Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Turning Thirty by Mike Gayle

Matt is actually looking forward to turning thirty. His career, finances and love life are finally sorted. No more dodgy flats. No more overdrawn bank balances. And no more searching for the perfect woman. But on his thirtieth birthday his girlfriend makes a shocking confession. Unable to cope Matt moves back to his Mum and Dad's in Birmingham. Only his school mates can keep him sane. But can things ever be the same again? Because when you're turning thirty nothing's as simple as it used to be.

I have had Turning Thirty on my To Be Read pile for a while now, I had been putting off reading it because the reviewers I follow had said that they didn’t enjoy it and because I have similar taste to them I didn’t think I would enjoy it. But I couldn’t decide what book to read next so my partner picked this one out randomly for me so I sat down to give it a try only to then finish it in one night! It made a nice change for me not only to read a book by a male author but also for the main character to be male too.

Matt as the title suggests is turning thirty but Matt’s life, or more to the point, Matt’s love life is not what he thought it would be by the time he reached the grand old age of 30! After a break up with his recent girlfriend Matt decides to spend 3 months leading up to his birthday back at home in the UK and he plans to visit his old school friends to see how things have worked out for them.

This was a relatively quick read that was a light read that wasn’t challenging, easily one you could read on a commute to work as it is easy to pick up and put down without losing pace. The author has taken a subject that many of us can all relate to, the dreaded 3 oh count down! I am currently on the run up to my 30 so I could definitely relate to this character and it does make you question what you thought you would be doing or what you would have thought you would have achieved by the time you reach your thirtieth and I think because I could relate to it so much was why I thoroughly enjoyed it. It is a depressing though for many and although Matt seemed rather depressed about it the author manages to show this but bring a lighter tone to the storyline with his wit.

I loved that I was proved wrong whilst reading this book, as the one thing that kept coming to my mind was how predictable the book was but actually what I thought was so predictably going to happen wasn’t actually the outcome so congratulations to Mike Gayle for pulling the wool over my eyes!

Although this wasn’t a mind blowing book that will stay in my mind for a long time it was still a very entertaining read and I would definitely recommend this book and it has left me wanting to try more books by this author.

Paperback                  Kindle

Monday, 28 April 2014

The French for Always by Fiona Valpy

Five weddings. The perfect venue. One little hitch… Leaving the grey skies of home behind to transform a crumbling French Château into a boutique wedding venue is a huge leap of faith for Sara. She and fiancé Gavin sink their life savings into the beautiful Château Bellevue – set under blue skies and surrounded by vineyards in the heart of Bordeaux. After months of hard work, the dream starts to become a reality – until Gavin walks out halfway through their first season. Overnight, Sara is left very much alone with the prospect of losing everything. With her own heart breaking, Sara has five weddings before the end of the season to turn the business around and rescue her dreams. With the help of the locals and a little French courage, can she save Château Bellevue before the summer is over?

I have just finished reading The French for Always by Fiona Valpy. I loved the fresh Summery look to the cover of this book and then to top it off it is about weddings which with my wedding now just a few weeks away I can not get enough of these types of books!

Sara and her fiance Gavin have made a big commitment and given everything up to move to France and restore a French Chateau with the aim to run it as a wedding venue. After months of hard work the wedding bookings are rolling in and now that they are at the end of the wedding season they have 5 weddings remaining things are looking good until Sara discovers a big hitch which could shatter everything.

This was a great light read with a picturesque setting. The author has a wonderful descriptive writing style which really helps to transport us into the story being able to visualise the Chateau and its surroundings. I loved the variations between each of the 5 weddings, they all brought their own little something to the storyline as well as a new challenge for Sara although it seemed like nothing was too much trouble to her.

I read this book in one sitting. It is a light breezy read with a big helping of romance, yes it was predictable and I think this would be the only thing that the author could have improved on in this book just to give us an odd little twist, just something that we couldn't see coming but other than that I would say that this is a prefect little read that would be a great one to accompany you on your holiday this year. I will certainly be picking up another book by this author.

Thank you to Kim at Bookouture for providing me with a review copy.

