Thursday, 21 September 2017

Review: Keep You Safe by Melissa Hill

A mother always knows best. Doesn’t she?
What if your choice for your child could harm someone else’s?
Every mother faces impossible choices. Vaccination is one of the hardest. For single mum Kate O’Hara, there was no decision to make. Her daughter Rosie is one of a small percentage of Irish children who can’t be vaccinated against measles. All Kate can do is hope that her little girl is safe.
For mummy blogger Madeleine Cooper, it was a leap of faith she wasn't prepared to take when she and her husband declined controversial measles jabs for their daughter Clara. All she can do is pray that it’s the right decision.
But when classmates Clara and Rosie both become sick will Kate pay for Madeleine’s choice?

Review: Wow this was such a good plot! I loved how different the subject matter of this book was, it was one of those that I thought, 'wow I wish I had thought of writing this!'. The subject of vaccination and whether or not the vaccinate children, whether they can come to more harm with or without a vaccination is in and out of the news and so it was great to have a first hand, all be it fictional, account of parents who have struggled with that decision and who must now face the consequences either way. 

The main characters of the book are Madeline and Kate. Both of them are mothers and both are very different mothers. Kate is a nurse and she knows what her child wants and needs based on her medical background and personal experience. She is also a single mother and has had certain hardships she has had to face a such. Madeline is very different. She has a successful blog and makes her decisions based around consulting with her online community and her husband. The women re very different, ut really both come across the same struggles and barriers in this book. I liked the fact that theres women were the vehicle for this storyline. They were both easy to relate to and the fact that their children were both sick, made for an emotional read. 

There are certain medical and legal terms that are explored over the course of this book, but that didn't make for difficult reading at any point and I enjoyed the fact that this author chose to keep them in there, I didn't feel like anything was dumbed down. I also like the fact that these medical and legal issues were explored through these families made for easier reading too. It was a very personal and a very relatable story, and whilst it left me thinking, it wasn't a taxing read in any way. As I mentioned above, this was a great subject for a novel and I really enjoyed something which dealt with a new and unusual topic. I listened to the audiobook, which was excellently done, and the action kept me wanting more at every moment. I would really recommend this read, it is fresh and different and very well-written. 

To order your copy now, just click the link: UK or US

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Guest Review: Out of Practice by Penny Parkes

Out of Practice is based around a large country medical practice, which proves to be a hotbed of rivalry, resentment and romance - and that's just the doctors. Think James Herriot meets House.

Meet married mum of two and successful GP Holly Graham as she relocates her family to join the team at The Practice at Beckerford, hoping to find the peaceful life she craves, despite the chaos that comes with her two year old twins and the troublesome state of her marriage. It will certainly be a challenge to keep her private and professional lives separate in such a tight-knit community.

Her colleagues have their own issues to contend with. The gorgeous Dr Dan Carter is struggling with to focus on work and the last thing he needs is any more stress; having his ambitious ex-girlfriend Dr Julia Channing working alongside him isn't really helping. Thankfully, the rather delectable Dr Taffy Jones is on hand to distract Holly from the escalating situation at home.

Feisty octogenarian and resident celebrity, Elsie Townsend, is Holly's favourite patient and saving grace. Elsie's inspirational Life Lessons come at the perfect moment, as The Practice is suddenly under threat of imminent closure and Holly rediscovers her voice and her priorities just in time …

Review: This is the first book in the Larkford Series from Penny Parkes. As a romantic comedy award winner, it sounded right up my street. I haven't read anything by Penny Parkes before, but there are more parts of this series to look forward to for those enjoying this one. I was happy to find this book was available as an audio version which I could listen to while getting on with jobs around the house. It certainly held my attention from the word go. 

