ARC Review: Late Summer in the Vineyard by Jo Thomas

imageLate Summer in the Vineyard
by Jo Thomas
Published: 11th August 2016
Publisher: Headline Review
ISBN: 9781472223722
Goodreads

Available to purchase from
Amazon UK
Amazon US

Synopsis:

Emmy Bridges has always looked out for others. Now it’s time to put down roots of her own.
Working for a wine-maker in France is the opportunity of a lifetime for Emmy. Even if she doesn’t know a thing about wine – beyond what’s on offer at the local supermarket.
There’s plenty to get to grips with in the rustic town of Petit Frère. Emmy’s new work friends need more than a little winning over. Then there’s her infuriatingly brash tutor, Isaac, and the enigmatic Madame Beaumont, tucked away in her vineyard of secrets.
But Emmy will soon realise that in life – just as in wine-making – the best things happen when you let go and trust your instincts. Particularly when there’s romance in the air…

My Thoughts:

Firstly, thanks to the publisher and Bookbridgr for the opportunity to read and review this great book! Again, as with my last 2 reviews, look at the cover!! This is bright, cheerful, and instantly you know it’s going to be an amazing book. The digital image does nothing for the actual physical book.

My goodness. What a beautiful, heart-warming, gorgeous *insert whatever warm fuzzy word you’re thinking here* book. It’s certainly left me with that warm, romantic, loving feeling.
This is the first book I’ve read by Jo Thomas, I regret not reading The Oyster Catcher, which I’ve had for months, sooner to find out that she is an outstanding author.

Emmy is an excellent character. She’s down on her luck, looking for a means to help out her Dad. So what does she do? Throws herself so far outside her comfort zone, and succeeds in every way you want her to. She grows, becomes more confident and falls in love along the way. Isaac is the lone, travelling wine-maker, looking for somewhere – and someone – to settle down. He’s handsome, charming, and just utterly perfect for Emmy.

The chemistry between them sizzles off the page and I just love it. Every character adds something special to this book. Madame Beaumont is just the perfect character for, she is by far the best old lady I’ve come across recently in books.

Jo Thomas’s writing style has left me with a warm feeling, and has definitely left me wanting more. I would love it if there was a second book following Emmy and Isaac. I will be hurrying to pick up everything else by Jo Thomas now.

France is a perfect backdrop, set in a quaint little village that I really want to visit now. Or just visit France in general, anywhere in such a stunning country would be fine!!! I seem to be having a European reading spree at the moment!

My Rating: With excellent characters, a wonderful French setting, and romance pouring from pretty much every page, I give this book a huge sloppy kiss and an even bigger 5/5. This book is perfect for settling down with on a late summer’s evening, with a glass (or 2) of wine.

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Book Review: Hex by Thomas Olde Heuvelt

HEX

Hex by Thomas Olde Heuvelt

Publisher: Hodder and Stoughton
Published: 28th April 2016
Format: Hardback
Pages: 380
ISBN13: 9781444793215

Synopsis:
Whoever is born here, is doomed to stay until death. Whoever comes to stay, never leaves.
Welcome to Black Spring, the seemingly picturesque Hudson Valley town haunted by the Black Rock Witch, a seventeenth-century woman whose eyes and mouth are sewn shut. Blind and silenced, she walks the streets and enters homes at will. She stands next to children’s beds for nights on end. So accustomed to her have the townsfolk become that they often forget she’s there. Or what a threat she poses. Because if the stitches are ever cut open, the story goes, the whole town will die.
The curse must not be allowed to spread. The elders of Black Spring have used high-tech surveillance to quarantine the town. Frustrated with being kept in lockdown, the town’s teenagers decide to break the strict regulations and go viral with the haunting. But, in so doing, they send the town spiraling into a dark nightmare.

My Thoughts:

Firstly, let me thank Hodder and Stoughton for my review copy via Bookbridgr!

Hmmm… I was expecting some horrifying, nightmare-inducing story, but sadly, for me it really wasn’t.  Granted, everyone is different but I didn’t really see a scary side to this book.

It was brilliantly written though.  Parts of the story were written as a witness account, asking the reader questions, involving them in decisions.  Other parts were written as it was happening.  Great writing style, and good character depth.  it was a shame some characters weren’t built up more – like Matt who needed something extra.  The setting of Black Spring was great.  In fact, the whole storyline was great.  I enjoyed the book, and just disappointed I didn’t find it scary.  It’s been a while since I read a horror book and wanted a good scare!

The ending was a tad gruesome, if not a little confusing for me.  I had to keep re-reading bits for it to sink in and  help me understand what was happening.  Without giving anything away, it’s making me wonder if Katherine wasn’t in a long line of people who were keeping Black Spring living in fear.  What happens to Steve after the ending? Was it Tyler at the door? Did he go through with the stitching?

I read part of the acknowledgements and it said something about the ending in the Dutch version? Has anyone read it? Is it different?? That perked my interests slightly.

So, overall, an enjoyable story, great characters, great settings, and an unexplainable ending. However, because I didn’t find it scary I’m rating it 3.5/5