose between two memories. The first is of sitting on a Sydney ferry and seeing the woman next to me open her handbag and pull out a copy of my first novel, Three Wishes. She then proceeded to read it. As if it was a real book! Until then I’d secretly wondered whether the whole process of publication had been a giant (cruel) practical joke.

The second memory is of sitting on my back steps watching my son play in the yard, while I was on a conference call with my literary agent, a film agent, and a Hollywood film producer. The producer was buying the film rights for What Alice Forgot. “We were thinking of someone like Jennifer Aniston or Reese Witherspoon for the role of Alice,” he said, just as my little boy bellowed, “I’m hungry!” It was quite surreal.

2. If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
To fly. I know everybody has dreams about flying, but mine feel so very real. Each time I dream-fly, I think, “That’s right, of course I can fly—how could I have forgotten!” I have a friend who claps her hands to make herself fly in her dreams. That’s ridiculous. I gracefully flap my arms and point my toes.

3. What fictional character do you have a crush on?
Patrick Pennington from the series by the British author K. M.Peyton, beginning with Pennington’s Seventeenth Summer. I read these YA books as a fourteen-year-old and fell deeply in love with Patrick. He was a big, brooding, leather-jacket-wearing bad boy, who got into trouble a lot but played the piano like an angel. I still swoon at the thought of his big grazed knuckles (from punching walls and the like) caressing the piano keys. Ah, Patrick. It’s probably your fault that I took so long to find the right man.

4. How did you get the idea for the novel?
Two years ago I stumbled upon a fascinating article about real-life deathbed confessions. I learned about Christian Spurling, who confessed on his deathbed to faking a notorious photo of the Loch Ness Monster. There was a famous songwriter who was dying of cancer who wrote a letter admitting, after years of adamant denials, that she had plagiarized a lullaby melody. Then there was the hapless man who, after suffering a stroke, confessed he’d killed his neighbour thirty years earlier. The only problem was that he didn’t end up dying. After he was released from hospital, he went straight to jail. These stories, particularly the one about the man who didn’t die, got me thinking. I was intrigued by that overwhelming desire to share your darkest secret. So I came up with the idea of a man who feels such a powerful desire to share a secret that he sits down and writes a letter to his wife, to be opened in the event of his death. It’s a deathbed confession, except he’s not dead.

5. What do you do in your spare time when you’re not writing?
I read in bed, read in the bath, read in the TV commercials, sleep, eat chocolate, work off all that chocolate in gym classes, ski (not that I ski every weekend, but I thought I should mention something outdoorsy), and now it occurs to me that I haven’t mentioned my children, and I don’t know how I could have forgotten them, because they are currently with the babysitter, screaming their darling little heads off in the hallway just outside my office door. What I actually do when I’m not writing is take care of my five-year-old son and three-year-old daughter, and I like that very much.

Thursday, 29 August 2013

My Book Moment - Wait a minute Mr Postman!

I'm really excited to bring you, this weeks 'My Book Moment'
Today Laura from Laura's Book Reviews
Twitter - Laura Reviews is sharing with us her book moment,



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When I first started thinking about my book moment, I didn't really know what to choose. I've had a few incidents throughout my life that are reminiscent of famous books. For example I am as clumsy and socially inept as Bridget Jones, and I can probably list a few moments that would be worthy of a Nicholas Sparks novel; you know, the lovey dovey wishy washy stuff.

One thing that I have documented quite well on twitter was a postman who walked his way into my life. If this was within the pages of a romance novel, our eyes would have met across a doorstep, his sparkling blue, mine dish water brown, and we would have known then and there we were meant to be together.

Really, he turned up on the doorstep, I thought he was a bit of alright, I grabbed my post from him and slammed the door in his face, cognisant of the fact I looked like a tramp.
If there had been warning that my future husband was going to walk into my life, I might have had a bit more time to prepare. Alas, postmen seem to change like the direction of the wind so I waited a whole week to see his angelic face again. Unfortunately after two days of getting out of bed and attempting to make myself look mildly human and not seeing him, I decided to give up and go back to my slovenly ways. This wasn't great when he knocked on the door and I had to greet him once again dressed in a track suit. (Not a chavvy one, I might add. Just a casual 'I'm going to lay around the house all day and I don't give a hoot' one.)



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By this point, the conversation was flowing well. He'd say hi, I'd say hi, he'd hand me my post, I'd say thanks, he'd say bye, I'd say bye and then we'd go our separate ways.
At this point I took to twitter to declare my love for him and ask for suggestions on how to get him into my bed, whoops sorry, I meant my heart.
There were some sensible suggestions from people like Victoria Stone who suggested I struck up a conversation and ask him his name. Then the not so sensible from James Bateman who mentioned shouting 'I LOVE YOU' in his face might do the trick.
I decided to try out Victoria's tactic and was ready to pounce when he next turned up. As usual, we did the whole awkward post dance of him handing me post and me taking it (clumsily) from his grasp, all the while trying to maintain eye contact. He even realised I was a book reviewer and said, 'wow! That's a lot of reading to do!' I laughed daintily, of course, and fluttered my eyelids and went to ask his name and realised my mouth wouldn't work. By this point he was already half way back down the path, so I quickly closed the door and revelled in the eye contact we had just made. It was true love for sure.



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(Ok, so he wasn’t as hot as the postman in Legally Blonde The Musical but, hot man pictures are lush and it’s good to have a bit of a mental image, right?)

I started to fantasise that now he knew my name and where I lived and that we were just so connected, he'd send me a bunch of flowers and a pile of books and declare his undying love for me (come on, that'd totally happen in a novel) but no, that didn't seem to happen.
He then disappeared from my life almost as quickly as he appeared and I've never seen the postman/aka the love of my life since.
In my mind he was called Joe; he looked like a Joe. So based on this fool proof analysis I facebook'd the name Joe and searched for ages to try and find him.



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Apparently his name isn't Joe.
So here I am, months later, wallowing in self pity, self loathing and regret for never asking his bloody name.
Who knows, by now we could be married with our first child on the way.
I saw the way he looked at me....it was either pure unadulterated lust or pure terror. I like to think it was the former.
So I am husband-less and loveless and quite emosh that I haven't yet found 'The One'.
I'm still looking and you couldn't knock me for trying, I'll tell you, but no Mr Darcy has yet strode into my life and swept me off my feet. I mean maybe my Mr Darcy is already in my life and I just have to force him to somehow lift all *cough* stones of me briefly into the air and then claim I've been swept off my feet. (Boys if you're reading, I'M SINGLE and not at all desperate).
So my book moment was kind of spoilt by reality. If we had been in a romance novel, Joe and I would have been having passionate sex in the middle of his round and I would have been sent that bunch of flowers. Not only that, he'd fancy the pants off me and want to make me his wife.
Damn it. If only that had happened.

But, like any good book, I'm going to sit patiently and watch my story unfold until I get to the part which will lead me to my happy ending. I’m sure it’s there somewhere, but for now, I’m just going to enjoy my journey…

(But, seriously, if you are single and look anything like this, let me know)



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Or, if you have a pulse, that’ll be fine.

I would like to thank Laura for sharing her wonderfully witty book moment.

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Taking a trip with Jamie Baywood!

Jamie Baywood grew up in Petaluma, California. In 2010, she made the most impulsive decision of her life by moving to New Zealand. Getting Rooted in New Zealand is her first book about her experiences living there. Jamie is now married and living happily ever after in the United Kingdom. She is working on her second book.



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Your novel is called 'Getting Rooted in New Zealand ' please could you tell me about it?
My book is a true story. My life has been so strange it sounds like fiction, but it is really too weird to be made up. My truth is stranger than fiction. Some, but not all of the names of individuals and organizations have been changed to preserve privacy, but the stories are all true. As a reader, you can expect to laugh out loud while you read Getting Rooted in New Zealand.

'Getting Rooted in New Zealand' is a memoir, what inspired you decide to share your adventure with readers?
Most of the book was written as the events happened; it just took me a few years to work up the nerve to publish. I wrote situations down that were happening around me and shared them with friends. The stories made people laugh so I decided to organize the stories into a book and publish in the hopes to make others laugh too.



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They say the journey to being published is one of the hardest an author can take, please can you describe the journey that you went on?
Last year, we found out we had to move to England from Scotland. Rather than being displaced to a country I didn’t want to move to, I decided to be displaced with the goal of publishing. I’ve just completed a MA in Design. Designing, publishing and marketing my book was my dissertation project.

Because my book was my dissertation project I had to do everything within a couple of months. Self-publishing was the fastest way to publish within the very limited time scale I had. Self-publishing is one person taking on all of the responsibilities typically held by teams of people in traditional publishing companies. It has been a steep learning curve.

On your travels, what would you say was the toughest thing you faced?
New Zealand feels so safe. In California, I would carry pepper spray with me everywhere I went. I was always on edge living in California. It was amazing to me that in New Zealand the police didn’t have guns. I felt much safer as a single female traveling alone in New Zealand than living in California.