Kindle                Paperback

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Perfect Wives by Emma Hannigan

When actress Jodi Ludlum returns to the Dublin village of Bakers Valley to raise her young son, she's determined to shield him from the media glare that follows her in LA. But coming home means leaving her husband behind - and waking old ghosts... Francine Hennessy was born and raised in Bakers Valley. To all appearances, she is the model wife, mother, home-maker and career woman. But, behind closed doors, Francine's life is crumbling around her. As Jodi struggles to conceal her secrets and Francine faces some shocking news, the two become unlikely confidants. Suddenly having the perfect life seems less important than finding friendship, and the perfect place to belong...

I read my first Emma Hannigan book at Christmas and I loved her style of writing so I couldn’t wait to start another one, and I was lucky enough to be sent her new release Perfect Wives to read in exchange for an honest review so I soon picked it up and got lost in her storytelling.

The book focuses on two very different wives, Jodi Ludlum who is a well-known actress who is returning to her roots in Ireland to bring up her adorable son Saul whilst movie star husband stays in LA for work. Then we have Francine Hennessy who has always lived in Ireland, she has created a picture perfect life and family, bringing up 4 children whilst still working and keeping a house as well as finding time to hold coffee mornings and such for the school mums.

 What looks so perfect on the outside of both Jodi and Francine’s lives couldn’t be further than the truth, both of these women have secrets that they are keeping under wraps but as time moves on the trouble is rising to the surface, could these two ladies who couldn’t be further apart help each other out and realise the true meaning of friendship?

This book was such a delightful easy read. I found that I was actually quite judgmental at first as I assumed that with Jodi being a Hollywood actress, she would be the showy high all mighty type and that Francine would be the soft mummsy type and I was soon proved completely wrong both of the characters were not what I was expecting at all. I did find that I warmed more to Jodi but Francine’s story really hit a nerve for me and it was this that had me hooked all the way through. I don’t want to give anything away but the trouble with little Cameron really opened my eyes and even though I finished this book a few days ago now I am still finding that his situation is still on my mind so this is quite a thought provoking read.

Friendship is a big focus in this book alongside the Cameron issue as well as parenting issues and hidden pasts so there is a lot to keep you entertained. It is a thought provoking enjoyable read but this isn’t one that will have you laughing so if you are looking for a light breezy read then this one isn’t for you.  My only one negative I can say with this book is that I did feel like the ending was a little rushed but in all honesty this could be because I was so wrapped up in the storyline and I didn’t want this to end.

Yet another great read from Emma Hannigan, I now cannot wait for her next book The Summer Guest to be released.

Kindle           Paperback

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Interview with Carole Mathews and review of A Place To Call Home

Today I am joined on the blog by one of my top 10 authors, the lovely Carole Matthews....

Thank you for taking the time to stop by Rea Book Reviews and answer some questions for us.

1) This has to be my favourite of your books, it had a slightly deeper and serious topic compared with your other books, what gave you the inspiration for this book.?
I do two books a year, so that’s a lot of material! It also gives me chance to do something a little bit different every now and again. The background to the story is an abusive relationship, but I concentrate more on how my character, Ayesha, builds a new life for herself and her daughter. I always like to have an issue with a tiny ‘i’ at the heart of my stories and pick something that affects a lot of women. Sadly, a lot of women have found themselves having to leave abusive relationships for one reason or another. The book still has it’s funny moments though. And a few weepy ones too. 

 2) Crystal was my favourite character she was so much fun but also had a caring side to her, was she or and of your other characters based on people you know? She’s named for my good friend, Ayesha, who is a lady from a Sri Lankan background so she helped me a lot with research - as did a trip to Sri Lanka. I wanted to explore how her character became so much more strong after she left her marriage and was free to be herself. She goes from being so timid to developing into quite a feisty lady. Quite often my characters have a basis in truth and I think that’s why so many women relate to them. I don’t often use one person entirely as inspiration, but I made the exception for Summer Daydreams which is the story of my friend, Helen Rochfort, handbag designer extraordinaire. That’s about 75% true to her own story.

 3) A birdie tells me you used to work as a Beauty Therapist which is what your character Ayesha turns her hand to, do you miss the industry at all? I was a beauty therapist for 15 years and loved it. Sometimes I miss the company as I used to see about 20 clients a day. Now I work in splendid isolation! There’s nothing quite like having a good gossip over a manicure. It also gave me a lot of interesting stories to draw on for inspiration. 

 4) Can you give us a teaser about the book you are currently working on? I’m just editing my book for Christmas this year and it’s called The Christmas Party. The book is about an office party in a manor house and features the stories of three women whose lives all change during the course of the evening. I’ve had great fun writing this. There are some quite slapstick moments and a wonderful pantomime baddy who we can all hate. 

