Friday, 30 December 2011

2011 Wrap up xx

Now we are coming to the end of 2011 I thought it would be a good idea to go back over some of my favourite books from my first year blogging! In total I have read 137 books this year most of which I really enjoyed but there are certain books which months later are still fresh in my mind and I still find myself recommending them now.

My Favourite Book of 2011
I thought I would find this the hardest to select the best book over all just one book out of 137 but it was one of the easiest. It was the one book which really felt like I had found a little gem. This book is Jenny Colgan Meet me at Cupcake Cafe




Favourite book which made me laugh.
The book I remember the most making me laugh and enjoying from the first page has got to be Nicola May Working it out. I absolutely loved this book and have been eagerly awaiting a sequel. Nicola May is a fantastic author who in my opinion does not get the credit she deserves as her book is as good and in some case better than some of the books in the fiction chart.



Favourite book by a debut author
This book was another easy choice as this is another one which fresh in my mind even though I read this one back in August, I particularly remember the unexpected twist in the book and the realistic storyline this is definitley an author to look out for in future, Gillian Duffy L.A Commandments









Favourite Christmas Read
This was the winner of my Christmas Cometition this year a great festive read by a debut author




 Favourite book which needed a tissue warning!
This book is a book which everyone will be able to relate to it is such a delicate and tender read Daniela Sacerdoti Watch Over Me






Second Chance Book
I have put this one in because if I read a book by an author and I don't like it I don't usually try another one of theirs. This is where I have learnt my lesson as one of my favourite books that I have read this year is Ali McNamara Breakfast at Darcys but I wasn't a fan of her first book.





Favourite Cover
This one has got to go to the queen of chick-lit Carole Matthews! This is a beautiful cover and this book is also my favourite book by Carole Matthews.






Thankyou to all of the authors and publishers who have sent me books to read and review this year. Also a big thankyou to all of my followers it is lovely to have friends with the same book addiction as me! I hope my reviews continue to help you to select some great books in the New Year !!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!

Build a Man by Talli Roland


I think author Talli Roland likes to write books as much as I like to read them seen as she has managed an amazing 3 books published this year and all up to a great standard! The most recent release is Build a Man which I sat down last night to read and accidently finished in one night! I found that the book was an easy, gentle read that flowed at a comfortable pace meaning I didn’t put it down!

Plot
Slave to the rich and the rude, cosmetic surgery receptionist Serenity Holland longs for the day she's a high-flying tabloid reporter. When she meets Jeremy Ritchie -- the hang-dog man determined to be Britain's Most Eligible Bachelor by making himself over from head to toe and everything in between -- Serenity knows she's got a story no editor could resist.


With London's biggest tabloid on board and her very own column tracking Jeremy's progress from dud to dude, Serenity is determined to be a success. But when Jeremy's surgery goes drastically wrong and she's ordered to cover all the car-crash goriness, Serenity must decide how far she really will go for her dream job.

My Opinion
Well the whole question as to if I enjoyed the book or not I feel has already been answered in the timescale that I read the book. I would easily say that Build a Man is my favourite book by Talli Roland and I feel it is a mixture between the unique storyline ( well have you read a book based around plastic surgery and botox!) and a great mix of characters which makes this book a great read.

I found Serenity very likeable from the first chapter, as she came across as a very down to earth character. Jeremy was a lovely warm character who we feel a need to protect him because of his past and because of what Serenity is about to put this poor guy through. There was one character I could not stand from the first time I met him and that is Peter who is Serenity’s boyfriend and boss. I found myself gritting my teeth each time he was mentioned in the book.

I feel that Talli has made a great foundation book here, allowing us to get to know two great characters who I hope we will see continue through to her next book as we see the future of the two main characters progress.

There is such a fresh and exciting feel to this storyline because the plot is something new for the chick lit world, how on earth Talli Roland comes up with some of her plots I will never know although I would like to get inside this woman’s head as it seems a happy and humorous place to be!

I cannot wait to read the sequel to this book. Hurry and get your copy on kindle whilst it is still at this unbelievable price.



If you enjoy Build a man then you may want to give Talli Roland's 2 previous books whilst they are at such a good price

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

I Heart Vegas by Lindsey Kelk


Are any of you Lindsey Kelk fans? Well guess what she is back! This time with I Heart Vegas, and I could tell just by the cover and the synopsis that I was going to love this one.


Plot
After her first standalone novel, The Single Girl’s To-Do List, Lindsey returns with a sparkling and romantic new novel in the I Heart series.
Angela Clark loves her life in New York. She a Brit who’s conquered the Big Apple. Unfortunately, she’s also a Brit who’s lost her job. And when, just a couple of weeks before Christmas, the immigration department gets wind of this, Angela needs to find a new job urgently. Or a husband. And she doesn’t think her boyfriend Alex will be keen.
A girls’ weekend in Vegas with her best friend Jenny seems the perfect way to forget her troubles. From the minute they arrive Angela is swept up in a whirl of cocktails, outrageous outfits, late nights and brushes with the chapel of love. But rather than escaping trouble, Angela is up to her neck in it….
But what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas – right?
With a bonus Angela’s Guide to Vegas - the ultimate city break guide!

My Opinion
Ok for any of you who find the word beginning with C associated with women’s fiction books close your eyes now!! This series has to be one of the best Chick Lit series I have ever read! I even go as far as to say I prefer the I Heart series to the Shopaholic series as the characters seem a little more down to earth.

I Heart Vegas is Lindsey Kelks latest release and it really doesn’t disappoint. If you are an I Heart fan then this book should be the next on your to be read list. Angela is back and has found herself yet again in an impossibly difficult situation this time involving a letter informing her that she needs a visa or she is heading back to England. After reading the previous I Heart series we have become familiar with Angela’s character and so when we read this bit of news we know that this is going to get very messy and of course very funny but at Angela’s expense!

