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Dot (UK)

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Love At First Flight
Love At First Flight
Price: £0.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant debut!, 17 Jun. 2015
Tess Woods has written a very entertaining, sexy and thought-provoking debut in Love at First Flight. Mel is a happily married mother of two, working part-time as a GP. She is married to a very successful doctor and life couldn't be more perfect. That is until she meets Matt on board a flight to a weekend away with her best friend. They have an inst
ant connection and this leads her to question how happy she really is. When did her husband last pay her a compliment? When did they last have amazing sex? Matt is also taken, engaged and planning his wedding but he feels like his world has been turned upside down when he meets Mel, he can't get her out of his head.
It's pretty obvious form the blurb that Matt and Mel go on to have an affair. This is not a hearts and flowers ending though; the consequences of their actions are devastating. This, I wasn't expecting; when I started the book, I thought it might be a little predictable and I would be reading about them skipping off into the sunshine. Instead Tess Woods presents a very honest account of how individuals and families are affected by infidelity. I felt that she dealt with the situation very well, she doesn't set out wanting you to love her characters etc, she is just showing you how it is.
If I have one criticism of this book then it would be the front cover. In my opinion it looks a little whimsical which is why I was taken aback by the serious undertones in the book. You shouldn't judge a book by its cover but I think some may overlook this book as being a girlie, romantic read when in reality it is so much more.


The Dead Duke, His Secret Wife and the Missing Corpse: An Extraordinary Edwardian Case of Deception and Intrigue
The Dead Duke, His Secret Wife and the Missing Corpse: An Extraordinary Edwardian Case of Deception and Intrigue
Price: £5.03

5.0 out of 5 stars Such an interesting read!, 10 Jun. 2015
I haven't read any non-fiction for ages so this book made a refreshing change and I found it fascinating. It is very much a historical mystery and I don't want to give the game away so I won't include too many spoilers in this review.
Piu Marie Eatwell's account of the Portland-Druce case is brilliant, at points you cannot believe that it actually happened. Some of the events that take place are truly shocking and I liked how the author put everything in context of the time period. She explains how the legal system worked at the time, monetary values, commonly held beliefs and so much more. All of this gives you a greater understanding of the case but it also gives you a great insight into Victorian England.
So many notable people pop up in this book which made it even more interesting. I loved the anecdotes about Charles Dickens in particular.
This book had me gripped throughout, although non-fiction, Piu Marie Eatwell maintains a fast pace, the chapters do not become bogged down in irrelevant detail but instead keep you wanting to read more.
If you like a good mystery then I highly recommend this brilliantly researched book. Eatwell brings the facts to life and the mystery of the dead Duke is not one to miss.


Letters to the Lost
Letters to the Lost
Price: £4.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing debut, 10 Jun. 2015
You have to read this book! With a job, stressed husband and a demanding three year old, it is rare nowadays that I stay up until the early hours reading but I simply had to with this book as it was impossible to put down.
I kept on seeing Letters to the Lost popping up on blogs and in magazines and nobody had a bad word to say about it. I remembered that I had a review copy so decided to see what all the fuss was about.
Iona Grey has written a completely brilliant, beautiful, sweeping love story. The book flits between the early 1940s and 2011 and I loved both time periods.
Stella Thorne married Reverend Charles Thorne in 1942. She had been working as his housekeeper which was a huge opportunity after leaving the Poor School. It soon becomes apparent to Stella that their marriage is not to be full of the love and contentment that she had imagined. Charles only wants to spend time with his friend Peter and their wedding night is a disaster. Days after marrying, Charles reveals that he has signed up for the war and before she knows it, Stella's new husband has gone.
Stella, like many women during the war, struggles on and tries to make the most of it. On a trip to London with her friend Nancy, Stella meets American bomber Dan Rosinski and their attraction is instant. Stella falls in love with him and Dan promises that he will wait for her, no matter what happens in the war and her marriage to Charles.
In 2011, Jess Moran is squatting in a deserted house, hiding from her abusive boyfriend. A letter is delivered from Dan Rosinski saying that he does not have long left and that he is desperate to find Stella; he has been waiting for her for over 60 years. Jess is intrigued and finds many more letters in the house between Stella and Dan; she is intrigued by their beautiful love story and determined to find out what happened to Stella, why didn't she wait for Dan? Jess is soon helped by Will Holt; he works for a firm placing heirs with lost estates and he comes across Jess when he is searching for Nancy Price who he believed was the owner of the house that Jess is squatting in. Will too becomes determined to find Stella and along the way he realises that he wants to help Jess too. He can see how hard her life has been and he wants more than anything to make her happy. As the story goes back and forth we learn more about Stella and Dan's relationship during the war and the circumstances which led to their estrangement.
Letters to the Lost is a book that will stay with me for a long time and I know that it is one I will re-read. The characters are just perfect; two believable and interesting female leads and two very genuine and lovable male characters.
So much is explored in this book; it was particularly interesting to read more about the position of women during the 1940's. Stella and Dan's relationship would have been very different if carried out now. I loved the mirroring of Will and Jess's relationship and I enjoyed reading about them as much as I did about Stella and Dan.
This book really is fabulous, the writing is beautiful and the plot expertly executed. Iona Grey has delivered an excellent debut and is very clearly one to watch out for.


