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Forsaken: Book One of the Shadow Cove Saga
Forsaken: Book One of the Shadow Cove Saga
Price: £0.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A chilling tale which still gives me nightmares., 14 April 2015
I read lots of thrillers but this book falls more into the genre of horror or extreme thriller, if there is such a thing. I'm still having nightmares about it and had to stop myself reading it at night. The author did a great job of creating the suspense and tension and I really had no idea what direction the book was going to go in.

I would give this book 5 stars and would thank the author for getting me out of my reading comfort zone. I would definitely read books by this author again, once I've had time to get over this one!

I received a free copy of this via The Book Club on Facebook for a fair and honest review.


Into the Storm
Into the Storm
Price: £3.23

4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful story, 14 April 2015
This review is from: Into the Storm (Kindle Edition)
I read a lot of books, both fiction and non fiction from the WWII period so was looking forward to reading this book by Lisa Bingham, an author who's work I'd not encountered before.

The book follows the story of RueAnn Boggs, an American woman trying to escape her abusive father. She meets Charles Tolliver who she is seduced by and quickly married to - a shotgun wedding indeed. As war is brewing in Europe, Charles has to return to England on an assignment and when RueAnn doesn't hear from him, she travels to England. The other key character in this book is Susan, the quieter rather bookish identical twin of the vivacious Sara. Susan falls in love with Sara's beau Paul, an RAF Pilot after she is asked to attend a dance with him as Sara, who is unable to make it. The paths of Susan and RueAnn cross when RueAnn arrives in England and lives with Charles's mother and they end up being neighbours. As the War progresses they're both united in their hope of hearing from the men they love.

I have to say that when I read the bio of Lisa Bingham I was sceptical as to how authentic of the period this book would be from an American author in Utah. I've read lots of books written by American authors set in Europe during this period and one thing that really grates on my nerves is when the dialogue between characters just doesn't ring true and they fall into the trap of their characters speaking how they THINK they would have spoken, but being way of the mark. Lisa Bingham hasn't fallen into this trap, it is an excellent book with believable and likeable characters.Lisa has really captured the essence of wartime London. I would definitely read other books by this author.

I received a digital advance copy of this book from NetGalley and Diversion books in exchange for an honest and fair review.


A Daughter's Disgrace
A Daughter's Disgrace
Price: £1.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic read., 13 April 2015
This is the first book I've read by Kitty Neale and it was unexpectedly fantastic! I do enjoy books both fiction and memoirs set it 40's and 50's working class society so was looking forward to this, expecting a gentle reading. Which it was. Until the book went in a completely unexpected direction.

The main character is Alison, the youngest of three sisters. Her mother Cora has brought up the three girls alone after her husband Jack died in World War II. Cora was left pregnant with Alison and had always resented her and been unkind towards her. The eldest daughter Linda is pleasant but Hazel, the middle daughter is beautiful but spiteful and unkind, making Alison's life a misery. Alison is very tall, stoops and is not particularly attractive which she is constantly reminded of by her family and outsiders, often being called 'horse face' As a result she has very low self esteem which certain individuals in the book take advantage of when she starts a new job at the butchers working alongside the owner, Fred. Meanwhile, Hazel is planning her wedding to Neville Parrott.

For me the beauty of this book was how the author developed the characters. I felt like I knew them and cared what happened to them. I was constantly rooting for Alison's luck to change, felt warmth towards Fred the butcher and an intense dislike to Hazel. I would,without question read further books by Kitty Neale. One thing that struck me was how this book would make a superb TV drama.

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher, Harper Collins UK for an advance reader copy in exchange for an honest review.


The Grand Reopening of Dandelion Cafe (Cherry Pie Island - Book 1)
The Grand Reopening of Dandelion Cafe (Cherry Pie Island - Book 1)
Price: £1.79

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A short, lighthearted read., 29 Mar. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Thank you to Carina and NetGalley for a digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Jenny Oliver is one of those authors whose books you should never read on an empty stomach. I've been craving cherry pie and cream since the opening chapter of this book! Her writing reminded me very much of Jenny Colgan in that her writing is warm, engaging and a lighthearted read.. I felt that the book was rather short and because of this the characters were rather one dimensional.

Jenny Oliver descriptive writing of the food, the cafe and the island were wonderful however, for me, in places this was also a negative aspect of the book. Sometime the writing was overly descriptive where is just wasn't necessary and didn't add anything to the book. I also wasn't keen on the reference to current technology such as the iphone 6 as it will make the book dated in a couple of years.

I would definitely read the other books in this series and future books by Jenny Oliver. I would give this 3.5 stars if there was an option as it is deserving of more than 3 but not quite a 4 for the points mentioned.


Little Girl Lost: The true story of a broken child (HarperTrue Life - A Short Read) (HarperTrue Life - A Short Read)
Little Girl Lost: The true story of a broken child (HarperTrue Life - A Short Read) (HarperTrue Life - A Short Read)
Price: £0.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Time for a full length book now Mia! Loved it., 27 Mar. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I've read all of Mia Marconi's short stories about being a Foster Carer and would liken her books to those written by the likes of Cathy Glass, Rosie Lewis and Casey Watson. I've enjoyed all of Mia's books but for me this one is worthy of five stars as I can see how dramatically the authors writing has improved since her first book. The story of Kira is heartbreaking and like most books of this genre you are left in awe of these people who open up their homes to some of the most troubled, abused and disadvantaged children and try to make a difference. So far all of Mia's books have been short stories but I think it's now time for a full length book. Loved it.