The flip side of the feeling of being sheltered from the world in New Zealand was I felt isolated. There was a palpable feeling of being at the end of the world in New Zealand that at times I found overwhelming.

What can we expect next, any future books in the pipeline?
My future books will be about living in various countries. I plan to publish another book next year about attempting to settle in Scotland.

What or who in life inspires you?
I love people watching and observing the world.

if 'Rooted in New Zealand' was to be made into a film, who would you like to star in it?
It would be great if someone like Zooey Deschanel or Alexis Bledel played me. I would hate it if Kristen Stewart played me.



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Please could you tell us a bit about your writing process?
I find myself scribbling notes about my observations when I travel. I am constantly making myself notes, sending myself text messages and emails.

If you could give one piece of advice to an aspiring author, what would it be?
Be yourself and believe in yourself.

If you were told that you could live any day without repercussions for your actions, what would you do and why?
I would have a family and friends reunion. I would have the people I love that are scattered around the world meet me in American Samoa and hang out at Tisa’s Barefoot Bar and drink pina coladas.

Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest
Amazon Author Page

I would like to thank Jamie for talking to 'The Love Of A Good Book'

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Beneath an Irish Sky by Isabella Connor

The past is never over …
Jack Stewart thought he’d put the past behind him. On the surface, he has everything – success, money, a big house and he is never short of an attractive woman by his side, but a tragic road accident shatters his world.

Raised as an Irish Traveller, Luke Kiernan hasn’t had it easy, and when he wakes in a Dublin hospital to find the man he’s hated since childhood at his bedside, he’s hungry for revenge.

Two very different worlds collide, bringing new dangers, exposing past deceits, and unearthing dark family secrets buried long ago. But from tragedy springs the promise of a fresh start with two women who are intent on helping Jack and Luke mend their lives.

Can new love heal old wounds, or are some scars there for good?



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This is one of them stories where I'm going to let the synopsis tell you what the story is about because it is so intricately told, I'm scared of spoiling it!

What I will say is that in the 12 hours it took me to read this I was gripped, I couldn't put this book down, I found myself walking around the house with my head permanently in the story, I didn't want to leave the characters until the book ended and even then I wasn't ready to let them go.

The story itself plays host to so many wonderful characters and I found myself on a roller-coaster of emotions throughout culminating in a truly spectacular ending.

For me one of the unsung heroes of the book was Matt, he was none judgemental and just a genuinely lovely character to read about, he was always willing to listen to people.

'Beneath an Irish Sky' is a beautifully captivating debut, that will have your mind travelling along with the Irish traveller!

5/5

I would like to thank Jane at Choc Lit for sending me a copy to review.

Monday, 26 August 2013

Another Way to Fall by Amanda Brooke

What would you do if you could write the story of your life?

After battling a brain tumour twenty-nine year old Emma thinks she is in the clear, but her world comes crashing down around her when she is told her fight was in vain, and there is nothing more the doctors can do.

Realising that she won’t now have time to achieve the things she dreamed of, Emma decides to write her perfect life in a story. She imagines all the things she would have done, the places she would have seen, the husband she would have shared her life with and the family they would have raised. And, mysteriously, as she writes her story, she starts to notice that some of her dreams seem to be coming true.

Now with a real love in her life, and her fading hope burning brighter, reality and fiction start to become blurred. As she writes their life-long love story Emma dares to believe that anything is possible, but can she really change her fate?



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I'm a planner, I love having things to look forward to and focus on and like many people throughout the world, I've dreamt about the future I want.
So when I read the synopsis for this book, it got me thinking, what happens if you don't get to look that far ahead.

For Emma, her future isn't going to be how she had hoped, because there isn't time to fit everything she wants from life into the time she has left. What will be her, life legacy?
That's when Emma decides, if she can't live the life she longs for, she will write it instead!

Emma is a wonderful character to read about, she is determined to finish her story and make sure that all those she loves, are prepared for a life without her in it.
She shows an unspeakable strength for facing up to what is happening, even though she's scared, and who wouldn't be? Throughout the story she experiences a mixture of emotions at what she will be leaving behind, what opportunities she won't get to take.

One positive in Emma's life, is her family and friends.
Her mum Meg finds it hard accepting that her daughter isn't able to have life saving treatment and it's heartbreaking the way Meg fights for her.
Then there's Ben, the lovely Ben who brings some reality to Emma's life!
I fell in love with all the main characters and I found myself getting emotional and teary for them all, everyone of them was facing something they didn't want!

'Another Way to Fall' is a truly inspirational heartfelt read, that really does put your life in perspective.

5/5

I would like to thank Jaime at Harper Collins for sending me a copy to review.

Friday, 23 August 2013

The Gravity of Birds by Tracy Guzeman

A haunting debut of love in all its forms, The Gravity of Birds perfectly captures the devastating consequences betrayal can have through the decades, echoing right through to the present day.

Perfect for fans of Kate Morton and Maggie O’Farrell

Sisters Alice and Natalie were once close, but adolescence has wrenched them apart. Alice is a dreamer who loves books and birds; Natalie is headstrong, manipulative – and beautiful.

On their lakeside family holiday, Alice falls under the thrall of a struggling young painter, Thomas Bayber. Natalie, however, seems strangely unmoved, tolerating sittings for a family portrait with surprising indifference. But by the end of the summer, three lives are shattered.

Decades later, Thomas, now a world-renowned artist, reveals the existence of a portrait of himself with Alice and Natalie from that fateful summer. The sisters themselves have disappeared without a trace. And Thomas is torn between taking the secrets of the girls to the grave, or using the painting to resurrect the past before it closes up on them all for good…



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'The Gravity of Birds' tells the story of two sisters, Alice and Natalie who unbeknown to them share the same lover.
Thomas their lover is an artist and during one eventful summer, Thomas captures his memories on canvas.

Flash forward, years later and as life has continued for the three, the secrets of that summer are still out there, scattered amongst three paintings!

It took me a while to get into the story, but once I was caught up in the beautiful writings of Tracy Guzeman, I found myself completely ensconced in the sisters world and intrigued to find out more.

Alice made this story for me, her struggles physically and mentally, really made me feel her pain and I hoped so much that she would get some kind of happiness. Even with the hand she was dealt, Alice stayed a warm character.
Natalie on the other hand came across as cold, but I'm of the opinion that she was a tortured soul.

Tracy Guzeman has wove a tale of mystery, deceit and intrigue, in this emotional and heartfelt read.

4/5

I would like to thank Harper Collins for sending me a copy to review.

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

BELLA SUMMER TAKES A CHANCE relaunch

Michele Gorman is relaunching her book, BELLA SUMMER TAKES A CHANCE this week, and I’m helping her spread the word. I think Bella sounds like a great read and have my copy ready and waiting for when I'm lounging on a beach in a couple of weeks.
So why not grab yourself a copy!

Here’s more about the book:

Amazon US buy here

Amazon UK buy here

Tishylou said: As my first Michele Gorman (@expatdiaries) book,I wasn't sure what to expect with Bella Summer Takes A Chance. I'll tell you this, I was not disappointed for a second!

BestChickLit.com said: Michele Gorman has produced a big, cosy hug of a book to encourage you to never give up on your dreams

Book Blurb:

When is enough not enough?
Bella's career and relationship are her life's foundationwear: not glamorous and perhaps a bit binding, but supportive enough... until she realizes that they are not enough. Her life is sagging badly. She's never been in love with her boyfriend, despite a decade together. And somehow she stopped being a musician-with-a-day-job and became a consultant-who-was-musical. So she takes a terrifying leap of faith, leaving her relationship and resolving to follow her musical dreams no matter what.

But the life you walk away from doesn't always let you walk away.

With a wonderfully warm and witty cast of friends, all navigating between their ideals and the realities they face, together they'll find out what love and compromise really mean in this empowering tale about grasping life with both hands.






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Monday, 19 August 2013

The Naughty Girls Book Club by Sophie Hart

A quaint suburb. A quiet little reading group. A very naughty reading list…

Chicklit with a saucy twist, this is perfect for anyone looking for a slightly softer version of of E.L. James’ 50 Shades of Grey.

Estelle sets up a book group in order to increase custom to her struggling small town cafe, what follows is more scandalous than she could have ever imagined…

As the first book club meeting flounders, Estelle suggests a spot of erotica to spice up the members lives – with trepidation the decision is accepted.

Inspired by their sizzling reads, this group of shy suburban readers shake off their inhibitions and discover a new side to themselves with some tantalising results.

Saucy and sexy chicklit fiction at its most seductive, this is perfect for fans of Jilly Cooper and Indigo Bloome.



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This book was a fabulous surprise, yes as the title suggests it is a naughty read but it is so much much than the erotic novels you see on the shelves.

The 'Naughty Girls Book Club' follows Estelle, Rebecca, Grace, Sue and Reggie as they all meet at Estelle's Cafe Crumb book club.
We follow them as they discover the world of erotic fiction and start to make changes to their own lives.

