Sunday, 31 July 2011

Breaking The Ice by Mandy Baggot

I have been reading a lot of books recently by self-published authors. Over the last few years I have read many reviews on self published authors which have put me off of reading them. I decided it was time to see for myself what I thought of some of their works. I read 2-3 books a week so I have decided for each week in July and August I am going to read one self published book. I have already read Working it Out by Nicola May and Bagpipes and Bullshot by Janice Horton ( both of these reviews you can find on the blog) both of these I thoroughly enjoyed. My next review is of Breaking the Ice by Mandy Baggot.


Plot
When routine driven box office assistant Samantha Smith meets the stars of 'Skating on Broadway' her life is turned upside down. Immediately attracted to lead skater Jimmy Lloyd, Samantha does her best to deny her feelings. But when all you can do is burst out laughing and hyperventilate every time you're under pressure, keeping things under wraps is a hard task. When the future of her beloved Civic Hall is threatened Samantha must rise to the challenge to ensure its survival. Constantly scrutinised and criticised by her zany sister Cleo and her brogue wearing boyfriend Jeremy, can Samantha save her job, save the Civic Hall and stop her panic attacks just long enough to give away her heart?


My Opinion
I chose to read this book at just the right time. The storyline of Breaking The Ice is very light making it an easy read. Although there wasn’t much depth to the storyline this is made up with the detailed characters in this book. Samantha and Jimmy’s characters are what truly make this book an enjoyable read. Samantha comes across as a very gentle character having lived a very sheltered life, it felt as though Samantha was trying to live her life through her sister. We see Samantha build her trust in Jimmy and start to try new things and we can feel how nervous she is often with a panic attack looming and we just hope that she doesn’t get hurt.

We don’t get to see much of Jimmy’s back ground other than the snippets from magazine articles relating to his time in Rehab. It took me a while to trust Jimmy as I couldn’t see what his intentions towards Sam were. After a few chapters in I started to enjoy his character and realised he didn’t have an ulterior motive he was just trying to change his way of life.

This is the ideal book to read in between books as it is an easy and reasonably quick read not to challenging, ideal for sitting in the garden on a Sunday. The only thing I think lets the book down a little is the cover of the book. I don’t think the cover of the book is appealing and it doesn’t give the book the justice it deserves.

I like that Baggot has taken a typical chic lit style scenario with the famous guy falls in love with the plain Jane girl but has then weaved this is in to a different storyline featuring the ice skating which was a topic I have not read about before and which I enjoyed. Baggot also brings in an unexpected light hearted humour to the book which usually occurred when Samantha is coming out of her comfort zone!

After reading Breaking the Ice I would defiantly pick up another Mandy Baggot book and I would also recommend her romantic novel to anyone needing a quick and easy read.


Friday, 29 July 2011

Give Away Results

We have a winner of our Book Give away.


CONGRATULATIONS AMY T!!!!

Thank you for all taking part and there will be a new give away coming up.

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Working It Out by Nicola May



I have just finished Working It Out by Nicola May. When this book arrived on my doorstep I had already started another book but it was hard not to just pick this one up and start reading I felt like the book was winking at me from the shelf! The cover of this book is very eyecatching, I was surprised to find out that Nicola May is self published as the quality of the book is as good if not better than some of the books which are in the paperback chart at the moment.


Plot
After an unexpected redundancy, Ruby begins to question her priorities. Inspired by a quote from Kahil Gibran about loving your work, she launches her mission to find the ideal job.

Her year of gainful ( and sometimes painful!) employment includes nannying for clients in the south of France; dealing with embarising ailments in a Harley Street Clinic; waiting tables in a buzzy Soho Cafe; and meeting celebsof years gone byin a home for retired actors. And even though love is no longer top of her list, relationships just seem to start happening along the way which sees her handing out some P45’s of her own!

But will any of the jobs, or men she meets, see her dreams come true? Or will Ruby just end up back where she started?

My Opinion.
I loved the whole concept of this novel. Who would know the idea of the 12 different jobs in 12 months could be such an entertaining read. Our heroine in this book is Ruby and she is such an easy character to connect with I think we all wish we had a friend like Ruby and I think there is a little part of Ruby or at least Ruby’s ideas, in each of us. Although the storyline is entertaining it truly is Rubys character that makes the book such a humorous read.

This book starts off at a quick pace and has us wrapped up in the storyline from the beginning. The story continues at an easy pace all the way through with no dull moments, I found the book had my full attention the whole way through and this is because there was always so much going on. Each job that Ruby takes on is completely different, some jobs we get to read more about her experiences than others but I feel each of the jobs are not over done as there is only so much that can happen in each job without the risk of the reader losing interest.

