Friday, 25 March 2016

Review: Cruel Water

Cruel Water Cruel Water by Freya Barker
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A family member has damned you and the secret is out there all around you.

Viv has buried this secret so deep inside her that its like cancer eating away at her.
She has friends, she has a life, but no one knows her secret.

Although this kind of book plot has been written times before I found that Freya Barkers way of writing is indepth and takes the reader far deeper into roots beyound, deep roots that are so buried that they are rotten.

She meets Ike, hes a biker. Rough, ready etc

And that is where my review ends, because if I write any more I will be giving the plot away and more, so you will need to read this to find out, I hope this whets your appetite for more.

This is book 2 in the series, please read book 1.


*Thank you to the author for my copy via Net Galley*

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Review: Time to Say Goodbye

Time to Say Goodbye Time to Say Goodbye by S.D. Robertson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars



If I had to write this review just after I had read this book, I just couldn't have, not in a million years.
First, my heart had to stop beating so fast.
I had to regain composure.
I would need to stop my forever flowing eyes of watery tears running down my cheeks and even then, I would have had to wait for my puffy eyes to subside.

DO NOT LET THIS PUT YOU OFF Because this book was a BEAUTIFUL CRY one of heart felt emotions.


If you had a little child who had lost their Mother in death and they looked at you and said "Daddy, you won't ever leave me will you?"
You would promise, and you would mean it. You could take your child into your arms and comfort them and say words like "I will always be here for you, comfort you, dry your eyes for you, bandage your knee for you, cuddle and love you always

And you would 120% mean those words.

But what if an unexpected event took your life? Leaving your daughter alone.

Then follows the "ghost" of the father "looking after his child as she grows.

I have never read such an awesome, unputdownable, heart touching [all the way through] book ever in this way.

It sometimes reminded me of the film GHOST with Patrick Swayze, but his wife got to see him, however, his daughter cannot.

This book is not all doom and gloom and forever wiping your eyes of tears but it is uplifting too.

S D Robertson. I am going to remember that name. This book has had such an effect on me that its taken me days to write.
Its one book this year you NEED to read.


*Thank you to HarperCollins UK, Avon via Net Galley for my copy to read and review*

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Review: Dark Secret

Dark Secret Dark Secret by Janice Frost
My rating: 5 of 5 stars



What a Great follow up from book one!
The opening chapters in this book has you biting your nails and feeling quite tense. If you received an urgent text needing to be somewhere because someones life was in danger you would throw on your clothes trying to hobble one foot and a time putting your shoes on and at the same time picking up your car keys right? well imagine that in your head and you have the 'almost' openings of the first chapters. I am not giving away much else but to say that his book just gets better and better.

There was no sure way to find out who the culprit was in this "whodunnit" book, it lead to so many that at one time I thought the entire characters were in on the plot!

Very well written, fast paced and time will fly by. I had to read this in one sitting, I just couldn't go to sleep until I finished it.

My thanks to Joffe Books via Net Galley for my copy to read and review it was awesome.

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Review: Another Love

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


Amanda Prowse [to me] always seems to deliver a read that takes your eyes to to the pages of her writing, seeps into your heartstrings, twangs them, and even sometimes breaks them. Someone who is not afraid to tackle subjects that go on within some peoples day to day lives who like to either ignore or 'sweep them under the carpet'. She meets it head on. And you have no choice but to meet things head on too and learn, and understand and open your mind and heart to what she is writing about.

If you have had or known or been close to someone who tackled alcohol addiction you can either not read this book, bury your head in the sand, ignore it and it might go away [but it doesn't.....ever] or you can actually read this, yes its a novel, but its written in a way that everyone would understand the emotional side of why someone drinks. NO excuse whatsoever for someone doing this, but the first thing we need to do is to understand it. It can happen to anyone of us and this author really doesn't hold back on hitting where it might hurt.

I am a king of person that likes to take on problems head on, I don't want to run, I want to face it, I find its the only way to deal with a problem [no matter what it is].

I do understand that this subject matter will bring back unhappy memories for many.

