Obsession – Amanda Robson ~Blog Tour.

img_0620-1

 

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.

BLOG TOUR.png

A Bit Quiet …

Hello lovely book people,

Just a quick ‘note’ to let you know why things have been a bit quiet on the blog of late. 

Firstly I’d like to say that I haven’t stopped reading and reviewing by any means, however I’m just having a lot of trouble finding actual time to read. 

I started a new job at the start of the year, changing jobs was supposed to make my life a lot easier. I dropped my hours from 30 to 21.5 so I could have a little bit of extra time at home, however the fates had different ideas ! My manager decided to leave which meant, as I am supervisor, I would have to pick up the slack and do many more hours … 

Whilst the money comes in real handy, needless to say my precious time with my family and my books hasn’t happened, I’m working many more hours than expected! Not to mention the fact that by the time I get home at night all I want to do is fall into bed, which means my books are being left unopened on the night stand. I used to read two or three books a week, now I’m lucky if  I get through one 😦

But there is light at the end of the tunnel, we are getting a new Manager very soon and hopefully things will slacken off at work and I’ll get those precious hours I crave. So please keep your fingers crossed for me. 🙂

At the moment I’m reading ‘Obsession’ by Amanda Robson which I’m reviewing as part of the blog tour, so please look out for that on Sunday 7th May.

Please don’t give up on me and the blog, I promise I will be back. Hopefully life won’t get in the way so much 🙂 

That’s all for now folks 

Happy Reading 

xxx 

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 banner

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

C.L Taylor

 

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.thumbnail_BLOG TOUR

Laura Lake and the Hipster Weddings – Wendy Holden.

Wendy Holden

 

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.

You Said Forever – Susan Lewis.

Susan Lewis

 

 

Back of the book : 

Charlotte Goodman is living the dream.

Surrounded by family, friends and a stunning vineyard overlooking the ocean, it would be difficult for anyone to believe that she has had a troubled past.

However, haunted by the theft of a young girl, Charlotte begins to realise the enormity of something she did many years ago, and soon finds herself having to make the most harrowing decision any woman could ever have to face …

 

What I think : 

Charlotte and Chloe moved to New Zealand five years ago, before that Charlotte was known as Alex Lake and Chloe was known as Ottilie. Charlotte was a social worker that snatched Chloe from her abusive father, who went on to kill Chloe’s mother. (He is currently serving a prison sentence for that crime) and they both fled to her mother, who lives in New Zealand, after a few lovely months together, the British police caught up with Charlotte and Chloe and brought them both home. Charlotte was tried for kidnap, however because of certain circumstances she got off and was able to adopt Chloe. They both returned to New Zealand and with the help of her family, started a new life together.

Whilst on trial for kidnap, Charlotte met Anthony, a top notch lawyer who went to court with her and helped her get off the charges. They started a relationship and ended up getting married. When Charlotte returned to New Zealand Anthony went with her and fulfilled his dream of buying and running a vineyard.

Things went well to start with and Charlotte and Anthony had two more children, Cooper who is four and Elodie who is eighteen months. However, a couple of years on there’s trouble in her marriage, the vineyard has run into financial problems and Chloe has gone from a sweet child to a living nightmare.

Can Charlotte fix her marriage and sort Chloe out without seeking professional help or will she have to make some decision’s that she’ll regret forever …. ?

This is a follow up book from Susan’s previous books ‘No Child of Mine’ and ‘Don’t let me go’. I really love her books and was really excited to discover that Susan was publishing another book and it would be a ‘catch-up’ from Charlotte/Alex Lake. Her books are brilliant because she always writes about current and worthwhile topics, sometimes its hard to read but it always gets to the heart of the matter.

I really enjoyed this book, there are so many twists and turns, too many to mention really, that I really couldn’t put it down. Again the characters are superbly written, and so really believable.

All I can say is that this is another unmissable book from Susan, I give it a really well earned 10/10. 5 gold stars

Published by Century (Penguin, Random House) on 09/02/17.

I got my copy from WHSmith for £8.00.

About Last Night …. – Catherine Alliott.

 

Catherine Alliott

 

Back of the book :

Molly has moved from London to rural Herefordshire, chasing the Good Life. Swapping the tube for the saddle, she is living the country dream.

Except that it isn’t really her dream. It’s her husband David’s. And David is, well, rather dead now.

Then a distant relative of her late husband kicks the bucket, leaving a London townhouse in her possession, and Molly dares to consider chucking it all in. Quitting the Good Life and going back to her good life.

But there is a problem. In the shape of a man already living in Molly’s new house. And when a face appears from her past, Molly is more confused than ever.

Will Molly’s London dream replace her muddy reality ? Do any of the men in her life really have honourable intentions ? And has she said goodbye to the country too soon ?

 

What I think :

Molly and David moved to the Herefordshire around five years ago. It was David’s dream to move to the country from the hustle and bustle of London. The only trouble is, that after only living his ‘dream’ for five and a half weeks, David had a car accident and died, leaving Molly and their three children, Lucy, Minna and Nico. Ever since David’s death Molly has struggled to make ends meet. What with running the farm, feeding the animals, Turning her hand at selling the oddest things and fending off the bailiff’s (even although her particular Bailiff, Tia is lovely) she realises that something needs to give.

Then out of the blue, David’s uncle Cuthbert dies, and seeing as she’s the only living relative left on David’s side of the family, it seem’s she’s inherited his house in London and quite a bit of money. She’s quite undecided on what to do for the best. Does she sell the farm and move to London, or does she Sell the house in London and do up the farm ?

There is however, a sticky point, there is a older gentleman already living at the house and how does the handsome Felix fit into the whole thing ?  When a face from her distant past returns into her life, bringing secrets she though she’d buried with David, she’s more confused than ever. What’s Molly to do  ?

I’m so pleased about this book, it seems far too long since Catherine published a new one. It was really worth the wait as this book is quite fabulous.

I really loved Molly’s character, she was so down to earth and normal, Her life mirrors half of the populations, apart from the inheritance of course ! It has some really excellent laugh out loud moments as well as some serious moments too. The relationship between Holly and her daughters is quite typical, however I did find Nico slightly spoilt. And don’t get me started on felix, I really didn’t like him at all !!

I really wanted to be Holly’s friend and try and help her through all those important choices she had to make. I also thought it was a fabulous ending too. Like I said at the start of this review this book was a long time coming but really worth the wait. I really hope the next one isn’t quite as long !

I give this really excellent yarn about love and family a really well-earned 9/10.

5 gold stars

Published by Penguin (Michael Joseph) on 09/03/17.

I purchased my copy of the book from Waterstones £9.99.