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The Gift
The Gift
Price: £0.00

4.0 out of 5 stars A short Christmas read, 13 Dec 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Gift (Kindle Edition)
This is an incredibly short story, that I read in about 20 minutes, so perfect for a short lunchtime break or commute.

This is Imogen and Blake, they meet on the run up to Christmas in an unusual situation and take a shine to each other.

My only negative of this short story is the reference to most of the dialogue between the two characters being in code. I felt this point was laboured quite a lot.

The description of Blake makes you want your own Blake this Christmas.

This short story is flirty and fun. This is the first time I have read a story by Perrin, however on the strength if this I would read others of her books.

This is currently free on Amazon and it is a great free find. If you have not downloaded this yet, go grab yourself a copy

A New York Christmas
A New York Christmas
Price: £0.00

3.0 out of 5 stars A bit short, 13 Dec 2014
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I have really enjoyed reading novellas this year, it has allowed me to dip my toes into Christmas, in between other stories.

I first discovered Hill last year when I read A gift to remember and I love it. This story I thought I would equally love as it was set abroad and felt like a really great romance.

This story is about Maddie, she goes to New York to visit her for Christmas. Unfortunately when she gets there Sarah her friend cannot spend as much time as she had hoped she would be able to with her. Maddie is left to explore the Big Apple on her own.

While she is exploring, she meets a man, Blake, he seems perfect almost too perfect.

I enjoyed the majority of the story, however in places it felt very rushed. I was looking forward to the description of Blake and Maddies date as the description was great leading up to it. But in a few lines the date was over and I felt a bit let down by the lack of description given.

The story also seemed a little believable, something happens that I would have thought most people would just shrug off and not worry about, but Maddie gets really wound up about it.

Overall it was an ok story, I thought it would be much better if it had been longer.

Shopaholic on Honeymoon (Short Story)
Shopaholic on Honeymoon (Short Story)
Price: £0.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Kinsella is back!, 13 Dec 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
When I heard that Kinsella had bought out a short story - Shopaholic on Honeymoon, I couldn't wait to read it. I was disappointed with her latest story - Shopaholic to the Stars but I was hoping this would be back to her usual standard.

I was not disappointed with this short story, I felt Becky was back to the old days, witty and I could hear her voice coming through. That is something I rely enjoy about the Shopaholic series, Becky has a voice and only by reading the first page I know if she is there.

This is the story of Becky on her honeymoon. As a traveller I have always wondered about her honeymoon and love the prospect of Becky travelling. (ONE of my favourite shopaholic' s was Shopaholic Abroad.

I loved every aspect of this short story, even though it was. Short story I felt there was a lot packed into it. It could have easily been a lot longer, something I would have loved! It would have nice to have Becky and Luke visit a few other places.

Kinsella was back with this short story, her writing style and her quirky aspects to the book were all present. I particularly enjoyed reading the letter response from the Mayor of London.

This is a must read for any Becky fan, and after being disappointed with the latest novel by Kinsella, she has managed to convert me back again and made me realise why I loved the books so much.

If you have not read any of the series, this is not th one to start with. If you have then you must read this one. This was a perfect gift from kinsella this Christmas for all her fans.

After reading this I cannot wait for the next story.

On Strike for Christmas
On Strike for Christmas
Price: £2.48

2.0 out of 5 stars Predictable, 13 Dec 2014
Not the greatest of books for me; it gambled on the fact that the readers really would believe that intelligent men and women could not sort out their differences without resorting to such drastic measures as females going on strike for Christmas until their partners committed to taking an active part in all the preparations and extra work that it presented for the women.

It was extremely predictable although amusing in parts, it did become tedious and I found I really got to the point where I didn't care about the Stitch 'n Bitch knitting club and their crusade to try and get their unappreciative other halves more involved in the festive season. It was so twee, the town called 'Holly' the main characters names 'Joy' and her Scrooge like husband Bob who she refers to as 'Bob Humbug' were all a bit too contrived for me. It could not have possibly been written for the UK market - I can't imagine this situation happening in the UK. I would think if women were foolish enough to think going on strike at Christmas in the UK would have the same effect/happy endings as this American novel had they simply would not be rewarded with partners who 'soldiered on' determined to prove they could cope they'd more than likely be told to stop being so childish and selfish which is what I wanted to tell these silly Stitch 'n Bitch club members.

In the real world these things don't happen and although novels are escapism this really is such a silly nonsense novel that it left me feeling no enjoyment at having read it just annoyance that the writer could think the reader wants or needs so little from a book. Most of the so called conflicts were not conflicts, they would have easily been solved by talking the situation through with their partners. Most men do take situations for granted but are not completely insensitive and once reminded that the partnership is all about sharing and give and take they do come through. Shelia Roberts depiction of the men in the novel was very Victorian and selfish, not complimentary at all and her depiction of women equally fell short of the mark.