 5) What was the last you’re currently reading and would you recommend it? I’m just in the middle of an oldish book - Two Caravans by Marina Lewycka. I adored her first book, A Short History of Tractors in the Ukraine - even though I thought it was a terribly unattractive title. I’m finding this book a little bitty. There are many viewpoints and it swaps from one to another every paragraph, so I’m struggling to remember who’s who. Even the dog has its own viewpoint. The underlying story is very interesting though. It’s about a bunch of immigrants - from Eastern Europe, China and Africa - who come together to pick the fruit during the summer in England. Nice, but I’m not as totally engrossed as I like to be. 

 6) What are your thoughts on Kindle vs paperback? You can’t beat the feel and smell of a proper book! However, I fell in love with my Kindle when I bought it for my trip to Sri Lankan. I loaded it up with about 350 books - all on one little gadget! For once, I didn’t have to choose between shoes and books when packing. I like the convenience of the Kindle and also that there are some great bargains to be had. I recently bought Donna Tartt’s book, The Goldfinch, for 99p on Kindle. And, at 800 pages long, I’m quite glad that I don’t have to carry the book around in my handbag. I don’t think I’ll ever stop buying paperbacks though. Like the banana, a perfect package.

I am a huge Carole Matthews fan and I have loved all of her books she never seems to put a foot wrong which is why I find her books so enjoyable they are like comfort food to me!

In the early hours of the morning Ayesha makes her escape with her mute daughter from her violent husband. With all her family still living back in Sri Lanka they have no one to turn to so they head for London to try and find a place to stay where her husband cannot find them.
Former popstar Hayden has become somewhat a recluse and has opened his house to Joy and Crystal, when Crystal asks Hayden if he could do a friend of hers a favour and take in a homeless mother and child he is not won over but cannot say no to Crystal.
Will this house be a safe haven for Ayesha and her daughter?

One of the first books I read of Carole Matthews was The Chocolate Lovers Diet Club and it has remained a firm favourite of mine by this author but there is now a book threatening to knock that off the top! A Place to Call Home was a fabulous read that is now easily my favourite by Carole Matthews. I knew from the first page that this book was going to be devoured in one sitting. Somehow the author managed to get me intrigued and on edge straight from that first page.

The characters are what make this book such a pleasure to read. There are a diverse group of characters who will melt your heart. Ayesha is a courageous, innocent and loveable and she has lived a very sheltered life so she is not very street savvy. Her cute little daughter Sabine was a big hit for me I had great sympathy for her and I was willing her to find her voice not only for her but for her mum also. Crystal was a very trendy, modern loving woman who brought a great deal of entertainment to the book whilst the gorgeous Hayden kept us ladies occupied!

The storyline was actually quite deep and tense compared to the author’s previous books. The storyline obviously covers a horrific topic of domestic abuse but this is dealt with so delicately. I really sympathised with Ayesha and I thought she was a very brave woman to try to escape but I am sure this is what the love for your child would make me do, I just wanted a happy ever after for her and her daughter.

This book has some great humour a touch of romance, some great friendships as well as some tense moments. This was an enthralling read that I would highly recommend, Carole Matthews fans you are in for a real treat with this book ENJOY! xx

Kindle            Paperback

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Follow Me Home by Cathy Woodman

The village midwife and a young shepherd find love in the new novel from the bestselling author of Trust Me I'm a Vet and Country Loving, set in Talyton St George, Britain's most romantic town Life has been tough for village midwife Zara. Recently divorced and living with her grandmother, Zara is struggling to get back on track. Until one day, love walks in, in the form of an abandoned puppy. Although Zara adores her new friend, the puppy causes havoc wherever they go, so she is grateful when local shepherd Lewis offers to train her.

But Lewis has an ulterior motive for helping. And though Zara may be able to trust him with her naughty dog, can she trust him with her bruised heart?

After reading Cathy Woodman’s short story The Three of Us which is about the characters in Follow Me Home I couldn’t wait to get started.

The village midwife Zara has recently divorced from her husband and life just seems to be on a low. Having been afraid of dogs for so long the last thing Zara expected to change her life would be her new dog Frosty who she found abandoned. Frosty proves to be a handful but help is at hand in the form of her sisters Shepherd Lewis but it is quite clear that Lewis has an ulterior motive to helping with Frosty but has Zara been burned for life?

