January 2020 Books #AmReading

Well, looky here! It’s the end of January, meaning a whole month has passed by in this new decade. What have you been up to? You’ll know my news, having read my Chai And A Chat updates, won’t you? And on top of madcap life, I have been reading, as alway.

The aim, this year is to read at least 50 books, rather than nearly 150 like last year, because I need to try and put a little more time into writing!

But read, I did; eight books to the eleven I managed in January, last year; and here are the reviews!

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, #1)

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Well, that went down better than expected!
I was given a copy of this book by a friend, and I’ll have to be honest, it wasn’t the sort of read I would usually pick up, but, seeing as I had been lovingly gifted it, I thought ‘why not?’
And I am glad I did.
A book based heavily upon historical fact, peppered, liberally with fictional elements, charting the life of Abraham Lincoln, not only towards the presidency, but of his alternate life as a vampire hunter.
Honestly, it was written brilliantly; even the gore!
And I think that is high praise indeed, from a diehard RomCom fan!
Really want to watch the film now!

Dear Edward

Dear Edward by Ann Napolitano
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Dear Edward is an intriguing read, focussing on Edward Adler, a 12-year-old boy who is the sole survivor of a plane crash.
We move between a dual timeline throughout the book; that of the day of the crash, where we view the day from the viewpoint of several of the passengers and crew on the flight, and the life of Edward, as he comes to terms with being the only one alive, losing his family, and trying to make sense of his survival.
It’s not a situation that would be familiar to many people, but I was eager to keep on reading, to find out what actually happened on that crash day, and whether Edward came out of his PTSD feeling whole, or still as empty as the shell who ended up living with his aunt and uncle after the crash, not sure whether he should even have been alive.
A thought-provoking read.
Many thanks to Netgalley and Penguin Books for an ARC, in exchange for an honest review.

Traded: Brody and Kara (Cliffside Bay, #1)

Traded: Brody and Kara by Tess Thompson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Why do I do this to myself?
Why, when I already love an author, do I go and start the first book in a series that will make me want to just forget life when I am back to work after a break?
I’ve read some of Tess Thompson’s other series and found myself drawn to the characters and story, eager to read on, and Traded, the first in the Cliffside Bay series, was no different.
Whipped from the life she knows and loves, Kara is sent to a sleepy town no one has heard of, for her safety, and there, she meets Brody, a famous footballer, and his family and friends.
The twists and turns the story takes, not only hooking you to the developing love between Kara and Brody, but sucking you into the lives of the other characters, makes this an addictive read, especially knowing there are plenty more stories to come!

Deleted: Jackson and Maggie (Cliffside Bay, #2)

Deleted: Jackson and Maggie by Tess Thompson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Okay, now I need to go and get book three ready!
I love series where you become totally engrossed with all the characters, and each story leads to another, exploring other characters, and this set of books is exactly that!
This time, we learn more about Jackson and Maggie, who comes back from the dead. (I can’t go into, it, but what a twisted tale!)
Awful history uncovered, mysteries solved, and even more connections are planted like seeds, leaving the reader guessing as to who will get the Cliffside Bay treatment in the next book!
Love it Love it Love it!

Jaded by Tess Thompson

Jaded: Zane and Honor by Tess Thompson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I am really enjoying getting myself totally immersed in Tess Thompson’s Cliffside Bay series.
The story of Zane and Honor is another touching one, where we learn more about the tragedies of Honor’s life in care, and how she becomes the way she is.
Zane’s background is no walk in the park either, with a mother who walked out on him as a baby, and as he settles into adulthood, a father who needs to go into care, and a family business to run.
Stubbornness keeps them apart, though a magnetic attraction keeps pulling them together.
Coupled with new additions to the family, Honor and Zane’s story is another page-turner!

The Two Lives of Lydia Bird by Josie Silver

The Two Lives of Lydia Bird by Josie Silver
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A book I really enjoyed reading.
Lydia Bird has it all. A job she loves, a family she adores and a fiance she can’t wait to get married to.
Everything is going to plan when a tragic accident claims his life on her birthday.
Life doesn’t seem worth living. Everywhere she turns, reminders of Freddie greet her. Including Jonah. Jonah, who was her best friend, as a child, then became Freddie’s.
But what happens when the magic of a little pink pill offers a chance to live the life she had expected?
Fantastically written, and, well, I knew what the end would be, but I was willing it to happen!

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

The Cockatoo from Timbuktu by William A.E. Ford

The Cockatoo from Timbuktu by William A.E. Ford
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A Beautiful Book!

What a beautifully illustrated story of going home!
I was captivated by the tale of Kian the Cockatoo who escaped from the zoo to find his way home to Timbucktoo.
He visits many lands on his quest, then finally remembers the advice his mother gave him about finding the way home.
Will it help him?
Well, you’ll have to read on to find out, and I can guarantee a colourful, fact filled journey along the way!

One Year of Ugly by Caroline Mackenzie

One Year of Ugly by Caroline Mackenzie
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It took me a little while to get into this book, but once I was in, I WAS IN!
We are swept into a year in the life of the extended Palacious family in Trinidad. Venezuelan by birth, but living in Trini as illegal immigrants. The story is told from the view of Yola, one of the daughters of the family.
They all get caught up in a drama caused by illegal undertakings organised by Celia, Yola’s deceased aunt, and are introduced to Ugly, a not very nice character, with his fingers in all the wrong pies.
He expects the family to all club together by working for him, to run illegal safe houses for immigrants trying to start a new life in Trinidad.
Yola is already missing her aunt more than she could imagine, then has to deal with finding out about infidelities, untruths, and she meets Roman, one of Ugly’s henchmen, for whom she develops a real soft spot.
What helps her through a year of struggle, is a manuscript that was penned by her aunt, Yola’s only supporter of her writing.
It was funny, dramatic, and I found it addictive by the end!

Many thanks to NetGalley, Harper Collins UK and The Borough Press for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Published 5th March 2020


So, what have you been reading, so far this year?

December Books #AmReading

Oh wow, it is the last month of this year, and the last month of this decade! Where did the time go, seriously? Well, I know, that alongside the fun of end of term school activities, and getting my own book out there, I have been enjoying another bumper crop of reads!

