ARC Review: The Summer of Serendipity by Ali McNamara

The Summer of Serendipity by Ali McNamara
Published: July 2017
Publisher: Sphere (Little, Brown Book Group UK)
Format: Ebook
Pages: 368
ISBN13: 9780751566215
ASIN: B01MQJVNBC

Goodreads
Amazon UK

Description

My Review

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for copy, in exchange for my honest review.  I’m so glad I got to read this, I’ve loved other books by Ali McNamara and this one does not disappoint.

I found this to be a magical story, full of folklore, history, mysteries and romance.  It was interesting to read the different legends.  I know it’s a fictional place, but it made me realise that everywhere has these little stories, legends, rumours, whatever you want to call it.  They all stem from somewhere don’t they?

Written well, as always for Ali McNamara. The characters all had feeling, depth, and a likeability that touches you.  There is a lot of eye-rolling though, and winking. What’s that all about? Anyway, I liked all of the characters.  The setting was beautiful, as is all of Ireland.

Ren is determined, stubborn, but a very likeable woman.  Kiki plays well against Ren. For Ren’s matureness, Kiki is the opposite. She’s ditzy, doesn’t get a lot of Ren’s references, but she’s still very likeable.  Finn.  I’ve been trying to find the right words for Finn but I’m struggling.  He’s likeable, you get to see a little of his history, his backstory but on the other hand I don’t know…  I felt like I didn’t get a lot from him.  I don’t know.  All the characters worked well together, there is chemistry between all the characters, a fondness between them.  Kiki and Ren found their home in Ballykiltara and it shows.

It makes a nice change that the loss that a character’s suffers is an animal.  Many stories centre around the loss of a person, not an animal.  People’s lives are affected by the loss of a pet or like Finn, a business.  it shows that it does change the way people are.

This book was just great.  I loved how it was written, I loved the majority of the characters, and I just really enjoyed it.  I give it 4/5.

 

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Blog Tour: Q&A/Review: The Once in a Blue Moon Guesthouse by Cressida McLaughlin

The Once in a Blue Moon Guesthouse by [McLaughlin, Cressida]

The Once in a Blue Moon Guesthouse by Cressida McLaughlin
Publisher: HarperCollins
Published: 29th June 2017
Format: Ebook
Pages: 500
ISBN13: 9780008219284
ASIN: B01MY458DB

Goodreads

Amazon UK

Synopsis
Robin Brennan has come home to Campion Bay. Now her parents have retired, she’s set to become the new landlady of The Campion Bay Guesthouse.
Bookings have been as thin as the hand towels, and it doesn’t take long for Robin to realise that the place needs a serious makeover. Perhaps throwing herself into the task will help to heal her sadness at the tragic end to her dreams in London.
As she gives the guesthouse a new lease of life, Robin encounters old friends and new, including old flame Tim, who’d clearly like to reboot their romance. But what about Will, the new arrival at No. 4, who’s rocked up with the cutest dog ever?
Caught up in a flurry of full-English breakfasts and cream teas, Robin’s never sure what, or who, the next check-in will bring…

Q&A With Cressida McLaughlin

1. What does your writing day look like? And do you have a favourite place to write?

My brain is much better first thing, so I like to start early, 7.30 or 8am, and will try and work through until lunchtime on writing or editing, whatever stage I’m at. After lunch I’ll do other things, social media or blog posts or Q&As like this. The main hazard is Twitter, which can suck up hours of my time if I let it. I should put one of those ‘no internet’ thingies on my computer, but it would frustrate me not being able to look something up if I needed to. (Which is obviously a rubbish excuse from a Twitter addict.)

I have an office in one of our spare bedrooms at home, and I love it. I can have music playing, my sparkly lava lamp on, coffee and tea when I want, a candle burning. It’s very snug and colourful – it has lots of Poldark postcards on the walls – and it’s the ideal space for me to be creative.

