Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Between You and Me by Lisa Hall

Between You and Me

Between You and Me by Lisa Hall
Published: 17th March 2016
Publisher: Carina UK
Available on Kindle

Blurb
They say every marriage has its secrets.
But no one sees what happens behind closed doors.
And sometimes those doors should never be opened …

Sal and Charlie are married. They love each other. But they aren’t happy. Sal cannot leave, no matter what Charlie does – no matter how much it hurts.

Review
Wow, what a read! Between You and Me by Lisa Hall is an absolutely brilliant read and even more shocking is it’s her debut novel.
This is an incredibly hard review to write without giving away all the genius of this book.  Sal and Charlie are married. Sal stays home and looks after their young daughter Maggie while Charlie goes out to work as a corporate lawyer. On the outside they have the perfect marriage, on the inside not so much as Charlie has a need to control everything which is just downright scary. Eventually somethings got to give…
This book is hugely compelling, so much so I read it within a couple of hours in one sitting. The bullying portrayed is harsh, violent and soul-destroying and is described with such intensity it’s hard to believe this is just a story.
Throughout this book the thing that sticks out the most to me is how Sal and Charlie justify their behaviour towards each other to themselves, trying to shift the blame of events from one to the other. As the novel reaches its climax we are hit with the most spectacular twist that will leave you thinking did I just read that right! It was utterly brilliant and so completely unexpected I just loved it!
I can’t recommend this book enough, please go and read it, you will not regret it. I’m so impressed with Lisa’s writing and am so looking forward to seeing what she writes next. I’m rating this book 5 out of 5.
Thank you so much to Netgalley and Carina UK for the review copy of Between You and Me.

Friday, 25 March 2016

Blog Tour Review - The Song Collector by Natasha Solomons


The Song Collector by Natasha Solomons
Published: 24th March 2016
Publisher: Sceptre
Pages: 400
Available in Hardback, Paperback and on Kindle

Blurb
After his beloved wife's death, the composer Harry Fox-Talbot is unable to write a single note, until the day he discovers his troublesome young grandson is a piano prodigy.

As the music returns, Fox is compelled to re-engage with life - and, ultimately, to confront an old and bitter rift. One with its roots in 1946, when he gave up his dreams of a musical career to help save the family home from ruin; and when he fell for his brother's girlfriend, the celebrated wartime singer, Edie Rose.

This is the entrancing tale of a man whose passion for music, an elusive women and the English landscapes of his youth are inextricably intertwined. A man who finds joy in the wake of grief, and learns its never too late to seek forgiveness.

Review
The Song Collector is the first novel I have read by Natasha Solomons but I’m sure it won’t be my last, her writing is of that style that just makes you want to keep reading and become totally lost in the story.
The story focuses on Harry Fox-Talbot, the youngest of three Fox-Talbot brothers and affectionately known as “Fox” among family and friends. They story spans two time periods 1946 – 1959 and 2001 – 2007. In the earlier set chapters we meet Fox in his twenties returning home to his beloved Hartgrove Hall after the war. Left in a dire state by the war officials the Fox-Talbot brothers agree to bring Hartgrove back to its former glory and Fox has to give up his beloved music career. All goes well until the eve of 1947 when brother Jack brings home Edie Rose, a wartime singer. Fox falls instantly in love with her. He spends the next few years being tormented by his two great loves music and Edie.
Fast-forward almost fifty years and composer Fox is grieving for his beloved Edie and is unable to play a single note. That is until he spends some time with grandson Robin who slowly brings the music back into the rooms of Hartgrove and finally help him to ease the guilt he’s felt for so long.
I’m a huge fan of novels with a dual time-spans, done well they can make the best kind of story and Natasha Solomons has managed to do this beautifully. I felt each section of the story flowed seamlessly into the next, despite the time difference making this a beautiful novel to read. It’s one of those books that you start off reading and soon find you’re totally engrossed and when it ends your sad because you’re not quite ready to let it go. This is exactly how this book made me feel, especially the last couple of chapters which really tugged at my heart.
Throughout the novel Fox comes across as a much tormented soul. He has three great loves in his life Edie, the English countryside of his home and his music, without all of them he never seems fully complete. After Edie is gone he seems lost as she was the only one that really understood his love of music and his need to collect the old folk songs of the countryside. When he sees Robin shares his love of music he slowly begins to find joy in his life once more.
This is a lovely enchanting novel about all aspects of love, about dealing with loss and betrayal and above all learning to embrace the music which is all around us. It’s a beautiful novel which was a joy to read, so thank you to the publishers for sending me a copy to review. I give The Song Collector a rating of 4 out 5.

