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Book Review: ‘Jennifer Brown’s Journey’ By Angie Langley.

Book Review: ‘Jennifer Brown’s Journey’ By Angie Langley.

Thank you very much to Author Angie Langley for my copy of Jennifer Brown’s Journey. Don’t you just love the cover to this book. The Author told me as I started to read this book that the story is true.

yoga garden

Description:

Five feet one and full of fizz, Jennifer Brown lights up the room. She has a gorgeous partner, a wicked best friend, and a boss who doesn’t mind that she’s the worst typist on the planet. She’s loyal, generous and irredeemably ditzy. Everyone loves Jennifer Brown.But can she learn to love herself? When her world caves in, she needs every ounce of her steely core to step back from the abyss and take charge of her life, reinventing herself first as cook and housekeeper to a saucy sexagenarian, then as manager of a tumbledown country estate with sensitive secrets.Peopled by a battalion of hilarious characters from the caustic, cross-dressing confidant to the besotted ex-boyfriend with a barmy ex-wife, Jennifer Brown’s Journey is a heartwarming, thoughtful, often poignant portrait of the trials of life as a thirty-something woman.Jennifer Brown champions the importance of self-belief, and the value of a bucket-sized glass of wine in a tight spot.And, always in the background, there’s the quiet man with the warm eyes and the velvet vowels.What on earth is Jennifer Brown going to do about him?

The first in a series of three, Jennifer Brown’s Journey is a story of female self-empowerment and the triumph of the human spirit in the face of challenges that many women will recognise. Lighthearted and poignant, the story gives readers a very real sense of a woman, initially rather ditzy, maturing into a redoubtable, self-possessed individual who faces her many challenges with developing aplomb.

jennifer brown

My Thoughts:

This is a heart warming lovely read. The main character Jennifer Brown is just your average girl next door type character until her life gets turned upside down and she has to make some decisions of what to do. As we follow Jennifer’s journey, I felt like I really knew her and she was the type of character that you’d like to be friends with so we could chat about life, love and adventures. Starting off in a not so great position, Jennifer shows the reader how its ok to be not ok all the time. But to keep faith in yourself and push on to find a life that suits you.

This book reminded me of Bridget Jones and Sophie Kinsella’s Undomesticated Goddess in parts. The book is easy reading and fun. You can laugh, sympathise and rejoice with Jennifer.She comes across as sometimes dizzy, and sometimes so full of human spirit and adventure that you can’t help but love her. A quote that made me chuckle:

“Larry would always ask for the same drink – a large gin with a bit of lemon. When we started dating, weeks later, I discovered he’d been asking all along for a gin and bitter lemon. He’d been too polite to point out my mistake.”

Jennifer makes quite a few mistakes similar to this throughout her story. I chuckled, smiled and sighed along with Jennifer throughout this book. It is a fun book that is perfect for a holiday read, or just curled up in bed with a cuppa and a cosy blanket.

Links:

Goodreads.

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

jenniferbrownsjourney.co.uk

Twitter – @JenBJourney

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2 Comments

Posted by on February 24, 2018 in Books

 

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Book Review: The Boyfriend Swap, by Meredith Schorr.

Book Review: The Boyfriend Swap, by Meredith Schorr.

Thank you to Author Meredith Schorr for my copy of The Boyfriend Swap. I fell in love with Meredith’s writing from when I first read Blogger Girl. I had high expectations for this book, and I wasn’t disappointed. 

best book gif

I want ALL of Meredith’s books! 


Description:

Is Christmas really the most wonderful time of the year? New Yorkers Robyn Lane and Sidney Bellows aren’t so sure.

Robyn has always dated struggling creative types. For once, her parents would love her to bring someone with health insurance and a 401(k) to their Chrismukkah celebration. Her actor boyfriend doesn’t qualify. While across town, Sidney’s professional life already belongs to her parents. She’s an attorney at her father’s law firm and she works tirelessly to keep her love life private. If she brings her lawyer boyfriend to their annual Christmas extravaganza, her parents will have the wedding planned by New Year’s Eve. 