2. Do you remember the first story you ever wrote? Can you tell us a bit about it?

I feel bad that I don’t remember the first story I ever wrote, but I do remember that whatever I did write, I always wanted it to look like a book. I folded sheets of A4 paper in half, stapled them at the fold and then drew a cover on the front, writing the words and adding pictures on the pages inside. My parents taught me about the magic of books from day one, and I loved the idea of my words being inside one – an ambition I feel very lucky to have realised. I remember very vividly a murder mystery my sister wrote for primary school. The story was brilliant, it was put together like a proper book, and I remember wishing that I’d written it. That has stayed with me much more than any of the stories I wrote when I was small – she was definitely an inspiration to me.

3. Do you have a favourite film adaptation of a book? What was it and why?

I thought the adaptation of Gone Girl was excellent, and very faithful to the book, but my favourite has to be the BBC adaptation of North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell, with Daniela Denby-Ashe as Margaret Hale and Richard Armitage as John Thornton. It’s bleak, dramatic and very romantic. The scenes in the mills, with the cotton falling like snow while John Thornton stalks about in his stark black suit and hat, are so powerful. It’s a classy adaptation that I never get bored of re-watching.

4. If you were forced to write a different genre, what would you chose?

Creepy ghost story, definitely. I may have the beginnings of one on the go at the moment, just to see if I can do it . . .

My Review:

Firstly, thank you to Netgalley, and the Publisher for my copy of this book in exchange for my review.  Also, for letting me take me part in the blog tour.

A light hearted story, revolving around Robin who is starting fresh in her home town of Campion Bay. Taking over her parents guesthouse, she starts from scratch after losing her friend and closing her events business.  A likeable character but a little predictable. She comes across as kind, caring, thoughtful, if not a little held back because of her time in London.  The whole story was a little predictable but then again that’s what we all need as a pick me up from time to time!! This book is definitely a pick me up book. It was heartwarming, friendly, a little amusing, and has some delicious recipes at the end.

Throughout the whole book we have likeable characters, from Molly, Will, Paige, the guesthouse guests and other people from the town. Of course, we have a villain (in a sense anyway) in the form of Robin’s childhood sweetheart, Tim. Not so much a likeable character but it works for this story.  He comes across as sleazy, a little too confident and thinks he’ll get his own way no matter what.

The writing style was easy to read, it kept me reading and was easy enough to keep track off. The book is separated into 4 parts (I think they were published individually before?), each part flows brilliantly into the next. The time frame is only over a couple of weeks but doesn’t feel like that as you read it.  But then on the other hand, it goes by so quickly you don’t really get a sense of the timeframe of everything.  Such a quick pace is always good for me, I love getting caught up in everyone’s stories.

I think it’s safe to say that I liked this book, a lot.  I loved the writing style, the quickness of it, the characters.  I can’t really pinpoint one thing that I didn’t really like about it.

I give this book 5/5

Mid-Year Freak-Out Book Tag

So, I read this over on Thrice Read and thought that as we in fact 6 months, nearly 7 months, into the year that I would do just a general post with this book-tag.
Just for an update: My Goodreads Reading Challenge is set at 100 again for this year, and currently I am reading book number 69.  I seem to have been flowing through this year, without struggles or what not.

On to the Book Tag questions I go….

Best Book You’ve Read So Far in 2017

I can’t decide on just one book, so here is the top 5 so far.

The Little Café of Second Chances by J.D. Barrett    The Perfect Present by Karen Swan   Heartless by Marissa Meyer   The Rome Affair by Karen Swan   The Storm Sister by Lucinda Riley

I’ve picked (In no particular order):

  • The Little Cafe of Second Chances by J. D Barrett
  • The Perfect Present by Karen Swan
  • Heartless by Marissa Meyer
  • The Rome Affair by Karen Swan
  • The Storm Sister by Lucinda Riley

All of them have something special about them, all of them being exceptional books.

Best Sequel You’ve Read So Far in 2017

 

Oh, god… I think I’ve only read 2 sequels this year.. If you can even call them sequels

Turn Towards the Sun by Emma   Davies   Secrets and Fries at the Starlight Diner by Helen Cox

The ones that I have read are:

  • Turn Towards the Sun by Emma Davies
  • Secrets & Fries at the Starlight Diner by Helen Cox

Again, both great books, I would not be able to pick my favourite one.

