Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Fifty Shades of Roxie Brown by Lynda Renham

Book Description:

Roxie Brown loves erotica and her friend, Sylvie, loves crime... novels of course. On a girls' night out they meet The Great Zehilda, the tea leaf reader, and suddenly Roxie's Fifty Shades fantasies about her millionaire boss, Ark Morgan, look about to become a reality. But then she looks through the telescope and her life us turned upside down. Roxie and Sylvie, with help from Sylvie's flatmate, Felix, set out to crack the case. Can Ark Morgan save her or is he the man she should be running from? Then enter Sam Lockwood and her heart is shot with another arrow. Come with Roxie Brown on her hilarious crime-busting romantic adventure and discover if the love of her life is the man of her dreams or if the man she loves is her worst nightmare. 

My Review: 

First off I want to thank Lynda for sending me a copy of another fantastic book to review - you never disappoint!

This is such an entertaining rom com that had me laughing out loud with every turn of the page. There is some great scenes between Roxie, Sylvie and Felix. We have a bit of everything in this book - romance meets crime, comedy, friendship. Lynda delivers a brilliant story with a clever ending that I didn't see coming. The characters are well developed and we get a glimpse from the view point of each of the three friends. I could not put it down. I can't wait to read more from Lynda!

This is a must read! 

Enjoy!

Kind regards,
Ailish 



Tuesday, 4 August 2015

The Right Side of Mr Wrong by Jane Linfoot


BOOK DESCRIPTION


One-off, moving on sex, wasn’t meant to be this hot…

When determined singleton Shea Summers is persuaded to become the “wife” of the Lord of Edgerton Manor, the last thing she wants to do is play house with a stranger.

Brooding playboy Brando Marshall is far from happy when Shea turns up at his sprawling estate with production crew in tow. Surely she’s just another woman after his wallet? And if she’s looking for Mr Right, she’s definitely hitting on the wrong guy. Then again, after catching an unscheduled glimpse of her knickers, perhaps Brando needs to teach this “gold-digger” a lesson!

She’s seizing the moment, he’s breaking the rules, and when bad boys can be so much fun, who can resist getting on the right side of Mr. Wrong…




MY REVIEW

*Book provided by author in exchange for an honest review*

Well let me start off by thanking Jane Linfoot for very kindly sending me The Right Side of Mr Wrong to review. I have enjoyed all her books immensely. 


First things first I have to comment on the fabulous cover - girls the SHOES!

This was such an entertaining read that grabs you from the very first page when you know you are going to love this book. Our two main characters are Shea (that rhymes with day) Summers and Brando Marshall who are thrown together by a stately home based reality show. Shea was instantly a likeable character; feisty, fun, intelligent and the handsome playboy Brando who we see another side to thanks to Shea.

While there is an immediate chemistry between the two of them with plenty of flirting and teasing, they both have a past and are trying to confront their issues. This is handled sensitively by Jane whose writing is very passionate and creates a very realistic atmosphere through the various scenes in the narrative.

This was an uplifting read that never really faltered - the pace was fast right from the start. If you love a romantic read then look no further this is the book for you! 



https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1334010646?book_show_action=false



Enjoy!

Kind regards,
Ailish 

Friday, 5 June 2015

Summer at the Lake by Erica James

Summer at the Lake by Erica JamesDear Reader,

BOOK DESCRIPTION:

It was a wedding invitation that changed everything for Floriana. If she hadn't been so distracted at the thought of having to witness the one true love of her life get married, she would have seen the car coming and there would have been no need for elderly spinster Esme Silcox and local property developer Adam Strong to rush to her aid. If she hadn't met them she would never have had the courage to agree to attend Seb's wedding in Lake Como. For Esme, Lake Como awakens memories of when she stayed at the lake as a 19-year-old girl and fell in love for the first time. So often she's wondered what happened to the man who stole her heart all those years ago, a man who changed the course of her life.


MY REVIEW:

What a superb novel - Erica James never disappoints.

This story is partly set in Oxford and in the beautiful Italian Lakes.
Floriana, a tour guide, while walking home is knocked down by a car. This traumatic event leads her to finding two new friends. Property developer Adam and elderly Esme who go to her aid and despite all three being very different, they find a connection in each other and stay in touch following Floriana’s accident.

Summer at the Lake, had a great cast of characters and I loved all three of the main characters, they each brought something different to the book– the bubbly Floriana, Adam, serious but kind hearted and the wise Esme who dishes out great advice. I was so engrossed in their stories that I was unable put the book down.

Esme's story really tugged at the heartstrings. It was a part of the story that captured me. She never married and lived with her cat Euridice. In the 1950’s as a young woman, she and her father travelled to Hotel Margherita at Lake Como. This journey would have life changing consequences for Esme and decades later, she returns to Lake Como with Floriana and Adam. Not only is it a chance for Esme to put the past to rest but Floriana also faces the heartache of watching her once best friend and love, marry someone else.

Floriana, Adam and Esme's story is wonderfully linked together with such detailed descriptions of the Italian lakeside that you feel you are there with them. I was sad to come to the end of the book.

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1290475853?book_show_action=false


Enjoy!

