Friday, 28 October 2016

All I Want For Christmas by Jenny Hale

All I Want for Christmas

Dear Reader,

Another brilliant festive read from Jenny Hale and I enjoyed this one as much as the others I have read. Jenny Hale really has a way of bringing across the magic and excitement of Christmas. 

All I Want for Christmas is a charming story about Leah who is a single mother to the gorgeous Sadie and she works as a florist. She is planning on having a family Christmas at her grandmothers house in Virginia but knows that it will not be the same this year as her grandmother has passed away. While still grieving she receives a letter that was left to her by 'Nan' who decided to change her will at the last minute and has left the other half of the plantation to childhood friend, David Forester. Leah's world comes suddenly crashing down. She has not seen David since they were children and she is unsure as to why Nan would do this to her.

Leah has two very good friends, Louise and Roz, who are a great support to her and give plenty of advice on what she should do. While 'The Girls' take care of Sadie, Leah decides she needs to go to Evergreen and meet David to try and figure out what to do next. She is shocked when she realizes that David (who is already living there) wants to buy her share of the plantation and is not willing to compromise. Leah is determined that she wants to have a family Christmas at Evergreen and she moves in in the run up to Christmas with Sadie. What she does not expect is to start warming to David when she gets to know him again.

As All I Want For Christmas starts to unfold we meet more characters such as David's mother June and also someone who was kept a secret for years by Leah's grandmother, Nina.

This was such a heart warming story which displayed the true meaning of Christmas. I love the way the relationship developed between Leah and David and also between David and Sadie. Almost at times I felt that David was a little bit too perfect! but this is definitely the perfect read to curl up with over the season.

I want to thank the lovely people at NetGalley and bookouture for allowing to me to read this festive read for an honest review


Enjoy!

Ailish


Tuesday, 25 October 2016

The Seven Sisters by Lucinda Riley



The Seven Sisters


Dear Reader,

Wow! Where to begin with this truly outstanding book by Lucinda Riley. It is the first in the series of The Seven Sisters which begins with Maia, the oldest of the six sisters Pa Salt adopted and brought to his home in Atlantis. Interestingly he actually never found the seventh sister. After he dies, all of the sisters return to Atlantis and are given a note about where Pa Salt adopted them from and this takes Maia to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. I have never been to Brazil but the way Lucinda Riley describes it in such detail makes me want to go and see the sites that Maia saw.

As Maia searches for her family history, her findings take her to the Corcovado Mountain where the great Christ the Redeemer statue stands.  She meets author, Floriano, for who she has translated one of his novels and he helps her in her quest. This in turn takes us back in time to the 1920s to meet Izabella Bonifacio, a beautiful young woman who has a fascinating  story to tell including the creation of the statue. Izabella's father has strong aspirations for her to marry into aristocracy. Her friend's father, the architect, Heitor da Silva Costa is working on the statue (Christ the Redeemer) and has to travel to Paris to find the right sculptor to complete his vision. Izabella longs to see the world and she manages to convince her father to allow her to accompany him and his family to Europe before she is married. It is there in Paris in Paul Landowski's studio where she meets a young sculptor Laurent Brouilly, and everything changes for her. Maia discovers this story in the form of letters that were written to Izabella's friend and maid. The story switches back and forth between past and present day.

I adored The Seven Sisters. It was completely absorbing in that I couldn't put it down and both Maia and Izabella's stories were so cleverly told. I cannot wait to read the next installment, The Storm Sister where we meet Ally.

Enjoy!

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1783624002

Ailish

Monday, 24 October 2016

The Paris Secret by Karen Swan



The Paris Secret


Dear Reader,

Well I absolutely adored this latest book from Karen Swan. She never disappoints and I know I always say it after every book but this one is my favorite (till the next one!)

First off the cover is beautiful and very striking with a backdrop of Paris.

For this novel Karen Swan drew inspiration from an event which made the French headlines several years ago in a Parisian apartment which had only been discovered - it had been locked since the war and inside it was almost as if time stood still since the day the owner departed. Inside this apartment was a trove of paintings. 

The Paris Secret begins in the middle of this night when two men break into an apartment only to discover that is empty and covered in dust it appears to have been abandoned. But when they move further in to the apartment they find a crate in a bedroom and inside is something which will change the lives of one French family - spilling out secrets that were long ago buried and untold truths slowly start resurface.

