June Wrap-Up!

Well, another month down, well and truly half way into the year, and another stack of books building up on the bookcase.  Yes, I know it’s not officially the end of June but I have a busy few days coming up so while the Child is sleeping – finally, a daytime nap!! – I thought I’d get this in quick!

I’ve not been as bad this month with buying books, instead it has been books from Netgalley.  I’ve read a few of them, and reviewed, but I still have 10 – I think – on my Netgalley shelf/collection.  I’ve also got a few to read from Bookbridgr as well – I’m currently working my way through Every Exquisite Thing by Matthew Quick.  I’m not sure if I’m enjoying it but I will finish it. I’m more determined if anything else to finish it.

So my month of reading.  It’s a grand total of 18 read, 20 purchased, and 17 from either Bookbridgr/Netgalley/Author.  That’s quite horrific to see it put into simple terms like that and not a list – that’s the amount to read, not read.

What’s even worse is that I have only reviewed 5 books in total.  5?? That’s pathetic compared to the actual 18 I’ve read!

My favourite book of the month: Hmm…. it’s either between Can’t Buy Me Love by Jane Lovering or One Hot Summer by Kat French.  First one what would come to mind if put under pressure would be One Hot Summer.  I loved it, cannot praise it enough, and still would very much like to put in an order for my very own Robinson if possible? Please, thank you, pretty please with a cherry on top?  I also really enjoyed We Are All Made of Stars by Rowan Coleman – that book was a whole different kind of special.

Least favourite book of the month: Break Up Club by Lorelei Mathias.  This book dragged for me, it wasn’t spectacular or highly funny, just a little amusing.  I dragged my way through it and through a little brain party when it finished.  I sort of wish I hadn’t read it, the amount of time it took me to read it would have been filled with 2 other books that I could have loved even more than this one.

Thoughts for July:
To make a dent in my piles of books, if not a huge dent then a small dent.
I want to get my Bookbridgr books read this month, hopefully anyway.  I’ve got about 10 of them altogether I think but not entirely sure. Maybe I should keep them separate from my other books.

My Naughty List (Including ARCs/Bookbridgr):

The Light Behind The Window by Lucinda Riley
The Things We Never Said by Susan Elliot Wright
Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
Last Dance in Havana by Rosanna Ley
The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon
The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon
The Dress by Kate Kerrigan
The Zig Zag Girl by Elly Griffiths
The Sisterhood by Helen Bryan
Another Night, Another Day by Sarah Rayner
The Dandelion Years by Erica James
A Love Like This by Maria Duffy
The Janus Stone by Elly Griffiths
A Place of Secrets by Rachel Hore
The Little Village Bakery by Tilly Tennant
Spirit Legacy by E.E Holmes
Time After Time by Hannah McKinnon
The House at Sea End by Elly Griffiths
A Room Full of bones by Elly Griffiths

ARC Copies:

The A to Z of Me and You by James Hannah
The Light of Paris by Eleanor Brown (READ)
Magruder’s Curiosity Cabinet by H. P Wood
A House for Happy Mothers by Amulya Malladi
A Robot in the Garden by Deborah Install
Break-Up Club by Lorelei Mathias (READ)
The Story of Our Life by Shari Low
One Hot Summer by Kat French (READ)
Nevernight by Jay Kristoff
Good Morning, Midnight by Lily Brooks-Dalton
Daemoneum by Laney McMann
Crystallum by Laney McMann
Escape to the Riveria by Jules Wake

Bookbridgr:

The Comfort of Others by Kay Langdale
The Hope Family Calendar by Mike Gayle
The Rumour by Elin Hilderbrand

Other Books for Review:

The Madam by Jaime Raven (READ)

Books Read:

Summer by the Sea by Jenny Hale
Can’t Buy Me Love by Jane Lovering (Review Here)
Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo
Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo
The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman
The Madam by Jaime Raven (Review Here)
One Hot Summer by Kat French (Review Here)
The Light of Paris by Eleanor Brown (Review Here)
Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton
Everlasting by Candace Knoebel
The Cake Shop in the Garden by Carole Matthews
The Janus Stone by Elly Griffiths
The Snow Angel by Lulu Taylor
We Are All Made of Stars by Rowan Coleman
Break-Up Club by Lorelei Mathias (Review here)
The House at Sea’s End by Elly Griffiths
A Room Full of Bones by Elly Griffiths

Library Return Trip

So, after finishing all (apart from 1) the books from My Most Excellent Idea last week, I took all the books back today and got some more out.  Another 6.  I must admit though, this is saving me a fortune!  They’ve actually been getting newer and newer books in so I’ve been able to get some that have found their way on to my  Amazon wishlists. Yes, I have more than one wishlist.  I’m going to have to take my time with some of these as I’ve still got 2 for reviewing from Bookbridgr.

