Sunday, 28 June 2015

Review of The Thirty List by Eva Woods - Four *

Review of The Thirty List by Eva Woods - Four *


Everyone has one.

That list.

The things you were supposed to do before you turn thirty.

Jobless, broke and getting a divorce, Rachel isn't exactly living up to her own expectations. And moving into grumpy single dad Patrick’s box room is just the soggy icing on top of her dreaded thirtieth birthday cake.

Eternal list-maker Rachel has a plan – an all new set of challenges to help her get over her divorce and out into the world again – from tango dancing to sushi making to stand-up comedy.

But as Patrick helps her cross off each task, Rachel faces something even harder: learning to live – and love – without a check list.


I read this in one sitting and thoroughly enjoyed it!  Rachel is a very sympathetic character - but very funny as well. Patrick is a very honest sort of bloke and I was rooting for them from the word go.

The book is very funny at times , although I felt like strangling Ian at times! In fact all Rachel's friends are as complicated as she is and the different plots made for really interesting reading.

The list of challenges was a brilliant idea. I've also done a sky dive and the description was spot on!

I look forward to Eva's next book.

I was given an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Amazon UK: The Thirty List
Amazon US: The Thirty List
Amazon Spain: The Thirty List

Review of The Woman Who Fell in Love for a Week by Fiona Walker - Four*

Review of The Woman Who Fell in Love for a Week by Fiona Walker - Four*


Dive into a summer of surprises . . .

Jenny loves to house-sit: looking after a stranger's perfect home and pretending to be someone else - just for a bit. Her latest booking is a beautiful rambling country house owned by the glamorous Lewis family. Freed of teaching duties for the summer, Jenny plans to do nothing more challenging than walk the family's badly behaved dog and laze by the pool.

Her idyll is disrupted by skeletons in the Lewis closet. Stumbling across hidden messages and passionate secrets, Jenny finds herself exposing far more than just home truths. She uncovers a seductive second chance: to open herself up to love again and to finally live life on her own terms.


I have read a couple of books by Fiona Walker and they are usually light hearted romps with slightly OTT characters. This is a very different kettle of fish. To start with, it seemed to be going the usual route with almost slap-stick comedy but once Euan appears, things get somewhat darker.

It becomes a very emotional, almost tortuous book. The fact that it all takes place during a heatwave adds to the passion and sexual tension.

I felt sorry for poor Roger but he never really stood a chance once Jenny and Euan met.
The ending was lovely and almost felt like a reward for the reader - having come through some heavy times with Jenny!

All in all I think I preferred this more serious book - and Gunter was fabulous!

Review of Afternoon Tea at the Sunflower Cafe by Milly Johnson - Five *

Review of Afternoon Tea at the Sunflower Cafe by Milly Johnson - Five *


Her marriage is all washed up. It's time for a clean start... 

Connie Diamond has always been her husband Jimmy's best girl or so she thought. But then she discovers that he s been playing away for the past twenty-four years, and that the chocolates she believed he bought her as a sign of his love were just a cover-up, and she is determined to get revenge.

Along with Della Frostick, Jimmy's right-hand woman at his cleaning firm, Diamond Shine, Connie decides to destroy Jimmy's life from the inside. Together they will set up a rival business called Lady Muck, and along with the cleaning ladies who meet at the Sunflower Café, they'll make him wish he had never so much as looked at another woman. 

Then Connie meets the charming Brandon Locke, a master chocolatier, whose kind chocolate-brown eyes start to melt her soul. Can the ladies of the Sunflower Café help Connie scrub away the hurt? And can Brandon cure her affliction and make her smile again...?


As part of Team Milly, I was so excited when the postman delivered my pre-launch book. I loved the cover and couldn't wait to get started.

As always, Afternoon Tea is so much more than a romance, or another "chick lit" book. Milly's characters are always deep and have stories to tell. I won't repeat the blurb - suffice to say this book is all about revenge being best served cold. Della and Connie make a great team under the disguise of Lady Muck (great name for a cleaning company!) The other characters all compliment each other well. Cheryl is a particularly sympathetic woman, and Astrid.......well, Astrid made me laugh out loud!

I loved how Connie changed as the book went on and she grew in confidence. At the start you assume she is quite old, but as her character and confidence grow, you realise that isn't the case!

The Sunflower Cafe features quite a lot as the safe haven for all the women. It is there they can talk freely and really get to know one another.

As I said, I couldn't wait to get started but started reading more and more slowly because I didn't want it to end!

