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The Saffron Trail
The Saffron Trail
by Rosanna Ley
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.85

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very descriptive, written well, 22 May 2015
This review is from: The Saffron Trail (Paperback)
The Saffron Trail is a lovely written book, it's full of descriptive passages both of the country of Morocco and of Moroccan cuisine. I would have thought I'd love it and in parts I did but it was just too much descriptive content for me. The book could have been half the length without it and a much better read. I found the endless descriptions of every chapter distracted me from what was happening and in the end I skim read this missing out these passages and getting down to the conversation and what was happening.

Overall the story line was good but as I said pace was obstructed for me. The story has two main characters, Nell and Amy both of whom at the start don't know each other. They come together for the first time when they meet in Morocco. Nell has been given a birthday present from her husband Callum of a Moroccan cookery experience and Amy is visiting Morocco for a photo shoot to promote a Moroccan event for her gallery in Lyme Regis. Nell is recovering from the sudden and unexpected death of her mother and Amy is searching for her cousin Glenn. Amy is taking photos and including the Moroccan cookery course as part of her exhibition photos and meets with Nell. They seem to have an immediate bond with each other and become good friends over the week of the trip. Secondary characters are introduced over the course of the story and it flows along nicely bringing the lives of the two main characters together.

I won't spoil the story by giving anything away suffice it to say that there is a nice twist and it's not entirely predictable which was a nice surprise. As I said it was just too wordy and too long for me, I was in danger of not finishing it which would have been a shame as it deserves to be read to the end. I can give this 3.5 stars but it would have been more if it had been shorter - descriptions of saffron are lovely but really once was enough without labouring the point and endless passages of descriptive narrative on cuisine smells were for me overkill.

I have rounded it up to 4 stars for goodreads and Amazon. I would like to thank the publisher for sending this in exchange for an honest review.

Catch Me if You Cannes: Part 3
Catch Me if You Cannes: Part 3
Price: £0.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Can't wait for part 4!, 20 May 2015
Lisa has done it again, another part and another cliff hanger!!!

This particular part of the story has felt more serious to me, we really start to get deep into backgrounds of the characters, although we still don't know exactly what is going on with Leo and Harvey we know something is definitely up. I have everything crossed that I find out exactly what in the final part. I am sure I will!

Jess and Bryony have been in Cannes a week now and things are beginning to hot up, Bryony has finally had an interview with a celeb for the magazine and she is desperately trying to keep her job. With a story like this there is every possibility she will be keeping it. The only issue is the celeb thinks they are staying at a very expensive hotel, after some negotiating with the hotel Bryony manages to secure it for a few hours.

Jess gets an unexpected visit, which almost blows her cover and Leos and Jess takes matters into her own hands. There is so much drama going on in this part of the story it is insane, the pace has picked up and now I am dying to find out what is going to be happening in the final part.

Again I don't want to give much away so I apologise if my review for this part is a little vague and short but I really don't want to spoil it for you. Just go out and grab yourself this book, you won't be disappointed!

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

Koolpak Reusable Luxury Hot and Cold Pack 12cm x 29cm
Koolpak Reusable Luxury Hot and Cold Pack 12cm x 29cm
Offered by Nightingale Nursing Supplies
Price: £1.89

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent purchase, 17 May 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I was fed up of always having to try and find some frozen vegetable to use when my husband returned home from football with a swollen ankle. I remembered that schools used really great ice packs and I decided to get one of these to keep in the freezer. We love it, it doesn't take up too much room but is exactly what you need when trying to sooth inflamed ankles/wrists etc.

This is full with a gel which molds to the shape you need, it also lasts a long time before you need to put it back in the freezer. I think this maybe possible to heat too, but I have not tried that.

I would recommend this product as it does exactly what it is intended to do and doesn't take up much space. I am thinking about buying a second on too - for the price you can't complain either!

The Giant of Jum
The Giant of Jum
by Elli Woollard
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £11.38

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic take on a traditional fairy tale!, 16 May 2015
This review is from: The Giant of Jum (Hardcover)
This book was sent to me to review, I decided to take it into school to read to my class to get their opinion on it.

