Wednesday, 26 March 2014

PREVIOUSLY LOVED TREASURES, The Serendipity Series

PREVIOUSLY LOVED TREASURES, The Serendipity Series Book TwoPREVIOUSLY LOVED TREASURES, The Serendipity Series Book Two by Bette Lee Crosby
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I was overjoyed when Bette Lee Crosby contacted me and asked if I wanted to Beta read this for her! I couldn't sit still, it came in at the right time, I had just that moment finished reading a book and about to add my review on that one.

I started reading it that very evening. I didn't get to sleep until the early hours of the morning as Ida's life pulled me right in with her. When she started to take in lodgers to make ends meet I was hooked even then.

The Previously Loved Treasures reminded me a little of the Old Curiosity Shop years ago I read [Wordsworth Classic] in some parts.
Although this book is really real, it can be quite magical once you arrive at the Previously Loved Treasures outlet. I loved it!

Bette Lee Crosby has such a powerful way with words, but gentle at the same time.

If you haven't picked up a book by this author, you should. I know many who has said to me "who?" and then I have recommended one of this authors books and they have loved it. No one is disappointed with this authors books. A truly remarkable author. Unique story teller who can write about anything, any era, any person and breath life, reality and realism into it.

My reviews are my own. They never reflect on whether I am given a book as a complimentary, or if I purchase one, I treat all of my reads the same, seriously, and with honesty.


In Previously Loved Treasures recently widowed Ida Sweetwater and her granddaughter come together in a heartwarming mystery rich with imagination and magic. 

Struggling to make ends meet, Ida turns her home into a boarding house and goes in search of used furniture. This quest leads to the Previously Loved Treasures shop and Peter Pennington, a delightfully strange proprietor who anticipates people’s needs. In addition to bargains, Peter hands out sage advice. When a pocket watch belonging to one of the residents goes missing for a second time he warns of danger—but will Ida’s granddaughter listen and will she heed his advice?

This is a story that resonates with Crosby’s heartwarming albeit quirky characters and the joy of a pay-it-forward philosophy

I WILL MAKE LINKS AVAILABLE AS SOON AS THE BOOK IS OUT, DUE APRIL 14TH




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The Twelfth Child by Bette Lee Crosby

The Twelfth Child by Bette Lee Crosby
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the book #1 of a series


Bette Lee Crosby has done it again for me. She has transported me into the time of the Great Depression era, where we meet Abigail Anne Lannigan struggling to survive. Her twin brother sees her off one day, she leaves, she has to. And I can't tell you why, you need to read this as its very poignant and heart rendingly powerful.
This sets Abigail on a journey all of her own, very resilient young lady.

There is Destiny Fairchild who in her senior years befriends Abigail, an unlikely friendship has now formed.

Abigail can see a lot of herself in Destiny, I think that is why she takes her under her wing. Destiny who now lives in the street she gives her bits of furniture. As the friendship gets deeper and Abigail is growing older she relies on Destiny for helping her to sign cheques and pay household bills. So she has her name added to the bank account. She also expects Destiny to buy things for herself, there ensues the problem once Abigail departs this life.

Along comes the 'family relative' who has always been the bane of Abigail's life, always asking for handouts but not caring for her at all! He now has Destiny up for Embezzlement.

I found the court case really exceptionally good, I felt like I was sitting in the jury seat! Well done to the author for pulling me in like that.

The book switches from time zones from young to older, but its very easy to keep up as Bette Lee Crosby has a unique way of playing her characters out, holding you in the palm of her hand.

I can honestly say that the book plays out like a film in my head scene after scene.

I loved how the author added the overwhelmingly touching edition of Abigail, although she is now dead, buried but never forgotten, looking down over the proceedings. She cannot do anything about what she see's or change or interfere with any difficulties she could have altered when alive, but, just her thoughts when things are going on in this book after her death was a great added bonus.

I always look forward to reading the 'next' book that this author writes, and this one kept my attention throughout.

Remember when reading this, you need to transport your mind by in the time zone, when life was like this, people where more friendly and life back then had that 'easy' feel.

I was given this book as a complimentary edition from the author. Thank you.