What I thoroughly enjoyed about this book was the humour. The humour was very much day to day humour so didn’t feel false and there were points in the story where I did laugh out loud. I do love a book that can make me laugh and this book had me in stitches in some parts.

Nicola is very clever in her style of writing because although most of the storyline is hilarious, she also manages to weave in more emotional parts in this book but she does this in such a way that it doesn’t dampen the storyline.

I loved the character of Ruby but another character I enjoyed was her brother Sam. Sam is blind and I think this is the first book I have read where a blind person appears so much in a book and he was such a great character, he also seems to have Rubys sense of humour, he just seems so determined to make the most of his life and I would say he has more of a social life than I do! I found with both of these characters they were so life like I had to keep reminding myself that this is fiction these characters are not real!

My one personal negative about this book is Ruby’s taste in men!! This girl is not fussy when it comes to men and boy there is a wide range of male totty in this book each completely different to the next it was like a bag of pick n mix!! 

Nicola gives a great ending to the book which wrapped  it up nicely which is the icing on the cake to this hilarious, entertaining read. I look forward to reading more books by Nicola May if this book is anything to go by.

I cannot recommend this book highly enough it is one of my top reads for 2011. A gripping storyline with likeable characters and a splash of humour what more can you want in a book?

Nicola May is a self published Author. She has two previous books Better Together and Star Fish. More information can be found on her website www.nicolamay.com .
If you live in the Reading area then there is a great chance for you to meet Nicola and to pick up your signed copy of Working It Out this Saturday at Waterstones in Oracle Centre at 10.00am so Pop on down!!



Monday, 25 July 2011

Lessons In Laughing Out Loud by Rowan Coleman



We all seem to be Rowan Coleman fans over here on Rea Book Review so there was no hesitation in picking up her new book Lessons in Laughing Out Loud. After Rowan kindly gave an interview to us we have been eagerly awaiting the release date of this latest book and it has finally come and the book has been read so now it is time to let you know if this book is worth picking up and if she has managed to give us another exciting read.

Plot
Willow and Holly are identical twins. They are everything to each other. Holly calls Willow her rock, her soul mate, her other half. And Willow feels the same about Holly. They are alike in every respect except one – Willow is afraid on the inside. And all because of a secret – one that binds the sisters closely together and yet has meant their adult lives have taken two very different paths.


Willow often feels there are large parts of her missing, qualities she only knows she’s lacking because she sees them in her sister. For a very long time Willow has felt separated from Holly by one terrible moment in time – a moment that meant Willow’s life was never the same again. And when the past catches up with her, Willow realises it’s finally time for her to face her fears, and – with Holly’s help – learn to laugh out loud once more…

My Opinion
Rowan Coleman Strikes again! Our main Character Willow is such a warm and loveable character. She seems so down to earth which makes us connect with her straight away as she is a believable, realistic character. What made me love Willows character was that she seemed to be hiding a secret and this made her character more intriguing. We really want to see our heroine find some happiness in life but happiness doesn’t seem to find Willow.


One of the other characters who come up a lot in this book is Chloe. Chloe has issues with Willow and I like the way that she is so much like the teenagers of today who are so stubborn and would not just let the situation go easily it took time for her to come around. I really liked her character she seemed so angry but I think this was just masking her vulnerability.


Rowan has based this story on many issues that seem to be becoming a regular occurrence in life now which makes the book feel a little deeper than her previous works. Although there is the deeper topic here Rowan approaches these issues gently without being judgmental and she manages to wind a little light hearted humour around the topics which manage to lighten the situation a little.


What I loved about this book was the mysterious element around the shoes ( I am saying no more as we do not do spoilers over here!) and the suspense. I really had no idea how this book was going to end or what the deep dark secret would be that seemed to be ruling poor Willow’s life.


There really is a mixture of content in this book although there is a relative amount of romance and humour in this book there is so much more to this truly captivating storyline.


I really feel that this book was worth the wait and I would defiantly recommend you pick this book up and find yourself getting lost in this wonderfully written story. I only hope that Rowan doesn’t keep us waiting too long for her next piece of work!!



Sunday, 24 July 2011

Blog Mention

For 30 minutes each day I have asked people if they have a blog which they would like me to take a look at. I have seen many great blogs this week but the one which has a slight edge for me is You Were Going To Be Fantastic. This blog is run by Jenny who lives in Canada. Jenny is writing a great story online which has a twist, the followers get to read each chapter and at the end of each chapter we get the chance to choose what happens next in the story. 