I found that Angela’s best friend Jenny, was featured a lot more in this book and it is no secret after reading my previous reviews that she is one of my favourite chick-lit characters. Her character was able to grow a little more in this book and as usual she brought the humour above and beyond the previous books. We also see alot more of Alex in this book and I enjoyed seeing a little more of Angela and Alex’s relationship without the rollercoaster ride they are usually on.

There was always something going on in I Heart Vegas and I found that it flowed a comfortable pace. I would definitely recommend you pick up this book to see where Angela’s adventures are taking her next!

I am eagerly awaiting Lindsay Kelk’s new book which is due out next year as I think I am going to feel right at home with this one judging by the title I Heart London!!!!


Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Who's Afraid of Mr Wolfe? by Hazel Osmond

Ellie Somerset is a great advertising copywriter going nowhere fast - a boyfriend who is always at work, a tendency to dress like a short-sighted bag lady and a Creative Director who rejects her fresh ideas - they all conspire to keep her just treading water. Even her Great Aunt Edith, a demon at filthy scrabble, has a better social life than she does.


All that changes when Jack Wolfe becomes her boss. Whilst everyone else at the agency thinks he's Heathcliff in jeans, Ellie just sees a stalking, scowling Alpha male with a nasty redundancy plan up his sleeve. As Jack makes it his mission to smarten up Ellie's attitude and her appearance, it's time for her to prove herself. But that means getting closer to this very sexy, very wicked man, and as she does Ellie discovers that this particular Heathcliff has an awful lot to hide.


My Opinion
This is Hazel Osmond’s first book which is quite hard to believe as it really is a wonderful book and a great style of writing. This is one book you cannot walk past in the shop for although you wouldn’t have heard of this author before the stunning cover alone will call out to you, the twinkling purple title will have you entranced.

The book starts off at a comfortable pace introducing us to our characters of which there are not many, this I found perfect for the book as it made the book fully focus on the strong characters Hazel Osmond creates without us becoming too distracted with minor characters. Although there are very few characters in this book the characters we do have each provide us with different character traits from eccentric Edith to the loveable Ellie, and the strong, handsome Jekyll and Hyde character of Mr Wolfe himself, Jack.

I could hardly put this book down as it was a real page turner. It was a beautiful storyline and I loved the build up to Ellie and Jacks relationship which seemed to flow like a rollercoaster ride. There is a great sense of down to earth humour which at one point made me spurt my cup of tea out as it was so unexpected!

There are strong sex scenes half way through the book which I know some of you have said before you do not like but in this book it is all done in a very tasteful way so you won’t feel like you need to skip the chapter.

I would definitely recommend this book it easily gets the full 5 stars from me. I will be putting Hazel Osmond’s next book on my to be read list I am looking forward to see how she can improve on her debut book.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Russian Uprising by S.R Claridge


I have just finished reading Russian Uprising on kindle by S.R Claridge. This is the third book in the Just call me Angel series and I have loved each and every one of them.

Plot
After a brutal attack on Tetterbaum's Pub, Angel discovers the Chicago families have been infiltrated by the Russian Bratva. When the Cappo Di Tutti Capi orders a hit on her most trusted men, she is forced to take drastic measures to flush out the infiltrators before more people die. Traitors are friends and friends become enemies in this deceptive Mafia world, where Angel's only hope of stopping the Russian uprising is to turn against her own blood.


My Opinion
After reading the previous two books I thought that once I started to read book 3 Russian Uprising I would know the characters well enough by now to determine who are the good guys and who are the bad guys but this book is full of the twists and turns we experience in the previous two books so I was still unsure as to who Angel could trust other than her mother and Olga.

I really feel I have to mention Olga in this review. Olga is Angels aunt and she has been with us right from the beginning of the first book and I love her character. Any of you who have previously read any of the Just Call Me Angel series will know that the storyline is very intense, I personally have never read a book with the amount of suspense that this book offers and so Olga’s character is great in this book as her character is like no other in this book and I found she broke up the intensity at some points in the book and brought the element of humour to a very dark storyline.

Angel has grown so much during each of the books but I think her character really comes into her own in this book when she has to make some very tough decisions which ultimately may have resulted in the end of her life.

There really is no author to compare S.R Claridge way of writing when it comes to the suspense and twists and turns she creates. I ache after reading one of her books as the suspense makes we tense waiting to see what is round the corner!

I have found that through reading all three of the books in this series there have been no dull points and unlike most series of books the third book is just as good as the first book. This is definitely one of those books you cannot put down as there is something gripping happening on each and every page there is just no safe place to put this book down!

I am not sure if this is the last book in the series but I am hoping this is not the case. I feel the book has been left open for a possible follow up I for one am keeping my fingers crossed
5 out of 5 stars does not seem high enough, I feel I want to give a 10 out of 5 if it were possible! I cannot understand why this series hasn’t been picked up by a director as this series would be an award winning film easily.


Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Any Spare Change for your Kindle!

This time of year after buying all of your goodies for your friends and family you usually find you only have pennies left in your pocket! What well deserved treat can you get for under a pound?  I have scrolled through some of the books I have read this year that I enjoyed and have found that they are all under £1.00! These prices do change so get in quick! I have also popped a couple of my favourites over the last couple of years which have also been discounted to under £1.00.

Please don't worry if you do not have a kindle as amazon have a free app for your computer you can download which will let you read the books on your computer for the same price.
You could ask Santa for the new kindle if you have been good this year!



So here are my top kindle reads for under £1.00 Enjoy and let us know which ones you buy!







Incase you have missed it Sophie Kinsella has release a Christmas short story which is FREE on kindle

Monday, 19 December 2011

Reaching For the Stars by Janice Horton



After reading Janice Horton’s book Bagpipes and Bullshot earlier in the year, which I thoroughly enjoyed with its descriptive writing and traditional feel to it I couldn’t wait to see what this talented author had up her sleeve for her next novel Reaching for the Stars.