The Girl Who Wouldn't Die
The Girl Who Wouldn't Die
Price: £3.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read, 10 Jun. 2015
I haven't read a lot of 'Euro Crime' but I think that Marnie Riches is definitely a new talent to look our for in this genre.
George McKenzie is on an exchange programme from Cambridge University when a bomb blows up the library at the university in Amsterdam where she is studying. The police, Detective Van Den Bergen in particular asks for George's help to find the killer. As a student of criminology she is fascinated by the case but as she delves further it becomes clear that the killer intended George to become involved from the very beginning.
The Girl Who Wouldn't Die packs a real punch; the pace is fast and the story lines gritty and realistic. I did like George's character, not that she's perfect but there's enough to like in order to find her believable. The relationship between her and Van Den Bergen is really interesting. You can feel the connection between the two characters but you do wander what each of them wants from the other one?
Marnie Riches does not shy away from the gory details; she very much tells it like it is. I did enjoy the occasional humorous parts of the book; they didn't feel forced and they took the edge off the tension occasionally.
I believe that there are two more books to follo
w this one; we learn a lot about George McKenzie in the first instalment but I would say there is much more about her that we don't know yet.
I thought Marnie Riches kept the momentum up throughout the book. There were a couple of occasions when I thought I had it all worked out, only to have my theory quashed by some new development in the plot. If you are looking for a refreshing read in this genre then check out Marnie Riches, I'm already excited about her next one.


Lost: (Arielle Lockley Series Book 2)
Lost: (Arielle Lockley Series Book 2)
Price: £2.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 5 May 2015
Lost is the second book in the delightful Arielle Lockley chick lit series following on from the number 1 best seller, Kept which was long listed in the Best Romantic Comedy Category Spa Book Awards, 2013.
Arielle was floundering a fair bit when we met her in the first book but it feels like she has very much found herself in this instalment. She is now Tabitha's business partner and very focused on making a success of it all. They need a new, fresh location for the shop and Arielle is feeling the pressure to find the perfect spot. Things don't go to plan though and Arielle has to overcome several obstacles in order to get the shop open. Along the way she makes new friends and acquires new pets. The one constant in her life is her fiance Piers. He supports her in everything she wants to do and she doesn't want to depend on him financially forever. They are in the middle of planning their wedding but Piers becomes quite distracted and tired; Arielle is so busy with the business that she doesn't fully take on board that Piers is not right. Just as she is getting one part of her life in order; other parts seem to be going wrong.
Elle Field has created such a lovely character in Arielle Lockley . She could be quite easy to dislike as she seems to have it all but she is also very humble. I like that she wants to do well and prove herself. She is warm and funny and extremely loyal to those she loves.
Elle Field has written a very entertaining book with some serious undertones. The author leaves the reader on a real cliff edge at the very end which is a fantastic idea as it has made me desperate the read the next in the series. Lost is a great read within the chick lit genre and will appeal to many readers. Elle Field's writing style is witty, open and warm and I can't wait to see what she has in store for Arielle next.


