Thursday, 30 July 2015

Book Review - Meet Me at the Honeymoon Suite by Charlotte Phillips

Meet Me at the Honeymoon Suite by Charlotte Phillips
Published: 16th July 2015
Publisher: Harper Impulse
Pages: 112
Available in Paperback and on Kindle
Happy ever after…?
Fascinated by weddings since her mother was jilted at the altar when she was seven years old, Amy Woods is a brilliantly efficient wedding organizer, thanks to her ability to see past all the emotion and magic of ‘the big day’. Now, after years of being the assistant, she’s landed her dream job as Wedding and Events Manager at exclusive boutique hotel The Lavington. All she needs to do is pull off her first wedding weekend without a hitch…
Unfortunately the groom turns out to be her own marriage-phobic ex-boyfriend, proving yet again that Amy is good enough to be the warm up act but never the real deal. Then she breaks all her own rules and sleeps with the delicious but definitely off limits best man! To pull off the perfect weekend now, she will need to be her most clear-headed and emotionless. But as she gets to know best man Owen outside the bedroom, keeping herself focussed on the task isn’t so easy anymore.


Newly appointed Events Manager Amy doesn’t believe is love. She’s watched her mum being jilted and had previous boyfriends break her heart. Instead she pours her heart and soul in to creating perfect weddings for other people and her first big wedding in charge just happens to be for ex-boyfriend Luke. Determined not to let the past interfere with her future Amy tries to bury herself in her work, but the very handsome best man and fellow work addict Owen begins to get under her skin.

Spread over the course of the wedding weekend this novella has the perfect pace as Amy battles with herself whether to let Owen into her life and her bed…if she’s caught she loses her job. The chemistry between them is brilliantly written and I think any woman would find it hard to resist Owen’s charms. I loved all the little dramas that Amy has to overcome with her job, which for me gave the story more depth. The build-up in this book is done really well and although it’s short we are given a lot of insight into how these two main characters tick.

This is my first encounter with Charlotte Phillips writing and I really enjoyed the style and pace of writing and would I’d definitely like to read something else from her, perhaps something slightly longer. This is a great summer read perfect for a day at the beach. I’d rate it 5/5.

I’d like to thank Harper Impulse and Netgalley for my review copy.

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Book Review - The Girls Guide to Getting Hitched by Sophie Hart
The Girls Guide to Getting Hitched by Sophie Hart
Published: 17th July 2015
Publisher: Bookouture
Pages: 312
Available in Paperback and on Kindle
Rule number one: Keep calm and marry on…

When new mum and events planner Julia Crawford is given the opportunity to plan three weddings, she jumps at the chance. What could possibly go wrong? …

Forget bridezilla, Aimee’s future mother-in-law is the stuff of nightmares – hell bent on taking over the wedding entirely. Worse still, her fiancĂ©, Jon, seems oblivious. Aimee’s starting to wonder if she and her groom-to-be are right for each other after all…

Body shy Debbie is on a mission. She’s determined to shed a lot of pounds before the big day. As the wedding inches closer, will the new Debbie lose sight of what’s really important?

Gill loves Mike and their blended family of five kids to bits, but with a house full of teenage hormones and her eldest, Kelly, struggling with so much change, Gill is feeling the pressure...

As the women bond over cake and a cuppa, can they each resolve their wedding woes before the big day?