Plot
Scottish celebrity chef Finn McDuff is media stalked and disillusioned after winning his third star and losing his third wife. He decides he’s had enough of all the food campaigns, the TV cookery shows, the constant frenzy surrounding his private life and, after giving up all his accolades and closing down his restaurant, he disappears.


With the enfant terrible of the kitchen missing, two rival newspapers, having lost their media meal ticket, compete against each other to whip up further public curiosity in the missing chef. Love him or hate him, everyone is out looking for Chef McDuff. Who will find him first and whose side will you be on...?

My opinion
I have to admit after reading the synopsis of Reaching for the Stars I was a little shocked as it sounded like a completely different read, I was a little nervous about reading this book because I really didn’t want to be disappointed I was hoping that Janice Horton still worked her charm in this book.

I found the characters in this book compelling to read mainly because yet again Janice uses her descriptive writing skill in bringing the characters to life as you meet each one. I did find it a little hard to believe how young Raine was she came across a lot older than her early 20’s but I loved both her and Finn’s characters.
For me the story came into its own when Finn disappears as this is where we see Janice Horton’s writing at its best in this book. There was still the element of suspense in this book I couldn’t predict the ending to it at all which was a nice little surprise.

I really enjoyed this book it did have a different feel to it I think it is because it felt more modernised compared to Bagpipes and Bullshot which has more of a traditional feel.

Janice Horton really is a star when it comes to compelling reading. Reach for Janice Horton, Reaching for the Stars! Grap your copy by clicking below for an unbeatable price of 95p !!!



To keep up with Janice Horton follow her on  www.janicehortonwriter.blogspot.com
Janice is also on twitter @JaniceHorton

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Here by Denise Grover Swank


This year I have now read three books by author Denise Grover Swank and yet if I am completely honest if these hadn’t been sent to me to review I probably wouldn’t have picked them to read as they are not my usual genre choice when it comes to books but I have thoroughly enjoyed reading each of her books and I find myself eager to read another of her books as she really knows how to leave you in suspense on that cliff hanger! Here by Denise Grover Swank is the book I have just finished and this book was just as good as the other books.


Plot
Sixteen year old Julia Phillips buries herself in guilt after killing her best friend Monica in a car accident. Julia awoke in the hospital with a broken leg, a new talent for drawing and false memories of the accident, in which she dies and Monica lives. The doctors attribute this to her head injury, but no one can explain how a bracelet engraved with her name ended up at the scene of the accident. A bracelet no one has ever seen before.


Classmate Evan Whittaker paid Julia no attention before the accident, let alone after. Now suddenly he’s volunteering to tutor her and offering to drive her home. She can't ignore that his new obsession started after his two-day disappearance last week and that he wears a pendant she’s been drawing for months. When the police show up one night looking for Evan, he begs Julia to run with him, convincing her that Monica is still alive. Julia agrees to go, never guessing where he’s really from.

My Opinion
I think I have beat my personal best whilst reading this book I finished it in only 4 and a half hours so as you can tell this book was impossible to put down I was even reading it whilst standing making the dinner! I never expected to enjoy a YA book as much as this. The best thing about this book is the suspense factor you never know what is going to happen next and it is impossible to predict the ending.

Each of the characters are developed well and each have an edge of mystery at the beginning of the book which makes you unsure of who to trust, who are the good guys and who are the bad guys. Our main characters Julia, Evan and Reece all form part of a love triangle but this is a love triangle like no other as usually when I read books with love triangles I know who I want to be the one the girl ends up with but this is definitely not the case in this book as both of the boys bring out the best in Julia but both of them have completely different characters with Evan feeling like the romantic settling down safe option and with Reece a more thrilling kind of chemistry.

You do need to really concentrate when reading this book as it did take a while to understand the storyline of the book as it is by no means straight forward making the book quite intense not one of these books you can pick up and put down after a few chapters.

The book has clearly been left open for a sequel and I for one will be looking out for it as soon as it becomes available on Amazon.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Watch Over Me by Daniela Sacerdoti

Well I am going to start my review in a slightly different way and that is getting my negative point out of the way and for this book there is only one negative, it should come with a free box of tissues!

Plot
Where do you go when you have nothing left? Home, of course.
Eilidh’s life is turned upside down, with the end of her marriage and the loss of her first, much longed for baby. She returns to Glen Avich, a small village in the Scottish Highlands, where her family has lived for generations.
She’s looking for life after hope – but will she find the courage to trust and love again?
Jamie McAnena is bringing up Maisie, his daughter, alone, after her mother left Glen Avich for London. His heart is frozen, and he’s resigned to be a family of two.
But he knows that something is missing…
Glen Avich is a place where time can stand still, where memories of past lives come alive – where ghosts listen to the hearts of those who call.
Eilidh and Jamie are about to find out that love never dies.
That beyond the fear and pain, beyond loneliness, love is there to catch us when we fall.
That even when it looks like all is lost there’s always someone to watch over us.

My opinion
This has got to be the most touching and emotional book I have read this year. Watch over Me is such a delicate and beautiful read that you can’t help but fall in to the storyline from the first page. It is impossible for someone to read this book and it not touch them in some way as we have all lost some one important in our lives and this book gives you the comfort and hope we all need that our loved ones are still looking over us.

Each of the characters were endearing to read which makes the characters feel real which helps in pulling our emotional strings. This is one book where I loved each of the main characters as much as the next I couldn’t pick out a favourite as each of the characters were so warm and genuine.

The storyline was so moving and easy to follow. The way in which the book is set out is so that it keeps swapping between the characters narrating the story so you get to feel firsthand how each of the characters are feeling and thinking.

I cannot recommend this book enough this ticks all of the boxes for me and it is such a stunning novel for a debut author, Daniela Sacerdoti is clearly an author to look out for.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Author Interview with Scarlett Bailey



We welcome the author of our Best Christmas Book 2011 




SCARLETT BAILEY


Thank you for coming over and talking to us. We would firstly like to congratulate you on winning our competion and also thank you for bringing us a beautiful festive book for Christmas. We would love to ask you a few questions.


