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Kate & Alf Paperback – 9 Apr 2015

4.2 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 312 pages
  • Publisher: HarperImpulse (9 April 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0008123098
  • ISBN-13: 978-0008123093
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.1 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,884,229 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

About the Author

Carrie was born and raised in London and the suburbs, but tired of the dreary weather and her permanently pale skin, has spent the last decade living and working internationally. She is currently living in Bali, Indonesia and can often be found island hopping to far-flung places!

Her next novel, published by Harper Collins will be available in January 2017.

When not writing, Carrie works as a Psychic Medium & Spiritual Coach (www.carriebattley.com). To find out more about her, visit her author website at www.carriestone.co.uk or connect on Twitter @CarrieStoneUK

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By Gilbster TOP 500 REVIEWER on 5 Feb. 2015
Format: Kindle Edition
Thank you to Harper Impulse and Net Galley for a review copy of this book. This is my honest review.

Kate has been in a relationship with Alf for seven years. Four yours ago she had a miscarriage, and Alf and Kate, never mention it. Two years ago Alf implied there would be a proposal within a few years. Hence it is now 2 years later, and Kate's 32nd Birthday.

Alf has planned a party and a surprise for Kate, which she is clearly hoping will be a proposal. Nothing about the party is quite what Kate wants, and seems a but surprised and how little Alf knew her. And the real surprise of the evening was a puppy, not a proposal.

Kate realises that she and Alf can't continue like this, and starts to see him in a far more negative light.

Megan is Kate's friend, and Marcus the other main character is Alf's friend, and the storyline involving the best friends was lovely.

Then there is Kate's job, she works at an old person's care home, and her friendships with some of the elderly residents are a real delight to read about.

I didn't have unrealistic expectations about this book. Normally with books I read published by Harper Impulse, I get a nice romance, which is an easy read to while away a few hours, and that is exactly what I got from this book.

Alf was just generally an unlike-able character, I really didn't like the way he was portrayed, but then again, I don't think the other characters liked him that much, and that he wasn't meant to be a loveable romantic hero.

This isn't the best book you will read this year, but if you are wanting something relatively uncomplex to read, to while away a few hours, this works well for this sort of purpose.

As a debut, its a good effort, and I will be interested to see what else Carrie Stone writes as her career progresses
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Format: Kindle Edition
It's important to remember 'Kate and Alf' is women's fiction not romance. The story centres on Kate's and details her growth and empowerment. The romance is significant but not central to this story. The characters Kate encounters are as important as Alf, the focus for Kate's romantic aspirations.
Alf is a difficult character to like he puts the 'self' into selfish but he does illustrate vividly the point, you can't help who you fall in love with.
Kate puts up with Alf because her life is plagued with loss. She can't bear to be alone again. I want her to be more assertive at times but it adds to the story's realism that she isn't. I empathise with her journey and applaud her courage as she takes the steps she never thought she could.
Megan and Marcus are well written and likeable. They cleverly highlight important stages in Kate's life. The give and take in Lillian's and Vivian's rapport with Kate highlights Kate's and Alf's one sided relationship.
The story's slow pacing mirrors Kate's life and makes the good things impact in a meaningful way. I did wonder if the book would be easier to read if it was broken up into parts to coincide with these changes. The unexpected plot twists in the last few chapters make experiencing Kate's angst ridden life worthwhile for me.
'Kate and Alf' is a story of self discovery. The ending perfectly reflects Kate's emotional journey.
I received a copy of this book from Harper Impulse via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Kate and Alf are in love. Or so Kate believes. But Alf seems to have forgotten the promise he made to propose to Kate on her 32nd birthday. When her 32nd birthday party takes place at the greyhound races, and she gets a puppy rather than a proposal, Kate is left wondering if career-driven, control freak Alf is really on the same page as her after all. Then Alf's friend, Marcus, needs a place to stay. He seems to genuinely care about Kate, and she's left wondering whether a proposal from Alf is what she wants after all.

I quite enjoyed this book, despite it having quite a few rough edges. I'd never come across this author before, but I'll be keeping an eye out for future books. The main characters were not the most likeable people, but they were well written, which made the book very readable. Alf, in particular, was not a nice person. He was extremely selfish, but does get his comeuppance when he takes a job elsewhere and Kate doesn't go with him. However, right from the off I was a little baffled, as the pairing of Kate and Alf doesn't really make much sense. Aside from Alf sulking when Kate goes back to one of her favourite hobbies, they just don't seem to work as a couple at all, and I'll confess to being frustrated with Kate when she kept gravitating towards him throughout the book.

Kate and Alf arc aside, the rest of the book more than made up for anything their relationship lacked. I loved reading about Kate's job at an old people's home, and the people she cared for were genuinely lovely and really cared about Kate and her happiness. There are some very touching scene's involving them towards the end of the book, which are equal parts heartbreaking and happy to read. Marcus was a interesting character as well.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Kate and Alf is the first book I have read by Carrie Stone and with a lovely cover and interesting premise I was keen to start this novel.This was an easy read and the story began with great promise but due to the frustrating actions of the characters throughout the novel and so much switching of their affections and loyalties it fell flat for me around the halfway point. But I did manage to keep going and finish this and I am glad,if only to read the sweet ending that shows us connections and chance meetings can be everything.

The book opens in Summer 2010 where the main character Kate is suffering a loss, she has had a miscarriage and it is evident herself and her long term partner Alf have a strong bond and a deep love for each other despite what they have been through. We then fast forward to Spring 2014 Kate is just about to celebrate her 32nd birthday and is hoping for a proposal. Alf brings her on a surprise night out to a greyhound stadium(of all places) where her friends and family are all waiting to throw her a surprise party. Tension builds as Kate awaits the expected proposal but instead she is presented with a box containing a dog tag and then out comes a cute King Charles puppy named Sam. Kate's disappoint is palpable and this sets her heart and mind working.Is Alf really the one for her if he can mess up something so huge that was surely part of the long term plan? Being a dog lover Sam offered plenty of cute opportunities throughout the book but he could have been utilised more to add a bit more wit and sparkle to the book.He could have become almost as famous as Neil the Puffin as used by Jenny Colgan in her Beach Street Bakery series.
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