My Moms father was a drinker, he beat his wife, they moved into my Grandmas house and continued living there and let him 'get on with it'. Those were many many years ago. Now alcohol is and addiction, even treated like an illness. Whatever your thoughts are on that, this will evoke many different dimensions to it. It did for me.

You will need tissues to read some of these parts.
You may not.

You may say "its self inflicted"
You may say "let them rot"


Whatever your views are on the subject, this book will give an insight to how fast the decline can be to an addiction, and why.

Remember too, whilst reading this, some of us are emotionally stronger than others, some of us have family around us but not supportive or close, some of us have a life that has gone to plan, some of us have a life that we planned but was diverted by unforeseen circumstances.

Keep an open mind.

As with any author who has the courage to write such a emotive subject [its like Politics] we all have our views, keep an open mind and you may be surprised.

I loved this book and I am so glad I got an advanced copy from Head of Zeus Via Net Galley for my review. I love this authors books as she never holds back. Her writing is superb and your details are defined.



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Saturday, 19 March 2016

Review: Molly Meets Trouble

Molly Meets Trouble Molly Meets Trouble by Megan Atwood
My rating: 3 of 5 stars



I loved the concept of this story and the hidden moral behind it all. I adored the illustrations.

Molly had a best friend, but the best friend is a pen pal who lives far away from her.
Jenna [who is nick named Trouble] is a real pain in the neck to Molly.

It has some points of retaliation in the book which although was funny in parts I found odd in the word context for children.

There are layouts in the books that look like letters on paper being written to her best friends [her pen pal] which adds a lovely touch to this book. I struggled with the wording though and spelling jargon.
I know that we all are into the abbreviations of wordings now a days due to texting on phones, emails, messenger, but to see this actually in letters that are being written to her friend caught me off guard.

I would have liked this to be a proper written word book and not just a learning curve book against how to deal with bullies or peers that are causing you bother.

For a children's book I thought it was more adult thinking instead of childish thoughts when in narration.

But then, that's just me.

*My thanks to Capstone Young Readers via Net Galley for my copy of this children's book which was lovingly illustrated*

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Review: Healthy Speedy Suppers: Quick, Healthy and Delicious Recipes for Busy People

Healthy Speedy Suppers: Quick, Healthy and Delicious Recipes for Busy People Healthy Speedy Suppers: Quick, Healthy and Delicious Recipes for Busy People by MacGregor, Katriona
My rating: 4 of 5 stars


There is nothing worse than being a full time worker, or a mum with children or a young baby or just someone who doesn't feel like cooking tonight and wanting to eat 'in house' instead of sending for take outs or going out to eat. After all, that's getting more and more expensive.


Positives

The positives for me in this book is that the array of different meals are simple to prepare and reasonable to stand and cook. [I still don't think it replaces my slow cooker]
The options of recipes from Beef, Turkey mince [one of my favs in this book I HAVE to try] to lots of chicken dishes [which my son was salivating over because he loves anything with chicken] to fish.

I'm not a lover of fish unless its battered or breaded cod or haddock or smoked haddock [does fish fingers count?!!?, fish cakes even!] but there are two recipes using cod in this book that I am definitely going to try out.
I love something spicy and with flavour.
Lots of English dishes can be quite bland compared to other countries and we need to use spices and pulses more which within the pages of this book it encourages just that.


My negative was only one, if you are looking for a book with healthy recipes you will need to adapt some of the ingredients from ........say......heavy cream to 0%Total or greek yogurt or a lower version.

And white rice to brown rice and things like that to make it more calorie counted. Yes a lot of these recipes are healthy but they can be made health......er......if you are following a calorie counting regime, Slimming World or Weight Watchers [other healthy classes are available *wink*]


Most of these can be batched cooked and frozen ahead of time which is a bonus too.

*My thanks to Watkins Media Limited via Net Galley for this lovely coloured version*

Can I point out, I didn't feel the cover was 'appetizing' to the eye.


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Review: The Top 100 Low-Carb Recipes: Quick and Nutritious Dishes for Easy Low-Carb Eating

The Top 100 Low-Carb Recipes: Quick and Nutritious Dishes for Easy Low-Carb Eating The Top 100 Low-Carb Recipes: Quick and Nutritious Dishes for Easy Low-Carb Eating by Nicole Graimes
My rating: 5 of 5 stars



Whether you are trying to loose weight or just want to eat healthy, then you can't go wrong with this book.

