March 2020 Books #AmReading

March ending means a quarter of 2020 is gone.

I honestly thought I would get about five books read, but what with all that is happening in the world, I have managed to plough through a few more books than that… check out what I have been reading!

Family For Beginners by Sarah Morgan

Family For Beginners by Sarah Morgan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Flora works in a florist. She is there morning, noon, and would happily be there night, too, if the place didn’t close. She filled gaps in her own life, by working nonstop, choosing beautiful blooms at the markets, creating floral masterpieces and generally brightening the days of the customers.
But nothing fills the void she feels upon entering her substandard apartment. No family to call her own. No partner to share a meal with. Just a space filled with damp and discord.
Losing her mother at a young age, and having to live with an aunt who makes it pretty clear she wasn’t wanted, does nothing for her self esteem.
Then she meets Jack.
Or rather Jack enters the florist and her house.
Jack, who has voids of his own.
Despite her best efforts, Flora gets swept up into a romance that she is convinced won’t work. After all, no one else important in her life ever hangs around.
Besides, Jack already has a family. Two motherless girls. How is that going to work?
And then, he wants to take her on a long-standing family holiday to visit the dead wife’s best friend, Claire?
Sarah Morgan, you did it again!
I knew I’d enjoy this book. I’ve liked other Sarah Morgan books, so I was under no doubt of that. But, it wasn’t just good, it was fantastic!
I felt so much emotion, learning about Flora and her background, I rooted for Izzy, Jack’s eldest daughter, who didn’t want anyone taking the place of her mother. I sympathised with Claire, a woman who lost who she thought was her best friend,,,
Told from the point of view of the three women, this story really captured the feelings of different people involved in familial loss.

Many thanks to NetGalley and HQ for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Published 2nd April

The Extraordinary Hope of Dawn Brightside by Jessica Ryn

The Extraordinary Hope of Dawn Brightside by Jessica Ryn
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Okay, so I have to officially say, I am in love with this book.
I was lucky enough to win an advance copy from HQ Stories, and I am so grateful to them for choosing me as a winner because this book was just AMAZING
Through quite a light-hearted way, author Jessica Ryn tackles some pretty HUGE issues, such as mental health, postnatal and homelessness, and more.
It is told from the perspective of two women.
Dawn Brightside, our main character, who is homeless, and running from someone, has been for a long time, yet has the positivity of Little Miss Sunshine. All she wants to do is help others. And find her daughter, Rosie.
Then there is Grace Jennings, manager of St Judes, a hostel for the homeless that is on the brink of having funding pulled.
Both have led hard lives in their own ways.
Both want to help others.
Both would be devastated if St Judes closed.
I don’t quite know how much to say, without giving away spoilers, but I was totally immersed in the story, pretty much immediately.
I giggled at points, and honestly, felt tears pricking at others. Life, love, relationships – all covered.
A simply magnificent debut from this author, who I will definitely want to read more from!

Published in May 2020

The Book of Us by Andrea Michael

The Book of Us by Andrea Michael
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A bittersweet tale about a friendship that soured because of an awful mistake made, and the illness and small child who brought them back together.
Lauren, or Loll, is reeling from the break up of her marriage, then she receives a letter from someone who was more important to her than anyone else, in her life, until that mistake.
Cass has never really forgiven herself for the huge mistake she made, that lost her the best friend a girl could ask for. Would she be able to rekindle that bond now, six years later, knowing she had such little time, and so much to say and explain?
Vee’s life is turning upside down. Her mum is getting sicker and suddenly her new ‘aunty’ shows up.
This book tells of a journey, both physical, and metaphorical, of two women who try to patch up a relationship that tore apart.
Can they repair it?
A sad tale, but beautifully written.
Many thanks to NetGalley and One More Chapter for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

My Sardinian Summer by Michaël Uras
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

The description of this book made me intrigued enough to request it.
Unfortunately, the story failed to capture my attention enough.
A Sardinian translator travels back home to see his grandmother who is on her deathbed while in the middle of translating a version of Moby Dick.
There were no chapters in the book, which I found a bit strange,
I finished, but at a push.
But it did make me intrigued about Sardinia… maybe one day I’ll visit the Domas de Janas…
NetGalley and Hodder and Staughton, for an ARC . in exchange for an honest review.

The New Guy by Kathryn  Freeman

The New Guy by Kathryn Freeman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A classic rom-com, if ever there was one!
Imagine, being in a grief-stricken stupor, adding alcohol to it, and ending up at home with a hot stranger who leaves you wanting more, but disappears the next morning,
Then, finding out the next morning that said hot stranger is actually the new employee at your own company!
That is exactly what happens here and the ups and downs that ensure make for a great, addictive story!
Many thanks to NetGalley and Harper Collins, One More Chapter fort an ARC, in exchange for an honest review.

