Thursday, 31 July 2014

#Sunathon Wrap Up

Sorry for the delay in writing this, better late than never I hope!

This is the first read-a-thon I have participated in, and only really decided to join in about 7pm the night before it started. This started a frantic time where I couldn't decide which books to choose, thanks to those on twitter who calmed me down and helped me :).

I decided on a rather ambitious 6 books.
  • Black Diamond by Havana Adams
  • You're The One That I Want by Giovanna Fletcher
  • Stolen by Lucy Christopher
  • Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
  • Beautiful Oblivion by Jamie McGuire
  • One Hundred Pieces of Me by Lucy Dillon (Audiobook)
After Day 1 I felt good, I had finished Black Diamond (a very good book, read my review here) I had listened to a good portion of 'One Hundred Pieces of Me' and was raring to go onto 'You're the One That I Want'. Day 2 however was a bit of a flop, I read barely 10 pages. Day 3-5 I cannot remember, only that I managed to complete 'You're the One That I Want' and finished listening to 'One Hundred Pieces of Me' so it can't have been too bad. So three books down and three to go and the weekend stretching before me.

The weekend was OK, I hoped to squeeze at least 1 book in, maybe 1 and a half, but I was alot busier than I expected and I managed to read about half of Beautiful Oblivion.

So in total I read 2 and a half real books, and 1 audiobook (which kinda feels like cheating lol).
  • Black Diamond by Havana Adams
  • You're The One That I Want by Giovanna Fletcher
  • Beautiful Oblivion by Jamie McGuire (Half Complete)
  • One Hundred Pieces of Me by Lucy Dillon (Audiobook)
Not bad, better than a normal week I think - mostly down to the audiobook, I think normally my reading average is 2, so I'll make sure to listen to more audiobooks :)

I really enjoyed this read-a-thon and a HUGE thank you to Emma Louise for organising this - Check out her blog here!

I cannot wait till #fallathon this october!!!

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Beautiful Oblivion by Jamie McGuire

The Beautiful Disaster phenomenon continues in the first heart-pounding new adult romance in The Maddox Brothers series.

Fiercely independent Camille "Cami" Camlin gladly moved on from her childhood before it was over. She has held down a job since before she could drive, and moved into her own apartment after her freshman year of college. Now tending bar at The Red Door, Cami doesn't have time for much else besides work and classes, until a trip to see her boyfriend is cancelled, leaving her with her first weekend off in almost a year.

Trenton Maddox was the king of Eastern State University, dating co-eds before he even graduated high school. His friends wanted to be him, and women wanted to tame him, but after a tragic accident turned his world upside down, Trenton leaves campus to come to grips with the crushing guilt.

Eighteen months later, Trenton is living at home with his widower father, and works full-time at a local tattoo parlour to help with the bills. Just when he thinks his life is returning to normal, he notices Cami sitting alone at a table at The Red.

As the sister of four rowdy brothers, Cami believes she'll have no problem keeping her new friendship with Trenton Maddox strictly platonic. But when a Maddox boy falls in love, he loves forever - even if she is the only reason their already broken family could fall apart.

In the first installment of The Maddox Brothers series, readers can experience the rush of reading Beautiful Disaster for the first time, all over again.

I’ve heard a lot of good things about this book, and the ‘disaster’ books by Jamie McGuire. I have them all waiting on my kindle, and after reading a rave review from Rebecca at Becca’s Books, I decided I couldn’t wait to start with this one. 

This book just looks amazing with its peacock feather cover. Incredibly pretty. It follwos a different Maddox brother than the disaster series. In this one you follow Trenton Maddox. As such this can be easily enjoyed as a standalone, I cannot wait to read the others though as I feel there may be a bit more background to both the main characters (I would like to find out more about the accident Trent was in and Cami’s past) in that book, as Abby and Travis from the ‘Disaster’ series had small roles in this book too.

The book is incredibly easy to read, and you just find the hours disappearing, you’re gripped to the story from page 1.