With no nasty characters and a real sense of finding your way in life, it's endearing watching the characters embark on self discovery both in and out of the bedroom!

From dirty minded Rebecca to Sue who is on a quest for more,
There really is a character for everyone to relate to. Young or old, single or attached, you are never at a point in life where you can't enhance it!

Sit back and enjoy this wonderful read and allow the book club to bring you some naughtiness into your life.

5/5

I would like to thank Avon Books for sending me a copy to review.

My Book Moment - Changing the dream!

Today marks the first My Book Moment feature, a new regular feature to The Love Of A Good Book
Every week someone will be sharing their book moment with you, but first up its me!


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When the idea of 'My Book Moment' first came to me, I was thinking about how a chance encounter in a nightclub had left me feeling like Romily from 'It Started With a Kiss', only in my case it wasn't a kiss but words that were left running through my mind.


As I thought about it more, I realised that a lot of us have 'Book Moments' and don't even realise it, in fact my whole year feels like it could've come from the pages of several books.

So I decided to lay it out, tell you my year so far and I suppose lay my soul bare!

At the start of the year I was working for my local council, I'd been there 5 years and had recently swapped teams when I heard that the threat of redundancy was looming large.
Realising that I'd been plodding along and become an almost robotic worker, I started to think more about my hopes and dreams.

Now as some of you may know, back in 2011 my battle whilst in surgery had left me with a new focus on 'Living Life' and one of the things I was determined to do, was to live abroad. Whether it be for a couple of months, half a year or a year. I wanted to experience living in a different country.

The thing is I'm a 'Planner' and as much as packing my bags, upping sticks and moving to a different country sounded great, I had to make sure there was a plan.
What better plan than to work abroad? Meet people through work, help with accommodation, visa's etc!

So after applying to a travel company and successfully passing their interview day, I found myself employed as a Resort Administrator and excited at the prospect of spending my summer living in Greece.
I took redundancy from the council, paid off life here and bought a shiny new phone so I could Skype home!

Then I flew to Cyprus, a magnificent country I had never seen before, so picturesque and full of friendly people.
Here I spent a week, training for my new role and meeting other trainees. For a week I lived and breathed procedures, health & safety, airport codes and wedding planning.
I was so excited that part of my job description involved the planning of someone's wedding.
Sitting in Cyprus with my new friends, I started to think I may have found my dream job after all!

A week later I said goodbye to all my new friends and headed off to Kos, my home for the summer.
Having never been to Greece before I was excited to embrace everything new, after all Cyprus had a been a wondrous surprise,

Unfortunately being a Coeliac on a small island became my first hurdle, my salary was very basic and to order gluten free items was going to be expensive, I was in temporary accommodation and didn't have cooking facilities, so for a while I was on a diet of air, water and the gluten free pretzels I'd taken in my case.

I was missing my family and then it was confirmed that my dads tumour had returned.
I booked my flight, packed my bags and headed to the airport.
After 18 hours of travelling I made it back home to my family,



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A couple of days after being home I started registering with agencies for temporary work and explained that I would be needing time off for when my dad was having hospital treatment.

That was how I found myself with a 3 month fixed term contract, talking to callers 5 days a week.
Not in a sales role, I feel I should add!
And this gave me moments I wasn't expecting, like someone asking me out over the phone, the guy that rang up for information on a girl and could only tell me she was blonde and 5ft5 oh and she smelled really nice (STALKER)

But now those three months are over and I find myself yet again thinking about my hopes and dreams.
Hoping that my dad gets the all clear.
Hoping for a better year for my family and dreaming of doing something with books.

Like my family books are a constant source of happiness in my life, they can help turn my emotions around and change my mindset.
I would love to work with books or who knows maybe even have a go at writing one, but one things for sure with my family and books in my life, I will always have hopes and dreams!


Next Friday Victoria from Victoria Loves Books, will be sharing her book moment.


If you would like to take part in 'My Book Moment' you can contact me via the contact page

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The Husband Next Door by Catherine Alliott

Step into Alliott country with the fabulously funny and wonderfully heartwarming My Husband Next Door.

When Ella married the handsome, celebrated artist Sebastian Montclair at just nineteen she was madly in love. Now, those blissful years of marriage have turned into the very definition of an unconventional set-up. Separated in every way but distance, Sebastian resides in an outhouse across the lawn from Ella's ramshackle farmhouse.

With an ex-husband living under her nose and a home crowded by hostile teenaged children, gender-confused chickens - not to mention her hyper critical mother whose own marriage slips spectacularly off the rails - Ella finds comfort in the company of the very charming gardener, Ludo.

Then out of the blue Sebastian decides to move on, catching Ella horribly unawares. How much longer can she hide from what really destroyed her marriage . . . and the secret she continues to keep?




I had planned on reviewing this sooner, but unfortunately I found myself reading it slowly and at one point I put it down and actually forgot I'd started it.
However I did persevere and I'm glad I did, the ending was lovely.

'My Husband Next Door' is packed full of a great mix of a characters and it's due to these that I kept reading.
Once my emotions were invested in the characters, I wanted to discover more.
In fact I would admit to being more interested in the stories that run along the main characters, there was a uniqueness to the characters involved.

There is a lot happening in the book, with interweaving stories and I'm sure it will be a popular read, unfortunately for me I felt it was missing something and I've tried to work out why it didn't grip me.
On paper it has it all, great characters, sub plots, a lovely ending but it just didn't ignite a want to consume chapter after chapter and for that I feel bad.

I will read books by Catherine Alliott in the future as I'm a big believer in every book is unique and even though I didn't love it, I know others will.

3/5

Save The Date by Allie Spencer



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Family weddings can be hell.

...and, marooned in Italy for her cousin's nuptials, Ailsa can be forgiven for thinking that this one is worse than most. With the bride and groom at loggerheads and the guests in uproar, it is a million miles away from the rest and relaxation she'd been hoping for.

And then suddenly, in the middle of the mayhem, she comes face-to-face with Nick, the man she walked out on just a few months earlier.

How can Ailsa help get the wedding back on track when she and Nick can't stop arguing? But if they do, she might remember why she fell in love with him in the first place - and then there really would be trouble.



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People who follow me on Twitter will know how excited I have been to read this book.

Having thoroughly enjoyed Summer Loving and Summer Nights, I couldn't wait to submerge myself in the writings of Allie Spencer once again.

And I am happy to say that Save The Date lived up to my expectations and more.

Set in the beautiful Tuscan hills you can almost feel the heat on your back, as you pay privy to what's set to the be the wedding of the year, well if you're a Westfield that is!
Watching events unfold and meeting Ailsa's wonderful furry friend Arthur, who brings something extra special to the book.

With such wonderful characters I found myself instantly liking Ailsa and Jess, I loved the relationship between Ailsa and Arthur and I found Jess to be kooky and genuinely lovely.
There were a few characters that made my blood boil, like Charlie, Kitty and Roberto but its characters like them, that make you root for Ailsa and Jess even more.

As always Allie Spencer captured my imagination and pulled me in for what was a wonderful journey.
Along with the characters, I laughed, smiled, got angry and fell in love. I experienced all of this whilst in the picturesque setting of Italy.
The best part of all, it wasn't a plane ride away, but all within the wonderful pages of Save The Date!

5/5

The Girl Under The Olive Tree by Leah Fleming

May 1941 and the island of Crete is invaded by paratroopers from the air.
After a lengthy fight, thousands of British and Commonwealth soldiers are forced to take to the hills or become escaping PoWs, sheltered by the Cretan villagers.
Sixty years later, Lois West and her young son, Alex, invite feisty Great Aunt Pen to a special eighty-fifth birthday celebration on Crete, knowing she has not been back there since the war. Penelope George - formerly Giorgidiou - is reluctant to go but is persuaded by the fact it is the 60th anniversary of the Battle. It is time for her to return and make the journey she never thought she'd dare to.
On the outward voyage from Athens, she relives her experiences in the city from her early years as a trainee nurse to those last dark days stranded on the island, the last female foreigner.
When word spreads of her visit, and old Cretan friends and family come to greet her, Lois and Alex are caught up in her epic pilgrimage and the journey which leads her to a reunion with the friend she thought she had lost forever - and the truth behind a secret buried deep in the past...





We first meet Penelope in 1941 where her family are preparing her for her life as a debutante, but life is about to change when Penelope heads to Greece to visit her sister.

Jump to 2001 when Penelope has to make the tough decision of whether to return to Crete.
Facing an island that gave her the best and worst times of her life, is bound to bring back memories and not necessarily ones she is ready to share.....


Penelope is a person who knows her own mind an extremely strong. character, so much so that she never shared any of her experiences of life during the war in Crete with her family.

So when her niece Lois decides she wants to take Penelope on a holiday to Crete, Penelope isn't sure if she can face going back but decides that maybe going back with family means its time to face the past and who better to face it with than her loved ones.