Dare To Bake!
Dare To Bake!
by A Abreu
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £16.50

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitely a book to have easily to hand when you are looking to make cupcakes ..., 25 Mar. 2015
This review is from: Dare To Bake! (Hardcover)
This book is an absolutely stunning compilation of cupcake recipes with a difference. Definitely a book to have easily to hand when you are looking to make cupcakes for an extra special occasion or just feel like being decadent. There are so many recipes in here that I want to try out, Mango and Saffron and the very strange but exotic sounding Coconut and Curry cupcake! There is an amazing recipe using Hibiscus and some extra special grownup ones using alcohol such as the Peach Bellini and the Strawberry Colada. If there was ever a recipe book that has made me want to put the diet on hold...this is it!

I was given an ARC copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.


PowerBlock Sport 2.4 Adjustable Dumbbells
PowerBlock Sport 2.4 Adjustable Dumbbells
Offered by Sweatband
Price: £144.99

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love them!, 11 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I totally love these! I do the Chalean Extreme Workout and needed some weights that could be changed quickly and easily. I started off with individual dumbbells, then a cheap adjustable set that took forever to change. These are perfect and an excellent price in comparison to something like the Bowflex Selecttech weights. For men these may not go heavy enough as the highest is around 11kg. I actually need 15kg in each hand for squats, but I think for the majority of women these are perfect and will be enough for their exercise needs.​


The Refuge: My Journey to the Safe House for Battered Women
The Refuge: My Journey to the Safe House for Battered Women
Price: £3.32

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A truly inspiring tale., 8 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Jenny Smith born in 1946 was brought up in Derbyshire and the Prologue describes the warm, happy memories she has of her early childhood, the Roast dinners, homemade cakes, loving parents and lots of children in the neighbourhood to get into mischief with. Sadly her mother is diagnosed with schizophrenia and this has a huge impact on Jenny's emotional well-being as she struggles to make sense of her mothers rages and hallucinations. At the age of 13 Jenny runs away to London where she ends up getting involved in prostitution in order to survive. After a year on the streets she is reunited with her family only to be sentenced to a year in an Approved school.

Jenny's book covers so many sad topics, mental illness, runaways, prostitution, homelessness, Mixed race marriage, poverty and domestic violence. After getting into an abusive relationship Jenny manages to escape with her two daughters to a refuge for battered women in Chiswick, run by Erin Pizzey. The strength of these women is incredible and Erin has made a promise to never turn a battered away. The book describes Jenny's time at the refuge and beyond. The book mentioned two documentaries that were filmed in the refuge, "Scream quietly or the neighbours will here" and "Sanctuary" which was filmed in 1991 for Channel 4. The former was filmed with the same title as Erin Pizzey's book written a couple of years prior to the documentary. I would love to see this book available on Kindle and I'm also now in search online of any clips of the Sanctuary documentary. Erin Pizzey sounds an amazing woman with the strength to fight for what she believed in no matter what the personal cost.

Jenny's style of writing makes this a very easy read despite the harrowing subject matter. She is excellent at creating imagery of what it was like to live in Hackney, London in the late 60's early 70's and the racism that many new immigrants from the West Indies faced from the locals and the police. There are brighter moment where she describes the atmosphere at the Shabeens, the Caribbean food that she comes to love and the smells and sounds of the local markets. As well as living in the same district as the notorious Kray twins.

Later in life Jenny becomes a foster carer something which she is well equipped for with her past experiences. An excellent read, tragic yet inspiring in equal measure.


Daddy's Little Princess
Daddy's Little Princess
Price: £3.66

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Cathy's best books to date., 28 Mar. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I've now read all of Cathy Glass's books and also enjoy similar authors such as Casey Watson and Rosie Lewis. I'd been eagerly awaiting this new release and I wasn't disappointed. The story goes back to when Cathy's children, Adrian and Paula were much younger and a seven year old girl, Beth comes to stay after her father suffers a nervous breakdown. Cathy's starts to notice that there is something not quite right about Beth's relationship with her father and gradually all becomes clear. Cathy has mentioned in her previous books her divorce from her husband and this covers the period when Cathy's marriage to her husband John broke down, something that I found as interesting as the story with Beth. Well done Cathy Glass and what a tough cookie you are! I can't wait for her next release and have it on pre order.


Trapped: The Terrifying True Story of a Secret World of Abuse
Trapped: The Terrifying True Story of a Secret World of Abuse
by Rosie Lewis
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.85

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb first full length book from Rosie Lewis., 2 Mar. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I've read many books written by UK foster carers such as Cathy Glass and Casey Watson so I've been looking forward to reading the first full length book by Rosie Lewis. It didn't disappoint. This is the story of a 8 year old girl, Phoebe who has been removed from her middle class home and placed with Rosie. Phoebe has been diagnosed with Autism however as Rosie builds a relationship with her she starts to wonder whether this is a correct diagnoses or whether she is carrying a dark secret.

I gave this book five stars because it is an excellent debut and also gives a very well rounded insight into the world of fostering. Rosie doesn't shy away from being honest of how she felt in certain situations. Sometimes when I read Foster caring books the carer can come across as a super woman but because they never say how the stress of dealing with a troubled child impacts their health or emotional wellbeing.This wasn't the case with Rosie, and it made for an excellent read.

There are certain authors that I regularly check for new or forthcoming book releases. Rosie Lewis will definitely be added to this list.


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