Women these days are not long suffering, most of us enjoy the whole Christmas thing and although it is extra work we really wouldn't want our other halves to do it anyway and I'm sure most men are more than happy to help given the chance. The fact is most women would rather their other halves didn't help and the women in this novel really didn't want the men to do it either they just wanted to be given more credit and wanted their husbands to pay more attention to them - a bit shallow really.

As you can see I didn't gel with this book - Shelia Roberts as a writer is better than this let's hope her next one is more worthy of her writing skills.

Sorry only a 2 from me and that was for the rare moments of humour.

I would like to thank the publisher for sending me this copy in exchange for an honest review.

The Snow Globe
The Snow Globe
Price: £2.48

3.0 out of 5 stars short story, 7 Dec 2014
This review is from: The Snow Globe (Kindle Edition)
I was offered this book to read for a blog tour, a Christmay book? I jumped at the chance to read it. From the blurb, this sounded like just my type of read, magical and set at Christmas, that was all I needed to know, I was hooked from the beginning.

This story is about an antique snow globe that is passed from person to person and changed their lives.

I loved the first story who's character was Kiley. I really got into this and enjoyed every minute of her story. To be honest although Suzanne and Allison were introduced as her friends, and then as main characters, I did expect to revisit Kileys story. This didn't happen and I felt a little let down.

Suzanne, for me was not a very likable character, after reAlly warming to Kiley, I found this a struggle yo continue with the story. I did for the main reason I thought we may return to Kiley.

Allison is the final character we follow in the story, she misses her grandmother dearly who passed away the following year.

I did enjoy the story, I felt like the story was actually a lot longer than it was, this could have been down to the fact there were three stories in it.

I felt that Kileys story was the strongest and I would have enjoyed to have read a lot more of her story than the others.

Overall the story was ok, it was Christmay and you could read it. Comfortably in an afternoon. I would like to thank the publisher for sending this in exchange for an honest review.

Secret Santa
Secret Santa
Price: £0.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Christmas Novella, 6 Dec 2014
This review is from: Secret Santa (Kindle Edition)
I absolutely loved 'Just for Christmas' and 'Two weddings and a baby' last year, so when I heard Scarlett Bailey was back with Secret Santa also set in Poldore, I needed to read it.

This story centres around Sue, Sue inherited a large castle in the village, that had been passed down to her by her ancestors. She has got big financial problems and some with her husband. Sue is really in the heart of the community, she decides to really throw herself into the festivities this year, things are not plain sailing for her, especially when the long running Santa pulls out this year. Sue only has a few days to try and get a new Santa in time for Christmas!

There is a new visitor in the village this year, a famous actor, who Sue has taken a shine to. (Actually I think we all did!)

Although the story is set with the run up to Christmas, there are many issues in it that you can almost be forgiven for forgetting when it is set. A major them in this novella is the break down of Sue' s marriage and the effect she feels this will have on her children. Money worries and the stress this can cause is also a big theme.

I love the mysterious Nick and how his character can really change the dynamics and feelings of the story.

I really loved this short story and has become one of my favourites I have read so far. I am so glad I discovered Scarlett Bailey last year and I hope we will be getting more instalments from Poldore in the future.

I would like to thank the publisher for sending this in exchange for an honest review.

The Great Christmas Knit Off
The Great Christmas Knit Off
Price: £1.49

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Heartwarming Tale, 14 Nov 2014
This is the first book I have ever read by Alexandra Brown, I knew she was very popular but other than thank I had no idea what to expect.

First thing I must say is that her ability to write about the setting and make the reader fall in love with it was incredible. I felt like I was in Tindledale with the characters and actually wished I was. She made the setting sound wonderful with it being welcoming and warm.

I loved the community feel about the book. Living in a town, I don't have that, you are unusual normally if you know the person who lives next door to you. Where as in Tindledale neighbours are friends and rally round to help each other. I loved that everyone tried to help Hetti, people she didn't even think would care did and this is what made all the characters really likable.

Sybil has a good job in the city, her husband to be however ran off with her sister and she has made a huge mistake at work involving a lot of money and is going to cost the tax payer thousands. she needs to get away and somewhere far. She has some friends who own the pub in a little village called Tindledale. They are always saying she must come and visit. The fact that she can't get hold of her won't matter, she will love to see her. So Sybil jumps on the train and heads off.

It doesn't take Sybil long to fall in love with Tindledale. Everything is so warm and welcoming there, well minus the power cut when she arrives and the lack of her friend there... she gets offered a room at a local B&B. The owner is so wonderful, takes the time to listen to Sybil and helps her find her was around. He really takes an interest in her and wants to help her out.

I hear that this is the first in a series of Tindledale and I would be interested in reading others. This was a lovely heartwarming tale. I would also like to read about Tindledale in the summer as I think the setting would be just as beautiful.