So, my 6 books for this week are:

The Cosy Tea Shop in The Castle by Caroline Roberts
The Cosy Teashop in the CastleWhen Ellie Hall lands her dream job running the little teashop in the beautiful but crumbling Claverham Castle, it’s the perfect escape from her humdrum job in the city. Life is definitely on the rise as Ellie replaces spreadsheets for scones, and continues her Nanna’s brilliant baking legacy.When Lord Henry, the stick-in-the-mud owner, threatens to burst her baking bubble with his old-fashioned ways, Ellie wonders if she might have bitten off more than she can chew. But cupcake by cupcake she wins the locals over, including teashop stalwart, Doris, and Ellie’s showstopping bakes look set to go down in castle history!
Now all that’s missing in Ellie’s life is a slice of romance – can Joe, the brooding estate manager, be the one to put the cherry on the top of Ellie’s dream?

The Time of the Clockmaker by Anna Caltabiano
The Time of the Clockmaker
Her mentor shockingly killed in front of her, Rebecca Hatfield must flee the place and time she knows. She has lost her family, her dearest love and her ability to live a normal life. All she has left is the gift – or curse – of her immortality, and the bizarre clock that allows her to travel in time.
But when she too is attacked by the mysterious black-clad figure, Rebecca finds herself stranded in Tudor England. The clock has been stolen and without it, she can never leave the past. Alone, without friends or resources, she must risk the danger of Henry VIII’s court and hunt down her attacker.
But someone else is waiting for her…

Three Amazing Things About You by Jill Mansell
Three Amazing Things About You
Hallie has a secret. She’s in love. He’s perfect for her in every way, but he’s seriously out of bounds. And her friends aren’t going to help her because what they do know is that Hallie doesn’t have long to live. Time is running out…
Flo has a dilemma. She really likes Zander. But his scary sister won’t be even faintly amused if she thinks Zander and Flo are becoming friends – let alone anything more.
Tasha has a problem. Her new boyfriend is the adventurous type. And she’s afraid one of his adventures will go badly wrong.
THREE AMAZING THINGS ABOUT YOU begins as Hallie goes on a journey. A donor has been found and she’s about to be given new lungs. But whose?

Reawakened by Colleen Houck
Reawakened (Reawakened, #1)
When seventeen-year-old Lilliana Young enters the Metropolitan Museum of Art one morning during spring break, the last thing she expects to find is a live Egyptian prince with godlike powers, who has been reawakened after a thousand years of mummification.
And she really can’t imagine being chosen to aid him in an epic quest that will lead them across the globe to find his brothers and complete a grand ceremony that will save mankind.
But fate has taken hold of Lily, and she, along with her sun prince, Amon, must travel to the Valley of the Kings, raise his brothers, and stop an evil, shape-shifting god named Seth from taking over the world.

The City’s Son by Tom Pollock
The City's Son (The Skyscraper Throne, #1)
Expelled from school, betrayed by her best friend and virtually ignored by her dad, who’s never recovered from the death of her mum, Beth Bradley retreats to the sanctuary of the streets, looking for a new home. What she finds is Filius Viae, the ragged and cocky crown prince of London, who opens her eyes to the place she’s never truly seen.
But the hidden London is on the brink of destruction. Reach, the King of the Cranes, is a malign god of demolition, and he wants Filius dead. In the absence of the Lady of the Streets, Filius’ goddess mother, Beth rouses Filius to raise an alleyway army, to reclaim London’s skyscraper throne for the mother he’s never known. Beth has almost forgotten her old life – until her best friend and her father come searching for her, and she must choose between the streets and the life she left behind.

Match Me If You Can by Michele Gorman
Match Me If you Can
Meet best friends Catherine, Rachel and Sarah. Yet to find Mr Right, they’ve been settling for Mr Right Now. But when Catherine, London’s finest matchmaker, gets the girls to join her dating site where they can recycle their ex-boyfriends, they soon realise that anything could happen.
Rachel’s office romance James was a big fat mistake and she’s more than happy to upcycle him… Or is she? Homebody Sarah hasn’t had a date in years but when her transformation finds men falling at her newly-pedicured feet, will her popularity be worth the sacrifices she’s making? And Catherine falls asleep more often on her desk than on a man, so when she builds the perfect partner who ticks all her boxes, surely it’s a recipe for love . . . not disaster?
There’s someone for everyone, right? These best friends are about to find out for themselves . .