Cami is wonderful. Fiercely independent and strong due to her family, mainly her dad, who is one of the most hateful characters I have ever read. Her best friend Raegan is really funny, and I loved Cami and Raegan’s dynamic. The whole cast in the book is well written, all very distinct personalities.

Now where do I begin with Trent? Words can barely describe how sexy he is, added to that is his hard exterior, he’s very protective. Also he has a sensitive side, your first glimpse at this is his relationship with Olive, who is ridiculously cute herself.

The ending is just... wow, the last few words just made my jaw drop! The book is utterly fantastic, the perfect blend of sexy, fun and romance. The rest of Jamie McGuire’s books are moving up my TBR pile PRONTO!

Order on Amazon now!

Published by: Simon and Schuster UK

Gratefully received from the Publisher for review.

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Top Ten Authors I Own The Most Books Of

Top Ten Tuesdays
Top Ten Authors I Own The Most Books Of

Hosted by The Broke and Bookish!

1.) Jane Green
I believe my first foray into Women's Fiction / Chick Lit was 'Spellboud' by Jane Green. It's gold and pink cover stood out to me from the shelves, and my love affair with her books started. I am really looking forward to her new book Saving Grace, which is out in September.

2.) Sophie Kinsella
Sophie's books also introduced me to my favourite genre. I loved reading 'The Secret Dreamworld of a Shopaholic'. I related to Becky so easily. Her standalone books are also fabulous, if you haven't already, check out 'Twenties Girl', stunning!

3.) Chrissie Manby
Another author who I started reading when I started to read adult books. Deep heat was phenomenal and her books keep getting better and better. Her most recent one 'A Proper Family Holiday' was just amazing, and we're getting a sequel at Christmas, I'm completely spoilt this year

4.) Cecelia Ahern
'Where Rainbows End'  was so amazing, I wanted to re-read it as soon as I had finished it. I LOVE that book, it is just amazing, my favourite book of Cecelia's. However all her books have a special quality to them, you never know what to expect, other than a magical story.
5.) Paige Toon
From the moment I read 'Lucy In The Sky', I couldn't help but love Paige's books. There is something special in the friendly way she writes. I love the cameos in each books of characters from previous books, giving us a glimpse of their 'Happily Ever Afters'. Love love love Paige Toon's books!

6.) Lindsey Kelk
Lindsey is one of the newer authors to join my list of "You must buy everything this author writes, even if it's a cereal packet'. In 2010, Apple offered 'I Heart New York' for free, and after reading a chapter, I downloaded the sequels based in Hollywood and Paris, and then binge-read them over a weekend. I cannot get enough of Lindsey's books, especially the 'I Heart' series, Angela is so adorable, and gets to live in the best city in the world, Jealous much?!

7.) Jodi Picoult
Bought on a whim, one morning when I woke up and thought 'I really want to read a novel by Jodi Picoult', I went straight to town and bought two (when is one book enough?!). Handle with Care and Nineteen minutes captured my attention, I couldn't put these books down. Each book Jodi writes is really good, with the power to shock, make me cry yet warm the heart, all in one book (and more often all in a few pages).

8.) Dorothy Koomson
I just love Dorothy's books. I first started reading her books when 'My Best Friends Girl' was selected for Richard and Judy's book club, and it was so amazing, and remains one of my favourite books to this day. 

9.) Diane Chamberlain
Another author that I discovered in the last 3-4 years that was an instant hit. Each novel is thought provoking, and just wonderful. Breaking the Silence is the stand out book for me. It's written so beautifully, especially given the sensitive subject. I've even got my mum hooked.

10.) Carole Matthews
Despite having an absolutely vast back catalogue of books, Carole was quite a recent discovery for me. Ever since I read 'With Love at Christmas' 18ish months ago, I have been catching up with her books, and each one is wonderful, why, oh why did I wait so long. Thanks to Rea (from Reabookreviews) for reviewing that book, I may never have realised just what I was missing otherwise!

Monday, 28 July 2014

What Would Mary Berry Do? by Claire Sandy

For fans of The Great British Bake Off, this is a story about family life, unfriendly rivalry and flat Victoria sponges

Marie Dunwoody doesn't want for much in life. She has a lovely husband, three wonderful children, and a business of her own. Except, her cupcakes are crap. Her meringues are runny and her biscuits rock-hard. She cannot bake for toffee. Or, for that matter, make toffee.