Thankyou for all who have sent me your book blogs to take a peek at this week I am now following you all so will be able to keep up to date with your blogs.

xXx

Saturday, 23 July 2011

To The Moon And Back by Jill Mansell



This is my first book review for a Jill Mansell Book. I have picked up a Jill Mansell book before which off the top of my head I cannot remember what the title was but I only managed the first chapter before passing it onto a friend. I never tried one of her books again as I know not everyone likes the same author and it just didn’t seem to be my cup of tea. Many of you who follow my reviews will know if I am not interested by the end of the first chapter I move onto another book as there are so many books out there I want to read the ones that are of interest to me. So how come I ended up with another Jill Mansell book? I was having the same discussion with a client of mine who loves Jill Mansell books and she couldn’t understand what there was for me not to like. So I said I would give another one a try as long as she tries another Carole Matthews book as she tried one and felt the same as I did about Jill Mansell !!

Plot
Ellie’s world has come crashing down around her, after her husband Jamie dies as a result of a car crash. Life seems to be such a struggle having people at work constantly tip toeing around her and struggling to keep up with her inhabitable flat which she is trying to keep hidden from her father in-law Tony. When Tony finally gets round to see the flat he is horrified and encourages Ellie to move into Primrose Hill to look after his new house.
This gives Ellie a chance for a new chapter in her life a new house a new job and new friendships will she be able to put the past behind her and make a new life for herself?  


My Opinion.
At the start of To The Moon and Back we meet our main character Ellie and her husband Jamie. They both seem like warm down to earth characters, blissfully in love and enjoying their lives together until Jamie has a car accident which results in him dying. The story then jumps forward 15 months which I am quite please about as once I read the part where Jamie had died I thought the rest of the book was going to be quite morbid and was going to be a challenge to read, but luckily we meet back with Ellie when she is reaching the stage in her grieving process where she is ready to take the next step and move on with her life.
 As we watch Ellie’s journey in the new chapter in her life you can’t help but routing for her and hoping that she can find happiness again. What I loved about this book was although our main storyline was about Ellie moving on with her life each character that came into the story had their own story going on which Jill manages to weave into the main story line making it more interesting and bringing more to the book. Having said this the main plot was not very challenging so it would defiantly make for an easy read.
I have to say my favourite character was Zach who is Ellie’s new boss, he seemed so charming I wish we could have seen a little more of the relationship between Zach and Ellie.
I did find that book seemed to flow at such a slow pace which at a point I was unsure if I was going to be able to carry on with the book but luckily I persevered with it and it did pick up again. I enjoyed the last part of the book and in my opinion the last few chapters of the book was the best part of the book and I wish we could have read more about the relationship at the end.
After reading this book I would give another book by Jill Mansell another go but I would like the plot do be something a little more challenging to keep me gripped.



                     

Friday, 22 July 2011

Books To Read!!

I have got a huge smile on my face!! These are my books which are waiting to be read and I also have 2 waiting on my kindle some of which authors have sent me which I would like to say Thankyou to them. Now I have a problem which book to read first? Comments below please!!!


On The Kindle we have
* Excess All Areas - Mandy Baggot
*Breaking the Ice - Mandy Baggot


Also Keep a look out for something new coming to the blog over the weekend !!x

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Bagpipes & Bullshot by Janice Horton




I have just finished Bagpipes and Bullshot by Janice Horton. I think this is a record for me as I have finished reading it in less than a day!


Plot
When Innes Buchanan inherits the title of Laird, he is entrusted with the Scottish family estate, the ancestral home, and centuries of noble tradition. Sadly, he also inherits the family bank balance which, after death duty, is crumbling faster than the walls of their ancient castle. After exhausting even the most unlikely of cash generating alternatives and with bankruptcy on the horizon, Innes stumbles across one last initiative, a research scholarship in Texas to establish a new herd of cattle. With a lifetime of sheep farming and no room for failure, Innes's luck returns on a chance encounter with Orley MacKenna, a born and raised Texan cowgirl who needs little convincing to leave her past behind. Though a likely couple, the two settle for an unlikely business partnership, and return to Scotland to try and save the Buchanan fortune. Told with timeless Scottish romanticism and a knowing sense of humour, Bagpipes and Bullshot twists an everyday love story with a whole cast of village eccentrics who integrate seamlessly into a fantastic play on rural life.