A mutual friend playfully suggests they trade boyfriends for the holidays. The women share a laugh, but after copious amounts of wine, decide The Boyfriend Swap could be the perfect solution. This way, Robyn can show off her stable attorney boyfriend and Sidney’s high-society family will take no interest in her flakey actor beau.

It’s a brilliant plan—in theory. In practice—not so much. When Will turns out to be the boy-next-door Robyn crushed on hard throughout her teenage years, and Sidney’s family fawns all over Perry like he’s an Oscar-winner rather than a D-list wannabe, one thing is certain: The Boyfriend Swap might just change their lives forever.

boyf swap

Published November 7th 2017 by Henery Press

My Thoughts:

The Boyfriend Swap is a really entertaining escapism fun read. The two main female characters Robin and Sydney are taking their boyfriends home for Christmas and both are dreading it because of what their parents will think of their chosen partners. So a crazy idea to boyfriend swap is activated! Yes it does sound like a totally crazy idea. Pretend that another girl’s man is your man and take them to Christmas dinner with your parents!!  Sounds like a perfect recipe for Meredith Schorr fictional fun! 

The two girls are quite different. I liked Robin more, but both were great characters. The two boyfriends also are quite different. I think Will makes a pretty good bookish boyfriend, and this was added to by the fact that he was most against the crazy swap idea. Ah, I love these fictional tales that you can live through in the (approx) 330 pages and get delved into their worlds of messes, decisions, embarrassments and fun times, then lift your head up and realise that you are back in your bed and can choose to live on another chapter with Robin and Will, or Sydney and Perry whenever you like. I stayed in fictional world for quite a few nights! 

There is romance and Christmas in this book, but the festive talk is low grade, and not too traditional. the romance is there but its more a fun novel with small parts of romance. 

One of my favourite lines in this book, and I quoted this to the Author on twitter was:

“Wow. This is just wow. More exciting than when Nathan fell for Hailey in One Tree Hill”.

This doesn’t give anything away, as I won’t say what is so exciting, but I loved One Tree Hill, and I loved what this “excitement” was for.  

I have seen other bloggers reviews for this book, and many have mentioned how The Boyfriend Swap would make a great movie, and I have to say I totally agree. If Meredith’s books could be made into films, I would watch them all, and ask my friends to watch them all. But for now at least they are books, so I will ask all my friends and readers to read Meredith’s books. She has a talent for writing brilliant books. I’m looking forward to the next one already. 

Links:

Goodreads

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

Twitter/MeredithSchorr

www.meredithschorr.com

 

 

 

 

 
7 Comments

Posted by on January 1, 2018 in Books

 

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Book Review: Where There’s Smoke, by Cathy Cole.

Book Review: Where There’s Smoke, by Cathy Cole.

Thank you to Author Cathy Cole for my copy of this book, ‘Where There’s Smoke’. I liked the title of this straight away, and the blurb convinced me that this would be a book I would enjoy. Here are my thoughts.

 

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Description:

Firefighter Jo Woods is struggling to hold onto her job and her sanity. Banished to the backwater town of Mourne Lough, she vows to stop making waves, admit her family’s death was an accident, and that the guilt she feels is plain old survivor guilt.

Then she finds the roses and everything changes.

The killer hasn’t stopped. He’s here. In the same town. Stalking her. And once again, no one believes her.

After seven years of avoiding family and friends, Jo is alone and friendless in a strange town. In order to survive and, more importantly, bring the killer to justice, she must overcome her fears and embrace her new life. And she must do it quickly, because the killer has his sights set on her and he’s willing to kill anyone who gets in his way.

Enter Ian “Coop” Cooper, who sets Jo’s pulse fluttering and her antenna into overdrive. Does she dare trust him?

One thing Jo is clear about: this killer destroyed her life once before. No way is she going to let him do it again–no matter what it takes.

 

where theres smoke

Published March 10th 2017 by Fireborn Publishing

 

My Thoughts:

The plot of this story revolves around fire fighters. Jo Woods is the only lady fire fighter in her new branch. We start off getting the impression that Jo has to escape from something. I liked the way we don’t know exactly what she is ‘getting away’ from, or been pushed away from. But we do know her past employers didn’t think she was suited there! So, aside from the mystery in the story, the killings, the fires and deaths, there is also a mystery with the characters. We learn more about Jo as the pages turn, and we also meet the handsome new guy who lives near Jo. Coop comes across as ‘different’, what we and Jo have to decipher is if that is good different or bad different! 