Kind regards,
Ailish

Thursday, 14 May 2015

The Grand Reopening of Dandelion Cafe (Cherry Pie Island, #1) by Jenny Oliver

Dear Reader,


The Grand Reopening of Dandelion Café (Cherry Pie Island, #1)

BOOK DESCRIPTION:

Welcome to Jenny Oliver’s brand new Cherry Pie Island series!

Home, Sweet Home….?

There’s nowhere more deliciously welcoming...

When Annie White steps back onto Cherry Pie Island, it’s safe to say her newly inherited Dandelion Café has seen better days! And while her childhood home on the Thames-side island idyll is exactly the same retreat from the urban bustle of London she remembers, Annie’s not convinced that Owner of The Dandelion Cafe is a title she’ll be keeping for long. Not that she can bear the idea of letting her dedicated, if endearingly disorganized staff lose their jobs. Plus café life does also have the added bonus of working a stone’s throw away from millionaire Matt and his disarmingly charming smile!

One (shoestring budget) café makeover, a few delightful additions to the somewhat retro menu and a lot of cherry pie tastings later, The Dandelion Café is ready for its grand reopening! But once she’s brought the dilapidated old café back to life, Annie finds herself wishing her stay on the island was just a bit longer. She always intended to go back to the big city…but could island living finally have lured her back home for good?



MY REVIEW:


What a great way to begin the Cherry Pie Island series. First off what a gorgeous cover - love the sky blue. I just knew by the cover that this was going to be brilliant and of course its written by Jenny Oliver!

We meet Annie White who finds herself in a dilemma. She has inherited the run down Dandelion Café which is not in the best of shape but there is something about it that is tugging on the heart strings. Annie decides to bring it back to life. She has made some past mistakes and there is certain people that will not let her forget this. Her know-it-all brother does not agree that Annie should re-open the café so she is determined to prove him wrong and with plenty of help from a great cast of characters, Annie is on a mission.

This was such a feel good story. It was warm and atmospheric. I enjoyed reading about the steps Annie took to kind of reinvent herself. I look forward to the second instalment. Well done, Jenny!


Enjoy!


https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1267179485?book_show_action=false


Kind regards,
Ailish


Tuesday, 12 May 2015

The House We Grew Up In by Lisa Jewell

Dear Reader,


BOOK DESCRIPTION:


The House We Grew Up In by Lisa JewellMeet the Bird Family

All four children have an idyllic childhood: a picture-book cottage in a country village, a warm, cosy kitchen filled with love and laughter, sun-drenched afternoons in a rambling garden.
But one Easter weekend a tragedy strikes the Bird family that is so devastating that, almost imperceptibly, it begins to tear them apart.
The years pass and the children become adults and begin to develop their own quite separate lives. Soon it's almost as though they've never been a family at all.
Almost.
But not quite.
Because something has happened that will call them home, back to the house they grew up in - and to what really happened that Easter weekend all those years ago








MY REVIEW:


Wow what a book! This was something a little different and completely unexpected. Lisa Jewell is a beautiful writer and she is able to captivate and draw you in right from the start. This novel is about the Bird Family, Lorelei, her husband Colin and their four children - Megan, Bethan and twins Rory and Rhys. They have a seemingly idyllic life in a Cotswold Village. Every year Lorelei arranges a traditional Easter egg hunt but one Easter Sunday a tragedy strikes the Bird family and none of them are the same again.

This is a powerful story and at times heart-breaking. Lisa cleverly switches between past and present with flashbacks over the years of each of the family. The characters are very well written.
The story begins with Megan and her daughter as they return to the family home to sort out the run down house and from there our story progresses. Lorelei is an extreme hoarder that is bordering on the obsessive.

This is a very moving story and I look forward to reading more from Julie.



https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1272594078?book_show_action=false


Enjoy!



Kind regards,
Ailish



Wednesday, 6 May 2015

In The Shadow Of Winter by Lorna Gray

Dear Reader,

BOOK DESCRIPTION:

In the Shadow of Winter by Lorna GrayThe Cotswolds, 1947

The relentless winter of 1947 holds post-war Britain in its deadly grip, and Eleanor Phillips rides out from her beleaguered Cotswold farm to rescue a stranger lost in the storm. But the near-dead man is no stranger and when she recognises Matthew Croft, the old ties of a failed romance tug deeply. Her sweetheart has returned from the war…

Suspicion, the police and the panicked flight of a desperate man beat a path to her door. And with a wanted man hidden in her home and stealing back into her heart, Eleanor must be on her guard—for the net is closing in on them both and enemies are all around.


MY REVIEW:

This story is set post World War Two, Eleanor and a young boy Freddy find a man in a foot of snow - clearly in an agitated state. Seeing him in a troubled state, they decide to bring him home. When he starts to fight them Eleanor gets such a shock when she realises that it is Mathew Croft, a man she knew before the war. They struggle to get him in to the house and once they remove his soaked clothes they realise that he has been attacked. Mathew insists to Eleanor that no one must know where he is and then the mystery unravels.

I enjoyed Lorna Gray's style of writing. She sets the rural scene after the war, very well and we get a sense of how people are getting pieces of their lives back. Eleanor is a strong character, hardened by life but we get to know her as the novel progresses as it is from her point view. The story is slow to begin with but the pace is picked up half way through with a few twists and Eleanor really comes in to her own.

This is a great debut from Lorna Gray. I am looking forward to her next book.


Enjoy!