My Opinion

The first thing I have to say about this book is I absolutely loved the relationship between our two main characters Orley and Innes. Although they are two worlds apart the  relationship between the two of them is so delicate which helped to make the whole book such a “cosy” read. Both Orley and Innes are two worlds apart and it is lovely to read about their relationship blossom throughout the book as they face some challenging times.

 I was so gripped from the first page of this book and I felt like I had been reading for so long and when I clicked the page it then said chapter 1 !! All I could think was if I am this gripped on just the Prologue I can see that this is going to be a hard book to put down. The story is a great romantic read that has a light hearted humour to it.

 What stuck out to me was the creative writing style that Janice Horton uses to set the scene in Scotland. I for one have never visited Scotland but after reading this book I feel as if I know the place already. Clearly Janice Horton is in love with her home town and that shows in this book.

I loved each and every character in this novel apart from Davina who is a spoilt little minx! As the book flowed along I was unsure what she was going to get upto next each time you think her actions cannot get any worse they soon do!

The one thing that I always look for in a book is the suspense factor. I do not like to know at the beginning of the book what is going to happen in the end. A book will only ever get a 5 star from me if the book is not predictable...... Well done Janice Horton you have got the 5 star from me. What more can I ask for in a book, romance, light humour, descriptive writing and the suspense.

This is definatley worth a read on a Sunday afternoon with a nice cuppa as this is my little “cosy” read.
Bagpipes and Bullshot is available at a VERY reasonable price on Amazon so headover to the link below.













http://loveahappyending.com/janice-horton/
Janice Horton is a part of the loveahappyending page so head over and check it out 







The Chocolate Lovers Club by Carole Matthews


I am a self confessed chocoholic which for those of you who are friends with me on facebook will know from my user name! So how could I walk over Carole Mathews The Chocolate Lovers Club. I also saw whilst I was looking on the shelf that there was also The chocolate lovers Diet by the same author and I wasn't sure which one to pick up. I am lucky I picked this one up as the Chocolate lovers diet I have now found out is a carry on from this book. 


The Chocolate lovers club consist of four women, Lucy, Autumn, Nadia and Chantal. Lucy is the main character of the book, which is written from her point of view. She has been in a relationship with the cheating Marcus for a long time and at the beginning of the book she finds him cheating again and calls an emergency gathering with the girls at chocolate heaven. 
This is where we are introduced to the girls for the first time. Autumn is a hippy kind of girl who works with drug addicts and is single and loves dark chocolate. Nadia is the only member of the club with a young son, she finds the chocolate club like a refuge for her. Lastly we have Chantal who is a confident American woman who is having problems with her husband who no longer wants to sleep with her. 


The ladies all share the same love of chocolate and regularly meet up and Chocolate Heaven to eat and drink handmade chocolate and to socialise and help each other out in their times of crisis. All four of the girls are lovable characters and are described adequately enough for you to relate with them. 


The girls come head to head with many problems between the through the book including cheating boyfriends, crushes on bosses, drug problems, a robbery, gambling, to name a few, but the girls stick together and firmly believe they can get through anything with the help of chocolate, as chocolate can cure anything. 


I found the style of writing in this book completely different to the previous book I read by Carole Mathews. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and found it hard to put down. She uses enough details about chocolate without over doing it. There is a strong story line with chocolate weaved in-between. 

The only problem I found with this book was each time a known brand of chocolate was mentioned I craved it so personally I feel the book should come with some kind of warning or at least a free chocolate supply with it!!. 


I am looking forward to reading the follow up book as this book was left on a Cliff hanger you become addicted and need to find out what happens next with the girls. 

This book was 432 pages long in paperback and also has a snippet of the next book which I always find helpful. I would definatley recommend this book and I have to say I think this is my favourite Carole Matthews book by far.
ANY CHOCOHOLICS READ THIS WITH WARNING!!!




Sunday, 17 July 2011

A Proper Charlie by Louise Wise


I have just finished my second book on my kindle and what a great read it was. A Proper Charlie by Louise Wise looks like a true chick lit, romance style book with its pink cover and a red head Charlie on the front. Do not let this cover fool you it is so much more than what the cover promises!


Plot
Charlie Wallis has everything a girl could wish for: a loving boyfriend, a fantastic job as a newspaper journalist for London Core and resides in a trendy flat.

Trouble is Charlie’s boyfriend’s a loser, her job title really reads `clerk` and her flat, at the top of a high-rise, isn’t that nice after all.

Her new boss, Ben, is a huge bear of a man. A gentle giant, with chocolate brown eyes that hold a secret.