Time Management for Writers

Time Management for Writers by Katie Forrest
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Sprinkled with personal anecdotes, Forrest has really broken down the whys and wherefores of how we spend our time each day, and some extremely easy ways to identify our goals, our ‘Whys’, (as she calls them), and then implement strategies to maximise our efficiency.
I, for one, am definitely excited to start a routine where I am more conscious of when I am productive, and how I can create a world that works for me, in my personal life, professional life and with my passion for writing.
Part of my new routine, to be established, will be a set amount of time, 3-4 days a week, where I read a craft book, and actually digest what I am reading and take notes.
This will enable me to hopefully create better words from the off when I get back to my creative writing.

The Fallout

The Fallout by Rebecca Thornton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Sarah and Liza are friends who met and bonded through a local NCT group, being a support network for each other through those first fraught months and years of parenthood.
They look out for one another and have been there for each other through thick and thin.
Then something happens, injuring one of their children, and a web of lies, guilt and secrecy is woven.
An interesting format, and I especially liked the WhatsApp chats that were interspersed between chapters, as an extremely relevant addition to the book, seeing as a huge percentage of the population uses it as a means of communication.
Some interesting twists were revealed as the conclusion was reached.
Well, it was definitely a compelling read, seeing as I finished it in a day!
Many thanks to NetGalley and Harper Collins UK for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Unexpected Lessons in Love

Unexpected Lessons in Love by Lucy Dillon
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What happens when you are on your way to your wedding, and moments from arriving, you realise that you can’t do it?
Then you send a message to your intended, only to find out that he has been involved in a horrific accident?
Guilt sears through you, as well as confusion,
What do you do now? Was it your fault?
Jeannie McCarthy was in this exact position.
Until Dan gained consciousness, she wouldn’t know whether he’d heard the message.
So she’d have to pretend to be the loving fiancee, waiting for any news on his recovery.
Meanwhile, Jeannie tries to fill the waiting with attempts to settle into a new town and finds herself immersed in the caring of several litters of puppies, making new friends, and reigniting her love of songwriting.
I was swept away by this tale of crossed connections. It is a love story, with breakups. A sad, yet happy tale.
Good? I’d like to think so! I finished it in a day!
Many thanks to NetGalley and Random House UK for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Published 9th Jan 2020

She

She by HC Warner
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ben is reeling from a break-up, and suddenly the most attractive woman he’s seen is showing interest in him.
Forget interest, Bella wants him.
And from want, branches commitment in the form of a sudden pregnancy and quick wedding.
But things aren’t always as they seem.
As Ben withdraws from his friends and family, Bella’s claws dig deeper into him.
What’s the story?

I was totally immersed in the story, and the twists, followed by the point of view changes, made me despise Bella all the more.

A fantastic story that keeps you gripped until the very end! I’ve already recommended it to a few friends!

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

Published 23rd January 2020

The 24-Hour Café

The 24-Hour Café by Libby Page
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

As the title suggests, this is a book set in a 24-hour cafe in London. Part American diner, part traditional caff, the place is the setting for many life stories.
The book is written over a 24 hour period, detailing the lives of two of the workers there, Hannah and Mona, flatmates and friends for the last few years.
Interspersed with micro-stories of some of the customers, we also learn stories of Hannah and Mona’s past and how they met,
Interestingly written, with a great underlying story about friendship, and living in modern-day London.
Many Thanks to NetGalley and Orion Publishing for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Published 23rd January, 2020

Grown-Ups

Grown-Ups by Marian Keyes
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Books about family are always a favourite of mine, and this new read from Marian Keyes was fully family fuelled!
A story about the fortunes of three men, the Casey brothers, Johnny, Ed and Liam, and their respective wives, Jessie, Cara and Nell.

A surprise knock to the head causes Cara to blurt out a whole host of truths at the dinner table one night, in front of the whole family. Truths that have huge consequences.

t starts in the present, then delves backwards, accessing the views of a whole host of characters involved in the story, leading back to the very first scene, allowing us an insight into what happened, to cause the conversation that starts the book.

There are many issues touched upon within the book, from fidelity to eating disorders, trust to control.

I enjoyed the way that each jump back, then forwards, strengthened my knowledge of each character. It isn’t always easy to follow books with multiple points of view, yet I was left with fully formed characters in my mind at the end of the book.

Another page-turner!

Many thanks to NetGalley and Penguin UK – Michael Joseph for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Published 6th February 2020

The Santa Trial: A Christmas Short

The Santa Trial: A Christmas Short by Tess Thompson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oh, what a wonderful Christmas short!
Seven-year-old Morgan sends Santa a video with her request for Christmas this year, and he delivers in a true Christmas miracle style!
Ryan is a successful businessman and single father. Rena is a lonely twenty-something woman, struggling to keep afloat.
What do they have in common, besides working in the same building?
A summons to jury service. And right before Christmas too.
What develops over the few days they are together, will make you wonder whether Santa really is around, after all!
I was touched by the story and the ending gave me that warm feeling that all festive stories should.
Definitely ready for my Christmas miracle now!

A Mother's Story (No Greater Love, #7)

A Mother’s Story by Amanda Prowse
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oh, my goodness, Mrs Prowse, you did it again.
Made me cry.
A Mother’s Story is another one of those beautifully written stories, in Amanda Prowse’s unique voice, which deals with sensitive issues, that are not beautiful at all.
Jessica and Matthew get married and are at the peak of their newly-married bliss when they find out they are to become parents.
Having a child was always a part of their plan, but a (pleasant) surprise, so early.
However, a traumatic birth experience triggers the start of the baby blues which spiral deep into postnatal depression.
I was moved to tears as we were transported from the present day, hearing Jessica’s voice, as she makes a slow recovery, to the happenings of the past; the triggers that caused a truly horrendous incident to occur.
I applaud Amanda Prowse for tackling such a delicate topic, not in a flowery way, but in that human, realistic way. Books like this go some way to educating others about how much of a serious illness postnatal depression is.
Read it. Just read.