Thank you, Milly, for another lovely, heart-warming book. And thank you for the Team Milly acknowledgement too!

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Sorry I've been a bit quiet recently - I've been soaking up the Spanish sun! Blogging is almost impossible on an iPad, so I've concentrated on reading. Next week, there will be a lot of reviews coming as I've read about 20 books since I've been away! 

After next week, I'll be recovering from an operation so there will be more reading and blogging!

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Review of Among a Thousand Stars by Jo Bartlett - Four *

Review of Among a Thousand Stars by Jo Bartlett - Four *


When her mother turns up naked and proud during her first term at college, Ashleigh Hayes assumes that life can’t get any more embarrassing. Ten years later, with best friend Stevie at her side, and a successful career as a freelance photographer for monthly magazine Glitz, it looks like she might have finally got the hang of things. Only she seems to have inherited the embarrassment gene from her mother and her every encounter with new boss, Tom Rushworth, looks set to send her career spiralling backwards. Getting past their shaky start, Ashleigh and Tom embark on a relationship that was only ever meant to be a bit of fun. But when life, paparazzi and love-sick Labradors get in the way, they suddenly find themselves caught in a roller coaster ride of emotions.


Don't normally enjoy "glitterati" type books but was pleasantly surprised by this one.

I loved the contrast between Tom and Ashleigh and all the other people in their lives. Tom and Ashleigh are relatively normal but the other characters are way over the top - but in a good way! I also loved Carol and Stevie - must have been such fun to write about them!

Jo's writing style is very easy to read and I raced through the book. It seemed so many times as if Happy Ever Afters were not going to happen that I began to despair.

Loved the change of scenes - London, South coast and Vegas. The action moved seamlessly between the different places.

Will definitely look for more books by Jo.

Was given an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 

Amazon US:  Among a Thousand Stars

Friday, 12 June 2015

Review of Midsummer Dreams by Alison May - Five *

Review of Midsummer Dreams by Alison May - Five *


Four people. Four messy lives. One night that changes everything … 

Emily is obsessed with ending her father’s new relationship – but is blind to the fact that her own is far from perfect. 

Dominic has spent so long making other people happy that he’s hardly noticed he’s not happy himself. 

Helen has loved the same man, unrequited, for ten years. Now she may have to face up to the fact that he will never be hers. 

Alex has always played the field. But when he finally meets a girl he wants to commit to, she is just out of his reach. 

At a midsummer wedding party, the bonds that tie the four friends together begin to unravel and show them that, sometimes, the sensible choice is not always the right one.


"Ill met by moonlight, proud Titania". Thus says Oberon in A Midsummer Night's Dream. I didn't read the blurb before I read the book (I trust Chic Lit implicitly!) and was delighted to discover my friends from the magical forest of Shakespeare!

I loved the characters and how they blended with their literary counterparts. It was a beautifully tangled plot - the Bard would have been pleased! 

The scenes on Midsummer Night were brilliantly described and the "magic" cleverly integrated. Was impressed with the way all the minor characters were tied in with the action of the main characters.. Although I did feel like chasing Emily a few times!

This is my first Alison May book and I am looking forward to reading her others.

I was given an ARC by the publisher Choc Lit via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Amazon UK: Midsummer Dreams
Amazon US: Midsummer Dreams

Review of Summer by the Sea by Jenny Hale - Four *

Review of Summer by the Sea by Jenny Hale - Four *


Summer by the Sea is a beautiful, heart-warming summer read about sisters, first love and not always getting what we want – but sometimes ending up with exactly what we need

They say there’s always one summer that changes you.

For Faith the one summer she can’t forget is when she fell in love as a teenager – only for her sister, Casey, to steal her man. Now, at the request of her beloved ninety-year-old Grandmother, Faith has agreed to a family holiday – at their childhood beach house, where it all began. 

Faith hasn't seen her sister in years but is finally ready to forgive and forget, enjoy the sunshine and relive happy memories. What she’s not ready for is meeting Jake Buchanan – the owner of the beach house – or the long-forgotten feelings he ignites in her. 

Can Faith overcome the hurt of the past, rekindle the close bond she had with Casey and make this summer THE ONE to remember? 


What a lovely romantic read! Took me a few chapters to get into the book but I enjoyed the story and all the characters. It's a straightforward story about two sisters, their family and two men. 

The descriptions of the coast and the villages in North Carolina were lovely and I appreciated Faith's concern for them. 