Positives

I now know what the difference is between "good carbs & bad carbs".
We so much about how carbs are not good for us, or 'cut down on the carbs' or, carbs hold more water in your body hence at a woman's "certain" age this can help her to gain weight and not loose weight.
I have heard it all.

I'm fat.
No getting away from that. I have lost 5 stone [for US and other countries who go by pounds and not stone, there are 14 pounds to each stone, so you do the maths lol]

I need to loose heaps more just to qualify to be "chubby" so its important what I learn on my journey.

The learning of what are 'good carbs' and what are 'bad carbs' have been a good eye opener for me within the pages of this book.
We all know that white rice, white bread, white flour isn't good for us but we continue to eat it, and why? This is explained within the book too.

So change to wholemeal bread, brown rice, brown sugar and many more along the way keeping our tummies fuller for longer. And it tells us what to avoid and why.

Negative

Now the only negative for me is that the book has a wide range of recipes. But I would love to see one written with just 'everyday kinda food'.
My thoughts are though, depending on where in the world you live, then the recipes may be your everyday kind of food like squid, but here in the UK its not, well, not for me anyway.

I'm not sure if that is a complete negative of the book or because its just my preference.

I am yet to find a recipe book that holds UK everyday kind of food, but I guess we have to cater for all tastes.

For me though, there are only 4 recipes I would try.

I have given this a 5 star rating because of its informative information, the layout, the photo's of the foods and although some are common sense foods and just pretty layouts that anyone could make [like the open sandwich] it still holds brilliant content.

*I have to give thanks to Nourish
Cooking, Food & Wine via Net Galley for my chance to read this in full colour*

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Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Review: Looking Through Water

Looking Through Water Looking Through Water by Bob Rich, Jr.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars



What an absolutely tender heart wrenching, heart felt coming of age story this was.

The PA sent me this book a while ago as a proof read and I forgot all about it until I was going through my paperback books as I read a lot on my Kindle. But I loved reading this in paperback, the cover of this is absolutely brilliant and well thought out.

This is told when a Grandfather has taken his grandson on a fishing trip. Imagine the stories that Grandparents can tell you and the morals they can inflict on you just by a little story.

Here is a Grandfather connecting with his grandson on a boat catching fish. An impromptu chat that can speak many a word and many a thoughts.

The Grandfather recounts in such a way that the little boy understands what his granddad was like as a little boy growing up and how his life changed him for the better.

I did pick up on the mobile phone bit though, the year its based on the mobile phone wasn't invented, but nevertheless it was a great story.



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Review: Dead Money Run

Dead Money Run Dead Money Run by J. Frank James
My rating: 3 of 5 stars



I was offered a copy of this book in paperback from the author and its been sitting on my bedside awaiting its turn to be read.

I have to say, I am a sucker for a cover, a cover that attracts me and this one just didn't do it for me so maybe that is why its been sat for so long unread.

You can never tell a book by its cover though and this turned out to be an interesting story. Most of the reviews have touched on the proceedings of this book and what the story is about.

So I am going to say this, I have give it 4 stars not to sit on judgement but because I read near on 500 books per year and a book has to SO stand out to make it rise above the piles of the kind of genre this is aiming for. I say it is part way there.

At times it was seemingly written very professionally and then it left me with my eyes raising to the ceiling thinking the author could have worded that sentence better or even deleted that paragraph or enhanced this or that.

I do not profess to be anyone but a reader. I am not a critic. I just say what I felt worked or didn't work for me personally and I won't split hairs just because someone wants a 'good' review out of me.

It has all the makings of a 'good read' and 3 stars from me means it was OK. But it didn't hold with the best I have read in debut novels or ones that are newly Indie lately.

I do not mean this in an awful way, just truthful. And after all, if someone asks me for an honest review, its what you will get but I wish to never cause offence just to say, work on it, enhance it, jiggle up, get some advice and make it the best of the best to stand out in this over growing book world.