While London Core investigates the disappearance of local prostitutes, Charlie wants in on the action, deciding that dressing as a hooker and walking the streets is good research.

Bumping into Ben was the last thing she expected.


A story of opposites that not only attract…but ignite!


My Opinion
This is another one of those books where I read the synopsis and think is this really going to be a piece of me? I will always give a book which is submitted to me to review a chance but if by the end of the first chapter it really doesn’t interest me I do not carry on. I am glad this is not what happened with this novel. The story gets off to a comfortable start introducing us to our main character Charlie who seems to lack confidence in herself and her life just seems to be heading in the wrong direction. I instantly take a liking to Charlie from the moment we met her.

At the beginning of the book we have to different storylines running alongside each other which eventually merge together. We have the insight into our main character Charlie and her troubles on one hand and then on the other hand we meet Ben Middleton who has just lost his mother but that is where his problems only just begin. I feel the structure of this book worked well by bringing to separate stories together as it gave us, the reader, a chance to see the insight of both Charlie and Ben’s lives.

I loved Ben, we warm to him just as quickly as we do Charlie and I would say he is one of my favourite male characters I have ever read. If you like the character Luke Brandon in the Shopaholic series you will love Ben.

There are many characters who pop up in this book one of the main ones being Melvin who is Charlie’s best friend who is gay and provides a little humour to this more in depth storyline. I did like his character but by about half way through the book he was doing my head in keep calling Charlie Baby Doll every time he came up in the book!

The book starts off at a comfortable pace as we get to know our characters but as their two lives join together to form the main storyline to this book the pace of the book picks up and remains at this pace for the rest of the book with no dull points to it. When the storyline started to involve Charlie heading out to the redlight district I thought this was when I was going to lose a little interest but Wise manages to still keep you gripped giving you enough information without the storyline becoming overly seedy. 

Although some parts of the story where predictable the suspense of other parts of the book truly makes up for those parts.
I would defiantly recommend A Proper Charlie especially for anyone wanting to try something a little different as it is quite unlike any other books I have read. This is available at an unbelievable price on Amazon Kindle at the moment so get in quick!!


Saturday, 16 July 2011

Girl On the Run by Jane Costello


I need to put my hands up and say I am a new fan or Jane Costello! I recently read and reviewed one of her books. My Single Friend and I absolutely loved it. I couldn’t wait to get started on another one so I didn’t hesitate when I saw Girl On The Run I knew it was coming home with me!

Plot
Abby Rogers has been on health kicks before – they involve eating one Blueberry muffin for breakfast instead of two.
But since starting her own business after too many episodes of The Apprentice, the 28-year-old’s waistline has taken even more of a back seat than her long-neglected love life. When she’s encouraged to join her sporty best friend’s running club – by none other than its gorgeous new captain – she finds a mysterious compulsion to exercise.
Sadly, her first session doesn’t go to plan. Between the leggings that resemble strawberry-flavoured condoms and the fact that her lungs feel as though they’ve been set on fire, she vows never to return. Then her colleague Heidi turns up at work and makes a devastating announcement, one that will change her life – and Abby’s – forever.

My Opinion
This is the first author whose work I cannot compare to any other Authors books I have read. Jane Costello really has an edge to her writing which I adore! I had always been put off reading any of Costello’s books by the front cover as they never really appealed to me but then this is definitely where the saying “Do not judge a book by its cover” comes into light! I found whilst reading Girl on the Run I received some strange looks from my partner due to me keep laughing aloud whilst reading this book. I found that things that our main character Abby was doing I could see myself doing in her position and I think because this felt so life like it did make me laugh imagining me in her shoes.

From the first chapter I was gripped. I was a little unsure if I was going to like this book as much as My single Friend as when I read this books synopsis I was a little unsure if it was going to be for me as it was clearly about keeping fit which is something I am afraid of! (I write this review with a bag of Maltesers next to me!)

Luckily it is clear from the start of the book that Abby has the same feelings about keeping fit as me so I felt I could relate to her character. I absolutely loved our main character Abby she feels so down to earth to read, and is so witty without realising it but this only makes her character even more entertaining to read. I did find the whole romance part of the book a little predictable but this didn’t ruin the book as it is such a light hearted entertaining read.  

Although I found the book comical and light hearted read there is an deeper part of the book which is the reason why Abby starts the whole keep fit regime and I think the way Costello brings this topic into her storyline is done very gently and brings enough awareness to grab the reader’s attention without going overboard. We learn a lot about a terrible illness without actually realising we are being educated on the signs and symptoms of what can be such a debilitating illness.

