Friday, 22 February 2013

Forgive Me by Lesley Pearse


Cheltenham, 1991 When Eva Patterson returns home from work one day, a devastating scene awaits her. Her mother, Flora, lies dead in the bath. Beside her is a note saying only: 'Forgive Me'. Until then, Eva always believed her family's life would be comfortable and secure - but Flora's suicide changes everything. And when Eva discovers that in her will Flora left her an artist's studio in London, she realises how little she knows about her mother's past.

When Eva visits the now derelict studio, she is shocked to find out that her mother was once a successful artist back in the 1960s. A chance encounter leads her to Phil, who agrees to help her restore the studio, as well as offering her the advice and friendship Eva so badly needs. In the studio attic she finds a collection of Flora's paintings and old diaries, which Eva believes were purposely left for her to find. Searching for answers, Eva encounters a psychic who mysteriously warns her to beware of a 'sleeping serpent', which she soon discovers refers to a shocking crime in Flora's past. 

Will discovering the truth destroy Eva's belief in everything she holds dear? And will Phil stand by Eva even when her journey leads her and those she loves into certain danger?

Well it has been quite some time since I have read anything by Lesley Pearse so when Forgive Me arrived through the post it didnt take me long to finish up my current read and jump into this authors writing world again.

This is such an emotional and captivating read. Forgive Me is one of the few books that kept th eoutcome a mystery all the way through the book. I thought I knew on a number of occasions through out the book what the answers were but then all of a sudden another part of the jigsaw would fall into place but putting a spanner in the works on my theories so you can't help feeling gripped with this storyline you can not wait to find out the truth!

The opening of the book was very shocking and sure does get of to a quick start and sets the emotions running. Eva was a fabulous main character who was very easy to warm to not only because of the situation she finds herself in which means you cant help but sympathies with her but also because of her raw emotion and determination which shines through in the authors writing. There is a wide cast of characters all who feel very realistic, some I loved and some I hated especially Eva's cold hearted father.

This is a difficult review to write because there are many scenes in this book that I would like to praise but the reason these parts were so good was the fact you couldn't predict them coming.

Forgive Me is a beautifully written book that is full of suspense, often leading you down the complete wrong path. If you are looking for a compelling unpredictable and emotional read this book should be top of your list.


Hardback                  Kindle

Monday, 18 February 2013

Amy & Zach by Sarah Louise Smith


Meet Amy & Zach Flying home to the UK from the US for her sister Libby’s wedding, Amy has some major issues with her homecoming. 

She is furious with Zach, who should have been travelling with her, but after he dropped a bombshell the day before she left, she hid his passport and flew alone.

Now, can she act normal when she meets Libby’s fiance Tim?

After he finds his passport, Zach heads for the UK to surprise Amy. He wants to apologise to her and finally meet her family. He has kept his secret for way too long and knows he has a lot of explaining to do. So, how did Amy and Zach get to this point? What is Zach hiding anyway? And what's going on between Amy and Tim? How well do Amy and Zach really know each other?


I have to say although the cover of this book isn't one that would draw my attention the synopsis is the opposite and really sparked an interest into what the bomb shell is that this Zach could have dropped!

This book follows the romance from the beginning of Amy and Zach. Amy has moved to Boston from the Uk to have a fresh start but is she looking for something or someone in particular?

The story is told alternately from each of the characters points of view so we really get to know the characters individually. The romance goes through all the typical stages of a new romance and it was lovely to watch the romance blossom. The storyline covers more than romance though, we also see the effects hidden secrets can have between family, friends and loved ones.

I loved the air of secrecy surrounding Zach I was pretty sure I knew what his secret would be and although I was right it was till a shock when all is revealed and in the way it was revealed.

I warmed to Amy as the family issues she has I can in a way relate to. Zach is the perfect prince charming for her to make her feel special and to feel as though she is loved and the center of someone’s universe.
I think this is a great debut by Sarah Louise Smith. This is an easy read that you will fly through in a day.

Paperback                Kindle

Friday, 15 February 2013

The Baby Diaries by Sam Binnie


A few weeks after Kiki and Thom return from honeymoon, Kiki finds there's a noticeable absence. An extremely serious noticeable absence of something, it turns out, Kiki now realises she was pretty glad about.

One pregnancy test later, Kiki's breaking the "good news" (Thom: Wow. We're so… Edwardian.) and rewriting all the plans she'd made before. With an ever-expanding waistline, her nightmare childhood "friend" Annie pregnant too, all the problem authors at Polka Dot Books she could (not) wish for and an army of NW London's Smug Mothers to deal with, these nine months might not be the nine months of blooming relaxation she'd been promised…


After reading The Wedding Diaries by Sam Binnie I was unsure about reading her next book The Baby Diaries. I loved her style of writing and the structure of the authors book is very different to other books but and this was a big BUT I am not maternal in any way! When people are cooing over babies I am squirming to get away and in books when there is “baby talk” it drives me round the twist …… Ok so do we now get that Rea + Babies= disaster!