The story is based primarily on events taking place in a medical practice situated in the town of Larkford, and in the lives of the staff working there and also of the local residents. Central amongst those characters is Holly Graham, the newest GP on the staff. Previously employed in the A&E department of a Reading hospital, she has arrived in Larkford with her 2-year-old twin sons and husband Milo, who is on a 'sabbatical' from his lecturer post following an indiscretion with a student. Despite having moved closer to her best friend, Lizzie, Holly really wonders what she has got herself into, finding herself in an environment that is very different from what she has just left. However, she soon warms to her colleagues and the local residents and becomes involved in the community spirit evident in the town. Other staff at the medical practice include doctors Dan Carter (Lizzie's cousin), his ex Julia Channing and Taffy Jones (would you believe that he's Welsh!), all of whom have very different personalities and interesting back stories. 

I found a great deal of humour in this story. It deals with some serious aspects of course and there are quite a few dramatic events, but some of the interactions between medical staff and their patients are most entertaining. A great source of amusement is local elderly celebrity Elsie Townsend, who comes out with some utterly outrageous stories from her past and is a source of inspiration to Holly. She was certainly one of my favourite characters in the book. I found Holly surprisingly naive, considering her responsible role. I frequently wanted to tell her to pull herself together in the beginning, especially in her relations with Milo. However, as well as dealing with her patients, Holly does have a lot on her plate, trying to save her marriage, her friend, Lizzie, and, in the end, the whole practice. 

I have enjoyed reading this book and am looking forward to the next one in the series. I'm sure it will appeal to anyone who enjoys a romantic comedy and a bit of medical drama. At almost 500 pages, it's not something to read at one sitting, but well worth curling up with for a few sessions. 

To order your copy now, just click the link: UK or US

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books on My Fall TBR 19/9/17

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because they are particularly fond of lists over there at The Broke and the Bookish. I'd love to share my lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

This is a great one this week. I know that this fall I will definitely be reading a little less than I have this year so far because I am back in the UK and busy busy busy. I am also not with my bookshelves so I am limited to my Kindle, my audiobooks and library book borrows. This isn't all that limited but STILL!

Out 13th October

Out 21st September

Out 24th October

Out 5th October

Out 16th November

Out 30th November

Out 15th October

Out 5th October

The last 3 books were released earlier this year but were waiting for me back in the UK!

What are you going to be snuggling up with this autumn?

Monday, 18 September 2017

Review: I heart Forever by Lindsey Kelk

Please remember this is book 7 in a series before reading my review and being spoiled for the other 6! (But if you haven't read the others, go away and read them now because they're amazing!)
Winter in Manhattan…and someone’s keeping a secret.
The day her husband Alex picks up a backpack and goes travelling, Angela Clark promises to stay out of trouble and keep both Louboutins on the ground.
So when her best friend’s boyfriend confides in her, it can’t hurt to help him pick out a ring at Tiffany’s surely?
And when her fashion magazine announces major changes, being terminally late and arguing with your boss isn’t that bad, is it?
Then suddenly there’s another big secret Angela’s got to keep – and the man she loves is still thousands of miles away. As the wedding of the year looms, and Manhattan switches on its Christmas lights, Angela is going to need her friends by her side as her old life looks set to change forever.

Review: Well its safe to say that I loved this read! I did what I really don't do very often with a book and that is to read chunks at a time but not read the whole thing all at once to make it last longer. It's been a while since I took that approach and I am glad that I did. I just love Lindsey Kelk's writing. She is so funny and her way with words just makes me laugh all through anything she writes. She puts into words how I look at the world and she isn't afraid to say what we are all thinking, out loud, very loud! I also love the fact that this series of books is set in America and yet Angela is English and so there is this amazing mix of English terms mixed in with American life ( just like my life!) and that makes me laugh too but also makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside!

So back to Angela, Angela has a secret in this novel and Angela with a secret is never a good thing. As if she didn't have enough on her plate already, she has more and more things loaded on there over the course of this novel and I was really quite worried for her stress levels and her blood pressure at one point. Some of the things she went with induced anxiety in me, never mind her. But she deals with them in an Angela way, the way we all love her for. Alex is a little absent in this book because of his travelling but he is also very true to form and it was great to see her again. I think Angela's parents went down a storm in previous novels and so they have a part to play in the ending of this novel and they just made me laugh so much. In particular look out for a moment with Angela's Dad and some Yorkshire tea, that's all I'm saying!