Since writing The Song Collector Natasha Solomons has begun her own song collecting project to map as many songs of Britain as she can. To find out more about this inspiring project visit www.songmap.co.uk




Thursday, 24 March 2016

Beneath the Surface by Heidi Perks

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Beneath the Surface by Heidi Perks
Published: 24th March 2016
Publisher: Red Door Publishing
Pages: 333
Available in Paperback and on Kindle

Blurb
I don't know where you are...

I don't know what I've done...

Teenager Abigail Ryder is devastated when she gets home from school to find her family gone. Nothing makes sense. Things are missing from the house and her stepsisters' room is completely empty. But the police think she's trouble, and when grandmother Eleanor tells her to forget them all and move on, there's no choice other than face the future - alone.

Fourteen years on, Abi and Adam are a happy couple on the verge of parenthood. But when the past comes back to haunt Abi, the only way forward is to go back and uncover the truth - and reveal the dreadful secrets a mother has been hiding all these years.

Review
Beneath the Surface by Heidi Perks has one of those blurbs that just make you need to read the book because you just have to know what happened, it poses so many questions that need answers. What kind of mother leaves a child behind? How did this affect Abi? Did it affect the twins growing up? What kind of grandmother tells you to forget your own family? My head was spinning with questions and the more I read of this book the more complex and utterly brilliant it becomes as the answers begin to be revealed the more I just had to keep reading.
The story begins in 2001 when seventeen year old Abi arrives home one day to find her mother and stepsisters and all their belongings have vanished. Where have they gone and why? Abi is devastated when her grandmother tells her it would be best for her to move on and forget them, but how can you do that? Fourteen years later and Abi needs some answers as the only way forward is to embrace the past and work out the truth.
What I loved most about this book was that we get to hear about events from a number of perspectives as we have narrative from Kathryn, Hannah, Lauren and Abi with snippets from Peter and Eleanor. Abi’s narrative is particularly moving as it’s told through letters to her husband Adam and it’s very emotional and its obvious Abi has not had an easy life, even before her mother’s disappearance. Despite being so many characters and point of view they all fitted together to form a cohesive story with had me gripped until the very end.
Each of the characters had their own personalities to distinguish them, making them feel very real. Some of them I liked, some I didn’t. Eleanor was very controlling and driven, showing no real emotion towards any member of her family and I just didn’t like her. Kathryn I found to be weak and I so wanted her to be strong and make her own decisions. Abi was just longing to belong and find some love from somewhere. The twins Hannah and Lauren couldn’t be more different, Hannah longs to escape the clutches of her family and experience the world away from the bay, whereas Lauren is happy to plod along following the rules and trying to keep the peace between her mother and Lauren.
Beneath the Surface is a novel full of secrets, with more being unravelled in every chapter, it’s full of twists and unexpected surprises which had me completely hooked. I loved everything about this book the complex characters, the secrets, the way everything came together at the end.
I want to thank Heidi and her publishers for sending me a copy to review, I loved this book and think Heidi has done a fantastic job writing her debut novel, I really hope there’s more to come. I’d like to rate Beneath the Surface 5 out of 5, it was just brilliant!

Release Day Round-Up #23

I've been looking forward to today for a long time, firstly because its the start of our Easter holidays so I (fingers crossed) might get a little lie in one morning and secondly its a bumper release day with loads of fabulous new books to go and buy. Here are three of my favourites for this week:

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Beneath the Surface by Heidi Perks
Published: 24th March 2016
Publisher: Red Door Publishing
Pages: 333
Available in Paperback and on Kindle

I don't know where you are...

I don't know what I've done...

Teenager Abigail Ryder is devastated when she gets home from school to find her family gone. Nothing makes sense. Things are missing from the house and her stepsisters' room is completely empty. But the police think she's trouble, and when grandmother Eleanor tells her to forget them all and move on, there's no choice other than face the future - alone.

Fourteen years on, Abi and Adam are a happy couple on the verge of parenthood. But when the past comes back to haunt Abi, the only way forward is to go back and uncover the truth - and reveal the dreadful secrets a mother has been hiding all these years.

