Thursday, 31 January 2013

Love From Both Sides by Nick Spalding


I have lost count how many books I pick up to read and see on the cover “Laugh out Loud” or “Hilarious” and then read the book and just can’t seem to find what it was that people found amusing. When Love from Both Sides by Nick Spalding arrived in the post the first thing I noticed was the comment at the top of the book “The Laugh out Loud Bestseller” and I have to admit part of me was thinking here we go again!


Each chapter in the book alternates between our two main characters Jamie Newman and Laura McIntyre. Both are single but are looking for a partner but this isn't as straight forward as it sounds, everything that could go wrong does go wrong. We follow both of the characters through their disastrous dates and just when you think it cannot get any worse it does!

Some of the things that happen on the dates will have you cringing and other times you will do exactly as the cover says and laugh out loud! This has to be the funniest book I have read in a long time and one of very few books that actually had me laughing out loud rather than just feeling amused.

As can be expected with the author being male there is some typical bloke humor and sexual talk but again I found this amusing but I have grown up around many male family members and friends so am used to their humor some people may find it a bit much but I am hoping the majority of readers will see the funny side to it. I was surprised how well the author managed to write Laura’s side she was very natural and feminine and a character I really loved.

I cannot wait to read the sequel. This book is going to be talked about A LOT this year I am sure!

I cannot recommend this book highly enough if you are looking for a book to get rid of the January blues! All I can say is you will never look at a pedal bin again without getting the giggles!


Kindle             Paperback

Monday, 28 January 2013

Don't Want to Miss a Thing by Jill Mansell

I have only read a couple of books by Jill Mansell, the covers always appeal to me and although I enjoyed her previous books they have never seemed to leave a lasting impression on me.

I loved the synopsis of the book it sounded like my kind of read and again the cover of Don't Want to Miss a Thing is one that would reach out to me from the shelves.

Dexter Yates loves his fun, care-free London life; he has money, looks and girlfriends galore. But everything changes overnight when his sister dies, leaving him in charge of her eight-month-old daughter Delphi. How is he ever going to cope?

Comic-strip artist Molly Hayes lives in the beautiful Cotswold village of Briarwood. When it comes to relationships, she has a history of choosing all the wrong men. Leaving the city behind, Dex moves to Briarwood - a much better place to work on his parenting skills - and he and Molly become neighbours. There's an undeniable connection between them. But if Dexter's going to adapt, he first has a lot to learn about Molly, about other people's secrets...and about himself.

This is by far my favourite book by Jill Mansell. I was hooked throughout the whole of thisbook. I found it impossible to put down cooking the dinner became an inconvenience! The story line was so fresh it wasn't similar to any book I have read.

We have two main characters in Dexter and Molly, as well as a few other characters who have smaller parts on the book such as the lovely Frankie who also brings a smaller storyline alongside the main plot but I found this storyline just as entertaining.

There was also some great humour weaved in between the romance and troubling situations some involving baby poo and my favourite was to do with the YMCA song! These incidents gave the characters a realistic feel to them and managed to keep the book lighthearted.

The book was packed with romance, humour and a cosy country storyline. The book flowed at a perfect pace with no low points where you would usually feel like skim reading.

This was a warm and touching read and one whose storyline and characters will stay with me long after the book is finished. This is definitely one for your to be read piles.



Hardback                Kindle

Sunday, 27 January 2013

The Valentines Card by Juliet Ashton


The Valentine's card was meant to be Orla's fairy tale ending, but really, it was only the beginning . . . Orla adores her actor boyfriend, Sim, who's away filming a sumptuous costume drama. Although the long-distance relationship means that she can eat toast for dinner and watch as much reality TV as she likes, she misses him like crazy. But Valentine's Day changes everything . . . The same morning Orla learns that Sim has died, she receives a card from him. As Orla travels from Ireland to London, to live and breathe Sim's final moments, can she bring herself to open the Valentine's card and read his final message?



