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Kirsty at Book - Love - Bug (Hampshire, UK)

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Heavenly Lilies
Heavenly Lilies
Price: £4.64

2.0 out of 5 stars An excellently crafted book, just not for me, 18 Feb. 2015
This review is from: Heavenly Lilies (Kindle Edition)
This book was not at all what I thought it was going to be from reading the back of the book, which gives a lot less away than the above description which is taken from the publisher's website. I thought it was going to be more focused on being a jury member in a high profile case, but in reality that only features at the very beginning and is the catalyst for the remainder of the book.

This book reminded me of The Spinning Heart by Donal Ryan, which was long listed for the Booker Prize and won the Guardian First Book Award, but was a book that I simply could not get on with. Yes, you can tell from this blog that I do like "chick-lit" but, being a lawyer, I am perfectly capable of enjoying "intellectual reads". However, I found it hard to read Heavenly Lilies, and not only because of the subject matter. It is definitely not a book you should try and read whilst you are tired. It requires your full concentration, and despite the fact I did not love it, it deserves your full attention too because it is exceptionally well crafted.

The constant switching of perspectives is disconcerting and I sometimes found it difficult to work out whose perspective I was reading about. However, Alison Leonard has done a truly amazing job of weaving together all the threads to create a story that does work exceptionally well. It certainly is not a quick read and it requires your full patience and attention. From the other reviews on Amazon, it is clear that for people who do enjoy this type of book, this will be up there with the best.

Thank you to the publisher for a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Thirteen Weddings
Thirteen Weddings
Price: £3.66

5.0 out of 5 stars Team Alex or Team Lachie?, 8 Feb. 2015
This review is from: Thirteen Weddings (Kindle Edition)
I sit here having just read this book in one sitting of around five solid hours and wonder what I can say about this book that fans of Paige Toon will not already know. It has been a while since I have picked up a Paige Toon book, but I have missed her writing and have been looking forward to this book reaching the top of my TBR pile. Her books are divine, and always have been. After just a few pages of Thirteen Weddings, I remember why she is one of the best chick lit authors ever.

Thirteen Weddings starts with a first chapter which draws you in and leaves you wishing you could meet a man like Alex in an eighties club whilst on a hen do you don't really want to be at. You are immediately left on a bit of a cliff hanger as the book then jumps a year and a half forward (and part of me longs for it to have continued without a break). What follows is a complicated web which soon becomes a love triangle when Bronte meets Lachie at a wedding. The relationships and interactions contained in this book are likely to leave you as confused as Bronte.

I loved the wedding photography aspect. The descriptions of various weddings were captivating and this was a career I had not read about before. It was interesting to read (never boring or repetitive) and I liked the variety of characters that it brought to the page.

I also loved getting to re-visit Lily and Ben from Pictures of Lily, a book which I adored and still have fond memories of, despite it being three and a half years since I read it. I think there are other 'friends from the past' contained within (but I must own up and say I have not read every Paige Toon book going - something which I must rectify this year!)

I have to be honest and say that I do not know how I feel about the ending. I felt more love for one of the guys in this book than the other, and I kind of wish things had turned out differently, but I can entirely see why things turned out how they did. Girls - are you on Team Alex or Team Lachie?

Underclass 7
Underclass 7
by T. K. Williams-Nelson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.84

3.0 out of 5 stars A great concept, could have done with a bit more fine tuning, 8 Feb. 2015
This review is from: Underclass 7 (Paperback)
I really liked the concept of this book; it had the potential to be totally absorbing and utterly gripping but I feel like it needed just a little bit more fine tuning. For me, I was constantly aware that I was reading a book and I did not get totally lost within the story in the way that I thought I would. I think that came from a combination of things. I found that some things did not quite add up, for example, Foss sharing a bottle of rosé wine on an evening in with his girl did not fit in with his image at all. In addition, I understand that the author was trying to set the scene and the background to the characters, but I found their constant over-drinking (and, in particular, them then getting behind the wheel of a car) somewhat draining.

I would have liked a little more suspense throughout the entirety of the book. I did not find there was any drawn out areas where the reader is drip fed clues to build the suspense and make the reader draw wild conclusions. Instead, there is a reference throughout to the stones that Foss takes from the house and it is fairly obvious from the beginning that they have something to do with the downfall of the characters and I found it frustrating that they were brought to our attention so often but that Foss simply disregarded them each time.

I loved the link to the 7 deadly sins and thought the outcome of their predicament was a fabulous revelation which I had not seen coming at all and I just wish that, somehow, more could have been made of it. The last chapter, which jumps forward 18 months, is fabulous. It lulls you into a false sense of security and then bang, it leaves you on a cliffhanger that will leave you willing the sequel to arrive (and I understand from the author that there will be a sequel in time).

