Thursday, 28 August 2014

The Marriage Mender by Linda Green

Alison is a marriage mender. Her job is to help couples who fear they have reached the end of the line. But the trouble with spending your time sorting out other people's problems is that you tend to take your eye off your own. Even when her husband's ex Lydia arrives on the doorstep demanding to see her son, Alison thinks she can handle it. But what Alison doesn't realise is that Lydia is the one person who has the ability to destroy their happy family. And sometimes the cracks can run so deep that even a marriage mender can't repair them.

I discovered author Linda Green last year when I picked up a copy of The Mummyfesto and I really enjoyed that book so I couldn’t wait for a new release by this author and after seeing the gorgeous, classy looking cover for The Marriage Mender I had to put this to the top of my TBR pile.

Alison works as a marriage mender but she didn’t see the trouble coming for her own marriage. Their relationship is put under pressure when Alison’s Husband Chris’s ex Lydia turns up wanting to see her son who she walked out on as a baby. Will the couple’s relationship be able to survive this disruption to their perfect family life or will this be one marriage Alison can’t fix.

Alison and Chris are both loveable characters and are really good together so I found myself really hoping that their relationship would survive everything that is threatening to break it. I also loved little Matilda, I don’t usually warm to children in books because I find the baby talk annoying but this wasn’t the case with Matilda, I found she brought a touch of humour to the heartfelt storyline.

This book was an enjoyable, easy read which covered a lot of delicate subjects and there are many secrets that are kept from each of the characters which we find out about along the way. I did find the counselling sessions a bit pointless at first but that was until I found out that they are weaved into the storyline for an important reason and it all comes together in the end.

My only small disappointment with this book was I felt the ending was a little abrupt and rushed. I had become so immersed in the storyline and found the pace of the book was perfect then all of a sudden it was over. We weren’t left on a cliff hanger thankfully but it just felt more like the ending had been summarised.

This was a great read and the author manages to write about troubled relationships really well making them all feel realistic. I will definitely pick up more books by this author in the future and I definitely recommend this one to add to your TBR piles.

kindle                        Paperback

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Lovestruck by Julia Llewellyn

Do you trust the ones you love? Jake and Rosie fell in love fast. Before they knew it they were married with kids, and happily living in a cramped flat in London. All the while Jake struggled to make it as an actor - waiting for that big, lucky break. When he got it - courtesy of his agent, Christy, who also happens to be Rosie's best friend - everything changed. Suddenly Jake was hardly there, working hard, always in demand - a rising star. But as fame and fortune reveals a side to Jake that Rosie's not sure she likes, she begins to wonder just how well she knows the man she married. And soon enough she's questioning how far she can trust the woman always at his side - her best friend Christy . . .

I have never come across author Julia Llewellyn before but the lovely Francesca at Penguin kindly sent me a copy of her recent release Lovestruck to review and it couldn’t have come at a better time as the last few books I have read have been real intense, tear jerkers so I needed something light and enjoyable.

Rosie and Jake look like they have a perfect life a loving relationship, two gorgeous little boys a grand house like all the rich and famous but sometimes fame and money just isn’t enough as Rosie is beginning to find out. Jake’s career seems to be going from strength to strength but the time he manages to spend at their new home with Rosie and the boys is becoming less and less and poor Rosie is beginning to feel very lonely, sometimes when your dreams come true they never seem quite so good!

This book was the perfect read at the perfect time for me. It follows the relationship of Rosie and Jake who are both fabulous characters who have got a lucky break but it shows that although you can have all the money in the world it doesn’t buy love and happiness. The couple’s main problem was the fact that they couldn’t communicate, all of their problems could have been avoided if they were to have actually sat down and spoken to each other which is a day to day problem with a lot of couples so I am sure there will be a few readers who will relate to this.

I also loved the way the author managed to create such loathing characters that really got under my skin such as Yolande and Becki oh boy did I love to hate them! I can’t believe how well Rosie coped with them she deserved a medal.

I particularly enjoyed the last few chapters of this book because the pace of the book quickened and there was a lot of things revealed that I didn’t see coming which was a great bonus. This book really makes you appreciate what you have got rather than what you want.

I love discovering new authors and I have found a great one with Julia Llewellyn thanks to Francesca, I cannot wait to try another book by this author and I would definitely recommend this book.

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Sunday, 24 August 2014

The Third Wife by Lisa Jewell

In the early hours of an April morning, Maya stumbles into the path of an oncoming bus.
A tragic accident?
Or suicide?
Her grief-stricken husband, Adrian, is determined to find out. Maya had a job she enjoyed; she had friends. They'd been in love. She even got on with his two previous wives and their children. In fact, they'd all been one big happy family.
But before long Adrian starts to identify the dark cracks in his perfect life. Because everyone has secrets.
And secrets have consequences.
Some of which can be devastating.

I love books by Lisa Jewell and I have especially loved her more recent releases as we see her writing heading in a different direction and when I had read reviews of her recent release it really was a 50/50 so I really wanted to read this one I was intrigued by the synopsis and the title of the book so I had to give The Third Wife a try.