Trust, love and friendship — Abigail Anne Lannigan searched for these things all her life; now, when she is at the tail end of her years she teams up with a free-spirited young woman, a nobody from nowhere, who suddenly moves in across the street. It’s an unlikely friendship which comes under suspicion when a distant relative, claims embezzlement. One million dollars is missing and only Abigail knows the truth of what happened – but, she’ll never get the chance to tell. 
The Twelfth Child, a novel rich with emotion, humor and tenderness, explores the splintered relationships of a Shenandoah Valley family and their willful daughter’s struggle to survive America’s Great Depression and overcome the past






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Wake: A Novel by Anna Hope

Wake: A NovelWake: A Novel by Anna Hope
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

WAKE

Intertwining lives of three women who have been severely affected by the war. Loved ones presumed dead, missing or badly damaged physically or mentally.

As the lives move on we get different POV from each person. This can become very confusing and in MHO took away from the very good story somewhat due to it not being switched smoothly for the reader, leaving me struggling on whose POV was this now then? Once picked up, it became quite engrossing reading.

Anna Hope writes really well, I have read one of her other books.

The concept of this book and storyline is very powerful, very moving, and very real. That said, it just needs some tweaking to make it flow more.

Did I love the book? Yes
Was there anything you would change? Yes, the flow of the book was too abrupt at times.
Would you recommend the book? Yes, but I would make it know how I felt at times reading it.

As the story unfolds, the women concerned are moving on with their lives the best they can, however, there is a mystery about the war that comes to light, can they ever rebuild their future.

The ending did end abruptly, so be aware of this.

Thank you to Random House UK, Transworld Publishers Via Net Galley for the complimentary book for me to read, enjoy and review.

Anna Hope’s brilliant debut unfolds over the course of five days, as three women must deal with the aftershocks of World War I and its impact on the men in their lives.
 
Wake: 1) Emerge or cause to emerge from sleep. 2) Ritual for the dead. 3) Consequence or aftermath.
 
London, 1920. The city prepares to observe the two-year anniversary of Armistice Day with the burial of the unknown soldier. Many are still haunted by the war: Hettie, a dance instructress, lives at home with her mother and her brother, who is mute after his return from combat. One night Hettie meets a wealthy, educated man and finds herself smitten with him. But there is something distracted about him, something she cannot reach. . . . Evelyn works at the Pensions Exchange, through which thousands of men have claimed benefits from wounds or debilitating distress. Embittered by her own loss, she looks for solace in her adored brother, who has not been the same since he returned from the front. . . . Ada is beset by visions of her son on every street, convinced he is still alive. Helpless, her loving husband has withdrawn from her. Then one day a young man appears at her door, seemingly with notions to peddle, like hundreds of out-of-work veterans. But when he utters the name of her son, Ada is jolted to the core.
 
The lives of these three women are braided together, their stories gathering tremendous power as the ties that bind them become clear, and the body of the unknown soldier moves closer and closer to its final resting place.









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Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Abby's Heart by Kristine Raymond

Abby's Heart (Hidden Springs, #3)Abby's Heart by Kristine Raymond
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Having not read the previous 2 books in this series, I really thought I was going to feel like I've missed out and be left struggling to get the story, but I wasn't. Kristine Raymond has a good way with wording things that you feel quite at home with the storyline.

17 years old. Oh I wish I was that young again.

Going to her Aunts wedding in Boston she is noticed by Boots and Simon. How wonderful at 17 to have such a choice, or is it? and how does she cope. She's never been away from home before either, so is she going to manage to cope with both of these boys vying for her attention?

Its beautifully written and the scene is set not only for the characters but for the area itself.

This is the first book I've read by Kristine Raymond and I shall certainly be looking for her other books.

Thank you for the complimentary book I received, it was a pleasure to read and review it.

**I have reviewed this book honestly and my own thoughts on this**


Abby Prescott is a proper young lady who has never ventured far from home. She travels West to attend her aunt’s wedding and suddenly finds herself captivated by the beautiful, rugged landscape as well as the attention from not one, but two men.

Malcolm ‘Boots’ Dunn is a young man who is on top of the world. He has re-opened Cooper’s Mine – a gold mine that has been closed up for more than twenty years. Fun-loving and easy-going, pretty Abby Prescott catches his eye and he knows that she is the one for him.

Simon Archer is a solemn, hard-working man who spends his days apprenticing as a blacksmith and his nights dreaming for a woman to share his life with. When he meets Abby, he knows that she is the woman of his dreams and he will stop at nothing to have her.

As both men vie for Abby’s affections, she innocently encourages their advances with disastrous consequences. When the dust settles, which one will win Abby’s heart?






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Friday, 21 March 2014

Just A Couple Ex's Exposed by Shirl Anders

Just A Couple Ex's ExposedJust A Couple Ex's Exposed by Shirl Anders
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

If you like a straight forward love story, of course it has its complications......
predictable, and just a light read romance, then this is the book for you.