Zara was such a warm friendly character who I instantly adored which I often find with Cathy Woodmans female leads she manages to create such normal but loving ladies that you can’t help but warm to. I loved seeing a variety of characters from past Talyton St George books, it gave the book a familiar feel and it was great to be able to see what has been happening to the characters. I loved Poppy in this book she is struggling to adjust with having a baby sister and some of the things she does and comments she makes were quite comical. 

The storyline was a joy to read and was easy to follow, it does cover some realistic topics to do with pregnancies such as infertility and teenage pregnancies as well as coping with dementia too which were all covered really well but didn’t make the book a deep read it was still a light cosy read. Although I am not a big animal lover I can’t help but love all of Cathy Woodman’s books she always manages to bring the animals into the storyline but yet still make the storylines completely different so they don’t feel repetitive.

I loved this book just as much as the authors previous books I hope that Cathy Woodman continues to create more stories for us in the village of Talyton St George.

Kindle       Paperback

The lovely publishers at Random House are offering a copy of Follow Me Home for me to giveaway so if you would like to be in with a chance in getting your hands on a copy then enter the rafflecopter competition below ( UK ONLY THIS TIME )

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

A Seaside Affair Review and interview with Fern Britton

Today on the blog I am talking to Fern Britton about her new release A Seaside Affair.

1. I have just finished reading your new book A Seaside Affair and I have to say it is my favourite of yours, what gave you the inspiration for this book? 
 Thank you very much! I suppose with all of my novels something just pops into my head – I try not to think too hard about it. You could say I just wait for the writing angel on my shoulder to give me inspiration! A SEASIDE AFFIAR, is partly inspired by my recent tour with Strictly Come Dancing. So it’s set back in the theatre world, which was lovely for me to write as I trained to be a theatre manager – and the plot revolves around a local theatre that needs saving!

 2. This book features some previous characters of yours ( even my favourite Simple Tony is back!) are your characters based on people you know and do you have a character that you feel you have moulded around yourself?
If anybody’s me, and she isn’t really, it’s Helen Merrifield. Helen is the main character in Hidden Treasures, and she’s also in A Seaside Affair a little bit – she’s not me, but her experiences are a bit like mine.

 3. Have you started working on your next book and can we expect your previous characters to make an appearance again?
There are three more coming in fact, and I’m working on the first of them now. It’s all about fishing families in Cornwall – the fleet, the relationships between the families – I’ve only just started, but I’m very excited about it! I hope you like it too.

 4. We know you from your T.V work but what made you decide to take a change in your career, has writing always been something that you have wanted to do?
The truth is I had written my autobiography, which did amazingly well to my great surprise, and then I thought I’d finished with writing. But HarperCollins came to me and asked if I would consider writing a novel, and assured me they’d be on hand to help me with any problems. New Beginnings was a huge learning curve for me, but I so enjoyed it, and when I couldn’t wait to start my second novel Hidden Treasures. Here I am still writing – and if you keep reading, I’ll carry on!

5. Do you get much time to read yourself? If so what was the last book you read and would you recommend it?
I do read a lot; I love it. If anything I’m even more of a reader since I’ve been writing. I like to steer clear of books that seem like they might be similar to mine as I don’t want to absorb a character or a storyline unconsciously and accidentally reproduce it. Most recently I received a copy of Val McDermid’s reworking of NORTHANGER ABBEY, which is part of HarperCollins’ Austen Project, and I can’t wait to get started on that one.

I Big thank you to Fern Britton for taking the time to talk to us. A Seaside Affair is due for release on the 24th April so remember to pick up your copy.


I have read all of Fern Britton’s books, I couldn’t get to grips with New Beginnings but I loved both Hidden Treasures and The Holiday Home so I had been looking forward to this years release. 

When Trevay residents find out that their pavilion is under threat they are determined to come together as a community to try and save their beloved theatre, the last thing they want is a coffee chain store taking over. They lay their hopes on funding money by putting on a remake of the first ever show that was performed in the theatre but will it be enough?

This was such an enjoyable read. I had been in a reading slump and this has brought me out the other side. We have some characters from Hidden Treasures that are back in A Seaside Affair, it was great to see how both Penny and Helen are getting on and having characters that we have already built a relationship gave a welcoming familiar feel to the book. We did get a little glimpse of Simple Tony as well who I loved from Hidden Treasures it is a shame he didn’t feature more in this book. There are also a large amount of new characters some who I loved and some who were put there for us to love to hate such as the big show biz ego loving Ryan and Red.
Jess, Ollie and Brooke struck up a relationship and their friendship felt as though it comes from way back so they all had a good connection.