1. How will you be spending your perfect Christmas this year?
I will be enjoying a quiet Christmas with a certain young man, at home. There will be a log fire, a lot Bailey's, maybe a bit of turkey and a lot of friends and family, which after is what it’s all about.

2. I was amazed by the amount of descriptive writing which was used in your debut book especially when talking about the beautiful old house, is this house somewhere you have stayed before, I know I feel like I have stayed there now after reading your book!
The house is based on a B&B I stayed in in Keswick when I was researching the book, which was built for two sisters to live in side by side in. But I've moved it out of the town and into the more remote Lake District and put in on a shore. I also invented Mad Mollie, who may or may not haunt Heron's Pike.

3. You also have a short story in the form of an advent calendar(click here to view Scarlett's calendar)how did you come up with this fabulous idea?
Lovely people who have already read The Night Before Christmas (thank you, lovely people!) kept asking me what more of mine they could read next, and they seemed really disappointed when I told them there would be a year's wait! I've have so much amazing support, I thought it would be fun and a nice thank you to write a Christmas short story - although in the end it will be more of a novella, about twenty-five thousand words long - and a friend told me about the advent calendar app which seemed to fit perfectly. Its lots of fun to do it....I'm writing it as I go so I have no idea what will happen in the end either!

4. Have you started work on your second novel and can you tell us what to expect? I have, it's going to be called 'Married by Christmas' and it about Anna, who discovers with only two weeks to go until her Christmas Eve wedding that her fiance is still married to a Vegas Show Girl, and has no idea where she is. The race is on for Anna to track the first wife down and get that ring on her finger. Needless to say nothing happens the way she expects it to....

5.What are your favourite 3 things about Christmas? Presents, Food and the people I love. Oh and Baileys (Can I have sneaky fourth?)xxx


Thank you Scarlett it is always great to find out a little about the author behind a d├ębut book.Make sure you get your copy of Scarlett Bailey's book before Christmas by clicking on the link below...




Friday, 9 December 2011

Best Christmas Book 2011 Competition Winner Announced


Over the last few months I have managed to read many fabulous books which were kindly sent to me by either the lovely authors themselves or their publishers for our Best Christmas Book Competition so I would firstly like to say a BIG thank you to all who sent books to me.

For those of you who haven’t followed this competition from the bringing let me just recap as to why I decided to do a Christmas book competition this year.
Each year I find it hard to get into the Christmas spirit and so I always look for my favourite hobby of reading to help me out. Each year I have gone into the book shop and purchased all off the books in the chart which have a festive cover hoping they will bring out the Christmas spirit in me! Last year every book I read at Christmas although they had beautiful Christmas themed covers there was barely a mention of Christmas in these books so my mission this year was to find the best Christmas book..... roll on the Best Christmas Book 2011.

Having finished the final book for the competition on the weekend it was now time for the difficult part of choosing the winner. Just to remind you these were the books we had enter ( click on the book to see my review)

There wasn’t a single one of these books that I didn’t enjoy, but there were a few which stood out more than others. So I managed to whittle it down to my top 4 books which were, Wrapped Up in You, Breakfast at Darcy’s, The Night Before Christmas and It Started with a Kiss. Each of these books had a slight edge with their storyline and I would read each of these books again. 

This is where things got difficult and I had to go back to the reason for starting this competition to help to select a winner with this in mind I had to eliminate both Wrapped up in You and Breakfast at Darcy’s. Carole Matthews, Wrapped Up in You is my favourite Carole Matthews book and I couldn't find any negatives when reviewing her book but I didn't find it at all festive in fact I would have loved to have taken this book on holiday with me next year.
Ask me about author Ali Mcnamara before I had read Breakfast at Darcy’s and I was pretty much sitting on the fence with this author but now after reading this book I love her, it truly was an adorable and unique story but again I didn't find any festivity in this book.

And then there were two!  It Started With A Kiss by Miranda Dickinson which is her third book and a delightful read with romance and Christmas markets and a perfect Christmas kiss. Secondly is The Night Before Christmas which is Scarlett Bailey’s debut book and Scarlett really starts in the book world with a bang the whole book is set around the lead up to Christmas and has a traditional setting with snow and presents and all the trimmings.

So my winner is......................
Scarlett Bailey with The Night Before Christmas.
Come back tomorrow to read our interview with our Christmas Book 2011 Winner!


Thursday, 8 December 2011

WINNER!!!

Thank you to all who entered our 2nd December give away.
Our Winner this time selected by random.org is......
Kayla Staniland
CONGRATULATIONS!!!
Your SIGNED copy of Monday to Friday man is on its way to you Enjoy!


Tuesday, 6 December 2011

The Jewels of Manhattan by Carmen Reid

I had yet to read any books by Carmen Reid, it was only when I was looking for new Christmas releases for our Christmas competition when I came across her new novel The Jewels of Manhattan. After reading the synopsis I couldn’t wait to get started I had a feeling that it was going to be action packed with lots of glitz and humour.


Plot
Like all crazy plans, it was plotted out on a cocktail napkin.


1. Steal fabulous jewels
2. Sell for millions
3. Live happily ever after


Brilliant and oh so simple... when you're a few Cosmopolitans down.
Not quite so easy... if you've never stolen anything before, and you're dating a detective.The three Jewel sisters, Amber, Sapphire and Em, came to New York in search of the perfect life.


But do they have to steal their dream? Or can they resist the temptation?


A gorgeous, glittering, romantic tale for anyone who has ever dreamed of more sparkle.

My Opinion
I finished this book in just under two days which I found quite surprising as I can’t say I enjoyed every minute of the book, I can only say it is like when you taste something for the first time and you’r not sure if you like it so you keep going hoping it will get better, having said that there must have been something great about the book as usually I wouldn’t read pass the first chapter if I didn’t like the feel of the story.