Wildflower Christmas (The Wildflower House #3)

Wildflower Christmas by Grace Greene
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed the first two books in the Wildflower series and was excited to have a Christmas themed novella to help tie up the loose ends of the story.
Kara Hart had been through an awful lot, the past few months, and the loss of her beloved father was one of the biggest things.
Keeping busy, trying to realise his dreams, and getting caught up in finding long lost family, alongside renovations of her new home, finally takes its toll.
Kara is ready for a calm and quiet Christmas, with, maybe, the company of her tentative boyfriend, Will. Time to reflect on the changes in her life.
But nothing is ever as easy as that.
Long-lost family, health problems, wayward best friends, old lovers and a child in need of care over the festive period all come together to create a truly memorable Christmas, for Kara and her loved ones.
A lovely, conclusion to a great three-part series.

Perfect Daughter (No Greater Strength, #1)

Perfect Daughter by Amanda Prowse
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Another heartwarming tale with elements of fire within.
It’s never easy, being a wife and mother, and caring for an elderly parent on top of that can be exhausting.
Jacks is stuck in a wheel of looking after her children, her husband, Pete, Ida, her mum, the house and family life in general.
This wasn’t the life she had dreamt of, for herself, all those years ago.
Instead, she lives her life vicariously, through her daughter, envisioning a bright future for her.
But, what Jacks sees as one bad choice by her daughter, all her dreams turn to dust.
The story moves back and forth, mirroring Jacks life as a teen with that of her as the mother of a teen, and slowly realisations become clear.
It’s not easy being a carer. The reader is really made to feel the sense of duty, and love, as well as the frustration that is involved in looking after your own parent.
It isn’t any easier being a parent. Guiding your children all their lives, until suddenly they are ready to take control of their own decisions. And the choices they make aren’t what you would want.
I loved reading this story and was sucked in from the beginning. I empathised with Jacks. Though her personal situation is not like my own, I could understand her frustrations, her yearning for something different.
A lovely read.

Even Salt Looks Like Sugar, a novella

Even Salt Looks Like Sugar, a novella by Yecheilyah Ysrayl
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Even Salt Looks Like Sugar was a quick read, about a young black girl, Wanda, trapped in a living situation that she can’t get out of.
She is being ‘cared for’ by Miss Cassaundra, finds herself caring for a young girl Abby, and wants to get away, to make a better life for herself and Abby.
A story that gives you things to think about.
I enjoyed the premise of the story, but sometimes was a little thrown with whose point of view I was reading.

Saving Missy

Saving Missy by Beth Morrey

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Millicent Carmichael, or Missy, is an elderly lady of 78. She’s existing in her large house in London, with her husband no longer keeping her company, and her children having flown the nest.
A chance encounter with two very different women brings changes to her life that she never thought would happen.
For a start, she ends up with a dog.
Set in 2017 and bouncing back to various times in Missy’s life, we learn a lot about Missy’s life, and how she came to be all alone, despite being a mother to two, a grandmother and a wife.
A heartwarming read, with a few surprises, revealed along the way.
Many thanks to NetGalley and Harper Collines UK for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Published 6th February 2020

The Magician's Sire ( A Paranormal Romance)

The Magician’s Sire by Linda G Hill
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oooh, I love a prequel, and was extremely excited to receive this novella by Linda G. Hill, to accompany her series!
The Dagmars have a curse upon them, and, having read the series already, I knew all about it.
But to read a little backstory, now that is always good!
Finding out a bit about Steven’s father Tarmien, and how he began to understand how the family curse, and his own powers, would affect his future, and that of his own children.
If you’ve read the two books in the series, you really should read this… and if you haven’t, this would make you want to read!

Double Cup Love

Double Cup Love by Eddie Huang
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I tried.
I tried really hard to enjoy this book, but I just didn’t find myself getting into it.
It was the same with his first book, Fresh Off The Boat.
Still, I liked the ideas behind why this book was written.
Just, didn’t really enjoy how it was written.
Eddie Huang’s journey back home to China, to find himself and his roots, littered with rap slang and profanities…
Some may enjoy it. Wasn’t my cup of tea.

Final Track

Final Track by Julie Hiner
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow!
I gotta say, this isn’t my usual genre of book, usually favouring easy to read rom coms and cosy fiction, but boy did I get into this one, once I started!
Mahoney is a Chief Detective in a small force in Calgary and is soon embroiled in the investigations of a series of murders.
Each killing has a link to the rock scene of the time, in the ’80s and each case is more and more bizarre, twisted, and definitely connected.
Once it is established that a serial killer is out there, investigations ramp up.
And Detective Mahoney is not about to let this murderer get away.
I have to say, I loved it all, and I ended up staying up way past my bedtime to finish, wanting to know what the score was!
Written from the view of the Detective, but with insights into the mind of another key person from the story, it was unputdownable… well, I couldn’t put it down, anyway!
And I am rather excited about reading more from this talented author, who has an ’80s fixation and some truly disturbing story ideas!

Missing Her More

Missing Her More by Karen McQuestion
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oh, what a genuinely heartwarming read! I loved it!
Having read Good Man Dalton, I was eager to read this companion book to it, revisiting characters we already knew, but from a different perspective.
The story is centred around Brenna, the youngest daughter of the Vanderhaven family.
A young girl, born into a family that wants for nothing; her whims catered for, as much as her overprotective parents will allow.
Still, she can’t have a dog or her own cell phone or time with her parents.
Then something awful happens.
Along with her sister, Cece moving out, she finds out that her parents are going to fire her Nanny.
Distraught, she decides upon a plan that ends up causing changes no one would have ever envisaged.
People often think that being from a wealthy family means that a person has everything — no reason to be unhappy or disgruntled in any way.
This story shows that real wealth is family and love, not money.
A wonderful read. So wonderful, I ended up reading it in one sitting!

Adèle

Adèle by Leïla Slimani
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Sorry to say this wasn’t the most amazing read, for me.
I read Lullaby, by Slimani, previously, and found it a really hard book to get into, and very cold.
Adele was easier to start, but aside from describing the behaviours of a sex-addicted woman, I felt it was very two dimensional. I didn’t warm to her, or empathise with her at any point.
She’s a mother, but there was no real feeling for her son, and the ending was all too strange for me…
Lost in translation? Maybe.
Sorry. No.

The Siege and Other Award Winning Stories

The Siege and Other Award Winning Stories by Esther Newton
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What a wonderful collection of short stories.
Little snippets of brilliance and you can tell why they were award-winning, or certainly worthy.
Using just a few words, Esther is able to reduce you a gibbering wreck, tugging at heartstrings, that even the coldest of hearts has.
I loved each and every story, but those that dealt with parenting and losing a child were really emotive.
If you are a short story fan, you MUST read this book. You won’t regret it. Whether it is devoured in one sitting or read leisurely, savouring each story individually, it will stay with you.