It sounds, from this review, as though I did not enjoy Underclass 7 and that is far from the truth. This honest review highlights areas which, as a reviewer, jumped off the page to me, but I would not hesitate to read the sequel (I am dying to know what happens!) and I think this author has real potential. I see from her biography that Tannika (alongside being an author) is a student - currently studying Criminal Justice at university. Her biography says she hopes to write a crime trilogy in the future and think that has the potential to be up there with the best.

Fear No Evil
Fear No Evil
Price: £2.62

4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable page-turner for supernatural thriller lovers...., 1 Feb. 2015
This review is from: Fear No Evil (Kindle Edition)
The beginning of this book got my hooked instantly. Fear No Evil is totally and utterly different to the latest book of Johnson's that I had read, Cold Feet at Christmas. The only similarities are the delicious men and the excellent writing.

For fans of the supernatural thriller, this will be the ideal book but it is unique in that it is also laced with humour and oozes sexual tension throughout (although Jayne's lusting after every man in sight can get a bit tiring). In all honesty, there were times when I found Jayne to be irritating but I could deal with that as part of the overall picture.

I found the storyline to be unique and I had no idea which direction it was going to go in. Johnson keeps you on your toes right up until the very end. I personally would have liked to have seen a bit more of Jayne and the hunky ex-priest, and a little bit more of a conclusion in that department, but the reader has been given enough to use their imagination...

There were a couple of typos buried within and one inconsistency where a BMW was then referred to as an Audi and then back to a BMW which left me a little confused. However, Debbie Johnson is a very talented author who can turn out the best chick lit as well as an enjoyable page-turner.

Thank you to the author, Debbie Johnson, and her publisher for the free copy in exchange for my honest review.

Beneath the Moon and the Stars
Beneath the Moon and the Stars
Price: £1.79

5.0 out of 5 stars A totally delicious read!, 28 Jan. 2015
I had read the first few pages of a couple of my stored kindle books before I settled on Beneath the Moon and the Stars by Amelia Thorne. I felt an instant connection to this book and the characters. The reader is, more or less, immediately confronted with Joy (new to the village) and three gorgeous men. I mean THREE? How could a girl stop reading.

I loved the way the three different men had different roles to play and different interactions with Joy, and although I found Joy's relationship with Finn frustrating, it made for the most addictive reading that reminded me of a Choc Lit book (where you always get the most delicious heroes and those of you who know Choc Lit books and my love for them will know this is one of the biggest compliments I can give).

The pace is well set and I could not turn the pages quick enough. The mystery side of the book is just as interesting as romantic side, and the supporting characters are fabulous.

When I turned the last page, I was totally and utterly satisfied. I cannot fault this - a totally delicious read! My favourite book of 2015 so far.

Bride Without A Groom (Rebecca's Romance Book 1)
Bride Without A Groom (Rebecca's Romance Book 1)
Price: £4.62

2.0 out of 5 stars The most annoying character in the world who never redeems herself...., 24 Jan. 2015
I liked the premise of this, and loved that it was going to be an Irish setting by an Irish author. However, I did not find the writing reminded me particularly of Ireland; it was just looking reading a book based in England.

When I first started reading, I found Rebecca (the main character) pretty annoying, and I think the main reason I persevered was because I was just waiting for her to redeem herself but she simply never does. I am truly sorry to say that she remains the most irritating woman on the planet and, although I gather that there is a second book on the way "Does my bump look big in this?", unfortunately Rebecca is not a character I will be giving a second chance to. I didn't find the laugh out loud parts, but was more aghast that she could behave so badly, and then worse, and then worse again, and even when you think she is going to learn her lesson, she doesn't. This book reminded me of Rebecca Brandon (nee Bloomwood) in Shopaholic to the Stars by Sophie Kinsella. However in Bride without a Groom Rebecca never redeems herself in the same way as Rebecca Brandon does, which was a shame.

However, it is not all bad. Amy Lynch's style of writing cannot be faulted in itself and she is exceptionally good at character development (even if in this case it was the annoyingness of the characters!). In a different setting with different characters, I would definitely give Lynch's books a try.

Thank you to the author, Amy, for a PDF copy of this book. I will always give my honest opinion of a book that I have received free of charge and I am just sorry that this book was not for me.

Pieces of You (Shattered Hearts 2)
Pieces of You (Shattered Hearts 2)
Price: £1.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Will leave you needing more...., 24 Jan. 2015
Pieces of You, the second in the Shattered Hearts series by Cassia Leo published by Transworld (in the UK and Australia), is structured in a different way to the first book by follows directly on from Relentless.

The chapters in Pieces of You alternate between being told from Chris, Claire and Adam's point of view. It works perfectly, with Cassia Leo's style of writing, and the regular shift in perspective is not at all disruptive for the reader.

