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Lougrahamii (nr Cardiff)

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The Secrets Between Us
The Secrets Between Us
by Louise Douglas
Edition: Paperback
Price: 10.76

5.0 out of 5 stars A Haunting Love Story, 21 Aug 2011
This review is from: The Secrets Between Us (Paperback)
The Secrets Between Us is the 3rd novel written by Louise Douglas.

Whilst trying to move on from her own life Sarah meets Alexander when on holiday in Sicily. It was a chance encounter, both searching for answers to their broken relationships. Alexander offers Sarah a fresh start back in England looking after his son Jamie.

Arriving in Burrington Stokes, there is a lot of hostility toward Sarah. Everyone loved Alex's wife, Genevieve. She was perfect in every way with family around the corner that adored her. Gen was a mother, a Wife and her love of horses, why did she walk out from it all, leave it all behind and not contact anyone?

Does Alex know more than he is letting on about Genevieve leaving? His family and friends certainly think so. Can Sarah truly trust the man she has fallen in love with?

This was my first book I've read written by Louise Douglas and I hadn't done any research of her previous books so I had no expectations. The book is a love story but it is much deeper than that. It's a story that will have your pulse racing as the story unfolds with the haunting twists and turns. There is comparission of Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca to it, but it stands out on its own and is extremely well written. You feel their struggles and pain and you will things to turn out for the best as you turn each page. It says on the back of the book that it is a "page turner that will keep you gripped to the very last chapter" and that is certainly true. An excellent suspense and a wonderful book.

This was the second book I have read as part of the Transworld Book Group Challenge.

Bagpipes and Bullshot
Bagpipes and Bullshot
Price: 1.91

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic romCom in a rural setting!, 19 Aug 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Bagpipes and Bullshot is the first novel by Janice Horton. This is a story of a Laird, Innes Buchanan in desperate need to save his ancestral home, a large estate in Scotland that is crumbling around him and bankruptcy fast approaching if he doesn't come up with something to save it. Whilst researching a new initiative and researching how to breed Cattle in Texas, Innes meets Orley MacKenna. A cow-girl who is a deeply suspicious and an untrusting person!

Can Innes convince Orley to come to Scotland and help establish these new breed of cattle on his Estate? Can Orley trust someone enough to travel across the Ocean and start a new life where she can truly be happy? Can they both move on from their past?

Janice has written a fantastic story full of beautifully descriptive imagery that makes you actually feel like you there! It is extremely clear that Janice knows the area very well and has an excellent knowledge of cattle farming.

Some great and very different characters with lots of comedy but also honest and moving elements in places. This really is RomCom at it's best in a rural setting. A seemless and easy read that will not disappoint in any way. (You also get to find out what A bullshot is, if like me you had no idea!!)

Janice's next book will be called Reaching for the Stars which I can't wait to read if it is as good as this!

Teacher, Teacher!
Teacher, Teacher!
by Jack Sheffield
Edition: Paperback
Price: 5.59

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A gentle and funny read!, 15 Aug 2011
This review is from: Teacher, Teacher! (Paperback)
Teacher, Teacher by Jack Sheffield is the first in a series of books depicting the time back in the late 70s when Jack took on the responsibility of becoming Headmaster at a little primary school called Ragley School.

Itfs 1977 and Jack starts his first day at the School near York in North Yorkshire. In charge of approximately 80 children and a handful of Teachers, catering personnel and his extremely organised secretary Vera. Jack starts each chapter covering the full academic school year with the official log from the School Log book and then writes what really happened from his own personal log book!

A semi biographical book, these are true and often extremely funny accounts of the goings on in this very Yorkshire school in a tiny village. Everyone knows each others business but just sometimes they need a helping hand.

A gentle fun read. Something you can pick up and put down when you have a quiet moment. Really well written and was lovely to get to know some of the people involved and how their friendships developed and how the Children progressed.

The Devil's Music
The Devil's Music
by Jane Rusbridge
Edition: Paperback
Price: 7.19

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A deeply moving Family saga, 13 Aug 2011
This review is from: The Devil's Music (Paperback)
The Devilfs Music is the debut novel by Jane Rusbridge.

A story set in the late 1950s. A family have to come to terms with a Daughter that is "not quite all there" according to the Father. The Mother is lonely and sinks deep into despair until she finds hope in a young painter who comes to decorate the family house. Andy the Son, has the distraction of his shared love of knots with his Grandfather.