I finished the book in two days! Kiki and Thom have returned home from their honeymoon and poor scatty Kiki has a niggling thought that she has forgotten something and it is during a conversation that the shock horror comes out that whoops Kiki maybe pregnant!

We follow Kiki’s diaries through her pregnancy and I am so happy to say that I actually enjoyed reading her entries. I can imagine if the time ever comes when I venture down that journey that I will be very similar to Kiki! Kiki is not a gushy pregnant mum she shows us all the real life day to day problems with cooking these babies from uncontrollable crying to morning sickness ( why do they call it this when it always lasts all day!)
This is a great light hearted read with a great sense of humour there will be times when you have a chuckle to yourself and at some points you will be cringing! I loved the relationship between Kiki and her friends and family especially her closeness to her sister you could really feel the connection between these two characters.

Unexpectedly I did enjoy this book more than the Wedding Diaries, but don’t worry if you haven’t read the first book as you will easily be able to pick up the story-line as the author often refers back to parts in the first book so this should keep you on track.

A fun, lighthearted read which will appeal to many. I am sure this book wont leave you feeling broody! 
If you have a kindle then get over and order this quick as it is only 99p!! ( at the time of this review, pease check price before you buy incase there is an increase)

Kindle                     Paperback

Thursday, 14 February 2013

The Mummyfesto by Linda Green


I was looking forward to meeting the characters In this book again. I downloaded the short e-book The Resolution and when I read that I really warmed to the characters.
I got a lot more from this book than I was expecting. The storyline follows three friends all of who are facing challenging day to day lives. The author has carefully picked family problems that are very tough to deal with but these are problems many families have to cope with in day to day life so this book really was one that opened your eyes into the challenging lives some families lead.

I loved all of our three main characters, they all seemed like normal down to earth mums you may come across in your local school playground. Sam is the character who I warmed to most. Sam has two wonderful sons Zach and Oscar who has an incurable disease. We are opened to her world of looing after Oscar who is a little delight it is hard to remember he is a fictional character in this book. We also have Jackie who is desperate for another baby but after trying for so long her hope is dwindling away. She also has a mother with Alzheimer’s to try to look after. Lastly we have Anna who has three children one of who has her own battle at school. Anna is trying to look after her childrens situation which seems to mean she is missing something else that is crumbling away.

When all the ladies get together and decide that something needs to be done to help all of these families who are facing day to day struggles they do no more that form a political party to put the world to rights.
I am first to hold my hands up and say I am not into politics but if there was a party that represented what these ladies do then my interest would spark and they would have my vote! The storyline really gets you thinking. I was gripped from the first page right the way through this book there were no low points and the book didn’t feel rushed or that it was being drawn out it was a perfect read but definitely not a light hearted pure escapism!

I have read many touching reads and a few that have given me a lump in my throat or even a tear in my eye. But this book is something completely different I was sobbing. There is a chapter later on in the book that is written so delicately and it was heartbreaking and beautiful at the same time the floodgates opened!
This will be one of those books that will stay in my mind for a long time yet. I highly recommend this one.


Paperback               Kindle

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

The Honey Queen by Cathy Kelly


To discover the sweetest things in life, you sometimes have to lose your way…

It’s easy to fall in love with the beautiful town of Redstone – the locals wave and chat to each other, the shops and cafes are full of cheerful hustle and bustle. And amidst all this activity, two women believe they are getting on just fine. Francesca’s boundless energy help her to take everything in her stride, including a husband who has lost his job and the unwelcome arrival of the menopause, which has kicked in – full throttle. Peggy, on the other hand, has always been a restless spirit. But now, focused and approaching thirty, she has opened her own knitting shop on the town’s high street. It’s a dream come true, but she still feels adrift.

When Australian-raised Lillie finally makes it back home to Ireland, she is drawn right into the heart of Redstone’s busy, close-knit community. But what she thought would be an ending is actually just a beginning – all is not quite as it seems in the picturesque town. Soon, Lillie’s hard-earned wisdom will be called into play as she helps new friends navigate unchartered territory…

The Honey Queen is my first book by Cathy Kelly. The cover is so delicate and fresh looking it is a perfect cover to compliment a beautiful book.