I have to say that I enjoyed the second book slightly less than first as the storyline is frustrating but the momentum started to build again towards the end, and as the last page was read, I found myself wishing I had the third instalment so that I could complete Chris, Claire and Adam's story.

By the end of this book, I found myself torn as to what decision I wanted Claire to make and we will all have to wait for the third book to find out what she does. The ending is fairly abrupt but it will leave you wanting to know more.

There is a longer series published in the United States, and I suggest you avoid reading the blurb for the later books as it might ruin the anticipation and tension that will no doubt come with the third book, Bring Me Home.

Thank you once more to NetGalley and Transworld for the free copy of Pieces of You in exchange for an honest review.

Relentless (Shattered Hearts 1)
Relentless (Shattered Hearts 1)
Price: £1.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Relentless, 24 Jan. 2015
I had previously read one book by Cassia Leo, Black Box, which I had loved as a beautifully tender, soul-clenching story. There are similarities to the first of this Shattered Hearts series (as published by Transworld in the UK and Australia), as although it is a love story, there are serious undercurrents and damaged souls as well as shattered hearts.

The Shattered Hearts Series is stated to be an adult contemporary romance series, and whilst it feels a little bit like a YA book, it is not intended for readers under the age of 18 due to strong language, drug reference and sexual content (of which there is quite a lot!).

Cassia Leo has a way of writing which draws you in and it is so easy to visualise the scene playing out on the page in front of you, almost as though you're sat watching a movie. The characters are memorable and special and the storyline is strong (although there was one element that nagged at me, and I do not want to give anything away so I will just say that when Claire's secret does come out in a fairly public way, I could not believe that nothing was made of it in the media given that Chris, a rock-star, clearly had a huge fan base and no doubt, media, following. It clearly was not the way the story was going to go, but it just bugged me given the world we live in now).

I loved the way the relationship was built between Adam and Claire as they together battle their demons and, at this stage, there was no doubt in my mind as to who I wanted Claire to end up with.

I was very glad to have the the second in the series, Pieces of You, on my kindle so that I could drive straight into that next instalment.

Thank you to NetGalley and Transworld for the free copy of Relentless which was provided in exchange for an honest review.

Cora's Christmas Kiss (Choc Lit) (Christmas Kisses Book 2)
Cora's Christmas Kiss (Choc Lit) (Christmas Kisses Book 2)
Price: £1.15

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The perfect festive novella, 11 Jan. 2015
This was my absolute favourite Christmas read of the 2014/2015 Christmas period.

I loved the way that Alison May structures this festive novella, so that there are flashbacks interspersed with the present day as Cora and Liam get to know who the other really is. I adored the time that 'Rudy' and 'Father Christmas' spent together in the present day; it put a massive smile on my face.

The story is told in such a simple way but it is utterly fantastic. I was drawn in right from the word go and the main characters are instantly likeable. With a title like 'Cora's Christmas Kiss', it obviously is not going to have the most unpredictable storyline but it is a wonderful romantic tale contained in the perfect novella.

There is so much packed into this novella of 179 pages; it made me smile (so my jaw hurt), it made me frown and it made me cry! I cannot say anything more other than I absolutely loved it! To make a reader this happy within 179 pages is quite an achievement! Another delight from the publishers and wonderful authors at Choc Lit (who I received a free copy from in exchange for my honest review).

If I could give this more than 5 stars, I would!

Christmas Wedding at the Gingerbread Café (The Gingerbread Cafe - Book 3)
Christmas Wedding at the Gingerbread Café (The Gingerbread Cafe - Book 3)
Price: £2.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Very american...., 11 Jan. 2015
This book is the third book in The Gingerbread Cafe series, but the first that I had read. I certainly do not think it is absolutely necessary that you need to have read the first two to enjoy this book, although (as always) it probably helps with the character development and as the story does heavily follow on, perhaps it would have been useful.

I found this book to be extremely "american" which was the main negative for me, but that is an entirely personal preference and you should not let that alone put you off. However, for me, I think this took something away from my enjoyment of the book, because I found myself constantly thinking about how this was a book rather than being so absorbed into it that you lose yourself; that never really happened for me with this book.

The story itself did start to capture me towards the middle/end. I liked the way that each chapter was a countdown to the wedding, so that the reader joins the story ten days before the wedding where the finishing touches are the only things between the happy couple and their perfect wedding......that is until her future in-laws arrive! The lengths that Olivia went to were kind of unbelievable, and it wasn't until the change in Olivia's character that it all started to feel more 'real'.

There is also an element of sadness to the book, and it did bring a tear to my eye! The ending was sweet and did make me smile, but for me unfortunately, this wasn't a book that I utterly adored.

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