Being a hopeless romantic, it didn’t take long for me to pick up The Valentine’s Card hoping to lose myself in the storyline.

This book will definitely pull at your heart strings as we watch Orla coming to terms with the death of her partner Sim. The book gets off to a quick start just as Orla gets the news about Sim so it is easy to say you are sympathetic to Orla’s character from the start. I loved the suspense around the Valentines card wondering what was actually going to be written inside and I did wonder if we were ever going to actually find out what was written but it is this that kept me hooked I just had to know what was inside!

I loved the dramatic storyline at the beginning of the book and I was sure this was going to be a fantastic read but I did find the book plummeted a little for me through the middle part of the book when Orla begins to make a life for herself in London. My interest in the book started to slip and I found myself constantly picking up and putting down the book. A few reviewers had messaged me and said they gave up on the book but there was part of me that still felt that a book that started off so good surely had more to give so I kept with it.

I loved the Sim's diary entries which were put in here and there alongside Orla's story we begin to get an idea f the real Sim compared to Orla's view of him.

It did take a while for the book to grip me again but I am glad I did see the book through to the end. There were twists towards the later part of the book which I was very shocked about and this brought the book back up to speed again.  

I would recommend this book as a great Valentine read I would have given it a four star review but I feel because of the part where the book plummeted it is more a 3 and a half star rating.


Paperback                 Kindle

Saturday, 26 January 2013

WORLDWIDE give away!!!!

As you all know I am based in the UK so often my giveaways have to be UK only but every once in a while when my pennies allow it I like to do a worldwide give away just so all of you who follow me from over seas ( yes I am jealous most of you all have sunshine unlike us!) don't think I forget about you all. I appreciate your support and so I am offering a giveaway worldwide for a copy of a fantastic book released in the Uk only recently called Cupcakes at Carrington's which I have reviewed and loved click here to see my review

I wonder where this book will end its travels!!
I will use rafflecopter again for this giveaway so the winner will be picked at random by them so no need to answer any question to try and be my favorite ;-) Although you can leave a little comment below if you wish as I love hearing from you all.

So all that is left to say is GOOD LUCK!




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Monday, 21 January 2013

The Trouble with Valentine's by Kelly Hunter

Hallie Bennett loves flirting with danger. So when a man with trouble written all over him walks into her shoe shop, she finds him impossible to refuse. Nick needs a "wife" for a week to seal a Hong Kong business deal, Hallie needs £5,000. It might not be the most traditional Valentines Day proposal, but shes hardly a traditional girl... Two beautiful (and borrowed) Tiffany rings later, and Hallies on her way to live the high life. But the trip comes with a deadly twist.


With the most romantic day of the year fast approaching the shelves are beginning to fill up with the all of the hot romance books to get you in the mood for love!

My second Valentine’s book I have read so far this year is The Trouble with Valentine’s by Kelly Hunter which is my second book by this author. I read her book Single Girl Abroad whilst on holiday last year and remembered thoroughly enjoying it especially the mouth-wateringly handsome men she created in the book! The cover of the book is not one that would appeal to me when browsing for a book but it is where the age old saying comes to light “Don’t judge a book by its cover”.

Our leading lady in this book is Hallie. Hallie is a very down to earth character who works in a shoe shop but who is about to embark on a very surreal adventure, when the heart-stoppingly gorgeous Nick comes shopping for something you do not usually find in a shoe shop……. He needs a temporary wife for a week!  

Yet again Hunter manages to create another drop dead gorgeous lead male character and we also see the use of martial arts make another appearance in this book so it is something that the author must have researched well and have some enjoyment in to have this appear in both books.

As I am sure you have worked this isn't going to be a story line anyone can relate to (unless I live a very sheltered life!) but never the less it was an enjoyable read. It is a very light and breezy novel which I finished in no time at all. There were quite a few steamy scenes in this book which did begin to feel as though it was taking over the story line a little but this is fiction!