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1266321298?book_show_action=false


Kind regards,
Ailish

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

It Started at Sunset Cottage by Bella Osborne

It Started at Sunset Cottage by Bella OsborneHello all,


BOOK DESCRIPTION:


Kate Marshall is slowly getting her life back on track after losing her fiancé. As an author she has been able to hide herself away from the world and its expectations – but now one of her books has been optioned for a film and Hollywood suddenly comes knocking on her door!

When Kate is given the opportunity to stay at a beautiful country retreat and concentrate on the screenplay, it’s an offer she can’t refuse. Encouraged by her best friend, sharp-tongued single mum Sarah, Kate sees it’s finally time to stop letting life pass her by.

Looking for confidence and inspiration in the idyllic Cotswolds countryside, the last thing Kate expects is for Timothy Calder, A-list actor and leading man in the movie adaptation of her book, to turn up on her doorstep, hoping to lie low after his latest tabloid scandal! But after a rocky start, with Tim narrowly avoiding death by watering can, they find they have a few things in common: a liking for Lady Grey tea, walnut whips and bad ‘knock knock’ jokes. Actually, the bad jokes are just Tim.

As an unlikely friendship begins to blossom, and with circumstances repeatedly throwing them together, is Sunset Cottage where both Kate and Tim’s lives will really start?







MY REVIEW:

I must start off by mentioning what a great book cover! It is definitely eye-catching.
This is Bella Osborne's debut novel and she is off to a great start. There was a great cast of characters and for anyone who loves chick-lit, this book has a bit of everything from romance, heartache, family drama and even a wee bit of a mystery thrown in.
Now most of the plot is in the book description but not only is the novel about Kate and Tim - it is also about her best friend Sarah and Andy and the gorgeous Amy. They play a pivotal role in the book as they deal with the past. Bella did a great job of intertwining their stories. I particularly loved Didi's character.

This is definitely worth a read and I look forward to more from Bella Osborne.

Enjoy!



https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1254979697?book_show_action=false






Kind regards,
Ailish

Monday, 27 April 2015

Silent Scream by Angela Marsons

Silent Scream by Angela Marsons




Dear Reader,



BOOK DESCRIPTION:

Even the darkest secrets can’t stay buried forever…

Five figures gather round a shallow grave. They had all taken turns to dig. An adult-sized hole would have taken longer. An innocent life had been taken but the pact had been made. Their secrets would be buried, bound in blood …

Years later, a headmistress is found brutally strangled, the first in a spate of gruesome murders which shock the Black Country.

But when human remains are discovered at a former children’s home, disturbing secrets are also unearthed. D.I. Kim Stone fast realises she’s on the hunt for a twisted individual whose killing spree spans decades.

As the body count rises, Kim needs to stop the murderer before they strike again. But to catch the killer, can Kim confront the demons of her own past before it’s too late?






MY REVIEW:


This is Bookouture's first crime novel and everywhere I look on Twitter somebody is talking about this book and with such great reviews, I just had to read it!

This is Angela Marsons debut novel featuring kickass heroine D.I. Kim Stone. I have read about countless investigative teams, but the team in Silent Scream was so brilliantly created, with some intriguing and realistic characters, all who have a role to play in this book but it has two standout characters - D.I. Kim Stone and her partner Bryant.

At the start Kim Stone almost seems like your typical female detective but as the novel progresses we learn that she has had a troubled past and due to her upbringing she takes no nonsense from her colleagues and ignores the rules. She is clever,sassy, determined, and sarcastic with a passion for motorbikes that made me like her instantly. She is such a fantastic character but underneath is a sensitive side. Her partner, Bryant, married with a family but so committed to his job is the perfect side kick for Kim. I loved the banter between them. He was well able for Kim's sharp tongue!
Not only does Angela allow us to read from Kim's perspective, but we also get to hear the story from the soon-to-be victim's point of view. I do not want to give too much away about the plot as it is in the book description but it is a gripping story and just when you think you know who did it, there is a fantastic twist.

I cannot wait to meet Kim and the gang again.

This is a must read!


https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1246387396?book_show_action=false




Enjoy!


Kind regards,
Ailish

Thursday, 23 April 2015

The Vintage Guide to Love and Romance by Kirsty Greenwood

Dear Reader,

The Vintage Guide to Love and Romance by Kirsty GreenwoodBOOK DESCRIPTION:

Jessica Beam is a girl who knows how to party. Only lately she's been forgetting to turn up for work on time. Or in clean clothes. Down on her luck, out of a job and homeless, Jess seeks the help of her long-lost grandmother.

Things aren't going well for Matilda Beam, either. Her 1950s Good Woman guide books are out of print, her mortgage repayments are staggering and her granddaughter wears neon Wonderbras!

When a lifeline from a London publisher arrives, the pair have an opportunity to secure the roof over their heads – by invigorating the Good Woman guides and transforming modern, rebellious Jess into a demure vintage lady.

The true test of their make-over will be to capture the heart of notorious London playboy Leo Frost and prove that Matilda’s guides still work. It's going to take commitment, nerves of steel and one seriously pointy bra to pull this off.

