January 2023 Books #AmReading

The first month of the new year – done!

I started with one ARC left from last year… heaven knows how many others will follow… but, that TBR… it’s still waiting!

Okay, so I read a few more ARCS, but I did read some current books, too! And I brought myself to a grand total of 12 books for the first month. Not bad!


The Situationship by Taylor-Dior Rumble
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Okay, so this is my first read of 2023, and I finished it in a day.
Tia is a young woman in her twenties in London, going through all sorts of angst about relationships, one specific one, and her place in a workspace that doesn’t seem to respect her ethnicity or many of those from minority backgrounds.
I have to say I am glad that, as a reader in my late forties, I have a teenage daughter, so some of the language and slang used were more familiar to me, and even some of the pop culture references didn’t fall on deaf ears…
Definitely, a book that Gen Z women would enjoy and appreciate, and if you are a little older, maybe a good one to read to understand a bit more about those younger than us since, even though we have been that age, life ‘then’ and life ‘now’ is very different.
Many thanks to NetGalley and Random House UK, Cornerstone, Merky Books for an ARC.

Releasing 17th August, 2023

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/5211858172

Scent of a Garden by Namrata Patel
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Asha Patel is a young Indian American woman living in Paris, making her name as one of a handful of perfumiers. She’s on her way to the top, but Covid did on one her and robbed her of one of the most important senses in the world to her.
After a slight crash and burn, she is sent off for a break and returns home with her parents in Napa.
This story has many facets, including the strength of expectations on many children of Indian families. Asha and one of her childhood friends, Neel, are children of hotelier families. Businesses that have been built by grandfathers and passed down. The thing is, neither is interested in the hotel business.
Sometimes it does take a person a while to pinpoint their true passion, and this is what happens for both characters. They have to swim against the tide of disappointment as they attempt to venture out into the world for themselves instead of following a much easier, well-trodden path with more of a guarantee of financial success and stability. Which is what their forefathers always wanted to leave as a legacy,
Asha and Neel’s grandmothers live together after being widowed, and I loved their characters. a mix of pushy and supportive, they gave a much-needed sense of fun to the story.
I enjoyed it.
Many thanks to NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing for an ARC.

Releasing 27th June, 2023

Best Men by Sidney Karger
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I wanted to read more broadly, and MM romances ranked on the list of genres I wanted to delve into a bit further, so this coming up as a suggestion for me to read was a no-brainer.
It starts with Max the ‘gay’ best friend of Paige. They’ve been GBBFs forever, literally. Since they were around six-year-olds. Okay, so the G may not have been in the acronym at that age, but you know what I mean.
Paige is getting married and wants Max to help with all sorts of arrangements and to be her best man/man of honour, as you will.
She also wants to involve the best man from the other side, Chasten, who is her fiance, Austin’s brother, and who also happens to be gay… hmmm, possible attempts at matchmaking??
The story pootles along, with a will they-won’t they angle to the romance, as well as Max’s angst at not really doing anything of substance with his life, and not being the stereotypical gay man, so he feels his input into Paige’s wedding is minimal, because he’s not into fashion/going out/the usual gay musical tastes/all the on-trend things that are happening out there. He’s stuck in a job in HR where all he appears to be doing is being the messenger and letting people go as his company cuts jobs.
It’s a quick read, a little slow-moving at times, but easy.
Many thanks to NetGalley and Harper Collins UK for an ARC.

Releasing 25th May, 2023

The Bennet Women by Eden Appiah-Kubi
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Bennet Women is an easy-to-read, interesting take on Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, brought into the modern age, complete with true diversity.
We have a Black female MC, a transgender character, and all manner of other folks, all battling through life in their own way.
EJ, our MC, is pulled in two directions, with her goal-driven academic dreams vs A relationship that could lead to l.o.v.e…

Menopausing: The Positive Roadmap to Your Second Spring by Davina McCall
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oh my goodness! Not quite sure what more to say than absolutely brilliant!
So many parts that I could relate to, and plenty more I now know I have to refer to in future moments of perimenopausal hell!
I have already said I would get this for another of my family members, and I would urge others who are nearing this time to find a copy to read. It is enlightening!