I enjoyed the supporting characters Jasmine and Kai just as much as our main characters if not a little more as there background story intrigued me. I felt the ending was left open so I am sure there must be a sequel to this book on the horizon I hope in the next book we get to read more about Jasmine and Kai !

If you are looking for a romantic easy read this Valentine’s Day then this is the one for you.

Paperback          Kindle



The publishers have kindly given us two copies of The Trouble with Valentine's to give away. This is a UK only giveaway (we do have a worldwide giveaway coming up for a different book coming soon)


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Saturday, 19 January 2013

Cupcakes at Carrington's by Alexandra Brown


Since I first saw the cover of Cupcakes at Carrington’s and then read the synopsis I couldn’t wait for the new year to come around so I could get my hands on a copy and delve into the world of Carrington’s!

Where life is sweeter... Georgie Hart had it all – as a top personal shopper in London, the heady world of Mulberry launch parties and Louis Vuitton goody bags meant she was living the dream. But all that extravagance took its toll on her bank balance and it was time to stop drinking champagne on beer money. Now Georgie runs the luxury bag concession at Carrington’s Department store in the pretty seaside town of Mulberry Bay and her lavish spending is confined to a red velvet cupcake with butter cream icing in Carrington’s cafe. But her plans for a quiet life are thwarted when Carrington’s goes into a recession-busting makeover and soon, with the arrival of Maxine, wielding the axe in her immaculately-manicured hands, Georgie is fighting not only for her job, but also for the attentions of her dishy boss, James. And when newcomer Tom arrives, who may or may not be the best thing since sliced bread, Georgie must decide where her loyalties really lie...




FANTASTIC!
I cannot believe this is the author’s debut book. The storyline flowed beautifully catching our interest and teasing our taste buds from the first page! The cover is classy and chic and I was hoping the storyline was going to be in fitting with the cover and true to form it was. With Georgie having a dream job working in the glamorous Clarrington’s department store on woman’s accessories selling unbelievable priced handbags which I could only dream of owning and then on her breaks being able to pop along to her best friend Sam’s cafe for a delicious red velvet cupcake. All this sounds like pure perfection but poor Georgie’s life is far from perfect.

Brown creates a wonderful cast of characters in this book but not all are lovable we have our characters we love to hate too and even these characters were brought to life through Browns descriptive writing. The friendships the author creates seem genuine and I found the friendship between Georgie and Sam very touching when they come together at a very difficult time.  I loved the male characters in this book I found Tom had an air of mystery surrounding his character I couldn't tell if he was a good guy or a bad guy until all becomes clear later in the book. The authors descriptive writing doesn't stop with the characters it continues in creating the perfect setting inside the department store. Carrington's came to life in this book you felt as though you were walking around this store with the characters and you can visualize the merchandise that the characters are surrounded by. 

I was hoping that there would be more mention of cupcakes but then that is the greedy sugar monster in me picking holes in the book! I couldn’t put this book down so I ended up reading into the small hours of the morning just to get to the end I was well and truly hooked by this entertaining and addictive book I am so pleased to hear that the story doesn’t end with this book, I cannot wait for the next book in the series to come out later in the year I for one will be eagerly awaiting getting my hands on the next book. I can highly recommend this book it is pure enjoyment on every page so treat yourself to this deliciously entertaining read on this cold winter day. 



Kindle                         Paperback

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Publication Day!

Today is Publication day for these wonderful books. I have read The Valentines Card the review will be up this week I have also got my copy of Cupcakes at Carrington's which I have been sitting eagerly awaiting to arrive, I can not wait to start it. Also today is the release of Ali Harris with The First Last Kiss and Husband Missing by Polly Williams both of these I will be putting on my wish list. Which ones will you be adding to your wish lists?