Our main characters in this book are the three Jewel sisters Amber, Em and Sapphire. Each of the sisters are completely different and in my opinion all of their characters are developed well which is unusual in a book with three characters as I usually find there is one who stand out more than the others but this is not the case. The book gets off to a great start with Amber and Sapphire being in the wrong place at the wrong time in a jewellery store robbery but I did find that after a great start the story started to take a bit of a dip for me and as I was getting to know the girls I couldn’t see how these girls where going to carry of a jewellery heist as they just didn’t feel like the type of characters to do something like this. This is where the synopsis is a little misleading because it wasn’t all three sisters who plot and carry out the jewellery hoist.

The storyline is obviously not very believable but that for me is not a problem as I tend to find books like this easy reads but I think this would have been helped with a little humour involved but there is no humour in this book which makes the book feel a little flat.

All in all it was an ok read but it is not one I would be rushing to read again. I found it a shame as I loved the characters in this book but I just wasn’t keen on the storyline.


Friday, 2 December 2011

WINNER!!!

Our Give Away is now Closed!!
The Winner of our Cathy Woodman Book Give Away is.......
number 19, Nathalie Green
CONGRATULATIONS!!!!

Thank you to all who entered 
this give away had the most entries.
Don't be too disappointed if you haven't won
we have another give away 
for a SIGNED book starting on
Sunday!!

Breakfast at Darcy's by Ali McNamara


One of the books which really played on my mind last year was Ali McNamara’s debut novel From Notting Hill With Love...Actually. It was the one book I was undecided about so when I heard that Ali had a new book due to be released I couldn’t wait to get my hands on a copy to see how my opinion differs with this book.


Plot
When Darcy McCall loses her beloved Aunt Molly, she doesn’t expect any sort of inheritance - let alone a small island! Located off the west coast of Ireland, Tara hasn’t been lived on for years, but according to Molly’s will Darcy must stay there for twelve months in order to fully inherit. It’s a big shock. And she’s even more shocked to hear she needs to persuade a village full of people to settle there, too. Darcy must leave behind her independent city life and swap stylish heels for muddy wellies. Between sorting everything from the plumbing to the pub, she meets confident, charming Conor and sensible, stubborn Dermot - but who will make her feel really at home?

My Opinion
I am so glad I read this book as it was an adorable, charming read. There is no sitting on the fence when it comes to this book I loved the book from the beginning to the middle and the end. The main character in this book is the lovable Darcy, we really get a feel for her character and I think this is mainly because the book is told from Darcy’s point of view. We see Darcy change during her time on the Island Tara and this only makes her character more loveable.

The other characters that join Darcy on her new adventure on the Island, all bring their own little touch to the story and the community feel to this book is endearing to read. My favourite character alongside Darcy is Dermot, who at the beginning of this book I didn’t take to him but as his time on the Island flew by he seemed to drop his guard allowing us to see his true character.

This in my eyes is a very unique storyline and it worked very well. I have to say I am not aware f another book with a similar storyline so it felt like a great fresh read. I absolutely adored this book and I found it very hard to put down as there were no low points to this book at all. My one little problem would be that if I was to recommend this to someone I would say it is an “adorable little beach read” not really what you would expect when looking at the cover of this book!

I loved this book and It is nice to now be able to say I love Ali McNamara’s work. Do not hesitate pick up your copy of Breakfast at Darcy’s today.

Monday, 28 November 2011

High-Heels & Slippers! by Ella Slayne


I have just finished High Heels and Slippers by author Ella Slayne. This is Ella’s first novel which I have to say I was a little nervous about reading as I have has 6 debut books sent to me over the last month and each one I have struggled through the first few chapters and have had to stop. I was hoping this wasn’t going to be the case with High Heels and Slippers.

Firstly I have to say I love the title of the book and I think it shows the two sides to our main character Josie. She is great at her job and she seems to take pride in her work and also her appearance whilst she is there but just like me when Josie goes home it is time to kick of those formal shoes and get comfy and think about going to the gym to lose those few extra pounds and to get fit!

Josie is finding it hard to get over the affair with Bob who is married and also her boss. It’s not too long before her head is turned in a different direction by the help of the gorgeous Callum. Just when things start to look promising with Callum, Josie receives a Facebook message which means her going back to the U.K. I was expecting Josie at this time to feel a little bit torn as to what she should do but she seemed very much in control of her thoughts and emotions and knew what she had to do for the best.

I felt that Josie’s character had a similar feel to Becky from The Shopaholic series who is one of my favourite characters and I think that is because of her gentle but somewhat ditzy character traits, especially with the letters which she writes at the beginning of each chapter and her friendship with her best friend.

I would have liked to have read a little more about the relationship between Josie and Callum and for there to have been a little more depth to the storyline but in my opinion for a debut novel this was an enjoyable and entertaining read and an author I would look out for in the future.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

It's A Vets Life by Cathy Woodman

We currently have a Give Away running on our blog for you to win your own copy of Cathy Woodman’s new novel It’s a Vets Life, I have just finished reading my copy of this book and I thought I would put my review of this book straight up so you know what you have to look forward to if you are the lucky winner!


Plot
Long, irregular hours; occasional risk of injury; often smelly and dirty. Job satisfaction guaranteed.
This is the life Maz Harwood signed up to when she became a vet, and she has never regretted it. She now has a beautiful baby boy, George, and she will be marrying fellow vet, Alex Fox-Gifford, at Christmas.
But recently things have become difficult. Because between arranging the wedding, performing life-saving animal surgery, and taking care of George, there hasn't been much time left for poor Alex.
So Maz decides to take things into her own hands - with terrible consequences for all concerned.
As Christmas draws near, Maz realises that she's going to need more than a miracle for her and Alex to make it up the aisle and rekindle the love they had once shared.