Marie can't ignore the disappointed looks any more, or continue to be shamed by neighbour and nemesis, Lucy Gray. Lucy whips up perfect profiteroles with one hand, while ironing her bed sheets with the other. Marie's had enough: this is the year it all changes. She vows to follow - to the letter - recipes from the Queen of Baking and at all times ask 'What would Mary Berry do?'

Husband Robert has noticed that his boss takes crumb structure as seriously as budget sheets and so puts on the pinny: serious redundancies are on the horizon. Twins Rose and Iris are happy to eat all the half-baked mistakes that come their way, but big brother Angus is more distant than usual, as if something is troubling him. And there is no one as nosey as a matching pair of nine-year-old girls . . .

Marie starts to realise that the wise words of Mary Berry can help her with more than just a Victoria Sponge. But can Robert save the wobbling soufflé that is his career? And is Lucy's sweet demeanour hiding something secretly sour?

This book sounded amazing, after all I love baking, and Mary Berry is amazing, every Wednesday during GBBO season, you will find me in front of the TV religiously watching the triumphant (and sometimes not-so-triumphant) bakes. The cover is also beautiful, every bit of the cake looks good enough to eat with it's sweet, delicious icing.

The book is really funny, on almost every page there was something that made me smile or chuckle to myself. It is written so wonderfully, it really draws you in. There are a lot of characters, but it’s not confusing, everyone has a distinct personality and are really memorable.

Marie is wonderful, hardworking and her point of view is great to read. Her relationship with Lucy, her nemesis is really funny, and you really will her on to succeed with her bakes. I think it was nice that Robert also got into baking, so they shared a new passion for it, even if it did mean they were fighting over oven space.

I thought that the side plots were great, Angus’ online relationship was really interesting from hearing just the one side of it, and the twins, Iris and Rose were so funny in their attempts to find Angus a girlfriend was really funny, they were so mischievous I loved them! I also found Marie’s workmates lovely and hilarious, especially the dental nurse, the whole attack alarm and ‘undressing her with their eyes’ sections were laugh out loud funny.

The book also delves into more serious topics too, and these were dealt with sensitively, and gives you a greater understanding of the characters, and makes you realise that sometimes all is not what it seems.

Overall this book was a great read, really really funny and warming, it was incredibly hard to put down.

Order on Amazon now!

Published by: Pan Macmillan

Gratefully received from the Publisher for review.

Friday, 25 July 2014

Black Diamond by Havana Adams

As the blaze of a township shack fire dies down, an elderly woman stands cradling two orphaned children – identical twin baby girls. Lola and Grace are sent to the local orphanage, but their shared journey soon ends there. Lola is chubby, pretty and healthy, while Grace is weak, thin and sick.

When Hollywood actress Scarlet decides she wants to adopt a South African baby, she visits that same orphanage and chooses Lola immediately. She is never even told about Grace – who is hidden away, and given just weeks to live. Lola goes on to lead a privileged and pampered life in LA with Scarlet, while Grace, who miraculously survives, is raised by the strict and violent Pastor in North London.

Although their lives progress on different continents, the same sense of abandonment still haunts them both. But when fate eventually draws them together in the most unexpected of ways, will they like what they find?

Black Diamond’s synopsis really piqued my interest and intrigued me and the book did not disappoint. It follows the lives of two twins separated at birth. One adopted by a famous Hollywood actress, and the other adopted by a pastor and his wife.

After the powerful prologue the books fast forwards 17 years, and you get to know the twins in each of their separate lives. The books moves at a fast pace spanning quite a few years, yet the book never drags, you always want to read on to find out what will happen next.

Lola Wilde comes across as quite bratty to start with, until the book digs deeper and you understand that it’s more about the people she associates with, her best friend Amber was manipulative, and I had a hard time liking her from the moment she appeared in the book. I had mixed feelings about Scarlet (Lola’s mother) it felt that Lola was just playing the ‘poor little rich girl’ routine half the time, but I can understand that Lola genuinely felt let down, but their ending was really touching. I really liked Simon, Lola’s boyfriend, I think he was the only good influence on her.

