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Megan ReadingInTheSunshine (England)

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The Winter Guest
The Winter Guest
by Pam Jenoff
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.59

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A gripping book, 22 Sep 2014
This review is from: The Winter Guest (Paperback)
Having read a few novels by Pam Jenoff before, I was very pleased to be able to read her latest novel, The Winter Guest.

Helena and Ruth Nowak are twins and have always been very close. They are dedicated to the struggle of protecting their impoverished family during the brutal war in Poland. But then Helena discovers an Allied paratrooper who is alive, but wounded. She decides to hide Sam, who is a Jew, risking the safety of herself and her family. Now her loyalties are torn…

I enjoyed this. The descriptions of the setting, the people, even the atmosphere were very well done. It felt as though I had been transported back in time and I felt like I was with Helena as she discovered Sam, and hides him. I really liked Helena’s personality – I loved her spirit and her courage that she showed throughout.

The relationship between the two sisters was fascinating to read about. I enjoyed that they were close sisters and I was gripped as Helena had her secret and the effects that this had on the bond and closeness between Helena and Ruth. With this book I wasn’t sure what would happen next and I was hooked wanting to find out more – would they be safe? What would happen to Sam? What about Helena and Ruth’s relationship?

Pam Jenoff has written another gripping book, one that focuses on family bonds, betrayal, war, and love.

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Price: £49.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic light - so easy to install and gives out a great amount of light! Very impressed., 19 Sep 2014
I am absolutely thrilled with the FireBlaze light! It is very well-designed, and can be put anywhere where you feel you need that extra bit of light, safety and security to your home. The FireBlaze is so easy to install - I'm not an expert at DIY or putting things up but this was so quick and easy and no hassle at all.

I particularly like that it is solar powered, the light can charge through the day and be ready to go at night when you need it. The motion sensor on the light is perfect - my husband and I have tried it out over a few nights so far when coming back in from work or outings and we are thoroughly impressed with the sensor, and especially the amount of light that comes from the FireBlaze.

It is very durable so it is built to last a very long time, and it is also completely waterproof. Another great point is that the entire light and casing is small and so it can fit anywhere, so you don't need to find a big space for it. But although the casing is small it emits a strong good light for the times that it is needed.

Whether you need a light for security reasons, to light up a bit of path or steps on the way into your home that isn't very well-lit at night, or you want the convenience of being able to see more clearly when in the dark and have that extra bit of safety, then this is for you!

Love Me Or Leave Me
Love Me Or Leave Me
Price: £1.49

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Full of surprises and fantastic characters, 16 Sep 2014
Chloe Townsend was dumped at the altar two years ago, leaving her devastated and having to leave everything behind. Then she lands an incredible job – running a brand new boutique hotel. But this isn’t just any ordinary hotel – but the Hope Street Hotel – a pioneering ‘divorce hotel’ designed to make everything about breaking up with someone efficient and pain free. In a single weekend, Chloe’s team can take care of everything – from the legal to the emotional, leaving guests to check out free and single. Chloe is fully qualified to understand what couples need when their relationship is at breaking point after all she has been through, but she soon finds herself with three couples that need her help, and perhaps having to tackle her own heartbreak in order to begin to help these couples….

I really enjoyed this! I liked Chloe from the beginning, having been through heartbreak herself she is very sensitive and empathetic to other people and their needs, and I was gripped wanting to know how her life would go.

A divorce hotel is something that never would have entered my mind in a million years – and I must admit I was REALLY intrigued by this concept – could you really have a hotel for couples that would take care of everything they needed? I was absolutely fascinated by this and I was eagerly turning the pages to find out just how Chloe planned to help these couples.

I loved meeting the three couples – Lucy and Andrew, Jo and Dave, and Kirk and Dawn. They were all as couples very different from each other, and though they were all there for the same reason – their individual personalities shone through and showed that no two relationships are the same – and each comes with ups, down, sad times and happy times too. I really felt as though I connected with them, and I think many readers will too – there are things about these couples that make you feel for them, and other aspects that are very relateable too.