My Opinion
This book was sent to me for our Christmas 2011 book competition. The cover of this book is still in keeping with the style of the previous three books by Cathy Woodman but it has got the Christmas touch which stands out among the shelves, with a snowy setting and the sparkly snow flakes on the cover it is in true fitting for this time of year.

I really enjoyed the previous two books and so when I heard there was a third instalment based in the lovely fictional village of Talyton St George I couldn’t wait to get my hands on a copy.

The first thing I will mention about this book is that it is not imperative that you read the previous books first as this is an easy read and you can pick the storyline up straight from the first chapter. When any points are mentioned about the previous books you are given enough detail so as you don’t lose your way in the story. Having said this I would still say that it is well worth picking up the previous two books as they are lovely reads and allow you to get to know the characters more.

What I have always loved about Cathy Woodmans style of writing is that each of her books are so believable it really does feel as though you are reading about a traditional devon village with normal everyday country folks typical day to day life. I found this book had the same feel to it and I found myself getting lost in the little village’s events. There was one chapter in the book which came as a big shock for me involving Maz’s father in-law to be which did put a little downer on the book for me as it really didn’t fit into this beautifully written series, I found it very unexpected and out of place. Having said this, the scenario I am talking about wasn’t drawn out to long so I soon found myself getting back to the comfortable feel of the book.

We get to see many of the characters from the previous books which gave a feeling familiarity to the book. I did find my feelings towards Alex’s character changed in this book.

I love the ending of this book where the Christmas feel comes into place and the story is wrapped up like a perfect little present, I am hoping now that the Talyton St George series has come to an end as I think this was a perfect finish to a wonderful set of three books. I will always look out for books by Cathy Woodman as she really has a unique style of writing which I cannot compare to any other author whose books I have read.

I would definitely recommend you pick this book up. I am giving this book a 4 star rating, I would have given the full 5 star but It was a shame the only Christmas part to the book was in the last chapter and also because of the scenario involving Maz’s father in-law.
If you would like to enter our give away to win your own copy then click here!

Friday, 25 November 2011

Give away.





Could the jolly post man be knocking on your door with an early Christmas book!
I am currently reading Cathy Woodman's It's A Vets Life and am enjoying every page so far. For your chance to win your own copy of It's a Vets Life please fill out the form on the link below.


Give away closes Friday 2nd December.


Good Luck!!


give away form

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Where have I been Hiding!

Sorry the book reviews have slowed down in the last couple of weeks I have just opened a new salon so things have just taken over. I have a review scheduled for the 28th November as part of the Chick lit challenge. I am currently reading one of our Christmas entries (only two more to go!!) Cathy Woodman It's a Vets Life, I am half way through and really enjoying it. Any of you who have read her previous books will love this one. 


So I am back and will be carrying on with the reviews for you all and to kick things back off I will be starting a giveaway tomorrow on the blog for the chance for someone to get their hands on their own copy of Cathy Woodman It's a Vets Life!!!


Come Back Tomorrow!

Sunday, 13 November 2011

The Secret Of Happy Ever After by Lucy Dillon



I loved Lucy Dillon’s Lost Dogs and Lonely Hearts and Walking Back To Happiness. Both of these books have such a cosy feel to them and very believable storylines. Having enjoyed these books so much when I heard Dillon was releasing another book this year based in the same town as her previous two books I couldn’t wait to get my hands on a copy.

In The Secret of Happy Ever After we follow the lives of friends Anna and Michelle. Both are facing obstacles in their lives which they need the help of others to help them get around. Michelle is very career driven and decides to take on the shop next door to her own shop, but she has to keep the shop as a book shop for a year at least and who better than to take control of the shop than her friend Anna whose passion in life is working with books. The storyline includes the usual Lucy Dillon content with the dogs but the book also flows mainly around the topic of reading and books which for me and for main character Anna is a dream come true.

Although the book centres around both Anna and Michelle we pick up a lot about the characters around each of them so there is always something going on all the way through the book which keeps it flowing at an even pace all the way through.

Although we know both Anna and Michelle have something emotional that they are battling in their lives I felt more connection with Anna as we know straight from the off what it was that was a constant battle and a cause for upset for her so we really feel for her the whole way through the book. Whereas with Michelle we don’t find out what it is that is causing her heartache until the near end of the book so at some times her character came across as a little cold and hard until we find out what lies beneath.

It is obvious from when we first meet Michelle that she has skeletons in her closet and I think this is one of the first books I have read where I couldn’t guess what secret she was harbouring so I was very shocked when it was revealed towards the end as it was totally unexpected this managed to keep me intrigued all the way through this book. Due to the festive cover I was hoping there would be more of a festive feel to it but having said that I still really enjoyed this book and it is really one you can read any time of year.

There is such a lovely mix of characters in this book and this mixed with a believable storyline made for a beautiful read which I would pick up again and that I would also highly recommend.

An Autumn Crush by Milly Johnson. GUEST REVIEW

I have found that I just don't have enough time to read all the amazing books which have been released recently. One book I constantly keep hearing great things about is Milly Johnson An Autumn Crush. Because I have scheduled book reviews to go up I knew I wouldn't be able to review this book this side of Christmas so I have decided that once a month I am going to have a guest review on the blog. Our first guest is Kayla Staniland and she has agreed to give us her opinion on An Autumn Crush.


Over to you Kayla......

This is my first Milly Johnson read and i bought this book totally based on the cover. I loved the illustration and after reading the plot i decided to give this book a try and i am so glad that i did.

This book is set out lovely, We follow the journeys of Juliet, Floz,Juliet's twin brother Guy,Steve and the lovely Coco. Juliet is starting on a new venture after a horrible divorce that tore a close friendship apart, she with the help of her fabulous gay best friend Coco searches for a flatmate and after a few awful interviews she finally meets the lovely sweet Floz.Floz is everything that Juliet wants in a flatmate and a friend, She too has had disasturous past and is not unknown to have had heartbreak in her life. Juliet and Coco decide they are going to try some internet dating, but Floz is totally against the idea! This opens up a can of worms from Floz's past and takes the character of a very deep and dark journey.