For me this was a different type of Christmas read, but one I enjoyed.

I would like to thank the publisher for sending this in exchange for an honest review.

Until You're Mine
Until You're Mine
Price: £2.49

4.0 out of 5 stars A thrilling read, 9 Nov 2014
This review is from: Until You're Mine (Kindle Edition)
This is a psychological thriller with some good characters that hold the plot together however the author does throw in a few random happenings which don't altogether fit with the flow of the novel.

For the best part it was a good thrilling read; I didn't guess the 'who dunnit' at the end and for me that was a bonus. All along the author is leading you to believe one person is responsible and then throws a curve ball and the last few lines of the book are genius.

Three main characters dominate this novel; Zoe the Nanny, Claudia pregnant with her first child and mother to James' (he's a naval officer and away a lot) two sons Oscar and Noah, and Lorraine a CID officer who is investigating some gruesome murders of pregnant women in the area. The author uses different narrative types - first person when she is being Claudia and Zoe and third person when she is being Lorraine.

The book has good pace and has enough tension and subtle clues to keep the reader moving along and guessing until the end.

I did feel that one part of the story didn't really fit in and that was when we learnt the naval officer husband has been involved in some shady goings on (I don't want to give anything away so won't reveal what). I just felt that this wasn't necessary to the story line and couldn't understand why Samantha Hayes felt it necessary to put it in. I also felt the introduction of the detectives' daughter was irrelevant and not necessary to the story in any way since the reader was not meant to connect with this character and was not vital to the plot.

As with most of these genres of novels it does stretch credibility but for all that it was entertaining and for the best part a gripping read.

It would be easy to retell the story in this review but if I told you I'd have to kill you (only joking); read it an enjoy it. If you liked Gone Girl then this will appeal. For me it just lacked totally bringing together in parts which is what let it down but even with that it was a good thrilling read and I would read this author again. I give this 4 stars because the last line of the book is brilliant, creepy and totally unexpected.

I would like to thank the publisher for sending me this copy in exchange for an honest review.

Elizabeth is Missing
Elizabeth is Missing
Price: £4.74

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heartbreaking, 9 Nov 2014
Maud is 82, her best friend Elizabeth is missing but no one seems to care. The problem Maud has is that she can't remember, she doesn't know where Elizabeth is but she is going to get to the bottom of it.

Maud has to write things down, if she doesn't she will forget completely, Larry though, she can't seem to remember why she has written theses things. None of them make any sense. Maud has been trying to contact Elizabeth for weeks now, she has not been in contact about their weekly meetings and whenever she tires to contact her, she never gets to deal to her. Maud has a horrible feeling something has happened to Elizabeth and she needs to discover what.

This situation with Elizabeth provokes of memories for Maud, years ago her sister Suki disappeared and no one knew what happened to her. The story slips back and forth from th past to the present day. We read about Maud as a young girl and watch the story developed with her sister Suki.

As the story progresses, so does Maud' s dementia and it is a dreadfully sad story to hear. (I listened to the audio book.) There are really sad parts to the story, that had me in tears. From having a family member who had dementia, it bought it home to me how scared and confused they must have been.

I thought that this story was extremely clever and the way it was told was wonderful. Anna was a perfect narration choice, she really gave the characters depth.

This is not an easy read/listen but it makes you stop and think about those people with dementia and gives you a snapshot of how they could be feeling. I also could fee Helen's ain through the book, having to deal with her mother going through this. The story is certainly thought provoking and powerful.

I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this audio book and would recommend it to others. The story itself crosses a few genres I feel and would appeal to a wide range of audiences.

I had like to thank Audible for sending this in exchange for an honest review.

Price: £3.99

2.0 out of 5 stars Not for me, 8 Nov 2014
This review is from: Lagoon (Kindle Edition)
I am always happy to read most books, I am open to different genres I have not read, and always give them a go.

I have yet to find a Sci-fi book that I like, to be honest I think that maybe this is just a genre not for me. This book also unfortunately falls into this category.

This is a novel where aliens descend on Lagos. Aliens set up a camp under the sea and strange species appear in the water. Suddenly a huge wave crashes over the beach and three people are swept up into it. Then they are returned there are four...

The novel is told through many voices, this was a little confusing I found at times as some are only present for a chapter or so, where as others seem more permanent. I also found it hard to believe, some of the chapters were told through voices of creatures. This is probably the part of my brain that tells me this cannot be. Hence I am not a Sci-fi fan and struggle to believe it. For this reason I struggled with the book a lot, I eventually gave up with it and did not enjoy it.

I thought the story was well written and the author is very knowledgeable, however this book was not for me. I am sure Sci - Fi fans will love it though.

I would like to thank the publisher for sending this in exchange for an honest review.

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