I particularly liked that I had no idea what way the book would go, I wanted to know why the couples had come to the hotel, I wanted to know if they could work things out or if their relationships had reached their end, and I desperately wanted to know how Chloe’s journey would turn out. For me, Love Me Or Leave Me was a surprise of emotions, relationships, suspense and with a fantastic array of characters. Make sure you buy a copy!

The Best Of Me
The Best Of Me
by Nicholas Sparks
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.11

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Draws you in from the very beginning, 8 Sep 2014
This review is from: The Best Of Me (Paperback)
I am a fan of Nicholas Sparks and with the film version of The Best Of Me being released – I was very excited to read the book and discover this wonderful story!

Dawson and Amanda meet and fall in love as teenagers – from opposite sides of the tracks but with a passion and love that is life changing, until they are forced apart. Years later Dawson and Amanda’s paths cross when they are called back to their hometown for the funeral of their friend tuck, who once gave them shelter when they needed it most. Now they are thrown back into each other’s lives, can they confront the paths they chose and reconnect?…

I really enjoyed this. Nicholas Sparks always writes with passion and love in his words, and you always know when reading his books that love is at the center.

I loved Dawson and Amanda as characters – they are fascinating both individually and together and they both come with a complex past and history together. I enjoyed that as a reader we were able to learn of their backgrounds, what had happened when they were younger and the moments that led them up to where they are now. Their story together is a compelling one that had me riveted and turning the pages because I truly NEEDED to know what would happen to them.

Full of emotion, love, and heart wrenching moments – The Best Of Me is a beautifully written story that will draw you in from the very beginning. Make sure you have tissues for this one.

The Good Girl
The Good Girl
by Mary Kubica
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.85

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thrilling, 2 Sep 2014
This review is from: The Good Girl (Paperback)
The Good Girl is about Mia Dennett, an art teacher. One night she goes to a bar to meet up with her on and off boyfriend , but when he doesn’t show, she instead leaves the bar with an enigmatic stranger. To Mia, Colin Thatcher is a pretty safe one night stand, he is smooth and Mia has no idea that following Colin home will be the biggest mistake of Mia’s life. Colin’s job was to abduct Mia as part of an extortion plot and deliver her to his employers. But things take an unexpected turn when he decides to hide Mia in a secluded cabin, evading his deadly superiors as well as the police.

Wow. This is a TRULY gripping book! I haven’t read many books of this genre lately and what a book to go into – this is terrific!

I liked that there is focus on all of the main characters – not only Mia and her kidnapper Colin, but Mia’s mother Eve and detective Gabe Hoffman too. As a reader we see things from the points of view of Mia, Eve and Gabe. I LOVED that we were given different viewpoints because it really helped me put myself in their shoes, and I thoroughly enjoyed seeing things from where they were, and really getting to know their thoughts and feelings in relation to the terrifying situation of Mia’s kidnap. I really felt for Mia as she suddenly found herself in this situation, and I could also really feel the emotions of Eve and detective Gabe as they tried to work out where Mia was.

This book is SO well paced – I raced through the pages, the tension was built up brilliantly and at times I found myself breathless and my heart was pounding as I turned the pages, I was nervous for what I would read next but at the same time I just had to know the outcome!

There is SO MUCH I would love to talk about – this book is one that you will want to tell everyone about and discuss – but I’m really keen not to spoil it. What I will say is that it was not what I expected – I was very surprised and shocked and I mean woah YOU JUST NEED TO READ THIS BOOK.

The Good Girl is a thrilling novel full of suspense, intriguing characters and a plotline you will be racing to reach the climax of!