This is an incredible read full of complex characters and many secrets for a full review pop back later today when my review is up.

The Night That Changed Everything

The Night that Changed Everything by Laura Tait and Jimmy Rice
Published: 24th March 2016
Publisher: Corgi
Pages: 416
Available in Paperback and on Kindle

Rebecca is the only girl she knows who didn't cry at the end of Titanic. Ben is the only man he knows who did. Rebecca’s untidy but Ben doesn’t mind picking up her pieces. Ben is laid back by Rebecca keeps him on his toes. They're a perfect match.

Nothing can come between them. Or so they think.

When a throwaway comment reveals a secret from the past, their love story is rewritten.

Can they recover from the night that changed everything? And how do you forgive when you can’t forget?

I've just started reading this and already I know I'm going to love it, the writing style just flows so easily and Ben and Rebecca are characters that I need to know more about. Come back next week for a review of this book.

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Summer Nights at the Moonlight Hotel by Jane Costello
Published: 24th March 2016
Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK
Pages: 464
Available in Paperback and on Kindle

'LEARN TO SALSA DANCE,' the card in the shop window read. 'Experience the red-hot vibes of Latin America right here in the Lake District. Beginners and singles welcome.'

Lauren Scott lives in 'The most romantic place in Britain', but her love life is about as successful as her mountain climbing skills. The man she's obsessed over for two years has proposed to someone else - and her only solution is to save up for six months to go travelling, so she never has to set eyes on him again.

But when her friends sign her up for a dance class - in the same historic hotel where her beloved dad worked and her most precious childhood memories were formed - Lauren makes a horrifying discovery. It's been sold to a faceless budget chain, which has depressing plans in store. Worse, the entrepreneur behind it all turns out to be among a group of guys her friend Cate roped in to join the very same salsa class they've signed up for....

I'm about a third of the way through this book and loving it, its full of Jane's lovely characters and the romance is just starting to blossom. Hoping to finish this soon so check back next week for a full review.

So that's my top three for this week, there are plenty more which can be found in my releases page above. Check back tomorrow when its my stop on The Song Collector blog tour, another fabulous book being published today.


Monday, 21 March 2016

Secrets of the Sewing Bee by Kate Thompson

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Secrets of the Sewing Bee by Kate Thompson
Published: 10th March 2016
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Pages: 352
Available in Paperback and on Kindle

Blurb
Orphan Flossy Brown arrives at Trout's garment factory in Bethnal Green amidst the uncertainty of the Second World War. Flossy is embraced by the colourful characters working at Trout's, who have turned their sewing expertise to vital war work. They fast become the family that Flossy has always longed for. Dolly Doolaney, darling of the East End, and infamous tea lady, helps Flossy settle into wartime life. Peggy Piper, another new recruit at the factory, is used to the high life working as a nippie in the West End, and is not best pleased to find herself bent over a sewing machine. But war has the ability to break down all sorts of class barriers and soon Peggy finds the generosity and spirit of her fellow workers difficult to resist. Dolly sets up a sewing circle and the ladies at Trout's play their part in defending the frontline as they arm themselves with their needles and set about stitching their way to victory. But as the full force of the Blitz hits London, the sewing bee are forced to shelter in the underground tube stations. In such close quarters, can Dolly manage to contain the secret that binds them all? And how will Peggy and Flossy cope as their lives are shaped and moved by forces outside of their control? 