MY REVIEW:


I am bursting with excitement about this book! I cannot begin to tell you all how much I LOVED it. It had everything that you want in a chick-lit book but what I must mention first is the cover which is just stunning and just screams 'read me'


So The Vintage Guide to Love and Romance is about Jessica Beam and boy does she know how to have a good time - she is the life and soul of any party. Although she is not so good with responsibility and turning up for work on time. She suddenly finds herself down on her luck with no home or job, so Jess seeks out her long-lost Grandmother Matilda and it turns out that things are not going so well for Matilda either. She is in a lot of debt and her renowned 1950's Good Womanbooks are out of print, and are not likely to be reissued. So this is where Jess comes in handy when they are thrown a lifeline. They have to prove that the Good Woman guides can still work in today's modern society and who better to play the 1950's Good Woman role than Matilda's outspoken granddaughter. Jess has to capture the heart of playboy Leo Frost but not as herself of course, but as a 1950's Good Woman.

Jessica Beam is one of my favourite fictional characters that I have met. There has to be a sequel - we have to meet her again! This was such a quirky, feel good, romantic story with plenty of laughs on every page. A great cast of characters that will not be forgotten.

This is a must read!


Enjoy!


Kind regards,
Ailish



Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Return to Mandalay by Rosanna Ley

Return to Mandalay by Rosanna LeyDear Reader,




BOOK DESCRIPTION:


Eva Gatsby has often wondered about her grandfather Lawrence's past, and exactly what happened to him in Burma during the Second World War. But it is only when Eva's job as an antiques dealer suddenly requires a trip to Mandalay that Lawrence finally breaks his silence and asks her to return a mysterious artifact of his own - a chinthe - to its rightful owner.

As Eva arrives in Burma her mission soon proves dangerously complicated, and the treasure she is guarding becomes the centre of a scandal that will have far-reaching consequences. Caught between loyalty and integrity, Eva is determined to find the truth about her grandfather's past, of her own family origins, and of the red-eyed chinthe itself - enigmatic symbol of the riches of Mandalay.







MY REVIEW:




Well this was the first book I have read by Rosanna Ley and I cannot wait to read her others!

Our story begins in Bristol, England where we meet Eva Gatsby who repairs and restores old pieces of furniture in The Bristol Antiques Emporium. Her employers ask her to travel to Mandalay to verify some antiques but before Ava travels to Burma she is summoned by her grandfather, who needs her to do something very important to him. He gives Eva a 'chinthe' which has travelled between two different worlds. Eva is determined to find out everything about her grandfathers past.
Rosanna keeps us engrossed by not only switching between characters but between the past and present too so we really grasp each characters history. Especially in the case of Eva's mother, Rosemary who played a pivotal role in the novel. We get a sense of sadness, that life has been hard for Rosemary including loosing her husband and of the struggled relationship she has with Eva and her father.

This was such a gorgeous story and Rosanna is an incredible storyteller. I have completely fallen in love with Return to Mandalay. The descriptions of Asia were magnificent - it was almost like we were travelling with Eva, seeing the same sights, smelling the same scents. She really brought the country and the people alive on the page.

This is a must read!


https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1249301731?book_show_action=false


Enjoy,


Kind regards,
Ailish

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

The Day We Disappeared by Lucy Robinson

Dear Reader,

BOOK DESCRIPTION:

Annie has a secret. But if she's not going to tell, we won't either. It's a heart-breaking secret she wishes she didn't have - yet Annie isn't broken, not quite yet. Especially now there's someone out there who seems determined to fix her.

Kate has run away. But she's not going to tell us why - that would defeat the point of running, wouldn't it? It's proving difficult to reinvent herself, however, with one person always on her mind.

Scratch beneath the surface and nobody is really who they seem. Even Annie and Kate, two old friends, aren't entirely sure who they are any more. Perhaps you can work it out, before their pasts catch up with them for good . . .


A gripping and unpredictable story of two young women running from their pasts. We defy you to guess the twist . . .






MY REVIEW:


I cannot begin to tell you how much I enjoyed this book. I mean wow - where to start!

This is one of those books that would be very easy to spoil so I cannot give too much away. There is a great cast of characters all of which have been well developed. It is written from a dual perspective alternating between Kate and Annie who are harbouring their own secrets but Lucy isn't going to tell us so our investigative skills will be put to the test.

We meet Kate first who starts as a trainee at a stable yard but she has no experience of horses but has to make a go of it as she has nowhere else to go and no one must find out where she is.

Annie, a masseuse, who after a tragic incident during her childhood has never been the same but when she meets the handsome Stephen, suddenly she feels that good things are finally happening but it is all a bit quick?

This was such a clever and riveting story with an amazing plot and the twist had me sitting up straight and gobsmacked! If you have not read this book yet then put it on your 'to read' list immediately it will not disappoint


https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1243658730?book_show_action=false




Enjoy!


Kind regards,
Ailish

Sunday, 12 April 2015

I Do Not Sleep by Judy Finnigan



Dear Reader,

BOOK DESCRIPTION:

From bestselling author, broadcaster, journalist and Book Club champion Judy Finnigan comes an unputdownable and wonderfully moving story of the enduring power of a mother's love.
Do not stand at my grave and weep 

I am not there; I do not sleep.

Five years ago, Molly Gabriel lost her 20-year-old son, Joey, to a terrible sailing accident. His empty boat was found washed ashore on the rocks -- but his body was never found. Now, Molly has returned to the sands of Cornwall haunted by his death, unable to accept he is gone. Joey was an experienced sailor and died on a calm sea -- things just don't add up and Molly cannot let it go. Desperate for answers she turns to Joey's best friend, Ben, to go back to what really happened that day.

