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Caroline "Caroline" (UK)

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The Birthday That Changed Everything: Perfect summer holiday reading!
The Birthday That Changed Everything: Perfect summer holiday reading!
Price: £0.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved this book!, 3 Feb. 2016
Loved this book! Unforgettable characters, a convincing protagonist who is relatable and likeable, and a perfect setting. The prose manages to combine being genuinely funny with heart, warmth and depth. All of these ingredients fizzle together to make this a fabulous read. Highly recommend.


Irregular Choice Womens Classy Kate Court Shoes
Irregular Choice Womens Classy Kate Court Shoes

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Sizing is incorrect, 16 Sept. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Bought a size six, which is my usual size for Irregular Choice shoes. But the sizing isn't right in this current shoe/from this seller. At least 2 sizes too small. Huge disappointment.


The Accident
The Accident
by C.L. Taylor
Edition: Paperback
Price: £4.00

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping and Relentless, 10 April 2014
This review is from: The Accident (Paperback)
A gripping and relentless read. I devoured it in two sittings, because each time I put it down, I was anxious to know more. Effortless, intelligent and with believable characterisation - I have been recommending The Accident to all of my friends. A cracking debut, from a talented author.


Summer of '76
Summer of '76
by Isabel Ashdown
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful description and nostalgia, 18 Nov. 2013
This review is from: Summer of '76 (Paperback)
Having read all of Isabel Ashdown's novels, I was keen to read in 'Summer of '76'. Set in one of the hottest summers, Luke Wolff is ready to enjoy his last summer at home on the Isle of Wight before leaving for college. His job at a holiday camp promises new friendships and romance. But as the narrative unravels, his parents' outwardly perfect relationship becomes unstuck and Luke's very foundations are rocked.

A perfect read for a lazy summer day, full of wonderful description and nostalgia. 'Summer of '76' is coming-of age exploration, a gentle read that will take a reader back in time with ease and skill. Evocative and well-researched, this is yet another engaging read from Isabel Ashdown.


Sixteen, Sixty-One
Sixteen, Sixty-One
by Natalie Lucas
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Candid, brave and beautiful, 10 Jun. 2013
This review is from: Sixteen, Sixty-One (Paperback)
A memoir telling how Natalie Lucas was just fifteen when she began a close relationship with a sixty-year-old family friend. He started as a father figure, a mentor and then a tutor of sorts, he opened up Natalie's mind and heart to philosophy, literature and art.

The book chronicles the change from platonic, to love, to an erotic affair. Natalie offers candid opinion, in a focused account that never seeks pity. This is not a book for those who judge, as this is a brave and honest account of sexual awakening and that journey from teen into adulthood.

The gripping aspects emerge when Natalie decides to try living a normal life. For me this memoir isn't harrowing, it isn't a sex-diary or a misery-memoir, instead it's brave, intelligent and remarkable. It's the true story of a lonely teenager, one who doesn't quite fit in. It's a story about manipulation, scare tactics and love. And, above all else, it's a story of personal growth. It is really rather beautiful.


The Foster Husband
The Foster Husband
by Pippa Wright
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Refreshingly Unexpected Story Twists and Reveals, 20 May 2013
This review is from: The Foster Husband (Paperback)
I have read all of Pippa Wright's novels and raved about each of them, but this one is, by far, my favourite yet (although I might say that EVERY time!).

In `The Foster Husband' the reader quickly sees that Kate has found herself back in Lyme Regis, her hometown, a place that she ran from many years previously. The reader then learns that Kate has now run from London, so her running away has brought her full circle. The reader wonders why, on two levels. And these two storylines intrigue and unravel, as the narrative progresses.

But, I can't be the only reader who hears the words `Lyme Regis' and thinks `The French Lieutenant's Woman', can I? And the genius of `The Foster Husband' is that it pulls on threads and nods to the themes from that classic novel, but twists them in an utterly modern way. Convention, duty, the isolation of an individual searching for self-hood, love, prejudice, judgment, Kate almost taking on the role of `poor Tragedy' within small town gossip mentality - the links to the themes are convincing, but this isn't at all a retelling. `The Foster Husband' offers clever nods, nods that made me smile far too much.

There is no doubt that `The Foster Husband's' plot is clever, that the twists are unexpected and that the writing shouts of confidence and experience, yet it is the characterisation that made this book for me. As the book progresses, it is clear that Kate is only revealing what she wishes the reader to see. And so the reader is patient, aware that Kate will disclose all when she is ready. The reader almost takes on the role of a patient counsellor, allowing the `client' to divulge. Kate tells us about her sister Prue - obnoxious, bossy and not at all likeable - and Prue's fiancé Ben, who is wet and made me feel slightly nauseous. Kate's parents are shown as almost being scared of her, Mrs Curtis (her neighbour) is portrayed as being wonderfully eccentric and the town gossips are heard, making it clear that they see Kate as abandoned, as a scorned woman. I liked that none of the female characters were perfect (or particularly likeable), they all had flaws, they all threaded together into the convincing narrative. I liked that Kate and her mum laughed at `The Notebook' (I feared I was the only person alive that laughed at it), I adored the short chapters and I absorbed this book over a single weekend.

