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H. Redfern (England)

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THE ACCIDENT
THE ACCIDENT
by C.L. Taylor
Edition: Paperback
Price: £2.00

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended, 10 April 2014
This review is from: THE ACCIDENT (Paperback)
This has to be one of the best books I've read so far this year. I planned to read a little bit, but three chapters in I struggled to put it down. Occasionally I had to, just to take a breather, it made me breathless and anxious in a thoroughly enjoyable way. Great book, highly recommended.


There's More to Life Than Cupcakes
There's More to Life Than Cupcakes

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Full of character and cake, 16 Oct 2013
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I adored this book. Poppy Dolan has created some brilliant characters in There's More to Life than Cupcakes. I loved Ellie, who, despite being an accomplished woman, is having somewhat of a 30 plus crisis because a baby is expected of her, but she doesn't know what she wants. We follow Ellie, an accomplished baker and foodie, on her heart and soul searching journey. Which, incidentally is full of cake and food. Almost every single page has descriptions of mouth watering bakes or meals. Cracking book, thoroughly recommended.


The Cornish House
The Cornish House
by Liz Fenwick
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.03

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning, 9 May 2013
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This review is from: The Cornish House (Paperback)
The Cornish House is beautifully written, completely under the skin of the characters and so evocative of Cornwall I wanted to move there immediately.

Maddie lived in London with her husband and her teenage step-daughter, Hannah. Shortly after her husband died, Maddie inherits a house in Cornwall. With nothing to lose she and her step-daughter move to a house called Trevenen. During their first few months Maddie and Hannah each battle with their own grief. Fighting each other, fighting their emotions. And of course, there is a love interest. And intrigue.

Liz Fenwick's writing is stunning. She describes the countryside, the sea, the sky and the house so wonderfully. The characters are fully rounded, real individuals. Real emotions, real interactions. This is the first book I've read in quite a while where I wished the characters were tangible and their lives were still unfolding, even after the final full stop.

Fabulous. Can't wait for the next one.


The Drowning of Arthur Braxton
The Drowning of Arthur Braxton
by Caroline Smailes
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.59

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful and breathtaking, 8 May 2013
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Odd, original, gritty but overall a beautiful novel. The Drowning of Arthur Braxton, an extremely modern fairy tale, had me gripped and breathless from the very beginning. Truly special.


Rentokil FF105 Fly Killer Strips
Rentokil FF105 Fly Killer Strips
Offered by GoodsWholesaleUK
Price: £2.49

5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 14 Aug 2012
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This review is from: Rentokil FF105 Fly Killer Strips
Whilst the flies in my kitchen have not completely disappeared, they have been significantly reduced and are now manageable. I live in the country next to a cow field so have lots of horrible flies. I have two of these strips hanging in my kitchen and have had to change them twice in the past few days because of the number of insects attracted to them. They are brilliant, have saved my sanity and the design is better than the white strips so the dead flies are camouflaged slightly!


The Summer of Living Dangerously
The Summer of Living Dangerously
by Julie Cohen
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.39

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gorgeous, 1 Mar 2012
I finished this book a few days ago (and have read another book since) but I still feel bereft. This book was everything I love in a contemporary women's fiction novel and has immediately joined Sarra Manning's You Don't Have to Say You Love Me and Rowan Coleman's Lessons in Laughing Out Loud as one of my favourite books from the last fourteen months or so.

I've written in a previous review just why I love Julie's books so much. Fabulous, strong female characters - always with an interesting career and a naturally evolving plot. We've had a stunt woman, a private investigator, an author of steamy novels and an artist for a comic.

In The Summer of Living Dangerously we have Alice, a technical writer of rather dry subjects. Then a leaflet is delivered for the local stately home and, thanks to the encouragement from her best friend, she's inspired to pitch an article idea to a woman's magazine. Going to meet the owner of the stately home she's asked to fill in for one of the tour guides. The tour guides dress up in the clothes of the Regency period, so of course Alice said yes. She makes such an impression the owner creates a role just for her. He likes the drama she brings to her role.

But what about the drama in her personal life?

It is easier for Alice to deal with the year 1814 than the present.

I knew nothing more about this book before I read it and I would recommend you don't either. Just plunge straight in and let the plot wash over you and swallow you up. This is Julie's best book yet. She just keeps getting better and better.


Taunting the Dead (DS Allie Shenton)
Taunting the Dead (DS Allie Shenton)

13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gritty and fast paced. A fab read., 6 Jan 2012
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Mel Sherratt's self-published debut is an absolute stonker of a book. If you like gritty crime then this will leave your pulse racing, your breath coming in rapid bursts because you've forgotten to breathe in the last few chapters and an unawareness of what has happened in real life for the past few hours.