And with that last book, I finish my reading year…

Yup. I read a LOT of books this year!

I’m not going to be silly and try and smash that number, next year, but I will keep reading, and reviewing!

What about you? How many books did you read? Do you take part in the Goodreads challenge?

If you are on Goodreads, why not connect there too?

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15391974.Ritu_Bhathal

Have a fantastic time seeing the new year in, and here’s to plenty more books!

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November Books #BookReviews

The penultimate month of the year, it will no doubt be filled with the odd festive read, along side the arcs I have to complete!

Wish Me Home

Wish Me Home by Kay Bratt
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What an emotional read!
I really enjoyed the story of Cara and her tumultuous journey, both physically, and emotionally, to find herself.
And when a four legged companion in on the scene, that can only make things better!

Timothy Mean and the Time Machine

Timothy Mean and the Time Machine by William A.E. Ford
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What a lovely, imaginative book, filled with rhyme and adventure!
Ford has crafted a beautiful rhythmic tale about Timothy and his time machine, and all the adventures he is able to go on, fuelled by the imagination of a child.
As a teacher, I find that we seem to shut down our children’s imagination, somewhat, catering to curriculum needs, but this book is a reminder to adults as well as kids, that we need to be able to play, pretend, and whisk ourselves off to other worlds sometimes.
A wonderful premise within the book, and lessons to be learned!

Christmas Party

Christmas Party by Karen Swan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It’s not often you get to read about a modern-day knight, and in The Christmas Party, this is exactly what we get. Well, actually it’s more the legacy of a knight.
Declan Lorne is the last surviving knight in Ireland, his family having carried the title over 700 years. And it looks like he’s going to be the last ever knight too, having a family consisting of his wife and three feisty daughters.
His sudden demise leaves a huge gap in the lives of all his family, and his will sets many cogs turning.
Will his wife, Serena, ever accept being relegated to the Dowager House?
Will Ottie, his oldest daughter, ever get over being the disappointment of a girl, rather than a boy, and not the heir she felt her father always wanted?
Will Pip, the middle child, manage to control her own inner angst, and follow her dreams?
And will Willow, the youngest daughter, ever find her true place in her family?
I really enjoyed all the twists and turns within this book, filled with tragedies, and misplaced trust, love and loss.
Oh, and I’d love to see a pink castle!
Many thanks to NetGalley and Pan Macmillan for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

The Forgotten Hours

The Forgotten Hours by Katrin Schumann
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Katie’s life, on the surface, is pretty simple, and straightforward.
She rents a nice flat, has a good job, is in a relationship with a great guy…
Has divorced parents, and a father in prison charged with statutory rape – the rape of Katie’s best friend, when she was fifteen.
Memories of idyllic summers spent at the cabin by the lake are blemished by this one accusation that changes the lives of many people.
Katie has spent most of the last six years erasing the connection between her and her father’s name, to escape the awkward questions from others, but she still loves her dad. After all, it was a mistake, a wrong conviction… wasn’t it?
The impending release of her father brings ripples to the smooth waters of her life and the ripples reveal many secrets, things Katie was never aware of before.
I read this in one day, as I got so into the story.
A really tough topic to write about. The rape of a minor, and the way people cover things up.
Seeing it from the perspective of a different victim, the daughter of the accused, shows another dimension.
Very well written.

How to Be a Bawse: A Guide to Conquering Life

How to Be a Bawse: A Guide to Conquering Life by Lilly Singh

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I enjoy watching Lilly Singh and have felt a certain Punjabi pride at seeing one of ‘our’ girls do so well in her chosen career as a YouTuber, with her hashtag and now as one of the first late-night female TV show presenters in the USA.
I must admit I have had this book on my kindle for a while and it has taken a while to get to it, but I finally did this week, and I enjoyed the read. There were several chapters that were really poignant for me.
I shall try to introduce more Bawse-ness into my life!

More Than Just Mum

More Than Just Mum by Rebecca Smith
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What’s not to like?

Hannah Thompson is a woman – so am I
She is a wife – yup, same here
A mother – nods I’ve got 2 kids, a fur baby and two feathered ones, she has 3 children and a dog
A teacher – yes, yet another similarity!
An aspiring author – yet another similarity
Has a hubby who is quietly supportive of her dreams but doesn’t always get the support quite right – check!
Works part-time – no… alas I am a full-time teacher, wife, mother and wannabe writer!

Oh my God, if this woman had only 2 children, and worked a couple more days a week, this book might just have been my life!

Hannah is feeling the pressure.
She has one child about the fly the nest, off to university, one teen who is keeping her on her toes with the company she keeps and the questions she asks and a young not quite tween, who is inquisitive and has a pet hamster which causes his own grief.

Working three days a week (not by choice), Hannah knows that the money isn’t exactly flowing into their bank accounts, and they have a child to send off to uni imminently, and the thought of having to finance two more is, quite frankly terrifying… and her headteacher is not keen to give her a full-time contract.

Until she has the bright idea to write a book on her days off.

Will her head have a change of heart and increase her hours?
Will she finish this book or not?
Will she find a way to publish?

Well, you know I’m not going to tell you. What I will say is that it was a fantastically funny book. I was able to relate to so much of it, and Hannah’s life echoes that of many working mothers out there.

Definitely, one I recommend!

Many thanks to NetGalley and One More Chapter for an Arc in exchange for an honest review.

Published 7th December, 2019

Convenience Store Woman

Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The second Japanese book I have read this year and I have to say, I found this one much easier to read.
We follow the life of a 36-year-old woman, Keiko, who has her own social difficulties and finds her comfort in her part-time job as a worker in a convenience store.
It’s been eighteen years since she started at a job where most would have thought of it as a stopgap between studying and proper career.
However for Keiko, yer job in the store allows her to function in the world and be viewed as normal, rather than the oddity she has been regarded with all her life, but both her family and friends.
There is even the contemplation of marriage, which is an alien concept to this middle-aged virgin.
A short read about someone who, I think, is very much on the Spectrum, as they say, and her way of dealing with it, so she fits in with the rest of the world.

