Archive | February 2018

The Year That Changed Everything – Cathy Kelly.

cathu kelly 2

Back of the book : 

Ginger isn’t spending her thirtieth the way she would have planned. Tonight might be the first night of the rest of her life – or a total disaster.

Sam is finally pregnant after years of trying. When her waters break on the morning of her fortieth birthday, she panics: forget labour, how is she going to be a mother ?

Callie is celebrating her fiftieth at a big party in her Dublin home. Then a knock at the door mid-party changes everything …

What I think : 

Ginger who is a pleasantly plump lovely lady at size 18, has never had a boyfriend. However she’s hoping that being a bridesmaid at her best friend’s wedding will bring her some luck, and its her thirieth birthday so what can go wrong … ?

Sam is turning forty and has finally got what she’s always wanted, after a lot of false starts, she pregnant. Her little girl makes her entrance into the world on Sam’s birthday but Sam is really scared that she’s not up to the job ….

Callie has everything  could possibly want, a lovely home and a gorgeous husband. Said husband has thrown her a fiftieth birthday party and everything is going well until the police come a knocking and her husband goes missing …

what will the year ahead bring for these three women … ?

I really enjoyed this book, as usual Cathy has hit the nail right on the head. When it comes to tales of love and family Cathy is certainly your woman. She has this perfect knack of being able to weave really believable stories that have such relateable characters that you want to be friends with them and try to help them through their troubles.

The three women Ginger, Sam and Callie all encounter awful things have are or have happened to them and Cathy has managed to seamlessly bring them all together, to tell a really lovely story of finding hidden strengths.

As always, I didn’t want to put this book down as I really needed to know how it ended. Throughout the whole book there is a wonderfully warm undercurrent that makes you feel that there is some good in the world. Its the type of book that after a really bad day at work you can pick up and you feel better almost straight away.

I give this book a well- earned 9/10

5 gold stars

Published by Orion Books on 22/02/18.

A huge Thank you to Elaine Egan at Orion for the review copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

Our Little Secret – Claudia Carroll – Blog Tour.

claudia carroll

Back of the book :

Sarah Keyes has the perfect life. A high-flying job in a law firm, a beautiful daughter, and a house to die for. So how does she find herself peering though her own kitchen window while another woman enjoys it all ?

When Sarah takes pity on a struggling young graduate who can’t get a job, she thinks she’s doing the right thing. She’s just being kind, generous and helpful to others – just as she always is.

But Sarah allows the younger woman into her home, her law firm and even her family, is there more to this pretty youngster than meets the eye ? And hoe can Sarah reclaim the life she’d built ?

What I think : 

Sarah is a partner in a top law firm in Ireland, she has a sixteen year old daughter called Darcy and an ex-husband, Tom. Her life is pretty good.

One day whilst trying to get some ‘Me’ time, she decides to get her nails done in a nail bar quite close to where she has been working. Its there that she meets Lauren, a nail technician who just so happens to be doing her nails that day. As they get talking, it turns out that Lauren is newly qualified Lawyer, but she cant seem to get a job in that field. so she’s had to take a job in a nail bar. Sarah, being Sarah decides to help her, she gets her a job at her firm as an intern, she introduces her to her family and friends she even offers her a room in her home.

As time progresses, Lauren manages to insert herself into Sarah’s life, leaving not a lot of room for Sarah herself, Sarah comes to regret the decision she made that day ….

Right from the beginning of this book, I did think that Lauren’s ‘life’ story didn’t seem to ring very true. I did think that there was a few holes in her story. But I thought that maybe it was because of the prologue at the beginning of the book. (See extract) and I was on my guard.

Each chapter is dedicated to each character, mostly Sarah, Darcy and Liz (Sarah’s best Friend) there is only one chapter dedicated to Lauren and that is right at the end of the book. Each one is written from that particular characters point of view, so you get an extra insight on whats going on and what each character is feeling.

I was quite impressed with the subject change in this particular novel, throughout the book there is quite sinister vane running through it. Claudia’s books are usually about love affairs and family problems but this one has definitely got a foot in the thriller camp. it keeps you on the edge of your seat right up until the last page, which proves my point from earlier about Claudia being versatile in her writing.

If I had one complaint it would be the use of hashtags in Darcy’s chapters, I know that each chapter is supposed to be reflective of each character but it got really annoying after a while. (sorry .. )

I give this fabulous read 9/10

5 gold stars

Published by Avon (Harper Collins) on 08/02/18

A huge Thank you to the wonderful Sabah Khan at Avon for the review copy of the book.

Here for your reading pleasure is an extract from the book.

Prologue 

With a slow, sickening sense of horror, Sarah found herself peering through the darkness of night, right into her own living room window. And there it was for all to see – the happy family tableau that was playing out inside, picture perfect in every way.

The roaring log fire? Tick.

The glasses of wine served out of the good crystal? Her good crystal goblets that had been a wedding present, thanks very much. Tick.

The whole scene looked like something out of an Ikea catalogue, right down to the daintily laid out plates of bruschetta and picky dippy things artfully dotted around the coffee table.

To Sarah’s astonishment, both her ex-husband and her daughter had completely abandoned TV, iPhones and iPads and were actually playing Monopoly. (Christ, Monopoly . . . seriously?) All while she looked on, smiling happily and carefully noting down the score while the three of them laughed and joked, everyone in high spirits.

Just look at you, Sarah thought, as she stood in her own front garden, her eyes burning into the back of the woman she still thought of as her friend.

I’ve just been warned about you. I’ve been told you won’t stop till you’re actually living my life. But by the looks of it, you already are.