Review
Secrets of the Sewing Bee by Kate Thompson is set in 1940s Bethnal Green in London and follows three girls working at Trout’s garment factory, Dolly, Flossy and Peggy. Each girl is hiding secrets about their past, as the war draws these girls closer will they be able to confide and comfort each other?
Dolly Doolaney is the factory’s tea-lady and was just brimming with love for all her girls. She was the perfect mother hen figure helping many of the girls out with various problems. She seemed to be the eternal optimist even in the middle of the bombing blitz she tried her hardest to look on the bright side. She’s determined that her life is going to mean something so sets up the sewing bee so she can do as much as possible to help her country. Flossy was the youngest main character and she was probably my favourite character as I loved how much she changed throughout the book. When we first meet her she’s timid, shy and a devout rule-follower after being brought up in an orphanage. As the war progresses she becomes braver and stronger and begins to break free of some rules and fight for what she believes in. Peggy was the final main character and initially I wasn’t too keen on her she seemed to be above joining in with the girls believing she was better than them as she came from the West End of London. After a few months she realises the war is not going to end so soon and her old life is gone. When she joins the rest of the girls in the sewing bee she became a much nicer person.
I found the Secrets of the Sewing Bee to be a very enjoyable read. Kate Thompson has done her research well and this book felt very real. It portrayed the east end as rough, dirty and perhaps a forgotten part of London during the war. Despite the area being pretty dismal the spirit of the people that lived there comes across brilliantly. I loved reading about the comradery among the women in the factory and those living in Bethnal Green. They stick together, look out for each other and never seem to give in, even when they’ve lost everything. It’s a spirit to be very much admired given the circumstances.
Secrets of the Sewing Bee is a novel of friendship, family, tragedy, hope, loss, fighting spirit and never giving up. It’s a novel which had me laughing, gasping and crying as I got caught up in the lives of Dolly, Flossy and Peggy.
 I’d like to rate this novel 4 out 5 stars and I would also like to thank the publishers for sending me a copy to review in exchange for my honest opinions.

Thursday, 10 March 2016

Release Day Round-Up #22

This week it has been extremely had to pick just three favourites as there are just so many good books being released today. So I have decided to pick three that I don't yet have copies of.

The Weekends of You and Me

The Weekends of You and Me by Fiona Walker
Published: 10th March 2016
Publisher: Sphere
Pages: 512
Available in Hardcover and on Kindle
Can your final fling become your Happy Ever After?
When Jo Coulson finds herself single again in her late thirties, she finally resigns her membership to Last of the Hopeless Romantics, fully intending to tackle midlife and motherhood alone. First, she plans one legendary last fling...
In walks Harry Inchbold, and the connection is electric. Passionate, unpredictable and messily divorced, Harry is the perfect antidote to cosy coupledom. Known as The Sinner, drama follows him around with a clapper board.
Harry's favourite holiday hideaway in the wilds of South Shropshire puts the mud and fun into the perfect dirty weekend. But at the cottage Harry reveals a very different side, melting Jo's resolve. What better combination to face an uncertain future than two cynics who have learned from their mistakes?Together they make a pact; 'same time next year'; they can promise no more than that.
Through life's most stressful decade, Harry and Jo return to the Shropshire hills for one weekend each year to rediscover passion and make peace. As career, family and home crises all threaten to bring them unstuck, the cottage is their glue. Here, different rules apply: the day to day world is not allowed to intrude.With Harry and Jo, however, it's only a matter of time before rules get broken. As real life gets increasingly complicated, can they keep renewing their promise?

As I've mentioned before I love Fiona Walker books and this one looks just as good, as there so huge there ideal to take on holiday, which is probably when I'll read this one.

The Song of the Skylark
Song of the Skylark by Erica James
Published: 10th March 2016
Publisher: Orion
Pages: 400
Available in Hardcover and on Kindle

Lizzie has always had an unfortunate knack of attracting bad luck, but this time she's hit the jackpot. Losing her heart to her boss leads to her losing her job, and with no money in the bank, Lizzie finds herself forced to move back home with her parents. When she reluctantly takes a voluntary job, she meets Mrs Dallimore, a seemingly ordinary elderly woman with an astonishing past . . .

Now in her nineties, Mrs Dallimore is also reluctantly coming to terms with her situation. Old age is finally catching up with her. As she and Lizzie form the bond of unexpected friendship, Mrs Dallimore tells the story of a young girl who left America before the outbreak of World War Two and, in crossing an ocean, found herself embarking on a new life she couldn't have imagined.

As Lizzie listens to Mrs Dallimore, she begins to realise that she's not the only person to attract bad luck, and that sometimes life has a way of surprising you . . .

Can you believe this is Erica's twentieth novel! Although I've only read a few of them I have enjoyed them immensely and got lost in her story telling. This one sounds like another winner and I'm really hoping to read a few more of her books this year.



Trust No One by Claire Donoghue
Published: 10th March 2016
Publisher: Pan
Pages: 368
Available in Paperback and on Kindle

Marriage is complicated. It doesn't always work out. Sometimes there are things you discover about yourself and each other which mean the marriage has to end. Sad, particularly when kids are involved - but all pretty normal.
Normal that is, until there's a murder.
DS Jane Bennett and DI Mike Lockyer are called in to investigate one of South London's most difficult and distressing cases yet - where family and friends come under scrutiny in the hardest of circumstances.

