RSS

Tag Archives: chocolate_pages

Queen Bee by Jane Fallon. Book Review.

Queen Bee by Jane Fallon. Book Review.

Jane Fallon is an Author whose books I would read without knowing the blurb, plot or seeing the cover. I have read a few of her previous books and all the ones I have read, have a similar style. They have a style that I love. I had no doubt that Queen Bee would be the same. Thank you to Netgalley and publisher Michael Joseph for gifting me a copy of this book. These are my unbiased thoughts on Queen Bee.

Description :

Welcome to The Close – a beautiful street of mansions, where gorgeous Stella is the indisputable Queen Bee . . .

It is here that Laura, seeking peace and privacy after her marriage falls apart, rents a tiny studio. Unfortunately, her arrival upsets suspicious Stella – who fears Laura has designs on her fiancé, Al.

When Laura stumbles on the big secret Al is hiding, suddenly Stella’s perfectly controlled world, not to mention Laura’s future, are threatened.

Taking a chance on beating Al at his own twisted game, these two former strangers are fast becoming best friends.

But has Laura forgotten that revenge never comes without a sting in the tail?


My Thoughts:

Although I was sure I would love this book going only by the author, I wanted to read a few reviews first.  One of the reviews I read mentioned a similarity to the set up of Desperate Housewives. I used to love that series so that made me more excited to read Queen Bee.

The plot is set around a Close of expensive mansions, rich couples who have nannies and house keepers and ” keeping up with the Jones'” is very much a thing.  The men work and earn far to much, and the women go to spa’s and organise parties. But then along comes Laura who rents the back house from one of the couple’s until she is able to find her next real home. Having nothing in common with these people Laura is not immediately accepted. In fact she is ousted due to no fault of her own.

The relationship between Laura and the Queen Bee of the street is a complicated and strange one.

I found Queen Bee Stella to be an intruing character, at some points I found her to be a little unbelievable

“…doesn’t even know how to warm up a pizza”

Can that really be true that first world women don’t know how to heat up a pizza because they have had people do it for them forever? That just shows how spoilt Stella is. Laura is the opposite and has to survive independently and work for everything she has. It was very interesting to see these 2 women navigate their lives together and separately. 

The Jane Fallon books I have read before have involved a revenge theme quite a lot. I was expecting the revenge to be against Queen Bee, but it wasn’t, in some ways this made it even better.

The book holds all the perfect escapism, easy reading, funny and engaging words that I hoped it would.

The book is up to date and modern with even a mention of my latest favourite Netflix binge watch.

” I don’t think that’s how it works.  I wish I’d stuck with Ozark” 

Jane Fallon’s books are addictively brilliant. I have loved all the ones I have read and this one is no different. Yes, different characters and a different plot, but the same fun, satisfying, escapism read. I loved it. Now I’m awaiting the next book Jane Fallon writes.

Links:

Twitter @JaneFallon

Goodreads

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on September 2, 2020 in Books

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

#10BooksofSummer20. My Summer Reading List.

#10BooksofSummer20. My Summer Reading List.

It’s that time again! I participated in #BooksOfSummer last year and it was a nice way to keep track of what I’m reading and follow other readers in the books they chose.The original idea of this 10, 15 or 20 books of summer came from Cathy at 746books. You can read her post HERE!

The idea is that you choose 10, 15 or 20 books that you think you will read over the summer, between June and September. I have chosen 10 that I would like to read. I am a mood reader so these may or may not change. I have added a variety so I still have lots of choice. Of course this may also change if I get offered to read something that just sounds to amazing to wait until after summer for.

Here are my summer reads.


Hattie Goes To Hollywood by Caroline James. Goodreads. Amazon UK

Cold Heart by Sean-Paul Thomas. Amazon UK


Queen Bee by Jane Fallon. Amazon UK

The Whisper Man by Alex North. Amazon UK


And a couple from my bookshelf that have been there for a while.

A Small Weeping by Alex Gray. Goodreads


The Ex by Alafair Burke. Goodreads


Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty.

Goodreads

I’ve just finished watching Big Little Lies, so I’m hoping this book will be just as good if not better.