We then meet Flora Sykes who is taking a short break at home with her family, a brief interlude from dealing with the hectic art world. She travels a lot with her work as a fine art advisor working for her boss Angus. Her father was an auctioneer at Christie's until his retirement so that is how Flora got her love of art. Her mother is a worrier and always worrying about something but she finds that Flora's older brother, Freddie, is acting strangely and we do not discover the reason until towards the end of the book. The suspense!

When Flora returns to London she receives a message from Angus saying that she urgently needs to get herself to Paris. The prominent, Vermeil family, have been in contact with him as they have just discovered they are owners of an apartment  that they never new existed until there has been a break-in and a note left.  This must all be dealt with in the strictest of confidences for as long as possible.

This is no ordinary apartment as Angus and Flora soon discover. It has been left exactly in the same condition since the last inhabitant fled during the war. This is an intriguing case for any art expert.  Inside the apartment it is like a treasure trove of antiques and paintings. Flora's task set by the Vermeil's, Lillian and Jacques,  is to catalogue everything that she finds in the apartment. They are hoping that all this can be sold. This takes Flora to Vienna to one of the Vermeil family homes to start cataloguing the collection and it is there she meets Xavier the owners son a who is a brooding mysterious character who despite herself Flora finds herself attracted to.

Soon we discover the identity of the real owner of the apartment and that there is a lot more going on than meets the eye and this makes for a very interesting and absorbing read.

I couldn't recommend The Paris Secret highly enough. It is such a page turner that will keep you reading it in one sitting. She brings this amazing true life story to life right from the very first page.  I can't wait for her next book!

Enjoy!

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1785462128

Ailish

Saturday, 22 October 2016

A Second Christmas Wish by Kathryn Freeman



Dear Reader,

A Second Christmas Wish, now this is just a wonderful story full of hope and magic that comes with Christmas. Kathryn Freeman once again delivers a truly magical book.

We meet Melissa Stanford who has just come out of an unhappy and controlling marriage  to a well known fashion designer - Lawrence Raven. They have a beautiful little boy, William, who is painfully shy and is very frightened of his father.

Two years after the divorce Melissa is trying to get on with life and she persuades William to have tennis lessons in the run up to Christmas along with his friend Simon in the hope that it might bring him out of himself and make him more confident.. This is where she meets Simon's uncle, Daniel McCormick who is a renowned ex-tennis player due to an injury and he just happens to be drop dead gorgeous! He is the tennis coach. Alice who is good friends with Melissa and Daniel's sister at first warns him off (due to his charming ways)  but as they get to know each other feelings develop between the two and there is an instant connection. But Melissa's past especially her ex-husband is hindering her to succumb to a happy life with a chance to have true happiness with someone she is falling in love with and the chance to be a proper family. I love the relationship that develops between Daniel and William who transforms in this book.

A Second Christmas Wish, is a charming tale that you can't help but fall in love with the characters and want them to have the perfect Christmas that is so deserved. This book is about finding love and happiness and Daniel was patient and kind towards Melissa and his bond with William was so sweet. It is definitely the book to curl up with this Christmas.

Finally I would like to thank the lovely people at NetGalley and Choc lit for allowing me to read this gorgeous book for an honest review.

Enjoy!

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1789786124

Ailish

Thursday, 20 October 2016

One Christmas in Paris by Mandy Baggot

One Christmas in Paris

Dear Reader,

Let me start off by thanking the lovely people at NetGalley and Bookouture for allowing me to read this festive book for an honest review.

 I have just returned from Paris (albeit fictionally) courtesy of the lovely Mandy Baggot who once again has delivered a truly wonderful festive book. She has whisked us off to romantic Paris! Ooh la la! (Sorry, I had to get that in somewhere)

We first meet Ava who joins her "totes" best friend, Debs on an improntu trip to Paris. Ava is escaping a cheating boyfriend and an overbearing mother. Ava's mother, Rhona, runs a modelling agency and has been trying to push her in front of the camera since she was a small child and is always pushing her to loose weight. This is not what Ava wants to do with her life but she is unable to stand up to her mother. Ava's parents are divorced and Deb's mother and step-father are like surrogate parents to her. Deb's is heading to Paris for some research for a magazine article so off the two go on a Parisian adventure.

Ava immediately falls in love with Paris while ignoring constant texts from Leo (the cheating boyfriend) and frantic calls and voice messages from her mother. Meanwhile Deb finally opens up to Ava about what has been upsetting her and she reveals that herself and her mother have reason to believe that step-dad Garry is having an affair. (He's been acting suspiciously) Deb can't believe he would do this to them especially when he promised that he would never do what her biological dad did. So this turns in to an investigation as Garry is in Paris rather than where he said he would be.