I've been following Mel's writing progress for some time, looking forward to the day that I could actually read one of her books. And it has been well worth the wait.

Even though the characters in the book aren't particularly pleasant, Mel writes with such skill you actually feel sorry for some of them, as well as wanting to see them get their comeuppance. The plot is gripping and you're left wanting more.

I'm really looking forward to the next one.


Jessie Hearts NYC
Jessie Hearts NYC
by Keris Stainton
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.99

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great storytelling, great setting., 19 Jun 2011
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This review is from: Jessie Hearts NYC (Paperback)
Jessie Hearts NYC is a simple story of boy meets girl but this is almost secondary to the love affair Jessie has with the city. This fabulous novel is chocked full of contemporary cultural New York references and descriptions of The Big Apple along with the complexities of parental relationships and the plain excitement and joy of two best friends. It sweeps you away with enthusiasm and before you know it you've finished the book and the day has gone!


Prepped!
Prepped!
by Vanessa Kimbell
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £16.00

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A passionate & enthusiastic recipe book, 2 Jun 2011
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This review is from: Prepped! (Hardcover)
What I'm looking for in a recipe book is inspiration, mouth watering pictures and an author I can warm to. Someone who knows what she (or he) is talking about but also remains firmly down to earth.

Vanessa Kimbell with her book Prepped has all of this and more.

Vanessa is passionate about buying local and seasonal. A passion that jumps off the page and gathers you up in her enthusiasm. For example just recently in her tweet stream she has been talking about the elderflower which is dotted around the Northamptonshire hedgerows so she can make Elderflower & Rose Syrup and the many linked recipes from that. I have been looking for it as I drive past and now know where I can find it.

The book is divided into chapters. The aforementioned Elderflower is chapter one then you have Lavender, Vanilla and Chocolate to name but a few. Then in each chapter you get links to other recipes.You can also mix and match flavours. It is an absolute delight and is firmly in the mind of the at home cook.

In terms of layout on each page there is lots of white space (crucial so you don't get swamped by too many words in the middle of a recipe) gorgeous pictures and serving suggestions or substitutions. Plus huge amounts of inspiration.

This morning, when I needed to bake, I found the 100mph Rhubarb & Cardamom Batter Cake on page 55 in the rhubarb chapter. Only, I had no rhubarb. However, taking Vanessa's advice in the Links section I used some apples which I had festering in the fridge with vanilla sugar.

The result? Well it smells divine. It is like a baked pancake and in this house we adore pancakes. And it was so easy to make. One bowl. Pour into the baking tin. Sprinkle fruit, then topping. Easy. I'll definitely make it again.

Incidentally it is still sizzling in front of me as it cools. I've scooped a bit out. Yum. Someone pass me a bigger spoon!


Getting Away With It
Getting Away With It
by Julie Cohen
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.76

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Julie Cohen is a writer to watch, 29 Mar 2011
This review is from: Getting Away With It (Paperback)
Julie Cohen has been on my list of writers to watch for some time now. She has written some gorgeous books for Little Black Dress. There is One Night Stand and Honey Trap both of which I adored and removed any preconceptions I had about shorter books. They had naturally evolving plots which were not based on silly misunderstandings (which used to and still does really bother me) and feisty female characters. Julie then went on to write Girl from Mars and Nina Jones and the Temple of Gloom. Again both fantastic books (which you can tell from the titles alone).

So when I heard she was writing a longer length book I was very much looking forward to it. Rather impatiently in fact. And it really doesn't disappoint.

We have twin sister Liza Haven. She's lived in a small village all her life and just wants to escape. So she becomes a stunt woman in LA (I love how many of Julie's characters have adventurous and exciting jobs.). Her sister Lee is left behind, managing the ice-cream business and becoming the carer for their mum who is suffering from Alzheimer's. Liza believes she's the bad twin and doesn't return to the village she grew up in very often. But after a bad accident on the job she returns to England looking for work where she meets up with her sister who asks her to come to an event in the village. She does but finds her sister has mysteriously disappeared. And everyone thinks she is Lee. The good twin. So she plays the part and takes over the running of the ice cream business and the care of her mother.

The book is written in Julie's usual engaging and fast flowing style with a great cast of characters but also touching on some serious issues. People often say contemporary women's fiction is easy to write. I think Julie has made it look easy because it is fast paced and enjoyable to read but you can see the amount of research and attention to detail she has put into it. As a reader I loved it and as a writer I admire her for it. Thoroughly recommended.


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