I did feel as though the outcome of the book was very predictable but this didn’t ruin my enjoyment of the book because it was great to read about the rehearsals as well as the various romance problems and new friendships.

Praise where it is due Fern Britton has managed to bring us another cosy country read that will be perfect for your holiday reading this summer. Full of romance, fame, lies and scandal as well as good old community spirit there is more than enough to keep you entertained.

Kindle         Paperback

Sunday, 20 April 2014

The Three Of Us by Cathy Woodman

Tessa and Jack live at the animal sanctuary in Talyton St George. They had been friends for years, but it wasn't until Jack interrupted Tessa's wedding that she discovered his feelings for her were stronger than she ever knew.

Now, a year on, they could not be happier. And when Tessa discovers she's pregnant, it's as if all their dreams have come true. But a scan shows that there are complications, and suddenly Tessa realises that Jack has always had doubts about having a baby. Supported throughout by Zara, the village midwife, Tessa and Jack have some tough decisions to make.

However, as the baby's birth draws closer, Tessa and Jack grow further apart. Will he feel differently when the baby is born? Or will having her wonderful child mean losing the man of her dreams?

I have been looking forward to Cathy Woodman’s up and coming release Follow Me  Home, and as I was browsing through Netgalley I came across a short story by the author about a few of the characters that are going to be in the new book so I didn’t hesitate in downloading it to give me a little fix until the new book is released.

I have to admit I am not a big fan of short stories as they usually always leave me on a cliff hanger or feeling ripped off because of the price of a book that you finish in five minutes but for me The Three of us was a great read that gave us a bit of background on some of the characters who are going to be in the new book. It was quite an emotional storyline in truth and I found myself taking a dislike to Jack in this book because of his way of handling the situation it really made me feel for Tessa. It was great to catch up with Tessa and Jack who we met in The Village Vet, and it was also nice to be introduced to our new character Zara who will be the lead character in Follow Me Home.

It looks as though we can look forward to seeing another path to the authors writing, whilst animals are still involved in the storyline it seems to me that judging by this short story the new book will be about babies and pregnancy and I am looking forward to seeing what the author has in store for us this time.

I did enjoy this short story and I would recommend you to read this if you are a fan of Cathy Woodman, I don’t see that you need to read this one in order to enjoy the new release but it is a great little fix, my only downside is I still feel it is overpriced for a short story as personally I wouldn’t pay more than 99p for a short story.


I am taking part in the Follow Me Home blog tour so stop by on Wednesday to read my review and also to take part in the giveaway.....

Monday, 14 April 2014

Ghostwritten by Isabel Wolff

Jenni is a ‘ghost’: she writes the lives of other people. It’s a job that suits her well: still haunted by a childhood tragedy, she finds it easier to take refuge in the memories of others rather than dwell on her own. Jenni has an exciting new commission, and is delighted to start working on the memoirs of a Dutchwoman, Klara. As a child in the Second World War, Klara was interned in a camp on Java during the Japanese occupation – she has an extraordinary story of survival to tell. But as Jenni and Klara begin to get to know each other, Jenni begins to do much more than shed light on a neglected part of history. She is being forced to examine her own devastating memories, too. But with Klara’s help, perhaps this is finally the moment where she will be able to lay the ghosts of her own past to rest?

Ghostwritten is the first book I have read by Isabel Wolff, I was intrigued by this book as Ghost Writers have always interested me, but I have never really enjoyed historical fiction so I was unsure how I was going to get on with this book as it talks of the Second World War.

Jenni is a Ghost Writer who has agreed to write the memoires of Klara who is reaching her 80th birthday and so she feels it is time to tell her story of her childhood years spent in the Second World War As Klara opens up to Jenni the pair soon become comfortable with each other to open up about the secrets that both of them hold from their pasts.

I was so immersed in this storyline that I couldn’t put it down. The beginning of the book was typical for the usual books I read, light hearted with a troubled romance and hidden secrets which I love and as the book progressed it then began to change path and as Klara began to tell her story of life living through the Second World War the storyline grew deeper and took a more serious and meaningful path. I have never been one that showed much interest in history but this book really touched me and I found that I had many questions in my mind as I was reading about the events that Klara mentioned. The author has quite clearly taken extensive research for this book and also her descriptive writing made this book feel so real.