The Valentines Card

The Valentine's card was meant to be Orla's fairy tale ending, but really, it was only the beginning . . .
Orla adores her actor boyfriend, Sim, who's away filming a sumptuous costume drama. Although the long-distance relationship means that she can eat toast for dinner and watch as much reality TV as she likes, she misses him like crazy.
But Valentine's Day changes everything . . . The same morning Orla learns that Sim has died, she receives a card from him. As Orla travels from Ireland to London, to live and breathe Sim's final moments, can she bring herself to open the Valentine's card and read his final message?


Paperback                  Kindle

Cupcakes at Carringtons



Where life is sweeter... Georgie Hart had it all – as a top personal shopper in London, the heady world of Mulberry launch parties and Louis Vuitton goody bags meant she was living the dream. But all that extravagance took its toll on her bank balance and it was time to stop drinking champagne on beer money. Now Georgie runs the luxury bag concession at Carrington’s Department store in the pretty seaside town of Mulberry Bay and her lavish spending is confined to a red velvet cupcake with butter cream icing in Carrington’s cafe. But her plans for a quiet life are thwarted when Carrington’s goes into a recession-busting makeover and soon, with the arrival of Maxine, wielding the axe in her immaculately-manicured hands, Georgie is fighting not only for her job, but also for the attentions of her dishy boss, James. And when newcomer Tom arrives, who may or may not be the best thing since sliced bread, Georgie must decide where her loyalties really lie...

Kindle                      Paperback



The First Last Kiss

How do you hold on to a love that is slowly slipping away from you? Can you let go of the past when you know what is in the future? And how do you cope when you know that every kiss is a countdown to goodbye? This is the story of a love affair, of Ryan and Molly and how they fell in love and were torn apart. The first time Molly kissed Ryan, she knew they'd be together forever. Six years and thousands of kisses later she's married to the man she loves. But today, when Ryan kisses her, Molly realises how many of them she wasted because the future holds something which neither of them could have ever predicted...


  Paperback                  Kindle
 

Husband Missing

Gina has only been married six months when her husband Rex goes on holiday to Spain and vanishes without a trace, tipping her dream new marriage into nightmare. As a frantic search gets nowhere, Gina is adamant that he's alive and vows never to give up hope. Speculation is rife: he's drowned at sea, lost his memory...or just walked away. Troubling stories start to emerge about Rex's past that are hard to square with the man she married. How well does she really know her handsome, charismatic husband? They'd fallen in love so quickly, so passionately, that the past had seemed barely relevant to either of them. Now an explosive secret threatens to rewrite the story of their love affair. As the mystery of Rex's whereabouts deepens, Gina begins to wonder whether you only ever truly know the person you love once they've gone.

Hardback                Kindle

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

How We Met by Katy Regan

There are some people you can’t imagine life without. What, at the end of it all, is really important? Liv and her friends can’t imagine a life different from now: freedom, lifelong friendships, and dreams that are still within their reach. Then, Liv dies.

For those left behind – Mia, Fraser, Anna, Norm and Melody – everything stops. Their lives and dreams are frozen in time. In the years that follow, they decide to meet on Liv’s birthday to raise a toast and celebrate her life, even though none of them are living their own – not really. Time marches inexorably on, and yet without Liv, the lynchpin of the group, they are all flailing. Mia and Fraser are quietly falling apart because of the secret they share and, as truths are unearthed and their friendships are tested to the limit, they have to ask themselves – is it time to get on with the business of actually living?


How we Met by Katy Regan is an enjoyable, emotional read. After Liv dies her circle of close friends are all struggling to come to terms with her death and are all grieving in their own ways. When they come across Liv’s to do list they decide to try to fulfill her list in her memory so we see each of her friends deal with their grief whilst carrying out various tasks on the list.