This is the third instalment in the Bennett and Lockyer series and although its not a series I've read yet its one I think looks interesting. I have realised that despite reading almost twenty books this year I've yet to read an actual crime novel.

So that's my top three this week, many more are listed in my releases page above and I have reviews for some more coming up over the next week. Happy reading until next time.



Wednesday, 9 March 2016

The Bucket List to Mend a Broken Heart by Anna Bell

The Bucket List to Mend a Broken Heart

The Bucket List to Mend a Broken Heart by Anna Bell
Published: 10th March 2016
Publisher: Zaffre
Pages: 432
Available in Paperback and on Kindle

Blurb
Abi's barely left her bed since Joseph, the love of her life, dumped her, saying they were incompatible. When Joseph leaves a box of her possessions on her doorstep, she finds a bucket list of ten things she never knew he wanted to do. What better way to win him back than by completing the list, and proving they're a perfect match? But there's just one problem - or rather, ten. Abi's not exactly the outdoorsy type, and she's absolutely terrified of heights - not ideal for a list that includes climbing a mountain, cycling around the Isle of Wight and, last but not least, abseiling down the tallest building in town ...Completing the list is going to need all Abi's courage - and a lot of help from her friends. But as she heals her broken heart one task at a time, the newly confident Abi might just have a surprise in store ...

Review
Anna Bell has been an author on my must try list for a long time so when her publisher contacted me and asked if I would review her new book  The Bucket List to Mend a Broken Heart I jumped at the chance, so thank you Zaffre. The book itself is gorgeous, with metallic pink letters and confetti sprinkled all over the cover what is not to love, it’s definitely one which catches your eye.
Anyway onto the story, Abi’s just been dumped by the love of her life Joseph and is completely heartbroken. She’s hoping he’ll come back realising he’s made a terrible mistake but after two weeks when he conveniently leaves a box of her stuff on the doorstep while she’s out Abi realises she’s going to have to do something drastic to get Joseph back. While looking through the box Abi discovers something which might just help her get her man back….a copy of Joseph’s bucket list. Deciding to prove to Joseph their perfect Abi sets out to complete the list despite there only being a couple of things she might enjoy doing. What follows is three months of Abi attempting the list along with support from friends Sian and Giles and new friend Ben. But dos Abi manage to win back the man she loves?
At first I didn’t warm to Abi as she moped about over Joseph for a long time and I really wanted her to pull herself together and find someone new as Joseph didn’t sound the nicest of people anyway. As she begun the list I began to like her as her determination to succeed comes and out and she doesn’t give in, even if the more adventurous things on the list are a struggle for her. This leads to some quite comical moments which I really enjoyed. I was longing for her to see what was right under her nose and make the right decision.
I found the idea of completing someone else’s bucket list an original and very interesting. My favourite part of this novel was reading about how Abi changed as she went from a virtual couch potatoes to climbing up mountains. As someone who is complete couch potato herself I found Abi’s journey quite inspirational and just wonder if I would have as much courage as she did to complete the list
 Anna’s writing style flows easily and is full of humour making this a lovely read to fully immerse yourself in for an afternoon. I loved how real her characters felt each with their individual personalities shining through. My favourite I think was Giles, I loved how he becomes softer and more loved up whenever he was around wife Laura.
I have really enjoyed my first Anna Bell novel and know it won’t be my last. I’d rate The Bucket List to Mend a Broken Heart 5 out 5 as its chick lit at its best. Thank you to the publishers for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

You Sent Me a Letter by Lucy Dawson

You Sent Me a Letter

You Sent Me a Letter by Lucy Dawson
Published: 3rd March 2016
Publisher: Corvus
Pages: 258
Available in Paperback and on Kindle

Blurb
What if your worst enemy found out your darkest secret?

At 2 a.m. on the morning of her 40th birthday, Sophie wakes to find an intruder in her bedroom. The intruder hands Sophie a letter and issues a threat: open the letter at her party that evening, in front of family and friends, at exactly 8 p.m., or those she loves will be in grave danger.

What can the letter possibly contain?

This will be no ordinary party; Sophie is not the only person keeping a secret about the evening ahead. When the clock strikes eight, the course of several people's lives will be altered forever.

