Saturday, 30 August 2014

The Time of Our Lives by Jane Costello

Three best friends. One five-star hotel. Will it be the holiday of a lifetime . . .? 

Imogen and her friends Meredith and Nicola have had their fill of budget holidays, cattle-class flights and 6 a.m. offensives for a space by the pool.

So when Meredith wins a VIP holiday at Barcelona's hippest new hotel, they plan to sip champagne with the jet set, party with the glitterati and switch off in unapologetic luxury.

But when the worst crisis of her working life erupts back home, Imogen has to juggle her BlackBerry with a Manhattan, while soothing a hysterical boss and hunting down an AWOL assistant. 
Between a robbery, a run-in with hotel security staff and an encounter on a nudist beach that they'd all rather forget, the friends stumble from one disaster to the next. At least Imogen has a distraction in the form of the gorgeous guy who's always in the right place at the very worst time. Until, that is, his motives start to arouse a few suspicions . . . 


Although I have most of Jane Costello’s novels waiting on my kindle to be read, I have never picked one up and read one. When I saw she was speaking at the Glitterati event I was going to attend, I bought this book and delved in. I am SO glad I did. This book is beyond phenomenal. One of the funniest, laugh out loud books I have ever read. It is so cleverly written, I really cannot believe I waited so long!

This book is set in Barcelona, it is the perfect setting for the glamorous holiday that Imogen, Meredith and Nicola go on. City, beaches, historical landmarks and nice bars and restaurants, I’ve never been but this book has made it move swiftly near the top of my list of places I need to visit! 

Imogen is the lead protagonist, and as you can see from the blurb, isn’t having quite the relaxing time she was hoping for. She is a workaholic and just wants to unwind, but can’t seem to catch a lucky break. Right from the airport, one disaster after another just keeps happening. While I would hate any one of these things to happen to myself, it is quite comical to read, as bad as I felt I couldn’t help cracking up time and time again. Overall though Imogen is a lovely person, and I felt so sorry for her bad luck, but she held it together very well! She also found time to be supportive to her friends who each had their own issues, absolute wonderwoman!
The leading man Harry was very dashing. That’s all I can think of to say without spoiling some of the book, but needless to say he is everything you want in a man.

Her two best friends are both great friends, exactly the people you want to go on holiday. Nicola was the more sensible one I think with Meredith being the one who always seems to just want to have fun. You soon get to understand though, that Meredith is just insecure about her future. I really loved both these characters.

This book had me laughing and crying, mostly through to laughter, but it also has a few moments that really made me holding my breath, waiting for the inevitable moment that would break my heart a little. I literally could not put this books down, this is one book that is really easy to pick up and not notice the hours fly by! I need to read the rest of Jane’s books ASAP!

Order on Amazon now!

Published by: Simon and Schuster UK

Friday, 29 August 2014

The Mill River Redemption by Darcie Chan

Firstly, I am so happy to be part of this blog tour, check out the other fabulous blogger's on the poster at the bottom of this review!

Having unexpectedly lost her husband and lacking the means to support herself, Josie DiSanti and her two daughters take refuge in the small town of Mill River, to live with Josie's aunt, Ivy. The sisters, Rose and Emily, are inseparable growing up - until a shocking tragedy tears them apart.

Years later, Rose and Emily return to Mill River for the reading of their mother's will, where they learn that Josie would do anything to force their reconciliation: the sisters must move into neighbouring houses for the summer and work together to locate the key to Josie's safe deposit box, which contains their inheritance. 

And so, left with no choice, Rose and Emily reluctantly begin their search. But in a place known for its magic and miracles, little do they know that an even greater treasure awaits them . . . 

The Synopsis of this book really grabbed my attention. An emotional family tale with added mystery, perfect.

The books chapters alternate between two time periods. Starting in 1983 when Josie and her two daughters arrive at their Aunt Ivy’s house at Mill River. Then continuing with the present day when Rose and Emily learn about the conditions of Josie’s will.