I enjoyed it, but because it was so predictable, I knew there was no doubt what was going to happen in the end, bit like a Mills and Boon story really, nothing wrong in those when sat outside in the sunshine reading a love story.

I was gifted a complimentary ebook to read and review from eXcessica Publishing in exchange for my honest review




Nia doesn’t know why the TV show Dirty Rotten Cheaters is asking her questions. That is until they show her video of her husband cheating, then strong arms catch her before she faints.

Jack can’t believe the woman in his arms is the wife of the bastard screwing his wife.

Nia and Jack confront their spouses together. Then when Nia’s cheating husband throws her out and hides all their money, Jack rescues her. Jack and Nia are forced together and forced to deal with their cheating spouses, but slowly an attraction builds between them that they cannot ignore.

This is a story of two people finding each other under the strangest of circumstances and against all odds, falling in love.

It is a standalone novel, but part of the themed series Just a Couple Ex’s about the spouses of cheaters finding each other and falling in love









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Across The Pond: Part Two by Isabella Delvino

Across The Pond: Part TwoAcross The Pond: Part Two by Isabella Delvino
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Well I've been trying to make my mind up if this second book is better than the last or on the same par.
I think, slightly better due to the fact its picking up a fast pace and so much is happening in this one you don't realise your half way through the book then suddenly........finished! That's how it was for me anyhow!

There is a 'bad boy' involved in this story, a husband and a pregnancy, its all very exciting. Her possessive husband is a nightmare, but is he worse than the bad boy she got involved with? read it and see.

Who is the father? hmm even had me fooled.

Laney is involved in this, her sister. Cambi confides in her sister and as she speaks, you can hear and feel the emotion in each sentence.

I found this book started right where the first one left off, not recapping too much and really keeping its pace throughout which meant as a reader and reviewer, it kept my attention throughout.

I was given this book as a complimentary for an honest review.
A Devastated Cambria returns home to Pasadena from London to deal with the consequences of her whirlwind relationship with Zander and the problems brought on by her ex-husband's possessiveness. Their desperate actions have set into motion a sequence of events that will change their lives forever. 

The good girl meets bad boy tale of unexpected love and deception comes to its final conclusion. 

***Due to the high level of sexiness, this book is intended for those 18 years and over






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Across The Pond by Isabella Delvino

Across The PondAcross The Pond by Isabella Delvino
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I am from the UK [Great Britain] and this was a delight to read. I had forgotten how we come across at times due to so many American fellow lovely authors books I've been reading lately.

This book was down to earth, witty and entertaining and at times had its moments of upsetting emotions for the lovely Cambria.

I loved it when she left the divorce papers on the table for her husband to find and she just 'hopped' on a plane and took off. Good for her!

She had no intention of meeting anyone or getting involved with anyone else. Just enjoy her new found freedom and life. But like all best laid plans, life has a way of turning it on its head.

Loved the conclusion. Can't wait to see her next move.
Cambria Cosgrove is a successful fashion blogger from Pasadena, the land of sun and the famous Rose Parade. Unhappy in her marriage,Cambria has finally made the bold decision to leave her husband Carter in spite of her good catholic girl upbringing. She just dropped divorce papers on the kitchen counter this morning and hopped on a plane to London with her best friend. 

On their first night out in Notting Hill, Cambria meets an exotic, dark-haired musician by the name of Zander Slayne but Cambria has absolutely no desire to get involved with another man, especially so soon after leaving her husband. 

Zander puts the Bad in Bad Boy with his various tattoos and smoldering looks. He is so not her type and besides, the ink isn't even dry on the divorce papers yet. But Zander is relentless. 

Meanwhile, back home in Pasadena, Carter is frantic and will do just about anything to get Cambria back. He's got problems of his own but focuses his attention on Cambria and refuses to believe she no longer loves him.






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Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Survivor by Lesley Pearse

SurvivorSurvivor by Lesley Pearse
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Mariette Carrera is just 18 years old, she's wilful. Like her Mother when she was young and a bit of Bella's Mom thrown in who abandoned Bella and left with a servant while her Mother 'entertained' men.

Mariette's parents, Belle and Etienne send her to London where she can be less bored, as Mariette has a lot of time on her hands and she had got involved with someone who took advantage of her flirty nature.

Whilst in London under the care of her trusted Godfather and his wife. Whilst on ship travelling she not only embarks on the ship, but on a handsome young man, but Mariette has been burnt in love before, she she figures this time SHE will have the upper hand, but it seems all men are only after one thing.