MY REVIEW:

This was a beautiful and sensual novel about a mother grieving for her suposedly dead son. Five years ago Molly lost her son Joey in a tragic sailing accident. Now Molly has returned to Cornwall after her husband Adam and son Danny arrange a family holiday in the hope that it will bring about some closure for Molly.
We go on an emotional journey with Molly who relentlessly tries to piece together and  find answers to what really happened to Joey which brings about a surprising outcome for all concerned.
This is not a beach read by any means due to its content but it is so beautifully and sensitively written you can't help but be drawn in

.
Really enjoyed it


https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1251889797

Kind regards,

Ailish 

Saturday, 11 April 2015

The Tea Planter's Wife by Dinah Jefferies

The Tea Planter's Wife by Dinah JefferiesDear Reader,


BOOK DESCRIPTION:

Nineteen-year-old Gwendolyn Hooper is newly married to a rich and charming widower, eager to join him on his tea plantation, determined to be the perfect wife and mother. But life in Ceylon is not what Gwen expected. The plantation workers are resentful, the neighbours treacherous. And there are clues to the past - a dusty trunk of dresses, an overgrown gravestone in the grounds - that her husband refuses to discuss. Just as Gwen finds her feet, disaster strikes. She faces a terrible choice, hiding the truth from almost everyone, but a secret this big can't stay buried forever . . .





MY REVIEW:


First off I want to thank Dinah Jefferies for sending me an early copy of The Tea Planter's Wife to review.

Wow what a story! I immensely enjoyed this sensitive, thought provoking narrative which was beautifully told. We meet nineteen year old Gwen Hooper who has just arrived in Ceylon to join her new husband at the tea plantation. The year is 1913 and little does Gwen know of what lies ahead. Her husband Laurence is distant to begin with and then his scheming sister arrives on the scene. When Gwen begins to get a hand of her new home disaster strikes resulting in guilt, betrayal and unknown secrets.
Dinah Jefferies paints beautiful descriptions that give you a real sense of the era and of Ceylon with a backdrop of the attitudes to race and prejudices of that time and explored colonialism elements which made this novel much more than an escape.

This is a story that will stay with me. It is a must read! I look forward to more from Dinah Jefferies.

I have this review posted on Goodreads
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1249302289


Enjoy!

Kind regards,
Ailish

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Lizzie Marshall's Wedding by Emily Harvale

Dear Reader,




BOOK DESCRIPTION:



Can love set you free?

Becky Cooper hasn’t got time for romance. She’s a thirty-two year old widow, struggling to raise her daughter and come to terms with the past, so a man is the last thing she needs.

Her friends disagree, and when Max Bedford arrives in the village, they decide he’s perfect for her; he’s gorgeous, rich and divorced. But Becky’s already met him and feels he’s far from perfect; he’s rude, arrogant and annoying – and anyway, he wouldn’t be interested in her.

To his surprise, Max is very interested in the feisty woman he’s just rescued and whilst he’s not looking for a serious relationship, dating her could be a lot of fun.

When Becky is employed to organise Lizzie Marshall’s Wedding, introducing her to Max’s ex-wife and a group of people whose lives seem even more complicated than her own, she begins to discover she’s not the only one with ‘baggage’
.
Can love set her free, or will Max Bedford break her heart?








MY REVIEW:




This novel catches up with some of the characters from Emily's first novel, Highland Fling although you do not necessarily need to read them in order. I must say I enjoyed this book even more. I won't go in to detail of what the book is about as it's all mentioned in the book description.
 It was a quick and fun read with plenty going on. Great cast of characters with some laugh out loud moments.
I wasn't too keen on Max in the first book but he definitely came up trumps in  Lizzie Marshall's Wedding
Looking forward to more from Emily Harvale




Enjoy!






Kind regards,
Ailish








Thursday, 2 April 2015

Highland Fling by Emily Harvale

Dear Reader,








BOOK DESCRIPTION:



Sometimes a weekend can change your life.

Lizzie Marshall left London, and her husband Max, after his affair. But running a B&B in the Scottish Highlands is not as easy as she’d hoped – and using her maiden name doesn’t mean she’s over him.  Max Bedford can still twist her around his little finger – most of the time.
Jack Drake’s getting married in two weeks, but he’s having doubts about his fiancée, Kim Mentor. A weekend in Scotland with five of his friends will cure his pre-wedding nerves – won’t it?
Jane Munroe’s too busy sorting out her friend Lizzie’s love life to worry about her own. Besides, the man she’s fallen for, clearly isn’t interested. Perhaps she should look elsewhere for love?
Iain Hamilton vowed he’d never marry again after his wife’s death, and as a forty five year old farmer, a thirty two year old woman from London is the last person he should be interested in – so why can’t he stop thinking about her?
Highland Fling is a humorous tale of love, friendship and life’s little complications.




MY REVIEW:

This was a warm and witty romance.
The story is mostly from Lizzie and Jack’s point of view, but we do see extracts from the supporting characters.
The novel centres around a stag weekend in Scotland. Most of the characters live in London so the story takes you there, too. Lizzie runs a B&B in the Scottish Highlands after fleeing London when her husband, Max had an affair. But is she over him and advice from her best friend Jane who is unable to sort out her own love life does not help matters. Max wants Lizzie back but she trust him?