Grace I felt sorry for throughout the whole book. She gets treated so badly firstly by the pastor as she knows him who is abusive to her and her mother. Then as she goes to university, she begins to trust someone who you can see straight away will hurt her. Her best friend Vicky though was an amazing rock, and Nico was mysterious, but I really grew to like him.

The ending of this book was a complete shock, I did not see it coming at all. It’s strong, and was more action-packed than I was expecting. Spectacular. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and can’t wait to read more from Havana Adams.

Order on Amazon now!

Published by: 
Gratefully received from the Publisher for review.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

A Gift To Remember by Melissa Hill

Darcy Archer works in a small bookstore in Manhattan. A daydream believer, she refuses to settle for anything less than being swept off her feet by the perfect man… literally.
One day, when cycling to work, Darcy accidentally crashes into a sharply dressed gentleman walking his dog. He is knocked out cold, rushed to hospital and the poor pup gets left behind.
Wracked with guilt, Darcy takes the dog and makes plans to reunite him with owner, Aidan. As she discovers the mysterious stranger's world of books, travel, adventure and all the wonderful things she's ever dreamt about, Darcy builds a picture of this man and wonders if he could be THE ONE…
But does fantasy match reality? What happens when Prince Charming wakes up? Will Aidan be the happy ever after she's always imagined?


This book is set in my favourite city, New York, and Melissa Hill describes the city and it's atmosphere perfectly in all the books she sets there, and this one is no different. Added to that is the description of Chaucer's bookstore where Darcy works, it sounds absolutely delightful, and next time I am in NYC I shall endeavour to visit more bookstores!

Darcy was such a loveable character. 
Her love for books and her work was obvious and warmed you to Darcy instantly, and you felt terrible after she crashed into poor Aidan. She was so caring, I loved her determination to find out who Aidan really was, while having a few adventures on the way.
Bailey, the dog Darcy starts to look after was so adorable as well! 

The few chapters from Aidan’s perspective of what happened leading up to the crash, which were really nice to read, and don't give too much away. I would have liked a few more of these chapters to show his thoughts after the crash, to voice his frustration at his memory loss, and his growing feelings towards Darcy.

Overall , I thought it was another spectacular, magical book from one of my favourite authors. As I said 
above, the setting in this book is described so beautifully, it's hard to turn away from this book as you really feel like you are there with Darcy.

Order on Amazon now!

Published by: Simon & Schuster UK

Gratefully received from the publisher

Sunday, 20 July 2014

By My Side by Wendy Lou Jones


Betrayed by her boyfriend and best friend, Lena is left empty; trapped under a weight of guilt and loneliness. Then, at her lowest point and when she needs it most, a mysterious stranger comes into her life with a tale of friendship, family, and finding love in the most unexpected of places...
Katy Heath is definitely not thinking of love when she comes across consultant, Adam Elliot, berating some poor patient on the ward one day. In fact it is Dr Peter Florin who quickly has everyone’s hearts aflutter with his easy smiles and practised charm.

Yet Katy comes to realise that there’s more to Adam than his determination to push everyone away and it’s not long before she finds herself longing to reach out to touch the man within, healing the pain of his past.

As Lena is drawn into Katy’s story, she begins to learn – just as Katy does- that the course of true love never did run smooth.

This book tells stories of two people. First is Lena, who is hurting after her boyfriend and best friend betrayed her trust. However most of the story is based around Kate and her life working in a hospital.

Kate's story was just beautiful; you really got a feel for the surroundings and all the people that Kate knew. Sophie, her best friend was wonderful, and her romance with Rich was almost fairy-tale perfect, I loved how Richard fell into the story with ease.