On their first night they meet Julian who is a photographer and his friend Didier. The initial meeting does not go down too well. Ava is on a heated telephone call with aforementioned boyfriend Leo when Julian sees her outside a cafe. He is mesmerised by the anger and fire in her and he pulls out his camera to photograph her. Ava sees him and is furious that another photographer is taking pictures of her and judging her appearance which of course is not the case. Julian is trying to put himself back together after the tragic death of his sister Lauren and this is the first time since her death that he has used his camera. He has been dragged out on this night by his friend Didier. Julian and Ava are persuaded by their friends into the cafe to talk out their differences over dinner. Before he knows it Julian is offering to show Ava Paris and from there One Christmas in Paris takes us the reader on a Paris adventure just like Ava and Julian.

Mandy draws us in to the various themes in this story from Ava and her issues with her mother, Deb's problems with her family, Julian and the heartache he and his family are going through and last but not least the full of life Didier.

The story goes from strength to strength with gorgeous detailed descriptions of Paris that I felt I was there too right beside this wonderful cast of characters not to mention the scrumptious food and cakes (although I do not like the sound of snail butter...)

So get downloading and curl up with this treat of a book. Perfect in the run up to Christmas which will definitely get you into the spirit of the season.

Enjoy!

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1788058200?book_show_action=false

Ailish


Friday, 7 October 2016

Christmas at the Little Wedding Shop by Jane Linfoot




Christmas at the Little Wedding Shop: Sequins and Snowflakes (The Little Wedding Shop by the Sea Book 2) by [Linfoot, Jane]
Dear Reader,

I was looking forward to returning to St Aiden, a coastal Cornish village after reading The Little Wedding Shop by the Sea.

Christmas at the little Wedding Shop: Sequins and Snowflakes is the second installment in the series and it certainly did not disappoint. In fact I preferred it.  It was great to get back to the Brides by the Sea wedding shop and Daisy Hill Farm and catch up with previous characters.

This time the focus is on Sera East (Seraphina) who designs gorgeous wedding dresses. Her demanding sister Alice is having a Christmas wedding and she puts Sera in charge of the organising. Sera is the polar opposite of Alice in that she is shy, laid back and has always viewed herself as the disappointment. Alice is the business woman, sophisticated, polished and always in control.

Enter best men Quinn and Johnny who certainly challenge Sera's emotions. Quinn who is wild and devilishy handsome -a rogue but is honest and hard working and then Johnny who is a blast from the past. Plenty of drama, issues and rivalry ensue which Jane excels at and she keeps us guessing who Sera chooses. I thoroughly enjoyed this light hearted, feel good story from its gorgeous setting to the cast of characters.  I can't wait for the next installment

Thank you to Jane and NetGalley for this review copy



https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1776761813?book_show_action=false

Happy reading,
Ailish

Thursday, 6 October 2016

The Little Wedding Shop by the Sea by Jane Linfoot

Front CoverDear Reader,

First off the cover has to get a mention - it is absolutely gorgeous. It is bold, colorful and very eye-catching.

In 'Cupcakes and Confetti - The Little Wedding Shop by the Sea' we meet a great cast of characters in particular, Poppy, who has moved from London to Cornwall. Poppy loves baking cakes, especially wedding cakes and has managed to turn freelance while living overhead the 'Brides by the Sea' wedding shop. Poppy knows a thing or two about weddings so when her best friend, Cate, unexpectedly loses her wedding planner, Poppy is the one to save the day by becoming a manager/wedding planner at the venue Daisy Hill Farm. The previous wedding planner has made such a mess of everything it is left to Poppy to get everything into order. Before she knows it she is up to her tonsils with double-booked weddings, bridezillas, not to mention the very moody (and very handsome) farm owner Rafe who is not one bit happy with the wedding business so it is down to Poppy to get if off the ground so-to-speak with plenty of drama and antics thrown in for good measure.

Cupcakes and Confetti - The Little Wedding Shop by the Sea is such a delightful book. I have had the pleasure of reading several of Jane Linfoot's books so far and they never disappoint. This is my favorite yet and it is definitely one of her best which has all the most important ingredients for a romantic novel.

I cannot wait to go and return to Cornwall to rejoin this cast of characters in the second installment in the series - Christmas at the Little Wedding Shop where we follow Sera.

Jane, thank you again for such an enjoyable read that I did not want to end!

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1731080492


Happy Reading,

Ailish