Guy is Juliet's twin brother and is not a stranger to tougher times, When he meets Floz he falls head over heels but makes a bad impression that sticks and he has to work very hard to put things right. Steve is Guy's best friend since being small and is totally smitten with Juliet and has been for as long as he can remember, Juliet however doesnt make any secret in the fact she thinks Steve is a total idiot and cant even tolerate his company!!

I loved the way that Milly entwined all the characters together, Each character is strong and i felt the more i read about each of them the more i wanted to know. I felt that this book was so well written in the fact that each characters story was in enough depth that when reading it you didnt feel it skimmed over details, and it became really addictive really quickly. The male characters are written really well and it was so easy to read from a male characters perspective in the book!.I also found that because the chapters where short i could dip in and out of the book and it was so easy to pick up and escape into.

This book was utterly brilliant it made me laugh out loud and even in the last few chapters it made me a little teary. I would definatly read more books by Milly and would say if you are a fan of chic lit and are looking for a book to curl up with this autumn then this is definatly a must read!!!

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Home For Christmas by Cally Taylor

Before I give you my review for Cally Taylor's new book I would like to say congratulations to Cally on the birth of her new bundle of joy ( Christmas has obviously come early for you!). Because Cally is a new mum it she hasn't got the time she would like to promote her book so we are all going to give her a hand in getting her book known! We would like you all to comment below and answer the following question ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS......


My Review
I have previously read a book by Cally Taylor, Heaven Can Wait and I remember it being an enjoyable easy read. I have just finished reading her new novel Home for Christmas as part of my Best Christmas Book 2011.
In this book our main character is Beth who I found to be a very loveable and caring character who seems to have had nothing but disasters when it comes to finding the love of her Life. If it isn’t bad enough that she has yet to find a man who tells her he loves her, the rest of her world comes crashing down when the handsome Matt arrives at her workplace Picturebox, trying to get his mucky paws on the cinema resulting in her losing her much loved job.
The story is told in first person point of view and swaps between Beth and Matt. This style of writing was great for this book as we really got to know each of the leading characters and how they both felt about certain situations. I found Home for Christmas an easy read the same as Taylor’s previous book. I did miss the magical feel that was in her previous book there was a point early on in the book where I thought that the magical part was coming but it was actually real so the book wasn’t what I was expecting but I still enjoyed it none the less.
There were many times in this book when I found myself chuckling away with the bare bum part being the one which comes to mind as this would be something that would happen to me!
I thoroughly enjoyed this book my only little disappointment was the lack of Christmas content, it was an enjoyable read but not one to get you in the Christmas spirit.
This is definitely worth picking up and I will be keeping an eye out for future novels by Cally Taylor.

You can keep up with Cally Taylor over on her website http://www.callytaylor.co.uk/
You can also follow her on twitter @callytaylor

It Started With A Kiss by Miranda Dickinson.

After what seems like a life time of waiting I finally got my little hands on a copy of Miranda Dickinson’s It Started With A Kiss ( Thank you Miranda!!) For those of you who follow this blog you will remember we had Miranda over for an interview about her up and coming book, if you missed it here is your chance to check it out.
I have enjoyed Miranda’s previous two novels and so when I was looking for Christmas themed books for our Christmas Competition I came across the stunning cover of It Started With A Kiss and I couldn’t wait to get started.

Plot
As the singer in a wedding band, Romily Parker has seen her fair share of happy endings, even though her own love life isn't quite as simple.
On the last Saturday before Christmas, (shortly after disastrously declaring her love for best friend Charlie), Romily has a brief encounter with a handsome stranger whose heart-stopping kiss changes everything.
Determined to find him again, Romily embarks on a yearlong quest, helped (and sometimes hindered) by enthusiastic Uncle Dudley, cake-making Auntie Mags and flamboyant Wren. Will she find the man of her dreams? Or could true love be closer than she thinks?

My Opinion
The first thing which stands out for me in this book is the descriptive writing that Miranda Dickinson uses to set the scene straight from the start of the book. I felt as though I was there in the Christmas market with Romily which helps the storyline feel more real.

The book starts off at such a fast pace and throws us straight into a gripping storyline. By the end of the first chapter I loved the character of Romily she is so easy to connect to and you find your heart going out to her.
This book has a real mixture of content including Christmas, romance, music and suspense which means there is something for everyone in this book. I really couldn’t predict what I thought the ending was going to be in this book and this is what made it such a page turner.

This book is a must for those Christmas stockings!

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Strings Attached by Mandy Baggot

I have just finished reading Mandy Baggot’s latest book release, Strings Attached. I have read all of Mandy Baggot’s previous books and I can really see each time I read another one of her books she is truly growing as an author.

Plot
Caterer George Fraser has a mission. She’s going to prove everyone wrong. Ambitious owner of catering firm Finger Food and black sheep of her family, she’s determined to succeed in business where she’s so far failed in her personal life. Asked to cater for gorgeous rock star Quinn Blake’s after-show party her life suddenly takes a turn for the dramatic.


Magnetically drawn together, George and Quinn embark on a relationship that no one must know about. But is Quinn everything he seems or is there more to his star life than he’s telling her?


Things hot up when George is invited to the wedding of the millennium and her integrity very soon becomes compromised. With celebrity obsessed colleague Marisa in the mix and her beloved Adam spending more time in her life can George keep her secrets and hold on to her ambition, or will love finally get in the way?

My Opinion
I am always very honest in my book reviews and any of you who have read my previous reviews on Mandy Baggot’s books will know I always seem to be surprised how much I enjoy them as I never liked the front cover of the books. Well this time I am giving Mandy Baggot a big sloppy kiss as this time she has given her book the cover it deserves! I have also been told that Mandy Baggot’s previous novels have had the covers updated and I have had a sneaky peek and they all look great.

