Saturday, 25 April 2015

The Lie by C.L Taylor

I know your name’s not really Jane Hughes . . .

Jane Hughes has a loving partner, a job in an animal sanctuary and a tiny cottage in rural Wales. She’s happier than she’s ever been but her life is a lie. Jane Hughes does not really exist.

Five years earlier Jane and her then best friends went on holiday but what should have been the trip of a lifetime rapidly descended into a nightmare that claimed the lives of two of the women. Jane has tried to put the past behind her but someone knows the truth about what happened.

Someone who won’t stop until they’ve destroyed Jane and everything she loves . .

After being totally won over by The Accident by C.L Taylor last year I have been so eager for the release of her next book The Lie and after reading the first line from the synopsis “ I Know your name’s not really Jane Hughes…” I was already hooked.

Looking from the outside in Jane Hughes has a content life, working in an animal sanctuary which she loves, lives in a lovely little cottage and has a loving relationship with Will but no one would know the dark secret she hides from a tragic holiday away with friends five years previously. Jane has managed to create a whole new life but things are about to change someone knows who she really is and they are looking for her.

C.L Taylor has done it again, she has delivered another dark, sinister, twisted psychological thriller which had me hooked from beginning to end. This time the author focuses on the troubles of a female friendship group which has always fascinated me as I have always been one who has more male friends because I don’t fit in well with girl groups for a lot of the reasons that is shown in this particular friendship group. It focuses on the consequences of jealousy, competition and possessiveness that is often found hiding in girl groups and the storyline shows how these emotions can soon get out of control and puts the trust and loyalty of friendships to the test and makes the characters question each other’s true friendship and do they really know each other as well as they thought.

The storyline was split between the past and present which worked really well in this book, it kept me on edge because we were slowly fed small snippets of what happened five years ago and the more I read the more I realised what danger Jane could be in now.

There were shocking twists and turns throughout the book and there were horrendous events that occurred in the past which the author wrote about in graphic detail.The author has quite clearly undertook a lot of research for this book especially into cults and this fascinated me to see how twisted and cleaver these people are.

This was a great dark thrilling read and this just shows how talented this authors writing is within this genre and anyone who loved The Accident will not be disappointed by The Lie it is a shocking read.

Paperback               Kindle

Friday, 24 April 2015

The Cake Shop in the Garden by Carole Matthews

Yesterday was the release of The Cake Shop in the Garden by Carole Matthews and what better way to celebrate the launch of this deliciously good book but with the worlds first edible garden!
I couldn't miss out on this event I have wanted to meet Carole for so long now so this was a perfect opportunity to meet the lovely lady herself as well as get my book signed and then get lost in the garden of cake.
Cake + Carole + Book = HEAVEN!

The sun was shining and the crowds began to gather to take a look at the detail that had gone into creating the garden which took 450 hours to create and was crafted by cake designer Rosalind Miller. It was great to see so many members of the public coming over to see what it was all about and so many of them walked away with a copy of the fabulous book too.

I had such a wonderful afternoon and was so pleased to meet Carole who kindly signed my book too.

The Cake Shop in the Garden is out NOW!

Fay Merryweather runs her cake shop from her beautiful garden. She whips up airy sponges and scrumptious scones, while her customers enjoy the lovely blossoms and gorgeous blooms. Looking after the cake shop, the garden and her cantankerous mother means Fay is always busy but she accepts her responsibilities because if she doesn't do all this, who will? Then Danny Wilde walks into her life and makes Fay question every decision she's ever made. When a sudden tragedy strikes, Fay's entire world is thrown off balance even further and she doesn't know which way to turn. Can Fay find the strength to make a life-changing decision - even if it means giving up the thing she loves the most?


I have had book hangover for a week after finishing a great book and I have picked up four books since that I haven't managed to settle into so I needed to read a book from one of my lovable reliable authors to get me out of this slump and get my reading mojo back so I decided to read The Cake Shop in the Garden by Carole Matthews which I have been so excited about reading. A book by one of my favourite authors and it features cake........ Perfection!