Everything changes one day at the beach when Andy is left in charge of his baby sister. He soon realises that "not all treasures can be kept safe forever". 30 years later, can the now Andrew, return to these places and face his past?

Jane was written a very gripping story packed full of the pain of family secrets and tragic scenes. The story changes between the past and the present but all weaves together beautifully to a perfect conclusion through 5 parts. Written from the perspective of the child in places that pulls at your heart as you read what they think they see. Strong characters that some you can neither love nor hate with a wonderful bond between Andy and his Grampy.

A wonderfully written, deeply moving 1st novel.

That Day In September
That Day In September
by Artie Van Why
Edition: Paperback
Price: 5.96

5.0 out of 5 stars A perosnal and honest account of 9/11, 11 Aug 2011
This review is from: That Day In September (Paperback)
That Day in September is an eyewitness account of that tragic day written by Artie Van Why.

Artie hears the first "loud boom" whilst sat in his office which was just across from the World Trade Center on the morning of 9/11 . Stepping out onto the street, Artie tells from his perspective everything he saw and heard from that moment on and how that day changed the world as we know it.

Packed full of raw emotion and honesty, it is very difficult to review a subject matter that is so hard to comprehend, let alone read. I read the 84 pages in one sitting as I felt I couldn't put it down despite the chill that ran down my back whilst reading it. Artie is so honest about how he felt, what he saw and how that day in September changed him and New York as he saw it. Artie writes on the back of the cover " The Reader comes away from That Day in September with not only a more intimate understanding of the events of that day, but also with a personal glimpse of how one person's life was dramatically changed forever". This is so true. His tears were mixed with mine as I read.

With the 10th anniversary fast approaching I'm so pleased I read this book and can continue to understand the pain these people went through. This is just one account but you certainly feel transported to what is now Ground Zero and whilst parts are hard to read, it happened and it was real it is not a story.

Thank you Artie for your very personal account which is very gripping and my heart goes out to you all.

The Tapestry of Love
The Tapestry of Love
by Rosy Thornton
Edition: Paperback

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A gentle French escape, 9 Aug 2011
This review is from: The Tapestry of Love (Paperback)
The Tapestry of Love is I believe, the fourth novel by Rosy Thornton. Set in the idyllic French Countryside, Catherine is trying to start a new life now that her children have grown and she is divorced. Her plans are to start a business as a seamstress but didn't realise how difficult the French bureaucracy can be.

Poor weather, reserved locals and then there is Patrick Castagnol. Who is he? With her sister Bryony coming to stay will things change for the better? Can she fall in love with this new dream of a fresh start and the people around her?

Rosy has written a really beautiful gentle story where you really feel that you are in this remote part of France. She describes the house, people and surroundings with such eloquence that makes them come to life. Chapter by chapter you learn a little bit more about each character and what makes them who they are.

Whilst there is romance in this novel it is more old-fashioned love rather than steam up your glasses type writing. This is not what I would class as Chick Lit. Thoughtfully written with unexpected elements of humour but also deep sorrow and emotion.

A lovely read. Thank you Rosy for introducing me to this novel.

The Golden Mean
The Golden Mean
by Annabel Lyon
Edition: Paperback
Price: 5.87

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A philpsophising view from Aristotle, 6 Aug 2011
This review is from: The Golden Mean (Paperback)
The Golden Mean is the first novel by Annabel Lyon is a story set in 367BC. The story starts with Philip II at war with Persia the time has come for his young son Alexander (soon to turn into Alexander the Great) to take up his inheritance of blood and obedience to the sword.

Aristotle is his teacher and he soon realises that Alexander has a lot to learn before he can attend his father battlefields, this is the lesson of the golden mean.

This is a story with a huge amount of historical fact with Aristotle philosophising a great deal and can therefore in parts be a hit heavy going. It is definitely a thinking book not a relaxing easy read. I will be honest, I had real trouble finishing this book and needed help from a family member for some understanding! It was far to deep and heavy for my little mind! I did enjoy relationship between Aristotle and his Father in teh flash backs.

It is very obvious that Annabel has had to do a tremendous amount of research for it and it is clearly shown in the way she has beautifully put the story together. Unfortunately, it just wasn't for me. If you love factual novels set in this period, then this a book for you.

