Sunday, 15 April 2018

The Man I Think I Know by Mike Gayle

Ever since The Incident, James DeWitt has stayed on the safe side.
He likes to know what happens next.
Danny Allen is not on the safe side. He is more past the point of no return.
The past is about to catch up with both of them in a way that which will change their lives forever, unexpectedly.
But redemption can come in the most unlikely ways.

I have read many of Mike Gayle’s novels but having just finished reading his latest release The Man I Think I Know it is easy for me to say that this book is by far his best book yet and will be a book that everyone will be talking about.
The storyline is told by James and Danny who both used to go to the same school but were more in competition with each other than friends. Being at such a thought after school the lads were destined for big things but for them both life has thrown life changing events their way which has changed their paths.
After an accident leaves James with a brain injury he has lived back home with his parents but when they are surprised with a break away there is no one to look after him so he has to go to a respite home. The last person he expects to see working there is Danny Allen from school.
This was such an addictive read that I was desperate to get back to at every available chance. Both Danny and James were so well developed that it soon felt like I was hearing from friends and I was rooting for them the whole way through.
The friendship that quickly forms between James and Danny felt so honest with James beginning to get some kind of independent life and confidence back with the help and support of Danny and little does he realise at the time how much James is helping him in return too.
Mike Gayle writes James character perfectly and delicately giving us an insight into someone living with ABI, the effects it has on their friends and family as well as on the sufferer’s day to day life. The feeling of wanting others to know that although they have changed in some aspects in others they are still very much the person they were before quite capable of cracking a joke. This book will bring great awareness to ABI in a wonderful way with humour and emotion that will touch each readers heart and stay in their mind for a long time yet.
The storyline really gets you thinking that life is too short and you never know what is around the corner so you have to grab life with both hands and make the most of every day. I urge you all to read this book and I can guarantee you will full in love with both James and Danny.

Kindle                     Hardback

Thursday, 12 April 2018

Millie Vanilla's Cupcake Cafe by Georgina Hill

Millie Vanilla’s Cupcake Café is struggling as a multi-national chain of cafés moves in on its territory. Despite baking up a storm in a bid to save it, Millie’s distracted by falling head over heels for the gorgeous, mysterious Jed.
As the seasons change in Berecombe, the loveable, quirky locals rally round Millie, and in return find their own happy ever afters. Millie’s delighted for her friends, but when she discovers Jed’s been keeping secrets, she faces a new dilemma – is it finally time to hang up her apron and start an exciting life somewhere new? Or is everything she’s ever wanted right under her nose, just waiting for her to reach out and take it?

I cannot begin to tell you how many books I have read set around a welcoming café and flowing with delicious cakes but do you know what I cannot get enough of them! I had seen Millie Vanilla’s Cupcake Café released as parts last year but those of you who follow my reviews will know I am not a fan of novella’s so I resisted the temptation of the beautiful covers but now it has been released as a full novel I couldn’t resist any longer.
Having now finished the book it is easy to see there is a lot backed into each part of the book and actually think I would have been ok reading as parts. The main focus is on our protagonist Millie who owns her family’s café Mille Vanilla’s Cupcake Café, Millie has devoted so much of her time to the café that she hasn’t had time to live her life outside of the business but when the delightful and charming Jed arrives in Berecombe for business her heart is stolen. Just as everything is going well Millie discovers that a big café chain is about to open in town and this could ruin her business but that is only part of her worries she is about to find out that opening her heart maybe wasn’t a wise idea.
The storyline centres around Millie but with each part we are introduced to a new character whose storyline weaves around Millie’s. Berescombe is a tight knit community and when Millie needs help she can rely on the locals to come to her aid. I love seeing the transformations for that café and the mentions of all the delicious cakes, soups and breads will have your mouth watering. 
There is romance and friendship flowing through the pages but there is heartbreak and flaws too. There are also some comical scenes in the book one that you won’t forget involving the quirky Biddy and Arthur! 
This was a wonderful read that I really enjoyed and ended up reading in a day. I did find that by the end of part 2 and beginning of part 3 Millie was grinding on me with her constant repetitive “ its over “ remarks, I just wanted to shake the woman! I also am not a fan of mushy endearing terms like Hunnybun etc which are plentiful in this book but that is just a personal cringe for me others will probably not even hone in on these.
There was a real mix of characters some you love like Millie and Jed, some you instantly dislike like Jed’s mum and Kristie and others disappoint you like Tessa. They all play a great roll and each brought something to the storyline no one was a spare part.
I am pleased I finally got the chance to read this book and it is a perfect read anytime of year. I enjoyed Georgina Hill’s writing style and will be sure to pick up another book by this author in the near future.

