Archive | January 2018

If I Fall – Ella Harper ~ Blog Tour.

Ella Harper

Back of the book :

Four university friends, four devastating secrets.

I’m really sorry for what I’m about to do…

It’s fifteen years since graduation, and Connie, Jonas, JJ and Layla have managed to remain close despite the odds. They’ve supported each other, but are some things too big for friendship?

Connie is desperate to maintain the veneer of perfect family life.

Jonas is feeling the pressure at work.

Layla’s career is unravelling thanks to her ill mother

JJ’s past is catching up with him.

When they stumble and fall, who will be there to catch them?

What I think : 

The book opens with a suicide note, then it cuts to a paramedic telling a friend of the person who has written the note to ‘prepare for the worst’ as it doesn’t look good.

The book then travels back to 2003, to four friends, Connie, Jonas, JJ and Layla. It’s graduation day, and they’re all looking forward to the future. They are all sitting around talking about being friends forever. Even Connie and JJ, who had a bit of a ‘thing’ recently couldn’t Imagine life without each other

Fast forward fifteen years and the four are still friends but things have changed a bit. Connie and Jonas are together and married with two daughters, Connie had a career as a journalist but now she looks after the girls and writes a blog. Jonas is a criminal solicitor and finds his job quite stressful. JJ is a personal trainer and very much ladies man, and Layla is a therapist with a mother who lives with her and is going slowly batty !

All four friends have secrets that they’d rather the others didn’t now about.

What will happen when those secrets come tumbling out …?

Will they all be there to catch each other or will they let them fall … ?

I really didn’t want to put this book down, I read it in a day. Brilliantly written, with really believable characters that could quite easily be your friends or mine. This book covers some quite difficult subjects such as, domestic violence, sexual abuse and dementia.

It takes us on a rollercoaster of emotions with all the highs and lows of friendship and a lot more besides. With a hint of a thriller in as much as its keeps you guessing as to which one of the four friends it was that tried to end their life.

Have a box of tissues ready for the end !

I give this fab book a well-earned 9/10. (5 stars)

5 gold stars

Published on ebook by Canelo on 22/01/18.

A huge Thank you to Ellie Pilcher at Canelo for the advanced Digital copy of the book to review.

And here for your reading pleasure is an extract from the book.

Extract : 

I’m going to miss you all,’ Layla blurted out suddenly.

‘Aww, we’re going to miss you too,’ Connie said, leaning over to give Layla a clumsy hug.

Layla hugged her back. ‘I know. But Sussex isn’t that far from London, you know. We’ll still see each other loads. And I’ll be moving to London to be with you all as soon as I have this master’s under my belt.’

‘And having babies and getting married?’ Connie teased. Layla was very open about her desire to settle down once she had all her qualifications.

Layla pulled a face, but she laughed. ‘Yes. All of that.’ She did want all of that. And she hoped she wasn’t being naïve about hoping she could combine work with a happy marriage and kids.

‘And I’ll be completing my Legal Practise Course in a year,’ Jonas said. He was thrilled about the vocational stage of training he had coming up. He sipped a can of cider gingerly. He didn’t really like cider, but he wasn’t much of a drinker.

‘What else do you have to do?’ JJ asked, looking past Jonas’s shoulder at something. Or rather, someone. ‘Sounds like a whole lot of hard work to me.’

Jonas nodded. ‘It is, but it’s worth it. I need to train for two years after the LPC and then I can start working.’ He watched JJ watching a girl playing volleyball in the distance. So it looked as though he didn’t need to worry about JJ after all. Hopefully just a silly, fleeting infatuation. On both sides.

Connie snuck a glance at JJ and wondered what he was thinking. His expression was inscrutable, as always, but when he glanced at her suddenly, she found herself grinning at him for no particular reason.

JJ grinned back. What else could he do? And it was probably all for the best. He was a womaniser; he was known for it, in fact. Onwards and upwards. Connie was just one girl. There were so many girls out there; it couldn’t possibly be that he had met the best one already. Not at such a young age! And JJ felt that he deserved an easy life now. He deserved to be able to make his own choices and be… free. He paused briefly and, with practised ease, buried the thought.

‘To us,’ he said, chinking his can of cider against Connie’s. And then against Jonas’s as well, just in case his comment had sounded too personal.

‘To us,’ agreed Layla, joining in. ‘Let’s go and do all the stuff we’ve talked late into the night about doing.’