Love on the Menu by Mimi Deb
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Not strictly a Rom-com, Mimi Deb’s book is more contemporary fiction, looking at relationships between family, friends, and romantically.
Gia, the female MC, is on a work visa from India and is perilously close to losing the one job she has, which would keep her in the country due to some mishaps. One at the work Christmas party that she is convinced will be the final nail in her coffin. She has a close relationship with Ma, her mother, or MiMasa as she is entered in her phone, Probably more open than the average relationship between an Indian mother and daughter, but then, Ma isn’t your average mother figure, either.
Gia writes a list of things she needs to do in the new year to make things better.
Somehow the list ends up travelling to her local Indian takeaway, of which she is a regular customer, and the list sparks the start of a note correspondence with someone who works at Namaste London – Ben.
Ben is the male MC, and he is struggling to find a place in the world that will fulfil his family’s hopes, as well as his own.
They disapprove of his job at the takeaway, but given the struggles he has already faced in life, they don’t say too much…
I enjoyed how the book was written, with the correspondences between the characters, as an end note to a chapter, or the beginning and the details of their lives, how they meet, and their lives intertwine as time progresses.
It is good to read of a heroine not cut from the same stereotypical cloth as many, with Gia being a woman of colour and not a lythe, tall, ‘dusky’ beauty, but someone with the beauty that shines from within.
Many thanks to NetGalley and Avon Books for an ARC

Releasing 13th April, 2023

Spare by Prince Harry
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

How do you rate someone’s memories?
Spare isn’t a biography written by someone else, insinuating their own opinion upon the reader. It’s a memoir. Harry’s recollections (yes, written by a ghostwriter, but still, his own) of many critical moments in his life, from when he learned of his mother’s death to the present day when his Granny passed away.
Yes, we all think we know what has been happening in the Royal family. After all, anything they do is all over the news, and social media, before a second has passed.
But this candid book details Harry’s thoughts and the memories of his life.
So many out there have already slated the book as a load of untruths.
But it is stated several times in the book that he doesn’t have the best memory to remember conversations verbatim, and sometimes his recollections will be hazy.
Still, the most crucial part of these memories, I felt, was that we could read his emotions. No one else but him can ever convey those. (Not even the ridiculous personnel who write and release everything to the press!)
I read with a lot of emotion as he detailed his mental health. And this only highlights that mental health has no issue with who you are. If it wants to affect you, it will.
The first section and the last were the ones I felt most engaged with. The army part? Not so much, but it was by no means less necessary. There were light moments and several mentions of situations involving his private parts and various injuries, which made me giggle a little.
Who thought a Prince would write about his willy? And I don’t mean his brother, Willy!
His younger years, when he was innocent and vulnerable, just made me want to cry for that little boy who could barely hug his family. His romance and relationship with Meg was another section that made me feel deep sadness for them.
I felt for him throughout.
But can I say that just because I have read it, I can’t make judgements on others featured in the book.
I know these opinions are of one person, and as we all know, there are more than two sides to any story.
Person 1, Person 2, the media and the truth!
I have watched Prince Harry grow up. I watched his parents get married on TV. I stood with a line of schoolmates at the age of around 6, so we could wave to the newlywed couple as they did a drive-by through Solihull, where my school was. And the subsequent births of the princes, as well as the ups and downs of the relationship between Charles and Di. If I were to form an opinion, it would have been formed many moons ago.
What was also highlighted was the fact that the press is ruthless.
I am glad I read this. It is highly unlikely that we will ever read something so candid or intimate from any other Royals, but still… this opened our eyes to many facets of Royal life that none of us is aware of.