The Fire Fighter talk seems researched and accurate without bogging the reader down with details. I think the Author spoke of how things work regarding smoke, fire and fire fighting was authentic and just enough to create a well rounded plot.

This is very much a murder mystery with a ‘whodunit’ style. I like to guess the killer anyway, but the Author gave me plenty of scope to guess with a few different characters being on my suspect list. 

Jo is caring, closed and comes with issues but she is a fire fighter – so she is made and trained to save people, which makes this plot hard on her. I wasn’t sure what to think of Jo at first, but as we learn more about her, I found her to be not only likable, but quite a unique human being, in a good way. 

” ‘Everything’s going to be alright’. It was a mantra inside my head. ‘Everything’s going to be alright’ ” 

My only slight critique is that the cover didn’t draw me in. I spent time after reading the book examining the cover, and I can see why it is how it is. I just personally would have made it a bit different. But as they say ‘ don’t judge a book by its cover’! and in this case, I whole-heartedly agree – the plot, writing and characterisations are far better than the cover implies, in my humble opinion.

Cathy Cole’s style of writing is excellent with great descriptive words that really paint a picture in the readers imagination.

“The tea un-furred her mouth but did nothing to silence the army of men inside her head, battering at her skull with what felt like hammers”

I recommend this book to everyone, but especially those who love to guess the culprit, and those who like a good crime thriller.  

 


For links to the book and to make contact or find out more about the Author, I have added all the direct clicks below. Happy reading, and let me know if you have read this book, are planning to read this book. Or if you have any great recommendations or book reviews you think I would like. Please leave a comment below, I always read them and always reply.

Links:

Goodreads

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

Twitter/CathyCole66

Facebook/CathyColeAuthor

 
7 Comments

Posted by on September 10, 2017 in Books

 

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Book Review: Broken Branches, by M Jonathan Lee.

Book Review: Broken Branches, by M Jonathan Lee.

Thank you very much to M Jonathan Lee and Hideaway Fall Publishers for my copy of Broken Branches and the rest of the great bookish goodies that Hideaway Fall very generously sent out to a group of bookbloggers, myself luckily included.

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Jonathan Lee is the first Author to be signed by Hideaway Fall, and I think they have started off on a winner. I have read quite a few book reviews for Broken Branches, and all have been glowing. Some are mentioned in the book trailer too, which you can see below.

I went into Broken Branches with high hopes, but also with not too much information on the plot. You can see what I thought below, and also the links if you fancy the book or reaching out to the Author.

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Description:

‘Family curses don’t exist. Sure, some families seem to suffer more pain than others, but a curse? An actual curse? I don’t think so.’

A family tragedy was the catalyst for Ian Perkins to return to the isolated cottage with his wife and young son. But now they are back, it seems yet more grief might befall the family.

There is still time to act, but that means Ian must face the uncomfortable truth about his past. And in doing so, he must uncover the truth behind the supposed family curse.

broken branches

July 27th 2017 by Hideaway Fall

My Thoughts: 

The story revolves around the main character Ian, we hear his point of view from when he is a child and in alternating chapters as an adult. Ian learns from a young age that his family are thought to be ‘cursed’. Throughout the book, this ‘curse’ takes a centre stage in Ian’s life, and the big tree in his garden (and on the cover of the book) is a  significant factor in Ian’s unhappiness and state of mind. As I read, I considered (I think as the Author intended) about ‘curses’. Is it supernatural? is there a psychological element? Is it family induced? 

The cover of this book becomes creepier as you read more of the story. The black, child-like branches and the red door will become more significant the more you read. 

Jonathon M Lee is an Author with a talent for great descriptive writing. His words flowed effortlessly across the pages and gives the reader a great depth of feelings for the simple things he describes. The plot of the story is steady, so the descriptive way the Author writes is a big part of why this book is so good.

“The tree’s branches reminded Ian of a giant claw, and they waved eerily in unison with his mother, swaying backwards and forwards in perfect synchronicity.”