Kate herself was so down to earth; you really get to know her personality. At times seems so unsure of herself. This is mainly due to her feelings towards Adam.
Adam himself is quite mysterious; you sometimes see parts of the book in his point of view, which helps you dig in deeper to his mind, and gradually you get to understand why he's sometimes hot and cold towards Kate. When him and Kate are together though, they are so amazing together, you really feel like they are soul mates.

The twist in the middle of the book took me completely by surprise, and was handled really well. The initial part really put me on the edge of my seat to see if everything would be OK.

With Lena's story, other than the first chapter of the book you don't really read much about her, which initially left me wondering why this part was written, but of course, this all comes together in the end, I actually didn't see it coming and the ending is so touching, beautiful but sad at the same time. The perfect end to the book I think.

Order on Amazon now!

Published by: HarperCollins UK, HarperImpulse             

Gratefully received from the Publisher for review.

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

When Alice Met Danny by T.A. Williams

What's in a name?

Devastated after losing her job, eternal pragmatist Alice leaves London for a new start in Devon. It’s there that she meets Danny.

Then she meets another Danny.

And then she meets Daniel – Danny to his friends…

In fact, there seems to be a Danny at every turn! Her neighbour’s a Danny; there’s little baby Danny; there’s a vicar, a windsurfer, even a dog called Danny! And whether it’s laughter, comfort, a flutter of romance or a walk along the beach, they each bring something special to Alice’s new life.

You might say it’s a coincidence. Alice certainly would… at first! But when she suddenly risks losing not just one Danny, but all of them, she begins to wonder: might there be more in a name than she ever guessed?

When Alice met Danny is maybe the first book in this genre I have read that is written by a man, and T. A. Williams has done a splendid job!

The writing is instantly gripping, and I was hooked from the first line. This book is relaxing, Alice is so charming, you instantly warm to her, I felt bad for her when she realised her bargain of a house was a house for a reason. She handles this really well, showing her strong character.

I found Alice finding lots of Danny’s really funny – though I think I connect with this because the name Sarah follows me around – Loads of people, beginning while I was at school call me Sarah (even in replying to emails from Rachel!) and the only two other people in my office I work with have wives called Sarah, very weird lol!

The Dannys that Alice met were all very different. You have 3 adult Dannys, all with different personalities. Danny her work friend who is really friendly, and you can instantly tell he fancies the pants off Alice. Her new Neighbour ‘My friends call me Danny’ who I had reservations about from the beginning, he was just a tiny bit creepy in my opinion. Finally there was the local landowner Daniel, who has a mysterious persona, but came across so nice, I really liked him! As well as those there was baby Danny, and Danny the adorable black Labrador that Alice ends up adopting.

The best Danny in my opinion however, was one you only learned about from letters sent by him in WW1 that Alice finds in the house that she bought These were so interesting to read, and I loved how this really intrigued Alice about finding out exactly who this Danny was, and inspiring her to learn more about World War 1.

The rest of the cast were all very lovely and welcoming, you got a real sense of small village community life.

This book was really warming, delightful read, and another one that could easily have been read in one sitting, had real life not interfered.

Order on Amazon now!

Published by: 
Gratefully received from the Publisher for review.

Monday, 7 July 2014

The Art of Blind Baking by Sarah Vaughn

There are many reasons to bake: to feed; to create; to impress; to nourish; to define ourselves; and, sometimes, it has to be said, to perfect. But often we bake to fill a hunger that would be better filled by a simple gesture from a dear one. We bake to love and be loved.

In 1966, Kathleen Eaden, cookery writer and wife of a supermarket magnate, published The Art of Baking, her guide to nurturing a family by creating the most exquisite pastries, biscuits and cakes.

Now, five amateur bakers are competing to become the New Mrs Eaden. There's Jenny, facing an empty nest now her family has flown; Claire, who has sacrificed her dreams for her daughter; Mike, trying to parent his two kids after his wife's death; Vicki, who has dropped everything to be at home with her baby boy; and Karen, perfect Karen, who knows what it's like to have nothing and is determined her façade shouldn't slip.

As unlikely alliances are forged and secrets rise to the surface, making the choicest choux bun seems the least of the contestants' problems. For they will learn - as Mrs Eaden did before them - that while perfection is possible in the kitchen, it's very much harder in life.

