Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Blog Tour: The Dress by Sophie Nicholls Exclusive Content & Review

The Dress by Sophie Nicolls
Published: 28th July 2016 (Paperback)
Publisher: Twenty7
Available in Paperback and on Kindle
Rating 3/5

Today on the blog I'd like to welcome Sophie Nicolls who has written an exclusive piece for the tour detailing her writing rituals, so over to Sophie:

My writing rituals
Do you have a writing ritual, a way of signalling to yourself that it’s time to settle down to write?
It could be as simple as sitting down at your desk with a hot cup of coffee, perhaps in a special mug; or maybe you even have a particular routine, something you have to do to create the necessary head space to begin? 
The choreographer and dancer, Twyla Tharp, talks about the power of ritual in her book, The Creative Habit: Learn it and use it for life. She writes:

‘It’s vital to establish some rituals – automatic but decisive patterns of behaviour – at the beginning of the creative process, when you are most at peril of turning back, chickening out, giving up or going the wrong way.’ Twyla Tharp (2006). The Creative Habit: Learn it and use it for life. New York. Simon & Schuster

In my own life, there are very often at least fifteen thoughts jostling for attention in my brain at any one time. As well as working on my own writing, I teach creative writing full-time at Teesside University and I have a four-year-old daughter.  Thee are always drafts of my students’ work-in-progress waiting to be read, laundry to take out of the washing machine, a lunchbox to pack, a play date to schedule. It can be difficult to make the psychological space to allow the words to flow.
But as Fabia, one of the main characters in my novel, The Dress, knows only too well, ritual is a powerful way to tap into the stillness inside us. It’s a way to tune out all that mental chatter and start to listen - really listen - to what we really want to say.
Fabia uses rituals – simple household ‘spells,’ for want of a better word – to conjure the right atmosphere of warmth and welcome in her vintage dress shop. She washes her floors with lavender-scented water, polishes them with beeswax, sprinkles salt and lights candles. She uses her special brand of ‘everyday magic’ to sew new futures for her customers, hiding secret words in the hem of a skirt or the pocket of a dress, and she keeps the snipped ends of her embroidery threads in a special jar.
Your writing rituals don’t need to be as elaborate as Fabia’s, of course. Mine tend to be very simple. Although I’m rather fond of lighting scented candles and like to do this at the beginning of an evening writing session, sometimes it’s as simple as closing the door to my office, sitting down in my chair, letting my breathing settle, opening my laptop and saying to myself, under my breath, the magic words: ‘Just write.’
I often imagine that I’m stepping into a special writing space inside my mind. I see this space as a circle, traced on the floor. It’s my safe space and, as soon as I step inside it, nothing can interrupt me. This simple visualisation helps me to make the transition instantly from the busy outer world to the stillness of my inner psyche.
I get some of my best ideas in the shower. Just making the decision to stand under the hot water for a few moments can be enough to get the words flowing. It’s also a place where my very talkative four-year-old daughter is unlikely to follow me.

Fabia uses rituals – simple household ‘spells,’ for want of a better word – to conjure the right atmosphere of warmth and welcome in her vintage dress shop. She washes her floors with lavender-scented water, polishes them with beeswax, sprinkles salt and lights candles. She uses her special brand of ‘everyday magic’ to sew new futures for her customers, hiding secret words in the hem of a skirt or the pocket of a dress, and she keeps the snipped ends of her embroidery threads in a special jar.
Your writing rituals don’t need to be as elaborate as Fabia’s, of course. Mine tend to be very simple. Although I’m rather fond of lighting scented candles and like to do this at the beginning of an evening writing session, sometimes it’s as simple as closing the door to my office, sitting down in my chair, letting my breathing settle, opening my laptop and saying to myself, under my breath, the magic words: ‘Just write.’
I often imagine that I’m stepping into a special writing space inside my mind. I see this space as a circle, traced on the floor. It’s my safe space and, as soon as I step inside it, nothing can interrupt me. This simple visualisation helps me to make the transition instantly from the busy outer world to the stillness of my inner psyche.
I get some of my best ideas in the shower. Just making the decision to stand under the hot water for a few moments can be enough to get the words flowing. It’s also a place where my very talkative four-year-old daughter is unlikely to follow me.
Rituals are wonderful ways for writers to slow down, make space and tap into their subconscious, that place from which creativity flows. As Fabia says, ‘magic is everywhere, when you know how to look.’