New Release You Haven’t Read Yet but Want To

      

They are all very, very different books.  I’m excited to read Kat French’s The Bed and Breakfast on the Beach purely because I have loved all of her others.  One Hot Summer was one of my favourite reads on 2016.  Godblind has had so much hype, I see it everywhere on social media at the moment, it isn’t something I would probably pick up straight away but I’m really excited to eventually get to this one in a couple of weeks!! Flame in The Mist’s cover looks stunning, that’s what attracted me first but it does sound like a pretty amazing story.

Most Anticipated Releases for the Second Half of the Year

   

These are the only 2 I have covers for, the third book would be an upcoming Lynsey James book, I believe it’s coming about October time (well, that’s when I’m booked in for a blog tour).  The above books are: Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody and The Honey Farm on the Hill by Jo Thomas.  Why am I excited for theses? Ok, the first book includes a circus, I love books like this.  And the second? Jo Thomas. her books always make me feel warm, loved, happy. They are pretty special books.

Biggest Disappointment

Caraval (Caraval, #1)

This is easy for me. Caraval by Stephanie Garber.  I was expecting so, so much for this book. But.. I just didn’t particularly enjoy it. I got the story, the characters, I understood everything and the world of Caraval was certainly magical but I just didn’t enjoy it all. There were parts that just didn’t really fit the book, the magical setting.

Biggest Surprise

Seven Steps to Happiness by Stella Newman   Birthrights by J. Kyle McNeal

Seven Steps to Happiness by Stella Newman and Birthrights by J. Kyle Mcneal. Both completely different books but I was pleasantly surprised by both.

Favorite New Author

Without a doubt, Karen Swan.  I think I have read 3 of hers this year, and each book has giving me something amazing from it.   The ones I’ve read are The Rome Affair are The Perfect Present. I’ve got a couple more either on my kindle or my bookcase and I plan on reading both before the year is out.

Favorite New Crush

Hmmm…. Sam Carlton from Summer’s Lease by Carrie Elks or Maverick from Lost Rider by Harper Sloan. Both very sexy, hot men.

Summer's Lease by Carrie Elks   Lost Rider by Harper Sloan

Favorite New Characters

I can’t pick, I honestly cannot pick.  There are characters that stand out at me while looking at me list of books read this year.  Like Dade from The Breaking Light by Heather Hansen, Cesca and Sam from Summer’s Lease by Carrie Elks, Catherine from Heartless by Marissa Meyer, and Whym and Quint from Birthrights by J. Kyle McNeal.

Summer's Lease by Carrie Elks   The Breaking Light by Heather    Hansen   Heartless by Marissa Meyer   Birthrights by J. Kyle McNeal

Books That Made You Cry

I don’t think any have made me cry so far this year.  It’s been a close thing, but no definite tears which is highly unlike me.

A Book That Made You Happy

Can I just say all the ones I’ve rated 4 stars or higher? I don’t think I could even pick 5 of them to be honest.

Most Beautiful Books You’ve Bought So Far This Year

The Chalk Artist   The Waking Land (The Waking Land Series)   The Night Circus   Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2)

I haven’t read any of these yet.  I was sent The Chalk Artist by Allegra Goodman and The Waking Land by Callie Bates for review, and I was lucky enough to be given Waterstones vouchers as a gift so The Night Circus was a must buy, along with Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo.

What Books Do You Need to Read Before the End of the Year?

My whole Netgalley shelf? Impossible as that is though, I’ll select a few that I’m planning blog posts for in the future couple of months.