This is an immensely gripping read which had me turning the pages to discover what was going to happen,
It's depiction of the brave women that were caught up in the Cretan war is inspirational and really made me love Penelope and Yolanda.
They fought turmoil both professionally and personally, and still managed to show such strength and courage.

Leah Fleming has written a truly poignant and emotional read that will stay with the reader long after the book has ended.

5/5

Me and Mr Jones by Lucy Diamond

Three charming brothers – which would you choose?

Meet the women in love with three very different brothers . . .

Izzy’s determined to escape her troubled past with a new start by the sea – but flirtatious Charlie Jones is causing complications.

Alicia’s been happily married to loyal Hugh for years but secretly craves excitement. Maybe it’s time to spice things up?

Emma’s relationship with David was once fun and romantic but trying for a baby has taken its toll. Then temptation comes along . . .

As the future of the family’s B&B becomes uncertain, Izzy, Alicia and Emma are thrown together unexpectedly. It seems that keeping up with the Joneses is harder than anyone thought . . .
From the queen of summer reading, this is a sparkling tale of heartbreak, hope, friendship and love.



'Me and Mr Jones' follows Lilian and Eddie as they break the news to their three boys that its time to sell their family home and settle down to a slower pace of life.
But how will Hugo, David and Charlie cope with the news that something else is about to change, when their lives are unsettled already!

This is the first Lucy Diamond book I've read and I am annoyed that its taken me so long to discover her!

The story comes from the perspective of the 4 ladies in the lives of the Jones men, Lilian, Alicia, Emma and Izzy.
By the end of the book I loved all the characters, even the ones I'd disliked at first. And the relationships that we pay privy to are written with emotion.

I really enjoyed reading about Izzy's relationship with her daughters and then when Charlie enters their lives, It was great reading the dynamics their family unit take on,

It truly is a lovely read that deals with some of the worst situations a family can face, but in such a way you are pulled into the flow of the story and find yourself eager to keep up with the Jones!

5/5

The Night Flower by Sarah Stovell

Today's review is brought to you by my dad, Colin. Dad read this whilst in hospital and credits it to saving him from hots of boredom,

Colin is a lecturer who has just started to get back into reading for pleasure after years of textbooks knocked the enjoyment out of discovering the wonderful written word.
He is currently enjoying the ecliptic collection of books his daughter has stored around the house.



Two girls are brought together under the worst of circumstances: a prison ship taking them from London to 'parts beyond the sea'.
Miriam is a Romany girl drawn from freedom in the hills of the North-East to London to eke a living playing her tin-whistle in a city where her people are despised. When her mother dies - from cholera, the 'gypsy disease' - she's caught breaking-and-entering and sentenced to transportation. Rose has been brought up to expect more, but when her husband dies and her father is sent down for illegal slave-trading, she's separated from her children and forced to take a governess's job. When she's caught stealing, the judge shows no mercy. Surviving - just - an appalling voyage, the two arrive just after Christmas into the blinding sun of the strange new island: Van Dieman's Land. Here they are sent to work in a nursery, where women of ill-repute give birth before being sent for correction.
The nursery is run by a corrupt, debauched Reverend and his idealistic son, who soon takes a fancy to Miriam. But Rose, her best friend and close confidant, watches jealously and makes plans to reverse their fortunes.
The Night Flower takes the reader on a thrilling Dickensian adventure through the dark side of our penal history to a Tasmanian frontier town where anything could happen and morality is made by monsters.



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In the first age of zero tolerance, when minor crimes were punished by deportation to parts beyond the sea, 'The Night Flower' documents the tragic consequences of this primitive punishment.
It follows the unjust, unfair, unscrupulous abuse suffered by those prisoners forcibly taken to the other side of the world.

Sarah Stovell weaves the three main female characters into a frightening tapestry that depicts the terrible conditions endured and the systematic abuse liberally dished out.
Yet Sarah captures the hope and friendships that grow out of these cesspit conditions and offers the possibility of salvation.
However, those charged with delivering salvation are so flawed and morally corrupt that any chance of betterment is lost.

Miriam - Rose - Ma Dwyer and the Reverend Sutton Snr and his son are believable main characters, well drawn by Sarah.
Their lives unfurl before you in a narrative that switches appropriately between them with each contributing to the overall story.

This is a captivating read, where the authors words genuinely conjure a bygone era.

5/5

Killer Queens by Rebecca Chance



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Every little girl grows up dreaming of finding a prince – but what if the fairy tale turns into a right royal nightmare?

Lori is a beautiful blonde, all-American athlete. When the charismatic ruler of a small, filthy rich European state asks for her hand, she thinks she’s snagged Prince Charming. But she soon realises that all that glitters is not gold…

Belinda was once the most recognised and loved princess in the world. Forced to stage her own death, she lives incognito abroad with her adoring royal lover. Now, she is determined to return to England to see her son Hugo wed, even if it means risking her own life.

Chloe, Prince Hugo’s fiancee, is the archetypal English Rose. But it’s a long road to becoming a princess, even when you’re dating the heir to the throne. Perhaps the fairy-tale ending isn’t all it was cracked up to be…



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The Queen of bonkbuster is back with the aptly named 'Killer Queens' and WOW, what a read!

I will put my hands up and admit I'm not a royalist, but I did, like most of the world watch the royal wedding and I am a fan of Prince Harry (that man can party!)
So it should come as no surprise, that as soon as I discovered 'Killer Queens' was going to allow me the chance to get carried away and run wild with royalty, I was adding it to my wish list.

Packed full of sensational characters, I soon found myself pulled into the scandal, secret, intrigue, sex, love and bitchy world.
I was able to travel to wonderfully exotic locations, I felt like I'd travelled the world whilst on my journey to work.
And within this world I mixed with fabulous soon to be royalty Chloe and Lori, the wonderful feisty Lauren and the guy no one can hold a candle to, Toby!

What I love about Rebecca Chance's novels are that all characters good and bad, have you turning the page, eager to read more.
This was definitely no exception, in fact I would go as far as saying, this is the BEST Rebecca Chance novel I've read.
It's pure escapism and extremely racy, with humour, romance and lots of fabulousness, what more could you ask for!

Grab yourself a drink, put on your tiara and pick up a copy of 'Killer Queens' the princess inside us all demands it!

5/5

Kissing My Old Life Au Revoir by Eliza Watson

Event planner Samantha Hunter is prepared for a few challenges when escorting a group of good ole boy beer distributors to Paris, the city of haute cuisine and fine wines. However, she doesn’t foresee being passed up for a promotion because she is too professional and doesn’t knock back beers with her clients.
Her focus soon switches from landing the well-deserved promotion to finding her free-spirited sister, who lives in Paris and has disappeared, leaving behind family secrets to be uncovered.
A sexy puppeteer helps Samantha search for clues to her sister’s whereabouts and teaches her to embrace her inner child. And a funeral-crashing psychic demonstrates the importance of living life to the fullest.
It takes Samantha’s life spiraling out of control for her to finally get a life.





When Samantha arrives in Paris she's excited to be involved in an important business meeting with her beer distributing clients, thinking this could be the making of her career, Samantha sets her sights on a promotion.
Excited to share this experience with someone, Samantha reconnects with her sister Libby who is currently living in Paris.
For most people Paris is the city of love, for Samantha it is the city of surprises and not of the good kind........

I really enjoyed 'Kissing My Old Life Au Revoir' It was inspiring reading as Samantha set about changing her life, she is a strong career woman and at times is certainly tested.
But her strength remains throughout, which makes her a great heroine to read about.

And one of the people to help Samantha stay strong is gorgeous Parisian Luc. Luc is the man everyone deserves to see Paris with, he sounds like the perfect guy, caring, there when needed and did I mention HOT!

But as with most stories for every hot guy we are rewarded with, we get someone who gets the blood boiling, introducing the artist that is Bruno, a nasty brash character who definitely tests Samantha's kind nature.

The ending has left me longing to visit Paris and I live in hope I may meet a Luc!

5/5

The Elephant Girl by Henriette Gyland

Peek-a-boo I see you…

When five-year-old Helen Stephens witnesses her mother’s murder, her whole world comes crumbling down. Rejected by her extended family, Helen is handed over to child services and learns to trust no-one but herself. Twenty years later, her mother’s killer is let out of jail, and Helen swears vengeance.

Jason Moody runs a halfway house, desperate to distance himself from his father’s gangster dealings. But when Helen shows up on his doorstep, he decides to dig into her past, and risks upsetting some very dangerous people.

As Helen begins to question what really happened to her mother, Jason is determined to protect her. But Helen is getting too close to someone who’ll stop at nothing to keep the truth hidden …



When five year old Helen Stevens has an epileptic fit, she comes through it to discover that her world is changing forever.
Because there in front of her she is about to witness her mothers murder.
Fast forward 20 years and Helen receives the news that her mothers murderer is out of prison, with the discovery of this news Helen starts her quest for vengeance.