Susan Willis Ten Short Reads. Goodreads

I have read quite a few of Susan Willis’ short stories but I haven’t read this compilation yet and it’s been on my kindle for a while. I think these will be perfect summer reads with a cold drink.

Children of the Enemy by DJ Swykert. Goodreads

I have read a few of this Author’s books and all have been brilliant. I expect this will not disappoint.


The final book in this list will be one that I will look through a lot over the summer. This is a book that has been talked a lot about on Twitter and the author has drawn lots of heart warming pictures and words that are appropriate for this time.

I was given this book by my brother and sister in law last Christmas. I have read it, but it is a book that is worth reading, re reading and flicking through.

The Boy, The Fox, The Mole and The Horse by Charlie Mackesy. Goodreads

I hope you all have a happy and safe summer of reading.

If you have read any of these let me know your thoughts.


 
19 Comments

Posted by on June 5, 2020 in Book Spotlights., Books, Tags

 

Tags: , , , , ,

#MenCanWriteRomance Review: Jack and Jill Went Down Hill. By R J Gould.

#MenCanWriteRomance Review: Jack and Jill Went Down Hill. By R J Gould.

Thank you to Author R J Goulds for contacting me with this book. It was a nice change to read amongst my crime books.

I often look at Goodreads before starting a book, especially if it’s been waiting on my shelf for a while and I have forgotten what it was about. I was a little frustrated when I did this for this book as one of the reviews I read was far too detailed for my liking. I will keep my reviews always about my thoughts in the book rather than relay the plot / story. 😠

Anyway, after reading Jack and Jill Went Down Hill, these are my thoughts, with no spoilers attached. 😊👍

Description:

Jack and Jill meet on Freshers Big Party Night at university and for both of them it’s love at first sight. Despite their backgrounds, personalities and interests being poles apart, the relationship flourishes during their university years. It’s not quite as comfortable when their studies are over and they start work, Jack in the City and Jill as a teacher.

Way back when they first met, they’d shared the joke that their names were those of the nursery rhyme. Down the line, they fail to recognise that their lives are matching the plot – Jack falls down and Jill comes tumbling after.

Their relationship is on the rocks. Can it survive?

Publisher: Lume Books (11 July 2019)

My Thoughts:

When I decided to download this book, I was expecting a bit of a ride back to my uni days and city life. Fun times for me and it was fun times for Jack and Jill who meet each other on the very first night at university.

I did enjoy reminiscing about those days while Jack and Jill did their time there. The Author got the right mix of other types of students, the atmosphere and the mind frame of two very different students. Jack’s Uni plans were not the same as Jill’s. But both were relatable.

It’s no spoiler to say the book follows Jack and Jill’s relationship and lives.

The Author has brilliant way of writing people. I really liked Jill. She would be the type of girl I would like to know. Jack not so much, he had his good sides and his quirky sides. As the pages turned the characters developed together and separately.

As I said the story follows Jack and Jill’s relationship and lives. But we also meet their parents, friends, other family and this allows us to get further insight into why Jack and Jill are the way they are.

The plot is not predictable. It’s easy reading and fun. When books are so centred on characters, it’s important for the reader to be invested in them, and I was. I wanted to see where they ended up. I was rooting for them.

As I said it’s not predictable so you will have to read it to see where they end up.

Light, easy reading, relatable and the characterisation is fantastic. I recommend Jack and Jill Went Down Hill.


Links:

Amazon.co.uk

www.rjgould.info

 
9 Comments

Posted by on May 17, 2020 in Books

 

Tags: , , , ,

Book Review: The Mysterious Writing Group by Susan Willis

The lovely Author Susan Willis has released another fabulous short story. I have to admit after reading many of her short stories ( All of which you can find reviewed on my blog), The Mysterious Writing Group is my favourite so far.

I downloaded when it was available to download for free. So thank you Susan for this freebie little coffee break read.

Description

Christine has joined her four friends from a writing group at a murder-mystery weekend in a manor house. Although they enjoy each other’s company in their writing sessions, Christine wonders how the dynamics of the group will work over three days? They have been studying the golden age detectives and she is huge fan of Sherlock Holmes.
To even out numbers Christine pairs up with a newcomer, a Welshman, called Owen who she immediately likes when he offers to be her sidekick, Doctor Watson. While using their powers of deduction they discover some mysterious happenings, which makes Christine wonder if everyone is who they say they are?