Jack Drake is having doubts about his fiancée, especially as he is not sure how he came to be engaged in the first place! but does he love her enough to marry her? So he is hoping that a weekend in Scotland with his friends, will help him make a decision.

Then we have forty-five year old farmer, Iain Hamilton who said that he would never marry again, but he can't stop thinking about a woman from London.

When Jack and his friends arrive at Lizzie’s B&B for a long weekend, love seems to be on everyone’s mind but with plenty of plots and twists, more than one person is in for a surprise.
 
This is an enjoyable and easy read about a group of people whose lives are closely entwined in ways that they never thought possible.


Looking forward to reading Lizzie Marshall's Wedding which is a continuation of Highland Fling


Enjoy!


Kind regards,
Ailish



Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Croissants and Jam by Lynda Renham

Dear Reader,







BOOK DESCRIPTION:



Annabel Lewis (Bels) has two days to get to her wedding in Rome but her journey is beset with one disaster after another as fate takes its turn. Will the stranger she meets on the way get her to her wedding on time or will he change her life forever? Come with Bels on her humorous romantic journey to see if she marries Mr Right or if destiny takes her in different direction...





MY REVIEW:



This was the first book that I read by Lynda Renham and it will not be my last! This book has all the ingredients of good chick-lit, the heroine who is a walking disaster, the domineering, uptight fiancé, the best friend and the interfering mother, for whom no one is good enough for her daughter except Mr Right.  It is jam packed (pardon the pun!) with humour and if you want something that will make you laugh your socks off and you are in need of some serious cheering up, then this is the perfect book for you. 




Most of the book was set in England, France and Italy and with some of the descriptions you felt like you were actually right there with them especially in the French countryside with the vivid scenic descriptions that Lynda gives us.




Annabel Lewis is on route to her wedding in Italy but every conceivable obstacle is about to get in her way. Starting off with her flight getting delayed for an annoying, yet handsome, passenger who is late, and then having to make an unscheduled stop in France for a medical emergency, it seems like Bels, will never make it to her very impatient fiancé in Rome. Unless, she takes up the offer of the handsome stranger who offers her a lift. But of course what Bels doesn't know is that after plenty of calamities (and there are a few!) her life is taken in a totally different direction and her love for her fiancé will be put to the test 




This is a wonderful novel full of enjoyable characters and scenes that will just make you laugh out loud.






Enjoy!






Kind regards,
Ailish








Christmas in the Snow by Karen Swan

Dear Reader,







Book Description:





No secret stays buried forever...

In London, the snow is falling and Christmas is just around the corner - but Allegra Fisher barely has time to notice. She's pitching for the biggest deal of her career and can't afford to fail. And when she meets attractive stranger, Sam Kemp, on the plane to the meeting, she can't afford to lose her focus either. She learned to shut off her emotions long ago and only her sister and best friend Isobel knows why. But when Allegra finds herself up against Sam for the bid, their passion quickly turns sour.

In Zermatt in the Swiss Alps, a long-lost mountain hut is discovered in the snow after sixty years and the last person expecting to become involved is Allegra - she hasn't even heard of the woman they found inside. But it soon becomes clear the two women are linked and, as she and Iz travel out to make sense of the mystery, hearts thaw and dark secrets are uncovered, long buried by the snow.

With glamorous locations and heart-breaking twists, Christmas in the Snow is all you need in your stocking for a truly decadent Christmas holiday. The perfect gift - even if it's just to yourself.


MY REVIEW:


I loved loved loved this book! Christmas in the Snow is a page turner that is impossible to put down. A glamorous tale of high stakes, money, secrets and forbidden love.

We meet Allegra Fisher whose life revolves around her job as a hedge fund manager. She may not remember the last time she went out on a date or had to cancel on her friends after a last minute crisis at the office, but she would not have it any other way. Unlike her sister Isobel, who is a home-maker who spends her days looking after her son Ferdy, Allegra wants to keep on climbing the corporate ladder till she reaches the top. Allegra is working in a male-dominated industry which is not easy and she has to work twice as hard as any of her male counterparts to prove that she is the equal of any man. She is about to pull off a very important deal and there is no time for any distractions not even if they come in the shape of the gorgeous Sam Kemp!

Allegra is used to fighting her corner and knows that the only person she can rely is herself. She might be drawn to Sam and attracted to his laid-back charm and good-looks, but when she realises that he is standing between her and the deal of her career, she soon realises that she must continue to keep her eyes on the prize. But of course keeping Sam at arm’s length proves to be easier said than done and not only does Allegra have a stressful career to contend with, but she has the added stress that is the guilt she feels at having to put her mother Julia, who is suffering from Alzheimer’s in to care.


This tale then takes us to Zermatt, in the Swiss Alps where the remains of a woman are discovered and the last person expecting to be involved in this case is Allegra. To get to the bottom of this mystery both herself and her sister Isobel travel to Zermatt to uncover the connection that links their family to a derelict hut in Switzerland. Past family secrets come to light and Allegra and Isobel soon find themselves in the middle of a  hidden past that others have gone to great lengths to keep that way.


