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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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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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The Angel – Katerina Diamond ~ Blog Tour.

 

kat diamond

Back of the book : 

The truth won’t stay looked away forever …

When a burnt body is found in a disused signal box, suspicion falls on lonely teenager Gabriel Webb. There’s no doubt he was at the scene of the crime, but does he really deserve what awaits him in prison ?

DS Imogen Grey is certain there’s more to the case, but while she struggles to convince others of the truth, her partner DS Adrian Miles is distracted by his own demons.

When a brutal double murder is reported, their investigation stops short. The duo realise Gabriel might be locked up for a crime he didn’t commit – but with enemies watching his every move, they might be too late …

 

What I think : 

A charred body is found in a old signal box by the railway track in Exeter, Is goth Gabriel Webb to blame ? Yes, he was there at the scene of the crime on the day it happened. But was it him that actually committed the crime ?

DS Imogen Grey and DS Adrian Miles are on the case, and something just isn’t adding up. However Adrian has other things on his mind, his son’s new step-father isn’t all he seems and his son thinks that he’s up to no good. Adrian has already had Dominic investigated and found a few disturbing things, however nothing that sticks.

They have Gabriel in custody and he is on remand in prison, however when there is a brutal double murder of an elderly couple and their dog, again things don’t quite seem as they should do. Have they really got the right person in custody after all ?

Poor Gabriel isn’t fairing very well in prison, things seem to happen to his cell mates, they’re taken off to the hospital wing never to be seen again, and he seems to be being watched constantly, and not just by the screws. There is something quite sinister going on and the screws just seem to turn a blind eye ….

Will Imogen and Adrian be able to solve these crimes before its too late …. ?

This is a really fast-paced, dark novel. Right from the beginning there is something going on. it had me riveted.

Again we are reunited with DS Imogen Grey and her partner DS Adrian Grey,  Imogen is struggling, she knows she needs to keep her mind on the case, however she has Dean her ex-convict boyfriend on her mind, she doesn’t know where she stands with him. He’s still acting strangely and blocking her out. Adrian is still trying to figure out what Dominic (his ex-wife’s new husband) is up to. He knows that he’s involved in something bad but he doesn’t know what. He fearing for his son and his ex-wife. He wouldn’t hurt them, would he ?

The characters are brilliantly written and there is one massive twist at the end. All in all this is another fabulous third novel from the pen of Ms Diamond. I can’t wait for the next one !

I give this marvellous book 9/10 ( 5 Stars )

5 gold stars

Published by Avon on 21/09/17.

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

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

Extract ….

Extract Five from Chapter One, pp 17-18

It had started to spit. As they approached the fence, Gabriel saw two guys in their late teens standing waiting for them, hoods pulled up against the rain. Leanne yanked up some of the chicken wire fencing and disappeared behind it. Gabriel and Emma followed. The disused signal box near Exeter Central station was a known hangout for some of the less savoury characters that Leanne was friends with. As they made their way down, Gabriel heard a commotion and the sound of glass smashing; he was kind of excited at the rebelliousness of it all. In Gabriel’s eyes, the only thing worse than being bored was listening to his parents either fighting or fucking. Tonight was going to be far from boring, he would make sure of it.

Gabriel had seen the boys by the tracks in town before; they were Laners. Laners were the scum of the city as far as most people were concerned. Burnthouse Lane had a reputation for being home to some of the more violent members of local society. Between the ASBOs and the muggings there was little love left for the Laners. The kids were left to fend for themselves and the adults just did what they wanted. There was no community feel to the Lane, except among the teens. Several of the boys claimed to be the offspring of the Sly crew, the firm of football thugs that supported Exeter FC and made a name for themselves in the eighties. The Sly crew were not only well known for their random acts of violence, but also their almost myth-like status. None of the teens were sure if they had ever actually existed or not, which somehow made them even more terrifying to boys like Gabriel growing up. Everyone from the Lane had a story about the Sly crew, usually exaggerated to the point where they had witnessed a murder or were owed a massive favour that they could call in at any time.

Inside, the signal box was set up like an office, with all the levers chained to the wall, although most likely no longer connected to the tracks. There were three large chairs facing the centre and various wrappers, bottles, needles and other rubbish lying around the place. Gabriel stayed standing, aware that they may need to start running at any moment if anyone figured out they were in there. Emma wrapped her arms around herself, rubbing her arms as though she was cold and huddling up on a chair, crossing her legs to stay warmer.