The chemistry Baggot creates between our two main characters George and Quinn is quite intense which makes this book a real page turner. Both of the main characters were easy to connect to right from the start of the book. We get the best of both worlds with our two main characters the normal girl next door and the celebrity who is living the high life.

I loved the twist in this book which I for one didn’t see coming. I have enjoyed Mandy Baggot’s previous books but this book has a completely different feel to it. The characters are developed more and the storyline feels like it flows better in this book. I read this book in a day I found it hard to put down and I ended up a shrivelled prune in the bath whilst reading the last few chapters!
Mandy Baggot has hit the nail on the head with this book and I would definitely recommend this book, this is officially my favourite Mandy Baggot book.

We are Lucky enough to have Mandy Baggot over on our blog today. Sit back and relax Mandy whilst I make your toes look as eye-catching as your book cover! I have a few questions for you!

At times I had to remind myself that George was a fictional character as she seemed to down to earth. Did you base her character on anyone you know?

George’s main traits are her strength and her inner determination to succeed. I think we all have a bit of that in ourselves. Hopefully readers will empathise with these powerful elements to her character but also understand her vulnerability. She’s a tough cookie but she has a soft centre.

What gave you the idea to start a twitter page for Quinn?

Quinn is one of my favourite male characters I have written. He’s sexy, he’s strong, he’s alluring but he also has that slight air of mystery about him. What’s he really thinking? Does he mean what he says? The Twitter page was formed to a) promote the book, b) to bring the character to life, c) to get readers involved and have them fall in love with Quinn prior to reading his story. Creating the Twitter page has won praise from Tesco Books and Waterstones – they thought it was innovative and unique.

Strings Attached is my favourite book of yours and reading your books has been like watching you grow as an author. What was your favourite book to write and why?

Ooo that’s a toughy. That’s like asking me to pick my favourite child! I think probably Strings Attached. There are lots of different elements to the story, some really great characters and twists and turns. It actually only took me four months to write the story but it took over a year to hone it to perfection. I’ve never worked harder on a book, the editing, the promotion, the interviews, the cover – I’ve enjoyed every aspect but it has been full on! I just hope the readers love it!

What was the last book you read?
The last book I read was The One Before the One by Katy Regan. I enjoyed this; it was chick-lit and a great writing style.

If you were stuck on a desert Island what would be the 2 items you would take with you?
Eeek!! Laptop (there would be free Wifi right?), Jack Bauer – because if anyone is going to get us off the island then it’s him!


Thank you Mandy for taking the time to come and chat to us over at reabookreview. We wish your book every success.

You can follow Mandy Baggot on twitter @mandybaggot and you can also follow the gorgeous Quinn @quinnblakemusic


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Friday, 4 November 2011

Chosen by Denise Grover Swank

This year I have taken part in the Chicklit plus tour. One of the great benefits of being part of the tour is the authors I have been introduced to. One author in particular has stuck out tto me since taking part on the tour and that was Denise Grover Swank. Earlier in the year I read and reviewed her book Twenty Eight and a Half Wishes, this would not have been the type of book I would have picked up but after reading it I am eagerly awaiting a sequel! So when I was approached for another book tour for Denise again I jumped at the chance. This time the book in question is Chosen which again is not the kind of book I would usually opt for but after reading Denise’s previous book I was eager to give it a try.

Plot
Everything Emma Thompson owns fits in a suitcase she moves from one roach infested motel to another. She and Jake, her five year old son who can see the future, are running from the men intent on taking him. Emma will do anything to protect him even when it means accepting the help of a stranger named Will. Jake insists she needs Will, but Emma’s never needed help before. And even though she’s learned to trust her son, it doesn’t mean she trusts Will.


Mercenary Will Davenport lives in the moment. Hauling Emma to South Dakota should have been an easy job, but his employer neglected to tell him about Emma’s freaky son and the gunmen hot on her trail. Instinct tells him this job is trouble, but nothing can prepare him for Jake’s proclamation that Will is The Chosen One, who must protect Emma from the men hunting her power. A power she doesn't know she has.


Will protects Emma and Jake on a cross-country chase from the men pursuing them, while struggling with memories from his past, his apprehension of Jake, and his growing attraction to Emma. Will’s overwhelming urge to protect Emma surprises him, especially since it has nothing to do with his pay check and possibly everything to do with the tattoo Jake branded on his arm. Rich and powerful men are desperate to capture Emma, and Will must discover why before it's too late.

My Opinion
Chosen is centred around three main characters, Emma, Jake and Will. Each of the characters are developed so well which made the characters feel more real. Although Emma has been running for years to protect her son Jake she doesn’t take on the damsel in distress roll she embraces the challenge head on doing anything in her power to help protect her son. I loved the character of Emma she was easy to connect to. I also love Will although it is quite clear from the start that he has an ulterior motive you cannot help but warm to his character as he seems like he is such a nice guy who has just fallen onto the wrong path.
Now time for the character of Jake! Jake can only be summed up in one word and that is creepy. It was hard to see his character as a 5 year old boy. Because of his phsycic abilities he seems to sound very wise and old before his time. I still found his character intriguing but that was my main difficulty with the book is seeing this boy as a child.

The reason I jumped at the chance to read Chosen is because of the element of suspense Denise managed to create in her previous book. She is back with a bang in Chosen I actually feel that the suspense factor is greater in this book at times I felt like I was gripping my kindle so tight anticipating what was going to happen next.
I was on the edge of my seat reading this action packed novel when it suddenly came to an end. I think because the storyline is so intense and flows at such a fast pace you did not see the ending coming and it has clearly been left open for a sequel.

I would highly recommend this book for anyone who likes paranormal, action packed read. I know I for one will be eagerly awaiting a follow up to this book.
If you have a kindle this is at an unbelievable price at the moment by clicking the link below.

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