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The Lie
The Lie
Price: £0.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A dark and twisted read, C.L Taylor does it again xXx, 27 April 2015
This review is from: The Lie (Kindle Edition)
After being totally won over by The Accident by C.L Taylor last year I have been so eager for the release of her next book The Lie and after reading the first line from the synopsis “ I Know your name’s not really Jane Hughes…” I was already hooked.

Looking from the outside in Jane Hughes has a content life, working in an animal sanctuary which she loves, lives in a lovely little cottage and has a loving relationship with Will but no one would know the dark secret she hides from a tragic holiday away with friends five years previously. Jane has managed to create a whole new life but things are about to change someone knows who she really is and they are looking for her.

C.L Taylor has done it again, she has delivered another dark, sinister, twisted psychological thriller which had me hooked from beginning to end. This time the author focuses on the troubles of a female friendship group which has always fascinated me as I have always been one who has more male friends because I don’t fit in well with girl groups for a lot of the reasons that is shown in this particular friendship group. It focuses on the consequences of jealousy, competition and possessiveness that is often found hiding in girl groups and the storyline shows how these emotions can soon get out of control and puts the trust and loyalty of friendships to the test and makes the characters question each other’s true friendship and do they really know each other as well as they thought.

The storyline was split between the past and present which worked really well in this book, it kept me on edge because we were slowly fed small snippets of what happened five years ago and the more I read the more I realised what danger Jane could be in now.

There were shocking twists and turns throughout the book and there were horrendous events that occurred in the past which the author wrote about in graphic detail.The author has quite clearly undertook a lot of research for this book especially into cults and this fascinated me to see how twisted and cleaver these people are.

This was a great dark thrilling read and this just shows how talented this authors writing is within this genre and anyone who loved The Accident will not be disappointed by The Lie it is a shocking read.

A Good Catch
A Good Catch
by Fern Britton
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £6.49

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fern at her best xXx, 27 April 2015
This review is from: A Good Catch (Hardcover)
I have read and enjoyed Fern Britton's previous books and have found them light hearted easy reads so I was looking forward to reading her latest read so I was looking forward to reading her latest release A Good Catch whcih I have just finished and I have to say this is easily my favourite book by Fern.

A Good Catch has a completely different feel to her previous books, I found the characters had much more debth to them and the storyline was well thought out and really grabbed my attention.

There are four main characters Greer, Loveday, Mickey and Jesse. They have all been friends since school which is where this book begins we then follow the storyline through their lives growing up together with a complicated love triangle and a hidden secret that could jepodise the long standing friendship.

My opinion of Greer changed continuously through the book, one minute I warmed to her and really felt for her and the next minute I couldn't bare her she was shallow and stuck up. Loveday was such a loveable character whose warmth and vibrant personality shone through the pages, and even though she made a terrible mistake I still loved her, she was my favourite character.

I loved the setting of the book which really came to life thanks to Fern's carefully detailed descriptions, her attention to detail made everything easy to envisage from the gorgeous setting by the sea to the way the characters look and also the details she gave surrounding the fishing business and interior design which are great parts of the characters lives.

There are no hidden twists or turns but that wasn't needed as the storyline was captivating as it was. The book flows at an effortless pace and at no point did my attention waver I was surprised how quick I made my way through this book but to me that is a sign of a great read.

A Good Catch is Fern Britton's best novel it gets a big thumbs up from me.

The Cake Shop in the Garden
The Cake Shop in the Garden
by Carole Matthews
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.85

5.0 out of 5 stars A splash of romance a pinch of humor and an idyllic setting xXx, 24 April 2015
I have had book hangover for a week after finishing a great book and I have picked up four books since that I haven't managed to settle into so I needed to read a book from one of my lovable reliable authors to get me out of this slump and get my reading mojo back so I decided to read The Cake Shop in the Garden by Carole Matthews which I have been so excited about reading. A book by one of my favourite authors and it features cake........ Perfection!

When Fay becomes a full time carer to her mum she needs work to pay the bills but she needs to find something that she can do that means she can still be at home full time so she opens up her own cake shop in the garden of their home. The business is a success thanks to the help of her Latvian assistant Lija and things seem to be plodding along until something tragic happens that could mean Fay is set to have everything turned upside down.

Oh Carole Matthews you have done it again! This was such a gentle, charming read that had me entranced from start to finish so I ended up reading in one sitting. Our main character Fay is such a loving, caring and selfless character who is very passionate about her work and loves to be by the canal. At times I wanted to give her a good shake when she let people take advantage of her but it was her gentle nature that I loved and it is the characters who abused this that really needed a good shaking! I loved the feisty character Lija, she was a very loyal as stint as well as a friend to Fay and she brings a nice little touch of wit to the storyline.