There’s the 6 for my next bulk read.  I’ve only just realised that one of them is the second in a series but I’m hoping it can be read as a stand-alone book as well, if not I’m going to be having to hunt it down to read the first one!!
I did end up buying books yesterday, the Man-Child is going to go mental when he realises!!!
The recent, sneaky purchases:
The Shadow Queen by C.J Redwine
The Shadow Queen (Ravenspire, #1)

The Food of Love Cookery School by Nicky Pellegrino
The Food Of Love Cookery School
The First Last Kiss by Ali Harris
The First Last Kiss
The Cake Shop in the Garden by Carole Matthews
The Cake Shop In The Garden
The Three by Sarah Lotz
The Three

I must be going through a bit of chic-lit/romance/girly thing at the moment. I’m a sucker for the whole selection of genres.  I’m trying to mix things up a bit with some fantasy/crime/thriller/suspense but I keep going back to the grand old story of Love! Must be something in the air at the moment.

What’s everyone reading at the moment?  Have you read anything that you want to shout about from the  rooftops? Any great recommendations that you can’t shut up about? I look to hearing from you!!

My Most Excellent Idea!

So I’ve had a whoops moment today. I went to the library to return the 12 books the child got from the library this morning and while I was in there I had the most excellent idea I’ve had so far this week.

What is this excellent idea? I hear you ask! Well, that was to look at what they had…..
I normally only grab 2, maybe 3 books at a time… Not today though… 6 books.  6 quite big, bulky, hardback books! What a wonderful idea that was!!!

My list of books:
The Invasion of The Tearing by Erika Johansen. The Invasion of the Tearling (The Queen of the Tearling, #2)With each passing day, Kelsea Glynn is growing into her new responsibilities as Queen of the Tearling. By stopping the shipments of slaves to the neighboring kingdom of Mortmesne, she crossed the Red Queen, a brutal ruler whose power derives from dark magic, who is sending her fearsome army into the Tearling to take what is hers. And nothing can stop the invasion.  But as the Mort army draws ever closer, Kelsea develops a mysterious connection to a time before the Crossing, and she finds herself relying on a strange and possibly dangerous ally: a woman named Lily, fighting for her life in a world where being female can feel like a crime. The fate of the Tearling —and that of Kelsea’s own soul—may rest with Lily and her story, but Kelsea may not have enough time to find out.  

I’ve been looking for this book everywhere after reading the first one.  I’m so glad i saw it! Plus it’s saved me a few pennies, and bookcase space!! I’m already planning on curling up with this one this afternoon during child-free and man-child free time!!

The Lola QuartetThe Lola Quartet by Emily St John Mandell.  Jack, Daniel, Sasha and Gavin, four talented musicians at the end of their high school careers. On the dream-like night of their last concert, Gavin’s girlfriend Anna disappears. Ten years later Gavin sees a photograph of a little girl who looks uncannily like him and who shares Anna’s surname, and suddenly he finds himself catapulted back to a secretive past he didn’t realise he’d left behind.  But that photo has set off a cascade of dangerous consequences and, as one by one the members of the Lola Quartet are reunited, a terrifying story emerges: of innocent mistakes, of secrecy and of a life lived on the run.

While I struggled with Station Eleven by the same author, I did enjoy it so I’m hoping to enjoy this as well.  I’m loving the cover as well, it’s simple, elegant, and quite catching in it’s minimalistic way.

Meet Me In ManhattanMeet Me In Manhattan by Claudia Carroll. In a New York minute, everything can change …
You don’t mess with aspiring journalist Holly Johnson! The man she fell for is not all that he seems – because sometimes dating online doesn’t quite go to plan. She’s decided to fly to the Big Apple to surprise him and to get some answers. And if her plan works she’ll also get the scoop of her career …
But as she steps out of her yellow taxi and the first snowflakes start to fall, it’s Holly who has the surprise of her life.
What should be a dream come true is looking a little like a nightmare. But Holly is determined to get her New York happy
ending!

I’m a complete sucker for story like this. A soppy, romance with a bit of a twist.  I love them!! And I love the cover again!!

The Saffron TrailThe Saffron Trail by Rosanna Ley.  Once, there was a girl who loved saffron. She loved its secrets, its mystery, and best of all, she loved its hint of magic.  After the death of her beloved mother, Nell travels from rural Cornwall to the colour and chaos of Marrakech. Her marriage may be on the rocks, but exploring the heady delights of Moroccan cuisine could help her fulfil her dream of opening her own restaurant.  It’s there she meets Amy – a young photographer trying to unravel the story behind her family’s involvement in the Vietnam War. The two women develop a close friendship and discover a surprising connection between their own pasts.
This connection will take Nell and Amy on a journey to find their own ‘saffron trail’ – from the labyrinthine medina and bustle of Moroccan bazaars all the way back home to Cornwall and to the heart of their families’
origins.