My Thoughts:

The Mysterious Writing Group is a perfect coffee break read. Like I have said with all of my reviews for Susan Willis’ short stories, they are a great little escapism read when you have a little time to yourself.

I liked this story because it’s all things bookish. The characters are from a writing group where they meet to discuss their work. The main character Christine begins within the first few pages talking about well known authors who write crime books. And to top it all off they go to a murder mystery weekend. It is a booklovers perfect set up.

The writing flows, the characters are relatable, and the story has a full rounded plot within its shorter styled book.

I have to say as well, I was not expecting it to end as it did……..

A cracker of a read and my favourite short story by Susan Willis so far. I’m readily waiting for the next one. 😊


Links:
susanwillis.co.uk

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

Twitter – @SusanWillis69

 
4 Comments

Posted by on May 10, 2020 in Books, Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Book Review: Don’t Turn Around by Amanda Brooke.

Book Review: Don’t Turn Around by Amanda Brooke.

Thank you very much to Author Amanda Brooke and Publishers Harper Collins for my copy of Don’t Turn Around.

Description:

She died.
You’re next.
Now he’s coming for you
Ten years ago, Jen’s cousin Meg killed herself after failing to escape an abusive relationship.Now, Meg’s ex is back and Jen’s domestic abuse helpline has started getting frightening calls from a girl who knows things about Meg – details that only the dead girl or the man who hurt her could have known…
As Jen starts to uncover the past, someone is determined to stop her. Can she save this young woman from Meg’s fate? Or is history about to repeat itself?

Published by Harper Collins January 2019.

Potential Trigger Warnings:

Contains details of suicide, death of a child and grief.

My Thoughts:

This is the first book I have read by Author Amanda Brooke. I was intrigued by both the cover and the description.

The story is told from.the perspective of Ruth ( Meg’s Mum) and Jen ( Meg’s cousin and best friend).

Meg committed suicide ten years ago. Since then understandably the family have not gotten over her death and the way it happened. They believe that she was abused by her boyfriend Lewis but with no proof, nothing could be done.

In attempt to help others and themselves Ruth and Jen set up a helpline to try to help other people who feel they may be in vulnerable relationships.

The book is a domestic thriller, which kept me intrigued and attached the whole way through. The Author did a great job of describing how I imagine the grief would feel like for Meg’s family. Everyone deals with grief differently and this was shown by the people who knew Meg.

I read the second half of the book a lot faster than the first half as I had more inklings of what may happen as the pages turned at this point.

Don’t Turn Around is very well written. In the acknowledgements at the back the author thanks Alder Grief Centre for their help and support, which sounds like an amazing and such a supportive group of people. There should be many more of these types of helplines.

Although the plotlines and trigger warnings imply this is a difficult book to read, it is a suspense thriller which got me gripped and rooting for Jen and Ruth to find a life that they could be content with. Whether or not this happens you will need to read to find out. But things are not as they first seem. And that is what makes a good thriller and a good author for me.

Highly recommended book. And as I now know there are many more books written by Amanda Brooke.

If you have read this or any other book by Amanda Brooke, feel free to recommend your favourites.


Links:

Goodreads

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

Twitter/@AmandaBrookeAB

www.amanda-brooke.com

Facebook

 
Comments Off on Book Review: Don’t Turn Around by Amanda Brooke.

Posted by on February 23, 2020 in Books

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

Book Review: Where the Dead Fall by M J Lee.

Book Review: Where the Dead Fall by M J Lee.

I was sent an advanced copy of Where the Dead Fall by M J Lee. With thanks to Author M J Lee and publishers Canelo . This is book 2 in the detective Ridpath series, but it did not matter at all that I had not read book 1. Crime thrillers are my thing, so I was looking forward to getting stuck in to this book.

Description:

One chance encounter, one street side murder, will change everything… The extraordinary new Ridpath crime thriller
Manchester has been at peace for twenty years. Not any more.

DI Ridpath is in the process of getting his life back together when everything goes wrong.