I loved the setting of this book, set on the Grand Union Canal which is something that is completely new to me but that has now really sparked my interest, it really seemed like a welcoming and tranquil place to be and I wish I could have been on The Dreamcatcher whilst reading this book!

This was a light read with a great mix of characters, a splash of romance, a pinch of humour, and an idyllic setting. This is another one to add to my long list of favourite by this talented author.

The Doris Day Vintage Film Club
The Doris Day Vintage Film Club
Price: £1.89

4.0 out of 5 stars A great read, Fiona Harper at her best xXx, 23 April 2015
I adore the cover of The Doris Day Vintage Film Club the soft colours used makes this book very easy on the eye and one that will stand out on the book shelves and Fiona Harper is an author whose books I have read and enjoyed before so I was longing to start this book even though there was a small amount of apprehension as although I have heard of Doris Day I have never watched any of her films and I don’t know anything about it other than she was a very clay looking woman so I was hoping the storyline wouldn’t go over my head.

Claire and her grandmother used to love watching Doris Day films so much so that her grandmother formed a Doris Day Film club for members to all come together to watch the films. After her grandmothers passing it is now Claire who is in charge of running the club along with running her own travel company. Her life couldn’t be more different from the films she adores but having her heart broken she has such high barriers built that don’t look like they are about to come down until she meets the gorgeous Nic but as she begins to let down her guard down but Nic has a secret which could make those barriers go back up for good.

I had no need to worry about this book, although it is set around the Doris Day club I still followed the storyline with ease and I actually became quite curious by Doris Day and her fashion and films and was googling away looking and pictures of the glamorous lady herself. Claire was a good natured character, it was obvious that she has trust issues with men because of a past relationship and her relationship or lack of with her dad so I found I just longed for her to have a happy ending like the films she loves. Nic was a great character a typical man who doesn’t think before he acts which gets himself into sticky situations and makes life quite difficult for himself! The supporting characters in this book were all so lovable too there wasn’t a single character that I didn’t like in this book.

The storyline is very light and uplifting perfect for an easy Sunday read. The authors writing style is so easy to follow which makes this quite a pacey read. There are no surprise twists or turns and it is not a storyline people will relate too but none the less this was still a fun, enjoyable and romantic read that gets a thumbs up from me.

Still Alice
Still Alice
by Lisa Genova
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.85

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great read but an abrupt ending loses a star xXx, 18 April 2015
This review is from: Still Alice (Paperback)
I was recently at a Books and the City event and I picked up a copy of Still Alice, this isn’t a book that I would have picked up but after seeing a trailer for the film adaption I decided to give it a try and I am so glad I did otherwise I would have missed out on this little gem.

Alice is a successful university professor a wife to John and mum to her three children. She has enjoyed a very full life and thrived under pressure but things have taken a drastic change in recent months, she often finds herself lost for words and as much as she tries to form them they refuse to come and when one day she goes for a run she panics as she has no idea where she lives and how to get home so she decides to see a doctor but she is given devastating news that she is suffering from early onset Alzheimer’s disease.

I sat down to read this book and ended up finishing it in one sitting. It was such a powerful and insightful read, I think we all have an idea what effects Alzheimer’s has on sufferers but this book showed us even the small things that we take advantage of day to day that Alzheimer’s has an effect on. I really felt for our main character Alice and I could feel her frustration at times through the pages. But one character I really didn’t warm to was her husband John, I was really shocked by his actions and he seemed like a very selfish character who puts his career before his family, I understand that his life will still carry on after the illness takes his wife but even still I find it hard to believe that you wouldn’t want to spend every last minute you could with the one you love and I don’t feel that his actions were his way of coping with it I just felt he was cold hearted.

One of the most tender moments in this book for me was when Alice was having a conversation with one of her daughters and she talks about the being afraid of one day looking at her daughter and not knowing her face and this really scared me to think that there are people all around the world at that point, but her daughter had such a lovely reply it and she dealt with the situation so well.

This book will leave an imprint on me, I am sure I will think back to this book and the character Alice many times in the future. This was an insightful read that has left an impact on me I just wish the ending hadn’t ended so abruptly and this is the reason I have given this a four instead of a five star rating.

The Vintage Summer Wedding
The Vintage Summer Wedding
Price: £3.79

3.0 out of 5 stars Not one of my favourites by this author but still worth a read xXx, 12 April 2015
I loved the soft, cute cover of The Vintage Summer Wedding and after reading the synopsis it sounded like a light, fun and charming read and having enjoyed one of the author’s previous books before I wanted to give this one a try.

Anna and fiancé Seb have had to return to their childhood village after losing her job and losing a lot of money that she has spent on their wedding which has now been cancelled things are not looking good and she cannot share Seb’s enthusiasm at returning back to where they started.
I really struggled with the beginning of this book and I put that down our main character Anna, she really isn’t a likeable character in fact she was just a spoilt madam and although she has lost her job and had to cancel her wedding I had no sympathy for her at all and I struggled to see what the lovely Seb saw in her.