Christmas in the Snow is packed with exotic locations, well developed characters, family drama, juicy secrets, and romantic intrigue. Karen Swan knows how to grab her reader’s attention from the very first page and to keep those pages turning and with Christmas in the Snow she has truly outdone herself once again.


Enjoy!




Kind regards,
Ailish

Sunday, 22 February 2015

The Fires Of Autumn by Irene Nemirovsky

Dear Reader,

BOOK DESCRIPTION:

The Fires Of Autumn was written in the last two years of Irene Nemirovsky's life, after she fled Paris in 1940. The prequel to her masterpiece, Suite Francaise, it is a panoramic exploration of French life and a witness to the greatest horrors of the twentieth century. 
After four years of bloody warfare Bernard Jacquelain returns from the trenches a changed man. No more the naive hopes and dreams of the teenager who went to war. Attracted by the lure of money and success, Bernard embarks on a life of luxuriant delinquency supported by suspect financial dealings and easy virtue. Yet when his lover throws him off, he turns to a wholesome childhood friend for comfort. For ten  years he lives the good bourgeois life, but as another war threatens everything, Bernard has clung to, starts to crumble and the future for his marriage and for France looks terribly uncertain.
First published posthumously in France in 1957, The Fires Of Autumn is a coruscating tragic evocation of the reality of war and its dirty aftermath, and the ugly colour it can turn a man's soul.

MY REVIEW: 

This novel as translated by Sandra Smith opens in 1912 with an introduction to  Parisian family life, small shops and modest apartments. We are introduced to a wider cast of characters as the novel progresses.
Bernard Jacquelain, is the main protagonist. Initally an eager volunteer, he returns home in 1918, broken and somewhat cynical. His childhood acquaintance Martial, a doctor, who was serving behind the front lines has been killed leaving behind his wife, Therese. Therese realises that she has always loved Bernard. Their romance is frequently disrupted by events. We move through the bloody realities of Flanders battlefields and finally to a post-war world  of greedy characters who manipulate the international markets.

This is a beautifully descriptive and captivating novel. Really enjoyed it.

Enjoy!

Kind regards,
Ailish 

Before I Go To Sleep by SJ Watson

Dear Reader,

BOOK DESCRIPTION:

Memories define us.
So what if you lost yours every time you went to sleep?
Your name, your identity, your past, even the people you love - all forgotten overnight.
And the one person you trust may only be telling you half the story.
Welcome to Christine's life.

MY REVIEW:

Wow what a great book! Before I Go To Sleep is the debut novel from S.J. Watson. This is one of my favorite books from 2011.  Most of the story is structured as a diary recounting daily events. Every morning Christine Lucas awakes with no idea of who she is, where she is, and who the man is sleeping beside her. She suffered a terrible attack eighteen years ago that has left her unable to retain memories. However, with the help of a doctor who specializes in memory disorders, Christine begins to keep a journal that helps her piece together her past and how she ended up the way she has. Before  I Go To Sleep is a thriller that will leave you guessing until the final page. A really entertaining read!


Enjoy!

Kind regards,
Ailish




American Wife By Curtis Sittenfeld

Dear Reader,


BOOK DESCRIPTION:

A kind, bookish only child born in the 1940s, Alice Lindgren has no idea that she will one day end up in the White House, married to the President. In her small Wisconsin hometown, she learns the virtues of politeness, but a tragic accident when she is seventeen shatters her identity and changes the trajectory of her life. More than a decade later, when the charismatic son of a powerful Republican family sweeps her off her feet, she is surprised to find herself admitted into a world of privilege. And when her husband unexpectedly becomes Governor and then President, she discovers that she is married to a man she both loves and fundamentally disagrees with - and that her private beliefs increasingly run against her public persona. As her husband's Presidency enters its second term, Alice must confront contradictions years in the making and face questions nearly impossible to answer.


MY REVIEW:

This is Curtis Sittenfeld's third novel which is based on a fictionalized portrait of the former First Lady, Laura Bush whom she calls Alice Blackwell and is easily one of the best books written in 2008. It is honest, wonderful and very smart with a twist. It is not easy to write fiction based on current events but she does it effortlessly. I must admit that I was fascinated by this complex maternal figure so this was a must read!

The book charts Alice's journey from childhood, her growing-up experiences, her family and life as a single woman, her courtships, her experience with the Blackwell family, and her relationship with her husband, the future President.

Alice Lindgren  is intelligent, thoughtful, inclined to be reserved and a lover of books and libraries. As a girl of seventeen she accidentally caused the death of a high-school classmate, a boy, to whom she was attracted, by running a stop sign at a darkened rural intersection and crashing in to his car. Alice, like her real-life model Laura Bush, who had a similar accident as a girl of seventeen in 1963 in her hometown, Midland, Tex, is not charged but Sittenfeld makes this incident the defining moment of Alice's life which is motivated by guilt and loss including the humiliating sexual relationship she begins with the dead boy's brother after his death. This results in a pregnancy that Alice's grandmother helps her to end. More than forty years later, the doctor who performed the abortion attempts to blackmail Alice in publicly opposing her husband's nomination of a conservative Supreme Court Judge.

She is an idealistic grammar-school librarian of 31 when she is introduced to Charlie Blackwell and finds herself courted by him. She is initially  overwhelmed by the crude and overbearing wealthy Blackwell clan in to which it seems her destiny to marry.

