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Chloe S "Chick Lit Chloe" (Berkshire, UK)
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Coming Up Roses
Coming Up Roses
by Rachael Lucas
Edition: Paperback
Price: £4.00

5.0 out of 5 stars A book that smells of roses!, 29 May 2015
This review is from: Coming Up Roses (Paperback)
Daisy is just getting over a nasty break-up so flees to her parents beautiful country home in order to sort everything out and have a bit of time out from everything. They're on holiday, but are employing her to sort out their wild garden, knowing that she's got a talent for anything horticultural. Daisy is determined to keep herself to herself while she's there, but is soon drawn into village life, meeting new friends and joining in all manner of events before she realises what's happening. Daisy's quiet village getaway is turning out to be anything but that...

What I really loved about this book is that whilst it is primarily about Daisy and her getting over her troubles, each of the more minor characters are each super important to the story too and I liked them just as much as I liked Daisy. Firstly, she had a very sweet friendship with pensioner Thomas, who also happens to be a gardener. I loved the banter between the pair, the respect Daisy has for Thomas and I just really enjoyed reading their scenes together, talking about gardening and protecting their village against incomers.

Then there's her new friendship with local women Jo and Elaine. Elaine lives in a posh house a short walk away from Daisy's parents, but all is not as idyllic as it may seem from the outside. However, Elaine is keen to not lose face in front of her new friends, but Daisy is determined that she coax her new friend out of her shell and help her out. The same goes for single mum Jo, also hiding a bit of a secret of her own. I loved how the women didn't judge each other despite their very differing circumstances, and it seemed really genuine. I thoroughly enjoyed reading their scenes and they were a nice addition to main storyline as well. There were of course a couple of male interests for Daisy, called George and Ned, but this was really a minor plot compared to other things going on in the book.

As I said, I don't especially like gardening - I get palpitations when I think about getting the mower out and all manner of creepy-crawlies in the garden haha - but this book made me vividly picture Daisy's beautiful garden in bloom, full of colourful flowers and plants, being coaxed back to life by Daisy's skilled hands. I also loved the descriptions of the village - it sounded so picturesque you can see why the villagers were so keen to protect it! Lucas' writing was brilliant - she really drew me into the story and kept the pace up so I was never bored and or wanting to put it down. This was a really brilliant read, a fresh look at village life and gardening, and is perfect to read whilst sitting in your own garden in the sunshine (or just pretending that it's lovely on days like today!). Definitely recommended.


The Doris Day Vintage Film Club: A hilarious, feel-good holiday read
The Doris Day Vintage Film Club: A hilarious, feel-good holiday read
Price: £0.59

4.0 out of 5 stars Lovely girly read to curl up with, 25 May 2015
Claire Bixby loves Doris Day films thanks to growing up and watching them with her late grandmother, and as such runs a film club dedicated to Doris' films at her local pub. The group of friends meet regularly to watch the films, giving each of them hopes and dreams in their own ways. But Claire's a bit fed up of being alone. So when she meets mysterious stranger Nic, she decides to take a chance on him and open up her heart and herself to him. But Nic is holding something back from Claire, something that would ruin their newfound friendship if she found out the truth. But what is it he's hiding?

As I said, although the book is named after the club that Claire runs at the local pub dedicated to Doris Day films, that isn't the be all and end all of this book. I really enjoyed the story between Claire and Nic, the way their friendship develops and how Nic deals with his deception as well. It's a very intriguing book, and I didn't want to stop reading it once I had started. I really liked the main character of Claire - she was very likeable and I was hoping she would find some happiness in her life, she did seem so against letting a man back into her life and finding her own happy-ever-after.

You could see why she falls for Nic, and he is a great male lead for the book. He's got a good job travelling making documentary programmes, seems to be a nice person and seemingly falls hard and fast for Claire. However, there's something quite important she doesn't know about him, and I was sat just waiting for it all to go wrong when she finds out - I didn't want that to happen however, I wanted her to be happy with him and it all be fine! I really liked the email communication between the pair, it was a fun addition to the book and was a good way of building up the banter between the pair without forcing them together too much.