The relationship between Ian and his Wife Rachel is interesting. We hear about how they were as a couple early on in their relationship, and how they are now, through to how they are at the end of the book. It made me reflect on how things happen in life, how they affect people and relationships differently. Neither is right or wrong, just different. 

I had no idea how the ending would be until a few pages before when it came with a punch. Then it made me think back over what I had already read and consider it all again. I love it when a book does that. 

I highly recommend this book, and look forward to the next that I hope M Jonathan Lee will write and Hideaway Fall will publish. 

 

truth rokn branches

 

Links:

Twitter/@MJonathanLee

Twitter/@HideawayFall

Goodreads

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

 

 
6 Comments

Posted by on September 3, 2017 in Books

 

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Book Review: Jane of Manchester by J G Dow.

Book Review: Jane of Manchester by J G Dow.

My latest read is Jane of Manchester. When asked by Author J G Dow to read and review, I was intrigued by the blurb and encouraged by the reviews on Goodreads. The cover gives little away, so I went in optimistic. Here is what I thought.

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Description:

Jane’s life on the face of it isn’t really too bad…she has great friends like party girl Natasha who’s always up for a laugh and her close pal Polly, always there for her and of course her loving parents, but things could still be better… 

Most people she knows are either married or have kids and she has been single a while now and wonders if a good man is ever to be encountered again. The single life is far from a quiet one for Jane however, as she is constantly getting dragged to night clubs and bars by Natasha and the crew as well as enduring a particularly boozy weekend away at the seaside! 

Jane loves a lot about her life, disregarding rude plumbers in her flat and dealing with annoying superiors and a smug sister, but as a certain someone takes her eye, is everything about to change and get a whole lot more serious or is the single life determined to keep her captive a while longer yet.

jane of man

Published January 9th 2017 by Dow Books

My Thoughts:

Jane of Manchester is based, as you may well guess on the main character Jane, who comes from and lives in Manchester. (U.K). The book is totally from Jane’s point of view and totally all about her life, her friends, family and social life. It is simplistic and diary style. There is not an awful lot to the plot, the Author (I think) concentrated on development of character, which was done well as I had a good image of Jane in my head. 

Jane is likeable and I somehow felt addicted to what she would do next in a kind of Big Brother style way. I don’t mean that in a creepy way, but in a reality tv kind of way. Jane is “normal”, has a “normal” life and “normal” relationships. What I did like about her is her love for food, though she has rather a lot of takeaways. 

“…never wanting to turn down the chance of a good meal”.

Jane of Manchester is a very easy read, the kind of book you could whizz through, but not really the kind of book that would keep you thinking. It is very light and breezy.  Perfect for a beach read or, as I did to listen to on audio as I was doing other stuff! 

Links:

Goodreads

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

 

 
6 Comments

Posted by on August 20, 2017 in Books

 

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Book Review: Love, Life and Dreams, a cocktail of 5 short stories by Rebekah Louise.

Book Review: Love, Life and Dreams, a cocktail of 5 short stories by Rebekah Louise.

Short stories are the perfect little accompaniment to coffee breaks, sitting by the pool side or waiting room time fillers. I enjoy a good short story every now and then to read between the full length novels. You get a quick beginning, middle and end. And if the Author is good, you feel satisfied that you got a good tale.

Rebekah Louise is that good Author that tells a good tale. I enjoy reading short stories, so when Rebekah asked me to read hers I was very happy to do so. Here is her latest book ‘Life, Love and Dreams, A Cocktail of 5 Short Stories’

Fun

 

 

Description:

As Alice tries to support her sister, Emma, following her heart breaking marriage, little did they know what the ‘Doctors Orders’ would lead to.

A successful businessman and loving father’s life is turned upside down when ‘Julie’ visits the office.

Share in Louis and Emma’s love and imagination in ‘Live the Dream’.

‘Note to Self’ introduces us to James, a top radio DJ, who is forced to reflect on his life’s values.
 
Life for Ania, a cleaner in a five-star hotel, is arduous and her future looks bleak, that’s until she meets a guest in ‘Suite 200’, who challenges her perspective.