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The Original Ginny Moon -Benjamin Ludwig ~ Blog Tour.

ginny moon

 

Back of the book :

The Original Ginny Moon’s painfully honest narrator is Ginny, a girl with autism living in a world that just doesn’t add up. Five years ago the police forcibly removed her from the home of her abusive mother Gloria.

Now fourteen and in her fourth Forever Home, Ginny is hell-bent on returning to her mothers apartment – despite knowing how dangerous that could be – to find something she insists she hid under the bed.

Ginny will steal, lie, plan her own kidnapping and tear apart every shred of the normal, stable life she currently has, just to find what she has left on the furthest edge of forever …

 

What I think :

Ginny Moon has at last got a Forever Mum and a Forever dad, (for the fourth time !) and she’s trying very hard to be good. However its proving very hard.

Ginny has autism and when she was nine years old the police came and took her away from her abusive and drug addict mum, Gloria.

Ever since then all Ginny wants to do is go back to the apartment to collect her ‘Baby Doll’ from the suitcase under the bed. Even although its very dangerous for her, she wants Gloria to ‘Kidnap’ her so she can get back to the home they once shared to get her ‘Baby Doll’, its very important to her. She has sent messages and told her the address In the hope that Gloria will come for her. Gloria has a restraining order preventing her from coming into contact with Ginny so its proving a bit problematic.

Will Ginny get back to the apartment, on the other side of Forever, to get the ‘Baby doll’ in the suitcase, or is it far too late …. ?

I really loved this sweet and gentle story about an autistic girl living in our ‘normal’ world. how is copes with life even although she had a pretty awful start to life.

I must admit I wasn’t too sure when I read the blurb on the back of the book, I didn’t think it was my kind of book. However it had me enchanted right from the first page to the last. It gathers you up and gently pulls you in.

The story is written in Ginny’s voice, so we find out exactly what she is thinking and feeling and also what she wants and what she must have, at any cost. its quite comical in places and very dry.

The author has done a fantastic job of conveying how Ginny’s thought processes happen, and even although she hasn’t been abused for five years, how it has affected her for possibly the rest of her life.

I really adored this debut novel and really hope that the author writes many more.

I give this lovely book 10/10. (5 stars)

5 gold stars

Published on 01/06/17 by HQ (Midas)

A very big Thank you to Samantha Evans at HQ for the review copy of the book.

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Obsession – Amanda Robson ~Blog Tour.

 

obession

Back of the book :

One evening a wife asks her husband a question : who else would you go for, if you could ? Its a simple question – a little game – that will destroy her life … 

Carly and Rob are a perfect couple. They share happy lives with their children and their close friends Jenni and Craig. They’re lucky. But beneath the surface, no relationship is simple : can another woman’s husband and another man’s wife ever be just good friends ?

Little by little, Carly’s question sends her life spiralling out of control, as she begins to doubt everything she has thought was true. Who can she trust ? The man she has promised to stick by forever, or the best friend she has known for years ? And is Carly being entirely honest with either of them ?

 

What I think : 

Carly is married to local doctor Rob, she also works at the surgery herself as the practice nurse. They have three children together, Pippa, John and Matthew. They have a really good life together.

Its whilst on a camping holiday with the children, in a moment of boredom, that Carly asks Rob a question, ‘ Who would you go for, if you could?’ after a moments thought Rob answers “Jenni’ I like Jenni. Jenni is married to Craig and they have been Carly and Rob’s best friends since the girls met at anti-natal classes years ago.

Its this question and its answer that starts a world of pain for everybody involved. It also starts an Obsession for Carly’s that she has no power over …

Wow ! this is an exceptional book, I really loved it from start to finish.

On the surface it looks although Carly and rob have a good life, a wonderful marriage, but scratch the surface bit and you discover cracks. Carly is quite a reluctant mother that is quite bored with her life. It would also seem that their friends Jenni and Craig’s marriage isn’t quite as wonderful as they make out either.

All the chapters in the story are short and from the point of view from each character, which I must admit did confuse me slightly to start with.

I found the book very dark and intense, it had a lot going on, all of the time. With many twists and turns you have to put the book down for a bit to work out what is going on. Which I thought wasn’t a bad thing as it really made me think about what I was reading.