‘Look out, world,’ Connie said, wincing at her cheesiness.

‘Let’s always look out for one another,’ Jonas said, less cheesily and with more genuine feeling. ‘Let’s always have these friendships and look after one another.’

JJ propped his sunglasses onto his head. ‘Big whoopsie,’ he commented.

‘Yeah, yeah,’ Jonas threw back. ‘But are we agreed?’

‘Agreed,’ they all laughed in unison.

Connie and Layla leant in towards JJ and Jonas and they shared a naff group hug to mark the moment. Life was about to begin and they were starting it as great, great friends who had huge dreams and aspirations for the future. They had all just sworn to support each other through thick and thin.

All four of them were on the brink of amazing new lives. None of them could see any reason for life to be anything but fantastic and fulfilling. It was all there for the taking.

The Guilty Wife – Elle Croft ~ Blog Tour.

the guilty wife

Back of the book : 

I’m guilty of many things.

Bethany Reston is happily married. But she’s also having an affair with a famous client.

And no one can ever know.

But I’m innocent of murder.

When Bethany’s lover is brutally murdered, she has to hide her grief from everyone.

But someone knows her secret. And then one day the threats begin.

With an ever-growing pile of evidence pointing to her as the murderer, the only way she can protect her secrets is to prove her innocence. And that means tracking down a killer.

What I think : 

Bethany is married to Jason. They’ve been together since Uni, She still loves her husband but she’s having an affair. Calum is famous, a Billionaire. Calum is also married, but he has an open marriage. Claire his wife has affairs of her own.

Bethany met Calum when she was commissioned to take a series of photos for an upcoming book about him. They started spending a lot of time together and, as these things often happen, they started an affair.

Nobody must know ….

The only thing that links them together is a memory card of intimate photos taken of them together as a gift to Calum from Bethany for his birthday. Calum hid the memory card only the two of them know of its existence.

Will it stay hidden forever … ?

Then Calum is found murdered, he was stabbed and found laying just outside the entrance to the tube station.

Bethany is innocent.

Will the police believe her … ?

Its very hard to believe that this is a debut novel, it really is up there with some of the best crime novels that I’ve read lately. There is plenty of red herrings thrown in to to keep you guessing, and a few OH MY GOD moments too ! Real edge of the seat stuff ! and the twist, when it comes is fabulous.

I dont want to say too much as I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but this book really does make you sit up and think that what happened to Bethany could actually happen to you !

BEWARE !

Excellently crafted characters that you can get your teeth into. I really liked the shorter chapters that kept your attention.

I will definitely be recommending this book to all my fellow readers.

9/10 for this debut novel (5 Stars )

5 gold stars

Published by Orion Publishing on ebook on 01/12/17 and in paperback on 25/01/17.

A huge Thank you to Lauren Woosey At Orion for the review copy of the book.

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Coming Home to Island House – Erica James.

Erica James

Back of the book : 

It’s the summer of 1939, and after touring an unsettled Europe to promote her latest book, Romily Temple returns home to Island House and the love of her life, the charismatic Jack Devereux.

But when Jack falls ill, his estranged family are called home and given seven days to find a way to bury their resentments and come together.

With war now declared, each member of the family is reluctantly forced to accept their new stepmother and confront their own shortcomings. But can the habits of a lifetime be changed in one week? And can Romily, a woman who thrives on adventure, cope with the life that has been so unexpectedly thrust upon her?

What I think : 

Romily is an author.

The year is 1939.

War is imminent.

On the day that Romily returns home from a European book tour, Jack, the love of her life and whom she secretly, married just a few weeks before her book tour began, has a stroke.

Jack doesn’t have much time left, he’s estranged from his three grown up children and his niece. He has instructed his long-time friend and family solicitor Roddy to bring them all home. He dearly wants to put right all the wrong things that he said and did to his sons Arthur and Kit and to his daughter and Niece, Hope and Allerga. However they have a few problems of their own.

Then Jack dies, and the will is read. They all have a huge surprise, as its not as straight forward as they’d all hoped. They can’t just claim their parts of the inheritance and leave again. In order to inherit their fathers money they have to all spend a week together at Island House. If one of them decides to leave half way through, none of them inherit. This wouldn’t be too bad in a normal family,  however, as well as not getting on with their father (and Uncle) they don’t actually get on with each other.

Will the family come together in this testing time or will it all fall apart … ?