What I also loved was the short chapters. Each chapter was only 3-4 pages long which really helped me this week with work being chaotic this week It allowed me to pick up the odd chapter here and there as that is one thing I cannot do is leave a chapter mid way.

I would defiantly recommend this book and I would not hesitate in rating it a top 5 stars as this is a book which you just cannot find faults. I cannot wait for the next Jane Costello book, let’s hope she doesn’t keep us waiting too long!


Thursday, 14 July 2011

We Welcome Rowan Coleman To Rea Book Review

Earlier this week I had a poll over on Rea Book Review page on Facebook. With so many great books all being released this month I wanted to see what book everyone was eagerly awaiting to get their hands on. Lessons In Laughing Out Loud by Rowan Coleman came out on top. To celebrate coming top in the poll and with her book release date fast approaching Rowan agreed to an interview with Rea Book Review.
What made you choose a career in Writing?

I didn't exactly 'choose' a career in writing, I yearned, hoped and longed for one. Before I finally became a full time writer I worked around books in one way or another for almost ten years, writing in my spare time and then one day I entered and won Company Magazine's Young Writer of the Year short story competition, and that gave me the chance I'd be working towards to get published.

Where did you get your inspiration for Lessons In Laughing Out Loud From?

Lessons in Laughing Out Loud was really inspired, in a round about sort of way, by my last novel Happy Home for Broken Hearts. That book, more than any other I'd written made me think about my own past, and my own dark secrets. Lessons is my attempt to examine through the heroine, Willow, the way I have dealt with past trauma and actually writing it made me realise I haven't dealt with it at all. As result of writing this book I'm going to try and change that.

Are your characters based on people you know?

As I have just confessed Willow is more like me than any character I've written for some years - but in this books all the supporting characters have come right out of me head and are entirely fictional.

What was your favorite book of yours to write and why?

Every book is different. If I think about the easiest book to write it was still my third novel River Deep. A book that marked a change for me in my style of writing was The Accidental Mother, but I do think that Lessons is my favourite book, because it is so intensely personal.

What was the last book you read?

Not So Perfect by Nick Perring, this is completely brilliant, by the way. And also a fantastic short story by horror writer Mark West. The books I want to read over the summer is Game of Thrones, I adored the TV adaptation and can't wait for season two, so its turned me on to the books.

If you were to be stuck on a desert Island reality tv show what would be the two things you would have to take with you?

If I was stuck on a desert island reality show I'd have to take tweezers and mascara. Never knowingly seen with out full lashes in place and tidy eyebrows!

Thank you to Rowan for taking the time to answer our questions. We wish you all the success with your new release.

Lessons in Laughing Out Loud is due to be released on the 21st July and can be pre-ordered on Amazon on the following link

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Summer Loving by Allie Spencer




This week I finally got up to date with my reading and finished reviewing the last of the books which had been sent to me so it was time for me to hit the shops for a spot of retail therapy and pick up a few books which I have been waiting to read. One of the books I have picked up is Allie Spencer Summer Loving. With this appalling summer us Brits seem to be having at the moment and my holiday still 6 months away I felt it was time to read something to give me the summer feeling!


Plot
There comes a point in a girl’s life when she just needs to hang out with her girlfriends – preferably in Greece – so they can laugh, reminisce and perhaps indulge in a holiday romance or two. Beth has reached that point, and being a woman who likes to organise things, she arranges the holiday of her dreams for her and her three best friends. However, the bars, clubs and wild nights of their imaginings are a far cry from the slow, quiet pace of life on Liminaki. But if they thought that meant they were in for a peaceful time, they soon discover their mistake. For a start, Ginny drives everyone mad talking about her bleeping wedding. Anna falls hook, line and sinker for the waiter. Beth succumbs to the charms of a handsome sailor. And something is definitely Up with Kirsten. And then Beth’s boyfriend turns up at a Very Bad Moment… surely things can’t get any more complicated?

My Opinion
This is the first book I have read by Allie Spencer and what a great start it was for me. The story is set in Liminaki in Greece, which is a quiet village not quite what the ladies were expecting and although it was a shock to the ladies as this was not the holiday they were planning they gradually started to fall in love with the island and so did I and this is thanks for Allie’s creative writing which described the idyllic scene of a perfect holiday destination. The way in which she describes Liminaki makes you feel as if you are there with the girls and makes you feel as if you really get to know the island. It was a similar style of writing to Belinda Jones.  This gorgeous setting made a great base for a beautiful book.