You, Me and the Movies

You, Me and the Movies by Fiona Collins
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’ve always been a fan of the movies, and the old classics are special to me, so to read a book that referenced so many fantastic films was great!
Arden is a woman who is in a dark place, after the end of an awful marriage. She has shut herself away from everyone who cared about her, partly because her ex-husband made her, and partly because she feels shame at being so weak.
A twist of fate finds her visiting a friend in the hospital, and finding someone else there she knew before.
Mac – a film lecturer from her university, and her big love.
He’s older and injured.
Unable to speak from injuries sustained in a car accident, they begin to share evenings together as she visits him, and revisits the past, recalling a list of movies they watched together, cataloguing their affair with each other.
Of course, she doesn’t have him to herself. She shares her Mac with James, his neighbour.
Together, they ensure his visitor chair is never empty, and build a special friendship, sharing secrets about each other, that they’ve never told another soul.
Mac used to talk about Arden finding her Bigger Love, but she never believed him…

I really enjoyed this book. It was a little predictable with the ending, but sometimes you just want simple stories that don’t have huge twists in them.
Saying that, it isn’t a simple romantic story in the least, dealing with issues such as loss and separation, and the relationships between parent and child.

A recommended read.
Many thanks to NetGalley and Random House UK for an arc, in exchange for an honest review.

Published 26th December

Gravity Is the Thing

Gravity Is the Thing by Jaclyn Moriarty
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A strange read. It took me a long while to get into this story: a tale of Abigail and her quest for the truth.
A grown-up woman, divorced and mother to a 4-year-old, Abi is constantly on the lookout for answers in life to one big question. Where is her brother?
Robert, her brother, disappeared when she was 15, and there has never been any information about where he went, or what happened to him.
Ironically, that same year, Abi was sent a chapter of a self-help manual, the Guidebook. The chapters kept coming throughout her life, and she felt a link between her brother’s disappearance and the words in the guide.
A request to come to a retreat, where the Guidebook would be the centre of attention draws her into another chapter of her life, filled with different discoveries.
It was a strange story, based in the past as well as the present. I did find myself slightly confused. Are we meant to fly? Or was it all a euphemism for life?
But I did like Abi, and her little son Oscar.
Many thanks to Netgalley, Atlantic Books and Allan & Unwin for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Published 2nd January, 2020

Such a Fun Age

Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A book I managed to finish within a day, which, recently has been a struggle for me!

I was intrigued by the blurb. Would this story about a young African American woman, who worked for a successful white family, be something like a lot of social themed novels recently, chanting #BlackLivesMatter?

Well, it did, a little, but that wasn’t the entirety of the novel.

Emira, the babysitter is a twenty-something woman, similar to many out there, unsure of the direction of her life, plodding along, trying to find where she really wants to be.

She just happens to be black.

And the regular babysitter for Alix and her family, looking after two-year-old Briar, and on occasion, her baby sister, Catherine.

Alix is a thirty-something woman, married with her two beautiful daughters and a successful husband, riding on her own social media successes, and in the process of writing a book.

What happens one night in the local grocery store, when her babysitter is falsely accused of taking a child, who is obviously not hers, sparks a chain of events that explore so much more than racial stereotypes. Sure, that is a big part of it, but it is approached from two very different angles, that of a black woman, and that of a white woman.
Neither is racist, but both have stereotypes foisted upon them by others.

Add to the mix, crossed wires, and past secrets, and you have one heck of a delicious novel!

Many thanks to Netgalley and Bloomsbury Publishing for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Published on 7th January 2020

Lady of the Ravens

Lady of the Ravens by Joanna Hickson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’ve always been a fan of historical fiction and jumped at the chance to read an advanced copy of The Lady of The Ravens by Joanna Hickson.

Set in the times where the Tudors took control of the monarchy, the author has cleverly interwoven fact with fiction to create a compelling story that weaves the legend of the Ravens at the Tower of London, with a fictional tale of Joan, a young lady who starts her life of royal duty by being a companion to Princess Elizabeth, and, as time goes by, works her way up to the rank of Lady in Waiting for the then Queen Elizabeth. Along the way, she is chosen to marry Sir Richard, and becomes mother to six stepchildren, despite never wanting to bear children herself.

Joan develops something of an obsession with the majestic black birds that frequent the green around the Tower, and despite the belief among the commoners that the monarchy and country is safe, as long as the ravens roost at the Tower, she is horrified at how the archers use them as target practise, and the treatment of them.

I loved how the story of the ravens and how they appeared to become more accepted, and the life of Joan blended in with the real facts of the monarchy and events that happened at this time.

The characters came to life, and I became a champion of Joan and her cause through the book!

Definitely a recommended read if you are a historical fiction lover!

Many thanks to NetGalley and Harper Collins UK for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Published 9th January 2020

Well, there you have it, my reading journey this month!

Which one has caught your eye?


October’s Books #BookReview

Well well well well! October is done and that means it’s nearly the end of the year! I’m still suffering tiredness, but reading is always my go-to for relaxation, so I’ll always make sure I have something on the go! Possibly not as many books as usual on the list, but there are some good uns!

The Hate U Give

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ever since I saw a trailer for the movie, I wanted to read this book. What with all the #BlackLivesMatter stuff going on and apparent race-fuelled hate crimes, I was interested to read this story, written by a young Black American woman, about a girl caught up in the tragedy of a senseless killing by a police officer.
Starr Carter is sixteen, and is already very aware of gang culture, and the dangers that living in the ghetto put you in.
Her family make the decision to send her to a school away from the horror of shootings and gangs, but it doesn’t mean she is protected.
In The Hate U Give, we see a girl who witnesses not one but two horrific shootings, in her life, where she loses her best friends. Both are truly senseless losses of life, with one being a drive-by shooting, where the victim was only ten, and in the wrong place at the wrong time. The second is marred by the fact that a cop opens fire on a young black youth because he ‘thinks’ he was a danger.
The story shows Starr’s journey to fight for justice for her friend, who may have made bad decisions in his life, but who was a true innocent, and a victim of Police brutality.
I’ve read many reviews of this book, and most applaud how this sensitive topic has been approached. There are a few that mention disappointment, because yes, racism is a thing, and something that causes hell, but racism isn’t exclusively white on black.
Racism is unfortunately global.
White on black. Black on white. White on brown. Brown on white. Black on black. Brown on brown… you know where I’m going.
This book is an account of the feelings of a young black woman who loses her best friend because of a senseless shooting by a white cop. Of course, it’s going to be filled with hate for the police, and the white officers. But isn’t that a form of racism in itself?
It took me a little while to get totally into the book, but I was engrossed after the first 50 pages or so. You get a view of the thoughts of someone who is right in the middle of the situation, and their thoughts on many issues, from #BlackLivesMatter, to gang culture and drugs too.
What you take from the book is up to you.
What I took was that it’s all about education, or lack of.
A white officer only knew the stereotypes and was fearful of a couple of black teens. Instead of reading the situation, he reacted with a gunshot because isn’t that what this black kid would do to him?
But then again, all white people aren’t the same. Starr has a white boyfriend in this story, and the reverse stereotypes that the black community have of white people are also shown, in how Starr’s family and friends react to Chris initially too.
A thought-provoking read, that’s for sure!