Whilst in London partying and having fun, working and earning her own money the bombs fall.
Mariette has to grow up, and fast.

The changes in her are astounding reminding me of Bella's resilience in her life and what she went through. Like Mother, like daughter.

Although this is the 3rd book following on from Bell in 2011 and The Promise in 2012, they are all stand alone books, but I do think it sets a picture if you can read them in order.

Lesley Pearse tells a brilliant story and I have always been a great fan of hers.

I was gifted my copy from Penguin Books (UK) via Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.

Lesley Pearse, No.1 bestselling author of The Promise and Belle is back with Survivor, the story of Mariette, a born fighter. 
It is 1938 and Mariette Carrera is a defiant, strong-willed and selfish seventeen-year-old. And sooner or later, if she stays in the small, gossipy town of Russell, New Zealand, she'll get herself into some serious trouble. Her doting parents, Belle and Etienne, fear for her reputation. So, with the world on the brink of war, Mari leaves home on the SS Rimutaka, bound for her aunt and uncle's house in London. Armed with the freedom she's longed for since childhood, Mari quickly falls for Morgan, the handsome cockney steward on board ship. But once she reaches London, there are other temptations. Mari loves her new life - caught up in a whirl of dances and parties in the glittering West End, relishing her freedom as she earns her own money as a typist. Finally, she feels she is mistress of her own future. Until it is all snatched away by the war. As London endures the Blitz, Mari's new life is cruelly blown apart. Forced from her loving new home, she ends up alone in the East End, and it's worlds away from the London she knows. But there, even in the face of so much despair, she finds the chance to make a difference. Amidst the destruction, Mari learns that the only way to survive this war is to fight, with all the strength, selflessness and compassion within her...and only then will she find true happiness. Because Mari is a survivor.





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Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Crazy Maybe by A.D. Justice

Crazy MaybeCrazy Maybe by A.D. Justice
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Now this is why I do what I do!
Supporting Indie/self publishing "new" authors.

Once in a while you get such an outstanding book it knocks your socks off! This is what this book did for me. I was hooked. I know people used the phrase "I couldn't put this book down" well, in my case, this was true of this one.

This fiesty female was well worth reading about. Andi hasn't had a normal upbringing. Her past comes out during the book, and as it did I felt so bad for Andi. I felt her pain, her anguish and I admired her too. She had good morals, a good sense of humour and good fun, but she was also loyal to those to cared and loved.

Shane made me laugh at times, so over protective, he was the brother she never had.

Enter Luke.

Andi works and trains others in the boxing rink. At first, Luke thought the name Andi was a man. When he saw this young little thing, how could he learn more about boxing from her? He soon knew how!

Luke's family is not on Luke's side about the boxing and so his relationship with his parents is not on par, until they meet Andi. Things change.

Don't be mistaken though, both Andi and Luke have things that come to light as times goes on, including Andi's time in the mental institution. Now that was when I just couldn't put the book down. The dialogue between them, the other family members and all the other characters in the book it entailed, I was up until I finished this book.

If you've not read CRAZY MAYBE by A D JUSTICE can I urge you to consider reading it, because you won't be disappointed.

I don't know this author, and I was willing to read and review this book, HONESTLY, and if you read my other reviews you can see, I do just that :) so 5 stars for this book is well earned from me!

I loved this book, and I'll be stalking the author!

This is an alternate-cover edition for ASIN B00H0736OS.

Andi Stone is a strong, smart and independent woman, thanks to the help of a famous boxing trainer, Mack, and his protégé, Shane, who have respectively been like a father and brother to her. But that wasn't always the case. Andi never knew what a “normal” life was like. Having been raised in foster care from the age of six after the death of her parents, Andi became emancipated at 16 after an especially horrible incident forced her into a psychiatric hospital. 

Luke Woods, the family black sheep and street-brawler, is determined to be a successful professional boxer despite his family’s protests. He needs Andi’s help to get there. The wedge between him and his family over his past relationship issues and career choices is not easily overcome. Luke must learn to face the past mistakes, fears and demons that constantly plague him. 

Fireworks and passions quickly ignite between Andi and Luke in the midst of the chaos that surrounds and threatens them. She never revealed the secrets and lies that have plagued her, but when she publicly inherits her family fortune, the living, breathing past comes back to torment her and threaten all that she holds dear. For the first time in her life, Andi must learn to rely on someone else to love and protect her or risk losing the man she loves. 

Sometimes love isn’t enough. Sometimes it’s all you need.








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