 

lovelife dreams

Published May 24th 2017

My Thoughts:

I really enjoy reading short stories interspersed between my full length novels. I enjoy reading a story that you can finish and feel satisfied with, all within ten to twenty minutes or so. Rebekah’s stories were fulfilling, satisfying and a lovely little bit of company for my coffee breaks. The 5 stories each had their own characters and situations, and each had a great plot to it. The title of the short stories, ‘Life, Love and Dreams’ is very appropriate for each of the stories. 

My favourite of the five stories was ‘Suit 200’, where the main character Ania is working in a hotel and having a hard time of it. For a short story, we get a particularly clear picture of what the characters are like. I think to be able to do this in far less words than a full novel, you would need to be a talented writer. Ania is given a good bit of advice in her tale.

“Enjoy the freedom that you have, things will fall into place, they always do”.

I didn’t read these stories all in one go, as I wanted to enjoy them each separately when I had ten minutes to indulge in some ‘me time’. For me, they were perfect for an afternoon coffee break. A little escapism in the middle of the day. 

Rebekah Louise is a talented Author with a pen that flows freely to write great characters with intriguing plots. I will very happily read more of this Author’s work, whether it be more short stories or full length novels. 

 

Links:

www.rebekahlouiseauthor.co.uk

Twitter/RebekahBe4

Goodreads

Amazon.co.uk       only .99p

Amazon.com         only $1.28

Free on kindle unlimited! (prices correct at time of post publishing).

 
6 Comments

Posted by on July 22, 2017 in Books

 

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Book Review: Crazy in Love by Annabelle Costa.

Book Review: Crazy in Love by Annabelle Costa.

Thank you very much to Author Annabelle Costa for asking me to read and review her book ‘Crazy in Love’. I am mightily glad that she did reach out to me, because this book is wonderful. I have a feeling that it will be in my top ten of 2017, as I really enjoyed it. 

AMAZING

 

Description:

They call her Crazy Anna. Anna Flint won’t shake your hand. She collects tin cans. She cleans her cubicle at work with Lysol several times a day. But Anna doesn’t care that they call her crazy. She’s absolutely satisfied with her life of perfect organisation, cleanliness, and most of all, solitude. Matt Harper likes Anna Flint. He likes that she’s the smartest person he knows and he likes her big blue eyes. He doesn’t even mind her can collection. In fact, he pretty much likes everything about Anna. As his body and his world are falling apart, she still manages to make him happy. Matt is the only person Anna has ever wanted to be close to. But how can she go on a date with him if the thought of dinner at a restaurant fills her with terror? How can she ever kiss the man she loves if she can’t even touch him? 

Maybe it’s time to stop being Crazy Anna. If only she could.

 

crazy in love

Published March 31st 2017 by Rose Bud Press

My Thoughts:

When I started this book, I was unsure if it was going to be sad and a little serious on the mental health issues. I was very wrong. Crazy in Love is one of the sweetest and quirkiest novels I have read in a while. 

Our main character Anna has OCD. She doesn’t necessarily know this at first but she knows she hates germs of any kind, and sees contamination everywhere. Anna is very good at her job, despite her colleagues giving her a hard time for her collection of cans in her work space. ‘Crazy Anna’ as she is known!

The Book focuses one chapter on Anna and the next on Matt. The two are colleagues, kind of friends  (So Anna hopes). But Matt has issues too and ones he doesn’t want the world to know about.

The way the chapters are written is perfect. We see each occasion that happens from both points of view and it makes the reader ( well me at least) really feel endeared to both Matt and Anna.

Anna“…its better I eat alone. The way I do every day. It’s safer this way”

Matt“Everyone else in the whole goddamn world ………They have no idea how lucky they are.”

OK, so no giveaways or spoilers but both Matt and Anna have their issues which consume them. If you are to look into this book philosophically, then you will see everyone has issues but being happy within yourself is most important. We don’t know what is going on in other people’s lives so be nice and considerate. Or you could look at this book just for the story that it is, two troubled souls finding each other and trying their best to work it out.

There are really comical bits in this book too. A book that can make you smile, feel compassion and stay up that bit later than you intended is a wining book. That’s what Crazy in Love is. Even the acknowledgement page made me smile. The author has a unique way of writing that as she does her characters.  