Meet Ella and her mother Fabia Moreno who arrive in York, one cold January day, to set up their vintage dress shop. The flamboyant Fabia wants to sell beautiful dresses to nice people and move on from her difficult past. Ella just wants to fit in. But not everyone is on their side. Will Fabia overcome the prejudices she encounters? What's the dark secret she's hiding? And do the silk linings and concealed seams of her dresses contain real spells or is this all just 'everyday magic'? Among the leopard-print shoes, tea-gowns and costume jewellery in Fabia's shop are many different stories - and the story of one particular dress.

The Dress by Sophie Nicholls tells the story of Fabia Moreno and her daughter Ella who have just arrived in York and are setting up a vintage dress shop. Fabia is Iranian but is pretending to be Italian in order to blend into the community more as she seems to be on the run from something, she is a fabulous seamstress and begins to sew a little magic into the clothes of the ladies of York, bringing out one or two surprises.  As the months pass both mother and daughter struggle with finding out who they really are and where they belong, especially Ella as the older she gets the more she believes Fabia is hiding something from her.
After seeing such a beautiful cover and the very intriguing blurb I was very excited to read this and sadly I think I’m a little disappointed as this book had a couple of things which bugged me and at the end I was still confused about some things. The first thing that bugged me I think could just be me, for some reason I was convinced this book was set in the 1950/60s and the for the first couple of chapters this could easily be the case, until a man gets a mobile phone out of his pocket, which threw me completely, after that I found it really hard to determine the precise time the book was set and this left me unable to completely place the story.
The second thing that annoyed me was an incident which happens about three quarters of the way through the book, it was completely unexpected and didn’t fit in with the rest of the story and the author’s writing style. Up until then the story had been very gentle and descriptive creating a vivid picture of what was happening and was an enjoyable easy read and this sudden episode didn’t fit with or add anything to the story.
The ending left me confused as not everything about Fabia’s past was explained, unless I missed some vital point. Given that this is the first book in a trilogy I’m hoping more will be explained in the next book.
Despite these reservations I did enjoy some of The Dress, my favourite part was watching how Ella and Fabia changed. Ella’s always being such a good girl doing exactly what her mother says and doing her best and blend in and not be noticed, but as she gets older Ella wants to be noticed, particularly by friend Billy. I loved this change in Ella and was a little sad the epilogue skipped so far ahead in time as its missed part of Ella’s growing up which I would love to have read about. I loved that Fabia despite her reluctance gradually began to let a little romance into her own life.
I also loved all the descriptions of the dresses and would actually love to be able to be able to visit Fabia’s shop as it seemed like an Aladdin’s cave of loveliness. As other reviewers have mentioned The Dress does have similarities to Chocolat by Joanne Harris with Fabia sewing her magic into the clothes, I thought this was such a lovely idea and would love her to make a dress for me.
Overall The Dress was a fairly enjoyable read which had some lovely moments and I’d be interested to see where the author takes the story in the next book.
Thank you to Twenty 7 for sending me a review copy and for inviting me on the blog tour and thank you to Sophie Nicholls for popping in.

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Blog Tour: Blood Symmetry by Kate Rhodes Exclusive Story and Review

Blood Symmetry by Kate Rhodes
Published: 14th July 2016
Publisher: Mulholland Books
Pages: 342
Available in Paperback and on Kindle

Today it's my stop on the Blood Symmetry by Kate Rhodes blog tour, firstly we have an exclusive story from Kate from Mikey's perspective of events and then keep scrolling down for my review of this gripping crime novel.

