Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Honeymoon Suite by Wendy Holden

When Nell is marooned at the altar, her feisty best friend Rachel says she'll come with her on honeymoon instead. Why waste a week in a posh country hotel?
So the duo, plus Rachel's Agatha Christie-obsessed small daughter Juno, head for the hills and idyllic Edenville, on the edge of the beautiful Pemberton estate. Awaiting them is a cast of colourful characters from Jason the harassed hotel manager to the ruthless Angela, Director of HR. Not to mention the handsome Dylan, a bestselling writer on the run from his past.
Nell doesn't want to go back to London, so when a job on the estate comes up, she's happy to stay. Even if it is arranging weddings in the Big House! As she becomes entangled in the lives of the locals - and they weave their way into her heart - she realises there might be a way to reach the rainbow's end after all.

I had never come across author Wendy Holden before but the cover for Honeymoon Suite was one that stood out to me and after reading the synopsis I was looking forward to starting this book to see what the author has in store for the Jilted bride Nell.

When Nell is jilted at the altar and her life seemed to have hit an all time low, her new friend Rachel convinced her to go ahead and enjoy her honeymoon with Rachel and her daughter Juno on toe!
Little did Nell know that Edenville would change her life completely when an opportunity arises that she couldn't refuse but will the arrival of a familiar man who she never wanted to lay eyes on again put a spanner in the works?

This was such a joy to read, the author has created such a humble character in Nell and fro. Start to finish I really wanted to see her find her happy ever after. Her friend Rachel was such a natural and supportive character who along with her quirky daughter brought a light witty feel to the storyline. Our male interest author Dylan Eliot was a character who I didn't warm to initially but as the book progressed he gradually grew on me! As I have come to love with books set in cosy little towns we are introduced to many characters from the community and they all played a great part in this book bringing scandal, love, gossip and memoirs.

The book is split into three parts, part one takes us back to when Nell and Dylan first met, we then jump forward to part 2 which is the biggest part of the storyline which starts with Nell on her honeymoon and I loved Part 2 it held my attention the whole way through. In part 3 things take a turn ( I don't want to say anymore than that as I don't want to give anything away) and although I enjoyed part 3 I did feel it was a little rushed.

I thought this was a perfect romantic and cosy read that had a splash of scandal and dramatics, I am thrilled to have found another author whose writing style can just scoop you up and lose you in her storytelling I can't wait to try another of Wendy Holden's books to see how they compare.

Kindle                       Paperback

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

The Girl Before by J.P Delaney

Today it is my stop on the #TheGirlBefore blog tour which stopped over at Shots blog yesterday.
I am thrilled to be sharing my review for this gripping and intriguing book.

Jane stumbles on the rental opportunity of a lifetime: the chance to live in a beautiful ultra-minimalist house designed by an enigmatic architect, on condition she abides by a long list of exacting rules. After moving in, she discovers that a previous tenant, Emma, met a mysterious death there - and starts to wonder if her own story will be a re-run of the girl before. As twist after twist catches the reader off guard, Emma's past and Jane's present become inexorably entwined in this tense, page-turning portrayal of psychological obsession.

The Girl Before had me instantly gripped from the opening chapter and it soon became clear that this was a storyline unlike one I have read before.

The book revolves around number one Folgate Street, a house quite unlike anything you can imagine with extreme rules for whoever lives in the house. The chapters alternate between two tenants Emma who used to live in the house and Jane who is the current tenant and before long we start to see alarming similarities between the two leaving me wondering if Jane's fate will be the same as Emma's.

All the way through the book little snippets are gradually revealed which constantly made my thoughts and accusations change, I really wasn't on the right path so the author was very clever in keeping me guessing and leading me in the wrong direction.

Although there were similarities between Emma and Jane I personally didn't take to Emma but I still curious about her part in the storyline, whereas I warmed to Jane more and was hoping for a happy outcome for her.

Between each chapter we see some of random the questions that the women were asked and I thought this was a great addition to the book and I found myself thinking about my answers to each questions.

The house was easy to visualise thanks to the the authors skilled descriptive writing and I can see houses like these being made in the future although I for one won't be hoping to live in one!