The Cake Shop in the Garden
The Cake Shop in the Garden
Price: £4.99

5.0 out of 5 stars is Carole Matthews' best book! I think it is possibly her longest ..., 16 Feb. 2015
The Cake Shop in the Garden, in my opinion, is Carole Matthews' best book! I think it is possibly her longest at 432 pages but I devoured it very quickly.
Fay Merryweather is the central character, she runs The Canal Side Cafe from her childhood home with the help of her Russian assistant Lija. She loves running the cafe but it is also a necessity as she is the sole carer of her mother. There is not actually anything medically wrong with Fay's mum but she took to her bed several years ago and is refusing to budge

. Fay's sister Edie couldn't care less, she lives in New York and hasn't visited for years. She only really contacts Fay if she needs her to move some money to her ever dwindling bank account.So Fay has a lot to deal with; she does have a long-term partner Anthony but he seems to be more interested in his hand-bell ringing hobby than putting any effort into their relationship.
Fay is just plodding along, she knows that she's not necessarily happy but she feels trapped by it all, especially her responsibilities to her mother. Danny Wilde turns up on his boat one morning at the bottom of Fay's garden and makes her realise that she deserves so much more. He quit his job in the city and is looking for work so he ends up helping Fay tidy the garden ready for the summer. The attraction between them is instant and palpable but Fay has Anthony and the business to run whereas Danny is just embarking on a new adventure. Fay's world is thrown into even more turmoil when tragedy strikes at the heart of her family. Will she be able to hold it all together and does she really want to?
I loved, loved, loved Fay! I could have shaken her at times but she is a brilliant character. You get a real sense of the weight of responsibility she has on her shoulders; she doesn't do anything without thinking about how it will affect everyone else first. Danny is exactly what she needs; someone to give her a jolt so she notices that life is just passing her by.
Lija, Fay's assistant is one of the best characters Carole has ever created. She is feisty, loyal to Fay and very, very funny. She provided me with many laugh out loud moments and was one of my favourite parts of the book.
There was a huge and brilliant twist at the end of the book which I in no way saw coming. I really couldn't believe what I was reading, Carole really pulls it out of the bag with this one!
I think people are going to love The Cake Shop in the Garden, it's a great story, good characters, a few surprises, humour, warmth and plenty of cake, what's not to like?


Three Amazing Things About You
Three Amazing Things About You
by Jill Mansell
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £7.94

5.0 out of 5 stars Three Amazing Things About You is Jill Mansell's latest fantastic book, 16 Feb. 2015
Three Amazing Things About You is Jill Mansell's latest fantastic book. I read it in just over a day and it reminded me how much I enjoy this author's writing.
Hallie is the central character, she is only 26 but she has cystic fibrosis so she is very aware that her time is limited. She has very strong feelings for Luke but she can't act upon them as while Luke is a good friend he is also her GP. Hallie keeps her feelings a secret but how will she take it if he meets someone else?
Flo is another lovely character and she becomes more and more important as the book develops. Her attraction to Zander is a shock to her but she completely underestimated his nightmare sister who will do everything she can to wreck their happiness.
Tasha meets Rory in a very entertaining way but she can't believe how quickly she falls in love. He's a complete adrenalin junkie and his friends question whether she is too sedate for him. When their relationship is put under a huge pressure, Tash shows to everyone just how much she loves Rory and will do all she can to be by his side.
These separate characters come in to each other's lives at several points without interacting; they may just be in the same place or mention a shared acquaintance. I think this really helped explore the idea of fate, how much of our destiny do we actually control?
I think that one of the things Jill Mansell does best is the interaction between her characters. Her dialogue is effortless which makes them more believable.
Cystic fibrosis is a big issue to approach and I felt that it was handled really well. I know somebody who has cystic fibrosis and I really did feel that it was clear to see that Jill Mansell had done her research. I was very impressed with how this book will raise awareness about cystic fibrosis and organ donation.
Three Amazing Things About You had me in tears at the end. It is an excellent book and I would highly recommend it.