Driving to meet his daughter, he his caught in a horrific motorway accident, in which a near-naked man is rundown by a lorry, while fleeing from a lone gunman. As Ridpath closes Manchester’s road network in search of the assailant, one question remains: why did nobody else see him?

Ridpath’s investigations, which at first seem to follow protocol, soon unearth a number of inconsistencies, which pulls the police force itself into question, and hint at something sinister to come…

For Manchester is on the brink of a fresh surge of violence unlike anything it has seen in decades. As Ridpath battles this unprecedented conflict, he must battle his own demons. One thing is for sure. There will be blood on the streets…

The nail-biting sequel to Where the Truth Lies, M J Lee’s Where the Dead Fall is an absolute must read, perfect for fans of Mark Billingham, Faith Martin and Peter James

My Thoughts:

This is the second book in the DI Ridpath series. I haven’t read the first one and it didn’t matter. In this book, Ridpath is recovering after cancer treatment and so is on lighter duties and has been asked to work at the coroners office instead, much to his dismay. However, the determined detective that he is, can’t stay away from the Major Incident Team. Plus when he is the only witness to see a man with a gun, he is involved automatically.

This book is current and I love that it was based in Manchester and talked about daily conversational things, like the football league talk and Theresa May. Although I enjoy the murders, detective work and the twists and guessing work of thriller novels. In order to bring a book to life, in my opinion the characters need to seem real, and for me that includes life talk, like who will win the football game that the two detectives support. Of course, this also brings major hassles to DI Ridpath, as his decisions involve holding up a traffic jam for 3 hours prior to a major football match! This is also the time when he sees what no one else sees, and brings him slap bang into the middle of a murder….. the problem is, he is the only one that thinks its murder!

DI Ridpath is likeable and a very good detective, but also so infuriating to, as he puts his work before everything which includes his family and his own health. Of course that makes him a great detective but also one full of personal problems.

As the book is based in Manchester, it talks a lot about the gang wars that occured there in the past. The police are majorly concerned that these murders are going to re start what was dubbed as ‘Gunchester’. The detectives talk about finding out the Who, Where and Why of the murders in order to solve the case. I liked that we were totally involved in the way the police worked and attempted to solve and bring to justice the criminals. However what was interesting in the book was the politics and sometimes division between the different branches and levels of police. I think the Author M J Lee has done real and thorough research in order to make this book as realistic but obviously fictional as possible. A talented, clever and imaginative Author. I recommend Where the Dead Fall to all fans of crime thrillers, and especially those who prefer British crime books.


Links:

www.writermjlee.com

Twitter/WriterMJLee

Amazon.co.uk

 
4 Comments

Posted by on August 17, 2019 in Books, Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Book Review : Jane Again by J G Dow

Book Review : Jane Again by J G Dow

This is the third Jane book in the series that I have read. When I read the last book, I thought it was left ready for the next instalment so I wasn’t too surprised when Author J G Dow contacted me asking if I would like to read and review Jane Again.

Description:

Jane returns in this, the third installment of her adventures, as her life in Manchester slowly continues to evolve. All her friends are still knocking around, but circumstances do have a habit of changing, as everyone’s lives shift and progress…

Join Jane as she continues to muddle through friendship, love and family and also tries to have a bit of fun along the way; still as keen as ever for a few drinks with friends in the heart of Manchester!

Published January 28th 2019

My Thoughts:

Jane Again follows on from Jane of Manchester and Jane Once More. The book can totally be read as a standalone but if you want to really get to know Jane and her friends, family and surroundings then you should read the other books first.

Jane Again is a very easy read. As with the previous two books, I listened to this story on audio book while I did my mundane jobs like ironing, making lunches and even driving. I didn’t need to concentrate and sometimes this is just what you need from a book.

Jane is now living with Dan and together they live, work and socialise in and around Manchester. Jane shows us the lifestyle of the average British woman. She works, drinks and eats out ( a lot!). I liked hearing about all the different take outs and menu choices Jane chooses.

The book is like catching up with a friend. There is no major plot or twists. It’s life in a book told by an Author who can make words flow and make us care for Jane.

Jane Again leaves space for another book. I guess like we catch up with friends in real life, fictional friends are just as good to catch up with. I look forward to seeing what Jane gets up to next.


