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Chloe S "Chick Lit Chloe" (Berkshire, UK)
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Take a Chance on Me (Choc Lit)
Take a Chance on Me (Choc Lit)
Price: £2.63

4.0 out of 5 stars Take a Chance on this!, 6 Jun. 2015
As the synopsis is at the top of the post, I won't bore you with another retelling. First of all, I want to mention that this has previously been published as an eBook under the title Hawaiian Affair, but has been edited and re-released by Choc Lit. This is the version I am therefore reviewing, and I can't comment on any differences between this and the original. I want to quickly mention the cover too - it's very striking, with the muted colours of the main picture contrasted with the bright red of the title streaked across the middle. It's very eye-catching and suits the book really well I feel. I'm glad publishers realise the importance of book covers for eBook too - it can mean the difference between me reading one or passing it by - I'm not ashamed to say I do judge books by covers!

The leading lady of this book is called Sadie Turner - she's a clever girl with a PhD, runs her own business, she's a single mum of 2 daughters, and has travelled a long way to get a new investment in her business - and only has one chance to get it right. I really liked Sadie straight away. She was very hard-working, determined not to be thrown off by the small odds of her actually getting the investment she needs. She's hot-headed, can hold her own in a boardroom full of men, but can't resist the handsome deck hand she meets on a boat called Mac. You could see why she fell for him straight away - he seemed handsome, happy and kind, it's not surprising she decided to have some fun while on holiday in Monaco!

Mac was indeed the perfect leading man for the story, but all was not as it seems! While Mac turned out to be someone quite different than what Sadie had originally thought, perhaps she wasn't as truthful as she might have thought too. I loved the relationship between the pair, from the beginning when they were chatting as friends on the dock, even to things hotting up between them as they get to know each other better. Some of these scenes really are steamy, but are very well written. It doesn't feel like it's being smutty or trying to get attention, it's simply part of the story and is quite fun to read! Debbie Flint does really well handling these scenes, and I thought it was a good reflection of her writing too that these scenes were enjoyable to read.

The book felt quite long as I was reading, but it didn't drag at all which was good. It moved from Monaco in the first part of the book, and eventually to the beautiful island of Hawaii, my dream holiday destination! Although most of the book is taken up with the business deal and things going on between Sadie and Mac, we do get to see a bit of the island and it sounds every bit as beautiful as I imagine it to! I enjoyed how it flitted between the professional business persona of Sadie, and the frustrated and besotted single mum who just wants to find some happiness with ease, there was always some drama and emotion in this book! I didn't get some of the science part of the book to do with the product Sadie was selling, but it didn't spoil my enjoyment of the book, I sort of skimmed those parts without feeling like I was missing out too much!

It was a very enjoyable read from start to finish, had me involved the whole way through, and Debbie Flint's writing was fantastic - really drawing me into the story and making me want to keep reading from start to finish. I hope I'll be reading more from Debbie Flint - this was a great book!


Game of Scones: A deliciously summery read you won't want to miss! (The Little Teashop - Book 1)
Game of Scones: A deliciously summery read you won't want to miss! (The Little Teashop - Book 1)
Price: £0.89

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fun summer read, 6 Jun. 2015
The main character in this book is Pippa. She's finally got some holiday from her boring job and has returned to the home of he childhood holidays, the Greek island village of Taxos. When there, she is reunited with the people she grew up with, including her childhood friend Niko and his family. Her boyfriend Henrik is acting a bit suspiciously, and Pippa is determined to find out what he is up to. When it seems like their lovely village is going to be destroyed for a development, Pippa and the other residents of Taxos decide they have to take action and save the culture and the village once and for all. That means Pippa's childhood dream of a teashop in Taxos just might come true after all...

I really did enjoy this book. Even from the beginning, I was hooked into the story, and wanted to join Pippa and Henrik on their holiday to Taxos, it sounds so beautiful! I have never been to Greece myself, but Tonge makes it sound so beautiful and idyllic, especially because Taxos is pretty untouched and still a traditional Greek fishing village. Everything from the restaurants, to the beach and the holiday home where Pippa and Henrik are staying is described beautifully, and came to life so much in my mind as I was reading, I felt like I was walking alongside Pippa and meeting Niklaus and his family!