When Fay becomes a full time carer to her mum she needs work to pay the bills but she needs to find something that she can do that means she can still be at home full time so she opens up her own cake shop in the garden of their home. The business is a success thanks to the help of her Latvian assistant Lija and things seem to be plodding along until something tragic happens that could mean Fay is set to have everything turned upside down.

Oh Carole Matthews you have done it again! This was such a gentle, charming read that had me entranced from start to finish so I ended up reading in one sitting. Our main character Fay is such a loving, caring and selfless character who is very passionate about her work and loves to be by the canal. At times I wanted to give her a good shake when she let people take advantage of her but it was her gentle nature that I loved and it is the characters who abused this that really needed a good shaking! I loved the feisty character Lija, she was a very loyal as stint as well as a friend to Fay and she brings a nice little touch of wit to the storyline.

I loved the setting of this book, set on the Grand Union Canal which is something that is completely new to me but that has now really sparked my interest, it really seemed like a welcoming and tranquil place to be and I wish I could have been on The Dreamcatcher whilst reading this book!

This was a light read with a great mix of characters, a splash of romance, a pinch of humour, and an idyllic setting. This is another one to add to my long list of favourite by this talented author.

Kindle                    Paperback

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

The Doris Day Vintage Film Club by Fiona Harper

Claire Bixby grew up watching Doris Day films at her grandmother’s house and yearned to live in a world like the one on the screen – sunny, colourful and where happy endings with chiselled leading men were guaranteed. 

But recently Claire’s opportunities for a little ‘pillow talk’ have been thin on the ground. Until she meets mysterious Dominic. Nic is full of secrets but their connection is instant. 

Could he help Claire finding the Hollywood ending she’s been searching for?

I adore the cover of The Doris Day Vintage Film Club the soft colours used makes this book very easy on the eye and one that will stand out on the book shelves and Fiona Harper is an author whose books I have read and enjoyed before so I was longing to start this book even though there was a small amount of apprehension as although I have heard of Doris Day I have never watched any of her films and I don’t know anything about it other than she was a very clay looking woman so I was hoping the storyline wouldn’t go over my head.

Claire and her grandmother used to love watching Doris Day films so much so that her grandmother formed a Doris Day Film club for members to all come together to watch the films. After her grandmothers passing it is now Claire who is in charge of running the club along with running her own travel company. Her life couldn’t be more different from the films she adores but having her heart broken she has such high barriers built that don’t look like they are about to come down until she meets the gorgeous Nic but as she begins to let down her guard down but Nic has a secret which could make those barriers go back up for good.

I had no need to worry about this book, although it is set around the Doris Day club I still followed the storyline with ease and I actually became quite curious by Doris Day and her fashion and films and was googling away looking and pictures of the glamorous lady herself. Claire was a good natured character, it was obvious that she has trust issues with men because of a past relationship and her relationship or lack of with her dad so I found I just longed for her to have a happy ending like the films she loves. Nic was a great character a typical man who doesn’t think before he acts which gets himself into sticky situations and makes life quite difficult for himself! The supporting characters in this book were all so loveable too there wasn’t a single character that I didn’t like in this book.

The storyline is very light and uplifting perfect for an easy Sunday read. The authors writing style is so easy to follow which makes this quite a pacey read. There are no surprise twists or turns and it is not a storyline people will relate too but none the less this was still a fun, enjoyable and romantic read that gets a thumbs up from me.

Kindle                     Paperback

Saturday, 18 April 2015

Still Alice by Lisa Genova

Alice Howland is proud of the life she worked so hard to build. At fifty, she's a cognitive psychology professor at Harvard and a renowned expert in linguistics, with a successful husband and three grown children. When she begins to grow forgetful and disoriented, she dismisses it for as long as she can until a tragic diagnosis changes her life - and her relationship with her family and the world around her - for ever.

Unable to care for herself, Alice struggles to find meaning and purpose as her concept of self gradually slips away. But Alice is a remarkable woman, and her family learn more about her and each other in their quest to hold on to the Alice they know. Her memory hanging by a frayed thread, she is living in the moment, living for each day. But she is still Alice.