Doris Day films are of course mentioned in the books when they are shown at the film club, but having not seen any of them, they didn't mean that much to me. I'm sure those who love Doris and her films will appreciate the references in the books, but for me they were just a device to show how Claire got her views on romance and why she wanted to be wooed properly, much like Doris seemed to be in her films. There was a sweet side plot involving a new member of the club being transformed for a special night out after watching Doris' films, and I thought this was a sweet side plot and I really enjoyed reading about it.

This was a very enjoyable read from start to finish, and I found it very easy to read. Fiona Harper's writing is very enjoyable, allowing you to get absorbed into the stories of both Claire and Nic, and you're left hopeful of a happy ending, even if it doesn't seem that can possibly be the case at many points throughout the story! Everything was easy to imagine, from Claire and her travel agency, to her film club and her new found relationship with Nic too. A great book to curl up with, or to stick in your holiday suitcase for this summer's holiday! A really good read, definitely recommended.


Don't Tell the Brides-to-Be
Don't Tell the Brides-to-Be
by Anna Bell
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.85

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't tell anyone NOT to read this!, 3 May 2015
I read my first book by Anna Bell last year, when I read the second book in her 'Don't Tell...' series called Don't Tell the Boss. I really enjoyed that book, and was pleased to receive the third book in the series to review called Don't Tell the Brides-to-Be, complete with a really pretty blue cover that drew me in straight away. I was looking forward to catching up with these characters again, seeing the next step in Penny's life, and the story certainly didn't disappoint, I really enjoyed it!

Penny's new business Princess on a Shoestring, her wedding planning on the cheap venture, is going well and she's booking more weddings than she ever expected. Her husband is thrilled for her, and the pair finally feel like their marriage is on track. When Penny meets a rival wedding planner at a wedding fayre, and finds her to be less than nice, she realises she has to toughen up and keep her brides to herself, never mind the competition. But just as she sets her plans in motion, Penny making a discovery that threatens to ruin everything she has built up so far, and Penny has no idea how she is going to cope...

As I said before, I have read the previous book, but not the first one in the series, so you can certainly read this as a stand-alone, although it does of course work better if you read its predecessors first. There is plenty explained throughout the book though, so you shouldn't feel too lost when you are reading, and are able to catch up with what has happened before. I loved Penny once again, she's a brilliant lead character, always optimistic, determined to make her new business work, and her marriage too, and she never fails to make me laugh. Even when things look like they are going badly wrong, she's still determined to plough on and make the best of a bad situation, even if that means keeping a few things to herself.

The development of this story was really well done, and I liked the twists and turns it took as the book went on. I don't want to discuss too much about the plot, because I enjoyed reading about it as it unfolded, Suffice to say, however, Penny doesn't perhaps deal with the revelations in the best way, although you can understand her worry and nervousness especially as she has a fledgling business to take care of. There was a sweet sub-plot about her husband Mark's grandmothers illness, and this was a more serious storyline, it was well written and very emotional, it made me tear up occasionally as I read it and was a good addition to the story, we certainly saw a different side to Penny and Mark throughout this storyline.

Yes, the plotline was simple, and perhaps the obvious place for the series to go after the previous two books, but that didn't stop me enjoying it at all - in fact, quite the opposite, I loved it! It was nice to see Penny working hard and making a success of her business, and the rivalry going on with the posh wedding planner was really quite funny too, I liked how Penny was determined not to let her win! The mentions of all the different wedding ideas going on were brilliant too, everything from a woodland wedding to an adult soft play idea, it's all in there! I hope this isn't the last book in the series, and we see more about Mark and Penny going on from the things in this book and how things work out for them! Anna Bell's writing is brilliant, so easy to read and the plot was so enjoyable, I couldn't put it down. A brilliant, light-hearted read that I loved.


Wellies and Westies (A novella) (Primrose Terrace Series, Book 1)
Wellies and Westies (A novella) (Primrose Terrace Series, Book 1)
Price: £0.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A fun, easy to read novella!, 3 May 2015
I was recently sent a new novella, the first in a series, to review by publishers Harper Collins, and I knew the author name was familiar to me but I couldn't quite place it! Cressida McLaughlin is actually a reviewer for another review website, Novelicious, so I was excited to read her debut novel and see what the story was going to be like. I have to mention the really cute cover too, I love how eBook covers are becoming more and more important, and they actually reflect the books now, this one is certainly one of my favourites this year!