Thank you to the PA/publicist and author for allowing me to read and await my honest review

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Review: Eulogy

Eulogy Eulogy by Ken Murray
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I have had this paperback in my possession for a while now having had the author post it to me.

I am not so sure why I hadn't read it until now, maybe it was the cover, although it ties in with the story of the book it doesn't 'throw' itself at me.

This is primarily a story of a little boy growing up in a family where his parents really, really didn't get along, he had to suffer a lot of shouting, arguing and his Dad vanishing for days on end.

Can you imagine the impact that has on a child.

In the help to change, his parents get themselves involved in religion and attend church, finding God.
Now that is where I had a lot of problems with it. I have nothing against people's religion whose faith is important to them, but at times this just took on a spiritual reading book with biblical texts and such.

When William grows and has a girlfriend we see that although his age is what it is, his emotional state comes across a lot younger.

I began to realize that this is not a novel as such, more like a literally piece of work.

William Oakes is the one telling the story, of the past, of his family, his parents and his heritage. Mental health is played a lot within these pages.

I have to say this is quite a depressing book with not much happiness within it. I struggled finding my way upwards out of the pages once I had finished it. I felt quite down in the dumps.

This is a unique book, it has so many avenues leading off of it I just don't know where to start.

For me, the book needed more simplicity for us readers and a little more captions of joy.

3 stars from me for a debut novel.


My thanks to the author who posted me this in paperback

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Review: Margeau Chapeau: A New Perspective on Classic Knit Hats

Margeau Chapeau: A New Perspective on Classic Knit Hats by Margeau Soboti
My rating: 5 of 5 stars



This is one great book. Its all about hats.

The saying goes "If you want to get ahead, get a hat" and these are some awesome knitting patterns within this book ranging from the easy, intermediate to a little bit more thought and experience.

It explains the tension of your needles with the wool, the kind of wool, fibers that are best to knit with.

You can't go wrong really, they are all knitted hats like beanies to cosy hats with pom poms on top to caps.

There are 15 patterns you can practice on.

More of this ladies work can be found here:
www.margeausoboti.com.

*Thanks to Dover Publications via Net Galley for allowing me to review this book *

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Review: Wrongful Death

Wrongful Death Wrongful Death by L.J. Sellers
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Detective Jackson always appears to be the tough guy, the hard tough sweet tooth that when you bite into it all the nice sweet ooze pours out, well, he reminds me of that.

When a Police officer [one of their own] is shot, harmed or killed in some way, all pull together to find the person or persons who have done this and why not, its like family. And no one is going to rest until they are found.

This police officer was only just passing blankets out around the homeless to help them keep warm, then, hes dead. Guess where they are going to look.
There seem to be two likely candidates, both mentally ill who seem to be the perpetrators.

Then sexual crimes come to light, some arrests are made but the homeless sector are not taking too kindly to this so there is anarchy among them.

The plot unfolds.


For me, this was a good Police thriller, but it just lacked some excitement in places and sort of dipped on and off. I wanted it to keep my attention throughout each page I read.

After saying that, the twist in its tail was a WHACK in the face. But I struggled at times to stay with it.

*My thanks to Amazon Publishing via Net Galley for my chance to read and review this book*

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Review: The Way We Were

The Way We Were The Way We Were by Sinéad Moriarty
My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Sinéad Moriarty is one of my favourite authors who I have come to eagerly await her 'next book'. Oftentimes they are written around family, dysfunctional or otherwise and this one is written in a way that it could happen to you, to someone you know or someone who knows someone.

Its realistic in its entirely and the characters become fixtures in your head.

Everything that could be said about what the book is about has already been covered by a lot of other reviewers and for me to add more will just ruin the saga for you all.

I do have one fault, I think the 'cutting yourself i.e self harming' episodes could have been gone into more I think, not for gorey issues but for the indepth of the situation and why people may do this, the emotional side.

This was another book I just couldn't put down until I had finished it.


* My thanks go to Penguin Books (UK) via Net Galley for my chance to read this and review it*

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Review: After the Lie

After the Lie After the Lie by Kerry Fisher
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Lies

No matter who says it, who its said to, white lie or little lie, its still a a lie
One lie leads to another cover up which becomes another like until you know it you have created a huge mountain of lies that can come down on you like an avalanche and you are covered in the debris.