This was a gripping read, each time I put the book down I was itching to get back to it, however I do feel that the last part of the book didn't quite have the same on edge and inquisitive feel to it that the early part of the book had, it felt a little flat and my attention was beginning to waver but I still think this will be a book that people will enjoy because the storyline and setting is not one that readers are likely to have come across anything similar.

Kindle                        Hardback

The tour continues tomorrow over on Go Book Yourself so head over and check it out.

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

The Secret Lives of the Amir Sisters by Nadiya Hussain

The four Amir sisters – Fatima, Farah, Bubblee and Mae – are the only young Muslims in the quaint English village of Wyvernage.

On the outside, despite not quite fitting in with their neighbours, the Amirs are happy. But on the inside, each sister is secretly struggling. 

Fatima is trying to find out who she really is – and after fifteen attempts, finally pass her driving test. Farah is happy being a wife but longs to be a mother. Bubblee is determined to be an artist in London, away from family tradition, and Mae is coping with burgeoning Youtube stardom. 

Yet when family tragedy strikes, it brings the Amir sisters closer together and forces them to learn more about life, love, faith and each other than they ever thought possible.

The Secret Lives of the Amir Sisters is the debut novel by Nadiya Hussain. With an eye-catching colourful cover this book is sure to grab reader’s attention as it certainly caught my eye.

The storyline follows the four Amir Sisters and each chapter alternates between each sisters points of view. At the heart of the storyline we see the family all come together as one of the sister’s husband Mustafa is involved in a car accident leaving him fighting for his life in hospital. With tensions running high relationships between the sisters are strained and secrets are soon revealed but can this family pull together in their time of need?

This was a light easy read that gave us a little cultural insight which I loved. Each of the sisters were well developed and were easy to differentiate between and they each brought a little something to the storyline. Personally Fatti was my favourite character and I would have liked to have read more of her story in detail especially with her time in Bangladesh.

I did enjoy this book but I personally didn’t find enough depth to the storyline especially in the first half of the book, I was waiting for the storyline to take off but it never quite went anywhere.  If you are looking for a light read then this book will suit but I don’t feel that it is a book that will leave a lasting impression.

I feel that this is a good debut and I am interested to see how the authors writing develops in her next book I would love to see her descriptive writing develop to really bring things to life.

Hardback                 Kindle

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Meet Me at Beachcomber Bay by Jill Mansell

Love is in the air in St Carys, but you'd never know it - the people of this seaside town are very good at keeping secrets... 

The man Clemency loves belongs to someone else. She has to hide her true feelings - but when she ropes in an unsuspecting friend to help, wires start to get crossed. 

For the first time in Ronan's life his charm has failed him in winning over the woman he wants. Loving her from afar appears to be his only option. 

Belle seems to have the perfect boyfriend, but something isn't quite right. And now a long-buried secret is slowly rising to the surface. The truth has a funny way of revealing itself, and when it does St Carys will be a very different place indeed...

The start of the year always means a new Jill Mansell book for me and this year we have Meet me at Beachcomber Bay which has got the reading off to a great start for 2017.

When Clemency and Sam meet on a flight they have a great connection and Clemency hopes that she will get to see him again but when she gives him her number he throws it in the bin, turns out his married!
Three years later when her sister Bella comes to introduce the new man in her life Clemency gets quite the shock.

This is definitely my favourite book by Jill Mansell, from the minute I picked this book up I couldn’t put it down. There is a large group of characters in this book all whom I grew to love quickly other than Bella who is like a spoilt little princess. Considering the amount of characters there were they were all really well developed and there was no confusion as to who was who and each character brought something to the storyline.

The author threw a couple of surprises my way later in the novel which I had no idea were about to be revealed which was great as I love a book that has little unexpected twists and surprises.

Although this was a great light read which I have come to know and love with this authors books this book felt like it had a little more depth to the storyline thanks to a number of issues that were weaved into the storyline and dealt with in an informative but delicate matter and yet the book still had a wonderfully uplifting and heart-warming feel that brought a smile to my face.

Top marks from me on this one, these are characters that I will think about for sometime yet and it is a book I knw I will revisit in the future and I really hope Jill Mansell revisits these characters again too.

Hardback                 Kindle