Review
You Sent Me a Letter by Lucy Dawson was one of the most addictive books I’ve read in a long time. From the very first page I was hooked and as the story unfolded I just had to carry on reading. It’s a good thing this book is quite short as nothing was going to get done until I’d finished it.
The book starts with Sophie awakening at 2.00 am on her fortieth birthday to find a man she’s never met sat in her bedroom watching her.  The man hands her a letter and tells her not to open it until 8.00pm that night at her party, in front of all her family and friends and more importantly not to tell anyone about him or the letter.  He tells her he’ll know and that he will harm her family if she does tell and then he leaves taking her mobile phone with him.
If this opening doesn’t convince you to keep reading I’m not sure what will, as I was full of questions, who is this man? How did he get in her house? What is in the letter? Who sent it? I just had to keep reading to get some answers.
The majority of this book is set over the course of Sophie’s birthday, which after the frightening start continues to be full of surprises and not all of them good.  As the day progresses Sophie’s anxiety and panic levels increase as she battles with keeping the letter a secret. This draws out the big question…is Sophie hiding something?
Throughout the day various friends and family fall under scrutiny from Sophie as “the letter sender” and this was very cleverly done as no-one particular stood out as the one, keeping me guessing until the very end of the book.  
I loved read this book, it was addictive, chilling and full of twists which caused Sophie so much anxiety it’s a wonder she didn’t fall apart. I rate this book 5 out 5 and will definitely be reading more books from Lucy Dawson.  I think fans of psychological thrillers will love this as it will leave you thinking wow, just wow!
Thank you so much to the publishers for sending an advanced copy to review and also for their great marketing campaign which made me want to read this book so much more.

Monday, 7 March 2016

Never Marry a Policitian by Sarah Waights

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Never Marry a Politician by Sarah Waights
Published: 7th March 2016 (Paperback Edition)
Publisher: Choc Lit UK
Pages: 226
Available in Paperback and on Kindle

Blurb
‘Never, under any circumstances, marry a politician … ‘
In trying to be the model wife to Ralph, a fiercely ambitious politician, Emily has betrayed her heart and her principles. Once she was a promising journalist, but now reluctant domestic goddess is more her scene.

When unexpected events lead to Ralph becoming a candidate for Prime Minster, Emily finds maintaining the fa├žade of picture-perfect family life an increasing struggle –especially when her romantic past comes back to haunt her in the form of tough-talking journalist, Matt Morley.

Matt is highly skilled at ‘digging the dirt’ and, sure enough, Ralph has a sordid secret that is soon uncovered. In the aftermath of the discovery, will Emily finally find the courage to be true to herself, or is she stuck in the world of PR tactics and photo opportunities for good?

Review
In Never Marry a Politician by Sarah Waights we meet Emily Pemily (yes really) a young woman who was on the verge of a successful career in journalism, until she hastily married ambitious and older man Ralph Pemily. Ten years on and Emily’s lost most of her individuality, given up her career and spends her days supporting her husband. But when her husband suddenly becomes a candidate for the next Prime Minister she begins to question exactly how happy she is with her life. Enter journalist and love of Emily’s life Matt Morley, who’s come to write about Ralph. Matt being the excellent journalist that he is uncovers a few secrets Ralph is hoping to keep out of the public eye. With her marriage not being what it seems and unfinished business with Matt, Emily has to decide to keep quiet for the sake of the country or to follow her heart to what really makes her happy.
I found Emily to be a really interesting character. She seemed to be really struggling with being the ‘perfect’ wife for Ralph as she is beginning to realise she’s just not cut out for a life of Politics. She doesn’t want to leave their idyllic home in Suffolk for a life at Number 10.  When Matt comes back into her life she really struggles as he’s the one she’s always loved and the one she should have married. Reading how Emily begins to work out what she wants and how to get it without causing too much of an uproar was fascinating. I loved how she experienced such a wide range of emotions internally but on the outside remained the perfect docile wife.
I even liked Ralph to an extent. Yes he’s arrogant, power hungry and doesn’t seem to take any interest in his family’s well-being but he seems genuinely oblivious to everything but the power he craves and I don’t really think that makes him that bad.  All the other characters added to the very realistic portrayal of political life. All doing what they could to represent a stable united party to the media.
This is a novel which gives us a glimpse into everyday political life and how it effects people on a more personal level, it’s a novel which I found to be full of varying emotions guilt, anger, remorse, embarrassment, sadness and even a little humour. I think Sarah Waights has done a brilliant job with the book as I couldn’t put it down as I was so engrossed in what Emily was going to do next. I am looking forward to see what she writes next as I’m sure it will be as equally compelling.
Thank you to the publishers Choc Lit UK and Netgalley for this review copy. I would like to rate Never Marry a Politician by Sarah Waights 5 out of 5.