I originally thought that this maybe a little young for my year 3 class, but I shouldn't have been worried. They loved it!

They loved the language and the rhyme in the story and found it amusing, they also made the connection to Jack and the Beanstalk but told me they preferred this version! They also really loved the illustrations, they are so bright and colourful. They said that this is the type of book they would want someone to read to them again and again, as well as reading it for their selves. They said that they would recommend it to a friend, a brother or sister. They said they would rate this highly.

From a teachers perspective I also loved the book, I loved the rhyme aspect in it and that it is like a traditional tale. This is perfect for younger children to teach them about these. I also loved the illustrations, this was a big hit for me and my class and I felt so lucky that I had the chance to share it with them. This book gets a huge 5* from all of us.

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

The Day We Disappeared
The Day We Disappeared
by Lucy Robinson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.85

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good read, 16 May 2015
This review is from: The Day We Disappeared (Paperback)
Two friends Annie Mulholland and Kate Brady are at a crossroads in their lives, both running away from their past which has a habit of resurfacing and threatening to catch up with them, both desperate for new beginnings.

This sets the pace of the novel really and both the characters narrate throughout the story. Having left their past lives behind them Kate ends up at a riding stables after answering an advertisement for a groom and applies for the job even though she has no experience she gets it. Once she's at the stables she knows she will be discovered and confides in Becca also a groom that she has no idea what she's doing. Becca then helps her and teaches her on the quiet.

Annie Mulholland was a masseuse and reiki healer who having lost her own business in the recession was now practicing in London during the week days and evenings and at the weekends travelling to Kent and Surrey. After having done this punishing schedule for 3 years one of her clients Stephen Flint changed her life forever by offering her to work for his organisation FlintSpark as an in-house wellbeing associate. New beginnings for the two girls who became friends on a backpacking trip to Asia.

Ok the scene is set and now the plots begin; each girl has their demons to exorcise and each one appears to be on a collision course. The author builds suspense and you can feel something significant is about to happen for each girl but it is not easy to second guess this plot. They both predictably get a love interest but not all is what it seems and both their lives become increasingly complicated as the past draws ever closer.

Good secondary characters pepper this story creating good sub-plots and all characters are believable and authentic.

Annie seems to be gaining confidence and appears to be blossoming in her relationship with Stephen Flint and Kate although playing her cards closer to her chest revealing little to her new friends, does appear to relax a little as time goes on.

Everything is going along nicely for both girls but there is still the underlying unease of knowing something is about to blow and it does just that about 3/4 of the way through the book. I didn't guess the curve ball that was thrown and how both lives become intertwined. I don't want to say more than this as it will definitely spoil the novel to reveal at this point. All I do want to say is that I didn't see it coming, it was a great twist and one I know you will enjoy.

I would have given this book 5 stars except that I am not really into horsey or equestrian linked books and found this aspect of the novel a bit boring. I almost didn't read the novel because of the equestrian element which would have been a shame to have missed it.

A good read, perfect for holiday reading by the beach or by the pool, easy read in terms of pace, a quick read, and of course the unexpected plot twist is a winner. A well deserved 4.5 stars from me.

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

Catch Me if You Cannes: Part 2
Catch Me if You Cannes: Part 2
Price: £0.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Just keeps getting better!, 13 May 2015
After the first part of Catch me if you Cannes I knew I had to continue reading. For the story just to end on a cliff hanger was torture - Well done Lisa you had me hooked!

This part just like the first is lough out loud funny. There are some brilliant one liners and the pace of the story is perfect. I have really started to get a good sense of the characters and find them endearing and genuine.

Jess and Bryony are still loving Cannes, getting out of the situation they were in at the hotel, (Can't say too much as if you haven't read the first I don't want it spoilt for you!) was one of the funniest things I have read in ages! I particularly loved what followed with the glasses and how Jess had to go shopping for some the next day, still being blind as a bat and broke! Shopping in designer shops when broke is a killer!