I have always loved reading Erica’s books, they are never a disappointment, and this one is no exception. As always she has written a wonderful tale of a family who have to learn to live with loss and in some cases, to forgive and learn to love again. Of finding yourself in the most unlikeliest of circumstances.

With fabulously written characters, this book was a very easy read, just what you need for these dark winter days, or perfect after a long day at work. A wonderful escape to the village of Melstead St Mary !

I loved this book and give it a well-earned 10/10 (5 Stars)

5 gold stars

Published by Orion Publishing On 11/01/18.

A big Thankyou to Elaine Egan at Orion Publishing for the review copy of the book.

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The Bad Mother – Amanda Brooke.

The Bad Mother

Back of the book :

Thats what he wants you to think …

A good mother doesn’t forget things.

A good mother isn’t a danger to herself.

A good mother isn’t a danger to her baby.

You want be the good mother you dreamed you could be.

But you’re not. You’re the bad mother you were destined to become.

At least, thats what he wants you to believe …

What I think : 

Lucy is married to Adam, they are expecting their first child in a few months. They had whirl-wind romance and have only been married for about a year.

Lucy has started to forget things, and its beginning to worry her. She lost her keys and found them in the oddest place, she left the gas hob on, but can’t remember actually switching it on in the first place, and there is the conversation’s that she’s had with Adam, but can’t remember them either.

Adam was very patient with her to begin with, but has started getting a bit annoyed with her. He’s worried that she won’t be able to cope when the baby is born, he’s worried about her ‘past’

Lucy lost her dad when she was a small child, he committed suicide. Lucy is worried that he had something more wrong with him than just the depression her mum said he had.

Adam has his own “past’ problems too, he has a brother that lives in America that he hasn’t spoken to since he was a child, however his brother is back and wants to patch things up.

Can Adam cope with his brother returning and with Lucy too … ?

Is Lucy just a ‘hormonal baby brain’ fog or is this something a lot more sinister ….. ?

Ive always loved Amanda’s books, my favourite (and the first I read ) was ‘Yesterdays Sun’. It stuck in my mind for a long time after reading it and I think that this one probably will too, The subject of this book could quite easily happen to anyone. After finishing this one, I actually went onto the internet to look it up and realised how common it is.

At the start of the book Lucy was quite a likeable character, a young wife, expecting her first child and wanting to do everything right. But later into the book she seems to just give in and let things happen, not being able to breathe without the permission of her husband. Adam on the other hand,  I found him really spoilt and arrogant, thinking he knew best at all times.

The book is really well written, it explains why Lucy and Adam, to a certain extent are like they are as it covers their backgrounds throughout the book.

I did think this book was quite dark and sinister in places, and I also found some of it quite difficult reading matter too. However, I did find it quite predictable and I did guess quite early on as to what was happening. Having said that though, I did really like this book, it held my attention and I read it in only a couple of days.

I give this book 8/10 ( 5 stars )

5 gold stars

Published by Harper Collins on ebook on 14/12/17 and paperback on 22/02/18.

A really big Thank you to Jaime Frost at Harper Collins and to Netgalley for the review copy of the book.

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My Top Ten Books of 2017 ….

HERE’S MY TOP TEN BOOKS FOR 2017 ….

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What a year its been for books !

Here are my ten favourites, In no particular order … 

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All the books that Lucy Clarke has written … I’ve read all of these this year and they are fab !

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Dinah Jefferies – Before the rains. (18 May)

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Cecelia Ahern – Perfect. (6 April – Young Adult )

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Isabelle Broom – Then, Now, Always. ( 20 April )  and The Place We Met. (30 November) I loved both of these books and couldn’t decide !

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CL Taylor – The Escape. (23 March)

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CL Taylor – The Treatment. (19 October – Young Adult )

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Sophie Kinsella – My Not So Perfect Life. (13 July)

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Lisa Jewell – Then She Was Gone. (29 July )

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Dorothy Koomson – The Friend. (1 June )

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Julie Cohen – Together. (13 July)

So there you have it, my favourite books of 2017.

Im really looking forward to all the new books coming in 2018, I predict there is going to be some really good ones coming our way, Im especially looking forward to “Still Me” by Jojo Moyes thats published on 25 Jan and “Surprise Me” by the fab Sophie Kinsella which is published at the start of Feb.

All thats left for me to say is,

Happy New Year ! 

Thats all for now folks, 

Happy Reading 

xxx