Meant To Be
Meant To Be
Price: 2.55

5.0 out of 5 stars A real page turner!, 31 July 2011
This review is from: Meant To Be (Kindle Edition)
Meant to Be is a novel jointly written by Beverly Butler and Sue Warhaftig about a 50-year-old mother Judith McCoy, who has lost her way with the continued PTA meetings, ferrying the children to and from school and somehow completely misplaced her libido but found the bottle.

Judith is married to a successful New York business man Rod McCoy. They were college sweethearts but the years have had a strain on their marriage. This is not helped by the resident office hottie, Tammie. Rod's midlife crisis could very well cost him his married once Judith becomes aware of what is happening.

Desperate to get herself away from everything that is going wrong in her life, Judith takes the girls and spends the summer holidays at her best friend Debbie's "beach house". Judith hits rock bottom and knows that things have to change and she needs to heal herself. She realised what is meant to be.

I was asked to review this book and I am so glad I did. Packed full of emotion, sadness, laughter and sex! (Note ... certainly not for the faint hearted or if you blush easily!). Characters that you can believe in and relate too. The story tells the journey of a family and how they try to overcome all the obstacles in front of them with the help of dear friends and some family members. Can they get back what they had or has too much happened to repair the damage?

This book had me at chapter one this morning and I never put it down until the final words this evening.

A fabulous read!

The Bridge Club
The Bridge Club
by Patricia Sands
Edition: Paperback
Price: 13.45

5.0 out of 5 stars A story of Friendship, 24 July 2011
This review is from: The Bridge Club (Paperback)
The Bridge Club by Patricia Sands is a story about eight 60 something Women set over forty years. Brought together with their passion of Bridge and so the Club is established. Fate takes hold of each of the 8 ladies in different ways and their friendship is tested every time. They remain loyal, don't judge each other and offer the ultimate support when needed.

The books starts at the end. You get a taste of what is to come and the ultimate test of friendship is brought to them. Eight chapters are dedicated in turn to each one of the 8 ladies where you are transported to their most important time in their life and they remember the feelings and support they gave each other. Their "one for all and all for one " mantra uniting them in their individual struggles. Drinks, laughter and tears will help them work through their beliefs and values.

I wondered when I got this book if I would be able to connect with a group of ladies with a love of Bridge, not being able to play etc! Like it says on the front of the cover, was never just about the cards. This book is so much more than a group playing bridge. This is a story of hope and sorrow. Friendships tested but always the first place each lady comes when in times of trouble/need or reassurance.

Beautifully written, Patricia introduces you to each Character dedicating a chapter to each one but still showing the closeness of the friendships through out. This book will have you laughing with them but also reaching for a tissue and the struggles they all endure. To me the ending was perfect and I totaly understood the direction that Patricia took and why. Loved the Bridge card display at the end of each chapter with a heading so fitting to what you have just read, lovely touch.

A thought provoking read for anyone, whatever age, who has close friendships that mean the world to them.

Hurry Up and Wait
Hurry Up and Wait
by Isabel Ashdown
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.29

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A thought provoking look back at the 1980's, 17 July 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Hurry Up and Wait (Paperback)
Hurry Up and Wait is the second novel by Isabel Ashdown following on the from the award-winning success of Glasshopper.

A 39 nine-year old Sarah Ribbons is preparing to attend a reunion at her old School, Selton High School for Girls. Can she bring herself to revisit the 1980's?

It's 1985 and Sarah is 15 years old living with her elderly Father with all the usual issues any 15-year-old girl has in her final year at High School. The ever-changing friendship status with Katie and Tina she embarks upon a year she will never forget. With the sudden illness of her father, Sarah has to stay with Kate's family, who appear to be so young and exciting but nothing is ever the same again.

I'll be honest I had no idea what this novel was about. I saw people chatting with Isabel on Twitter and saying how much they loved the story so I decided to read it also. Isabel has written a wonderful story which on the surface is light and funny and which will transport you back the 1980's, the music, the fashion and Our Price. It starts in the present day but you slip back to 1985 and re-live that final year at school with Sarah.

The story has so much more to offer which I was not expecting. It focuses on Sarah's relationships with her friends, family, boyfriends and other people she comes into contact with. It has lovely moments of friendship but also times of heartbreak and realisation for Sarah that there is big bad world out there.

I read this book in a day as I just couldn't put it down. An excellent story, which I really enjoyed and totally recommend. I will certainly now be getting a copy of Glasshopper if this is anything to go by.

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