Lucy In the Sky by Kay Bratt
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I loved Hart’s Ridge, Kay Bratt’s first book in her new series. Quite a departure from her usual genre of writing.
Lucy in the Sky is the second instalment of the series, and, as the title suggests, the story focuses more on Lucy, the youngest of the sisters.
Taylor is still the second POV throughout the book, and a common thread to hold onto from book one, as the oldest sister in the family.
Lucy’s selfish character left a bitter taste in my mouth at the end of the first book, so it was good to read more about her and discover that she wasn’t as awful as I first thought.
All she wants, in the beginning, is to get to New York and see the Dakota building where John Lennon used to live. She gets that and a heap more, as she is initially mistaken as a new dog walker for one of the wealthy residents.
Suddenly she has a job, a roof over her head, and everything seems peachy… even the chance of a bit of romance, even though there is a ‘bump’ or two in the road where that is all concerned.
As for Taylor, she is getting back into her work as a Deputy in the Hart’s Ridge police force after an enforced period of absence, but something she finds out from her father’s post sends her on a journey of discovery that will change her life and that of her sisters.
Oh, and we can’t forget the dogs. First, we meet the two cute pups who Lucy starts walking, then there is Taylor’s dog, Diesel from the adoption centre, whom we met in book one, and he might be why she is on the road to romance herself…
I love that each story has an element that is based on a real-life crime or situation that has happened. It makes each story a whole lot more interesting!
I can’t wait for the third book to come out now!

Releasing February 13th 2023

Oh, Sister by Jodie Chapman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Goodness me! I know organised religion is a thing, but this was something else.
Chapman depicts a fictional cult where Christianity is at the root of the beliefs, but the followers/disciples are brainwashed into thinking that all that is preached by their ministers is the gospel truth.
Oh, Sister follows the story of three women. All three have been disfellowed from the cult because they are judged as having gone against the religion’s beliefs.
All it did was highlight the inequality between men and women in this particular one.
One woman is punished for being the one who suffers SA, yet, because she cannot provide two witnesses to the accusation, she is the one not believed.
One grieving a deep loss is punished for choosing to have a blood transfusion.
One is cast aside because her husband left her for a younger model, and she realises her life does not have to revolve around that man.
Not one of these women deserved to be treated the way they were. And yet, where is the sisterhood when the rest of the women in the cult sneer and ignore them?
It hit a nerve.
Many thanks to NetGalley, Penguin Random House and Michael Joseph for an ARC.

Releasing 13th April, 2023

Caroline, Adrift: by Kay Bratt
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Caroline is dreading the impending cruise. It was booked by her late husband, who fully expected to still be with her.
Instead, her daughters convince her to go, with them accompanying her. They have their reasons, which Caroline has some idea about, but despite not wanting to, she goes.
A beautiful story about a woman in her twilight years, navigating a road she always envisaged travelling with her partner by her side.
The cruise (I want to go on a cat cruise!) highlights many things to her, but the biggest one is that life does have to go on, and she realises this after meeting a new friend, Betty, who has been through the same situation herself.
I loved Caroline, and am so glad she was able to draw strength from an extremely tough time in her life, and that she was able to bond with her daughters in a way that would be more productive in the future.
And I think everyone needs a Betty in times of stress!

Releasing 22nd February, 2023

Releasing 10th February, 2023

So, tell me what you have been reading, and what caught your eye from the above!

Word Of The Year – 2023 edition! #WOTY Strength #JusJoJan

Another new year has arrived.

Hello, 2023. And wishing you all a Happy New Year, too!

I keep it a teeny bit subdued, as everything I get excited about something at the start, things have a tendency to nosedive…

There have been tremendous highs, like my publishing contract and the rerelease of Marriage Unarranged, and the positive outcome of the OFSTED inspection at school, but there have been horrendous lows, too. We’ve lost loved ones, and handled some more personal issues that I pray no one else ever has to handle, themselves…

And, as you are aware, I have chosen a word to accompany that year over the last few years, as I haven’t set resolutions..

  • 2019 – it was SELF. And I am happy to say I have been pretty good at keeping that self-care up since then, too!
  • 2020 – BELIEVE. Well, let’s all agree that 2020 was a kinda unbelievable year, all in all, with the pandemic and BLM… However, I did believe. And my beliefs meant that 2020 was the year I finally became a published author!
  • 2021 – I chose the word HOPE. I think we all needed hope to pull us through what I found to be a tougher year than 2020 in many ways. I travelled through it, exhausted and worried about everyone and everything around me. But I did keep that hope alive, within.
  • 2022 – my choice was CREATE. I’d like to think that I managed a bit of all that I had hoped to achieve!