Blood Symmetry: Mikey’s story
I think in pictures, not words. Mum says I should go to art school one day, but she’s left me behind, just like my dad. Alice looks after me now. She lets me help her to cook our meals, and sometimes she sings to me when I can’t sleep. It’s her voice I love best: gentle and quiet and kind. She keeps asking questions about mum, and I want to explain, but when I open my mouth, no sound comes out. Words sit in my mind like the stones I hide in my pockets, when mum takes me to the beach.

I keep trying to remember what happened. I see mum waiting by the front door that morning, while I lace up my trainers, then I’m chasing her down the path. She looks back over her shoulder, laughing. Circles of light fall to the ground as we sprint through the trees, round as gold coins. Our footsteps drum louder and my heartbeat’s racing to keep up. Then mum screams, and I can’t see anything anymore. Rough fabric covers my face, scratching my skin, filling my lungs with the smell of petrol. That’s when everything stops. The images shudder then fade away, like a DVD breaking down. Each day the pictures get clearer, but forgetting is safer than remembering. I want to keep mum safe in my mind, laughing back at me as we run through the trees.

Sometimes I think it’s my fault. I woke mum up, to come running with me. If I’d let her sleep, we’d still be together, and I could go back to school. I miss the lessons when the teacher lets us paint whatever we like most of all. Alice has given me a pad and pencils, but it’s not the same. I keep drawing the same picture, of the path across the common. I see it even with my eyes closed. But the nightmares are worst of all. The hood over my head is too tight to breathe, and when it comes off, there’s blood on the ground. It’s too dark to tell where it’s come from, or whether it’s mine. I wake up screaming, but Alice is always there. She says the police will find my mum, and soon I can go home, but what if she’s wrong? I want to push words from my lips, so my thoughts run freely again, but they cling to the sides of my mouth. If only making time go backwards was as easy as spinning the hands on a clock. Mum would still be at home, resting in peace. She wouldn’t have to run through the trees and never come out again.

Thank you Kate for that exclusive piece, Blood Symmetry is out now and can be purchased on Amazon here.

Clare Riordan and her son Mikey are abducted from Clapham Common early one morning. Hours later, the boy is found wandering disorientated. Soon after, a pack of Clare's blood is left on a doorstep in the heart of the City of London.
Alice Quentin is brought in to help the traumatised child uncover his memories - which might lead them to his mother's captors. But she swiftly realises Clare is not the first victim... nor will she be the last.
The killers are driven by a desire for revenge... and in the end, it will all come down to blood.

Clare Riordan and her son Mikey have been abducted on Clapham Common while taking a morning run. Hours later eleven year old Mikey is found wandering the streets disorientated and mute. Later that day a pack of Clare’s blood is found left on a doorstep in the heart of London. Alice Quentin is brought in to help Mikey try and uncover his memories and help find his mother. Soon it’s clear to Alice and the police team that Clare is not the first victim and she won’t be the last as these killers have a very distinct desire for revenge.

Alice has soon formed a bond with Mikey and is determined to bring his mother’s abductor to justice. Clare works in the haematology department at the Royal Free Hospital and it soon becomes clear that blood is the key to her disappearance as further victims are uncovered and more blood packs are found.  Alice believes there is a link between Clare and two previous attacks on medical professionals, she’s determined to prove the connection is the Tainted Blood Panel a team of experts brought in by the government to assess the damage of the use of Factor 8 on haemophilia. Can Alice and Burns find the link and the killer before it’s too late?

Blood Symmetry is the fifth Alice Quentin novel by Kate Rhodes but the first that I have read. I believe it can be read as a standalone but like me you will probably become hooked by Alice and by Kate’s brilliant writing. I’m definitely eager to go back to the beginning and find out more about Alice as she’s enthralling. She’s been in a relationship with DCI Don Burns, who she just happens to have to partner with in this book, for four months and she’s unsure whether to fully commit or run for her life as these new feelings make her uneasy. DCI Burns has left his wife but is unwavering in his affection for Alice despite her inability to commit, for me this relationship dynamic was fascinating and I’d love to find how it all began.