Kate's story is revealed by a split plot. We see her in the present, then we read chapters that disentangle from the very beginning of the growth of her relationship with her husband Matt. As a reader, we are waiting to see why Kate ran from London, as well as being intrigued as to why she ran from Lyme Regis. Kate's resistance, the fact she recognises that she's doing a fine impression of the French Lieutenant's woman, made me read that little bit faster. I was anxious for the secrets to be exposed.

And I did, I read faster, I absorbed the clues, I thought I had it sussed, yet the reveal was unexpected. And I LOVED that the reveal was unexpected.

`The Foster Husband' is a refreshingly sharp and modern read. It flipped the clichés of female fiction and left me thrilled that I wasn't able to figure out the twists and revelations. And I especially loved that those revelations made me sob.

After reading `The Foster Husband' I'm left with many thoughts to consider. The part that made me cry was when Kate finally faced up to her past, when she stood still, stopped running away and voiced her secrets (that isn't a spoiler, all great novels need some personal growth in there). Maybe it's because I recognised that I've attempted to escape and hide from my past before, and maybe I nodded at that realisation that there comes a time when there is no place left to run. Self-growth, acceptance, that unravelling of the past to explain the present.

But don't be fooled by my sobbing, `The Foster Husband' isn't a depressing book, not at all. This novel is full of humour, heart, superb characters and wise sentiment. It is true, a mother is only ever as happy as her unhappiest child, but it is that realisation that our past defines us that has left me still thinking about the narrative hours after finishing the novel.

Pippa Wright is, without a doubt, one of my most favourite writers of women's fiction. Her stories are refreshing, utterly modern and not at all frilly. I love it when reading a book leaves you feeling like you've just spent the night chatting to a friend. And, I love that I'm left wondering what Kate did next.


A Fucked Up Life in Books
A Fucked Up Life in Books
Price: £1.49

5.0 out of 5 stars The author is a Dragon Princess, 20 May 2013
I read this book in one sitting. I read it again a few days later. Both times I cried at `Flight of Dragons', as her dad showed her the true magic of books. I became angry during `Goosebumps', at a child overhearing words that can break. I read how abusive adults can be, I fell a little bit in love with her dad. I learned that the author is worth forty camels and that once she read a book during sex. I smiled at how often she attracts nutters and I loved why she hid under her desk at work. Her words made me feel that little bit more normal. Adventures, misadventures, loneliness and love, I think that this memoir is truly unforgettable.

But, the final chapter might actually have broken my heart.

This book is a glimpse into a beautiful mind.This memoir is about a real person, a lass who is never late, who shouldn't be crossed, about someone who is fiercely loyal. I like her, I get her, I'd love her to read `Charlie and the Chocolate Factory' to me. But, mainly, I love that it has inspired me to buy and keep a book journal.


Realand (The Portal Series Book 1)
Realand (The Portal Series Book 1)
Price: £0.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thumbs up from my daughter!, 5 Feb. 2013
My daughter (aged 9) recently devoured Realand (Book One: The Portal Series) by Dee Kirkby. I asked her to explain why she loved the book so much (and took it into school to tell all of her friends about it) and she said that she loved when Craig met Santa, that an elf made Oscar and she loved the cool pencil drawings. But the thing that made me smile when I was talking to her about the book was that she said she 'CAN'T WAIT' (in a very excited voice) to read what happens in the next book of the series. That, I believe, is the comment that any writer would long to hear. Well done Dee!


Cupcakes at Carrington's (Carrington's Book 1)
Cupcakes at Carrington's (Carrington's Book 1)
Price: £2.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Utterly DELICIOUS!, 22 Jan. 2013
This is the first book in a fabulous new series and I'm already super excited to know what will happen to Georgie Hart!

With utterly real characters, both main and secondary, and a setting that is a character in its own right, `Cupcakes at Carrington's' is a delicious read from start to finish.

Georgie Hart is likable, she's `real' and she's the kind of girl that I'd want as a friend. I warmed to her instantly and was unable to put the novel down. I needed to know if Georgie would be okay.

Georgie loves her job, she's feisty, she's passionate, she's a survivor. Yes, she's struggled with financial matters, but they have guided her and allowed her to form into someone rather special. Throw in her best friend Sam (and her dramas), evil Maxine, her fabulous GBF Eddie (who I wish was my fabulous GBF), some rather dashing love interests AND cake, and this novel has all the delicious ingredients you'll need!

`Cupcakes at Carrington's' has everything you'll want in a mouth-wateringly indulgent read! I can't wait for the next instalment!


Avon Street: A Tale of Murder in Victorian Bath (Mystery Press)
Avon Street: A Tale of Murder in Victorian Bath (Mystery Press)
by Paul Emanuelli
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommend, 21 Jun. 2012
Gritty, utterly engaging and thoroughly researched, this historical, crime thriller is influenced by actual events from Bath in 1850. As the author says, `The past makes us who we are,' and his clever adaptation of actual characters and events makes `Avon Street' a novel that I'd highly recommend. I hope Paul Emanuelli reaches the audience that he so deserves.


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