The characters are very complex and I think they came across as human, they all behaved in a way that any person would that was in that sort of situation. What I think I’m trying to say is that I found them believable and relatable.

I was having a bit of a book slump ( where you aren’t able to pick up a book and read because you just can’t read ) before I started to read this one, however I just couldn’t put this book down. I read it in just over two days !

With a title like ‘Obsession’ I was really wondering what to expect, however I became quite ‘Obsessed’ myself, I really needed to find out how it ended. And talking of endings, the one in this book is quite superb, I really didn’t see that coming !!! I will say no more apart from go out and buy this book and get reading today, Its Brilliant !!

I give this spectacular thriller 10/10 (5 stars )

5 gold stars

Published by Avon Books on 04/05/17 on Ebook and 01/06/17 in Paperback.

A huge Thank you to Helena Sheffield for the review copy of the book.

Here for your reading pleasure is a extract of the book for you to enjoy …

Extract : 

Sitting at my desk, I switch the computer on to check my patient list. Eight patients this morning. Two breast checks. Three blood tests. Three sets of travel injections. As I press the buzzer for my first patient, the shadow that started following me on holiday begins to darken.

The shadow is no lighter when I finish at the surgery and am on my way to meet you, Jenni. You are waiting for me after work at the coffee shop, by the bus stop in the centre of town. I see you through the window as I move past the bus queue – sending a text from your iPhone, your glossy hair tumbling across your face. As soon as I enter the coffee shop you look up and beam at me, as if seeing me is the most important part of your day. Jenni, you always try to make people feel like that. As if they are important. It is one of your tricks. I know that now. When we first met, I fell for it.

We knew each other at nursing college, didn’t we, Jenni? But only from a distance. You weren’t really my type. Christian Union. No make-up. Didn’t look men in the eye. Rumour had it you didn’t go out on Saturday nights, stayed in to prepare your mind for the Lord on Sunday. Jenni. What were you like?

Our paths crossed again on a couples’ night nearly six years ago at our local NCT co-ordinator’s house, stranded together like beached whales on a low-slung sofa, so heavily pregnant that we could hardly change positions. Mark and John incu­bating inside us, almost ready to be born. I was the expert because I already had Pippa. You were stick thin except for your bump, which overwhelmed you, looking so worried as the NCT co-ordinator droned on about Braxton Hicks contractions and TENS machines and whether they worked. I looked at you as you listened, chocolate brown eyes closed in fear, and wanted to protect you. To hold you against me and tell you it’s not as bad as it sounds. (Even though with Pippa it was far worse.)

At the end of the meeting we went to the pub, I can’t remember which one of the four of us suggested it, but we all thought it was a good idea. We went to the White Swan, down by the river at the end of our road. A cold October night, sitting by the fire drinking orange juice and tonic water whilst the men cradled their pints. We were so engrossed in our own conversation, we didn’t talk to them much. It took me so long to find you, Jenni, the first female friend I really cared about. All through school and university, men had been my compan­ions. Women can be so bitchy, don’t you think? So temperamental. Men are kinder. Simpler. I had up to this point socialised with them more as a rule. But then came the female-dominated world of pregnancy and early childhood that led me to you.

Today, with Mark and John at school, and another birth behind each of us, we hug clumsily across a small wooden table in the coffee shop opposite the surgery. Across the coffee you are already halfway through drinking. Across the crumbs of someone else’s cake. I sit down on an uncomfortable wooden stool, which scrapes across the floor as I position it.

‘How was your holiday?’ you ask.

‘Awful.’

‘That wasn’t what Rob said.’

Your words punch into me.

‘When did you see Rob?’ I ask.

‘I didn’t. He texted me.’

‘Texted you?’

‘Because he was worried about you.’

You wave and smile at the waitress, who starts to weave towards our table.

We order fresh coffee for you, and chocolate cake and cappuc­cino for me. The waitress presses our order into a small handheld machine and disappears to the next table.

‘Why is Rob so worried about me?’

‘He said you weren’t yourself on holiday. You didn’t seem to enjoy spending time with the children, apparently.’

‘Well, did you when you were on holiday?’

Your toffee brown eyes widen as you look at me.

‘Yes.’

Yes?

Jenni. You sanctimonious, husband-stealing bitch.

 

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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.

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