There are many suspects in this book including many of Clare’s colleagues, her neighbours, her sister, members of a blood activist group, the list goes on. I loved this because just when I thought I had everything worked out, Kate Rhodes threw another spanner in the works to confuse me even more. This had me gripped to this book as I was determined to work out the killer before they were revealed, sadly I couldn’t!

I also enjoyed the chapters which are written from the killer’s perspective and were like reading their mind, which is a format I feel works very well in crime novels as we get more insight into the “why”. Beware though this book has some gruesome moments which did make my stomach churn a little.

I liked how the motive for these killings had a connection to real events in history and was connected to something which affected many, many lives rather than just being a “I don’t like you, so I’ll kill you” kind of book.  Some of the characters we meet were living with the effects of Factor 8 and it was obvious through the writing that these people and their families were really struggling and for this reason you can emphasize with the killer a little as all they really wanted was recognition and justice for their suffering.

I think this was a brilliant read and had everything I want in a crime novel, a complex plot to work out, interesting killer and suspects and protagonists with more in their lives than work. I’m definitely going to be reading the rest of the Alice Quentin novels, hopefully before the next book is published.

Thank you so much to the publishers for sending me a copy to review and for inviting me to be part of the Blood Symmetry blog tour.

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

If the Dress Fits by Daisy James

If The Dress Fits: A heartwarming romantic comedy guaranteed to sweep you off your feet!

If the Dress Fits by Daisy James
Published: 14th July 2016
Publisher: Carina UK
Pages: 316
Available in Paperback and on Kindle
Rating 5/5

Callie’s exquisite, glittering silk gown has been shortlisted for the celebrity wedding of the year. But just as all her dreams are coming true, disaster strikes!
Leaving behind the bright lights of London, Callie is forced to return home to sleepy Althorpe. And there’s one man she hopes to avoid – the childhood sweetheart who turned her life upside down. But now she’s back, is it finally time to stop running?
Yet, as Callie faces her past, a Cinderella-like hunt begins for that perfect, pearl-embroidered dress, mysteriously submitted without a name…

If the Dress Fits by Daisy James was a book I was eager to read after seeing the lovely cover and reading the blurb, I’m drawn to anything wedding related, especially at this time of year so this was the perfect read for me.

Callie left her hometown village of Althorpe in Yorkshire years ago after catching boyfriend Theo in the arms of another woman. Since then Callie has poured herself into her work and built up a successful wedding dress design boutique and now she’s at the pinnacle of her career as she’s a finalist in a competition to design a dress for famous actress Lilac Verbois. On the day Callie’s entry is due to be sent for judging she gets a phone-call which devastates her. Leaving her assistants in charge of the paperwork for the competition Callie heads back to Yorkshire where her life has been turned upside-down.

On returning to Yorkshire Callie has a few shocks. Firstly she is now the owner of her aunts shop Gingerberry Yarns and secondly her old boyfriend Theo, the famous rock star just keeps popping up where ever she is. She’s also trying to hide her disappointment at not winning the dress competition, but unbeknown to Callie Lilac’s wedding team are desperately trying to find the owner of the winning dress, which was submitted with no name…

Despite longing to get back to her studio and her work Callie remains in Yorkshire and begins to give Gingerberry Yarns a make-over in order to make it more saleable, but slowly happy memories of the place come flooding back and Callie begins to be won over by the shops charm, which is helped along by some lovely and loyal customers.

What will happen to Gingerberry Yarns? Will Callie return to London? Will she give Theo another chance and who won the dress competition? This books is full of drama as Callie works out where her heart lies.