Firstly can we all please take a moment to look at the cover and admire the charm and pure beauty of the teal and hot pink cover it is so gorgeous! This book also sounds fantastic mixing my love of baking and books that follow the lives of multiple characters. This book is the complete package.

While I expected the majority of this book to focus on the competition, the book actually focused more on the lives of the women’s lives outside of the contest. I actually think this was for the better as this wasn’t the book I was expecting (I must add I like being surprised, so this was not a negative), the story, especially towards the end, was fantastic, but the contest was not what drew you in. It was the different personalities of the contestants, each with their personal issues, and how they all developed as individuals.

I would have to say, for the most part, the men in this book were useless (Mike being the exception, I would have liked to find more out about him), Greg was so absent and unsupportive of Vicki, you just wanted to scream at him. Much the same can be said of Nigel, Jenny's husband, but instead of just being absent, he is just verbally Abusive to his wife and frankly, stuck up his own arse! Thoroughly detestable!
On the other hand the women were delightful, though I didn't really warm to Karen, although she goes through a lot, I still don't fully understand her. Jenny is the mum character and was so warm and loving, despite her private life. She was exactly the type of character you would expect when thinking of home baking. I thought Vicki's relationship with her distant mother was very interesting, and I really enjoyed seeing them bond as I progressed through the book.

The book had sections from the cookbook of Kathleen Eaden, the wife of the founder of ‘Eaden’s’ supermarket who is running the competition. You also had insights into her life many years ago while writing the book, and these parts I thought were the most touching, and the ending of this was both happy and sad all at the same time, simply beautiful.

As mentioned above, I expected to enjoy this book, but it wasn't the book I expected. That doesn't make any sense, I guess I expected it to be a slightly ‘lighter read’ does that make more sense? Anyway, the book is a joy to read, I absolutely sped through the last half to see what would happen, you should definitely pick it up!

Order on Amazon now!

Published by: 
Hodder & Stoughton
Gratefully received from the Publisher for review.

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

One Hundred Proposals by Holly Martin

‘Is there really such a thing as a perfect proposal?

Over the next hundred days I intend to find out. I will find one hundred ways to propose to our Chief Proposer Suzie McKenzie and post the results here for your enjoyment. One thing’s for sure, not one of my proposals will be on top of the Eiffel Tower with a dozen red roses.’

Best friends Suzie and Harry are partners in romance. That is, they run, coming to the aid of would-be grooms to create the ultimate marriage proposal.

But when Harry decides to catapult the business into the big leagues with a PR stunt all Suzie can see is a hundred days of heartbreak stretching ahead of her. But however exotic the location, or breath-takingly romantic the setting, Suzie has to keep remembering that ‘Marry Me?’ is the one question she can’t say yes to.

This business proposal should come with one hundred broken heart warnings...

One hundred proposals, one hundred chances to say yes.

I haven’t been blogging long and I think this is the first book I have seen that has been hyped up to an unbelievable level, so expectations were very high. Thankfully this book meets that expectation, it is so easy to read, I didn’t notice the hours slipping away. The writing style is so friendly, it is definitely a book to read in one go

Lots of girls dreams of having an amazingly romantic proposal and this book certainly fulfills that, they were mostly so wonderful I wouldn’t mind any one of them. I say mostly, as I don’t think I would find the spider one funny either. My favourite one without a doubt is the fireflies, absolutely spectacular.

Suzie is so cute, she is hopelessly in love with Harry, but doesn’t tell him, leading to a torturous few months as she has to answer no to every proposal. Her lack of confidence means she accepts the situation, but as the book progresses cracks start to show. She was so warm and loving there is never a second when you don’t want her to end up with the man of her dreams. Harry was just as lovely, and I really wanted to bang Suzie and Harry’s heads together for a good portion of the book!

Overall this book had it all, Romance, humour (for the record my favourite character in the whole book was Tiny Tim Timmings!), everything I want in a book, it was just amazing.

Order on Amazon now!

Published by: 
Carina UK
Gratefully received from the Publisher for review.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...