Dorothy Must Die
Dorothy Must Die
by Danielle Paige
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.59

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic!, 1 Sep 2014
This review is from: Dorothy Must Die (Paperback)
Amy Gunn is a girl who doesn’t have any friends and feels very outcast. When there’s a tornado in her home town of Kansas and she gets swept away, she and the remains of her home land in Oz. But this is not the Oz that everyone knows – instead the Good Witches appear to be the bad guys and everyone is terrified by the new leader who returned and seized power: Dorothy. As she is recruited by the Revolutionary Order Of The Wicked, Amy is trained to fight with one mission in mind: Dorothy must die…

Wow. What a book! I was hoping for something imaginative and different and wow Danielle did an amazing job with this novel – it is truly unlike anything I’ve ever read before.

I really liked Amy. Her background story had me hooked from the start – Amy hasn’t had the best life, she is bullied at school and her homelife isn’t very stable at all, and this had me warming to her instantly because I truly felt for her – I DESPERATELY wanted Amy to grow and develop and find strength on this journey. And she did! One thing I loved about Amy was that she could be feisty as well as vulnerable, and Amy had me cheering her on all the way.

The characters were so compelling to read about, everyone that Amy met on her journey stuck with me and they all seemed to jump from the pages to life.

I thoroughly enjoyed the darker edge to this story – I am a HUGE fan of books with a spin or twist on them and this version of Oz for me was FANTASTICALLY written. I loved how everything was unexpected – the good witches were bad, Dorothy was in fact a terrifying leader and everything about Oz was not as most people remember. It was very thrilling because I genuinely had no idea what would happen next – the story was full of twists and sparks and dark moments that had me both hooked and breathless in equal measures.

Dorothy Must Die is a FANTASTIC book and like many others I am eagerly awaiting the next part! THOROUGHLY recommended!

Of Things Gone Astray
Of Things Gone Astray
by Janina Matthewson
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £9.09

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A captivating story, 31 Aug 2014
This review is from: Of Things Gone Astray (Hardcover)
I was very intrigued by this book. Firstly, the cover is so striking, when I first saw it I could not take my eyes way from it, it is stunning and intriguing in equal measures. And after reading the description, I was very interested to start reading.

On what appears to be a normal morning in London, a group of people all lose something that is very dear to them, but perhaps not the thing they would first think of – the front of their house, piano keys, a sense of direction, and so on. Meanwhile Jake is a young boy whose father brings him to London after his mother’s sudden death, and Jake suddenly finds himself attracted to other people’s lost things….

I really liked this. I genuinely don’t know how to put this novel into words, it is one that has to be read and experienced for yourself!

The main theme running through this novel is loss, and I particularly liked how Janina Matthewson explored this with a variety of different characters and losses, each loss different to the next but still deeply personal to that character. I liked the idea that these lost things were not what would first come to mind, and I especially liked the exploration of the word loss and the meaning behind when things are lost and what that can mean to an individual person.

Of Things Gone Astray is told through chapters which focus on each individual character, their loss and how this loss has affected them and the changes it has brought. Even though there are quite a few characters in this, it is easy to understand and Janina weaves and inks the stories together beautifully. I loved all of the characters in their own ways but I think the story that touched me the most was Cassie’s, I really connected with her. I thoroughly enjoyed being with each individual character on their journey of their loss and seeing how they progressed. Of Things Gone Astray is a captivating and thought-provoking novel that I definitely recommend.

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MOCREO Universal Adapter World Wide All-in-one Safety Travel Charger Wall Charger Adapter With Built-in Dual USB Ports Charger (White)
Offered by GeekDigg
Price: £28.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An essential for travelling!, 29 Aug 2014
My husband and I travel a lot, in the last year we've been to Canada, Sweden, and France, and with that we need to be able to charge our phones, laptops and so on, so a charger like this is IDEAL.

What I really love about the MOCREO Universal World Wide all in one charger is that it really is world wide - it has all the right prongs for the correct countries, such as US, EU, UK and all you have to do is slide to the one that you need. It is SO simple and easy to use! There are also two USB ports for charging, which we all know is REALLY helpful for phones, Ipods, laptops, digital cameras, everything.