This was a lovely read which I really enjoyed. Daisy James has created such a magical place with Gingerberry Yarns that I couldn’t help wishing I could go there myself and join in the Cupcakes and Couture group, despite the fact I’m useless with needles! It was such a warm and comforting place, made even better by the delicious sounding cakes which baker Tom keeps dropping by.

I also loved all of the characters, both in Yorkshire and back in London. They have each been given there own distinct personalities and dreams. One of my favourite characters was Tish, Lilac’s slightly ditzy wedding planner. She was such a hopeless romantic getting swept away with others peoples big days while she waited for her Prince Charming to come and she her off her feet. I loved how Nikki, Lilac’s PA has to step in more than once to help her organise things she’d completely forgotten.

If the Dress Fits was a really enjoyable read, it’s a light-hearted easy read which is perfect for reading in the sunshine. It left me with a warm glow inside and is sure to be a book I reach for when I need cheering up. I’m so looking forward to Daisy’s next book When Only Cupcakes Will do, as I know Daisy is one of those writers that will deliver something I will enjoy.

Thank you to the publishers for this review copy in exchange for my honest opinions.

Monday, 18 July 2016

Lying In Wait by Liz Nugent

Lying in Wait

Lying In Wait by Liz Nugent
Published: 14th July 2016
Publisher: Penguin Ireland
Pages: 304
Available in Paperback and on Kindle
Rating: 5/5

Andrew and Lydia Fitzsimons , a respectful judge and his reclusive wife, find themselves in a most unfortunate situation - they have had to murder a young woman and bury her in their exquisite garden.

While Lydia does all she can to protect their innocent son Laurence and their social standing, her husband begins to fall apart.

But Laurence is not as naïve as Lydia thinks and his obsession with the dead girls family may be the undoing of his own

With the opening line ‘My husband did not mean to kill Annie Doyle, but the lying tramp deserved it.’ Liz Nugent’s new book was guaranteed to draw the reader in and she did just that with me, I have not been so addicted to a book in such a long time. The fallout from Annie’s murder was an intense read filled with unexpected twists and some of the most devilish characters I’ve ever read about.
The story begins in late 1980 when Annie Doyle has gone missing, her sister Karen is the only person who seems concerned as Annie does not have the most reliable nature. But Karen was close to Annie and knows something is not right and becomes frustrated when the police give up on her sister, vowing to find out the truth about her sisters disappearance.
Told from the perspectives of Lydia, Laurence and Karen we gradually begin to work out Annie’s connection to the Fitzsimons and the lengths that Lydia will go to protect herself and her husband from been convicted of her murder. As Laurence begins to work things out, Lydia feeds him even more lies and he unwittingly becomes an accomplice to murder. Things become even more complex when Laurence and Karen’s lives slowly begin to intertwine. Will Lydia get away with murder? Will Laurence ever tell the truth and will Karen ever find the answers she is looking for?
It’s the characters in this book which make is so completely brilliant, never in all my time reading have I met a character I hated as much as Lydia Fitzsimons, the woman is like the devil, every time I thought she couldn’t get any worse, she did with another fantastic twist in the plot. She has become so immersed in getting what she wants that she seems to have lost all grip on reality and any sense of morality she once had and becomes completely unhinged. She is one of the most manipulative and disturbed characters which I’ve ever come across, but one I enjoyed reading about immensely.
Poor Laurence, I wanted to like him I really did but I just felt he was too much under his mother’s spell to ever really be the man I was longing him to be. He was just too weak for me, he had glimpses of what a happy life could be like but just didn’t grab hold of them enough, preferring to keep pacifying his mother’s outbursts.
Karen was the only character I actually liked, her devotion to Annie and believing the best in her was very endearing. I also loved that she was able to turn her dreams into a reality and grab the career she wanted.
I thought Lying In Wait was a brilliant novel and one which I can’t stop thinking about, it’s a book I’ve recommend to many friends, if only for them to experience Lydia for themselves. It’s full of twists and turns and an ending which actually left me shaking! Utterly brilliant and definitely not to be missed, Lying In Wait is one of the top thrillers of 2016.