Both time periods are described so beautifully, in the past you really get a sense of the struggles that Josie goes through. Mill River sounds the idyllic place to live, every character really comes alive in my mind. They were full of community spirit, it was so heart-warming. The book also deals with a few serious issues, which was not expected at all, but really added a great depth to the story.

I instantly liked Emily, she seemed much warmer and friendlier than her sister Rose, who initially comes across as cold, rude and a bit snobby at having to live in Mill River. As you learn more about her past and present you get to understand her and her issues and that she is more complex that the first impression. Rose’s son, Alex was amazing, so smart and I loved seeing him bond with Emily.

Towards the end, an event happens which came as a complete shock to me, I did not see that coming at all. The ending of the book was not what I expected when starting to read this book, but was lovely and warming all the same.

The book is so beautiful, I cannot wait to read ‘The Mill River Recluse', the first book in this series and hope to learn more about the residents of Mill River in any future books in this series.

Order on Amazon now!

Published by: Sphere

Received from the publishers in exchange for an honest review, Thank you!

Click the poster below for a bigger picture!

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Rival by Penelope Douglas

I'm very happy to be part of the Rival blog tour!
Be sure to check out the other blogs on the poster below!

Madoc and Fallon. Two estranged teenagers playing games that push the boundaries between love and war . . . 

She's back.

For the three years she's been away at boarding school, there was no word from her. Back when we lived in the same house, she used to cut me down during the day and then leave her door open for me at night.

I was stupid then, but now I'm ready to beat her at her own game . . .

I've only read a couple of new adult books, and have heard good things about so many more, I made a promise to myself to start reading more new adult books so I jumped at the chance to read Rival by Penelope Douglas.

The synopsis doesn’t give too much away and the first few chapters are quite mysterious, especially over the incident that occurred two years previous. The book is really easy to read, and can be devoured in one session. You really get how each of the characters are feeling due to being written in two viewpoints, you also get a real sense of their surroundings as well.

In the first chapters or so I really disliked Maddoc with a passion, he came across as rude and incredibly arrogant, however during the rest of the book I really grew to love him he was much mature than he first appeared, I loved how he was in the ‘Big Brother’ program and how he handles problems that arise later in the book. Fallon on the other hand I really liked her to begin with but the second I read that she had a plan, I cooled a lot towards her, but after you read why you begin to understand why, and I warmed to her again.

The romance between Maddoc and Fallon is H-O-T! I especially liked the fact they both had tattoos and piercings, it gave a slight naughtier edge to both the characters. I was wary about their romance in the beginning, as some people in the book were, which was the catalyst of Fallon’s problems was. However, once I read about them together this was completely thrown out of the window, I just wanted to read more and more.

I loved the side plots of this book, and the secondary characters were great as well, I particularly like Jared’s brother Jaxon,  who is the lead guy in Penelope Douglas’s next book ‘Falling Away’ which I have added to my wish list for when it’s released!

This book was really good, a great addition to my ever-growing new adult collection and I really need to read Penelope’s first book ’Bully’ like…now!

Rival by Penelope Douglas (Piatkus) is now available as an eBook

Order on Amazon now!

Thank you again to Piatkus for inviting me to be part of this blog tour :)

Published by: Piatkus

Received from the publishers in exchange for an honest review, Thank you!

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Pieces of You by Ella Harper

The perfect marriage.
A devastating secret.
An impossible choice.

Lucy was always sure of one thing – her future with husband and soulmate Luke. But after eight long, heartbreaking years trying to have a baby, that future is crumbling before her eyes.

When a terrible accident puts Luke into a coma, Lucy is forced to reassess everything she thought she wanted.

Then Stella arrives. A woman Lucy’s never met, but with a secret that will change her world forever . .


In the past week or so, if someone has tweeted about a book being amazing, guaranteed I didn’t have to look to know it was this book, so I moved it up my TBR pile as it sounded exactly what I needed to read.