Kindle                       Paperback

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

The Next Girl by Carla Kovach

She thought he’d come to save her. She was wrong.
Deborah Jenkins pulls her coat around her as she sets out on her short walk home in the pouring rain. But she never makes it home that night. And she is never seen again …
Four years later, an abandoned baby girl is found wrapped in dirty rags on a doorstep. An anonymous phone call urges the police to run a DNA test on the baby. But nobody is prepared for the results.
The newborn belongs to Deborah. She’s still alive.

I am not a big crime thriller reader but every now and again after reading a lot of women’s fiction I like to read something completely different. I loved the Angela Marsons books which kept me guessing and had a strong female protagonist so I was looking for a book that offers another strong heroine but that will keep me guessing so when I saw the appealing cover of The Next Girl by Carla Kovach I read the synopsis and couldn’t wait to see what this author had in store for me.
When a new born baby is left outside in the freezing cold night air and a call is made to Detective Inspector Gina Harte little does she know that a case that she never managed to solve was about to re-open and this time she is determined to get to the bottom of the case.
Deborah has been missing for over four years, her husband and their two children have had to move on with their lives never knowing what happened to Deborah. When Luke receives an unexpected visit from Gina with news that Deborah it seems is still alive he is full with mixed emotions. 
Deborah having given birth to a baby girl is desperate to be reunited with her family but she has no way of escaping her capture and she is growing weaker by the day. 
Will DI manage to find any clues to lead her to Deborah’s whereabouts?
This was a captivating read that had me hooked from the first page. The book is told from Luke, DI Gina, the capture and Deborah’s point of views which gives us a big insight into what is going on and has the reader shouting at the characters desperate for them to act on things that could lead them to Deborah. 
There was continuously something happening in the book and it flowed at a fast paced, each time with the perpetrator getting too close for comfort. The desperation which Devorah felt flowed through the pages and I was willing for her to be able to escape or be found.
Because this is going to be a series of books we also begin to find out DI Gina Hartes’ background and although it did give depth to her character and made us see why she was so determined to put this case above and beyond everything at times I did get frustrated reading about her as I was desperate to get back to the case! I love how we are kept guessing as to who has Deborah captive right up until the last few chapters. I had my suspicions as to who I thought had her and what their motives were but we are given a few clues that slightly led us down the wrong path which made us keep guessing!
I really enjoyed this book and I will definitely be looking to read more in the series as they are released.

Paperback              Kindle

Sunday, 8 April 2018

Random Acts of Kindness Part 3 by Victoria Walters

Welcome to Littlewood, a small town community with a big heart. 
Abbie and her boyfriend Jack are about to start their own PR company in London, but there are so many unanswered questions about their past and Abbie begins to question her decision to leave Littlewood... Will Thomas manage to hold onto Huntley Manor without her, or has her departure ruined his chances...?
After a shaky start, Eszter is determined to show her daughter Zoe that it doesn't matter where you are from, that we are all the same. With a little help from Brew cafe, they decide to run a cake baking class for the local children to help her make some friends. But as the summer goes on, their return to Hungary looms over them... Will they go back and leave Zoe's granny, Anne, all on her own? Or is life in Littlewood the perfect fit for their newly formed family...?
Having pushed Alex away, Louise
finds herself battling with jealousy when she sees him with her colleague. But when tragedy strikes, Louise is confronted with how precious and short life can be... Is she ready to tell Alex how she really feels or will she lose him for good

FINALLY! It seems like I have waited forever for Part 3 to be released but it was well worth the wait let me tell you!