The second half of this book was when this book come into its own, the supporting characters were great and eventually Anna began to mellow thanks to them. I was surprised at the storyline because I was expecting it to be more wedding related but I did enjoy Anna’s involvement with the dance act and also her work in the little antiques shop especially when she was organising the hoard to find the beautiful garden which was hidden away behind.

This was an enjoyable read once it got going I just wished the main character would have been more likeable. I will still look forward to picking up another book by this author as she has a great style of writing that flows so effortlessly.

The Vintage Guide to Love and Romance
The Vintage Guide to Love and Romance
Price: £3.59

5.0 out of 5 stars A Fun, fast paced and uplifting read xXx, 10 April 2015
The Vintage Guide to Love and Romance is the second book by Kirsty Greenwood and after thoroughly enjoying her first book Yours Truly I was really looking forward to reading this and it came at just the right time I had read a lot of deep, dark reads so I was looking forward to something light and witty and that is exactly what I got.

Our bubbly main character is Jessica Beam and I absolutely loved her, she was a real live wire who is mischievous and loves life, running and pear cider! As her life looks set to go down a certain path things then take an almighty plummet and she loses everything and with nowhere to turn she ends up at her Grandma’s house who she hasn’t met before. Although Grandma Matilda lives in a grand house she is down on her luck too but a lifeline is thrown Jess and Matilda’s way which will mean using Matilda’s traditional, classic Good Woman tips on Jessica.

This was such a fun down to earth read. The book is told from Jessica’s point of view but also at the beginning of each chapter there is a tip taken from Matilda Beam’s Guide to Love and Romance, 1955 book which was a lovely touch and there was also a diary entry from Rose who was Jessica’s mum and it was great to slowly get the picture as to what had happened to Rose earlier on in life.

The storyline has a classy modern feel to it the classy side definitely doesn’t come from Jessica but from her Grandma whereas Jessica brings a modern, fun and energetic feel to the book. There were great supporting characters in this book too, Peach was a very friendly, loving character who was a very reserved and timid character until Jessica came into her life. There was also her friend ( if you can call her that) Summer who I took an instant dislike to, but the character that really shocked me was Leo Frost my opinion of him went full circle.

The storyline kept me entertained and the book flowed at a fast pace. There was some swearing in this book but it was in the right places and didn’t feel out of place it just added to Jessica’s out of control character, I found myself smiling away at Jessica’s attitude because she is unbelievable and funny.

This truly is a fun, fast paced and uplifting read and I enjoyed every minute of it. I hope Kirsty doesn’t leave it so long for her next book we need another fix!

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

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 star is not high enough for this book! xXx, 9 April 2015
This review is from: The Day We Disappeared (Paperback)
I have written and re-written this review over and over again and I just don’t seem to be able to do this book the justice it deserves so what I am going to say is don’t waste your time reading my review just go and BUY A COPY and GET READING !

Annie’s tragic past has had a big impact on her life but after a chance meeting with the wealthy Stephen Flint he takes her life down a new path. Kate needs time out and to get away from the “bad s***” so she manages to get a job on a horse yard which is the perfect place as it is remote and gives her a chance to have a breather but will the “bad s***” come back to haunt her?

When I began reading this book I wasn’t sure if it was going to be my sort of read because as much as I love Lucy Robinson’s books I am really not a fan of anything horsey so when Kate turns up to work on a horse yard I was a little put off but I was already intrigued by the past part of this book and I am so glad I did because I would have missed out on what is sure to be one of my top 5 books of the year!

The chapters alternate between Kate and Annie but there is also a little part every couple of chapters about a past event involving a young child and her mother and this is particularly beautifully written and this part really caught my attention. The storyline was enjoyable and both Annie and Kate were great characters, Annie seemed very vulnerable and guarded whereas Kate had an outgoing and confident nature despite her demons.

There didn’t seem to be anything out of the ordinary with this book even as I got to over half way through, yes it was still an enjoyable read and one I would recommend, the pace was a little slow but I think this was done on purpose to help with the massive impact of a sudden twist that was completely unpredictable, I was gobsmacked! I really don’t want to tell you anything else about this twist and I really hope no one gives it away in their reviews because it is this that sets this book aside from all of the other books released in its genre recently. Even though you know there is a twist it will still smack you in the face because there is no way anyone could see this coming, I actually had to turn back a page to make sure I hadn’t missed something or read something wrong! I have NEVER read a book that has such a big twist that has pulled the wool over my eyes so much.

This is by far my favourite book by Lucy Robinson, she still had me laughing with her witty humour that she still manages to bring to this book, but this also shows a deeper and mature side to her writing too and she touches on many intense, emotional and heartbreaking topics in this book and she has quite clearly done a hell of a lot of research to this book. She had me on the edge of my seat shaking my head in utter disbelief it was such a captivating read.