Jenny Lopez, it was great to see Jenny again and Jenny is just Jenny and wonderful. I just love her friendship with Angela because it is such a turn friendship. A lot of people think that Jenny is holding Angela up, others think it is quite the opposite, but I just love the fact that they support each other and they need each other there in major life events because that is exactly how I am with my best friend. Cici is also a major player in this novel, which i kind of suspected but I love that she got a slightly bigger role this time around, she really comes into her own and we get to learn a lot more about her than in previous novels. I think that I would hate to work with her on a personal level but on a professional level, she gets the job done!

Of course the other major character in these books in New York and reading this novel, you can tell just how in love with New York this author is. The way things are described and the comfort that comes across throughout the book is just amazing. If you don't come away from reading this book wanting to go to NYC and have a great time, then I really don't know if we can be friends! I love the places they go, they places they resist and they are described with such detail and with such wistfulness it just makes for great reading!

There were a few surprises along the way in this novel, thankfully I wasn't spoiled for any of the details beforehand and I won't spoil you either. Some events were predictable, but in a really great way but there are a few things that made me go 'WHAT?' just in a really great way. I loved every moment of this book and I cannot WAIT for the next one. Read this series now, you won't regret it!

To order your copy now, just click the link: UK or US

Sunday, 17 September 2017

Guest Review: There's Only Two David Beckhams by John O'Farrell

Here's another in my series of reviews on sports/history books. A novel about football today...

Re-live the glory and the heartache of England's greatest ever game - and THAT World Cup Final back in 2022.

Well now it’s 2022 and the discussion is finally over, England have eleven players as good as any of them. The unbeatable national team have reached the final of the Qatar World Cup. But one journalist is convinced there is a scandalous secret behind England’s incredible form. His lifetime’s dream is to see the Three Lions win the World Cup. But if he pursues and exposes the shocking truth, his beloved England could be sent home in disgrace. 

Suddenly this is much more than England vs Germany; it’s Love vs Duty, it’s Truth vs Happiness. 
The pressure of the penalty shoot-out is nothing compared to this.

There’s Only Two David Beckhams is John O’Farrell’s love-letter to football; part-detective story, part-sports memoir, part-satire on the whole corrupt FIFA circus; it just made the final for the funniest football fiction ever written...

Review: This is a fictional and humorous account of the England football team's progress in qualifying for and reaching the final of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar (I said it was a work of fiction). It is told from the standpoint of a sports journalist named Alfie covering the events, and describes his journey of discovery as well as the impact of the team's performance on his professional and personal lives.

As well as publishing a number of books and writing newspaper columns, the author John O'Farrell has written previously for the TV comedy programmes "Spitting Image" and "Have I Got News For You". This book displays the same incisive, satirical humour of those programmes, and I was in stitches constantly whilst reading it. The worlds of professional football, journalism and politics are all targeted, as the book leads to the thrilling climax of the World Cup Final, and the moral dilemma faced by Alfie. I don't believe a single footballing cliché has been omitted from the book. All in all, I was over the moon after reading this book and I give it my full vote of confidence.

To order your copy now, just click the link: UK or US

Friday, 15 September 2017

Review: Happily Ever After by Kiera Cass

A companion volume to the bestselling The Selection series – extra stories and never-before-seen material. Fans should prepare to swoon!
The achingly romantic and stylish four The Selection enovellas – The Prince, The Guard, The Queen and The Favorite – together in one irresistible volume. Plus exclusive extra content – Art for each of the novellas, a new intro for each of the novellas and 3 brand new scenes from each of the first 3 novels.

Review: I really enjoyed being back in this world. Having read the five novels in the series back to back, I decided to take a break and came back to this one a month later, but immediately I started reading it, I was transported back to a royal kingdom with characters I knew and loved. I read a story a day and binged the bonus materials almost as soon as I opened the book and would really recommend reading it this way!