'The Elephant Girl' brings us some wonderfully realistic characters and my favourite of them all was Jason he is a lovely character to read about, always looking out for Helen and I felt his connection to her from their very first meeting.
Helen has trust issues and it makes for some great chapters, reading how their relationship grows.
I loved the incredible journey that we went on with Helen as she starts to unravel the true events of why that fateful night came about.

I would highly recommend this thoroughly gripping, beautifully written read, it had me biting my nails right till the very end and kept me engrossed on what was a quiet afternoon.

5/5

New England Rocks by Christina Courtenay

First impressions, how wrong can you get?
When Rain Mackenzie is expelled from her British boarding school, she can’t believe her bad luck. Not only is she forced to move to New England, USA, she’s also sent to the local high school, as a punishment.

Rain makes it her mission to dislike everything about Northbrooke High, but what she doesn’t bank on is meeting Jesse Devlin…

Not only is Jesse the hottest guy Rain’s ever seen, he also plays guitar in an awesome rock band.

There’s just one small problem … Jesse already has a girlfriend, little miss perfect Amber Lawrence, who looks set to cause trouble as Rain and Jesse get closer.

But, what does any of it matter? New England sucks anyway, and Rain doesn’t plan on sticking around…

Does she?





When Rain is expelled from her British boarding school, she finds herself in New England, USA, where her parents have enrolled her in the local public school.
Resenting her new school and life, Rain makes the decision to settle in as little as possible, but is all that about to change when Rain meets Jesse........

I really enjoyed 'New England Rocks', it was a quick paced read, with easy to like characters.

Rain is feisty and knows exactly what she wants, she's an easy to relate to character. Young readers will relate to teenage issues but any woman will relate to her body issues.
I loved her can do attitude, there wasn't a task that she backed out of and she was prepared to face any challenge.

On paper Jesse is the boy your parents warned you about, he has tattoos, is in a rock band and lives with a good for nothing father. But Jesse is lovely, he is compassionate, driven and copes remarkably well with his home life, I personally think he is a great for Rain.

One of my favourite chapters is when Jesse meets Rain's parents, I really like her parents and found myself hoping they would see in Jesse, the things that Rain does.

What I loved about this book is that although a fast paced read it covers some very important issues and doesn't sugar coat them, it's dealt with in a way that all readers will empathise with the characters issues.

This book rocks!

5/5

Indiscretion by Charles Debow

The Great Gatsby meets The Secret History in this torrid novel of love, lust and deception.

Harry and Madeleine Winslow are blessed with talent, money, and charm. Harry is an award–winning author on the cusp of greatness. Madeleine is a woman of sublime beauty and grace whose elemental goodness belies a privileged upbringing. Bonded by deep devotion, their marriage is both envied and admired by friends who spend summers at their East Hampton idyll.

When a holiday fling turns disastrously wrong, 26-year-old Claire falls into the Winslows’ welcoming orbit. They are enchanted by her youth and intelligence. In turn, Claire is entranced by Harry and Maddy. The love that exists between them is something of which, until now, she could only dream.

Seen through the omniscient eyes of Maddy's childhood friend Walter, Indiscretion is a story about the complexities of love, the dangerous nature of desire and how obsession can tear apart even the most perfect of worlds.





People are saying it's 'The Great Gatsby meets The Secret History', well I will be honest I haven't read either of them so I can neither confirm nor deny.

What I will say is, this is a spectacular debut, it took me a while to get into and at first I was slightly confused by the narrative but as the story got more involved it all made sense.

It's a book that after closing made me thankful I'd persevered. That I'd been able to experience the journey along with the characters.
In the end it was an enticing read that carried the imagination.

There is a good mix of characters within the story in the form of Walter, Maddy, Claire and Harry.
All of them have flaws and bring something different to the story and although the story is told through the narrative of Walter you still get to learn a lot about the other three characters.

Throughout the book my imagination was working towards an ending and this is where Charles Debow excelled himself, for the ending came as a complete surprise, something i could never have imagined happening.

A truly spectacular debut!

5/5

The Sea Change by Joanna Rossiter

A Richard and Judy Summer 2013 Book Club pick.

The Sea Change by Joanna Rossiter is a haunting and moving novel about a mother and a daughter, caught between a tsunami and a war.

Yesterday was Alice's wedding day. She is thousands of miles away from the home she is so desperate to leave, on the southernmost tip of India, when she wakes in the morning to see a wave on the horizon, taller than the height of her guest house on Kanyakumari beach. Her husband is nowhere to be seen.

On the other side of the world, unhappily estranged from her daughter, is Alice's mother, Violet. Forced to leave the idyllic Wiltshire village, Imber, in which she grew up after it was requisitioned by the army during the Second World War, Violet is haunted by the shadow of the man she loved and the wilderness of a home that lies in ruins.

As Alice searches for her husband in the debris of the wave she is forced to face up to some truths about herself she has been hiding from. Meanwhile Violet is compelled to return to Imber to discover just why she abandoned her great love . . .





'The Sea Change' is an emotionally charged read that leaves your senses heightened, almost as if you are trapped within the pages. It tells the story of two events that are highly traumatic and affect one family.

Through past and present, mother and daughter share with us the traumatic experience that has and will change their lives forever.

At first I found it hard going to keep up with the flow of the story from past to present, but the poignancy of the story kept me reading.

Whilst I understood the need in Violets character to return to a place that had left her with so many traumatic memories, she wasn't a character that I overly liked.
Her daughters are complete opposites. Freda thought she was better than she was, the way she looked down her nose at others, had me despising her.
But Alice on the other hand was a fantastic character, a wannabe free spirit and her relationship with James was wonderful, they are perfect for each other.

Joanna Rossiter brings us a descriptive debut that will have you smelling the waves and feeling the hurt and angst of characters within, ride the waves of emotions with 'The Sea Change'

4/5

By My Side by Alice Peterson

One step can change everything...

Cass Brooks loves her job, her boyfriend Sean, her life. Until, leaving home one morning, distracted and hungover, she steps into the path of a truck.

When she wakes up, she can't walk. And suddenly all her hopes and dreams, the plans she'd made with Sean, the future she thought she'd have, seem out of her reach.

But then fate intervenes again. Cass meets Ticket, a loyal golden Labrador who refuses to leave her side. And on a flight to Colorado, she sits next to Charlie, who believes he can show her a life full of possibilities, if only she'll let him.

Cass wants her life back the way it was. Charlie knows this cannot be. Yet a future beckons all the same...




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No review will ever do this book the justice it deserves, for Alice Peterson has gifted the world with a story that is full of empathy and realness.

Cass one day has everything she knows cruelly snatched from her, as she learns to function and live again, we share in her journey.

By My Side is full of so many wonderful characters all experiencing their own challenges. From Cass our heroine of the story, to her parents who just want to see their daughters eyes sparkle again, to Edward injured whilst serving in Afghanistan.
I loved how the story dealt with the taboo subject of disabilities, how a disability affects the person and also their families.
It was also refreshing to see the issue addressed of how the public treat those with a disability, I was disgusted at the way someone moved Cass' wheelchair.

By My Side is an emotional read, it will make you laugh, cry and fall in love.

I fell in love the moment Ticket entered the story, his love for Cass, was felt throughout and their partnership made for wonderful reading. It opened my eyes to the amazing work that Canine Partners and Back Up do to assist people with disabilities.

In 372 pages my world changed, not in the same way that Cass' did, but I was left inspired and in awe at the strength which came from many of the characters.
I really don't want to go into the story any more than I have, this is a story that you should pick up and experience, it's a story that will stay with you and make you think.

5/5

Vanity by Lucy Lord



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Following on from Lucy Lord's brilliant debut novel, Revelry, comes Vanity. Oozing with sex, wild partying and scandal join Bella and best friend Poppy as they continue to navigate the world of being young, fun and (almost) carefree.

Glamorous Poppy seems to have it all, and after a long tough year she is damn well going to enjoy it. But as Poppy's career in New York goes from strength to strength, her husband, Damian's takes a nosedive and she begins to wonder if love really can survive anything.

In London, Poppy's best friend Bella is basking in that new-couple glow with her boyfriend Andy. But, not everything is as perfect as it seems, and Bella can't help but be a little jealous of her best friend's Big Apple adventures. Meanwhile, their arch-nemesis, shallow but beautiful Ben, is in Hollywood to make his name on the silver screen, and annoyingly, is doing rather well at it!

From St Tropez to New York, LA to the impossibly chic Paris; join Bella and Poppy and their friends as they face the reality of friendships pushed to the limits, and embark on a road trip that they'll never forget...



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Lucy Lord whisks us away to a world of pure escapism within the pages of 'Vanity'

Through Bella, Poppy, Ben and Natalia we get to tour the USA, go travelling in Thailand, relax in St Tropez, take a romantic trip to Paris and attend a wedding in Ibiza.

The descriptive writing about these wonderful countries really helped me forget that I was, in fact sat in snowy cold Birmingham and it was wonderful catching up with Bella and the gang again.