Dishonoured

Dishonoured by Sofia Hayat
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I picked up this book, thinking it would be a harrowing recount of a terrible life…
Sad to say, I, unfortunately, didn’t feel that at all.
Sofia Hayat is apparently a household name.
Not in my household.
And I live in Gravesend, the place she was born and brought up in. I started this book, and a sense of connection formed when I read that she was born in Gravesend.
I felt a little sorry for her as she recounted the events of her childhood, but I’m afraid she lost me as soon as she left her family.
A bit of a self-indulgent book, where it was all about hearing of her encounters with famous people, and others telling her how wonderful she was.
This could have been such a powerful book, if it had been written with more sympathy and details of the emotions she went through during her childhood. A couple of chapters at the end of the book to show her success would have sufficed.
Definitely not a recommended read by me, I’m afraid to say… And she made Gravesend out to be much worse than it actually is.. and no, it’s not named because people who died from the plague were buried here…

Another Love (No Greater Strength, #3)

Another Love by Amanda Prowse
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oh my goodness, Amanda Prowse!
Every time I think you can’t find another situation to write about, you go and surprise me and do it again!
I’ve slowly been working my way through Amanda’s back catalogue and Another Love was a seriously touching story.
Alcoholism is indeed an awful illness that affects each and every member of the family of that person suffering.
I wanted to cry with Romilly the repentant mother and wife. I wanted to slap Romilly the drunken idiot who couldn’t say no. But most of all, I wanted her to conquer her addiction.
Some people don’t realise just how much alcohol can play havoc with a family, and this book hit the nail on the head.
Thank you Amanda, for a really powerful story.

So Lucky

So Lucky by Dawn O’Porter
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Well, what can I say?

Absolutely fantastic book!
I urge all women to read this and know that none of us is perfect. No one has a perfect life. No matter what is portrayed on the outside, there is always some inner struggle beneath.
We follow three women, each with their own secret, struggling to make life work, and trying to make sure no one on the outside is aware of their issues.
From body image to mental health to marital issues, so much is covered in this brilliantly written story.
Honestly, I have already recommended it to a couple of friends with whom the whole concept will resonate.

Many thanks to NetGalley and Harper Collins UK for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Olive Kitteridge (Olive Kitteridge, #1)

Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Okay, so I read this book as I had the sequel, Olive, Again, to read as an ARC.
I’m not sure I quite understood everything that went on.
A lot of head-hopping within the stories, all a bit more depressing than the last.
Sorry… I just didn’t get it…
Having said that, I don’t have much luck with Pulitzer prize winners. I struggled with American Pastoral too!

Olive, Again (Olive Kitteridge, #2)

Olive, Again by Elizabeth Strout
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I made sure I read the first book about Olive, before reading this, and I found it interesting, but disjointed.
This brought me to Olive, Again with a little trepidation.
It was another mish-mash of different character stories, with Olive as a connection, and also a real eye-opener into Olive’s journey through her twilight years.
I’d say this was a lighter book, than the first, which I found quite dark in places. I felt that Olive had softened with age, and it was interesting to read her thoughts as she grew older,
It definitely gave me an insight into how someone who is at the tail end of life might be feeling.

Many thanks to NetGalley and Penguin Books UK for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

True to Me

True to Me by Kay Bratt
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have followed Kay Bratt for a while now, and have read one or two of her books, which I enjoyed immensely. AI jumped at a chance to read True to Me, as it sounded like another fantastic story.
And I wasn’t disappointed.
Quinn Macguire is a woman suffering loss. The loss of her mother, and the loss of the idea of a father who she never knew. The loss of herself.
On her deathbed, Quinn’s mother tells her a secret that has been eating away at her.
This leads to Quinn going on a journey of self-discovery with the aid of DNA testing, and boy, what a journey!
The majority of this book is set in Maui, and I want to go now, so vivid were the descriptions of the settings.
Quinn definitely finds the answers she was after, but not before undertaking a tumultuous, emotional journey towards them.
I loved the characters she met on the way, some who will stay with me for a long while, and I do hope to read more about Quinn and her new life after finding herself!
Many thanks to NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Published 10th December

A Wedding in December

A Wedding in December by Sarah Morgan

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Sarah Morgan always has the ability to move me in a way not many other authors do.

In a Wedding In December, we meet Rosie White, who has been swept away in a whirlwind romance with Dan, culminating in an extremely fast proposal of marriage, followed by a date set mere weeks in advance. but who wouldn’t love it? A magical December wedding in Aspen, with the snow falling and all your family around?

Well, for a start, quite possibly her parents. Struggling with a secret of separation which they have hidden from their daughters for the last few months, Maggie and Nick wonder how are they going to get through a whole wedding, playing the charade of the happily married mother and father of the bride?

And what about the sister? Katie is a doctor in the A & E department of a busy London hospital. Being ten years older than her romantic sister, Rosie, she has worries and doubts of her own about whether this wedding should even take place, based upon her sister’s past and her own present.

So, will this wedding happen? Well, I shan’t spoil it for you, suffice to say the journey towards the end of this story is far from smooth, but I felt a true sense of satisfaction by the time I reached the end page!

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

The Lost Ones

The Lost Ones by Anita Frank
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

OMG! WOW!

I don’t think I can do this book justice, honestly!
Mysteries, thrillers, not usually my thing. I do love stories set in the past though.
And from the first few pages, I was totally hooked!