So, last year I centred my Word Of The Year aspirations on these four things.

  • Create harmony in my household (with two teens, that will be a challenge!)

Now, that has been quite a biggie. I’ll be the first to admit that this hasn’t been easy, but it has taken a whole load of communication and understanding, education and listening, I think we have got there, just about. I can’t be specific here, but we have had a HELL of a year in some respects, and it has been tough trying to stay upbeat, all the time, but I feel like we are leaving 2022 with a fresh, better understanding of how to handle certain situations, and I’d like to think 2023 will echo that and continue on an upwards trajectory.

  • Create new dishes in my kitchen ( I just want to get cooking again!)

I may have started this one a little later in the year, but I am happy to say that I have got my cooking mojo back over the last couple of months. I have perfected old recipes and am trying out new ones, learning how to adapt recipes to suit the palates in this household, because goodness knows, there are a whole load of different preferences and tastes floating a

  • Create new traditions in our new house (New house, new traditions!)

We now have our own ways to celebrate special days that involve us and our household, i instead of always rushing off to the rest of the family. That is not to say that we don’t do that. It is as much of an important part of our special times as before, but we now make sure we do things in our own home, too.

  • Create new adventures for others to read (That’s the biggie!)

Well, I definitely achieved that one! Book two Straight As A Jalebi is with the publisher, already, and is due for a release in 2023!

So, which word do I add to my list for 2023?

I thought long and hard and came up with this:

Strength

  • Build my strength up physically, as I know that will help me as I enter that middle-aged time of life.
  • Have the strength to face all the ups and downs that will come because that is life.
  • Be strong for my family and have the strength to fight for what is right for them, not the rest of the world.
  • Build my community around me, be it my physical friends and family or my online ones, as there is strength in numbers.
  • Ensure I keep the strength in myself so that I never lose myself under the demands of my life.

And with this post, off I go to start that new year, filled with Self, Belief, Hope, creation and STRENGTH!

This post is also part of #JusJoJan

December 2022 Books #AmReading

A December post means the end of the year! How did that happen? 😱

It’s a month filled with excitement and all things festive, as well as lots of chances to be gifted new books… and the holidays give a chance to read. How will I do this month??

Well, for a start, the plan to read my TBR went to pot, as I was inundated with amazing ARCS that I just had to read first!

So that makes 14 books read this month and just one ARC left on my NetGalley pile. Will 2023 be the year I crack that TBR Pile in half??

You’ll have to scroll to the end to see my Goodreads Book Challenge result for this year!


Big Chicas Don’t Cry by Annette Chavez Macias
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I love a story revolving around family, and it was great to read about this Latino American group of cousins, their life and relationship with each other, as well as what is going on in their own lives.
I thought it would get a little confusing with the different POVs, but it was easy to keep a track of what was happening, and generally an enjoyable read.

Fairies, Myths, & Magic II: Book 2: A Winter Celebration by Colleen M. Chesebro
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Fairies, Myths & Magic book 2, as it brought a sprinkling of mysticism to the darkening nights.
Colleen Chesebro has woven her poetic verse and stories within recounts of various myths and legends, all things fae, and it won my heart!
The first story, about the changeling, was my favourite read. These things fascinate me, and if you are looking for something to add a little magic to your life, then you should really pick up a copy of this!