This book is pure perfection and shows that Lucy Robinson has as incredibly skilled writing style she is sure to give me a book hangover now after finishing this. This is the best book I have read since reading The Memory Book by Rowan Coleman over a year ago and if this doesn’t jump to number one in the charts then something is seriously wrong. Each time I see someone say they are about to start reading this I get excited for them, I wish I could read this book for the first time again. I just want to know how on earth are you going to top this one Robinson!

Vets on Call: (Talyton St George)
Vets on Call: (Talyton St George)
by Cathy Woodman
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.85

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed being back at Talyton St George xXx, 9 April 2015
One of my favourite authors is Cathy Woodman, each year I eagerly await her new release hoping that it will still be set in the idyllic village of Talyton St George and so I was over the moon when the cover to Vets on Call was revealed and as I headed over to read the synopsis I found that once again we would be returning to village.

Otter House is getting busier by the day so a new vet is coming to the clinic in the form of a young, motorbike loving guy called Ross and it isn’t long before he has everyone warming to him especially our lovely vet nurse Shannon. Shannon is desperate to move out and Ross can’t bare it much longer living with Sophia so the pair decide to become housemates, but should they be mixing work with their personal lives?

Cathy Woodman has delivered another cosy, romantic read and I found myself slipping easily back into the village and vet life again thanks to this authors effortless writing style. Talyton St George seems like such a familiar place now and although we have returned to this village time and time again in Cathy’s books it never gets bored, I love coming back to this welcoming village where everyone knows everyone and there is a great community feel.

We have a new character this time, Ross, and he fits in so well at Otter House he sure is the eye candy for this book. Our main character is the lovely Shannon who we have met before and it is great to see how she is getting on at Otter House and she seems to be really embracing her role as vet nurse. We also so the return of some much loved characters, Maz, Emma, Penny, Frances and of course not forgetting Tripod our furry member of staff!

I loved the storyline and although the romance between Shannon and Ross was predictable I really didn’t mind I was enjoying watching the love between them blossom and just as I was getting caught up in their love life with my rose tinted glasses on there is a twist that made me gasp. Cathy Woodman writes about a horrendous event and she makes it feel realistic which is why it is so shocking to think that this happens in daily life and yet she dealt with this in such a delicate way, and explores the aftermath of the event too.

Cathy Woodman has never got the recognition she deserves and I will continue to promote her books in every way I can because her books are easy to follow, well researched, idyllic setting with lovable characters her books just wrap us up in her cosy literary world. I am not a big animal lover myself and yet these books just have me hooked from the first chapter. I sure hope we have more books from Cathy set in Taylton St George.

The Secrets We Share
The Secrets We Share
by Emma Hannigan
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.78

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly enjoyed this touching read xXx, 9 April 2015
This review is from: The Secrets We Share (Paperback)
Emma Hannigan is a very talented author and I look forward to her new releases, so as soon as The Secrets We Share arrived on my doormat I had to start this one straight away the synopsis sounded promising.

The storyline is told in the present time and also jumps back in time too and this part is delivered in the form of letters which worked beautifully. Clara has secrets and she feels it is time to reunite her family and share the secrets, as she begins to make the connection with her son Max she learns that she has a granddaughter Nathalie who she has never met.

Nathalie has had some tragic news and she is not coping at all and is going off the rails until she returns home one day drunk and her mum can’t take it anymore and decides to send her to Ireland to stay with family she has never met.

As secrets are uncovered will this tear the family further apart or will it help to make amends?
This book has such a wonderful group of characters, they are all flawed but they feel so normal and down to earth so it was hard not to get drawn into their problems. Through all of their faults I still loved each and every one of the characters and I was longing for them to come together as a family and put the past behind them and enjoy the future together. Clara was such a joy to meet she was everything you expect from a grandma, wise, loving, fun and informative and just takes things as they come. Nathalie was also a loveable character although she was understandably hurting it was great to see her grow as a character in her time in Ireland she was very inquisitive and a soft natured character and she really was the string that brought everyone together.

The revelation that we uncover surrounding Ava really hit me and broke my heart, we pick up that there is something from her past that is preventing her from settling down and enjoying life but U would never have guessed what really happened. This part of the book particularly was handled very delicately and it really does pull at the heart strings.

I always find split time scale books a bit hit and miss but I felt the author got the balance perfect in this book, I was equally as interested in both the past and the present storylines and I think this is helped by the way in which the past was written in the form of letters which kept things to the point and just made things a little different.

Yet again this author doesn’t disappoint she held my attention the whole way through this book and I didn’t want to leave these characters at the end. This was an endearing and yet somewhat uplifting read which seems strange to say after reading about such heart-breaking events but I think it is the love and bond of a family that gives you hope that things will be ok.

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