Friday, 4 March 2016

Bone by Bone by Sanjida Kay

Bone by Bone

Bone by Bone by Sanjida Kay
Published: 3rd March 2016
Publisher: Corvus
Pages: 328
Available in Paperback and on Kindle

Blurb

How far would you go to protect your child? When her daughter is bullied, Laura makes a terrible mistake...
Laura loves her daughter more than anything in the world.
But nine-year-old daughter Autumn is being bullied. Laura feels helpless.
When Autumn fails to return home from school one day, Laura goes looking for her. She finds a crowd of older children taunting her little girl.
In the heat of the moment, Laura makes a terrible choice. A choice that will have devastating consequences for her and her daughter...


Review
Bone by Bone by Sanjida Kay is a very intense and gripping read looks at the effects of bullying which will leave you questioning your every action and just how far you will go to protect your children.
Laura and her daughter Autumn have recently moved to Bristol after Laura’s divorce. Laura is getting on with trying to build a new life for herself and her daughter. Autumn however is struggling with her new school and has become the target of bullying from an older boy. When Laura finds herself face to face with her daughter’s bully she tries to help but in that split second decision something goes very wrong, something which Laura knows is wrong and something which will come back to haunt her and her daughter.

This book is written from both Laura and Autumn’s perspectives and what really struck was how different actions were perceived between mother and daughter. I was struck by how much Laura loves Autumn and how far she will go to make her happy. However, Laura’s somewhat irrational decisions don’t always work out in Autumn’s best interest as we can see from Autumn’s narrative.  I found this dual narrative added to the intensity of the book as you can see Laura becomes lost with how to help her daughter and poor little Autumn begins to dread life outside the family home.

One thing this book highlights is just how disturbing and intrusive cyber bullying can be and how defenceless it can make us feel. I really felt for Laura as the bullying every aspect of her life and how helpless she is left, as she has no clue how to regain control, it really was quite scary to read.

I found Bone to Bone to be a disturbing but addictive read and perhaps one I wouldn’t read if I knew I was alone in the house. All the way through I found the intensity deepened and I couldn’t see how it was going to end and when I did I was shocked. I didn’t expect it to end how it did and am a little disappointed that everything was explained so simply.  This doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy the book, I did very much, it’s probably one of the most intense books I’ve read and scary because it could all so easily happen to anyone.

For a debut novel I think Sanjida Kay has written a novel which explores the effects of bullying in an intense and disturbing way. It’s a novel which will make you question just how much you can trust someone and just far you’ll go to protect those you love.

Thank you so much to the publishers Corvus for the review copy in exchange for my honest opinions. I’d like to rate Bone by Bone by Sanjida Kay 4 out 5.

Thursday, 3 March 2016

Release Day Round Up #21

So its March and what do we get? Snow!! I'm  not a fan of snow as I'm just longing for some sunshine and more spring flowers in my garden. So anyway here are my top three picks for this week:

Bone by Bone

Bone by Bone by Sanjida Kay
Published: 3rd March 2016
Publisher: Corvus
Pages: 328
Available in Paperback and on Kindle

How far would you go to protect your child? When her daughter is bullied, Laura makes a terrible mistake...

Laura loves her daughter more than anything in the world.

But nine-year-old daughter Autumn is being bullied. Laura feels helpless.

When Autumn fails to return home from school one day, Laura goes looking for her. She finds a crowd of older children taunting her little girl.

In the heat of the moment, Laura makes a terrible choice. A choice that will have devastating consequences for her and her daughter...

I found this such a compelling read and one which had me thinking all the way through what exactly is going to happen next and then gasping at what actually does happen. It's a book you wont be able to put down and one where you will definitely question some of your actions. My review is coming tomorrow.