The Secret Keeper by Amanda James
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I enjoyed Amanda James’ book the Forgotten Beach, and The Secret Keeper is written in the same beautiful way.
Rosa heads off to Tintagel to fulfil the last wish of her Grandmother as she lies waiting to take her last breaths. She arrives, emotional and sceptical,
But, something in the air gets to her, as she begins to sense and see things she wouldn’t usually believe. The addition of the mysterious, but handsome Talen, adds to the mystery.
What a beautiful love story, or rather two; one tragic and one a blossoming one, with plenty of ups and downs.
I really don’t want to give much away, but the story involves some folklore, spirits, and a whole lot of belief.
I loved it.
Many thanks to NetGalley and Harper Collins UK for an ARC

Releasing 13th January, 2023

Hart’s Ridge by Kay Bratt
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I sped through this book, the first in a new series (Yay!) by Kay Bratt.
Kay is such a talented author with fiction that spans different genres, and this one gives a cosy mystery crime thriller kind of vibe.
Taylor is a Deputy in a small town called Hart’s Ridge. Her past weighs heavy on her day-to-day duties as a member of the local police force, especially when small children are involved.
A small girl wandering into a local convenience store, alone, hungry and distressed, brings out the mama bear in Taylor as she tries to find answers as to where this little girl has come from.
Taylor’s innate sense of what appears right or wrong helps her to solve a huge mystery, all while dealing with her own pretty dysfunctional family; her alcoholic father and three younger siblings, one of whom keep going missing.
And her canine companion, Barnard, is an interesting soul with a back story of his own that Taylor fights hard to find out.
I was fully invested in the story and cannot wait to read the next one!

Releasing January 10th, 2023

A Ghost in Shining Armor by Therese Beharrie
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What’s the plan when you find out you can see ghosts, but you don’t realise you might just be falling in love with one?
That’s Gemma’s conundrum. She’s known about her ability for a while and spent a few years helping hapless spirits find their way. Then she meets Levi. Except, things are a bit different with him because he’s been sent to help her, too…
Gemma is a happy soul, with her worries that she carries hidden away. Levi is a grump. He didn’t want to die when he did, and he had a chance to change his fate…
But things happen. You can never anticipate what your feelings will do.
An enjoyable paranormal romance read that is not filled with spooky stuff but rather more about emotions.
Many thanks to Netgalley and Harper Collins UK, One More Chapter for an ARC.

Releasing 27th January, 2023

The Davenports by Krystal Marquis
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Now I love a bit of Bridgerton, and I am all about diversity in all walks of life, so to read this dream of a book set in the early 20th century, based on one of a handful of wealthy Black families in a changing America, was pretty mesmerising!
The Davenports are rich. Richer than many of their White counterparts and certainly the richest Black family in the area. Their three children are of marriageable age, and the story shows that it doesn’t matter the colour of your skin, your children can be just as much of a handful as the next person!
Olivia, the oldest, is ready to conform. She knows her future is finding the right man to take as a husband, and she is well on the way.
John is the sole male heir to the Davenport Carriage Company, a business built up from scratch by his father, a formerly enslaved man, who has worked hard to bring himself and his family to the heights they now rest. But he has dreams too, that go against the grain of his father’s thinking.
Helen is the youngest and the polar opposite of her sister, wanting to push boundaries further by working, helping her brother to set up a new business, and getting her hands dirty, literally, instead of wearing silken gloves, awaiting being presented as ready for marriage.
The problem is, having your future prescribed is often the reason you want something different, which is exactly what these young people face. Forbidden love, unheard-of dreams, and previously unreachable ambitions all pull together to make for an amazing story. I am so glad this is the first of a series because I have definitely been left wanting more!
Many thanks to Netgalley and Penguin Random House for an ARC.

Releasing 2nd February, 2023

A Secret Garden Affair by Erica James
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have read a few of Erica James’ books in the past, and the evocative stories have always enthralled me.
A Secret Garden Affair was no different.
Partially set in the early 1980s and with a timeline starting sixty years previous, the story follows several characters. Libby, a woman whose wedding plans are cancelled when she finds out her fiance is cheating on her, and her great aunt, Bess, who has worked for the third main character, Elfrida, for the best part of her life.
Running to Larkspur House, where Bess works, and a place filled with happy memories for Libby, she tries to make life easier for the two older women who mean so much to her but unearths truths and secrets she had no idea about.
A story of friendship, classism, forbidden love, disappointments and celebrations, losing and finding precious memories and forgiveness.
I really enjoyed it.
Many thanks to NetGalley and HQ for an ARC.