I was recently at a Books and the City event and I picked up a copy of Still Alice, this isn’t a book that I would have picked up but after seeing a trailer for the film adaption I decided to give it a try and I am so glad I did otherwise I would have missed out on this little gem.

Alice is a successful university professor a wife to John and mum to her three children. She has enjoyed a very full life and thrived under pressure but things have taken a drastic change in recent months, she often finds herself lost for words and as much as she tries to form them they refuse to come and when one day she goes for a run she panics as she has no idea where she lives and how to get home so she decides to see a doctor but she is given devastating news that she is suffering from early onset Alzheimer’s disease.

I sat down to read this book and ended up finishing it in one sitting. It was such a powerful and insightful read, I think we all have an idea what effects Alzheimer’s has on sufferers but this book showed us even the small things that we take advantage of day to day that Alzheimer’s has an effect on. I really felt for our main character Alice and I could feel her frustration at times through the pages. But one character I really didn’t warm to was her husband John, I was really shocked by his actions and he seemed like a very selfish character who puts his career before his family, I understand that his life will still carry on after the illness takes his wife but even still I find it hard to believe that you wouldn’t want to spend every last minute you could with the one you love and I don’t feel that his actions were his way of coping with it I just felt he was cold hearted.

One of the most tender moments in this book for me was when Alice was having a conversation with one of her daughters and she talks about the being afraid of one day looking at her daughter and not knowing her face and this really scared me to think that there are people all around the world at that point, but her daughter had such a lovely reply it and she dealt with the situation so well.

This book will leave an imprint on me, I am sure I will think back to this book and the character Alice many times in the future. This was an insightful read that has left an impact on me I just wish the ending hadn’t ended so abruptly and this is the reason I have given this a four instead of a five star rating.

Paperback              Kindle

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

The Lie by Cally Taylor Party

Last night I attended The Lie event for Cally Taylor which was held by the wonderful team at Avon in the impressive Harper Collins offices, the view was utterly breathtaking and definitely not for one afraid of heights!

Cally read a part from her book and she had me entranced by this storyline all over again, the lovely Caroline then held a question and answer session with Cally about The Lie, we heard about what inspired Cally to write this book and also the research which she took and she also gave us a little teaser of what is to come in her next book which she is currently working on and it sounds like a right corker!

The evening was very relaxed, we had wine and nibbles and book babies surrounding us. We had the opportunity to talk to the team at Avon and I also had the chance to chat away to the lovely book bloggers who attended the event too and we couldn't help ourselves and had to have a picture to promote the fabulous THE LIE

Cally Taylor then took the time to sign copies of The Lie for us and I was very good and didn't fan girl too much ( ok sorry I did give her a squeeze!)

I had such a wonderful evening and I can not wait to get my review up on the 25th and shout about The Lie. Thank you to Cally Taylor, all the team at Avon and the lovely book bloggers for a great night. 

 The Lie by C.L Taylor is released on the 23rd April, you can pre-order on the links below and currently it is an amazing price on kindle for £1.66 ( at time of posting)

Kindle                      Paperback

Sunday, 12 April 2015

The Vintage Summer Wedding by Jenny Oliver

A Vera Wang dress, the reception at a sophisticated London venue, and a guest list that reads like a society gossip column are all the ingredients of Anna Whitehall’s perfect wedding that never was…

Spending the summer uncovering hidden treasures in a vintage shop, Anna can still vividly remember both her childhood dreams; the first was that she’d become a Prima Ballerina, and dance on stage resplendent in a jewel-encrusted tutu. The second was that at her wedding she would walk down the aisle wearing a collective-gasp-from-the-congregation dress. 

Years ago Anna pirouetted out of her cosy hometown village in a whirl of ambition…but when both of those fairy-tale dreams came crashing down around her ballet shoes, she and fiancĂ©e Seb find themselves back in Nettleton, their wedding and careers postponed indefinitely…

 Don’t they say that you can never go home again? Sometimes they don’t get it right… 

This one summer is showing Anna that your dreams have to grow up with you. And sometimes what you think you wanted is just the opposite of what makes you happy…

I loved the soft, cute cover of The Vintage Summer Wedding and after reading the synopsis it sounded like a light, fun and charming read and having enjoyed one of the author’s previous books before I wanted to give this one a try.