Pippa was a great character, and determined to save Taxos at any cost, even if it means trouble between her and her boyfriend. I loved the passion she had for the village, loving it from a young age and really wishing to settle there, even if she knew it was just a mere pipedream. The chemistry that she had with her childhood friend Niko was really fun to read too, and I was hoping that the pair would be able to admit their feelings for each other! Niko was a lovely man, handsome, hard-working and passionate about the village of Taxos, much like Pippa was. He was very close to his family, especially his ailing grandmother and I loved their scenes together - it shows the importance of family, and were really touching. The feel of the village pulling together to save itself was great too - seeing how the residents could use their skills to bring in the holidaymakers to see a traditional Greek way of life was great, it would certainly be something that interested me!

The scones of the title do make the occasional appearance in the book - baking is Pippa's escape and scones are her thing of choice - she likes to change it up and make them a bit different, and has a skill for it too! The teashop in Taxos idea is something she has had in her heart since she was young, and I loved her excitement as it seemed it may finally become a reality. I personally don't like scones, but I enjoyed reading about Pippa baking them and and how much everyone enjoyed reading them, almost as much as I enjoyed reading this book!

Samantha Tonge's new novel is a brilliant summer read, full of sunshine, drama, love and baking - what more could you ask for?! It's a great book to pop on your Kindle and enjoy in the sunshine, especially if you aren't having a summer getaway this year - you'll definitely feel like you're in in Taxos with Pippa and Niko! I loved it, found the writing very easy to read, and the characters were excellently written too. After reading this, I'll certainly be reading more from Samantha Tonge, it was very enjoyable and I definitely recommend it.Thanks to Samantha, Carina and Netgalley for the review copy.


The Island Escape
The Island Escape
by Kerry Fisher
Edition: Paperback
Price: £4.00

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Escape for a while and read this!, 31 May 2015
This review is from: The Island Escape (Paperback)
Octavia is surprised at how her life has ended. From the rebellious punk-haired teenager at school, she's settled down as a nursery teacher with 3 children and is happily married to her husband Jonathan. But when things start to fall apart and she feels more and more unhappy, her thoughts return to her past on the island of Corsica and her relationship with her ex Xavi. As well as juggling her own unhappiness, she's looking after her best friend Roberta, whose marriage to Scott is at an end too. Roberta seems unable to function without her abusive husband and Octavia is determined to make her friend see sense...

First of all, I was a bit surprised that it took until pretty much the last quarter of the book for the book to travel to the island referenced in the title. I was expecting the story to be set on an island, but then again I suppose it was an escape for it to happen how it did. I was a little bit disappointed by this however, which is what stopped the book from being a 5* read for me. I did love the parts set in both Sardinia and Corsica. I've never been to either but Fisher describes both beautifully, you can understand why Octavia was drawn there again and loved it so much. Corsica especially sounded wonderful, and it was a nice escape to read about somewhere warm and sunny!

The characters in this book were very believable, but I struggled to understand their actions throughout the book. Roberta finally does leave her husband after one particular incident, but I couldn't fathom why she put up with what she did for so long. She seemed quite weak as a woman, very reliant on others to prop herself up and I did struggle to warm to her throughout the book. I felt she did redeem herself towards the end of the book but by then I was already struggling to feel anything for her because of her actions previously. Octavia on the other hand, I did warm to. She worked full time at her nursery, ran a household and looked after a pretty hopeless husband, if truth be told. I could see why she felt undervalued, and why her thoughts kept straying to her past love, even if it wasn't really the right thing for her to do.

The book is several tales of complicated love, and what happens when that love falls apart. Both women are different in terms of lifestyle, relationships and outlook on life, but their friendship was what helps them through their tough times. I was really absorbed by this read, wanting to carry on late into the night to finish it, which I did! Both Octavia and Roberta are great characters to read about, and you end up wondering what drives them to accept what they do, and act as they do. I really enjoyed Fisher's writing, the story was thoroughly enjoyable and I am looking forward to reading more from Kerry Fisher - this is a great summer read, and definitely recommended!


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: £1.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
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

1 of 2 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.


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