Did it all start such a very short time ago? Has it really only been a year since I could call my life my own?

Here, for what it’s worth, is how it all began. With a simple manicure on my lunch break, in the middle of a day, when I was stressed out of my mind. All I wanted was a snatched half-hour of time out, before heading back into the manic whirl of the Sloan Curtis offices. Nothing more.

But if I’d known then what I know now, then trust me, I’d have been a very distant speck on the horizon.

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The Last of The Summer Moet – Wendy Holden – Blog Tour.

wendy holden

Back of the Book: 

Laura Lake, deputy editor of glossy mag Society, has been promoted to the hot seat while her boss recovers from ‘exhaustion’ in rehab. finally she’s in charge, but who can she share the free jollies with ?

Not her international glamour-puss BFF Lulu, who’s left Knightsbridge for Britain’s poshest village. Lulu’s busy living the good life at her new pile Riff’s, an ex-rock star’s ex-country mansion.

But not everything in her guitar-shaped garden is lovely ; Lulu’s attempts to join the hunt, act in the panto and grow the biggest marrow are blocked by the snobbish locals.

Who does she call on for help ? Journo extraordinaire, Laura Lake …

What I think : 

Laura Lake is back !

She’s now reached the heady heights of ‘acting’ editor of fabulous mag ‘Society’. Her boss has a few ‘problems’ and has gone into ‘rehab’ to sort them out. Laura is finally where she should be, at the top !

Sometimes however, it gets lonely at the top. Best friend Lulu is nowhere to be seen, she’s left town and is living it up in the country, in Britain’s poshest village no less !  She has a fabulous new mansion. But why are the locals so snobby and unfriendly ? why wont they let Lulu join in anything ?

It seems to Lulu like she needs a bit of help, time to call in her BFF Laura Lake ….

Well, what can I say ? It was lovely having the Lovely Laura and pals back in this newest novel, getting up to god-knows what ! Some of her antics are hilarious and she always seems to mess things up.

However I did find this last serving slightly far-fetched and not really all that true to life. I thought the village characters were OK but quite unlikable. however as usual very well written.

The book was OK, a nice bit of very light reading after all the heavy thrillers I’ve been reading of late.

I give it 7/10.

four-stars

Published on 01/02/18 by Head of Zeus.

A big Thank you to Melanie Price and Netgalley for the digital review copy of the book.

Here for your reading pleasure is a small extract of the book :

Extract : 

Chapter One

Laura Lake, deputy editor of Society magazine, returned to her desk after the daily features meeting. She felt as if she had done ten rounds with Floyd Mayweather. Glancing round at her colleagues as they slunk back to their workstations, she could tell that they felt the same.

Raisy and Daisy, the interchangeable blonde sisters who shared the job of fashion director, were looking particularly crushed. Their ideas about furry lederhosen had not got past first base, still less their suggestions for directional glittery clogs. Raisy (whose name was actually Rosie, but it had taken Laura some time to realise), was dabbing at her eyes with a sequinned Chanel hanky. The fine dark brows of Thomasella the food editor were angrily drawn as well. Her contention that Bronze Age party food i.e. Ritz crackers and cheese hedgehogs was back had been thrown on the same pile as the lederhosen. Admittedly Carinthia, Society’s mercurial editor and Laura’s boss, had always been demanding.‘ The Gaze’, her famous death stare, had always had the power to reduce her staff to rubble. This was all the more remarkable given that none of them could actually see it. The opaque black sunglasses Carinthia habitually wore were, alongside those of Anna Wintour of American Vogue, the most terrifying eye wear in journalism. But people had respected this ruthlessness. Carinthia, they knew, demanded the best. Only the cleverest ideas made the cut, which was why the magazine was so successful. Those not equal to this quest for perfection could be summarily fired, like the style editor who had said neon-pink-sprayed midges were summer’s smart garden accessory. But of late Carinthia’s demands had taken on a new, lunatic edge. Staff had been told to position their chairs exactly eight centimetres from their desk edge whether or not they were sitting in them and never, upon pain of death, hang anything on the backs. Untidy desks were photographed, named and shamed, including Laura’s. Especially Laura’s, the untidiest in the office.

More bizarrely still, according to Demelza, Carinthia’s long-suffering PA, the editor had recently started consulting an astrologer. ‘She goes up to her roof and sits under a blue plastic pyramid,’ Demelza confided .‘Then she’s told which days are to be avoided.’ Demelza had showed Laura the diary. Days to be avoided had been blacked out, and Carinthia didn’t come in on them. There had been many black days lately, leaving Laura running the ship. While Laura enjoyed being in charge, and things tended to go smoother when she was, it was irritating to have the editor come back and take credit for her efforts. Or, worse, change her arrangements and cancel the features she had commissioned. But there was one feature Carinthia would not be cancelling. One that had survived the recent meeting unscathed. Laura’s upcoming interview with Savannah Bouche, the vastly famous and stunningly beautiful Hollywood actress and humanitarian. Laura had set the interview up herself and was hugely proud of having done so. All Society’s glossy rivals had been after it too; to secure it was a coup. Laura secretly hoped she had pulled it off thanks to her growing journalistic reputation. The ‘Three Weddings and a Scandal’ story had shot her into the magazine stratosphere, and the adventures of the‘ Luxury Press Trip’ in which a billionaire businessman had been unmasked as a charlatan, had only burnished her credentials further. An in-depth report of an encounter with one of the world’s most famous women would be the perfect continuation of what was promising to be a stellar career.

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