The issues of mental health were dealt with sensitively and in my opinion very well. I don’t have OCD and I don’t know anyone who does so I can’t speak as in any way knowledgeable. But it did give me an understanding of how tiring and deep rooted the condition is. The author wrote with compassion and understanding while making Anna a truly delightful character that the reader will root for. 

I read this book in 2 days which is mega fast for me. Once I started Anna’s story she had me engrossed.

If I had 2 words to describe this book, they would be quirky and brilliant. I loved ‘Crazy in Love’, and as my first read from Annabelle Costa, I am ready for more of her work. Ms Costa is a talented writer and I am so glad I found her books. 

five pink stars

 

Links:

Goodreads.

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

annabellecosta.blogspot.co.uk

 

 
2 Comments

Posted by on July 16, 2017 in Books

 

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Book Review: My not-so Perfect Life, by Sophie Kinsella.

Book Review: My not-so Perfect Life, by Sophie Kinsella.

Thank you to Becky Short at Transworld Books for my copy of My Not So Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella. Sophie Kinsella was the Author that got me into adult reading, she is my ‘go to’ Author that will be guaranteed to write a good book that will make me laugh. So, I was over the moon to receive this copy.

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Description:

Cat Brenner is living the dream – she has a flat in London, a job in creative branding, and her Instagram feed is full of all the amazing things London has to offer: delicious food and beautiful sights and lots of fun. Ok, so the crappy truth is that she rents a tiny room in Catford with no space for a wardrobe, spends most of her days engaged in tedious admin on the other side of the city, and posts photos of food she could never ever afford to eat. But it’s all just about worth it.

Until her bright and shiny life comes crashing down: her demanding boss Demeter gives her sack, and with no means to live in London any more, Cat has to move home to Somerset. Now she’s plain old Katie Brenner again, helping out her dad and her stepmum as they attempt to launch a glamping business on their farm. (They think she’s on sabbatical from her job, and she can’t quite bear to tell them the truth…)

With Katie’s creative branding experience, the glamping is soon a big success. So much so that Demeter and her family book in on holiday – and Katie sees her chance to get revenge on the woman who ruined her dream. So long as Demeter doesn’t see beyond her disguise and give the game away to her parents, of course.

It’s time to see who’s the boss…

not so perfect

Published February 9th 2017 by Transworld Digital

My Thoughts:

When I picked up the newest Sophie Kinsella book, I just knew it was going to be a  5 star read! Because Sophie’s books always are. I have read all of her Shopaholic ones, and all the other stand alone books. My Not So Perfect Life was no different, it is a 5 star read that made me laugh, gave me great escapism and truely got me involved in Cat’s life. I find that Sophie’s main characters become like friends when you read her books. You can understand them and their actions, and although they often make ‘oh no!’ mistakes and get themselves into sticky situations, but you can always rely on a Kinsella character to brighten your day.

I was laughing right from the start as we hear about Cat’s life in London, a tiny flat, a dreadful commute, and strange flatmates. Motivational Dave made me laugh straight away with all his whey powder!!! (If you read, look out for that bit, though you will be laughing anyway). As many people do these days, Cat displays her wonderful life on Instagram with sneaky photos of other people’s expensive coffees, and the “glamourous oh so fun London life” that she lives. I really enjoy books that talk about social media at the moment because it’s so current and relevant to today’s society. 

But Cat gets let go from her job and has to return to Somerset where she reverts to Katie, and agrees to help her Dad and Step Mum Biddy with their new Glamping business. But what happens when her old super successful, super brilliant boss Demeter arrives, the boss that is the last person Katie wants to see??

My Not So Perfect Life is easy reading, fun and of course has a book boyfriend added in for extra warmth. In my opinion, Alex is not on the same scale as Luke Brandon, but we have had a lot more Luke in the Shopaholic books, and only 1 of Alex, but he is still there, in Katie’s mind, making her do some laughable antics. 

I always knew before I even received this book that Sophie Kinsella’s book would be a 5 star, laugh out loud book, and it totally lived up to my expectations. If you haven’t read a Kinsella book! Where have you been???And if you have, then you will know what to do. Read ‘My Not So Perfect Life’, and cosy down with Cat and her ‘perfect London Instagram’ and Katie with her Somerset Glamping and ….. blue hair!! 😉 

five pink stars

 

Links:

Goodreads

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

Twitter/KinsellaSophie

 

 

 
6 Comments

Posted by on March 25, 2017 in Books

 

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Book Review: The Blade Artist, by Irvine Welsh.