Ezster is getting to the point now where she needs to start looking ahead at her future and she is going to need to make some difficult decisions ahead but you can see she wants to do what ever is the right thing for her little daughter Zoe's future. They have both become more involved and embraced by the community but with family still at home over seas too it is a tough choice to make.

Abbie finds she is unexpectedly missing Littlewood and her sister Louise is missing having her around especially when she could do with someone to talk to about her choices she had made with Alex, has she done the right thing?

I can not get enough of these characters and with only one part of this series remaining I am already missing them, I feel we have only really just got to know this wonderful trio and the supporting characters and I for one am not ready to part with them yet. I do hope that once the book is released as a full novel that everyone else feels the same and will urge the author to revisit the characters in another book. 

This part was as good as the previous two the pace has increased and there is a lot going on in this part to keep you engrossed the whole way through. Now here I am again desperate to wish away the weeks away until we can read the last instalment!


Thursday, 5 April 2018

The Sapphire Widow by Dinah Jefferies

Today it is my stop on the blog tour for The Sapphire Widow by Dinah Jefferies. I will be sharing my review of this breath-taking novel and I urge you to grab a copy as this is a stunning read.

Ceylon, 1935. Louisa Reeve, the daughter of a successful British gem trader, and her husband Elliot, a charming, thrill-seeking businessman, seem like the couple who have it all. Except what they long for more than anything: a child.
While Louisa struggles with miscarriages, Elliot is increasingly absent, spending much of his time at a nearby cinnamon plantation, overlooking the Indian ocean. After his sudden death, Louisa is left alone to solve the mystery he left behind. Revisiting the plantation at Cinnamon Hills, she finds herself unexpectedly drawn towards the owner Leo, a rugged outdoors man with a chequered past. The plantation casts a spell, but all is not as it seems. And when Elliot's shocking betrayal is revealed, Louisa has only Leo to turn to...

The Sapphire Widow is the latest release by Dinah Jefferies and once again I was totally captivated by this storyline. The book is set back in the 1935 in Ceylon and it was easy to visualise the setting, smell the smells and feel the stifling heat thanks to the beautiful vivid descriptive writing. We are introduced to our protagonist Louise Reeve who is married to Elliot a very handsome man and from the outside in they have the perfect marriage but they long for a child and poor Louise has had her heart broken after suffering miscarriages.
Elliot spends a considerable amount of time way from home which he blames on work commitments but when Louise receives the devastating news that her husband has died things start to unravel and she begins to wonder if she ever really knew her husband at all.
For the first time we are reunited with much loved characters from a previous novel of Dinah’s The Tea Planter’s Wife and I loved getting a glimpse of how things have progressed for Gwen and Laurence. Gwen along with Elliot’s sister Margot are a strong support for Louise after the death of her husband. As secrets are unravelled Louise grows stronger and although she is heartbroken she is determined to pick up the pieces and make a new life for herself.
Dinah Jefferies has such an exquisite detailed writing style that pulls you in right from the first page and keeps you engrossed the whole way through leaving you unable to put the book down. There are twists and turns that are all shocking and unexpected but the way she slowly creates the build up around the revelation almost keeping your attention drawn to something else then makes everything seem so much more dramatic.
Louise was such a caring character, her actions were honourable as I am sure there wouldn’t be many people who would do the things she done after what she had discovered and what she had been through. Louise truly deserved to have a happy ever after.
There is not another author whose writing I can compare Dinah’s to, she just has me mesmerised by her beautiful way with words and every book of hers has been a joy to read and this one is no exception.

Paperback                Kindle

Friday, 30 March 2018

Million Love Songs by Carole Matthews

Today it is my stop on the Blog Tour for Million Love Songs by Carole Matthews.

I will be sharing my review for Million Love Songs and I will be sharing my favourite Love Songs with you.