During this part of Catch me if you Cannes, we get to find out more about Leo and Harvey, I am really beginning to love these two, I agree that there is something suspicious with the two of them but I can't just put my finger on it! I really enjoyed reading about their trip to Monaco, from visiting myself last year I felt I had been transported back there and was with the four of them in the casino and having a slap up lunch. I also remember the palace...Anyone who has been there will understand what a trek it is to get to, up that massive hill!!! Unfortunately when I visited I was not lucky enough to win any money in the casino!

The book is just getting better and better in my opinion and I cannot wait to continue reading it, especially with the bombshell that has just been dropped! Lisa what are you doing to us???

This is a must read this summer, you will love the characters and love the story line, anyway I'm off now to continue this wonderful series.

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

The It Girl
The It Girl
Price: £4.03

5.0 out of 5 stars Can't wait for The IT Girl 2!, 9 May 2015
This review is from: The It Girl (Kindle Edition)
When I saw this book pop up in the book blogging community I knew I wanted to read it. I haven't read a light hearted YA for a while and was really looking forward to it.

When I began reading the book it become obvious that it was aimed at younger teens - Anna is 14 and I feel the book is very well suited to this audience. Even though I am a lot older I did enjoy reading it, I found it a fun and quick read. The story is primarily about friendship and accepting who you are. I feel that this is a brilliant topic for this age group. When I was 14 I also wanted to just fit in or be in the popular crowd, reading aspects of this book as an adult I could see what was going to happen a mile off, this though has come with experience.

I really liked the format of the book and its layout. The book has series of emails, voicemails and lists in and I particularly enjoyed reading these. They broke the book up and gave it a fun element.

Anna lives in London with her dad and dog, her dad mixes with celebrities for his job, but Anna has never met any of them, that is until he brings Helen home to meet her. She is a model and has an older daughter, who is a socialite. - Completely the opposite to Anna. When she meets them, they both surprise her with the news they are engaged, this doesn't go down well with either daughter.

I really enjoyed reading about the relationship between the daughters as well as Anna's friend. After being seen out together Anna is the latest thing and the press promote her as the next 'IT' girl. This causes a stir at school and suddenly all the popular kids want a piece of her.

This is similar to books like Geek Girl and anyone who loves them will love this. I really liked Anna as a character in the story and I felt I could relate to her, even though the main character is only 14 don't let this put you off.This is a super quick, fun and cute read that you must get your hands on, you won't be disappointed. It has everything that a good light hearted read needs, the boy, drama and celebrities. I think this is a great debut by Birchall and I think she is a YA author to watch out for! I can't stress how much I did enjoy the book and I can't wait to get my hands on The IT Girl 2!

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

Catch Me if You Cannes: Part 1
Catch Me if You Cannes: Part 1
Price: £0.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Start to an Excellent Series!, 6 May 2015
I have been lucky enough to meet Lisa in person twice and have read her previous novels. When I was offered the opportunity to read and review her new series 'Catch me if you Cannes' I jumped at the chance. I knew if it was going to be any like her previous books I was in for a treat.

I am going to be reviewing each part separately so make sure you check out all the reviews.

Bryony is a journalist for Seleb magazine and she is being sent to Cannes film festival. Jess her best friend is bored and fed up and ends up going along for the ride. Listening to the two girls conversations is hilarious, they are also sometimes heart felt moments, which I feel is slightly different for Dickenson, I am used to her writing very funny stories, which are light hearted and fun. While this story has begun in the same way, we also see a softer side to her writing and there are times when I really felt for Bryony and Jess. It is more emotional. I really enjoyed this part of Dickenson's writing, but also was pleased that the story is still fun.

Bryony and Jess are really likable characters and you feel for them, the fact that they are in a dingy hotel away from the main action. I also felt sorry for Bryony, it felt like she was on a wild goose chase, sent by her boss!

I really loved the scene with Jess and Leo buying waffles, however I was shouting at the pages, 'Number! Give him your number!!'

My favourite part of the story so far is when the girls go to a posh restaurant for dinner, being told there is no room for them and the strangers taking them under their wing. This was a very funny scene and littered with the few odd white lies, which I am sure are going to come and bite them on the bum in the future!