Our main character in this book is Beth who I found to be a very likeable character and it didn’t take long to warm to her.  Although I did love Beth my favourite female character in this book was Anna and I really wish we got to read more about her as she seemed like such a warm gentle and genuine character who never sees the bad in anyone. My one down point to this book is the character Ginny. I didn’t like her from the moment she arrived in the book and I didn’t enjoy any part of her in the book I don’t think her presence was really needed in this little gem of a book. Allie got the male characters of this book spot on having both a true English gentle man and a gorgeous Greek piece of eye candy to keep us  ladies entertained. I enjoyed both of their characters but I have to say that Bick the Greek guy had the slight edge for me as I always find Greek and Italian men a bit mysterious and charming!

I found with this book rather than there being one main story line there were many different things going on as each of the girls seem to have their own problems going on which all come to light in the book. I did find that the book was predictable but this didn’t ruin the book for me I still flowed along with the story.
This is defiantly one to take on holiday with you as it really gets you in the holiday mood. You do get lost in the story which was a bit of a shock for me when I finished the book then looked out the window to see the rain and realised I am not in sunny Greece!! I would defiantly recommend this book and I eagerly await the next novel which I hope Allie has already made a start on!


Sunday, 10 July 2011

Traitors Among Us by S.R Claridge

Those of you who follow my blog will know that I have recently been sent the Just Call Me Angel books to review. I do tend to stick to chick lit usually as it is light, easy reading but I gave Tetterbaum’s Truth a try and I was surprised how much I enjoyed it so much so I have just finished reading the second book Traitors Among Us. Did I enjoy it......... Well I finished it in 5 hours so I think that answers that question!

Plot
With Tetterbaum’s Truth revealed and her true identity exposed, Angel Martin tries to adjust to her radically new role as head of the Chicago Maratinzano family. Unfortunately, Mafia life offers little down time.

The sudden kidnapping of her mother and Aunt Olga leads Angel on a path to a past she’s never known and an adversary she is unable to find. When an FBI mob bust against her family is fuelled by administration level information, Angel turns to the other Chicago Bosses for answers; but every trail dead ends and every person is not who they seem.

Racing to save the people she loves most, Angel must learn to trust her instincts, even when she comes face-to-face with the scariest truth yet… there are Traitors Among Us.

My Opinion
Traitors Among Us is a great follow on from the first book. The pace of the book was a little slower with this one but I think it worked well in this book as we are introduced to many more characters so it gives us time to get to know who is who. One of the new characters we meet in this book is Sophia who is Angels mum and her character gives the same feeling as Angel so we warm to her right from the first chapter.

I did miss Olga’s character in this book although she does appear at times in it she was the one who gave the first book the humorous part which is missing in this book but not having the humour made the book seem a little darker and on edge.
The element of suspense is back again in this book which gives such an adrenalin rush whilst reading I felt like I had been sitting on the edge of my seat the whole time whilst reading this book! During the whole of the book I felt the same feelings that Angel was having and that is who can you trust? Who is the good guys and who are the bad guys? This is what truly makes it a page turner.
There is a real mix of content in this book including crime, suspense, romance and mystery and of course the Mafia! I love the fact that right the way through book one and two there are no dull, low parts of the books they are action packed right the way through.
The book has clearly been left open at the end to allow another book to follow on. I still stand by what I said in the first review and that these books will be made into a film and I am sure they will be a great hit.
I cannot recommend this book and in fact this series highly enough it is a little diamond waiting to be found so give this one a try. 



Pictures Of Lily by Paige Toon



Paige Toon is one of my favourite authors. I have read all of her books and have thoroughly enjoyed every one of them. While I am waiting patiently for Paige Toon’s new book Baby Be Mine to be released I decided to re-read one of her books so I picked up Pictures Of Lily.

Plot
   ‘Will you marry me?’

I think of you, then. I think of you every day. But usually in the quietest part of the morning,or the darkest part of the night. Not when my boyfriend of two years has just proposed.
I look up at Richard with his hopeful eyes. 
‘Lily?’ he prompts.
It’s been ten years, but it feels like only yesterday that you left. How can I say yes to Richard with all my heart when most of it has always belonged to you? I take a deep breath and will myself to speak…

Ten years ago when Lily was just sixteen, she fell in love with someone she really shouldn’t have fallen in love with. Now, living in Sydney and engaged to another man, she can’t forget the one that got away. Then her past comes back to haunt her, and she has to make a decision that will break her heart – and the heart of at least one of the men who love her.