            Carve the Mark (Carve the Mark, #1)      The Waking Land (The Waking Land Series)         The Stolen Marriage   Two By Two   Keep Me Safe (Seal Island #1)

So, there’s 12.  Hopefully I’ll get round to reading them all, and hopefully I’ll get to do a blog post on each of them.  The list is:

  • Carnegie’s Maid by Marie Benedict
  • The House of Secrets by Sarra Manning
  • The Inheritance by Angie Coleman
  • The Outcasts of Time by Ian Mortimer
  • Carve The Mark by Veronica Roth
  • The Summer of Serendipity by Ali McNamara
  • The Waking Land by Callie Bates
  • Traitor to the Throne by Alwyn Hamilton
  • From Rome With Love by Jules Wake
  • The Stolen Marriage by Diane Chamberlain
  • Two by Two by Nicholas Sparks
  • Keep Me Safe by Daniela Sacerdoti

So, how has your first 6 months of reading in 2017 been? Have you got some disappointments? Or some big surprises? I’d love to hear if you have or not!!

 

ARC Review: The Rome Affair by Karen Swan

The Rome Affair by Karen Swan
Publisher: Pan Macmillan/Pan
Published: 13th July 2017
Format: Ebook
Pages: 400
ISBN13: 9781509838028

Goodreads

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Synopsis
The glamorous capital city of Italy is brought to startling life in The Rome Affair, a compelling summer novel by Karen Swan.
1974 and Elena Damiani lives a gilded life. Born to wealth and a noted beauty, no door is closed to her, no man can resist her. At twenty-six, she is already onto her third husband when she meets her love match. But he is the one man she can never have, and all the beauty and money in the world can’t change it.
2017 and Francesca Hackett is living la dolce vita in Rome, leading tourist groups around the Eternal City and forgetting the ghosts she left behind in London. When she finds a stolen designer handbag in her dustbin and returns it, she is brought into the orbit of her grand neighbour who lives across the piazza – famed socialite Viscontessa Elena dei Damiani Pignatelli della Mirandola. Though the purse is stolen, Elena greets the return of the bag with exultation for it contains an unopened letter written by her husband on his deathbed, twelve years earlier.
Mutually intrigued by each other, the two women agree to collaborate on a project, with Cesca interviewing Elena for her memoirs. As summer unfurls, Elena tells her sensational stories, leaving Cesca in her thrall. But when a priceless diamond ring found in an ancient tunnel below the city streets is ascribed to Elena, Cesca begins to suspect a shocking secret at the heart of Elena’s life.

My Review:
Firstly, thank you to Pan and Netgalley for my copy in exchange of my honest review.   I know they say never judge a book by its cover, but I love this cover.  I will be honest, I didn’t even read the description of this book when I requested it for 2 reasons 1- Karen Swan wrote it, I’ve loved the other books I have read and 2- The cover.  The title suits this book, and this cover, perfectly.

There are some books in this world which make you love a place even more than you already do. This book is one of them. It has made me fall in love with Rome all over again, making me wanting to visit and experience it all for the first time again.  Karen Swan’s writing style immediately dumps you into a place and you instantly wish you were there. Her characters make you feel at home, they become your friends, your family.  I feel as though I have lost a friend in the main character, Francesa. Of course, I miss Elena and Nico as well.

Beautifully written, we get to see how the rich and glamourous live.  It takes us on a journey of love, loss, heartbreak, and a decades old mystery.  It shows us that money isn’t everything and sometimes anyone would do anything for the person that love deeply. Having me hooked from the first few pages, I couldn’t wait to see where Karen Swan took us this time.  The book is split between 2 wonderful women, from the 1960s through to 2017.

Through the book we see how Elena/Laney grows from the 16 year old we are introduced to through to the woman that she is when Francesca/Cesca meets her.  Both woman are fantastic characters, and in a way polar opposites.  Elena oozes wealth, glamour, sophistication and never having to work a day in her life. Cesca lives in vintage clothing, basically living hand to mouth, and then loses her tour guide job.  Coincidentally, Elena is there to offer her a job, to write Elena’s memoirs.  While she agrees to do the job, Cesca has to face what happened in her past.  She finds her own love in Nico, and discovers that Elena’s life wasn’t completely perfect after all.

I feel that Cesca learnt a lot from Elena, and from Nico.  I think that she learnt that she wasn’t responsible for her reason for escaping.  I also think that she learnt that she should never say no to a chance of love.  Elena got her true love after a pretty rough run of it, she lost more than she got throughout her life until she met her true love.  On the other hand, I think Elena was grateful for Cesca finally discovering the truth, and for her help coming to terms with everything.  Also, I think that the way that Elena was sort of fitting in a way.  She done it on her own terms, which she didn’t get to do a lot of.  But that’s all I will say about that, I don’t want to give too much away.

With beautiful writing, leaving me with a wish to revisit Rome, and to hold on to my love and my family, I give this book a very well deserved 5/5.

September Wrap Up!

So, September is over and done with.. That went too quick for my liking.  We had a good holiday, if not a little blustery – but what do you get for going to Wales, by the seaside, at the end of September?? We loved it though, the child (and the man-child) were very well behaved, no tantrums, not many tears, it was fab!! I got some decent reading done, with 4 books under the “Read” pile. My Goodreads reading challenge now stands at 124/150.

This month, I’m doing things differently.  Instead of saying what I’ve purchased, I’m going to concentrate on the actual read side of things. On that note, here is what I snuggled up with this month!!

1:  Passenger by Alexandra Bracken. Rated: 4/5
2: Christmas at the Little Village Bakery by Tilly Tennant. Rated: 4/5
3: Christmas Under a Cranberry Sky by Holly Martin. Rated: 5/5
4: Christmas Under a Starlit Sky by Holly Martin.  Rated: 4/5
5: All She Ever Wished For by Claudia Carroll. Rated: 4/5
6: Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard. Rated: 4/5
7: Unexpectedly Wilde by Rose Chen. Rated: 2/5
8: The Plumberry School of Comfort Food by Cathy Bramley. Rated: 5/5
9: Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo. Rated: 5/5
10: The Paris Secret by Karen Swan. Rated: 4/5
11: Letters from Lighthouse Cottage by Ali McNamara. Rated: 5/5

Worse Read:
Without a doubt, Unexpectedly Wilde. Oh my god, I don’t even know where to begin with it.  Firstly, let me say that I do not normally go for stories with lots of sex, or verging on the “erotica” label. But with this one… The description given on Netgalley was what made me think it wasn’t like that. I was wrong. Now, I’m not a wimp or a prude or anything when it comes to sex, I just don’t really get the whole erotica thing.  Anyway, that wasn’t the only reason why I didn’t like this book.  On one page, the ex-wife’s name was one thing, and then a few pages later it was a completely different name!!!!!! Then another example that I can think of was a friend was on their honeymoon in one place, and then towards the end of the book it was a different one!!! Surely if you’re writing a book you keep track of details, right?? Just makes sense that it all matches up throughout the book.
This book to me, had a huge amount of potential, but it just fell flat on it’s over sexual face.  It was poor.

Best Read:
Well, with the amount of 5/5 I’ve given, I cannot pick. It’s unusual for me to give 4 of them in one month!!!! Each of them had their own fantastic elements to it.
Six of Crows was fantastic to read, I loved the world – having read The Grisha Trilogy earlier this year.  I loved the characters, I loved the ending, I loved everything about it.
Christmas Under a Cranberry Sky was a brilliant start to what is hopefully and ongoing series.  The characters were fantastic, the island was such a beautiful setting (I need to visit), it’s a great read to get you in a festive mood.  The writing was wonderful, and I cannot wait to see if there will be anymore of them after Christmas Under a Starlit Sky.
The Plumberry School of Comfort Food was such a comfort read.  It set me up for my little reading marathon on holiday, it was just perfect.  I sort of wish I could visit the cooking school, maybe have a little one-on-one with Tom?? Just a wonderfully perfect, comforting book.
Letters from Lighthouse Cottage was great.  It was wonderful to read the backstory of Grace, and how she got to her perfect life.  it was done differently, and I loved every moment of it.  The characters in this book were great, we see how they grew, developed from awkward teenagers into adults, parents, spouses.  I loved the idea of Remy, it certainly made the book have a completely different feel to it.

Biggest Surprise:
This is definitely Christmas at the Little Village Bakery.  While I enjoyed the first one, I didn’t actually have high hopes for this one.  The description, in my own opinion, does not match the book at all. Something about Milly’s cousin being too flirty with Dylan, it just didn’t happen in the book. In fact, cousin Darcie was a shy girl, not what I pictured when I read the description.  Anyway, good points.  I loved the fact that the story didn’t actually centre around Milly and Dylan.  It was nice to read about Spencer and Tori, and their worries about getting married, where to live, their completely different parents.  It was nice to read about other characters, I didn’t particularly connect well with Milly in the first book.  Anyway, I think this book is slightly better than the first, but I cannot see if it can be added to with another one – if there is one, I will read it.  The only way I can see it being added to is with Darcie.  I would enjoy reading about her story, where she came from, where she goes.

Any Disappointments:
Not really, which isn’t a surprise.
I did struggle to get into Glass Sword, but I got there eventually. I’m excited for the 3rd book in the trilogy, and very intrigued with where it is going.  As I said, I struggled to actually get into it. I can’t really pinpoint why though, I loved Red Queen, I was very excited to pick this up but it just didn’t start with the Oomph I was expecting.

October Plans:
This is where I struggle. I’ve got to plan an international giveaway for a author (any tips will be gratefully received!), and read and review both her books (watch this space!!).
I’ve also got extra copies of a book to giveaway as well so look out for that as well.
Other than that, no special Blogging Plans. I’m going to be aiming for 2 reviews a week, fingers crossed I can do it! I’m hoping to get one up by the end of the week this week, and then 2 next and every week from then but we shall see.
This month is busy with homelife as well.  We have a 3rd birthday with the child, with another week away visiting Mum.  Our poor feline-baby, Percy, must think we keep abandoning him!

August ’16 Wrap Up!!

Oh my goodness, what an awful but brilliant month.  Sadly, we lost my Grandad this month. He was 85 years old, married to my Nan for 60 of them, so he had a full happy life.  He will be missed massively within our family.

But, on a happier note!!! The Man-Child FINALLY proposed to me on my birthday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! EEEEEKK!!!! Sounds like I’m overreacting right? We’ve been together 10 years this New Years, I moved nearly 300 miles away from my family for us to have a chance, and we have a child. Not overacting, trust me!!!

So, the books.  That’s what we’re all about, isn’t it?
Reading wise, the beginning of the month started fab, I read a huge amount.  I also had to change the number for my Goodreads challenge, again. This time I upped it to 150. And then well, it went downhill.  I couldn’t find my mojo, I think I must have left it with my sanity somewhere.  God knows where that’s been hiding.  Then we went to visit my Mum and I surprisingly read 3 within 3 days. Boom, mojo has been found!! On that note, if you see my sanity then please guide it gently this way!

Before listing books – I shall be skipping my review copies this month, and whatnot, I feel like I need to state something about the amount of books I purchase.  For Ebooks, I very very rarely pay full price.  I always wait months for them to drop down to anywhere between 99p and £1.99.  Even better when I pick up a glorious freebie!! I get a lot of Freebies.  It takes time looking for them but it’s worth it.
With the physical books I pick up, again they are never full price.  I never buy books from Waterstones or other big booksellers.  I tend to do The Works (3 for £5), or occasionally Asda’s 2 for £7.  I always buy a lot of secondhand books from sellers on Ebay or other places.  I never tend to use charity shops for my books as they are always ridiculously expensive in my area. I always find my best bargains online.

As for review copies, I do read them and review them all.  I may not put a post on here but I will review it on Goodreads, Amazon and Netgalley.  If I do a blog post, I always add it to Bookbridgr.  Always.

The only reason I’m clarifying all this is because I was asked recently about the amount of books and how I can afford so many.  I always had 100s before starting this blog so it’s not like I’m never going to stop buying them!