Cat Palmer loves dogs, and is sure she is going to make a success of her new dog walking business after unsurprisingly losing her job at the local nursery when she takes a puppy to work with her. The kids loved it but her boss didn't. Instead, Cat rallies around the residents of Primrose Terrace and the local town and finds lots of new clients for her to go walking, in rain or shine. Cat takes to her job rather quickly, and makes a few new friends along the way too...

This novella was the perfect length for me, with a print length of 98 pages, meaning there was enough time for the story and characters to develop, but left enough to keep us hanging and excited for the other installments! I really liked the main character of this book, Cat, although I was a bit frustrated about how naive she was about taking an animal to work with her! How she ever thought it was going to work was beyond me, but certainly made for some amusing reading! I liked how determined she was to make her new business work, working hard to get new clients. The dogs were so well described too, they each seemed to have their own characters (as well as quirky names!), and were a fun addition to the story - Disco was definitely my favourite!

The other residents of Primrose Terrace were well written too, including Cat's flatmates Polly and Joe, and their new mysterious neighbour Mark, another dog owner. I hope we will get to find lots more about the other residents of the terrace as the stories progress, and we see how Cat's business is going too! The novella was very easy to read, lots of characters to enjoy and I enjoyed the progression of the story, and I really enjoyed the community aspect of the story too, everyone's lives being intertwined, especially with Cat holding it all together, along with holding the dog leads! The second novella in the series, Sunshine and Spaniels is coming mid-June, and I'll certainly be reading that - this was a strong debut and I thoroughly enjoyed the read.


The Two of Us
The Two of Us
Price: £2.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very enjoyable read, 26 April 2015
This review is from: The Two of Us (Kindle Edition)
I was sent a new debut novel to read recently, and it was by a male author called Andy Jones. I don't read many books by male authors, mainly because they don't tend to write very much in the genres that I read, so I was excited to read this hyped debut novel. I wasn't massively keen on the cover, I found it quite bland and uninspiring, but luckily the book didn't follow suit. I really enjoyed the love story between Fisher and Ivy, but was curious to find out if they would end up with their happy ever after.

It's hard to review this novel without giving too much away, but that's what I am going to do. Therefore I won't talk much about the plot because it's one of those books that you want to find out about as you read along. I very much enjoyed finding out about how Ivy and Fisher handled the obstacles that were thrown at them during the first few days and weeks of their fledgling relationship, and exactly how they came to tackle them.

I found Ivy a bit of a strange character, and struggled to warm to her. She's older than Fisher and it is clear that that is a bit of an issue for her, although it doesn't seem to be so much for Fisher. She was quite strange with Fisher considering their relationship. She seemed quite stand-offish, quite hard to warm to and I was left wondering what Fisher saw in her at times. Fisher, however, seemed like a lovely man. He was clearly head over heels in love with Ivy, even though he seemed reluctant to tell her that throughout the book, and I think he handled all the things that were thrown at him really well. The book is told entirely through his eyes, we get to experience everything with him, and perhaps that's why he was my favourite over Ivy, but I still really warmed to him and liked him as a person.

One of the touching side plots of this book involved Fisher and his friend El, who was suffering from Huntington's disease. Andy Jones isn't afraid to get very realistic with this storyline, showing how the disease has robbed a healthy man of his ability to do pretty much anything on his own, how he has to drink from a plastic beaker like a toddler, and how he ultimately wants to die and escape his prison of a life. This was a very shocking part of the book, very moving and emotional, yet ultimately I enjoyed reading it, even though it was very clear that Fisher deeply struggled with the shocking decline of his dear friend.