Although both Klara and Jenni are main characters and both have a story in their past to tell it was Klara that really shone for me in this book she was such a homely, intelligent and brave character and from the moment we are introduced to her character we warm to her. Jenni is still a great character but she didn’t seem to drop her barriers even after she reveals her secret so I didn’t warm to her like I did Klara.

This is a poignant, compelling read that will stay in my mind for a long time yet and I have found another great author to add to my favourites. 

Kindle          Paperback

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Beautiful Day by Kate Anthony

Today is the day that things are going to change for Rachel Bidewell. She will walk through the doors of Clifton Avenue Care Home and start a new life. Rachel is returning to work. And as she discovers, juggling a new job, three children and an ex husband can feel like drowning.  Someone needs to throw her a lifeline... 

Philip doesn't seem like an obvious lifesaver. He has just lost the one person who ever cared for him and, even as an adult, he doesn't know how to live in the real world.

But might Philip and Rachel each have something the other needs?

Beautiful Day is the stunning debut by Kate Anthony. It follows the story of Racheal as she gets used to the challenges of her new life since her husband left her for another woman, she now has to juggle the day to day needs of their three children as well as starting a new job at ……………. Care home. It soon becomes apparent that this isn’t going to be a normal 9-5 job that she can switch off from when she is made key worker of a new resident Philip. Philip is a large full grown man whose mum has died, he has never been in the outside world and he doesn’t communicate well. How will Racheal find a natural balance to life to help herself as well as her children and Philip?

I really felt for our main character Racheal I think she deserves a medal, you could feel the hurt in her when trying to deal with Deborah but for me it was heartbreaking the emotion you feel when she has to try and deal with one of her children wanting to stay with his dad and his new partner when she just wants to keep all of her family close and together, as a parent this must be one of the hardest things to deal with battling between what is best for your child and having to deal with another woman looking after your child. If her personal life isn’t hard enough she then has the lovely Philip to care for.

Philip really touched my heart and it is because of his character that I really do hope the author releases a follow up to this book just to see his progress, I am surprised how much I found I cared for the lovely Philip.

It is quite clear from the authors writing that she has in-depth knowledge of not only people with disabilities but also within the care community. It really is a thought provoking read that also has a splash of romance as well as some witty humour to lighten the tone. For me this was a brilliant debut and I will definitely be looking out for more books by this author in the future.

Kindle           Paperback

Friday, 11 April 2014

The List by Joanna Bolouri

Phoebe Henderson may be single but she sure doesn't feel fabulous.
It's been a year since she found her boyfriend Alex in bed with another woman, and multiple cases of wine and extensive relationship analysis with best friend Lucy have done nothing to help. Faced with a new year but no new love, Phoebe concocts a different kind of resolution.

The List: ten things she's always wanted to do in bed but has never had the chance (or the courage!) to try. A bucket list for between the sheets. One year of pleasure, no strings attached. Simple, right?

Factor in meddlesome colleagues, friends with benefits, getting frisky al fresco and maybe, possibly, true love and Phoebe's got her work cut out for her.

Reading the synopsis of The List by Joanna Bolouri I was sure this was going to be an entertaining witty read what was exactly the kind of read I was looking for. The storyline follows Phoebe as she creates a list of ten things she has always wanted to try in bed and so she is looking for no strings attached sex so she can tick off all of the things on her wish list.

I wasn’t going to review this book as I was so confused by this book I still don’t know if I love it or not! When I first started the book I was unsure if I was going to be able to finish it, although Phoebe seemed like a fun character I just found the storyline so unrealistic, I mean I can imagine what my boy mates would say if I asked them to help me out! So I did stop reading this book for a week or so but there was something about it that was calling me back I mean it is fiction so it doesn’t need to be realistic, so I picked it back up and as I began reading again I actually began to really enjoy and I actually finished the book that afternoon!

As you can imagine there are many sex scenes but it didn’t feel like an erotic book it wasn’t steamy and sexy. She seemed to have sex so often that it was like a routine of cleaning her teeth! It was a fun and naughty read that at times did have me laughing out loud. Yes the ending was predictable but it isn’t always about the destination it is the journey getting to it. I think Phoebe’s character and the humour was what kept me reading this book and I do love a fast paced book.