Books Purchased:

1: The Trouble with Henry and Zoe by Andy Jones
2: Iris and Ruby by Rosie Thomas
3: The Chocolate Lovers Club by Carole Matthews
4: The Lonely Hearts Travel Club By Katy Colin’s
5: The Rose Girls by Victoria Connelly
6: Four Weddings and a Fiasco by Catherine Ferguson
7: High Tide by Veronica Henry
8: Letters from Lighthouse Cottage by Ali McNamara
9: Undertaking Love by Kat French
10: Milkshakes and Heartbreak at The Starlight Diner by Helen Cox
11: Royal by Winter Renshaw
12: The Christmas Promise by Sue Moorcroft Pre-Order
13: Lizzie’s Christmas Escape by Christie Barlow Pre-Order
14: Ellie Jordan, Ghost Trapper by JL Bryan
15: Prosecco and Paparazzi by Celia Kennedy
16: Secrets and Fries at the Starlight Diner by Helen Cox Pre-Order
17: Friends like Us by Sian O’Gorman
18: The Soul’s Mark: FOUND by Ashley Stoyanoff
19: Skin Deep by Catherine Barry
20: Rosie by Alan Titchmarsh
21: The Garden of Secrets by Jane Petken
22: All The Way to Heaven by Becky Doughty
23: Coast to Coast by Kate Dowling
24: Finding Home by Lauren Westwood
25: The One We Fell in Love With by Paige Toon
26: Second Chance Summer by Jill Shalvis
27: A Week in Paris by Rachel Hore
28: Those Faraday Girls by Monica McInerey
29: A Cornish Stranger by Liz Fenwick
30: I Let You Go by Claire Mackintosh

I’m not putting in my review copies, if you would like to know what they are, have a look on the Books Reviewed menu at the top (Look Up!). Hopefully I Can list them all! I’ve been on bit of a binge recently, that and there have been some amazing books released on Netgalley this month.  I’ve got my Christmas books lined up for review in September.  It’s early I know, but who needs Christmas just once a year???

Books Read:

1: The Little Village Bakery by Tilly Remnant
2: Late Summer at The Vineyard by Jo Thomas
3: City in Embers by Stacey Marie Brown
4: Royal by Winter Renshaw
5: The Sunshine and Biscotti Club by Jenny Oliver
6: The Piano Man Project by Kat French
7: The Oyster Catcher by Jo Thomas
8: The Substitute by Denise Grover Swank
9: Backpack and a Red Dress by Madrid Jane
10: The Genius and The Muse by Elizabeth Hunter
11: The Bookshop on Rosemary Lane by Ellen Berry
12: The Genius and The Muse by Elizabeth Hunter
13: Milkshakes and Heartbreak at the Starlight Diner by Helen Cox
14: Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder
15: Dying Fall by Elly Griffiths
16: Return to the Little French Guesthouse by Helen Pollard
17: The Rejected Writers Book Club by Suzanne Kelman
18: Recreated by Colleen Houck
19: Wildflower Bay by Rachael Lucas
20: Saving Sara by Nicola Marsh
21: Currently Reading: Voyager by Diana Gabaldon

Best Book of August:

Tough choice!! For a light hearted read, I’ll have to choose The Piano Man Project by Kat French.  She writes such brilliantly, funny, gorgeous men.  She knows her stuff!!
For everything else, I’ll choose either Posion Study by Maria V. Snyder.  It kept me gripped until the last page, didn’t lose me along the way, and it wasn’t completely outrageous or too soppy for the book of it’s style.

Worst Book of August:

I’m going to sound harsh and say I have 2 this month.  First one, The Rejected Writers Book Club just didn’t really do it for me.  Yes, it made me chuckle, it made smile, but it just dragged a hell of a lot for me.  It didn’t seem to move anywhere quickly or make me want to pick it up.  Honestly, the only reason I finished it was because I was in the car with nothing else to do.
The second one is The Bookshop on Rosemary Lane.  Please do not hate me, and hear me out.  It dragged.  I gave it a 3 because it was a a fantastic idea.  It was a brilliant idea.  But did it really have to drag me on for nearly a damn week?? I finally got into it, then it ended.  Just like that.  Bookshop up and running, year later, the end.  Also, the way it done random parts from someone else’s view.  Like at the university? What was the point?  I know this book is highly popular at the moment but I sort of regret reading it, no not regret but put off reading it while other reviews came in on it.