While the start of the book seems to be quite light-hearted, and a fun looking at diving into a relationship head first without perhaps thinking of the consequences, it takes a far more serious turn towards the last part of the book. I was shocked with the twists and turns of the tale, left quite upset and moved by what I was reading, and it was definitely interesting reading this storyline from a male perspective as well. This was a well written, enjoyable book that really moved me from the beginning. There's a lot of emotion in this book - humour, grief, happiness, love and much more, and I feel Andy Jones does a lot of justice to his storylines through his writing and handles delicate issues gently and with respect. I look forward to reading more from this author, a very strong book that I thoroughly enjoyed.


Kit 2000mAh Universal Premium Portable Power Bank Emergency Battery Charger with Micro USB, Mini USB and 30-Pin Connector for Apple and Android Smartphone Devices - Black
Kit 2000mAh Universal Premium Portable Power Bank Emergency Battery Charger with Micro USB, Mini USB and 30-Pin Connector for Apple and Android Smartphone Devices - Black
Offered by Decrescent
Price: £7.37

4.0 out of 5 stars A good portable charger, 26 April 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Seems a good charger, I like to pop in my bag for day trips. However, next time I would buy on with a higher mAh to get more than one full charge from it. Charges overnight well, although the LED light to see if it's charging is almost hidden by the charger wire. Not too bulky or heavy. Recommended.


Kate & Alf
Kate & Alf
Price: £0.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Didn't hook me in, 26 April 2015
This review is from: Kate & Alf (Kindle Edition)
Another Harper Impulse title which caught my eye recently was the debut novel from author Carrie Stone. I have to admit I was sucked in by the gorgeous cover - it's really eye-catching and beautiful, so I was sure it was one that I wanted to dive into straight away. Being a debut book, I went in with no expectations, but I wasn't exactly sure where the book was going even by the time I had read 1/4 of it. It just seemed quite slow paced for me, and I have to admit that I didn't warm to the characters much either, it just fell a bit flat for me and was a bit of a disappointing read.

The story of Kate and Alf was one that I thought was a love story, but it didn't quite seem to be that. Kate and Alf have been together a long time, and Kate is sure that Alf is going to propose to her sooner rather than later. But when he doesn't, and ends her birthday party with a gift that is very much not an engagement ring, it leaves Kate wondering about the future of their relationship. Combine that with Alf's sudden job move, and Alf's friend Marcus suddenly moving in, Kate realises that perhaps there's something else out there for her other than her relationship with Alf.

I confess that the book was good to start with. Kate's convinced that Alf will propose, you can feel the excitement as she prepares for that party and what her future holds, but it isn't long before it all starts unravelling. You can't help but feel disappointed for Kate when the proposal doesn't happen, and also feel anger towards Alf for being so naive and not seeing what Kate wants. Right from the off, I felt this couple weren't destined to be together, and you have to wonder why they stayed with each other so long. However, rather than tackling their issues head on and talking it over like adults, I felt both Kate and Alf behaved a bit childishly, skirting around the issues and letting their anger fester rather than talking it through. In fact, I have to wonder what she saw in Alf at all. He seemed to do nothing but put down her dreams, her hobbies and generally being unsupportive - what was there to love really? Not a lot.

The introduction of another male characer, Marcus, really didn't help matters as it seemed to make Kate's behaviour even worse. I didn't like how she flitted between Marcus and Alf, almost playing them off against each other to an extent, and this is where I started to lose interest in the book. Kate was quite a selfish character, and so was Alf too if I'm honest. The book moves on, with Alf having job woes, and Kate trying her hand at something she hasn't done for many years. These things did nothing to make me feel sorry for these two people, and I was starting not to care how it ended up for them. I kept waiting for something exciting or interesting to happen, but it just never came, It had a serious tone, but felt like it needed lightening up a lot. Sadly, with characters I didn't really care for and a dull plotline, this book didn't work for me at all. I enjoy stories about normal people and their normal relationships but this one fell flat sadly.


First Time in Forever
First Time in Forever
by Sarah Morgan
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful story to read for the first time!, 26 April 2015
This review is from: First Time in Forever (Paperback)
I'll be honest and say that I thought none of Sarah Morgan's books would live up to how much I loved her 'O'Neill Brothers' trilogy, set on a beautiful snowy resort in Vermont. I loved the characters, the setting and everything about all 3 stories. However, I was so excited to receive a review copy of the first book in Sarah's brand new 'Puffin Island' trilogy. I was sure it wouldn't live up to my expectations, but how wrong I was! I absolutely loved the story from start to finish, and now cannot wait for the second book to be released in July!