The opening to this book had me on edge and it was looking like this was going to be a great start to an intense read with an element of mystery to it. Maya is Adrian’s third wife and he is coming to terms with her death after she was killed after being hit by a bus only thing is he can’t get to the bottom of why his wife would have been drunk and stumble in front of the bus. Her death has impacted on the whole of the Wolfe family but not all in the same way.

The plot was a very interesting and unique one which had the potential to make this a compelling read and yet this book didn’t quite do it for me. I read this book very quickly because I did find that I  was intrigued to find out who Jane was and what she had to do with the story and there was suspense around the events that caused Maya to die so I was hooked and I did enjoy this book. But the storyline just seemed to simmer along for me I kept getting the feeling like the storyline was about to take off but it never quite got there for me.

I found the whole extended family set up great and I am sure things would be so much better for real families if they could get on as well as this family. What I really loved though was the way Maya felt about being the third wife around this large family, her feelings were portrayed so well and were so believable feeling like the spare part in this unconventional family. I was so shocked in the characters thoughts and feelings towards Adrian it seemed like even though he caused heartache and left destruction in his path he was still loved and people thought he was a very nice likeable man!

I love a good twist and this is something that Jewell provided for me, I was sure I knew who the poisonous person was but I got it completely wrong and I loved the author for being able to pull the wool over my eyes but I have to say I think the way the real culprit was dealt with was appalling!

So although this isn’t a favourite of mine by Lisa Jewell I still enjoyed this book but I just felt it had the potential to be so much better. I still think fans of this author will enjoy this book and I know I will still be picking up her next release.

Kindle                      Hardback

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

The Life You Left by Carmel Harrington


Beyond Grace's Rainbow has left a mark on me and so I couldn't wait to read another book by the same author and let me tell you Carmel Harrington really knows how to grab you hook line and sinker from the opening of this book! 

I don't want to give too much away with my description of this book as for once I didn't actually read the synopsis of this book as I was blown away by the authors previous book so I just wanted to dive in and I really enjoyed discovering things along the way especially with Edward! The storyline follows Sarah Lawlor and at the beginning of the book she receives an e-mail that changes her life her husband has decided he needs space and has left no details as to his whereabouts or his intentions. Finding herself alone to manage their three young children as well as the running of the house she could really do with some support. James who is Sarah's twin soon comes to the rescue and is there for her sister but unexpectedly another arrival from her childhood has returned but is Edward a welcome return? 

This is just a very small taste of what this book is actually about there is just so much going on in this book that there is something for everyone. The situation with Edward really intrigued me as it has always been a great interest to me so I couldn't wait for the chapters with him around. I loved that there was a crime/suspense feel in this book too it gives woman's fiction lovers a small taste of another genre without throwing you out of your comfort zone.

The raw emotion I felt whilst reading the authors debut novel was what really made me fall in love with that book because it was the first book that had actually moved me to tears but this is definitely where the authors strengths lay in emotional writing I don't think there will be a single person who will read this book without at least having a lump in their throat !

I loved the suspense that was created throughout this book, it helps to make this a real page turner. Sarah was a fantastic main character and all of the supporting characters all brought a little something different to the storyline and were developed really well.

Although Beyond Grace's Rainbow is still a firm favourite by this author The Life You Left is still an amazing second novel that I highly recommend and I can't wait for this authors next release!

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Sunday, 17 August 2014

Pieces of You by Ella Harper

The perfect marriage. A devastating secret. An impossible choice. Lucy was always sure of one thing – her future with husband and soulmate Luke. But after eight long, heartbreaking years trying to have a baby, that future is crumbling before her eyes. When a terrible accident puts Luke into a coma, Lucy is forced to reassess everything she thought she wanted. Then Stella arrives. A woman Lucy’s never met, but with a secret that will change her world forever . . .

I loved the look of this book and the synopsis really intrigued me, having not heard of this author before I checked to see if this was a debut and was pleased to find that yes this is the first book by Ella Harper but in fact the authors real name is Sasha Wagstaff who is a very popular author but whose books I have never got around to reading so I was looking forward to delving into one of her books.

Lucy and Luke have such a strong and loving relationship and from the outside looking in it looks like the perfect marriage. But little does everyone know is that this couple have had more than their fair share of heartache with years of trying for a baby and just as things start to look on the up a terrible unexpected tradgedy occurs leaving husband Luke in a coma Lucy feels her whole world crashing down around her.

Before I go into detail of my review I am going to put a warning out there, do NOT read this book in a public place, not onthe train to work or even in a coffee shop because you will attract quite a few looks!

I don't think I have ever had such deep sympathy for a character as I had with Lucy. Even after having so many different heartwrenching things thrown at her she still had that fight in her to carry on when most of us would just crumble and give up. Her raw emotion just flowed through the pages touching the readers heart and you just couldn't help but keep turning those pages hoping for a little bit of light at the end of the tunnel for her.