It is 1917 and England is in the midst of the war, Stella Marcham is grieving for the loss of her fiance, Gerald. Her family is concerned about her mental stability and rather than send her to some asylum that many grieving women were incarcerated in, she is shipped off to visit her sister, Madeleine, who is expecting her first baby, and living at her husband’s large mansion in the countryside,
From the moment Stella arrives, with her maid, Annie, at Greyswick, there is a strange feeling about the house.
Inexplainable happenings spark a chain of investigations and events that uncover some deep, dark secrets that were once buried within the house, and the memories of its inhabitants.

A truly gripping read. I cannot recommend it enough!

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

Christmas at Rachel’s Pudding Pantry

Christmas at Rachel’s Pudding Pantry by Caroline Roberts
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

You’ve got to love a good Christmas based festive story, and I enjoyed the light read that Christmas at Rachel’s Pudding Pantry provided.
I haven’t read the first book, but this wasn’t an issue, as the story works as a stand-alone as well.
Rachel and her mother Jill are rallying around, keeping the family farm going, as well as setting up a new business, the Pudding Pantry, in an old barn, trying to plug the hole of the loss of Rachel’s father a couple of years before.
The lead up to Christmas is quite quiet, and Rachel isn’t sure they will even survive as a business.
But with the gentle encouragement of beau, Tom, a neighbouring farmer, the creative charm of Eve, Rachel’s best friend, and the effervescence of her five-year-old daughter Maisie, Rachel comes up with an idea that may just swing the farm’s fortunes.
But it’s not all smooth sailing. Wayward sheep, unwanted exes, inclement weather and illness all find their way to hamper Rachel’s plans.
Will she be able to keep her farm, and romance afloat?
You’ll have to read the book to find out!
Many thanks to NetGalley and Harper Impulse for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

A Fire Sparkling

A Fire Sparkling by Julianne MacLean
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oh, what a beautiful book!
I have always loved stories that have connections with the war, and family sagas that reveal secrets, long-buried, so as not to hurt or harm anyone.
In this beautifully crafted story, Gillian comes away from her fiance’s house, after learning of his deceit, to her father and grandmother.
Eager to forget her troubles, she is quickly sucked into learning a whole new past that her grandmother experienced, but had hidden from the world, and all but a handful of people.
I can’t tell you more, because I would hate to spoil the story, but a definite recommended read!
There is romance, tragedy, and it will ignite a yearning for the ‘right; ending to be the one you read!

So, Peeps, tell me which one appeals to you!


September’s Books #BookReview

So, September is upon us. A busy month for me, what with school starting back, and my birthday! Being back at school means that I tend to fall asleep a heck of a lot quicker than usual, as the physical and emotional exhaustion kicks in againk, after a relatively relaxing August, so I am conscious that there won’t be as many books completed this month, but you know me, I give it my best! I have done a preliminary read for two friends who asked for feedback, which was daunting, as I really don’t class myself as an expert, and I know how it feels to give your book baby to someone else, especially for that first time. Still, I attempted to be as constructive as I could, and that took me the most of the third of the month… so you see where I’m getting at with the whole I am tired think!

Still, here’s what I did read!

An Absolutely Remarkable Thing (An Absolutely Remarkable Thing, #1)

An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

There have been a few times where I have requested a book on Netgalley, after scanning the intro, not really knowing much about it, and this was definitely one of those books.

I’m not a sci-fi fan in general, with books or TV, but I am always open to trying new genres. I did the same with YA fiction, and realised that I quite enjoyed it! Still, back to the book.

April May is an Art graduate, looking for her niche in life. She happens upon a strange art installation in the middle of New York one night and is amazed that no one is paying much attention to this giant metallic Transformer-like statue that has just appeared. Wanting to make the world more appreciative of the effort that artists go to, to create, she, along with her friend Alex, film and upload a video of the statue to YouTube, christening the Huge ‘robot’ Carl.

They awake to a media frenzy surrounding their video and it emerges that there is not one Carl, but 63 others who appeared in major cities around the world at precisely the same time.

How did they get there? Who installed them? What are they?

So many questions.

April and her friends begin a whirlwind journey to trying to find out their origin, and purpose with some pretty devastating effects.

Is Carl an Alien? What is this Dream that everyone is suddenly having? Why does the President want to meet April?

More questions… see! But I’m not going to answer them. You need to read the book to find out!

This story really showed the power that Social Media has upon the world. A few tweets and videos and someone can become a household name with some real sway upon the followers they collect. Then there are the haters. There are always haters where there are fans, and working out how to deal with them can be a tough learning curve.

I took a little while to get into the swing of the story, but once I started, I have to say, I was hooked!

And the ending! OMG, the ending! Now I HAVE to know what happens next! Imagine that, Me, NEEDING to read a sci-fi book!

Yes. Definitely a recommendation!

Many thanks to Netgalley and Orion Publishing for an arc in exchange for an honest review.

Christmas at Frozen Falls: A cosy, heart-warming romcom to curl up with

Christmas at Frozen Falls: A cosy, heart-warming romcom to curl up with by Kiley Dunbar
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The weather’s getting colder out there, and I sat with this book on my Kindle, snuggled up on the sofa all day today, and it wasn’t only my heart that was warmed, but the whole of me, as I read.

What a wonderfully upbeat, and truly smile-inducing tale, weaved by Kiley Dunbar!

Sylvie is suffering from the after-effects of a broken engagement, mere days before her wedding.
It’s been six months, now and her best friend, Nari, an intrepid traveller and travel blogger convinces her to take a trip with her over Christmas – a time when she was meant to be going on her honeymoon.

Memories from the past push her to accept a trip to Finnish Lapland, staying at the Frozen Falls resort.

Is it mere coincidence that the owner happens to be Sylvie’s old university love interest? And that his business partner may just have a ‘thing’ for singleton Nari?

I can’t explain how much I loved the story. Little personal connections, like the fact that the main character is a teacher, like me, to the location, in Finland, as I have family connections with that country, added to my enjoyment of a truly wonderful tale.

Well, I challenge you all to not read this and feel that you want to put your Christmas tree up, or better still, visit Lapland and find your own hunky Sumi hero trekking in the snow, whilst viewing the aurora, or Northern Lights!