American Wife is most engaging in its early chapters, when Alice Lindgren is not yet Alice Blackwell but an insecure young woman haunted by the memory of the boy she accidentally killed as a girl yet dedicated to teaching and to a life defined by books.

Really enjoyed it

Kind regards,
Ailish









Monday, 9 February 2015

How To Win A Guy In 10 Dates By Jane Linfoot

Dear Reader,


I finally got around to reading How To Win A Guy In 10 Dates. I'd like to thank the lovely Jane Linfoot for sending me a copy to read and review!


BOOK DESCRIPTION:


Take Millie: a fun, independent dance teacher starting over, whose burlesque classes are all about self-esteem and empowerment. Her new life plan definitely doesn't stretch to bad boys.
And Ed: he’s gorgeous, designs firework displays for a living and positively self-destructs at the thought of commitment. But he’s embarking on the impossible – a challenge to have ten dates with one woman.
When Millie literally lands in Ed’s lap after an accident, she’s an unlikely choice for the ten date challenge – scruffy, opinionated and then there’s the small matter of that tattoo snaking out of her boot – but he’s running out of options, and more importantly, she owes him.
She’s so not his type, he’s so not in her life-plan, but a weekend in sunny Provence changes everything. Against a backdrop of starry skies and lavender fields, they both have issues they want to leave behind. Secrets have a way of escaping though… is ten dates too long to keep the truth under wraps?




MY REVIEW:


Ed our hero is a typical 'billionaire' who goes through women so quickly that he does not even remember their names (lovely!) So his sister, Cassie, has had enough of this carry on and decides to give him a dating challenge - ten dates with one woman and he can't tell her how rich he is.
 Then we have Millie, our damsel in distress, who while riding one of her horses through an explosive zone gets thrown off and is injured, enter Ed who owns the company and whisks her off to hospital. He sees this as an opportunity but Millie knocks him down. We learn that both Ed and Millie have secrets to hide and it turns out that they are more alike than they originally thought.What follows is a romantic comedy that is definitely a page turner.


A fun light read the perfect book to bring on your holidays!




Enjoy!


Kind regards,
Ailish

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Never Too Late by Christina Courtenay

Dear Reader,

This was my first Christina Courtenay novella and it won't be my last. I came across this through the fabulous team at ChocLit UK via twitter!

This Regency novella has a bit of everything. We have a likeable hero and a damsel in distress. 

The damsel in distress is Maude who about eight years ago was to elope with our likeable hero, Luke, but certain people vied to keep them apart. So Maude ended up marrying his cousin instead. 

When Maude ends up widowed, Luke becomes the new head of her estate. He keeps her on as his housekeeper but he secretly still desires her but is still a bit miffed over her having married his cousin without knowing the true reason. Maude desires him too, but of course is afraid to say so. But Maude and Luke may have to stop tip toeing around each other and tell each other their true feelings because (this is where is gets good!) someone wants them dead. We have arsenic poisoning, smashing pots, run away carriages, and kidnapping. 

I won't give too much away but this is  beautifully written and once you start reading is very hard to put down. Romance with a little action thrown in for good measure. Could not recommend it highly enough.  

Enjoy!

Kind regards,
Ailish 


Tuesday, 20 January 2015

It Started With Paris by Cathy Kelly

Dear Reader,

BOOK DESCRIPTION:






It all started with Paris. 

At the top of the Eiffel Tower, a young man proposes to his girlfriend, cheered on by delighted tourists. In that second, everything changes, not just for the happy couple, but for the family and friends awaiting their return in Bridgeport, Ireland...
Leila's been nursing a badly broken heart since her love-rat husband just upped and left her one morning, but she's determined to put on a brave face for the bride.
Vonnie, a widow and exceptional cake-maker, is just daring to let love back into her life, although someone seems determined to stop it.
And Grace, a divorced head teacher, finds the impending wedding of her son means that she's spending more time with her ex-husband. After all those years apart, is it possible she's made a mistake?

MY REVIEW:

This is Cathy Kelly's latest novel It Started with Paris and she doesn't disappoint. It is a fabulously warm and enjoyable read. The perfect book to curl up with.
In the opening pages Michael proposes to his first love, Katy, at the top of the Eiffel Tower. Interestingly what Cathy does not only focuses on the couple themselves but their friends, relatives and acquaintances who get involved too and we delve in to the highs and lows in their own lives.
Katy's mother, Birdie, is the proud mother-of-the-bride but she stands in the shadows of Howard, her domineering husband.
Grace and Stephen who are Michael's parents have been amicably divorced for many years and the wedding brings them together with a common pride and joy.
Katy's best friend, Leila, is trying to get over her husband leaving her and she is also dealing with family issues concerning her mother and her sister. I loved this part of the story.
Then finally we meet Vonnie who is making the wedding cake and we learn of her past and her future in dealing with her new family and their issues.


You can't help but fall in love with all these characters all with their own different stories and they are all linked to this wedding. There is a love story of course but a there is also the element of pain, friendship and family tension to name but a few but Cathy has created such a wonderful story that it's almost liking popping back to meet old friends.


So sit back with a cuppa and enjoy this wonderful story that will not disappointment.


Enjoy!


Kind regards,
Ailish