It was a real thought provoking read for me I constantly found myself thinking how I would be feeling or how I would react if I was in Lucy's shoes and it was upsetting enough just thinking about it, but I thik it is one of those things until you are actually faced with that situation you never can tell how you would react and like Lucy you would just rely on your loved ones around you to pull you through.

You all know by now how I love twists in the books that I read and let me tell you there were a couple of twists in this book and rather than just being surprised I actually felt like someone was punching me in the stomach because not only was it a shock it was also a shock full of emotion too and I think because I connected to the main character so much this is why the twists had such a big effect because it was as if you were experiencing them at the same time of the character.

I like the way the book was set out told from not only Lucys point of view but also from members of Lukes family too so we see the effect all the events are having on the whole family.

This was such a poignant and emotive read that will have the tears flowing, this storyline really moved me I just need a happy book now to cheer me up! I highly recommend this book and if you get in quick it is currently only 99p on kindle which is an unbelievable price ( price at time of review )

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Friday, 15 August 2014

With A Friend Like You by Fanny Blake

Beth is a woman in supreme control of all aspects of her life and family, with a stellar career and her house an oasis of calm. Her closest friend, Megan, is very different; somehow she swims through the chaos of her family with ease, the clutter on the stairs, the cat footprints on the kitchen work space. And while they could not be more different, Beth and Megan have a genuine friendship built on years of laugher, tears and true understanding of each other's strengths and weaknesses. Because that's what friends do, isn't it?

But when Beth's daughter reveals a surprising secret, a wedge is driven between Beth and Megan. What begins as mild recrimination and misunderstanding develops into a full-blown row and then a simmering feud. As the two women square up to do battle in the London suburbs, there's everything to play for. All's fair in love and war...

This is the first book I have read by this author so I was unsure what to expect but I loved the gorgeous vibrant cover and I love books about friendships under pressure so I was looking forward to trying this book.

Beth and Megan have been best friends since their children were born. Beth has always been extremely career focused so she often relied on Megan to help with her two girl Ella and Amy, the families grew so close that the girls thought of Megan as a second mum which has never been a problem to Beth until one day when Ella has some life changing news and she confides in Megan before her own mum. This causes a massive rift between the best friends and Beth doesn't feel she can ever forgive Megan.

This was such a tense read the author creates a great deal of tension between both the ladies that the reader can also feel it through the pages. The storyline is split between both Beth and Megan's points of view so we get to see both characters thoughts and feelings on all of the issues.

I loved Megan just as much as I loathed Beth! I couldn't take to Beth at all and she didn't deserve a friend like Megan in my opinion. I think she is a very self centered person and although I can understand that she felt hurt after her daughter didn't confide in her first her actions towards Megan were shocking when this woman is meant to be her friend and has always been there for her and her family.  I enjoyed the book and couldn't wait to see what the outcome of their friendship would be as well as Ella's outcome.

There was one twist in the book that completely took me by surprise which I do love in a book. I did find the storyline a bit too negative it would have been nice to have some humour to lighten the mood in places but having said that it was still an enjoyable read even if I do need a massage to relieve my tense shoulders now!

Thursday, 14 August 2014

The Rose Garden by Marita McKenna

Molly's perfect life comes crashing down following the unexpected death of her husband David. She is left alone with a big old house to maintain, finances in disarray and her hopes for happiness in a heap. But Molly is a survivor. Despite objections from her two daughters, Molly fears that the only solution will be to sell their beloved home. But as she finds herself drawn to the old neglected and overgrown walled rose garden and the dilapidated gardener's cottage attached, shesuddenly sees a future as shedecides to restore them. As the rose garden takes on a new life and starts to bloom again, Molly finds that she can look to the future with new confidence and hope

I loved the cover of this book I thought it was so pretty so I was hoping that it contained a pretty good story inside too!

The Rose Garden follows three ladies Molly, Kim and Gina. They each have their own individual story but the author manages to weave their stories together to create an enjoyable storyline. Molly is now widowed and is struggling to keep their country house due to finances and she feels that the only option is to sell. Kim has lost everything she has no job no home and no boyfriend. She has reached a point in her life where doesn’t know what it is she wants to do. Gina has worked alongside Norah in her café for some time now and when Norah is taken ill Gina has hopes to take the café over and bring some of her ideas to the café but unfortunately Norah’s family have other ideas.

This was my first book by Marita Mckenna so I was unsure what to expect but absolutely loved her writing style. The storyline flowed effortlessly and she creates such a cosy setting with a great sense of community spirit. It was so easy to visualise Mossbawn House thanks to the authors beautiful descriptions of this grand house and gardens.

The storyline was quite simple with realistic scenarios but I couldn’t help becoming immersed in this storyline. The characters were all likeable and down to earth, they were really friendly and would do all they can to look out for each other or just be a shoulder to lean on.

The book focuses on various struggles and emotions but having romance and friendships too meant the book still remained upbeat. I thoroughly enjoyed this book so I will be looking for more books by this author.

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