A perfect summer read!

I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Amazon UK: Summer by the Sea
Amazon US: Summer by the Sea
Amazon Spain: Summer by the Sea

Thursday, 11 June 2015

A review of Somewhere Only We Know by Erin Lawless - Five *

A review of Somewhere Only We Know by Erin Lawless - Five *


Boy meets girl…

Alex Bradley can't help but feel that life is rather passing him by. And not just life – promotions, invitations, romance; the girl he loves only has eyes for his flatmate and his 9-5 job as the Immigration department skivvy is slowly numbing his soul. Until he meets Nadia.

Girl meets boy…

Nadia Osipova is running out of time. With no money, no lawyer and a totally fictitious boyfriend, she’s got one last summer and one last appeal before the British government deport her back home.

Girl gets deported?

It's going to be a bumpy ride, one she's dragging her new friend Alex along for. As Nadia races through a list of all her favourite London adventures, for what may be the last time, Alex can’t help but start to see the city, and his life, through Nadia’s eyes.

From hazy summer days on the Common and heady nights in Soho’s basement bars, to twilight walks along the Southbank, will Alex realise what he’s got before it’s too late?

Funny, addictive and always honest, this is a love letter to London, friendship and the unexpected from the author of the bestselling The Best Thing I Never Had.


This is a very contemporary romance and is a really good read. Alex & Nadia form a friendship after meeting, but Nadia's probable deportation back to Russia hangs over them. The friendship develops against a backdrop of the best London has to offer.

The friends involved with both of them are strong characters as well - although Nadia wins hands down for a BIG personality!

This is a great summer read - set in a hot London with the theme of immigration as a strong thread. Will definitely look out for more from Erin.

I was given an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Amazon Spain: Somewhere Only We Know

Sunday, 7 June 2015

A Review of The Island Escape by Kerry Fisher - Four *

A Review of The Island Escape by Kerry Fisher - Four *


Can one woman’s marriage survive her best friend’s divorce? Fans of Veronica Henry and Erica James, this is the next book to add to your reading list.

It’s time to get back to where it all began…

Octavia Sheldon thought she’d have a different life. One where she travelled the world with an exotic husband and free-spirited children in tow. But things didn’t turn out quite like that.
Married to safe, reliable Jonathan, her life now consists of packed lunches, school runs and more loads of dirty washing than she ever thought possible. She’s not unhappy. It’s just that she can barely recognise herself any longer.

So as Octavia watches her best friend’s marriage break up, it starts her thinking. What if life could be different? What if she could escape and get back to the person she used to be? Escape back to the island where she spent her summers? And what if the man she used to love was there waiting for her…?


A story of what is, what was and what might be....

The opening line grabs you and you are hooked until the last word.

The blurb is a little misleading. This is the story of Octavia AND her friend Roberta, of marriage, of might-have-beens and children. The chapters alternate between the two women and this is a great method of seeing the same things from two different perspectives.

I loved both women for different reasons. Roberta for breaking away from a bully and then building herself up again. And Octavia for not being a product of her name and her indecisiveness. She is torn between her husband and 3 children and the life she knows, but hates - and her previous love in Corsica.

How all the different threads tie in together is really well done. At one stage it seems impossible that either women could have their happiness. And that lasts to almost the end of the book.

I love that I am reading new authors through my Kindle and Kerry is one I will look out for again.

I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Amazon UK: The Island Escape

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

A review of Ladies Who Launch by Milly Johnson - Five**

Review of Ladies Who Launch by Milly Johnson - Five**


An exclusive ebook short story from top ten bestseller Milly Johnson. Also includes a sneak peek of her new novel Afternoon Tea at the Sunflower Cafe.

Angie Silverton and Selina Molloy have not always been friends. Best pals at school, they fell out over a man, and it was only when they both missed a ship in Here Come the Boys that they found friendship again. 

Now they are reunited again and life since their adventure on the Mermadia has been anything but boring. Did Selina stick with her horrible husband Zander? What happened to Angie and Gill when they stepped off the ship? And what does the future hold for the friends?

Join Selina and Angie as they take afternoon tea at The Sunflower Cafe to find out.




Lovely to read a follow up - with a link in it to the next full length book! So glad to find out what happened to Serena and Angie! And lovely to meet the ladies who will be taking Afternoon Tea at the Sunflower Cafe. A great little short story to keep me going :)

Amazon UK: Ladies Who Launch
Amazon US: Ladies Who Launch