Links:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

Goodreads.

 
4 Comments

Posted by on May 11, 2019 in Books

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

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

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Book Review: Blogger Girl by Meredith Schorr

Book Review: Blogger Girl by Meredith Schorr

If you have been reading my posts or my tweets you will know that Irena from BookDustMagic and myself took part in an Easter readalong for this book. We planned to read 9 chapters a day and had a tweet discussion about our thoughts at the end of each day. If you want to check out our chat, you can look for #BloggerGirl on Twitter. It was a lot of fun, and thanks to Irena and our third buddy reader Mary who also joined us in reading and chatting, I had a really great Buddy Read. 

I would also like to thank Author Meredith Schorr for gifting myself and Irena a copy of her book to review and buddy-read. Thank you Meredith, it was a great book choice for our buddy read and I really enjoyed the chat, and the book. 

Here is my review. This book has been out for a while, so if you have read it I would love to hear your thoughts too.

Published by Booktrope (first published August 2nd 2013)

me as becky

Description:

What happens when your high school nemesis becomes the shining star in a universe you pretty much saved? Book blogger Kimberly Long is about to find out. A chick lit enthusiast since the first time she read “Bridget Jones’s Diary,” Kim, with her blog, “Pastel is the New Black,” has worked tirelessly by night to keep the genre alive, and help squash the claim that “chick lit is dead” once and for all. Not bad for a woman who by day ekes out a meager living as a pretty, and pretty-much-nameless, legal secretary in a Manhattan law firm. While Kim’s day job holds no passion for her, the handsome (and shaving-challenged) associate down the hall is another story. Yet another story is that Hannah Marshak, one of her most-hated high school classmates, has now popped onto the chick lit scene with a hot new book that’s turning heads—and pages—across the land. It’s also popped into Kim’s inbox – for review. With their ten-year high school reunion drawing near, Kim’s coming close to combustion over the hype about Hannah’s book. And as everyone around her seems to be moving on and up, she begins to question whether being a “blogger girl” makes the grade in her off-line life.

Published by Booktrope (first published August 2nd 2013)

blogger girl

My Thoughts:

I really enjoyed this read. The first few chapters were my favourite because there was a lot of talk about the main character Kim that I could totally relate to. Kim is a bookblogger, she loves books, reading and blogging. As I got further along in the book, I also realised that she quite enjoys her food too. Sounds very similar to myself so far!!!

Kim’s blog is called Pastel is the New Black, and I think that the Author wrote a very realistic version of a bookblogger and blogging in general. This was what attracted me to the book in the first place, and it was one of the reasons that I loved the book.

Along with the blogging side of the story there is friendship – sweet and bitchy! There is love…. and challenges! and there is food talk! All sounds pretty great so far doesn’t it? Keep reading.

Nicolas is Kim’s love interest, and I was surprised that I wasn’t taken by Nicolas’s character for the first half of the book, but as I continued reading, The Author’s character building allowed me to see why I thought what I did of Nicolas. Sound intriguing??? Well if you read it you can let me know your thoughts.

Part of my Twitter chat was about the food that Kim eats, the Author informed me that the Shake Shack is a real place in America, it sounds delicious. I also have a new found temptation for artichokes!  

I thought that all the characters were really well written as they each have their own story going on, and they all link up in ways too. The characters were realistic, believable and as in good chick lit books, all gave me a different feeling towards them. (empathy, distaste, fondness to name a few).

If you know Meredith Schorr’s work at all, you may notice how cleverly done the cover of this book is?…… If you can see it, let me know in the comments. I love it! 

This was a really enjoyable book that I read over the weekend. (which is very fast for me). I would definitely recommend this book to all lovers of blogging and chick lit. Now, I can’t wait to read the sequel ‘Novelista Girl’. 

In honour of Kim and Pastel is the New Black, I give this book 4 pink champagne flutes!

You can read Irena’s review HERE!

champagne

 

Links:

GOODREADS.

AMAZON.COM

AMAZON.CO.UK

Twitter – MeredithSchorr

MeredithSchorr.com

 

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday
 
22 Comments

Posted by on April 5, 2016 in Books

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,