I never thought I would be saying this after how great I thought 'Revelry' was but with 'Vanity' the characters just get better.
With the introduction of Sam, Natalia, Lars, Sienna and the band the story took on new depths and it was great how some characters saw their stories cross paths.

I enjoyed all the new additions to the story, Sam and Natalia although from different walks of life struck me both as sweet women, who at times have faced judgement based on how they look but also the choices they have made.

And of course there was my man Mark, who still continues to captivate me even with his bad boy ways although I must confess if I wanted a drinking partner and protector It would have to be Lars now.
Oh how he made me laugh, the karaoke addict who loves schnapps.

I loved 'Vanity', for me this trilogy just got even better and after the way it ended I'm counting down the days until Treachery is released.

5/5

Revelry by Lucy Lord

This marks the first of my summer reads features:

It's summer and we are all starting to look at what reads are worthy of taking up room in our suitcases or being loaded on to our Kindle's.

Revelry was the first book I ever reviewed, it's also a great escapist read.



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One summer can change everything…

What happens when a friend breaks the one rule that should never be broken?

Best friends Bella and Poppy are living the dream – Notting Hill glamour, Shoreditch lofts, exclusive parties and drop-dead gorgeous men. But sometimes living life to the max catches up with you, and even the strongest friendships can be pushed to the limit.

Poppy, Bella and their friends spend the summer having as much fun as they possibly can – from the hedonistic escapades of Ibiza to doing Glastonbury in style. But amongst the laughter come tears, betrayal and backstabbing and one devastating decision threatens to bring it all crashing down. And, once the sunglasses have come off, Bella is forced to question if her lifelong friendship has been broken beyond repair.



With Revelry being Lucy Lord’s debut novel, I didn’t really know what to expect. From the synopsis it sounded like something I would enjoy. A book that promises ‘The perfect escapist read, Revelry will have you laughing, crying and gasping with shock’ is definitely worth a read, in my opinion. I found this book to be everything it promised and more. Once I had started it, it seemed to consume my days.

Bella is the main character of the book and it’s from her perspective that we follow the story. I found that Bella was the character I sympathised with most, not just because of the situation that unfolds within the story but also because she doesn’t realise the value of her own self worth.

With the exceptions of Ben and skinny Alison I would say that all the characters are likable if a little flawed. This book deals with a lot of issues and it’s through dealing with these that the characters’ weaknesses appear. Over one summer they are faced with problems from illness to adultery and I enjoyed going on the adventure with them as they discovered things about themselves and each other. The book follows them from Ibiza to Glastonbury ending in London with the ultimate betrayal.

One of my favourite parts is where Bella meets a dwarf in Ibiza, it really was a laugh out loud moment and definitely not the only one in the book. The scene at Glastonbury had me blushing and to this day I am still intrigued as to Bernie’s story, what is it that he does for a living?

I am very open minded about what I read and in most cases I live vicariously through the pages of what I am reading, but if you are against swearing, sex scenes and the mention of drugs in a book then please consider this your warning. I would like to say though that these things don’t define the book and they are there to add to the context of the story.

If you want a book that will help you escape from the troubles of your day I would recommend this one. The sequel to Revelry will be released in January of next year and is called Vanity. I for one cannot wait to read it!

5/5

About A Girl by Lindsey Kelk

Tess Brookes has always been a Girl with a Plan. But when the Plan goes belly up, she's forced to reconsider.
After accidently answering her flatmate Vanessa's phone, she decides that since being Tess isn't going so well, she might try being Vanessa.
With nothing left to lose, she accepts Vanessa's photography assignment to Hawaii - she used to be an amateur snapper, how hard can it be? Right?
But Tess is soon in big trouble. And the gorgeous journalist on the shoot with her, who is making it very clear he'd like to get into her pants, is an egotistical monster.
Far from home and in someone else's shoes, Tess must decide whether to fight on through, or 'fess up and run...



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It's no secret that I am a fan of Lindsey Kelk, I love all of Lindsey's books to date and was eagerly awaiting the release of 'About A Girl'.
'About A Girl' marks the first in a new series for Lindsey and the start of a new character idol for me.

Teas Brookes' life isn't going to plan, in the course of a week she finds herself collecting her redundancy, having her heartbroken and being kicked down by family and friends.
When life gets low, what's a girl to do? Take on another identity and live your life the way you wish you could...

There's always the worry that when reading a new series by a great author, that you will compare the characters.
But thankfully, Teas is such a fantastic character, she made me focus solely on her journey and within the first page I was hooked.

Now 'About A Girl' is going to start a debate, there are two guys who Tess will introduce you to and they are best friend Charlie and journalist Nick.

Charlie is the boy next door who has been in Tess's life since university and Nick is the guy that Tess meets whilst under the identity of Vanessa. Nick is outspoken, he comes across as self assured and a bit of a bad boy.
So now we have two camps, which one will you be pitching your tent in? I am all out for Team Nick!

One thing I've discovered from Lindsey's previous books, is that she knows how to create characters that stay with you, even after finishing the story.
'About a Girl' has so many amazing characters that I found myself wanting to run off to Hawaii with a new identity, befriend Tess, get up close and personal with Nick, borrow Paige's clothes, go drinking with Kekipi and ring Amy to fill her in on the adventure that is life.

I cannot recommend this book highly enough, it's laugh out loud funny and provides pure escapism.

My only problem was when it ended, I was left wondering what to read next, what would fill the void that this book left behind.

Happiness in a package 'About a Girl'

5/5

Kept by Elle Field

'Did she really just say that? I am fifteen again, except the reality is I am experiencing full parental horror, aged twenty-five. I want to die.'

Life hasn't quite worked out how Arielle Lockley imagined it would. Becoming the next Coco Chanel was always her childhood dream, but she's spent the past four years living a dizzying whirl of glitzy parties, luxurious holidays and daily shopping sprees - all paid for by boyfriend Piers - and not doing anything to make her Coco dreams happen.

When the recession hits, it's not just the economy that takes a tumble and Arielle finds herself living back with her parents, on bad terms with Piers, and having a CV that's as welcome as a pair of knock-off Jimmy Choos. And maybe it's the location, but she's also finding unwelcome thoughts of her childhood sweetheart are popping into her head...

What's a girl to do? Can Arielle figure out what it is she now wants to do with her life and move on, or will she be doomed to spend the rest of her life dwelling over her worst mistakes, stuck listening to her parents' embarrassing dinner table talk each night?





I've often been heard saying "oh if only I could meet a rich man and live a life of leisure"
Well after reading this fabulous debut novel by Elle Field, I take it all back!

We join Arielle, the main character of the story whilst she's on a train journey, to the life she left 4 years ago and whilst Arielle travels back to her past she fills us in on whats happened, why exactly is she on the train going back to all she left behind....

When I first met Arielle, I thought she came across as spoilt but as the story is unraveled and her character shares more about her life with us, I found that I started to like this young woman who is struggling to find her place in the wold.
I often find I relate better to flawed characters, and Arielle certainly has her flaws but she is also quick witted and fast on her feet, which make for some great reading.

And when it comes to men, there really is something for everyone. Bad guys, generous kind hearted guys and the best friend every girl should have.

Elle Field definitely knows how to write great characters, throughout the story we are introduced to some wonderful characters who all bring something else to the mix, take Arielle's parents for example, their relationship with their daughter adds a whole new dimension to the story and makes for some rather funny moments.

Kept is a tale of self discovery and realising that the grass isn't always greener. A story that will grow with the reader and make you glad you Kept reading!

5/5

Crossfire Series

Bared to You by Sylvia Day is the first in the Crossfire trilogy featuring Gideon and Eva, two wounded souls who come together in an explosion of lust and passion as intoxicating as it is devastating - the perfect read for fans of bestselling erotic romance Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James.


Our journey began in fire . . .

Gideon Cross came into my life like lightning in the darkness - beautiful and brilliant, jagged and white hot. I was drawn to him as I'd never been to anything or anyone in my life. I craved his touch like a drug, even knowing it would weaken me. I was flawed and damaged, and he opened those cracks in me so easily . . .

Gideon knew. He had demons of his own. And we would become the mirrors that reflected each other's most private wounds . . . and desires.

The bonds of his love transformed me, even as I prayed that the torment of our pasts didn't tear us apart . . .

Intensely romantic, darkly sensual and completely addictive, Bared to You will take you to the very limits of obsession - and beyond
.

Ladies and Gentleman, introducing the Crossfire series: Over the next three weeks I'm going to share with you my thoughts on the first three sizzling reads!

Before starting the series I'd heard many people compare it to Fifty Shades of Grey, now I have to confess I've only read two of the Fifty Shades trilogy.
The concept was great, how it got the world talking about things people viewed as racy, was fabulous but for me it wasn't all that.
I am probably one of the few women who have read the books and thought that Christian Grey was an obnoxious control freak, that being said I will still watch the movie when it hits the cinemas next year.

Anyway I digress, with the comparisons being made, it took me a while to purchase a copy of Bared to You, I am however so pleased that I did!