Summer at the Highland Coral Beach by Kiley Dunbar
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Kiley Dunbar is an author who I have come to love, having read her first two releases swiftly in 2019.
Summer at the Highland Coral Beach most definitely didn’t disappoint my expectations.
A feel-good story, with a touch of sadness, but filled with positivity and hope.
Beatrice finds herself in a rickety old pub hotel in Port Willow, a tiny village in Scotland after the devastation of a miscarriage and separation.
A drunken decision to get away, at first, seems like a great idea, but after arriving, Beatrice has second thoughts.
A place in the back of beyond, with gruff, rude landlords, a tiny room, and to top it, the activity she’d booked, hadn’t been.
The story unfolds as Beatrice begins to get to know characters in the village, despite promising herself to leave and go back t the Midlands, and her woeful life back home.
The landlords, brothers Eugene and Atholl reveal softer sides, and yearnings of their own,
Ever the problem solver, Beatrice gets sucked into their lives, and soon finds herself having feelings for someone she hadn’t been expecting.
There’s matchmaking, romance, a broody Scotsman, laughter, celebration and acceptance.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and look forward to more from this author.
Many thanks to NetGalley and Hera Books for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Rules for Being a Girl by Candace Bushnell

Rules for Being a Girl by Candace Bushnell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is definitely a book I think all young women of a certain age should have access to reading.
It follows the story of Marin, a high school student at her prime, gearing up for college applications. She ends up developing a kind of friendship with an English teacher, Bex, that turns sour soon enough.
He takes advantage of opportunities presented to him, and when Merin finally finds the confidence to tell someone of authority, she is the one blackened, not him.
She loses friends, and more importantly, her best friend, and her self respect, for a while.
But there are people out there for her too…
A tale about trust, mistrust, abuse of power and belief in one’s self.
Many thanks to NetGalley and Pan Macmillan for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Published, 16th April 2020

My Lies, Your Lies by Susan    Lewis

My Lies, Your Lies by Susan Lewis
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have long been a fan of Susan Lewis, and this book was another delve into fantastic storytelling,
Joely is reeling from a marriage that is collapsing, due to her husband embarking upon an affair with her best friend. The betrayal doesn’t end there. He. decides to move out and their daughter decides she wants to leave too.
An opportunity arises for Joely to work away for a while, as a ghostwriter for an established enigma of an author who ends up with much more than just her own story to tell.
Forbidden love, loss, revenge, lies and secrecy: it’s all there and more.
Such a compelling story, I finished it in a day!
Many thanks to NetGalley and Harper Collins for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Published April 30th 2020

The Switch by Beth O'Leary

The Switch by Beth O’Leary
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oh, I really enjoyed this book, soooo much!
Initially, I wondered if it was going to be a fictional version of from 13 to 30, you know, that film where the girl wishes she was older and somehow ends up in her 30th decade.
But now, this was a book with a much more literal switch!.
Leena Cotton is suffering. She might be on the cusp of having a breakdown. In fact, she kinda does in the middle of an extremely important presentation at her high-flying job.
Being forced into a two month paid break by her boss means she decides to go back home. Leave the bustle of London for her family village in the north, to the home of her grandmother, Eileen Cotton.
Eileen has been struggling in her own way. in her golden years, with no husband any more, she wants options, and there are not many local to her.
What ends up happening is the switching of lifestyles of these two women, in a surprisingly entertaining way.
I loved both Leena and Eileen. I want a grandma like her!
There was excitement, love, conflict, and many cups of tea.
a perfect book!
Many thanks to NetGalley and Quercus for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Published April 16th 2020

Some really great reads up there! Which one caught your eye? What have you been reading this month?

19 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Swapnil Pandey
    Apr 02, 2020 @ 14:45:43

    Hi ritu i missed some of your articles.. Plan to read all soon

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  2. John W. Howell
    Apr 01, 2020 @ 21:52:48

    Super reviews, Ritu.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  3. johnrieber
    Apr 01, 2020 @ 21:19:19

    Terrific collection of reviews – with so much time at home, I am making sure to read even more!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  4. H.R.R. Gorman
    Apr 01, 2020 @ 19:51:04

    Great set of reads! Love your honestly, love looking at what’s going on in genres I don’t usually focus on!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  5. charlypriest
    Apr 01, 2020 @ 10:02:49

    Thank you for the book recomendations although your book is bestter.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  6. Midnightlion
    Apr 01, 2020 @ 08:27:48

    Hi Ritu, what a brilliant collection of books you have been reading! Family for beginners and the switch really caught my eye and they sound lovely!
    The books I have been reading this month:
    INFERNO by Dan Brown
    THE HUNGER GAMES by Suzanne Collins
    THE LIE TREE by Frances Hardinge
    GIRL, MISSING by Sophie Mckenzie
    BEYOND THE ROSE by Justina Luther
    THE LORD OF THE RINGS, THE TWO TOWERS by J. R. R Tolkien
    A POCKET FULL OF STARS by Aisha Bushby
    THE FIRE ETERNAL by Chris D’ Lacey

    Thank you Ritu for a fantastic post and I cannot wait to see what you have been reading at the end of April! I have to say, your taste in books is incredible, happy reading and stay safe! ❤️❤️❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  7. potatosandwich
    Apr 01, 2020 @ 07:38:17

    Good reviews Ritu. I read ‘Veronika Decides To Die’ and just started reading ‘The Nickel Boys’ by Colson Whitehead. I will share the review in my April post, so far a good book!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

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