My favourite story of the four was The Queen, it gave great insight into the character of The Queen but it also gave me a great insight into the whole selection competition! The only one I wasn't as keen on was The Guard (I left it until last) but this wasn't because of the plot or the writing, it was just because I wasn't as big of a fan of Aspen throughout the books and although the author puts a forward about how this story will get you to see Aspen in a new light, I still wasn't sold on him-sorry!

One of my favourite things about this book was the illustrations. I loved the fact that there were drawings spread throughout the book, some before a short story and some throughout the novellas too. They really brought the stories to life and made me think back to when I was reading illustrated books when I was younger, bring back pictures in all books I say! I also really loved the 'Where are they now' section, although I had forgotten about a few of the characters mentioned!

Overall I really enjoyed this read and would love some more selection stories to tie in with the final two books, if that could be arranged please? I think I would recommend reading these in the order they were intended, so if you haven't started the selection series yet, grab yourself a copy of this to read alongside!

To order your copy now, click the link: UK or US

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Author Event with Lindsey Kelk and Miranda Dickinson

On Tuesday night I was lucky enough to snag tickets to the sold out event with Lindsey Kelk and Miranda Dickinson in Waterstones Birmingham. I was really pleased that I got my tickets well enough in advance and also really pleased that I was in the country when two of my favourite authors were doing an event within driving distance. My Mum and I drove down to Birmingham for the event (it was a very excited car I can tell you) and we loved every minute of it!

The event was a discussion between these two fabulous authors and saw them chatting about their writing spaces, the worst gifts they've ever been given, parties they have attended together  and of course, their books!

Once they had fully set the world to rights and amused us all greatly, they opened it up to questions. This is when things got really interesting with them discussing which of the characters from the I Heart series they would like to kill off, whether they have written revenge on anyone in their books and also covered things like how people react when they find out they're a writer. 

These two lovely authors stayed late into the night so that they could sign books and meet their fans and I got to give them both big hugs. The staff in Waterstones were so accommodating and stayed open late for this event. It was such a fun evening and if you haven't read anything by either of these authors then you should definitely make a point to go now and do that, I'll leave links below!

These are two of my favourite authors and it so was great to see them both again and have a bonus evening of entertainment from them. Thanks to everyone involved and now I'm going to go and finish reading my signed copy of I Heart Forever!

Click here to order your copy of I Heart Forever by Lindsey Kelk: UK or US

Click here to order your copy of Searching for a Silver Lining by Miranda Dickinson: UK or US

Click here to see my Miranda Dickinson reviews!

Click here to see my Lindsey Kelk reviews!

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Guest Review: The Cornish Guest House (Tremarnock book 2) by Emma Burstall

A new couple have arrived in Tremarnock, but will these glamorous strangers fit into village life?
Tremarnock is a small fishing village, crowded with holidaymakers in the summer, but a sleepy Cornish backwater at other times of the year.
Here Liz has found refuge with her young daughter, Rosie, after her relationship with Rosie's father came unstuck. Now happily married, all seems set for a quiet autumn and merry Christmas. But strangers have bought the local guest house and seem to have big plans. Why is he so charming and confident, but she so frightened? Are they who they say they are? And what are they really doing with the guest house?

Review: This is book 2 in the Tremarnock series from Emma Burstall. Like the first book in the series, I chose the audio version, my husband and I listening to the story in the course of a few car journeys. Out of the car, we even debated what might be going to happen next with this character or that, surely a sign of a really exciting and enthralling story. If you have not read the first book in this series, Tremarnock, don't worry as this story is self explanatory. However, Tremarnock was a really enjoyable story too, so you could always read that before getting your teeth into this sequel. 

As the title of the book suggests, this story revolves around the Stables Guest House in the Cornish seaside village of Tremarnock, and its new owners. As we revisit this quaint village, we meet all the characters who were introduced in the first book in this series, along with the incomers who have arrived to open up the guest house. Major roles are played again by Liz, her daughter, Rosie, and local restaurant owner, Robert. However, the newcomers Luke, Tabitha and son Oscar are at the centre of a great deal of discussion and controversy amongst the villagers. But is Luke all that he seems and what is the matter with Tabitha? There is an immense amount of mystery and tension surrounding them, which expands to encompass Robert's niece, Loveday also. 

We both really enjoyed this book. Having met most of the characters before in the previous story and catching up with what had happened in the village in the intervening period was good, but not essential to the enjoyment or indeed understanding of the story. Although it is obviously a sequel, this story can easily be read as a standalone. I am greatly looking forward to reading the next book in the Tremarnock series, which is waiting for me on my Kindle. 

Want to read it now? Click the link to order you copy: UK or US

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books I Loved During The First Year of This Blog! 12/9/17

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because they are particularly fond of lists over there at The Broke and the Bookish. I'd love to share my lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

Putting this list together made me very nostalgic. I started this blog in 2012 after reviewing for another blog for a year before that. My favourite authors really haven't changed since then, I've only added more and more to my list. So here are the books I was loving then, and *spoiler alert* I still love them now! It's interesting that I only have one non-fiction on the list, I definitely read a little more widely now in terms on genre! I reviewed a lot of these for the other blog but my reviews are, of course on Goodreads! I have one review on this blog so I've left the link to that one. 

Here's my review!

How have your tastes changed over the years? 

Have you read any of these too? 

Do you read/review books as soon as they come out or go through an authors back catalogue? 

Monday, 11 September 2017

My BookTube Anniversary Giveaway

I have a giveaway going on on my YouTube channel to celebrate me reaching 100 subscribers and reaching 1 whole year of BookTube. 

Today is the last full day to enter because the giveaway ends tomorrow.

So click on the video below and you could win a book of your choice. The giveaway is open internationally and is my way of saying thank you very much for all the support you have shown my channel over the past year!

Friday, 8 September 2017

Review: Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeymoon

A stunning debut. Eleanor Oliphant has learned how to survive – but not how to live
Eleanor Oliphant leads a simple life. She wears the same clothes to work every day, eats the same meal deal for lunch every day and buys the same two bottles of vodka to drink every weekend.
Eleanor Oliphant is happy. Nothing is missing from her carefully timetabled life. Except, sometimes, everything.
One simple act of kindness is about to shatter the walls Eleanor has built around herself. Now she must learn how to navigate the world that everyone else seems to take for granted – while searching for the courage to face the dark corners she’s avoided all her life.
Change can be good. Change can be bad. But surely any change is better than… fine?


Review: This book was very different from what I was expecting. I loved that fact that this book  centres around one character and her view of the world and I really loved that fact that this book was set in Glasgow. It means that instantly the reader can recognise what is going on and can experience everything in the book along with the main character. I thought the writing style made it very easy for us to sympathise with the main character and to see the world through her eyes. 

Eleanor as a character was interesting. I wouldn't say that she was easy to like, but she was definitely easy to sympathise and sometimes empathise with. This meant that the book moved quickly. I still wasn't sure by the end of the book whether I liked her or not. She is very com,plex and yet simple at the same time. She obviously has some social issues as well. The synopsis mentions her drinking and so I expected her to be aware of the drinking but she really wasn't aware that this was an issue, or that anything else in her life was an issue for that matter. 

The relationships that Eleanor builds with other characters is very entertaining. You don't always expect things to go the way they do and neither do Eleanor or the other characters, the book is cleverly written in that sense. Other parts of the book move a little slower and some parts are a little repetitive, but I think that this was a conscious choice on the author's part because Eleanor's life relies on those routines and repetitive tasks. 

I enjoyed reading this book, it was sometimes a little slow for my liking but it did make me laugh in parts and I am glad that I read it. 

To order your copy and see for yourself, just click the link: UK or US

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Review: The Break by Marian Keyes

'Myself and Hugh . . . We're taking a break.'
'A city-with-fancy-food sort of break?'
If only. Amy's husband Hugh says he isn't leaving her. He still loves her, he's just taking a break - from their marriage, their children and, most of all, from their life together. Six months to lose himself in south-east Asia. And there is nothing Amy can say or do about it. Yes, it's a mid-life crisis, but let's be clear: a break isn't a break up - yet . . . However, for Amy it's enough to send her - along with her extended family of gossips, misfits and troublemakers - teetering over the edge. For a lot can happen in six-months. When Hugh returns if he returns, will he be the same man she married? And will Amy be the same woman? Because if Hugh is on a break from their marriage, then isn't she?
The Break isn't a story about falling in love but about staying in love. It is Marian Keyes at her funniest, wisest and brilliant best.

Review: Well this book had me in hysterics right from the word go and yet it deals with such a serious topic. I think I had forgotten just how witty Marian Keyes can be, even when dealing with the issue of a marriage coming to an end or not! The way she phrases things, the way her characters react to things, is just so funny and will definitely have you laughing out loud. 

Now the issue of a marriage staying together or not. This really does sound like the kind of issue that would make for heavy reading, and yes the things that Amy goes through over the course of this book are very very real and I really loved that fact that every reaction and her life in every situation whilst she is on her break from Hugh is covered. And yet Amy is just the type of person that deals with things and deals with things in her own way. I think if this issue had been dealt with by another author, this book would have been much darker and  much more 'issues' based. But i loved that fact that Amy was the vehicle for this story, she gets on with her life and deals with her grief in her own way. The book shows Amy at various points before and during her break and we get to count up the days it has been since the announcement. I think that was a great way of structuring it. 

As I mentioned above, Amy is a great character to go on this journey with. She is strong, independent and she has great values, family values and work ethic. Her family are also great to get to know. Marian Keyes always writes great Irish families with slightly bonkers members and they make for great reading. I loved meeting Amy's daughters in this book. They are each so different and unique and I really think they add another layer of depth to the storyline. Hugh also plays a big role in this book even though he isn't always physically present and I think that his growth over the course of the book, has a big hand in Amy's growth and the growth of the girls too. 

My one complaint with this book is that it is a little on the long side. It did take me a while to get through and I kind of regret saving it for a plane journey because I didn't manage to finish it on that journey. I think the length also made me forget some of Amy's friends and family a little too as the book progressed so I was having to try and dredge up relationships as they came and went in the story. Other than that though, this book was an absolute hoot. It deals with the issue of keeping a marriage working, or not working as the case may be. It deals with the issue of what family means to you and it also deals with the issue of self identity. Never does it shove any of these things down your throat though and it is a thoroughly entertaining read. I didn't realise how much I missed Marian Keyes's writing until I picked this book up and fell in love with it all over again!

To order your copy now, just click the link: UK or US

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Guest Review: The Little Bakery on Rosemary Lane by Ellen Berry

**Take a trip to the Yorkshire village of Burley Bridge, where a new arrival is going to shake things up…**
Growing up in a quiet Yorkshire village, Roxanne couldn’t wait to escape and find her place in the world in London. As a high-powered fashion editor she lives a glamorous life of perennial singlehood – or so it seems to her sister Della. But when Roxanne gets her heart broken by a fashion photographer, she runs away, back to Della’s welcoming home above her bookshop in Burley Bridge.
But Burley Bridge, Roxanne discovers, is even quieter than she remembered. There’s nothing to do, so Roxanne agrees to walk Della’s dog Stanley. It’s on these walks that Roxanne makes a startling discovery: the people who live in Burley Bridge are, well, just people – different from the fashion set she’s used to, but kind and even interesting. Michael, a widower trying to make a go of a small bakery, particularly so. Little by little, cupcake by cupcake, Roxanne and Michael fall into a comforting friendship.
Could there be a life for Roxanne after all, in the place she’s spent 46 years trying to escape?

Review: This book follows on from The Bookshop on Rosemary Lane, which I read with great enjoyment last year. I have been looking forward to reading this sequel ever since, and am delighted that it has appeared at last. Although this is a follow on story, it can be read on its own. Points referring to events happening in the first book are explained as we go along. 

The central character in this story is, in fact, one that we met briefly in the first book about Rosemary Lane. She is Roxanne, sister of Della, who runs the bookshop. Although Roxanne lives and works in London as fashion director of a glossy magazine, she feels that the time has come to visit her sister and take some time away from the hustle and bustle of her busy life and a career that seems to be turning in a direction she doesn't relish. She is also beginning to have doubts about boyfriend Sean. On her return to Burley Bridge, the Yorkshire village where she was brought up, she finds that things are different from how she remembered them, and she soon finds herself relaxing into the much quieter life there. As well as meeting up again with people she knew when growing up, Roxanne gets to know divorcee Michael, who owns and runs the bakery on Rosemary Lane along with his teenage children.

I have enjoyed reading this book just as much as I did the first one. I always enjoy reading stories containing characters I have met before and find out what is happening with them. There are some lovely new characters in this story as well. I particularly enjoyed reading about Roxanne's elderly neighbour in London, Isabelle, who had obviously led a really interesting life; I would really like to hear more about her. Some of the other characters from Roxanne's life in London are not quite so likeable, living strange, almost false lives. The contrast between the two locations in the story is marked; the author makes the little village of Burley Bridge sound so appealing that I would love to visit. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a good read to curl up with. 

To order your copy now, just click here

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books I've Decided Not To Review Recently 5/9/17

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because they are particularly fond of lists over there at The Broke and the Bookish. I'd love to share my lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

I've done a couple of posts recently on books that I've decided not to review. This might be because I didn't manage to finish them or because I did finish them but they just didn't do it for me and I didn't want to write a negative review. I understand that we all have different tastes in books and so I know that other people have liked/will love these books and so that's why I decided to highlight them in this way. 

Here are some I may or may not have mentioned. I will let you know whether I finished them or not!

The first five are mentioned in this post where you can read exactly why I chose not to review them.

And here is the post that explains why I chose not to read the next 5. 

Have you read any of these? What did you think of them?

Monday, 4 September 2017

Review: I Heart London by Lindsey Kelk

Angela’s back on home turf – and in her biggest romantic scrape yet…
Angela Clark has fallen in love with America – and it’s starting to love her back.
Throw one expired visa into the mix, and things quickly take a turn for the worse.
She might love her life as a Brit in New York, but now she has no choice but to return to London. Not only does she leave behind her gorgeous boyfriend Alex – she must also face unfinished business back on home turf.
There’s the ex-boyfriend – who she moved to New York to get away from.
Then there’s her best friend, with her perfect new baby.
And there’s her mum.
Now, there’s another wedding in the offing – and everyone remembers how well the last one went . . .

Review: Another fabulous book in the I Heart series by Lindsey Kelk. I just cannot get enough of these books! This book sees Angela return to London and I loved that fact that this book is set in both New York and London, both great cities. And we also have Angela staying back with her parents so we get the whole 'I've been away and now I'm back in small town England' type of thing too. This just mixed so well with the story line of these novels. I honestly think that the cities these books are set in contribute so well to the plot and the character development so of course London was going to be fabulous!

Obviously we have an amazing cast of characters in this novel. Angela's mum plays a much bigger part than she usually does and I loved her character in this book. I also loved the way Alex's character changes quite a lot during this novel compared to the previous novel. This is probably because Angela is in denial for a lot of this book, about a lot of things. She reverts back to childhood behaviors when she comes back home, thank goodness Jenny is there to sort her out, although Jenny may have a few issues of her own-I guess Alex to the rescue it is-I loved that!

There are some hilarious moments in this book, as there are in the others in this series, but I think it is made even more funny by the fact that we have some American's in England and some Brits trying to accommodate those Americans. There are also some hilarious moments of people jumping to conclusions they shouldn't. Obviously this is not always a good thing, but what would an I Heart book be without a little drama?

I loved this read and it was a great sequel and a great addition to the series. If you are a Brit who has been living in America too and knows what it is like to go back home, this is definitely the book for you! You don't HAVE to read the other books in the series to read this one, you will get to love the characters either way but I would definitely recommend reading them all-what are you waiting for?

To order your copy now, just click the link: UK or US

Friday, 1 September 2017

Review: Chase The Rainbow by Poorna Bell

Punk rocker, bird nerd and book lover Rob Bell had a full, happy life. He had a loving wife, a big-bottomed dog named Daisy and a career as a respected science journalist. But beneath the carefully cultivated air of machoism and the need to help other people, he struggled with mental health and a drug addiction that began as a means to self-medicate his illness. In 2015, he ended his life in New Zealand on a winter’s night. 

But what happened? How did a middle-class Catholic boy from the suburbs, who had an ocean of people who loved him, and a brain the size of a planet, end up dying alone by his own hand? How did it get to this point?  

In the search to find out about the man she loved, and how he arrived at that desperate, dark moment, Poorna Bell, Executive Editor of The Huffington Post UK, went on a journey spanning New Zealand, India and England to discover more about him.

A month after his death, she shared her personal tragedy in an open letter to Rob on the site, which went on to be read by hundreds of thousands of people across the world. This is Poorna’s story, not only of how she met the man of her dreams and fell in love, but also Rob’s story and how he suffered with depression since childhood and had secretly been battling addiction as a means to cope with the illness.
Suicide is the biggest killer of men under 45 and a staggering 1 in 4 of us will experience mental illness disease at some point in our lives, but the stigma surrounding mental health means that millions still suffer in silence.

Chase the Rainbow is an affecting, poetic, and deeply personal journey which teaches to seek hope and happiness, even in the most tragic of circumstances. Shattering the stigma surrounding depression and suicide, Poorna Bell challenges us talk about what we most fear, and to better understand the personal struggles of those closest to us.

Review: This really is, as the tagline says, a life-changing book! I was lucky enough to read this book with a friend so that we could discuss what we were reading and how we were feeling as the book went on, I would really recommend reading this book with a friend or as a group so that you can discuss your feelings because you are going to have a lot of them. 

First of all, this book is beautifully written and I loved the structure of it. Obviously Poorna is a journalist and so the things she wanted to find out and the things she wanted to share dug really deep but also, were beautifully put. This is a book about someone who struggled with depression and ultimately takes their life, but no part of this book felt depressing or made me feel down and I think that this is down to the way the book is structured and the writing that went into it. The book features two parts, Poorna telling her story of her relationship with Rob and then parts where she is in New Zealand stepping along that path that he took, meeting his family and the feelings that she experiences there. Her own story, told in the first person almost feels like a novel rather than a memoir because of the beautiful writing. 

As I have mentioned above, the issues dealt with in this book are obviously serious issues, but they are issues that a lot of people don't want to and don't talk about and so sometimes when we get a book like this, it can feel like these issues are being forced upon us and can be a little heavy to read but this book is not like that. This writer combines her own personal experiences with her own research and the accounts she has from speaking to others. She is honest with us but not graphic, she is frank but not overly so. I really loved the way the issues surrounding mental health were dealt with in this book and I would urge anyone wanting to know more about these issues from a first/second hand point of view to read this book now. 

And finally this book truly was uplifting. Obviously what these people in this book went through, all of them is hear breaking and life destroying but this book is more than that. This book is about facing those issues and how to deal with them during and after the event because this is not something that can just go away. The way this writer has been brave enough to share her experience is truly insporational and I would urge all of you to pick this book up now. You won't be able to put it down and I am sure that you will feel as positive about life afterwards as I did. 

To order your copy now, just click the link: UK or US