My Opinion
The first thing which always sticks out for me with all Paige Toon books are the front covers. They are eye-catching and glitzy and you know by looking at the book before reading the author that it is a Paige Toon novel. Having said this the new book that is being released looks like it has a different style to the cover.
I love that with both Paige Toon and Christina Jones books that although these are stand alone books, characters from the other novels pop up from time to time in the other novels and I like this as it brings a little bit of familiarity to the book. 

Pictures of Lily is split into two. The first part of the book we meet a young 15 year old Lily who has just moved to Australia and is finding it hard to settle into her new life. The second part of the book skips to the present day when Lily is 25 and her life has changed somewhat. I did find the story got off to an incredible fast pace which I fell into straight from the first page, and it had me turning the pages so quickly that before I knew it I was half way through the book and starting the second part of the book. I did find it came to an obvious stop when we switch to the second part of the book and it did take a few pages to pick up the pace again. The structure of this novel suits the book well as we get to know our main character Lily from a young age so by the time we read the second part of the book where she has become a woman we feel as if we know all about her. As with the main characters of all of the Paige Toon books you can not help but warm to these characters straight away.

There are a real mix of characters in this book and they all work well together. It is the first book I think I have read where I have enjoyed each and every character.

Through Lily we see many different emotions and I did find towards the end of the book I did have a tear in my eye! This book is a real page turner as you can tell as I have read this in under a day! If you are looking for a real feel good read that is not predictable and will keep you gripped all the way through then this is the book for you.


Friday, 8 July 2011

The Summer Season by Julia Williams



I have just finished Summer Season by Julia Williams. I have previously only read one of her books which was Last Christmas which I thoroughly enjoyed. Having seen this on the shelves in my local WHSmith store I decided I needed another Summer read to try and bring this great British weather to an end!






Plot
As summertime flourishes, it’s time for new beginnings…

Heartsease House is in desperate need of renovation. Its owner, widower Joel, is struggling to come to terms with life as a single dad. His plans to refurbish the house and garden suddenly seem like one burden too many.

Mum to twin girls, Lauren’s life is a constant juggling act. When her ex Troy turns up she’s determined to keep her distance while he gets to know his daughters. But it’s a lot harder than she imagined …

Then erstwhile guerrilla gardener Kezzie bursts into their lives with her infectious enthusiasm to restore the gardens of Heartsease. But who is Kezzie? And what is she running away from?

As the warm days of summer draw closer, Heartsease House and its beautiful love-knot garden are transformed. But will Joel, Kezzie and Lauren be able to restore their own hearts?

Kick off your sandals, enjoy a glass of rose and escape into a gorgeous novel this summer with Julia Williams.

My Opinion.
In my opinion what really makes Julia Williams books so enjoyable to read is her characters. The storyline of this novel is a joy to read but for me it is the characters that shine out for me in this book. Each of the characters in this book are so gentle in their own ways. They all have their own problems in life which are gradually brought to us throughout this book but at a gentle pace rather than bombarding us with all of the details in one go this keeps us reading as we are keen to know what each of their stories are. This is the first book I have read in a long time that doesn’t just have one but three main characters and this was a refreshing change for me. My favourite character had to be Joel his story really touched me.

The one thing I was a little nervous about reading this book was the whole garden and flowers topic. I have to hold my hands up and say my knowledge of flowers is very little I received a bunch of “pink” flowers 3 years ago from my partner and that is as much as I can give! I did worry that there were going to be parts of the book which would go into too much detail on the topic and that I would be skimming over but I am pleased to say this is not the case. We were given enough information without it being too overwhelming but enough to set the scene for the novel. The part where a different type of flower was planted for each child I found very moving.

The start of the book begins in the 1890’s with Joel’s great great grand parents. The book then continues swapping from the 1890’s to the present time. Julia dies this so well I have just finished a book which has a similar structure to this book but it didn’t quite work for me so you can imagine my thoughts as I started to read this book and realised it was a similar style. I am so glad that I actually enjoyed both the past and the present storyline to this book and I don’t think I could actually pick which I preferred I think both the past and present storyline in this book compliment this book beautifully.

What I really feel I have to mention is the additional parts to this book which in my opinion were perfect little touches just like the bow being placed on that beautifully wrapped present and that is the family tree, the map of the village and the design of the Knot garden. It just felt as though every detail of this book has had so much time and though put into it that there is just nothing missing from it.
I would defiantly recommend this book. It is an easy, gentle read which has an ending which is ended nicely not leaving you guessing what happens next and the book flows at a nice pace not having an low points to the book.



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