Gideon Cross whilst obnoxious and used to getting things his own way, is messed up and it's through that side of his character that I discovered his endearing qualities.
Drawn to Eva with such a feeling of intensity that both are left breathless by , Cross discovers that he isn't the only one with a troubled past, but can they move on and help each other or will their nightmares turn into each others living hell.

Ok so a few pages made me think of Fifty Shades, but this to me, had humour, intrigue and a female lead who isn't as naive as Ana.
It gripped me and the storyline that flowed around the sexual intensity pulled me into the pages and had me wondering what Eva and Gideon would do next.

Leaving us at a cliffhanger, I'm starting to see why Crossfire is so popular. I'm already wondering what's going to happen next and will Cary (Eva's best friend) be on the straight and narrow or will he have more escapades.

4/5

Reflected In You

Gideon Cross. As beautiful and flawless on the outside as he was damaged and tormented on the inside. He was a bright, scorching flame that singed me with the darkest of pleasures. I couldn't stay away. I didn't want to. He was my addiction… my every desire… mine.

My past was as violent as his, and I was just as broken. We'd never work. It was too hard, too painful… except when it was perfect. Those moments when the driving hunger and desperate love were the most exquisite insanity.

We were bound by our need. And our passion would take us beyond our limits to the sweetest, sharpest edge of obsession…




This is going to be an extremely short review because as I'm typing I'm looking at Entwined with You and wanting to get back into Gideon and Eva's world,

I was pleased to discover that Reflected in You picked up exactly where Bared to You ended, which means that from the first page, their intensity towards each other is evident.
Their raw passion and inner turmoil is still as strong and the couple are about to face new dilemmas, but will it make or break them?

Although erotic, this story is full of intrigue. We have caught glimpses of what happened in Eva's past but why does Gideon have nightmares?
For me Reflected in You takes a dark twist, it really is a thrill to turn the page and when Gideon declares he will do anything for Eva, his character goes to new depths to prove it.

The crossfire story has consumed me and I can't wait to read what happens next!

5/5


Entwined With You

The 7 million copy global bestselling Crossfire series from Sylvia Day continues in Entwined with You as Eva and Gideon face the demons of their pasts and accept the consequences of their obsessive desires . . .

From the moment I first met Gideon Cross, I recognized something in him that I needed. Something I couldn't resist. I also saw the dangerous and damaged soul inside - so much like my own. I was drawn to it. I needed him as surely as I needed my heart to beat.

No one knows how much he risked for me. How much I'd been threatened, or just how dark and desperate the shadow of our pasts would become.

Entwined by our secrets, we tried to defy the odds. We made our own rules and surrendered completely to the exquisite power of possession
. .



'Entwined with You' is by far the best book in the series.

I loved learning more about other characters and their interactions with both Gideon and Eva.
I also enjoyed reading how their relationship has evolved now they both know that there really is nothing they wouldn't do for each other.

With Eva and Gideon still being guarded about their relationship within the public eye, Eva sets about making sure she develops friendships and one of these is with receptionist Megumi, there is something about Megumi's character that really intrigues me and I do hope she features in the rest of the series.
She strikes me as quirky and intuitive and I feel there may be a whole other level to this character.

There wasn't a bit of this book that I didn't like, I loved how finally we are getting through that strong muscled exterior of Gideon Cross (fans self) and getting to learn a bit more about what happened in his past.
Eva and Gideon's relationship is still as intense as ever, they are soul-mates, a couple who complete each other. I think Sylvia Day should be praised for the way she gets their intensity across to the reader.

I was gripped from start to finish and left open mouthed as I turned the last page.
For now, it's left me biting my nails with anticipation for what the next book might bring.

The knowledge that the crossfire series is no longer a trilogy has left me excited but also created a void in my life that only the the fourth book will fill.

5/5

The Apartment in Rome by Penny Feeny

When the past comes to your door, what can you do except let it in?

Gina's life is good. She is independent. She loves her adopted home in Italy and she is passionate about her work as a photographer.
Maybe her lover isn't all she might hope and her beautiful apartment is in need of repair, but you can't have everything all the time. And anyway, she's all wrapped up in her latest artistic project, shots of the young men who arrive in Italy as refugees, destitute and vulnerable.

Until one day, Sasha, a lonely British teenager at summer school, crosses Gina's path, and unwittingly sets her world spinning. Sasha's innocent romance creates complications neither of them could have imagined, leading Gina to wonder, can she come to terms with her past




A few years ago I went on a city break to Rome, I visited all the picturesque tourist attractions that are shown in magazines, on the tv, in films etc.
This is the side of Rome, you don't read much about in The Apartment in Rome, instead it tells in parts the battle that the asylum seekers go through to be recognised by the government.

Penny Feeny brings us a story that at times is hard going, but through her descriptive writing and intense characters, you find yourself lost in the streets of Rome with Sasha, capturing images with Gina and caught up in the chaos that is life.

Gina is an English photographer who has lived in Italy for many years, she has quite a past and it's through flashbacks that we learn more about her.
Gina appears to live a contented life in her apartment and playing mistress to her landlord, but one day a chance encounter with Sasha, (an English teenager) leads Gina's past to her present.

Out of the main characters I found myself really liking Sasha , I love the journey her character goes on, she grows so much within the story.
Gina was an intriguing character, who at times comes across as cold and collected. There are occasions when Gina shows a nurturing side, but they are fleeting, that being said I couldn't imagine Gina any other way.

The story has a lovely ending, which ties up all loose ends, meaning when you close the pages you know where the characters are.

Fancy a city break this weekend then head to The Apartment in Rome.

4/5

Wonder Women by Rosie Fiore

Living in suburban North London and raising a young family, Jo and Lee have ended up light years away from their youthful ambitions. Then Jo comes up with a concept for a children’s clothing shop. Working with Holly and Mel, Jo turns her idea into a high street reality – Jungletown.

The shop is a runaway success, and Jo and Lee have to balance her new business and his career with their family life. But when a wonderful new opportunity comes along for Jo, something has to give.

Holly thought she had it all and lost it, overnight. Now she’s come back to London to rebuild her life – but it seems there are plenty of life-changing shocks to come.

Mel is struggling to communicate with her wayward teenage daughter, and she’s prepared to go to extreme lengths to protect Serena from herself.

For all four, the creation of Jungletown will bring them to a crossroads. But where do they go from there?



When Jo and husband Lee set up a children's clothes shop, they are helped by Mel and Holly. As the 4 embark on making Jo's wondrous and unique idea come to life, lives are about to change!

It's amazing to read a story that is full of strong women, women who know what they want and will stop at nothing to get it.

Jo, Holly and Mel fill the story with hope and inspiration and leave the reader truly inspired to follow their dreams.

My favourite character of the story, was Lee. He is a very loving and supportive husband to Jo and a fantastic father to their children.
His creativity assists Jo and he pushes her to strive for what she wants in life.

The characters win you over instantly and the feeling of friendship and love is felt throughout, it really is a story that will captivate and inspire and leave you with hope.

5/5

Nearest Thing to Crazy by Elizabeth Forbes

"Reality doesn't bite, rather our perception of reality bites." Anthony J D'Angelo

A group of friends enjoy a Sunday lunch together on a perfect summer's day. They're pleased to welcome their glamorous new neighbour and novelist, Ellie, who has rented a house in the village to work on her book.

She likes to place herself in the centre of her plots, she says, although it's hard to see what she'll find to write about in this quiet country backwater ..




I love books that consume your emotions and Nearest Thing to Crazy definitely does that.
Within a few pages I found myself completely absorbed in the story. i was eager but also fraught, when turning the page.

Elizabeth Forbes brings us a story that will have your anger at the characters within the story, fuelling your need to keep reading, so much so, that within 3 hours I had read this book and was left astounded at the way Ellie manipulates this group of friends and messes with their lives.

I felt the most for Cass, throughout the story she is made to look unhinged to her family and friends, at times I found myself wanting to jump into the story and protect her.

I am glad that I was able to read it in 3 hours, with the twists and turns that the story delivered I honestly don't think I could've put it down and gone about my day without thinking about what conniving, deceitful act Ellie was up to, just the thought of it left me the Nearest Thing to Crazy

5/5

The Husband Diet by Nancy Barone

Erica Cantelli’s life feels more suffocating than a size 4 dress.
On the surface she’s maintaining the image of successful career woman, perfect wife and a doting mother with two wonderful children.

In reality she’s running out of hours in the day; 6 dress sizes bigger than she wants to be; and the only man who shows her any affection is her gay best friend.

In fact fantasizing about how to kill her increasingly disinterested husband is just about all that keeps Erica sane. That and a whole different type of fantasizing about the incredibly handsome new school principal, Julian Foxham.

When her husband jokes about trading her in for two size tens, Erica knows something has to change. But is another diet really the answer? Or is getting rid of him the fastest path to happiness? Now if she could only stop thinking about the gorgeous Mr Foxham…

For any woman who’s ever felt under-appreciated, or thought about giving up on their dreams, Erica is a hilarious breath of fresh air.