Although I found early on in the book I could easily predict the outcome it was great to watch the journey to the final outcome. The story covers all the emotions of grief from guilt to blame, from heartache to loss, the feeling you can not let go and yet the book didn't feel morbid at all. I think this was helped by the nice touch of unexpected humour which popped up throughout the book. The pace was on the slow side but I think this was right for the subject matter of the book and I still found I was hooked by the story line.

I found Anna’s character a little off and distant so I didn't warm to her like the others but all becomes clear later in the book as to why her character was the way she was. Other than Anna I loved all of the characters in the book Mia being my favourite she had a slight edge on the other characters and she felt very realistic as if you were reading about someone you know, it helps how well developed her character was.

I enjoyed this book I found it heartwarming and touching. It gets you thinking life is to short you only get one life so live it and enjoy it. I would recommend this book and I will be picking up the authors future releases.

You can grab your kindle copy below or pre-order your paperback copy which is due for release on the 31st January 2013.




Paperback           Kindle





Sunday, 13 January 2013

Three Little Words by Jessica Thompson


I loved Jessica Thompson’s d├ębut book last year and have eagerly been awaiting her next release. The synopsis of Three Little Words had me intrigued. I had a feeling this book was going to  be completely different from her first book.

Plot

They are just words but they mean so much. As a dark evening draws in, the lives of three women are changed forever. The worlds they have been living in, the people they thought they knew - in an instant it all changes. But when everything seems to shatter around them, could three little words be enough to help put the pieces back together again?

I had high expectations for this book as the authors first book won me over and has been a book I have been recommending throughout the year. The book gets off to a gripping start, I was in shock and emotional already just from these first chapters!

The book then did take a little nose dive for a few chapters, it felt very slow and my interest in the characters and their stories began to waver a little but I think this could be because the start of the book was so intense that it over shadowed the next part of the book. Luckily the book does pick up again after a few chapters and this is when we begin a rollercoaster of emotions!

Sara and Toms story did take a little back seat for me and I think their story will probably be forgotten and I did wonder for most of the book what these characters had to do with the bigger picture but all does become clear further into the story.

Rachel was a character who I constantly changed my opinion on throughout the book and still at the end I am unsure if I love her or hate her!

Then we get to my favourite characters first we have Keon who is only a teenager but after a stupid reckless mistake he finds himself behind bars. He cannot forgive himself for what he has done and to the hurt he has caused others, he needs forgiveness from one person in particular before he can begin to forgive himself. This character I felt like I should hate for what he done but the way the author writes his character you couldn’t help but feel sorry for him.

The last and the main character is Bryony. I loved Bryony. Her emotions flowed through this book in different ways. She is heartbroken and there were times through this book where reading her story brought a lump to my throat and tears to my eyes especially around page 413.

The structure of the book is very much like a jigsaw there are four main characters all who have their own little story to tell and the book alternates between each of the characters until gradually all of the pieces fit together to make the bigger picture.

Although the book had that one little low point the emotions and the difficult scenarios that this author tackles in this book more than makes up for it. A very moving story about love, loss and heartache.


Kindle                       Paperback

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Here Come The Girls by Milly Johnson


Shirley Valentine, eat your heart out Ven, Roz, Olive and Frankie have been friends since school. They day-dreamed of glorious futures, full of riches, romance and fabulous jobs. The world would be their oyster.Twenty-five years later, Olive cleans other people's houses to support her lazy, out-of-work husband and his ailing mother. Roz cannot show her kind, caring husband Manus any love because her philandering ex has left her trust in shreds. And she and Frankie have fallen out big time.But Ven is determined to reunite her friends and realise the dream they had of taking a cruise before they hit forty. Before they know it, the four of them are far from home, on the high seas. But can blue skies, hot sun and sixteen days of luxury and indulgence distract from the tension and loneliness that await their return?



It is hard to believe that this time last year I hadn’t read any of Milly Johnsons books. I have now just finished reading my third Milly book and she is flying up to my top 10 authors!