So far I am really loving this story and I urge everyone to grab a copy. This is perfect for the summer season and either getting you ready for your holiday or while you are there.

I would like to thank the publisher for sending this in exchange for an honest review. Make sure you look out for review number two!

The Happy Ever Afterlife of Rosie Potter (RIP)
The Happy Ever Afterlife of Rosie Potter (RIP)
Price: £1.99

4.0 out of 5 stars A completely different style of chick lit, 2 May 2015
To be honest I am finding this book a little hard to review. I have not read anything like this before so I was unsure what to expect. Although it is chick lit and an extremely easy read, it was a little darker (due to the topic) and had a different twist.

Rosie shares a place with her friend Jenny, they always have been friends and when Jenny moved to Dublin Rosie missed her a lot. When she found out she was coming back she was delighted, they moved in together and their friendship became stronger than ever. Reasons to why Jenny moved back so suddenly are a little unclear and what happened in Dublin she never talks about. That is until a hunk starts work at the pub Rosie works in, Jack. From the first moment Jenny seems to have a problem with him and tries to warn Rosie off him, claiming she knew him in Dublin and that he is trouble.

I found this very easy to read and read pretty quickly. There are a few issues I have had with the book, the main one is on discovering Rosie's death and the authorities informing her family. There is not a lot of emotion from her parents and they seem to carry on as normal, this to me I felt was strange. They didn't seem to be in floods of tears or anything and I would have thought they would have been.

The other negative I have about the book is that it didn't seem to be going anywhere at times and around the 180-200 page mark I felt myself drifting away from the book as not a lot seemed to he happening, that said it picked up shortly after.

This is a 'whodunit' with a difference and I certainly didn't see the ending coming. This book offers something different in the chick lit market and it is very clever. I really enjoyed the epilogue as it rounding things off nicely for all the characters we had met throughout the story. I also really enjoyed the way the story was told, it seemed to go forward and back in time, I enjoyed reading about Rosie from different viewpoints and angles from the book. I really felt for Rosie especially when we found out about her boyfriend as if felt she had wasted what little time she had.

I really loved Charles and although Rosie was dead there is still romance in this book which is a classic trait of a chick lit. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes chick lit and a light read, don't let the title put you off, this is certainly not a book full of doom and gloom.

I would love to read more from Kate Winter and I think this is a strong and original debut that will do well this year. It is certainly one to look out for.

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

The Girls Take Manhattan (Girls On Tour BOOK 5)
The Girls Take Manhattan (Girls On Tour BOOK 5)
Price: £1.49

5.0 out of 5 stars A Perfect Ending, 25 April 2015
The Girls on Tour series has finally come to an end with 'The Girls Take Manhattan' being the last in the series. I must say I am sad that this is the last one. I have grown to love the girls and their adventures over the last few weeks of reading the books.

In this part of the series the girls are all off to New York, Lily has managed to get the girls free accommodation in New York. (Anyone who has been there will know how fab this would be! The hotels are stupidly expensive and even then you would be lucky to be staying in the city centre!) They are all off for some BIG surprise from Lily, brushing with celebrities in her day job the girls believe its a red carpet event and can't wait!

The novella begins with the girls being upgraded on their flight over to New York. I was able to relate to this and really enjoyed reading this part of the book as when I went to New York I was lucky enough to be given a free upgrade. So I could totally understand the excitement from the girls. Even from the free breakfast and coffee, yes, I was just as excited!!!

Once over in New York the girls are just the same as everywhere else, eager for adventures and excited by what the days and nights might bring. The girls are in for a big shock at Lily's surprise for them - I don't want to say anymore to not spoil it for you. If you have read the others in the series then you must continue with this one.

I loved every minute of this series and think it was a great idea from Nicola. This novella was a perfect was to finish the series off, just like the others the story is face paced and the characters are believable, this time though I think I enjoyed it more as we had all the girls in the novella so I felt like I knew them a lot better.

I raced through this series and would encourage everyone to get it, it is perfect if you are on holiday or like me just dreaming that you were.

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

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