This has some humorous moments but with an impact that you just don't realize at the time.

Its well written, it keeps you wanting more and its very [what I would call] conversational, where there is lots of chatting, lots of conversations and you don't get bored by a lot of narration.

Lydia is married to the right man, has perfect 'seemingly' children who attend the right school, she owns a wedding business and all seems so perfect in paradise.

Lydia has been living a lie and Mark her husband doesn't know.


I absolutely was enthralled by this story.

The wicked things we weave. And deceive.

Great book.

*My thanks to Bookouture via Net Galley for my copy*

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Friday, 11 March 2016

Review: You Were Here

You Were Here You Were Here by Cori McCarthy
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Jaycee's brother Jake was a bit of a dare devil, he always walked on the wild side of life and liked nothing better than to take chances. Except, his last chance ran out and he fell to his death.

Jaycee obviously is devastated and at a loss, she blames her brother, but she also grieves for him.

Dare to drink and create stunts and do them, and you have one lethal concoction.

Why is Jaycee walking around with her brother's clothes on?
Why is she acting the same way her brother did whose last stunt created his death?
Hasn't she learnt from this?

People are afraid of her.

Jaycee is grieving.

If anyone knows about grief, you can act in the most unexpected ways.

Her friends need to take action before its too late.


This was a very moving story. There is therapy, grief, secrets, and coming to an enlightenment of the truth.

Its a well written thought out and thought provoking read.

I thoroughly enjoyed my reading journey with this one.

*Thanks to SOURCEBOOKS Fire via Net Galley for my copy*

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Monday, 7 March 2016

Review: Dark Touch

Dark Touch Dark Touch by Aimee L. Salter
My rating: 4 of 5 stars



Abuse, dark secrets, emotional.

This is portrayed as a Young Adult book, but I think, no, let me rephrase this, it can be read at any age, there are so many things you can take away from this read.

Tully wants to be alone, she needs to be alone. She must be alone, but this is not going to happen because she meets Chris and he is the total opposite to her.

Chris seems much older than his teenage years, he has insight and he has a huge understanding that goes with a fantastic enormous heart, all he wants to do it, give. But can Tully take what Chris has to offer.

Or does her hurt run too deep and leave too many scars that cannot be opened.

This is a lovely story told by this author and a really enjoyed it.

*My thanks to Alloy Entertainment via Net Galley for the chance to read this+

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Review: Trust No One

Trust No One Trust No One by Clare Donoghue
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Oh dear, yet another book I sat and read today without hardly moving, only when I really had to. I even ignored the phone.

This is a compelling read that you need to set aside time for, because once you start this you won't be able to put it down. And if you do have to, you will be rushing around trying to gt back to it.

Trust no one and you really find you cannot trust one single person in this book. Not one.

This is a story of emotions, this is a story of death, secrets and huge lies.

Who wanted Richard dead?
It falls on the wife, she seems the subject. She has no real alibi, medical condition.

But then again, there were lots of others who could have killed him too.

Its even worse when there are children involved.

I cannot give you any spoilers, so I am going to leave it there.

Highs and Lows and almost didn't see this coming.

*Thank you to Pan Macmillan via Net Galley for my copy+

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Review: Last Kiss Goodnight: A heart-breaking story of lost children and the power of a mother's love

Last Kiss Goodnight: A heart-breaking story of lost children and the power of a mother's love Last Kiss Goodnight: A heart-breaking story of lost children and the power of a mother's love by Teresa Driscoll
My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I have to admit something. I read Teresa Driscoll's other book and completely was balled over by it. Its a book I will never forget.

So when I saw her latest book plus just look at the cover, doesn't it tell a story?
So in I dug and began to read.

I am a bit slowed down at the moment due to taking Diazan for muscle relaxants due to my sciatica so I am not sure if that is the reason I found "getting into this book" difficult. Alas though, once I got through to a section that began to clear everything for me and the mist had parted I was turning page after page until I dropped off with my Kindle flopping onto my face and waking me up :)

There are some awesome descriptions 'one liners' I would call them that are perfect gems to be remembered forever that the author uses.