Book Review: The Blade Artist, by Irvine Welsh.

Recently as most of you will probably know T2 Trainspotting came out in the cinema. I watched and loved the first Trainspotting, and with the idea of T2 coming out, I had a look on the wonder that is Netgalley and found to my immense happiness that I was approved to read this Irvine Welsh book, featuring the one and only Francis Begbie. So, thank you netgalley, here are my thoughts.

begbie

Description:

Jim Francis has finally found the perfect life – and is now unrecognisable, even to himself. A successful painter and sculptor, he lives quietly with his wife, Melanie, and their two young daughters, in an affluent beach town in California. Some say he’s a fake and a con man, while others see him as a genuine visionary.

But Francis has a very dark past, with another identity and a very different set of values. When he crosses the Atlantic to his native Scotland, for the funeral of a murdered son he barely knew, his old Edinburgh community expects him to take bloody revenge. But as he confronts his previous life, all those friends and enemies – and, most alarmingly, his former self – Francis seems to have other ideas.

When Melanie discovers something gruesome in California, which indicates that her husband’s violent past might also be his psychotic present, things start to go very bad, very quickly.

The Blade Artist is an elegant, electrifying novel – ultra violent but curiously redemptive – and it marks the return of one of modern fiction’s most infamous, terrifying characters, the incendiary Francis Begbie from Trainspotting.

blade-artist

Published April 7th 2016 by Jonathan Cape

My Thoughts:

At the beginning of this book we meet Begbie, who is now known as Jim Francis, he is married with two lovely daughters. We are shown an unrecognisable ‘Begbie’, as he is devoted to his family and seems to have a lovely Californian life. Those who know Begbie only from Trainspotting would be confused, – as was I.

The story continues and we hear that Jim Francis has to return to Edinburgh because his son has been killed. Does returning to the place that made you, make you turn back to the person you once were? Everybody in Leith is expecting Begbie to take revenge, to show that side of him that he is known as. I’m not about giving spoilers or too much information on the plot, so if you want to know you will need to read the book yourself. 

I loved the title of this book, and as you read about what Jim Francis does and did while he was in prison, the title is very apt. 

“That’s the thing aboot bein an artist, ye get…..creative”

I liked the contrast between the two places, and how this is also reflected in the characters. At first it seemed difficult to imagine the Begbie we knew as this devoted American Husband and Dad, but as the story goes on, and we hear about Begbie’s past and we learn a lot more about him and the question you have to ask really is, ‘You can take the boy out of Scotland, but can you take Scotland out of the boy?’   (or maybe that should be Leith!)

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It took me a bit longer to read this as Edinburgh dialect is used in the book, and while I live in Scotland I could easily understand it, it doesn’t read as easily as ‘The Queen’s English’. But it wouldn’t have been authentic Irvine Welsh if he hadn’t have used the dialect would it now?!

“Eh pilled ehsel tae ehs climbin frame n yanked ehsel up. Tried tae come at ays! It was ridic! he booted it oot fae under him and watched him crash tae the flair.”

This was an enjoyable book, which I read at a perfect time with T2 Trainspotting just out. It was gritty, character led and typically Irine Welsh. 

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Links:

Goodreads

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

Twitter/IrvineWelsh

 

 
4 Comments

Posted by on March 18, 2017 in Books

 

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Book Review: Porcelain, Flesh of Innocents, by Lee Cockburn

Book Review: Porcelain, Flesh of Innocents, by Lee Cockburn

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Lee Cockburn’s new release ‘Porcelain’. I took part in a Clink Street Publishers event last year called ‘Blogival’, and this is where I found the talented Author that is Lee Cockburn. I read and reviewed ‘Devils Demise’, which you can read HERE! So when Rachel from Authoright asked me if I wanted to read and take part in the blog tour for Lee’s new book, I was very happy. ‘Porcelain’ is out now, and you can read more about it here, and in all the other lovely blogs that are taking part. The tour banner looks rather creepy doesn’t it? Well, its a spine tingling kind of read.However, I do recommend it. Keep reading to see my thoughts on the latest book from Lee Cockburn. 