Right, Kiley… I’m ready for another one of yours now!

The Christmas Holiday

The Christmas Holiday by Sophie Claire
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the second Christmas themed book I have read in September, perfect for curling up on the sofa with on the cooling evenings.
Two people still grieving for lost loved ones, find themselves in the little village of Willowbrook.
One grieving for a lost sister and a broken engagement and the other unable to forget the pain of losing his wife.
Evie and Jake were likeable characters, and even though you knew what would be the inevitable end, it was a comforting, easy read, which left you feeling warm inside.
Many thanks to NetGalley and Hodder & Stoughton for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Image result for tuesday mooney wore black

Tuesday Mooney Wore Black by Kate Racculia

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


Well, that was an interesting read!
I’m not usually one for picking up mystery/suspense filled reads, but the blurb for Tuesday Mooney Wore Black intrigued me.
I have to admit it took a little while to get into the story, but by the second half, I was in there, intrigued by the whole premise, and wanting to know what happened.
The book follows Tuesday Mooney, a researcher in Boston who gets caught up in a rather macabre game, set up by the late, and very rich Vincent Pryce. She and her friends begin to play and find themselves sucked deeper and deeper into a vortex of the unknown.
There are puzzles, murder, mysteries, and ghosts!
A fun read if you have the time to get into it.
Many thanks to NetGalley and Harper Collins for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Published 1st October

Postscript (P.S. I Love You, #2)

Postscript by Cecelia Ahern
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I always read a long-awaited sequel with a sense of trepidation… what if it’s not what I expected? What if things take a totally different turn to what happened to the story in my head? What if I don’t like it?
Well, I didn’t have to worry about that at all.
Postscript is a beautifully carved sequel to Cecelia Ahern’s debut novel, P.S. I Love You.
The original story touched the hearts of many and I have a feeling this one will too.
We meet the main character, Holly, seven years after her husband Gerry’s death and his series of letters, that helped her to deal with the loss of her husband in a way she had never expected.
Holly has moved on. She is working with her sister, seeing someone and considering selling her home.
After much pestering from her sister, Holly agrees to take part in a podcast, opening up about the letters Gerry sent her, and that one small podcast sets in motion, something much bigger than Holly.
Suddenly, she is in a position to help many others in similar situations to Gerry and her.
But does she want to relive the painful past? Will she be able to help any of the terminally ill folk who are looking to her for an answer?
What an(other) emotional rollercoaster of a ride, this book was! I laughed, I cried. I felt the emotions of a woman still grieving, but trying to get on with her life, as it is now.
This book is about loss, yes, but it is more about celebrating what we have now, and how our memories can be preserved to give our loved ones solace during that grieving period.
A fantastic read. Recommend? 100% yes!
Many thanks to NetGalley and Harper Collins for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

The Giver of Stars

The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A fantastic book which I would have devoured much faster had I not been in the throes of the beginning of the school year tiredness!
Jojo Moyes has created a story about a group of women who are all very different, yet grow to have an extremely close bond, brought together by the WPA Packhouse libraries. Set in depression-era America, we learn the strength of five women who are not afraid to fight for their rights and go against the menfolk holding them back.
It was an emotional read, especially the last half, as I became more invested in the characters, their own personal stories, and what would happen to them.

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

Published 3rd October

The Trunk of Stars (Stolen Treasures Book 1)

The Trunk of Stars by Susie Dinneen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Cairo Mulch is a young girl who has been brought up in a life of pickpocketing and crime. All she has of her own is a trunk which she was found in as a baby, and that trunk accompanies her everywhere as she travels with her ‘family’, The Mulches.
Unbeknown to her, that trunk, and her own background are of immense interest to a few people out there, who are searching for lost Egyptian treasure, seven Scarabs that were stolen at the time her own real parents went missing, presumed dead after their ship sunk.
The Trunk of Stars follows the story of Cairo, finding out about herself, and her long lost parents, and helping to solve a mystery.
We really enjoyed reading this book, and all the colourful characters we were introduced to Cairo, Lungo, Astrid, Felix, Higgs, and the horrific Gran!
A great read for children, and those child-like adults amongst us too!
Here’s to reading book 2!

My Husband's Wife (No Greater Strength, #4)

My Husband’s Wife by Amanda Prowse
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Thank you, Amanda Prowse… you have done it again!
I have been working my way through Amanda’s back catalogue, as I am a huge fan of her more recent books, and hadn’t read some of her earlier books, and as always, I was captivated by the story. In fact, I devoured it in a few hours.
Amanda has a way of portraying situations that any one of us could be living through at any given time and placing the reader right at the heart.
This time we meet Rosie, who is a content wife and mother of two beautiful, boisterous girls. Sure, after twelve years of marriage, and two pregnancies, she might not look as svelte as she once did, but she was happy, her and Phil.
They had everything they needed: a family, a roof over their heads and each other.
Or so she thought.
Crushed when Phil decides this life isn’t for him, Rosie is left with her two girls and an empty space where her husband used to reside.
She copes until even the girls are no longer by her side.
Oh, how I want to go on and on about the nuances of the story, and all that poor Rosie has to endure, and oh, that other woman… (I wanted to go and slap her on Rosie’s behalf!) but I shan’t as it would be an injustice to anyone who is yet to read this book. Only know it is not just about loss, but the strength of a woman, too.
And if you haven’t, you most definitely should!
Definitely a five-star book!

Hello Love

Hello Love by Karen McQuestion

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Aw!!!
Who doesn’t love a romantic story complete with a gorgeous dog in it?
Dan is a widower who is getting over losing his wife, with his daughter Lindsay grieving for her mother.
Anni, their dog is one element of their life that keeps things on an even keel.
Andrea’s a recently divorced woman, who isn’t sure of the path of her future, since her separation.
The sudden disappearance of Anni causes shock and upset within Dan and Lindsay’s life.
Meanwhile, a complaint about a barking dog in one of her boss’s flats leads Andrea to the dramatic rescue of a traumatised pup.
A missing dog. A rescued dog.
A coincidence?
You’ll need to read the book to find out exactly what happens, but I really enjoyed the story and stayed up way past my bedtime to finish this lovely tale (tail).

Well, that’s it for September, and looking back, I don’t think I did too badly for the first month of term! Let me know what you read last month!


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