We took it away to France with us and we were very thrilled with it - it charged our phones, camera and laptops brilliantly and we didn't have to worry about buying adapters for specific countries because this one truly has it all and is so convenient and easy to use. It comes with clear instructions and this is a product that I would highly recommend.

The Poppy Factory
The Poppy Factory
by Liz Trenow
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.75

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Involving and emotional, 28 Aug 2014
This review is from: The Poppy Factory (Paperback)
With the end of the First World War, Rose can not wait to welcome home her husband Alfie from the battlefields, whom she dearly loves. But his return is not what Rose expected, as traumatised by what he has seen – the Alfie who returns home is different from the Alfie that Rose knew and married. As he struggles to cope with his life in peacetime, Rose wrestles with temptation as the man she fell in love with seems lost forever. Many years later Jess returns from her final tour of Afghanistan. She is haunted by nightmares from her time at the front, her homecoming is a disaster and she wonders if her life will be the same again. Can comfort and answers come through her great-grandmother Rose’s diaries?

I was immediately captured by this novel and I actually read it in one sitting because I was so gripped by the storyline and the characters. I am a big fan of war-related novels and I think that Liz Trenow has really excelled with The Poppy Factory! I completely lost track of everything and the entire world around me because I was so immersed in and consumed by what I was reading.

For me one of the most haunting parts of the novel were the effects of war, not only on the people who went to war but the families too. War touches everybody and the effects are both devastating and life-changing, and I really felt for Alfie and for Rose as they struggled to adjust and live their life after the war. I think Liz dealt with PTSD in a very realistic way – PTSD is a very real and serious effect and Liz puts this across so well in her writing.

I enjoyed how both Rose’s story and Jess’s connected through time, I liked that there was that link and in the way that this link helped Jess feel closer to her great-grandmother, it made me feel closer to them too because I genuinely felt as though I was personally involved in their lives. Liz Trenow has done a beautiful job of weaving together two stories through time and for connecting them seamlessly so that we are left with a compelling and flowing story that is touching and heartbreaking at the same time. The Poppy Factory is a very involving and emotional book that portrays the realistic effects that war can have on everyone.

The Mill River Redemption
The Mill River Redemption
Price: £3.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very captivating story, 26 Aug 2014
I really loved the sound of The Mill River Redemption and having never read any novels by Darcie Chan, I was particularly excited to start it to discover Darcie’s writing.

Recently widowed Josie DiSanti has fled New York City with her two young daughters Rose and Emily, arriving in Mill River, Vermont, to take refuge and live with her only remaining relative, Ivy Collard. Ivy is a bookseller and a woman who Josie barely knows. As they build a new life for themselves, there is a socking tragedy that tears the sisters apart. Years later, Josie passes away and her still-estranged daughters return to the quiet town of Mill River to hear their mother’s will, which stipulates that they must work together to locate a hidden key to a safe-deposit box containing their inheritance. Having no choice but to follow their mother’s wishes, Emily and Rose move back to Mill River to begin their search – can they find the hidden key? And what else will they discover too?

I REALLY loved this. I had no idea what to expect but I was drawn in straight away and my attention was held throughout. I really liked Ivy and her bookstore, and I really enjoyed getting to know her and Josie throughout the past sections. I was very intrigued to find out about what had driven Emily and Rose apart, and I constantly wanted to read on to discover what they would find on their search and if this would bring them closer together.

I particularly loved the setting of Mill River…after reading about it I really wish I could move there and I know I would live a happy life there. Mill River is a stunning and beautiful little town which is really full of community spirit, love, and has a touch of magic too it too. Darcie really brought Mill River to life and I could picture it clearly in my mind.

The Mill River Redemption is a very captivating story, set in a beautiful town with fascinating characters, and I am looking forward to reading more from Darcie Chan.

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