Its not all doom and gloom in this heartbreaking book there are moments of laughter and town gossip along with a little bit of knitting thrown in! [I will leave you to discover that for yourselves when you read it]

So what started out as a slow read picked up pace.

So this is my second book from this author I have read and enjoyed and definitely be looking forward to her next. I love her topics and she reminds me a little of Diane Chamberlain in the kind of subject matters that she dares to write about. I loved it.

*My thanks to Bookouture and Net Galley for my copy and to the author *

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Friday, 4 March 2016

Review: A Girl's Guide to Moving On

A Girl's Guide to Moving On A Girl's Guide to Moving On by Debbie Macomber
My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I have read several of Debbie Macomber's books before, this one seemed a little bit different to her usual style so I thought I would delve in and see what happens, most of her books have been linked to series before.

We have a Daughter in law and the Mother in law.

The daughter in law, Nichole finds out that her husband is cheating. She's not going to put up with this, although she has a young son, a job, and is a volunteer so leads a busy life, she decides that is nothing for it but to move on.

The we have her Mother in law Leanne who has been stuck in her marriage putting up with her unfaithful husband for years.

_ This made me think _
Two generations both dealing with the same problems but the difference in the generations show, don't they? The younger woman won't put up with it, so left, the older woman put up with it.

Now that Nichole has given Leanne the strength to realize that life can go on. That's exactly what they both do.
They make a girl guide list to survive.

As time goes on and things happen in both their lives and each meet a man, this can be a serious issue as both of them do not want to open their hearts again.

This is a very good story of two women moving on from a terrible relationship but showing, there is life after a horrible marriage. Why stay?

I thoroughly enjoyed this read, its nothing like this author has written before and made a great change, I hope she writes many more in this style.

* My thanks to Ballantine Books via Net Galley for an early copy to read and review *

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Review: Sisters and Lies

Sisters and Lies Sisters and Lies by Bernice Barrington
My rating: 4 of 5 stars



The story in this book is a well thought out plot, its full of suspense, mystery and family drama, however, the downside to me was the repetitiveness of some things that did grate on my nerves at times as I saw no need to keep going over the same things, a reader has the vision and memory to remember such events or happenings, afterall, reading is about memory.

That being said, the characters in this book were strong, well thought out and developed and the author did a fantastic job in making them appear real to me.

Rachel's sister is in a coma following an 'accident' and certain events that happen within the story just doesn't compute with Rachel so she is determined to uncover the truth. Whereupon she also finds out the her sisters life is totally different to what shes been told.


On the whole this was a great interesting read for me.


* Thanks to Penguin Books (UK) via net galley for keeping me entertained*

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Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Review: Vintage Dreams

Vintage Dreams Vintage Dreams by Jannie Lund
My rating: 4 of 5 stars



The main characters in this read are Scott and Danielle.

Scott has to revisit his home town, not something he is going to enjoy as he has some bad memories left behind there.

Danielle is the not the wallflower, wilting damsel in distress kind of girl, oh no she runs her own business and knows her own mind thank you very much! so this story of both of them works up a storm in more ways than one.

Its a book genre type book that I can come back to reading for a little light relief from the psychological thrillers or hard family drama books I tend to read so I must say, I thoroughly enjoyed this read this afternoon.

I have been laid up with sciatica so this was a lovely easy book that didn't take too much effort to work my brain and just relax and enjoy.


*My thanks to the author for allowing me to review her latest book*

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Review: One Summer Night: A Love Letter to Life

One Summer Night: A Love Letter to Life One Summer Night: A Love Letter to Life by Emily Bold
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was quite a tearful page turner at times.

We have this lovely woman here who has children, married and finds out she has a brain tumor.

This book lends us, the reader, part of her past leading up to where we find her today: surrounded by the people she loves and who love her in her final days.

I can't really say much more about the story as I don't want to give spoilers away, it was hard reading at times as it can become quite depressing. For me it was, because of what she had to leave behind and her husband and his feelings about it all.

I had to read it though, I'm a glutton for a weepy.


*This book was provided for me by Bonnier Publishing via Net Galley in return for my honest review*

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