Releasing 30th March, 2023

One Enchanted Evening: From the #1 bestselling author of uplifting feel-good fiction by Katie Fforde
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I think I have read pretty much all of Katie Fforde’s books, and though this wasn’t my favourite, it was still an easy read.
Set in the 60s, Meg is called to her mother’s workplace to help out. It is a quaint hotel that is barely breathing, with the opening of a newer, more modern hotel nearby, complete with ensuite bathrooms and a highly-rated chef as the owner.
Meg hasn’t got much professional training, but what she does have is passion, ideas and empathy, which endear her to the staff and guests alike.
Shame it doesn’t seem to be the case for the owner’s son, who firmly believes that women shouldn’t be in charge of a professional kitchen at all.
Family politics, whimsical stories of the past, and a lot of passion for this project make the tale a lovely read.
Many thanks to NetGalley and Random House UK for an ARC.

Releasing 2nd March 2023

One French Summer by Gillian Harvey
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was my second Gillian Harvey read, and I wasn’t disappointed.
Katy is at that time of her life when her child has flown the nest (rather far, actually, to Australia, and decided to stay there a while longer), and her husband wants a break which appears to be more permanent than she originally thought.
She’s devastated. After trying her hardest to change things up, enrolling in a BootCamp with her friends, and generally making herself more like she thinks her husband wants, her whole future is up in the air.
Then her friends take her away on a trip to France. Katy begins to rediscover herself and finds she rather likes what she remembers.
Could romance be on the cards?
There is something in this story that could speak to every woman of a certain age. We are battling with perimenopause and that feeling of being there for the use of the rest of the family, not ourselves.
I just loved how even though there were down moments, Katy was able to find herself in a way that she could enjoy a future that would embrace her as a person, not just a plus one.
Lovely read!
Many Thanks to NetGalley and Boldwood Books for an ARC.

Releasing 14th February 2023

An Unwanted Inheritance by Imogen Clark
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Three siblings mourning the loss of their much-loved father.
One finds a stash of cash hidden by the man they thought they knew, and it raises all sorts of dilemmas.
Should they be honest and pass it over to the police for investigation? Declare it as part of his estate, risking losing a huge chunk to inheritance tax, or divvy it up between the three?
Each of the three siblings is very different in their thoughts.
Caroline is married to Max, the eldest son. She found the money. Her instincts, and that of her husband, are to keep everything above board.
Ellie, the middle sibling starts off thinking the same, but her husband Jamie discloses information that makes them want the money more.
Nathan, the youngest, wants his share because he needs it, and now.
The story is filled with moral dilemmas and explores relationships between eh siblings, as well as the couples.
I enjoyed this read.
Thank you to Amazon Publishing for sending me a copy of An Unwanted Inheritance to read and review.
All opinions are my own.

You Get That From Me by Charlotte Butterfield
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What a beautiful book.
Stella is the youngest of three women living together. Three women, all from one family, each a generation apart.
Stella’s mother, Bonnie, and her grandmother, Florence, along with Stella, reside in the house that has been their home for decades. It’s the only home Bonnie and Stella have ever really known and the start of a lifetime of secrets that Florence started through no fault of her own.
As Stella reaches a certain age, she chooses to use a sperm donor to give her the child she longs for. A lot of research goes into the final decision of the donor, but as the story unravels, it becomes obvious that what she thought would be the best choice and the reasons for thinking that may not always be the right one.
Nature vs nurture is a strong theme, as well as family relationships.
Florence is extremely strong and resilient, and her concern for the women in her family is palpable. We all need a gran like her! Really enjoyed this.
Many thanks to NetGalley and Hodder & Stoughton for an ARC.