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Description:

Detective Sergeant Taylor Nicks is back and in charge of tracking down a sadistic vigilante, with a penchant for torturing paedophiles, in this unsettling crime thriller by a real-life police sergeant.

High-powered businessmen are turning up tortured around the city of Edinburgh with one specific thing in common — a sinister double life involving pedophilia. Leaving his ‘victims’ in a disturbing state, the individual responsible calls the police and lays bare the evidence of their targets’ twisted misdemeanours to discover, along with a special memento of their own troubled past — a chilling calling card. Once again heading the investigation team is Detective Sergeant Taylor Nicks, along with her partner Detective Constable Marcus Black, who are tasked not only with tracking the perpetrator down but also dealing with the unusual scenario of having to arrest the victims for their own barbarous crimes. But with the wounded piling up the predator’s thirst for revenge intensifies and soon Nicks discovers that she is no longer chasing down a sinister attacker but a deadly serial killer.

Vivid, dark and deeply unsettling Porcelain: Flesh of Innocents is the perfect next read for serious crime and police thriller fans.

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Clink Street Publishing (21 Feb. 2017)

 Advice: This book contains scenes of violence, sex and child abuse, it may cause upset to some readers.

My Thoughts:

When I looked at interviews that Author Lee Cockburn has given previously, she stated that her books are about good conquering evil. This book contains true evilness, the bad guys are really bad and the good guys good. Sergeant Taylor Nicks and Detective Constable Marcus Black are on the search for a vigilante who has been torturing paedophiles, and while the incentives for their mission is understandable, they are still a wanted criminal. This in turn leads the police to finding paedophiles, which of course is another job in itself.

As I was reading this, I got about half way through and I thought I could see the end in sight, I just couldn’t see how it was going to take another half a book to finish it. But the glorious-ness of an Author’s imagination gave us the twists that we needed to set the second half of the book up for an intense twisty read. The plot made me shiver and can totally be described as spine tingling.

I loved that the book was set in Edinburgh, the streets I know, and the language I know. Though I know Edinburgh, the book writes about a side I have never and I expect never will see. But it also speaks briefly about the wonders of Edinburgh, the extinct volcano and the wonderful Edinburgh Festival. I get the feeling that the Author is writing partly what she knows, in the city, the police work but would have had to delved deep into the dark minds of criminals she has perhaps come into contact with to make the true evilness of the criminals mentioned in the story. 

When Lee Cockburn said its good versus evil, she puts me in mind of the goodness still in people, where police will go without sleep, seeing family and put themselves in danger to find the evil ones that are in this world. So although part of this book is very disturbing, we can also take comfort that there are real ‘Goodies’ in the world too. This is the kind of book I could only read occasionally as it is so dark. However, the plot is twisty and well planned – totally worked. The characters are well developed, I remember Taylor, Marcus, Kay and Fran from the last book, while enjoying the addition of the newest member of the police force too. I will definitely read more from Lee Cockburn, as I have a feeling she will write more about Taylor and Marcus, but I will read some lighter hearted books in between. 

Will good defeat evil, and will they find the torturer of paedophiles, or will they continue their rein of revenge? And what will become of Taylor and her relationships? You will have to read to find out.

About the Author, Lee Cockburn:

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Lee Cockburn has worked for Police Scotland for 16 years including as a Police Sergeant in Edinburgh for 7 years and also as a public order officer. Before joining the force, she played for Scotland’s Women Rugby team for 15 years, earning over 80 caps for the Scottish Ladies and British Lionesses teams. She also swam competitively for 12 years, successfully representing Edinburgh at the age of 15 in the youth Olympics in Denmark in 1984. Lee lives in Edinburgh with her civil partner Emily and their 2 young sons Jamie and Harry. Her first book Devils Demise was published in November 2014 by Clink Street Publishers.

Links:

Goodreads

Barnes and Noble.

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

Twitter/lee_leecockburn

 
5 Comments

Posted by on March 5, 2017 in Books

 

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