Emily's life has all been thrown in awry recently, and she's struggling to cope under the pressure and expectation placed on her. She's become a stand-in mum to her young niece Lizzy after the death of her famous sister, and whisks her away to a remote island in order for Lizzy to stay under the radar of the paprazzi, who are keen to snap some pictures of the young girl. Emily isn't sure she's the right person for the job, but local boy Ryan Cooper is there to help when she needs it, whether or not she's ready to let him in. Will Emily be able to adjust to life on Puffin Island with Lizzy, and can she overcome her own fears while she's there too, as well as letting Ryan in to her life?

As I said before, this is the first book in a trilogy from Sarah Morgan, and we briefly meet the other two ladies who will take the main role for the next two books, although this one focuses on the story of Emily, one of the three friends. I really liked Emily from the beginning, and could totally understand her reluctance to take on a niece she barely knew, and run away from everything else around her in order to protect the child. It's a shock for anyone, but to have to hide her young niece is another pressure Emily doesn't need, and we can really feel her stress as the opening chapters unfold. I really enjoyed reading the journey that Emily went on throughout the book, slowly accepting her new role as caregiver to Lizzy, and it was so sweet to read their relationship blossoming too, Sarah Morgan writes the character of Lizzy so perfectly, not many authors get young child characters right in their books but this one was spot on for me.

Ryan is definitely the male hero of the book, always ready to step and save the day wherever Lizzy and Emily are concerned. He's asked by their mutual friend to keep an eye on the newcomers to the island, and he certainly takes his responsibility very seriously. Ryan was everything that the book needs from a male lead - handsome, caring and a bit of a mystery too, we're left hanging about his past for quite a while, wondering what happened to him to make him return to Puffin Island and run his yacht club. The chemistry between he and Emily was clear straight away, and I liked the twists and turns the book took regarding the possibility of the pair beginning a relationship. As ever with Morgan's books, the characters are believable, with realistic flaws and problems, and this just makes her books all the more fun for me to read.

As well as the main story, what I loved about this book was how easily Sarah Morgan created a little community within her book, and makes you want to become a resident of Puffin Island yourself! It's a close-knit community, and I cared about all the characters from Ryan's grandmothers, to the young mum who runs the failing ice-cream shop, it sounds like a wonderful place to live. Sarah Morgan's writing really brings the whole place to life as you read, and draws you ever more into the story, so you really don't want to put the book down once you start reading! The story was absolutely fantastic from start to finish, and I loved the fact that I will hopefully be catching up more with Ryan, Emily and Lizzy in the next two books to see how life is going for them all, I do love a good book series! With this book, Sarah Morgan has further cemented herself as one of my favourite authors, and I'm so excited for the next book, 'Some Kind of Wonderful' which is out this summer!


The Ever After of Ella and Micha
The Ever After of Ella and Micha
by Jessica Sorensen
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

4.0 out of 5 stars A fitting ending to a great series, 3 April 2015
Jessica Sorensen is the first author who introduced me to the New Adult genre of books, and I am glad that she did. Since I began reading her books, I've had my eyes opened to something I probably wouldn't have touched before, and have really enjoyed reading. The first series of books I read was centred around the character of Ella and Micha, a young and troubled teenage couple. I thoroughly enjoyed the first two books in the series, so I was really keen to read the final book and see how it would all work out for the young lovers, despite all their own personal troubles.

The day that Ella and Micha have been waiting for for ages has finally arrived - their wedding day. However, Ella is having some pre-wedding jitters, and is left unsure of what she really wants to do. Ella's not had a great family upbringing, and isn't sure she can make herself a happy future when she's never really had the chance to experience one. Micha is more sure - he knows this is exactly what he wants to do, and is looking forward to spending the rest of his life with Ella as his wife. But when he is offered an opportunity he's been waiting for for a long time, he realises he has to make a tough choice, one he doesn't want to make. Will the pair be able to make it up the aisle for their wedding day, or is it one commitment too far?