  1. All Of Me by John Legend
  2. Thinking Out Loud by Ed Sheeran
  3. How Long Will I Love you by Ellie Goulding
  4. A Thousand Years by Christina Perry
  5. At Last by Etta James
You can also check out Carole Matthew's favourite Love songs on Spotify 

Ruby Brown is ready for a change. She's single for the first time in years and she's going to dive into this brave new world with a smile on her face and a spring in her step. The last thing she's looking for is a serious relationship.
Mason represents everything Ruby wants right now: he's charming, smooth and perfect for some no-strings-attached fun. Joe on the other hand is kind and attractive, but comes with the sort of baggage Ruby wants to avoid: an annoyingly attractive ex-wife and two teenage children.
I am always eager to read a new release by Carole Matthews so when my copy of A Million Love Songs arrived I wasted no time and dived straight in.
Ruby Brown has recently divorced and is now taking time to change every part of her life. Ruby and friend Charlie are having fun and before long Charlie who is totally devoted to a certain member of Take That soon pulls Ruby in to become an uber fan! Where Charlie only has eyes for her Take That lover there is a guy or two who have their eyes set on Ruby but they are polar opposites but will she fall for either of them?
There were some steamy scenes in this book that brought great humour and shock to me as it was a step away from what we are used to in Carole’s romance scenes she takes Ruby right out of her comfort zone!
Ruby was a lovable if somewhat indecisive character but you can’t knock her for giving everything a try. Her friendship with Charlie felt so natural she wasn’t afraid to tell Ruby what she thought and at times she was there to support event after her advice was ignored just as a good friend should be. I was interested in Charlie’s love life just as much as I was Ruby’s.
This book although enjoyable wasn’t one of Carole’s strongest for me although this could be because I am not a major Take That fan ( I say as I sat humming A Million Love Songs each time I picked up the book) It just felt little more than an indecisive love triangle and it didn’t have the warmth and depth usually found with Carole’s previous books.
As ever the characters are so well developed which is something you can always rely on with Carole’s books and the romance flows through the pages. I had a feeling I knew who Ruby would end up with but I enjoyed watching events unfold as she made her choice.
This is a perfect quick read with short sharp chapters allowing you to pick up and put down without feeling you are missing out. I look forward to Carole Mathew’s next release.

Paperback                Kindle

Tuesday, 27 March 2018

The Fear by C.L Taylor

When Lou Wandsworth ran away to France with her teacher Mike Hughes, she thought he was the love of her life. But Mike wasn’t what he seemed and he left her life in pieces.
Now 32, Lou discovers that he is involved with teenager Chloe Meadows. Determined to make sure history doesn’t repeat itself, she returns home to confront him for the damage he’s caused.
But Mike is a predator of the worst kind, and as Lou tries to bring him to justice, it’s clear that she could once again become his prey…

I have read a lot of positive reviews for The Fear by C.L Taylor and I have previous enjoyed her books so I was eager to track a copy down and see what thrilling storyline she has instore for us this time around.
Louise Wandsworth has reached the ripe age of 32 but she hasn’t fully embraced life as her past is still holding her back. When she was a teenager she ran off to France with her Karate Teacher believing she was totally in love with him but she began to see Mike had another side to him that frightened her.
When Louise heads back to her childhood town she soon discovers where Mike is now working but she also witnesses something that shocks her to the core and shows Mike has not changed his ways.
I was utterly hooked by this captivating read and at the same time I was also disturbed by it too. It really unsettles me to think that this sort of thing is going on in the real world and I often found myself thinking what would I do in the characters situation especially in the last few chapters. I was intrigued to see what way the verdict would go.
Louise was a very withdrawn and damaged character but as we begin to see what she went through I started to care for her character. I was shocked at her actions at time but in a weird way I accepted what she was doing and actually felt sorry for her when she realised she had done wrong but that she felt trapped like there wasn’t a safe way out. She needed to get her justice and have closure to be able to have a chance of living a fulfilled life.
I was a little worried that the storyline was going to be rather predictable as I thought the Wendy situation was very obvious from the start but there were other twists and turns that I didn’t see coming so my attention was still piqued throughout the book.
If you are looking for a fast paced storyline that will have your blood running cold then you will not be disappointed reading The Fear.

Paperback                Kindle