What She Never Told Me

What She Never Told Me by Kate McQuaile
Published: 3rd March 2016
Publisher: Quercus
Pages: 336
Available in paperback and on Kindle

'I talked to my mother the night she died, losing myself in memories of when we were happiest together. But I held one memory back, and it surfaces now, unbidden. I see a green postbox and a small hand stretching up to its oblong mouth. I am never sure whether that small hand is mine. But if not mine, whose?'

Louise Redmond left Ireland for London before she was twenty. Now, more than two decades later, her heart already breaking from a failing marriage, she is summoned home. Her mother is on her deathbed, and it is Louise's last chance to learn the whereabouts of a father she never knew.

Stubborn to the end, Marjorie refuses to fill in the pieces of her daughter's fragmented past. Then Louise unexpectedly finds a lead. A man called David Prescott . . . but is he really the father she's been trying to find? And who is the mysterious little girl who appears so often in her dreams? As each new piece of the puzzle leads to another question, Louise begins to suspect that the memories she most treasures could be a delicate web of lies.

This sounds really intriguing and as its written in the first person I think it will be very gripping and intense. One I'm definitely looking forward to reading.

The Plumberry School of Comfort Food - Part One: Food, Glorious Food

The Plumberry School of Comfort Food: Food, Glorious Food
by Cathy Bramley
Published: 3rd March 2016
Publisher: Transworld Digital
Available on Kindle

Verity Bloom hasn't been interested in cooking anything more complicated than the perfect fish finger sandwich, ever since she lost her best friend and baking companion two years ago.

But an opportunity to help a friend is about to land her right back in the heart of the kitchen! The Plumberry School of Comfort Food is due to open in a few weeks’ time and has rather gone off the boil. It needs the kind of great ideas that only Verity could cook up . . .

But as Verity tries to balance stirring up publicity, keeping their top chef sweet and soothing her aching heart, will her move to Plumberry prove to be a sheer delight . . . or a recipe for disaster?

Cathy Bramley fans will be pleased to know that today the first part of her new series The Plumberry School of Comfort Food is launched. It sounds just as yummy as her previous books. I'm longing to read a book by Cathy Bramley but I'll probably wait until the full book of this is released later in the year as I'm not a huge fan of  serial novels.

So that's my top three this week, which one is your favourite? Are there any other books you've got your eye on this week? I'd love for you to share your thoughts.

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Monthly Wrap-Up February 2016

Well its wrap-up time again, so here's my February in books. I felt didn't feel I'd read many books this month as I have quite few on the go at one time ( four at the moment, oops!). So here's what I've read:

Bone by Bone The Birthday That Changed Everything  25424912 One Summer Night: A Love Letter to Life 28149229 28119698 28191417

This month I have being extremely lucky to receive so many books from publishers, I really need to work on reading more I think or I will never catch up!

The Bucket List to Mend a Broken Heart 25337062 You Sent Me a Letter Never Tear Us Apart: Never Series 1
25862997 Find Her 27967176 My Mother's Secret The Vatican Princess: A Novel of Lucrezia Borgia The Song CollectorBeneath The Surface The Butterfly Summer This Must Be the Place Six Tudor Queens: Katherine of Aragon, The True Queen

I've also been a bit naughty on Netgalley too (surprise, surprise!):

Keep You Close Reader, I Dumped Him... My Map Of YouThe Rest of My Life Never Marry a Politician Life SwapA Summer at Sea The Silent Girls Between You and Me
After the Lie The Girl in the Painting Last Kiss Goodnight: A heart-breaking story of lost children and the power of a mother's love The Little French Guesthouse: The perfect feel good summer read (La Cour des Roses Book 1) The Silent Twin 

So what am I currently reading, well quite a mixed bag:
Song of the Sea Maid My Kind of Wonderful (Cedar Ridge, #2) The Bucket List to Mend a Broken Heart Never Marry a Politician

I've realised over the past couple of weeks that I really don't enjoy starting of finishing a book when I read at night. I think this is because I like to read until I fall asleep and if I've finished the book and don't want to sleep I lie there for ages. I also like to be fully awake when I start a book so I can fully immerse myself in its new characters and surroundings. So I have had a few books on the go at once and I'm happier, I also seem to be reading more.

So my favourite book this month was:

Kitty's Countryside Dream


I loved Christie's previous two books and I feel this one is even better. I loved the characters, the setting and the plot with its mystery. Check out my full review here. So that's my February wrap-up, I think I really need to stay away from Netgalley this month as the review pile is starting to topple over!