Having read and loved Sophie’s previous novel The Girls Guide to Falling in Love I was really excited to hear about her new novel The Girls Guide to Getting Hitched, what made this even better for me was the release date was a week before my own wedding so I was in wedding heaven reading this.
The Girls Guide to Getting Hitched follows the story of Julia Crawford an event’s organiser as she helps three very different brides to plan their big day, Aimee, Debbie and Gill. For those of you who have read Sophie’s previous book you will instantly recognise Julia Crawford and her husband Nick. I personally love it when authors bring back characters from previous novels as I love to see how they’ve changed, quite a bit for Julia and Nick. Don’t worry if you haven’t read her previous book (although you really should!) this book will make perfect sense on its own, which I liked from a new readers perspective.
Julia is a new mum who has just begun to think about going back to work when she lands a huge wedding planning contract with the prestigious Valerie for her son Jon’s wedding to the very sweet Aimee. With such a huge budget Julia just can’t say no and reluctantly enrols her son Jack into nursery for a few hours. Here she meets two more brides-to-be, Debbie and Gill and finds herself with a full on work schedule.
All three brides are struggling with the own pre-wedding issues. Sweet natured Aimee is being controlled completely by fiancé Jon and his overbearing mother Valerie. As Aimee struggles with letting go of her dream wedding she begins to feel out of control and eventually it dawns on her exactly what she needs to do.
Debbie is dreaming of walking down the aisle in the perfect size 10 dress (don’t we all!), with a huge amount of willpower and determination she begins to lose the pounds and becomes more confident, but will this new confidence land her in trouble?
Gill is about to walk down the aisle for the second time with her new partner Mike and their five children from previous marriages, but Gill is struggling to keep everyone happy and plan her perfect day. It’s made even harder when her daughter Kelly begins to feel pushed out by her mother, will this family find their happy ever after?
I really loved all the characters in this book, except Jon and Valerie whom I hope grow old and miserable together. I think Debbie was my favourite as I can identify with an obsession with losing weight, sadly I don’t possess that woman’s determination so walked down the aisle in a slightly bigger dress! I also loved the references to characters in the previous book as it was good to check in and see how they were,
I adored this book just as much as I have Sophie’s previous work, it’s the perfect mix of heartfelt emotion, humour and the trials of everyday life. The words just flowed so well making this an absolute joy to read, the only downside to it was I finished it far too quickly!
I’d recommend this book to anyone who wants a light-hearted summer reads, it’s just brilliant and Sophie please, please write another book soon!
I’d like to thank Bookouture and Netgalley for a copy of this to review and give this book 5/5.

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Book Review - A Year of Marvellous Ways by Sarah Winman

A Year of Marvellous Ways
A Year of Marvellous Ways by Sarah Winman
Published: 18th June 2015
Publisher: Tinder Press
Pages: 310
Available in Hardback and on Kindle
Cornwall, 1947. Marvellous Ways is a ninety-year-old woman who's lived alone in a remote creek for nearly all her life. Recently she's taken to spending her days sitting on the steps of her caravan with a pair of binoculars. She's waiting for something - she's not sure what, but she'll know it when she sees it. Freddy Drake is a young soldier left reeling by the war. He's agreed to fulfil a dying friend's last wish and hand-deliver a letter to the boy's father in Cornwall. But Freddy's journey doesn't go to plan, and sees him literally wash up in Marvellous' creek, broken in body and spirit. When Marvellous comes to his aid, an unlikely friendship grows between the two. Can Freddy give Marvellous what she needs to say goodbye to the world, and can she give him what he needs to go on? 
“A Year of Marvellous Ways” has been a book which seems to have received a lot of praise in the blogging world so I was eager to see for myself what this book was all about.  This book has been portrayed as “Magical Realism” and is not something I would normally read but I found it an utterly beautiful and emotional read.
The book is told from two perspectives, 89 year old Marvellous Ways an old lady whom the book is named after who spends her days alone in a remote Cornish creek until she meets Drake a young man set on a journey to complete a dying man’s wish. When the two meet their lives slowly become more and more entwined.
Firstly, if you read this book please don’t rush through it, the writing has a truly magical quality which I feel is best savoured over a longer period. The chapters are fairly short, some just a couple of pages so it is perfect to spread out which I did over a fortnight, which is a long time for me to spend on one book. I found the writing style descriptive, very poetic and utterly beautiful.
The two main characters got to me straight away, the sense of grief and loss which these two have experienced in their lives jumps of the page and pulls at your heart strings. They are both searching for that special something to help anchor them and give them hope.
This a very special book which I feel can help us all see the good in the little things and I know is a book that will sit treasured on my shelf for many years. I am definitely going to read Sarah’s other novel “When God was a Rabbit” very soon in the hope that it has the same magical quality as “A year of Marvellous Ways”
Thank you to bookbridgr for sending me a copy to review, I would rate this book 4/5.