I think everyone can relate to feeling like a failure at some time or another and our heroine isn't any different.

Erica feels as though she's failed at life, yes she's married and has two children but somewhere along the way she lost herself and her dreams.
One day she was youthful and full of ideas, now she finds her scales screaming at her and her ideas pushed aside.

But is what Erica believes, true? Or does she in fact have the opportunity to change it around?

Although the story took a bit of getting into, I found Erica and her best friend Paul to be lovely characters.
Paul is a fantastic friend to Erica and sees everything she doesn't. I found Erica to be an easy character to relate to and I was happy to see that Julian could see the real Erica, unlike Ira who seemed to have enabled Erica's low self confidence.

I thought that the way the story dealt with tough issues was extremely sensitive and overall the message throughout the story is very positive.

A definite holiday read.

5/5

Double Click by Lisa Becker

later. Are Renee and Ethan soul mates? Does Mark ever go on a date? Has Shelley run out of sexual conquests in Los Angeles? Will Ashley's judgmental nature sabotage her budding relationship? Through a marriage proposal, wedding, new baby and unexpected love twist, Double Click answers these questions and more. Readers will continue to cheer, laugh, cry and cringe following the email exploits of Renee and friends

Following on from Click, Lisa Becker lets us catch up with the gang in Double Click.

I really enjoyed seeing how their lives have changed and being introduced to, two new characters in the form of Cassidy and Nick.
Renee's best friend Shelley is still as funny as ever and Renee's ability to tell a story was such fun.

I really have enjoyed reading these stories through emails.
It's often been said that you can't pick up emotion in emails but Lisa Becker has managed to get across her characters in such a way, that you still feel for them.

A fabulous easy read that will have you clicking in anticipation at what's next.

5/5

Click by Lisa Becker

Fast approaching her 30th birthday and finding herself not married, not dating, and without even a prospect or a house full of cats, Renee Greene, the heroine of Click: An Online Love Story, reluctantly joins her best guy pal on a journey to find love online in Los Angeles. The story unfolds through a series of emails between Renee and her best friends (anal-compulsive Mark, the overly-judgmental Ashley and the over-sexed Shelley) as well as the gentlemen suitors she meets online. From the guy who starts every story with "My buddies and I were out drinking one night," to the egotistical “B” celebrity looking for someone to stroke his ego, Renee endures her share of hilarious and heinous cyber dates. Fraught with BCC's, FWD's and inadvertent Reply to All's, readers will root for Renee to "click" with the right man.


When I read the blurb for Click, I was immediately intrigued.

A story that is told purely by emails, it sparked my interest straight away.

Click follows soon to be 30 years old Renee, as she embarks on the world of on-line dating.

Share her experiences, as you are privy to her emails between friends and potential dates.

The voyeuristic part of me, enjoyed this so much that within a morning, I had read it all.

Lisa Becker did a fantastic job of getting her characters and their surroundings across via email, I found myself laughing along with Shelley (the bed hopping best friend), cringing at some of Ashley's snide remarks and picturing the many dates that Renee was able to go.

And at times I felt sorry for Renee, she only ever wanted to meet a genuinely nice guy, but on several occasions she met less than charming guys.

I really liked the twist at the end, I had an inkling about a chapter and a half away, that was going to happen but I would never of guessed it from the beginning.

I really enjoyed this book and am excited to read the sequel Double Click

5/5

Hubble Bubble by Jane Lovering

Be careful what you wish for…
Holly Grey joined the women’s group to keep her friend out of trouble – and now she’s knee-deep in hassle, in the form of apocalyptic weather, armed men, midwifery and a sarcastic Welsh journalist.

Kai has been drawn to darkest Yorkshire by his desire to find out who he really is. What he hadn’t bargained on was getting caught up in amateur magic and dealing with a bunch of women who are trying really hard to make their dreams come true.

Together they realise that getting what you wish for is sometimes just a matter of knowing what it is you want…



Hubble Bubble sounds magical doesn't it? Well believe me when I say, once I'd been enchanted by this story I was caught in its spell and found myself turning the pages in quick succession.

Holly Grey is a location finder for film sets, she is lucky enough to thoroughly enjoy her job. but when she isn't working, Holly is kept busy in her home life, watching over her older brother Nicholas.
With her hectic schedule, Holly has convinced herself she doesn't want a relationship, she just has meaningless hook ups.
But is all this about to change, when Kai enters Holly's life.........

Holly gets caught up in magic by accident, with her friends so intent on casting a spell, Holly goes along with the intention of watching out for them.
Little does she know that when Megan, Isobel, Vivienne, Eve and herself cast their spell, everything is about to change.

The image I created in my head of Kai, has certainly left me contemplating taking up magic. He sounds like a hot looking guy and with a heart of gold.
Yes he has some personal demons to deal with, but that after all, is why he is on the search to find himself.

The story is full of some great characters, like Holly and her friends, but the three menacing guys that meet the ladies in the woods are definitely the worst characters within the pages,
I found myself not wanting to meet one let alone all three.

Although the story has elements of magic to it, it still felt very real when it came to the characters, I didn't want them to get hurt and I hoped that they would all get what they were really looking for.

Mystery, magic, romance with Hubble Bubble and a little bit of toil and trouble!

4/5

Revenge Wears Prada - The Devil Returns by Lauren Weisberger

The hotly-anticipated sequel to The Devil Wears Prada – the million copy bestseller that took the world by storm

Everything’s in place for the season’s hottest launch:

Tall latte (with two raw sugars)? Check.

Gucci trench (draped over desk)? Check.

Outrageous, unreasonable demands? Check.

Andy has just turned thirty and is an incredibly successful magazine editor, working closely with her best friend Emily, another Runway survivor. She’s about to get married – life’s on track and she’s been careful to stay clear of Miranda Priestly, her dreadful first boss. But Andy’s luck is running out. Miranda Priestly isn’t the kind of woman who hides in the background.

She’s back… and more devilish than ever.



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Everyone's heard of the The Devil Wears Prada, either you've read the book, watched the film or both.

After an eagerly anticipated return Andy, Miranda and Co are back and along with them comes new love interests, work ventures and style.

In Revenge Wears Prada Andy and Emily have moved on to a new venture, they run their own successful magazine, long gone are the Runway days of being ordered around.
But when you travel in the same circles as your previous employer, can you really forget the past!

The Devil Wears Prada was a great book, but for me the sequel is even better, I loved getting to see a different side to the majority of characters, reading about Andy and Emily's lives now they are in their 30's and being introduced to Max and Miles.
Andy is still a wonderful character to read about and with the personal journey she takes, she really does come into her own.

With the turn it took towards the end I found myself shocked, but this wasn't the only experience I had throughout the story.
I experienced some lovely laugh out loud moments, found myself cringing at things that were said and in one particular chapter my anger boiled over.

For a couple of days I was ensconced in the world of New York, attending functions, being stylish and hiding from Miranda Priestly.
On my journey to and from work, in my lunch, sat at home of an evening, I lived and breathed this book and when it ended I was left in a state of awe.

It's been years between the two books (10 I think) and Lauren Weisberger has brought the team back in style.

Invest in some Prada this season, Revenge Wears Prada

5/5

All Over The Place by Serena Clarke

Livi Callaway has fled back to London after a reality TV disaster in New Zealand. Safely anonymous in the big city, she’s determined to stay under the radar from now on. But her attempts to build a new life are complicated by unexpected visitors from her old one, and new dangers and temptations lie in wait.

Late one night, she meets a mysteriously sexy American on the Underground - and the events that follow take her from Pooh Bear to the golden lights of Paris, via a trail of rock stars dead and alive. A family in disarray, a determined Swede, a crazed Australian, and a childhood friend (who might yet be more than that) have her all over the place as she tries to discover the American’s secret - while keeping her own.

With help - and occasional hindrance - from her friends, what she eventually finds is something unexpected . . . sometimes, running away can lead you to exactly what you didn’t know you needed.


Introducing Livi Callaway, receptionist at Peaches Hair Salon in London,
Born in Britain but raised in New Zealand, Livi has a secret, one that made her leave her family and life, thousands of miles behind.

I honestly didn't know what to expect when reading All Over The Place, was I going to get mystery, romance or chick lit.
Luckily for me, I got all three, with the American storyline, I found mystery. Through both Livi and Cass' lives I discovered romance and waiting within the pages when learning about Livi's friendships was my favourite thing of all, chick lit!

Livi may feel that she has been unlucky in the past but one things for sure, she is blessed with, amazing friends.
Cass sounds like a fabulous best friend and their chocolate box is a great idea (although personally i'd keep dipping in). I loved reading about their friendship, how it was formed and the bond the two share.

In fact I would say every character in the book is likeable in someway, apart from those tied up in the New Zealand storyline and Len.

I'm excited to see what's next from Serena Clarke, after the ending of All Over The Place I'm hoping maybe it will be Livi and Co again, a new book for their new journey!

5/5