As a big fan of this series so far, I had ideas in my head about where I wanted it all to go for Ella and Micha, so there was a bit of pressure of Sorensen to deliver the right ending for me! I hadn't expected the last book to revolve around the couple's wedding, so that was a nice surprise. As usual, I loved both of the characters, and understood their individual dilemmas throughout the book. I felt so incredibly sorry for Ella. She's still not over the loss of her mother many years ago to suicide, and it's not affecting her potential future with Micah too. You can completely understand her feelings, yet at the same time I was a bit frustrated with her indecisiveness - sometimes you just have to go with your gut and do what you want to do!

Micah has to be the most understanding man on the planet! He is so completely in love with his fiancée, he's willing to put up with her craziness and indeciveness, and marry her anyway. I love how he feels towards Ella - he is her protector, her best friend, her lover, her confidante... what girl wouldn't want such a boyfriend?! He really is her hero, and I love the love between the pair, you can really feel it as you are reading. The way Sorensen writes their relationship... it's a true love story and for me there really could only be one ending.

The book isn't fast paced, it's not overly exciting to read but it s a nice slow meander to the ending of the story of Ella and Micha, and certainly doesn't disappoint for those who have enjoyed the series so far. It reveals more about these characters than we had known before, especially regarding Ella mother and what happened that fateful day - it certainly helps the reader to understand why Ella is how she is. Sorensen brings these characters so vividly to life with her story, her words and I find her narrative very easy to read. I enjoyed reading it from start to finish, and was very pleased with the ending to the series, but am sad to leave Ella and Micha behind at last. A fitting ending.


How to Bake the Perfect Pecan Pie (Home for the Holidays - Book 1)
How to Bake the Perfect Pecan Pie (Home for the Holidays - Book 1)
Price: £3.60

2.0 out of 5 stars A bit disappointing, 29 Mar. 2015
Thanksgiving is obviously an American holiday, and not something we celebrate over here in the UK. However, thanks to the many American films and TV shows we all watch, we should all know that celebrating Thanksgiving is a big deal across the pond, so I wasn't completely in the dark about it all when I started this eBook which I got on Netgalley a few months ago. I hadn't read anything by author Gina Henning before, but was drawn to the gorgeous looking cover, and the story sounded good too.

Lauren has gone back home for the holidays to celebrate Thanksgiving with her family. She isn't a great cook, but looks forward to the meal that her sister always dishes up for her. However, this year there's something different. Lauren has been left a recipe by her grandmother, for her infamous Pecan Pie that she bakes every Thanksgiving. Lauren isn't known for her culinary skills, so she's understandably feeling nervous about the prospect of following in her grandmother's footsteps. Unprepared, she heads out of Thanksgiving Eve to find the pecans, but ends up bumping into someone else entirely. Will Lauren be able to make the pie in time for the big day?!

While I enjoyed the start of the book as I was reading, it did get a bit lacklustre for me as it went on, and I'll be honest and say my interest seriously started to wane as it went on. Unfortunately, I just didn't care much for Lauren, the main character, or the story around her, and I had to force myself some evenings to pick up my Kindle and carry on reading. Lauren wasn't an especially likeable person, preferring to stay away from her family if she can, although I did understand her nerves over baking the pie for her family, especially as they seem to have low expectations of her. However, once she met Jack at the pecan shop, it got a bit dull for me and I just couldn't care about their impending romance.

The family aren't especially likeable either, with a bit of a kooky sister in law, drippy brother and other characters who are quite frankly pretty forgettable. The entire story really does rest on these two, and whether or not Lauren can make the pie in time, but it just wasn't enough to keep me interested. It's a shame because as I say, it started out so well, but unfortunately just tailed off for about 1/3 of the way in. The romance story is good, but the whole pecan debacle just wasn't for me unfortunately. This is the first book in a series, with the second book 'How to Bake the Perfect Christmas Cake' being out now, and since I have it on my Kindle, I will give it a go and see if I prefer Lauren's story this time around. There will be a fourth book out this summer too. The book is well written, and I'm sure the story will appeal to others, but it just wasn't for me unfortunately.


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