Here Come the Girls was a fantastic price on the Kindle sale so I clicked to get my copy quickly and I finished the book in little over a day, I think it could have been quicker if I wasn’t trying to prevent it from ending!

This book follows a fabulous group of four ladies who have been friends since school. When Ven tells the girls she has won an all-expense paid cruise for them all it doesn’t take much for them to all jump on-board!

Each of the girls are loveable characters in their own way. They all have completely different characteristics which was great as they were easy to tell apart and they also brought something individual to the storyline.

My favourite character had to be Olive, she was a very down to earth gentle and vulnerable character who you prayed would find her happy ending.
It was quite unusual for their not to be a main character. Each of the Ladies stories were told in great detail there wasn’t any character who we felt like we didn’t get to know well I loved this about the book.

Milly Johnson writes beautifully and manages to engage the reader into the storyline from the word go. You always know there are secrets hidden in her writing but you can never predict when she will choose to reveal them. I love this spontaneous feel.
Milly not only manages to create 4 great female characters but she brings so many other characters into the storyline, again each who have their own little story behind them. I have never read a book with so many full bodied characters.

Milly has quite clearly done her homework on cruises and the locations mentioned in the book. With most of the storyline being set aboard the ship or on a trip the descriptive writing really gives you the perfect backdrop to the story.
This is yet another superb read from Milly Johnson, I really didn’t want this one to end.




Kindle                         Paperback

Sunday, 6 January 2013

After the Fall by Charity Norman


In the quiet of a New Zealand winter's night, a rescue helicopter is sent to airlift a five-year-old boy with severe internal injuries. He's fallen from the upstairs veranda of an isolated farmhouse, and his condition is critical. At first, Finn's fall looks like a horrible accident; after all, he's prone to sleepwalking. Only his frantic mother, Martha McNamara, knows how it happened. And she isn't telling. Not yet. Maybe not ever. 

Tragedy isn't what the McNamara family expected when they moved to New Zealand. For Martha, it was an escape. For her artist husband Kit, it was a dream. For their small twin boys, it was an adventure. For sixteen-year-old Sacha, it was the start of a nightmare.

They end up on the isolated east coast of the North Island, seemingly in the middle of a New Zealand tourism campaign. But their peaceful idyll is soon shattered as the choices Sacha makes lead the family down a path which threatens to destroy them all.

Martha finds herself facing a series of impossible decisions, each with devastating consequences for her family.

Charity Norman is a new author to me, having heard on a number of occasions that her work is along the lines of Jodi Picoult I was intrigued to see if her writing can live upto such a great writer. 
Martha is a heart-warming character. She always wants to try and do what she thinks is best for her family and when she see’s that the best thing for her marriage would be to move to New Zealand there is one person who isn’t happy with the new plans and that is her daughter Sacha. Sacha is a typical teen and doesn’t like the idea of change and it is as though the whole world is going to come crashing down on her because of the move. I can’t say I loved her character but I do think she was a fantastic character and she is a crucial part to this book and plays the perfect character.
What won me over with this book is how unpredictable it was. At the beginning when we find out that a little boy has fallen from a balcony something didn’t feel right and as we got a few chapters in I had my own little theory as to what really happened but I have to admit I was way off track! There was so many dark twists in this book that I didn’t see coming and this held my attention all the way through.
The story follows the lead up to the accident and every so often there is a chapter back in the present day in the hospital with Finn and Martha. This was not a book that you could easily pick up and put down, you needed your full attention and I found it impossible to put down. I was tense when reading this book I was on the edge of my seat it was so detailed that I actually felt as though I was sitting and watching a film!
This was a very intense and addictive read, I did love the little twins parts in this book they brought a little light to a dark storyline with their little mischief making!
I would recommend this book and I will also be looking forward to reading more books by this author.
AFTER THE FALL HAS BEEN CHOSEN FOR THE 2013 RICHARD AND JUDY SPRING BOOK CLUB!

Paperback                    Kindle

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