Releasing 9th March 2023

In a Thousand Different Ways by Cecelia Ahern
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Alice has a life-changing moment when she is merely eight years old.
Her world becomes filled with colours that can be pleasant and some that are the exact opposite.
To be more precise, she sees colours associated with all the people, and even plants, around her. Like auras, but that’s not something she knows – yet.
This confusing discovery is a lot for a child to take in, and it impacts her behaviours, as well as her relationships.
She is already living with her two brothers and mother, who is deep in her own mental health issues, and as time goes by, she finds herself caring for her wheelchair-bound mother, living a life she is coping with but suffocating herself as well.
She does manage to live a life of her own, with the urging of her older brother, and moves away from the toxic environment that is her childhood home.
Over the years, and with the help of certain people, she begins to learn how to live with this ‘gift’, as it is described to her, but not without many battles.
An interesting fictional recount of how someone with synesthesia may see life and the world around them.
Many thanks to NetGalley and Harper Collins UK for an ARC.

Releasing 13th April, 2023

Call Time by Stephen Jones
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This debut from Steve Jones was one I felt compelled to read after checking out the blurb.
I’ll be honest, it didn’t grab me from the off.
Not the kind of hook that ‘they’ all say is needed for a brilliant book. In fact, it took me a little while to get into the swing of the story, but when the phone appeared, I became more invested in it all.
Our main character, Bob (Rob/Robert), is an older, driven, successful and somewhat selfish man with a huge block of guilt on his shoulder from a tragedy in his past. It’s driven him to be a person that is not likeable.
When something rather mystical happens, and he is handed a phone that could change the past, he grabs the chance but doesn’t consider the butterfly effects of that one change in the past and what happens, because of it, in the future.
There is a lot to grip you once the story begins to flow. An interesting read.
Many thanks to NetGalley, Penguin Random House and Michael Joseph for an ARC.

Releasing 11th May, 2023

Lovestruck by Laura Jane Williams
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Laura Jane, I do believe you have done it again!
I have enjoyed Williams’ books so far, and this was so good.
Becca is a hairstylist and salon owner in her mid-thirties, worried that her time will pass. A timely event at the salon includes a session with a woman who encourages manifestations.
Becca chooses to manifest the love of her life into her life as soon as possible.
Within hours she gets a text from her ex.
Is it a sign?
The story is told intriguingly, running along parallel timelines in two different scenarios.
One where she doesn’t bother to answer the text and the other where she does…
I can’t write too much about the story, but it is really well done!
I loved Becca’s best friend, Jia Li, and her salon partner, Carlos.
The tension, as it builds in both storylines, is palpable, and oh, I couldn’t wait to see how the end panned out in both versions. Great read!
Many thanks to NetGalley and Random House UK for an ARC.

Releasing 8th June 2023

And, with that last book read until the end of the year, my total of books read stands at 186 this year! That is a total record for me!

So, tell me do you know how many books you read, and was there anything that caught your eye in the ones above?

Spidey’s Serene Sunday – Part 408 – Hppy New Year!

img_00411

“I don’t know where I’m going from here, but I promise it won’t be boring.”

David Bowie

2022 was a bit of a year, wasn’t it, Peeps?

I can, hand on heart, say that I didn’t think things could get harder than 2020 and even 2021, but how wrong was I?

There were good, great times, but equally, I have had to face some of the toughest situations in my life, too.

Still, we got to the end, and, here we are, embarking on another year.

Another year where my son will make me the mother of an adult… gulp! And book baby 2 will be born, too…

I have plenty of hopes, which I will keep alive in my mind. I won’t start a bucket list of things to do this year because I find that never works… but, I’ll be back in a short while with my Word Of The Year, 2023, where I let you know exactly what I want to do next year!

So enjoy your day, Peeps, and may this be a wonderful year for us all!

namaste

Wishing you a wonderfully peaceful Sunday, Peeps!

Spidey’s Serene Sunday – Part 407 – Merry Christmas!

img_00411

“Just remember, the true spirit of Christmas lies in your heart.”

Polar Express

Wishing you all a wonderful Christmas, filled with family, friends, food and festivity!

So enjoy your day, Peeps!

namaste

Wishing you a wonderfully peaceful Sunday, Peeps!

Previous Older Entries

My interactive peeps!

%d bloggers like this: