Archive | April 2017

Under a Sardinian Sky – Sara Alexander ~Blog Tour.

 

under a sardinian sky

Back of the book :

In Mina’s family only one topic has ever been off limits : Her Aunt Carmella ….

For Mina, the silence surrounding the black sheep of the family is a personal obsession. She has resisted prying, but now, with her mothers health failing, its time to learn the truth.

1952 Simus, Sardina.

Carmela Chirigoni, a farmers daughter, is engaged to Franco, son of Simps’ wealthiest family. But Carmela is drawn to the charismatic – and married – Captain Joe Kavanagh, an American officer stationed at a local army base. Hired as his interpreter, Carmela resolves to ignore her feelings, knowing that any future together will only bring heartache to both families.

As Mina follows Carmela’s story, she discovers a past still deeply alive, revealing a story of hope, sacrifice and extraordinary love …

 

What I think : 

The prologue begins with the funeral of Mina’s Aunt Zia, her mothers sister. Her mother herself is quite ill, with cancer. There was also another sister who no-one talks about, Carmela. Nobody will say why she’s not talked about, just that she did ‘something bad’.

Mina decides to write her story and this is how the book is shaped. It starts in 1952 with Carmela who is a young girl and is engaged to the local land owners son, Franco.  She is happy(ish) until one day she meets Joe Kavanagh, an American Captain who has been stationed nearby. When Joe needs a interpreter so he can speak to the local land owners about renting their land for the military, Carmela fits the bill as she can speak English pretty well. As they start to spend time together, the inevitable happens and they begin to have feelings for each other. Joe has responsibilities back home and of course Carmela is engaged to Franco. They both know it would be impossible for anything to happen, or would it … ?

The book is mainly about Carmela’s story, its tells of her life in the early 1950’s onwards. I really enjoyed the wonderful descriptions of the Italian scenery and the sights and sounds around her. Not forgetting the food ! So much food !!

Its not just about Carmela falling in love with someone who is forbidden but also of her becoming ‘herself’ at long last. And also realising that there is life outside of the village of Simius. It really is her journey of discovery. The characters were wonderfully written and I really engrossed in it and lost a few hours quite a few times !

I thought the cover was quite beautiful, and it really made me want to visit Sardinia for myself one day.

I really enjoyed this wonderfully sunny coming of age book and give it 8/10 ( Four Stars )

four-starsPublished by HQ on 20/04/17.

A really big thank you to Rebekah Humphries at Midas for the review copy of the book in exchange for a honest review.

under a sardinian sky blog

 

The Escape – C.L Taylor. – Blog Tour –

 

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Back of the book : 

Look after your daughters things. And your daughter …

When a stranger asks Jo Blackwood for a lift, she says yes – then wishes quickly that she hadn’t.

The stranger knows Jo’s name, she knows her husband Max, and she’s got a glove belonging to Jo’s two-year-old daughter Elise.

What begins with a subtle threat swiftly turns into a nightmare as the police, social services and even Jo’s own husband turn against her.

No one believes that Elise is in danger. But Jo knows there’s only one way to keep her child safe – RUN.

 

What I think : 

Jo Blackwood is a very nervous person, she has panic attacks and can’t really go out like me and you. She can take her daughter, Elise to nursery, and she can go to work at the University, but that it, no dinners out or shopping trips. She has to plan every journey and makes sure she knows where all the escape routes are.

One day she is collecting her daughter from nursery when a middle aged woman gets into her car. Paula seems to know a lot about her daughter and her husband Max, She says that Max has stolen something from her and she wants it back. She then gets out of the car, but before she does she takes one of Elise’s gloves out of her pocket and tells Jo that she needs to ‘look after’ her. Jo takes this as a threat. When she tells her husband about he says that he doesn’t know anyone called Paula and he hasn’t taken anything from anyone. It Makes Jo feel that he doesn’t believe her. Max just thinks that its Jo having one of her ‘funnys’ again as he’s put up with a lot from her lately.

So begins an absolute nightmare for Jo.

Just who is Paula and why is she doing this to her … ?

Wow ! another intense, gripping thriller from the pen of C.L Taylor. I really love the way that she picks you up and drags you in and doesn’t let you down until you’ve finished the book.

There are so many gasp out loud moments, and so, so many twists and turns. And OMG ! the twist at the end I really didn’t see coming.

Some superbly written characters that jump out of the page. In some places, I really did think that maybe Jo could have been a little stronger and grown a back bone and not have run, but I suppose that was the whole purpose to the story.

I couldn’t put it down and give this wonderful edge of the seat thriller a well-earned 10/10.

5 gold stars

Published by Avon Books on 23/03/17.

A huge thank you to Helena Sheffield at Avon books for the review copy of the book in return for an honest review.

the escape blog tour

Laura Lake and the Hipster Weddings – Wendy Holden.

 

laura lake

Back of the book :

Laura Lake longs to be a journalist …

Now she’s an unpaid intern at a glossy magazine – sleeping secretly in the fashion cupboard and living on canapes. But hey, you have to star somewhere. And she’s just got her first big break : infiltrate three society weddings and write a juicy expose.

Security will be tighter than a bodycon dress, but, how hard can it be ? She’ll disguise herself as a ball-gowned billion-heiress for the castle-partying aristocrats, and a boho-chic pixie-child for the posh festival nuptials. Oh, and a moustachioed lobster for the Shoreditch hipsters.

But nothing can prepare her for the disappearing brides, raunchy royals and a brush with the next James Bond. Or the fact that her jealous office enemy will do anything to bring her down.

Will Laura get her scoop of the year ?

Or will she be out on her ear ?

 

What I think : 

Laura lives in France, she looks after her Granny, Mimi who is 90 ! She’s quite a character. Her Mum Lives in Monaco with her third husband, Leon, who is a hair stylist to the stars. Her father died when she was quite small, he was a foreign correspondent Journalist. She has always worked two or three jobs to make ends meet. One of these jobs is for ‘The Paradise Rental Agency’ where her job is to meet clients and write the blog for the website. One night she meets Carinthia Gold, who is one of her rental clients. She just so happens to be a editor on ‘Society’ a very posh glossy mag. Laura’s secret dream has always been to be a journalist just like her dad, however she can’t leave because of Mimi. Who will look after her ? Her friends and neighbours all rally round and make it possible for her dream to come true. Before she knows it she’s on the Eurostar and on her way to good old England.

Almost as soon as she sets foot in England though, things start to go wrong. She looses her lovely bag that Mimi gave her, inside was everything, her purse, her passport and her money. She can’t seem to get hold of Casper, who promised her somewhere to live. When she arrives at the office, an old face from the past pop’s up to make her life hell.

What has happened to Casper ?

Just who is the friendly but mysterious Harry Scott  ?

Can Laura make her dream come true, or will she be on the next Eurostar back to France  ?

I really loved this book. It really made me laugh out loud, Very loudly, I might add ! I really couldn’t put it down. As usual, its a wonderfully fun frolic through the lives of the rich and famous. Brilliant characters with equally brilliant names.

Wendy never ceases to amaze me of how she writes such wonderful stories. After you’ve had a a long day at work, this is just what you need when you get home to pep you up.

I give this unputdownable, fun book a well earned 9/10.

5 gold stars

Published by Head of Zeus on 09/03/17.

I got my copy from Waterstones for £18.99.