This has been on my to-read list a while, again never being able to find it anywhere other than online.  The cover is a stunning mixture of colours and the story is, fingers-crossed- going to be just as stunning!!

Fix YouFix You by Carrie Elks. You’ve found the one, but what if life has other plans?
London, 31st December 1999
At a party to toast the new millennium, Hanna meets Richard. He is a gorgeous, wealthy New Yorker. She is a self-assured, beautiful Londoner with no interest in clean-cut American men. They are from different worlds and have nothing in common… except for their instant – and mutual – attraction to one another.
As the clocks chime midnight it is a new year and the beginning of a wonderful romance.
New York, 12th May 2012
Hanna, the girl who broke Richard’s heart, walks into his Wall Street office – and back into his life – to reveal an explosive secret.  He was sure they were meant to be together forever, but she broke his heart so completely the last time, can he find a way to let her mend the pieces?
Warm, witty and a perfect piece of modern romance, Fix You is a love story to melt your heart.

Again, a sucker for a twisted love-story!! And again, which I never realised when I picked it up, another New York setting!

Prey (A Jefferson Winter Thriller, #3)Prey by James Carol. Six years ago a young married couple were found brutally stabbed to death in their home in Upstate New York. Local police arrested a suspect who later committed suicide. But what if the police got it wrong?  Ex-FBI profiler Jefferson Winter is drawn into a deadly cat-and-mouse game with a mysterious female psychopath as she sets him a challenge: find out what really happened six years ago.
The clock is ticking, and as Winter is about to find out, the endgame is everything…

I loved the first 2 Jefferson Winter books, I hope there’s more to come as well!! As soon as I saw this I grabbed it, I didn’t even read the blurb.  Again, I’m very very excited to be reading this!!!

 

I also received yesterday Hex by Thomas Olde Heuvelt from Hodder & Stoughton for review.  This version gets published on the 28th April (I think anyway!). I’ve given up on the book I was reading to make room for all these ones as I seem to be on deadlines for the next few weeks!

What’s everyone else reading on this dreary Friday?

Book Review: The Italian Wife by Kate Furnivall

23311216The Italian Wife by Kate Furnivall

Published: June 2015
Publisher: Sphere 94
Format: Paperback        Pages: 437

Synopsis: Italy, 1932 — Mussolini’s Italy is growing from strength to strength, but at what cost?

One bright autumn morning, architect Isabella Berotti sits at a café in the vibrant centre of Bellina, when a woman she’s never met asks her to watch her ten-year-old daughter, just for a moment. Reluctantly, Isabella agrees — and then watches in horror as the woman climbs to the top of the town’s clock tower and steps over the edge.

This tragic encounter draws vivid memories to the surface, forcing Isabella to probe deeper into the secrets of her own past as she tries to protect the young girl from the authorities. Together with charismatic photographer Roberto Falco, Isabella is about to discover that secrets run deeper, and are more dangerous, than either of them could have possibly imagined . . .

From the glittering marble piazzas, to the picturesque hillside villages and winding streets of Rome, Kate Furnivall’s epic new novel will take you on an breathtaking journey of intrigue, romance and betrayal.

 

My Thoughts:
I can honestly hold my hands up and say that I know absolutely nothing about Italy during the 1930s.  Nothing.  This book didn’t open my eyes to anything I wouldn’t have guessed myself, Mussolini was an awful human being, so it wasn’t a shocking story.  Nothing was shocking about this story.  Kate Furnivall writes magnificent historical stores – if you can call them historical.  Let me change that, she writes magnificent stories set in pivotal moments of history of the world.  That sounds a lot better.  Anyway, as I was saying.  Magnificent writing, and a sort of predictable romance backnote to it though.  I was expecting that as her books always seem to have a big, strong man who can save the woman if she can’t be badass enough her self.  He’s always a backup and is never, ever the centre of the story.  That I am very pleased about.

Although there was the predictability about this book, it also showed that in moment’s of need, people do help each other.  Be that they are the enemy or not.  She’s also pretty much saying that with the right person, the right love behind you, you can conquer anything you fear.  That’s what I take from this story anyway.

So, overall, a little bit predictable, magnificent writing, another extremely well though out badass female, with her back up man.

My Rating: 4/5