If you are looking for a witty read then this will be a great read for you but just be prepared to have an open mind. It is currently only 98p on kindle which is a great price for this book. ( price at time of review)

To be in with a chance to WIN a copy of The List, a hilarious and raunchy read by Joanna Bolouri, simply Tweet: One year. One single woman. Ten very naughty challenges @scribbles78 #TheList @quercusbooks

Kindle                    Paperback

Thursday, 10 April 2014

The Accident by C.L Taylor

Sue Jackson has the perfect family but when her teenage daughter Charlotte deliberately steps in front of a bus and ends up in a coma she is forced to face a very dark reality.

Retracing her daughter’s steps she finds a horrifying entry in Charlotte’s diary and is forced to head deep into Charlotte’s private world. 

In her hunt for evidence, Sue begins to mistrust everyone close to her daughter and she’s forced to look further, into the depths of her own past. Sue will do anything to protect her daughter.

But what if she is the reason that Charlotte is in danger?

When I met author Cally Taylor at a book event early this year she was telling me about the new direction her writing has taken and that her new book The Accident was due to be released in April. I loved Cally Taylor’s books but I have to be honest and say as much as I loved them I was unsure how I was going to get on with a deeper and darker side to her writing  I was just hoping that I loved it just as much as her previous books.

Sue cannot believe that her daughter Charlotte would just accidentally step out in front of a bus, as she sits there holding her daughters hand now she is lying unresponsive weeks later still in her coma she is determined to get to the bottom of what events occurred before the tragic accident. But as chilling events occur is it her mind playing tricks on her or is what she begins to uncover true?

This book showed Cally Taylor at her best and I am sure that this book is going to be a big hit because it absorbs you into the storyline and then does not let you go! This is a chilling read that will give you goosebumps, it had me on edge I was sure I was going to have to watch Finding Nemo before I went to bed!

This is a thrilling read that keeps you guessing the whole way through. The chapters switch back and forth between Sue’s past and the present day which worked really well in this book. I was so captivated by this book that I was actually shocked when it ended I hadn’t realised I had reached my last few pages.

The author has such a clever way of creating characters who are full bodied but that you never really know. I found myself constantly questioning if I could trust each one or if they had something to hide, the only character I had in the clear was our protagonist Sue everyone else in my eyes were in the line up.

This is by far Cally Taylor’s best book yet and I think this is going to be a hard one for her to beat. Chick lit is where I am most comfortable and what I thoroughly enjoy but this book was an addictive read that I have already been recommending to friends, I wouldn’t be surprised if this book makes it into my top 10 of 2014. I can’t wait for another Thriller by this author.

Get in quick if you have a kindle as it is currently only 99p! ( at time of review)

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Tuesday, 1 April 2014

A Single Breath by Lucy Clarke Review and Interview

Today on the blog I am joined by the talented Lucy Clarke.

 1) Hi Lucy thank you for coming over to Rea Book Reviews today to answer some questions for me. Firstly your debut novel The Sea Sisters received amazing reviews and was one of the hottest books of 2013, did this make you feel added pressure for book two?
Luckily there were eighteen months between finishing The Sea Sisters and it actually landing on the shelves over here in the UK, so in that time I wrote A Single Breath. I had no idea whether The Sea Sisters would take off or not, so I just got my head down and focused on my second novel. That removed a huge amount of pressure because, yes, I think it would have been very hard otherwise. Also, to avoid that sort of ‘slump’ when you’ve finished writing a book, I try to make sure that I have my next idea in mind a few months before completing a novel. That way, there’s no time to fret about writer’s block as the next idea is already fizzing and popping!

 2) For me A Single Breath was even better than The Sea Sisters and I think this is because of the suspense that you created, do you plan how you are going to include the twists before you start writing the book or do they come to you naturally as you progress with the book?
Thank you – it’s lovely to hear this. I do a lot of planning before I begin writing. I know the key events that will happen, and how the novel will end – but inevitably, as you write, things change. Many of my favourite twists in A Single Breath presented themselves as I started to inhabit the world of my characters. 