There are many different characters in this book each who have their own story-line to bring to this fantastic book. Although the story-lines are separate they all run alongside each other smoothly and you see each of the characters weave in and out of each others story-line. I was a little worried when the book began because you would just get into the flow of one set of characters and fall into their story-line , then all of a sudden it would change to a new character so I did wonder if I would begin to lose track of who was who but luckily as we get to know each character they were all easily recognizable. There wasn't a single story-line I didn't enjoy but my favourite was between Lillie, Seth and Frankie. It was great to see them bring life back to the garden of Sorrento Villa as well as seeing the relationships between the characters grow.

There are so many lovable characters in this book. There were also some tough emotional scenarios in a couple of the story-lines which the author writes about in a very emotional and delicate way. Although there is a lot going on in this book the story is written in such a beautiful pace that you really relax into the storyline easily making this a surprisingly quick read. My only complaint is this book is so heavy it hurts when it falls on your face when you fall asleep so may be a better idea to get on kindle to prevent injury!

This was a beautiful book which I enjoyed from beginning to middle to end. I will be hunting out more books by Cathy Kelly.


Hardback                  Kindle

Friday, 8 February 2013

Sophie's Run Tour


Come on Tour with Sophie and Dan… “Ich hab noch einen Koffer in Berlin” (I left a suitcase in Berlin)
Sophie’s Run Blogtour 2013

Her famous star remains her rock while life takes her on a little detour… Who says that the road towards true love is straight and even? Sophie is certainly discovering that it is anything but. So she has finally found the man of her dreams! Well… she knows who he is, even though she hasn’t actually quite met him yet. But she misses her opportunity, and then her life goes crazy. Rock star and ex-fiancé, Dan, keeps getting in the way of her new romance—even if he is just trying to be helpful. A fire, an impromptu mini-trip with Dan, and a dreaded wedding later, Sophie is still struggling to meet the love of her life. Then, just as she is getting it together with her perfect man, best friend Rachel commits an act of unspeakable betrayal. Sophie has had enough. Confused and distraught, she decides that it is time for radical change. Surprising herself and shocking her friends, she embarks on a secret journey and eventually gets her life back on track.


My Review

I thoroughly enjoyed Sophie's Turn by Nicky Wells so when I the sequel Sophie's Run turned up in my inbox it didn’t take me long to finish my current book and make a start on this book.

Now I loved Sophie’s Turn but Sophie’s Run has just blown Sophie’s Turn out of the water. This book exceeded my expectations, I really enjoyed meeting Sophie again and I wondered what direction Sophie’s love life was going to take next.

As ever Sophie’s life is like a rollercoaster this woman seems to attract trouble! The story starts off with a bang in more ways than one when there is a terrible accident at Sophie’s party which results in her having to move in with Dan. Yes that is right the sexy rock god is back! I actually warmed to Dan's character more in this book. All the way through this book I was waiting to turn the page to the part where their romance rekindles again.

Although the book is a carry on from Sophie’s Turn I do think you could read this as a stand-alone book as the author often recaps on situations that occurred in the previous book. Having said that if you get a chance to read the first book in the series then please do as you really get to know the characters well in the first book.

The book is full of romance and a splash of humor and what I also loved was that the book wasn’t predictable in fact everything that I thought would happen or wouldn’t happen surprised me because my thoughts were completely wrong.

This was a lovely easy read that any of you who enjoyed Sophie’s Turn will LOVE. 




Hi! My name is Nicky Wells, and I am the author of Sophie’s Run, Part 2 in the Rock Star Romance Trilogy. There is quite a bit of travelling going on in this novel, and one of the places I took Sophie and Dan this time round was Berlin. Berlin is one of my favourite cities and here are some of the best sights. Sophie will tell you more about what she and Dan got up to as well ~ Have fun!

 The Reichstag


Source: By Anitakernwein (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons


Brandenburger Tor


Source: By Heinzi (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons





Over to Sophie Penhalligan, heroine of Sophie’s Run Sophie: *waves* Hello, everybody!

Wow, isn’t this awesome… I’m so glad I can take you along to some of these places I’ve been to with Dan. Today, I want to show you a little bit of Berlin. I had such a great time over there, I left a suitcase in Berlin (I didn’t, actually, but that’s how the old German saying goes, meaning you can… nay, must, go back!).

Dan took me on a little mini trip lately, and it’s all in Sophie’s Run. Here’s a little taster for you… “Where to now?” I questioned him when we were safely and, at least temporarily incognito, on one of the cute little underground trains. Dan flicked through his book. “We should really take in the Wall and the Reichstag…” he offered, but added reluctantly, “but I don’t fancy that today. How’s about…” He held up his children’s guide book at a page saying, Alexanderplatz and TV Tower. I nodded agreeably. It was his trip after all, and this looked quite exciting.

Alexanderplatz; TV Tower with World Time Clock

Source: By Vwpolonia75 (Jens K. Müller, Hamburg) (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons




Sophie: And the next day…. “Good day for a boat trip, don’t you reckon?” I nodded eagerly. Boat trips were quite my thing. We could sit on the top deck and quaff some wine or even champagne. I would buy, of course, it being Dan’s birthday. It would be delightful. “Is this the Wannsee?” I contemplated aloud. “It certainly is,” Dan confirmed happily, and ushered me out of the taxi.

 Lake Wannsee

Source: James G. Howes [Attribution], from Wikimedia Commons




Sophie: Yeah, well, the boat trip. A bit of a disaster, really. Dan didn’t quite have the same thing in mind as me. Did I mention I don’t do rowing, you know, with actual oars? Anyway, if you want to know what else we got up to in Berlin and quite a few other places… well, it’s all in Sophie’s Run! Happy reading, and it’s very nice to meet you.

Wait, wait, wait, there’s more: Introducing the Sophie’s Run Give Away!


Nicky Wells is giving away one delicious chocolate gift to a lucky winner in the UK or North America!




a Rafflecopter giveaway

There is also a bonus Give Away Nicky Wells offers a giveaway of one Amazon gift voucher worth $20/£15 for one lucky winner. To enter, simply share your thoughts on Sophie’s Run with Nicky. Email your comment to nickywells@sapphirestarpublishing.com and your name will be entered into the draw. Competition closes 1 May 2013.



Kindle                        Paperback

Monday, 4 February 2013

The Surprising Life of Charlie Glass (size 18 and a bit) by Angela Woolfe


It's fair to say that Charlie Glass is carrying a little excess baggage - emotionally and physically. For years her excess weight means she's been the butt of her skinny stepmother and half sisters' jokes, and she's had enough. So, after a few weeks at a boot camp, Charlie returns slim, gorgeous and ready to run the shoe firm that, to her sisters' annoyance, she has inherited from their beloved father. And when she bags a glamorous boyfriend, her transformation is complete. Life is almost perfect (skinny stepmother aside), but her best friend Lucy seems resentful, Ferdy, the man she has secretly adored for years, apparently preferred her the way she was, and the constant battle to stay thin and beautiful is torture. Would it really matter if the weight crept back on? There's only one way to find out.


It is that time of year again when the majority of us feel low about our weight and I for one say every January this year will be my year to lose the weight (never has this happened!) so I love reading about the fictional characters who also struggle with their weight. When I read the synopsis for The Surprising Life of Charlie Glass this really sounded like my kind of read, it is the perfect book for this time of year.

Our main character is the lovely Charlie Glass who I absolutely loved from the first chapter although along the way through her journey there were many a time I could have throttled her too so me and Charlie had a Love Hate relationship going on!

When we first meet Charlie she is a more than a little overweight and her self-confidence is practically non-existent just like her personal life. She has spent years looking after her father and so her personal life has suffered so after her father passes away she decides to get her life on track and kicks starts this by going away to boot camp to change her image.When she returns she is fighting fit and full of confidence and it was quite clear the story was about to step up a pace!

The book was a hefty 566 pages and yet the story line is such an easy and enjoyable read that before you knew it the book was over. I didn’t feel as though the book was drawn out and could have been cut back at all. There are some really lovable characters in this book alongside Charlie such has her best friend Lucy, Ferdy who is a little gem and also the completely insane beauty therapist Galina ( I really hope this is not how my clients see me!) The visits to the salon provide us with some great entertainment. There were also some great villains in this book which reminded me of Cinderella with the wicked stepmother and stepsisters!

The author also manages to create a little suspense in the book with a storyline involving Charlie’s mother’s death it wasn’t until about half way through that I began to get a feeling I knew what happened here.

As I mentioned before I had a love/hate relationship with our main character because she seemed to be a little too focused on her image and was losing her spark it was at times like this I want to get hold of her and shake her but she was still a great main character.

If you are looking for a fun modern read with delightful main character then give this one a try.


Paperback            Kindle

A weekend of winners !

We had two giveaways finish over the weekend.
Congratulations to Lucinda and Joanna who both one a copy of  ‘The trouble with valentines’, and ‘Be mine’ each.

Our second giveaway was for a copy of Cupcakes at Carrington's 
This has been a very popular giveaway and has had the most entries out of all of our giveaways on this blog!
Our winner is .....

Theresa B

Thank you to Lucinda and Joanna for sending 

their delivery details over. 

Theresa Please check your email inbox for our

email and pass your details over to us.

CONGRATULATIONS

to our winners.

Our winners were picked by rafflecopter 
If you wasn't successful this time keep your eyes peeled as we have more giveaways to come.

Saturday, 2 February 2013

February Releases

Well I don't know about you but to me January just whizzed by! There are still a few books released in January I want to read but we are rolling through to February releases here are some I am looking forward to. Which will be your top February picks?


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