Fragile Lies
Fragile Lies
by Laura Elliot
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

5.0 out of 5 stars I thoroughly enjoyed this book, 16 Feb. 2015
This review is from: Fragile Lies (Paperback)
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, Fragile Lies by Laura Elliot drew me in from the very first page and I had read it in a couple of days.
Michael Carmody and Lorraine Cheevers are the main characters. Michael's teenage son is lying in a coma after being left for dead in a hit and run accident. Well-known artist Lorraine is moving to the countryside after her marriage was torn apart by her husband's illicit affair. Lorraine wants to get away from it all and concentrate on raising her daughter Emily. Yet Michael and Lorraine are both drawn together, having no idea that they are already linked. As Michael pursues the truth about his son's accident, Lorraine looks for the truth about the nature of her husband's affair.As the truth starts to be revealed, it is not certain if Michael and Lorraine's new love will take the strain.
Fragile Lies has a little bit of everything, love, tragedy, infidelity, lies and secrets. I thought that Laura Elliot set up the story perfectly at the beginning and then she kept the plot going at an excellent pace. The characters are quite complex and I think this added a real edge to the book; they felt very well thought out and I loved how the author weaved their separate stories together.
The family aspect of the book was also interesting. Lorraine and Michael are both very successful in their careers but if you strip everything away they are completely devoted to their children. Michael cannot rest until he gets justice for his son and Lorraine wants to do everything she can to protect her daughter, no matter how much Emily resents it.
Laura Elliot is a new author for me but I would highly recommend Fragile Lies. Excellent plot, interesting characters and plenty of intrigue.


The Girl in the Photograph
The Girl in the Photograph
by Kate Riordan
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.85

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars there is a lot of bad feeling in the house and she begins to question ..., 16 Feb. 2015
I was very attracted to this book when I saw a few reviews comparing it to Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier. I can see why comparisons have been made but I think this book had a very different feel to it.
The book flits between two characters, Alice Eveleigh and Lady Elizabeth Stanton; Alice in 1933 and Elizabeth at least a generation before. Alice is in disgrace after falling pregnant to a married man. She has come to Firecombe to have her baby in secret. She comes across a few photographs of Elizabeth Stanton and is intrigued by the woman who used to live in the house. Mrs Jelphs is the current housekeeper and she used to be Elizabeth's maid but she will not talk of her old mistress which just intrigues Alice even more. As Alice begins to discover Firecombe's tragic past she begins to wonder how it will affect the present; there is a lot of bad feeling in the house and she begins to question whether it is a place of safety for her or not.
I liked both Alice and Elizabeth but I found Elizabeth's story slightly more interesting. It becomes very clear that she suffered from post-natal depression but in those times it was not recognised and women were often locked in asylums and deemed insane. The treatment Elizabeth received altered her forever and effectively tore her family apart. It was fascinating to see how post-natal depression was viewed at the time and the treatment that women received.
Kate Riordan has written an interesting and enticing book. The tension is very high in places but there were a few parts that I felt were a little too long. I did like how she brought the characters of Alice and Elizabeth together. The subtle way in which she intertwined their stories was very good.
I love books that are set in big houses and go back and forth in time. The Girl in the Photograph has a very good plot and interesting characters, I would highly recommend.


The Lemon Grove
The Lemon Grove
Price: £0.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Lemon Grove, 15 Aug. 2014
This review is from: The Lemon Grove (Kindle Edition)
This book is tense with a capital 'T', Helen Walsh begins building the tension from the very beginning and simply does not let up. The front cover of this book is stunning but don't be fooled by the blurb; it could come across as a bit of a beach romp but it is far more complex than your average holiday bonk buster.
Jenn and Greg holiday each year on the beautiful west coast of Mallorca, this year is going to be different as Jenn's fifteen year old step-daughter is bringing along her new boyfriend, 17 year old Nathan. Emma and Nathan's arrival awakens several different feelings in Jenn; a resentment of Greg; a sadness over what life could have been, tensions and deep-rooted issues with her step-daughter and more importantly, a deep desire for Nathan which she is unable to ignore.
The tension between Jenn and Nathan is immediately palpable. Helen Walsh is so good at building up the little details, a glance here, a touch on the arm there; it all builds up to several very passionate encounters. The author is quite explicit in her descriptions of Jenn and Nathan, she shows the carnal need of both of them but then we learn of Jenn's feelings about it; how she feels about being the older woman; how she views her body and these new feelings that have possessed her.
The Lemon Grove can be quite an uncomfortable read at times but I don't think Helen Walsh had any intention of putting her readers at ease. I can't say that I particularly liked any of the characters; they all seemed incredibly selfish in their own ways.
This is the first book that I have read by Helen Walsh, I found it riveting and would highly recommend The Lemon Grove.


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