Blog Tour Q&A with Liz Nugent

Today its my stop on the Lying In Wait blog tour and I'd like to welcome Liz Nugent to the blog and thank her for kindly answering a few of my questions. Lying In Wait is available now and can be purchased from Amazon here. 

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and what inspired you to become a writer?

I was always a voracious reader from a very early age, and lost myself in different worlds and different personalities. I think I wanted to create my own world and my own characters. Slightly sinister stories appealed to me most and in fairly quick succession, I worked on a stage production of John Banville’s The Book of Evidence (I used to be a stage manager) and read Engleby by Sebastian Faulks. The central characters fascinated me, so I thought I’d write one.

Lying in Wait is your second novel, how does it differ from your first Unravelling Oliver?

Whereas Oliver was a man determined to be childless, in Lying in Wait, the protagonist Lydia is obsessed with being a mother. Unravelling Oliver spanned over fifty years whereas the action in Lying in Wait happens in three parts 1980, 1985 and very briefly, present day.  Oliver kills people indirectly but Lydia is ‘hands-on’!

What was your inspiration for writing Lying in Wait? A man once told me that he strongly suspected his father had murdered a prostitute in the 1960s. He had no evidence or no way of proving it. He never had the courage to challenge his father and went to his grave wondering. He told me this story about 25 years ago and he is long dead now. I always wondered what it would be like to grow up in a house where you suspect your father is a murderer.

Which was your favourite character in the book and why?

Even though Karen is brave, honest and strong, I really loved Laurence. He really tried his best to do the right thing, to make up for the mistakes of his parents. For most of the novel, he is blind to his mother’s manipulations. His struggle with his weight is entirely psychological. In writing his life, I realised I needed to give him at least one amazing day where he could see life’s possibilities, so I sent him to Rome!

Was it difficult to write about such unnerving characters?

It’s quite liberating to write really monstrous characters because they can say outrageous things that wouldn’t cross our minds normally. The plotting of the book is the hard bit. I find characterisation relatively easy.

Describe Lying in Wait in three word?

Mothering is smothering.

How did you want readers to feel after reading Lying in Wait?

I’d like them to be shocked and exhilarated and immediately recommend it to all of their friends. J

What can we expect to see from you next?

A new novel in late 2017, I hope!

Who are some of your favourite authors?

Way too many to mention and I know so many great writers that I’m afraid I’d leave someone out and offend them. I read across all genres. My favourite dead writers would be John Williams, Emily Bronte, John Steinbeck, Thomas Hardy, Daphne du Maurier, Truman Capote etc.

Which three books have you enjoyed most so far this year?

Tastes Like Fear by Sarah Hilary

The Maker of Swans by Paraic O’Donnell

The Diary of Mary Travers by Eibhear Walsh

How do you intend to celebrate publication day?

Penguin Ireland are generously hosting a launch for me on publication day so I expect to see lots of friends and drink some wine.

What advice would you give to anyone wishing to pursue a writing career?

Get off the Internet and read more books. The more you read, the more you learn about the craft of writing.

Quick fire questions:

Do you prefer:

Tea of Coffee? Tea. When I was a baby, my mother used to give me milky coffee in my beaker. When I was about fifteen, I stopped drinking it and now probably have two coffees per year. I don’t think I could write without tea!

Sweet or Savoury? Sweet. I don’t know how many times I have offered to be Cadbury’s brand ambassador. I think they have blocked me on Twitter.

Cosy fires or summer sun? Tough one. Winters are so long here and a cosy fire is so comforting, but our summers are usually miserable too, so I have to go for summer sun, just not Irish summer sun.

High heel or flats? I have a condition called dystonia which makes walking in high heels impossible so I have never worn them in my life. I am permanently jealous of other people’s shoes, but the upside is that I don’t spend ridiculous amounts of money on shoes. I live in Sketchers.