Anna and fiancĂ© Seb have had to return to their childhood village after losing her job and losing a lot of money that she has spent on their wedding which has now been cancelled things are not looking good and she cannot share Seb’s enthusiasm at returning back to where they started.
I really struggled with the beginning of this book and I put that down our main character Anna, she really isn’t a likeable character in fact she was just a spoilt madam and although she has lost her job and had to cancel her wedding I had no sympathy for her at all and I struggled to see what the lovely Seb saw in her.

The second half of this book was when this book come into its own, the supporting characters were great and eventually Anna began to mellow thanks to them. I was surprised at the storyline because I was expecting it to be more wedding related but I did enjoy Anna’s involvement with the dance act and also her work in the little antiques shop especially when she was organising the hoard to find the beautiful garden which was hidden away behind.

This was an enjoyable read once it got going I just wished the main character would have been more likeable. I will still look forward to picking up another book by this author as she has a great style of writing that flows so effortlessly.

Friday, 10 April 2015

The Vintage Guide to Love and Romance by Kirsty Greenwood

Jessica Beam is a girl who knows how to party. Only lately she's been forgetting to turn up for work on time. Or in clean clothes. Down on her luck, out of a job and homeless, Jess seeks the help of her long-lost grandmother. Things aren't going well for Matilda Beam, either. Her 1950s Good Woman guide books are out of print, her mortgage repayments are staggering and her granddaughter wears neon Wonderbras. When a lifeline from a London publisher arrives, the pair have an opportunity to secure the roof over their heads - by invigorating the Good Woman guides and transforming modern, rebellious Jess into a demure vintage lady. The true test of their makeover will be to capture the heart of notorious London playboy Leo Frost and prove that Matilda's guides still work. It's going to take commitment, nerves of steel and one seriously pointy bra to pull this off . . .

The Vintage Guide to Love and Romance is the second book by Kirsty Greenwood and after thoroughly enjoying her first book Yours Truly I was really looking forward to reading this and it came at just the right time I had read a lot of deep, dark reads so I was looking forward to something light and witty and that is exactly what I got.

Our bubbly main character is Jessica Beam and I absolutely loved her, she was a real live wire who is mischievous and loves life, running and pear cider! As her life looks set to go down a certain path things then take an almighty plummet and she loses everything and with nowhere to turn she ends up at her Grandma’s house who she hasn’t met before.  Although Grandma Matilda lives in a grand house she is down on her luck too but a lifeline is thrown Jess and Matilda’s way which will mean using Matilda’s traditional, classic Good Woman tips on Jessica.

This was such a fun down to earth read. The book is told from Jessica’s point of view but also at the beginning of each chapter there is a tip taken from Matilda Beam’s Guide to Love and Romance, 1955 book which was a lovely touch and there was also a diary entry from Rose who was Jessica’s mum and it was great to slowly get the picture as to what had happened to Rose earlier on in life.

The storyline has a classy modern feel to it the classy side definitely doesn’t come from Jessica but from her Grandma whereas Jessica brings a modern, fun and energetic feel to the book. There were great supporting characters in this book too, Peach was a very friendly, loving character who was a very reserved and timid character until Jessica came into her life. There was also her friend ( if you can call her that) Summer who I took an instant dislike to, but the character that really shocked me was Leo Frost my opinion of him went full circle.

The storyline kept me entertained and the book flowed at a fast pace. There was some swearing in this book but it was in the right places and didn’t feel out of place it just added to Jessica’s out of control character, I found myself smiling away at Jessica’s attitude because she is unbelievable and funny.

This truly is a fun, fast paced and uplifting read and I enjoyed every minute of it. I hope Kirsty doesn’t leave it so long for her next book we need another fix!

Paperback                Kindle
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