 3) Your descriptive writing style is breathtaking and sets the scene beautifully, did you spend time in Tasmania for research for this book? What other research did you do for this book?
I spent two winters in Tasmania researching. Very good friends of ours emigrated there, so my husband and I flew out to visit them in 2011. The place got under my skin and I loved the wild, frontier feel of the land, so decided to set a novel there. I went back the following winter on a research trip and had an incredible month doing a recce of the island, working out where specific events in the novel would take place, as well interviewing locals, including two fascinating marine biologists. I also learnt to scuba dive in Tasmania, which gave me a beautiful insight into the underwater world, and helped me write the freediving scenes within the novel.

4) Are you currently working on book three and is there anything you can tease us with? Will it be following the sea theme?
Yes, I’m currently writing my third novel – and loving every moment of it! The working title is The Blue, and the novel is set on a yacht sailing towards the South Pacific, crewed by a group of travellers. Best friends, Lana and Kitty, join the yacht in the Philippines and sail through crystal clear lagoons, and remote, uninhabited islands. But, on a 10-day ocean crossing, the crew wake to discover one of their friends is missing – and no one claims to have seen anything. Disturbed by the disappearance, relationships between the crew begin to fracture, and Lana and Kitty’s friendship is stretched to breaking point. It’s a story of friendship, hedonism, and the delicate balance between truth and lies. 

 5) Where do you usually write?
My favourite place to write, where I have my clearest thought, has always been by the sea. I’ve grown up on the south coast of England, so the sea has always been part of my life. Cities are wonderful and exciting places to be, but after a few days I feel an almost gravitational pull towards the coast. Our family has a beach hut where I tuck myself away to write. The hut is quiet, sits right on the sand, and has views stretching for miles. In the summer this is where I go to write, even on rainy, blustery days. Sometimes they’re the best! Plus it means I can take lovely breaks and go for beach strolls, swims, or a paddleboard. Winter is a bit more challenging. I have a ‘writing room’ at home and luckily my husband works from home too, otherwise I think I’d find the quiet a bit much. I generally don’t like to be confined to my desk, so I’ll often move around the house, using the lounge or bedroom to write in, too. And I absolutely have to get outside every day. We also travel for part of every winter, so when we’re away my writing space can be anywhere: a beach, a cafe, a hostel, an airport lounge. Sometimes a roaming office can be the best type of creative space there is.

Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us. I am sure you all want to know more about A Single Breath now so check out my review below.

The deeper the water, the darker the secrets.

There were so many times I thought about telling you the truth, Eva. What stopped me was always the same thing… When Eva’s husband Jackson tragically drowns, she longs to meet his estranged family. The journey takes her to Jackson’s brother’s doorstep on a remote Tasmanian island. As strange details about her husband’s past begin to emerge, memories of the man she married start slipping through her fingers like sand, as everything she ever knew and loved about him is thrown into question. Now she’s no longer sure whether it was Jackson she fell in love with – or someone else entirely… The truth is, it was all a lie . . .

A Single Breath is Lucy Clarke’s second novel and one I have been eagerly awaiting after reading her stunning debut Sea Sisters last year.

After Eva’s husband Jackson drowns she is left heartbroken and feeling the need to be with his family over in Tasmania. There is one problem, Jackson’s family have never met Eva, so when she arrives she doesn’t receive the welcome she was hoping for and as her time on the Island increases more secrets are being discovered.

This was yet another masterpiece by Lucy Clarke. I was unsure if this author was going to be able to bring us another book like Sea Sisters but this was fantastic and in my honest opinion this book blows Sea Sisters out of the water.

The book quickly grabs your attention from the first chapter and manages to hold it all the way through. The best thing though for me about this book is the suspense. I cannot tell you the last time I read a book where I had absolutely no idea as to what secrets were going to be uncovered, this book had me clueless right until about 50 pages before the end so it was well and truly a compelling read. The author has a clever writing style where although she leaves a trail of crumbs of clues along the way it isn’t until you know the secrets that you look back and see the clues.

The book covers a variation of topics from secrets, lies and deceit to tragic events to heartbreak and romance so there really is a lot packed into this book for everyone to enjoy.

Eva was a very plain, ordinary character but this actually worked well with this book, I think because she seemed so normal it made the storyline feel more realistic which then helped with the shocking discoveries. My favourite character though has to be the deliciously gorgeous Saul, he was a very guarded distant character when we first met him but underneath it all he is actually a very caring and loving man who you can’t help but drool over!

I am very excited about this author I think she is going to be one to watch, I cannot wait for her next release. If you are looking for a compelling page turner that is full of suspense then make A Single Breath your next read.

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