To drive or be driven? Drive. I need to be in charge. My car, my rules. I’m not actually a very good driver and once wrote off three cars inside one year (nobody injured thank God) but it hasn’t cured me. I still want to be the driver and if not, I want to be in the front seat. That will of course change when I get a limo and driver. Ha ha!

Thank you, Joanne, for the excellent questions, and for taking part in this blog tour. Liz x

Monday, 11 July 2016

The Little Antique Shop under the Eiffel Tower by Rebecca Rasin

The Little Antique Shop under the Eiffel Tower

The Little Antique Shop under the Eiffel Tower by Rebecca Raisin
Published: 30th June 2016
Publisher: Carina UK
Pages: 284
Available on Kindle
Rating 5/5

Escape to Paris this summer and prepare to be swept off your feet…
Anouk LaRue used to be a romantic, but since she had her heart well and truly broken her love life has dissolved into nothing more than daydreams of the perfect man. Retreating to her extraordinary Little Antique Shop has always been a way to escape, because who could feel alone in a shop bursting with memories and beautiful objects…

Until Tristan Black bursts into an auction and throws her ordered world into a spin.

Following your heart is a little like getting lost in Paris – sometimes confusing and always exciting! Except learning to trust her instincts is not something Anouk is ready to do when it comes to romance, but the city of love has other ideas…

The Little Antique Shop Under the Eiffel Tower is the second book in Rebecca Raisin’s Little Paris series and has been a book I’ve been looking forward to very much as Rebecca is one of my favourite authors, don’t worry if you haven’t read  the first book, this works perfectly as a standalone. This is the first book which has featured predominantly new characters and not those we know and love from the little town of Ashford. This made me a little apprehensive as I wasn’t sure this book would have the same attraction as her previous novels, but never fear Rebecca has written another fabulous novel which could possibly be my favourite so far.
Anouk La Rue is the main character of this book, those of you who read Rebecca’s previous novel The Little Bookshop by the Seine may remember she has a unique way of running her shop. Anouk is devoted to antiques and their history and won’t let just anyone walk into her shop and buy something, you have to be personally recommended by an existing customer.  She will then only sell antiques if she believes the customer is genuinely interested the antiques heritage, so she’s probably never going to make millions.
The Little Antique shop has become even more important to Anouk after she had her heart broken by ex-boyfriend Joshua. He left her with mountains of debt which she is determined to pay off so she can keep her shop, so she has sworn off men for the foreseeable future. Despite efforts from her sister Lilou and friend Madame Dupont , Anouk’s heart remains closed until she happens to meet the mysterious and extremely handsome Tristan Black at an auction. Try as she might Anouk cannot resist the charms of Tristan and the chemistry between them, but is she right to let him into her heart?
Initially I didn’t warm to Anouk, I think this was more due to the fact I was expecting more of Rebecca’s previous characters to appear, than Anouk herself. I loved that she was so devoted to the stories behind the antiques and finding them happy homes. She also tried to do here best for sister Lilou who was in need of some of Anouk’s drive and determination, but I wished she lighten up a little bit and not be so serious and orderly. By the end Anouk had grown on me and I’m sad her story has finished as I became totally wrapped up in it.
I really loved that Rebecca has introduced more of a mystery into this book along with the bubbling romance between Anouk and Tristan. I felt this gave the book more depth than her previous novels. I did work out some of the mystery before the end, but there are also a couple of twists which I wasn’t expecting which added to my enjoyment.
Overall this is another fabulous read from one of my favourite authors. Again she has captured the romance between Anouk and Tristan perfectly and I loved the addition of the mystery of the missing jewels. She has also captured Paris perfectly as I could really imagine walking along the cobbled alleyways with Anouk and visiting the various auction houses.
Thank you some much to Carina UK and Netgalley for the review copy, I adored this book and can’t recommend it enough. So looking forward to reading Rebecca Raisins next book.