Book looking forward to in September:

Out of all the review copies I’ve received this month, it’s very difficult to choose one I’m looking forward to.  Obviously I’m looking forward to them all, but the one that stands out which I’ve not read yet? Hmm… Chasing Embers by James Bennett is up there, and so is Stealing Snow by Danielle Paige. They are both looking good.

Events for September:

I have a place on the Chasing Embers blog tour, starting the 26th September so I’m looking forward to reading and reviewing that.  I’m also possibly going to do a UK giveaway for 2 people to receive a copy each of a book.  I’m also looking at planning an international giveaway with another author, but watch this space for that.

 So, that’s August wrapped up, and September in full plan mode.  Fingers crossed my mojo loves me enough this month not to abandon me!!!!!!!

 

Blog Tour: Don’t You Forget About Me

I’m thrilled to be kicking off the Blog Tour for this book, it’s been a great opportunity to get out there and flaunt my blog on social media, to other bloggers, other passionate readers and most importantly to read such a heart-warming, funny book.

This is Liz Tipping’s second book, and the first – Five Go Glamping – is now definitely on my To Be Read pile. Hopefully I’ll enjoy it as much as this one!!

Here’s the other blogs involved:

 

This book is available to purchase on
Amazon UK
Amazon US


Don’t You Forget About Me by Liz Tipping
Published: June 2016
Publisher: Carina
Format: Ebook
ASIN:  B01D4WO2MC
Goodreads Link

Synopsis:

An athlete, a princess, a brain, a criminal, a basket case…

Cara Dunham is definitely one of them. But stuck in her small hometown, with no prospects of escape, she’s struggling to find her thing. Her life is more book club than Breakfast Club and there is no Judd Nelson in sight!

So when Cara is invited to a school reunion she knows this is her chance to channel her inner Molly Ringwald and grab her John Hughes moment, once and for all. Because her teenage love, Daniel Rose will be there, the coolest boy at school and the one that got away.

But transforming into an 80’s icon isn’t easy and Cara enlists the help of her oldest friend, Stubbs, to teach her all she needs to know about being cool and quirky – a la Ringwald.

Except Stubbs thinks she’s perfect, just as she is and takes it upon himself to show Cara that her life might not be ‘movie perfect’, but there is always another take to get things right. And maybe the hero she’s dreamed of has been under her nose the whole time…

My Thoughts:

Firstly, thank you to Netgalley and Carina for the chance to read and review this book. I really enjoyed it and found myself rooting for Cara to get the right man in the end!!

Cara was a likeable character, she was a bit stuck in the past, but she had a certain charm that I liked. Stubbs was a great character, I liked him a lot.  I could imagine him being one of my friends.  The additions of Divvy – sorry, Dave – and April weren’t really anything special for me though.  I understand that April plays a big part in Cara’s life, especially in the past, but she wasn’t anything special.  I would never have guessed that she was helping Stubbs in the way she was so that was a surprise.

I liked the references to numerous 80’s and 90’s references, being a child in the 90’s I understood it all – which was a delight! I can’t say I’ve watched all of the films mentioned but I’m planning on it!! I can remember watching The Breakfast Club but not for a very long time. The bands mentioned I know off, and am a fan so that’s always a big bonus!!!! I was able to picture some of the places mentioned, being a regular visitor to the area.

The writing style was easy to read, and matched the book perfectly.  There wasn’t any ridiculous long paragraphs, or chapters, that would have put anyone looking for an easy read off from picking this up. It’s definitely a mini walk down memory lane for people who grew up in the 1980s.

My Rating: With likeable characters, a storyline that flowed well with a light-hearted theme.  Superb for people who grew up in the 80’s.  I’m giving this big a very strong 4/5.