The story is so delicately and beautifully written, I couldn’t put this book down. I initially thought It was going to ‘only’ deal with infertility (a classic case of me not reading the synopsis properly) but it deals with so many hard hitting issues, and it’s all the better for it. The book is emotional and all the characters are going through so much, you really feel for them, especially Lucy.

Oh, Lucy. Where do I even begin with how I felt about Lucy? Her pain and sorrow at her lack of a child was so sad. Lucy is also flawed, not massively and certainly not intentionally I must add, she is still a lovely person, but her pain has caused her to, understandably, become slightly self-involved, unaware of other people’s issues. I love the fact that the author has showed us this side of her as well as the side you sympathise with, it would have been so easy to paint Lucy as this perfect person, but no one is perfect.

I loved her relationship with Luke, from the outside it did seem so perfect. Luke was adorable and his love for her was obvious to see.

The other characters are also complex with their own issues. I liked how each character grew and developed, the whole family grew closer by the end and it was just beautiful to read, especially Ade.  Dee and Dan were a great couple, and it was nice to have people outside of the family to have such a strong, supportive role to Lucy.

I don’t feel there is a great deal more I can say without giving more of the plot away, but this book is as special as everyone else is saying. Definitely a book I didn’t want to end, and will stay in my memory for a very long time.

Order on Amazon now!

Published by: Avon

Gratefully received from the Publisher for review.

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

The Asylum for Fairy-tale Creatures by Sebastian Gregory

Once upon a nightmare…

Long ago, in a land where imagination meets the darkest nightmares, they built the asylum. Surrounded by a forest of thorns, it holds the most twisted minds in the fairy tale kingdom: a terrible collection of evil creatures and forgotten souls. Imprisoned within its walls, they are doomed to spend forever after telling their tales… and serving as a warning to others.

Now, you are invited to accompany Blood Red Riding Hood into the depths of this strange place – where you will meet its even stranger inhabitants. But be warned: walls this thick were built to withstand the darkest magic… so once you’re inside, you might just find yourself living horribly ever after… and wishing you were indeed in a land far, far away.

When I saw the cover and synopsis for this book if really caught my attention. It reminded me of a few books I read as a child. Paul Jennings’ short story collections (such as Uncovered) and also ‘There’s A Wolf In My Pudding’ by David Henry Wilson. I imagined those two books, but with a gothic, Tim Burton-esque twist too it, which sounds amazing to me so I was happy when I was approved to review this.

The book definitely lives up to the vibe that it creates. The short stories about the fairy tale creatures are positively creepy. Each story’s twist is great fun, I think the ones about Rapunzel, Cinderella and Beauty were fantastic, especially Cinderella, but the stand out story for me was Thumbeana, the twist at the end was definitely the most creepy and vivid for me. Loved it!

Interwoven with these stories is the story of them all meeting at the asylum, which is written in such incredible detail. I really felt how imposing and sinister the place, the staff and some of the inhabitants were. While beautifully gothic, you’d never visit out of choice. 

This book was so creepy and delightfully twisted, I cannot wait to see what dark delights Sebastian has for us next.

Order on Amazon now!

Published by: Carina

Gratefully received from the Publisher for review.

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Top Ten Books People Have Been Telling You That You MUST Read

Top Ten Tuesdays
Top Ten Books People Have Been Telling You That You MUST Read

The Book Thief - Markus Zusack
I have not seen one criticism about this book, and the fact that  it is narrated by death seems unique. I have seen the movie so I know the story, but books are generally speaking better than their movie adaptions, so I still want to read this!
Pieces Of You - Ella Harper
I have heard so much good stuff about this book on twitter, I have pushed it up my TBR pile and started it last night, so far it is living up to the hype!

Eleanor and Park - Rainbow Rowell
I have read all of Rainbow's books (well I'm part of the way through listening to Landline) and think they're something special, especially Fangirl, I ADORE that book! I don't know why I haven't devoured Eleanor and Park yet, but I will...promise!
Fractured - Dani Atkins
Another book on my kindle, that I have heard nothing but praise for.

The Unfinished Symphony of You and Me - Lucy Robinson
It is absolutely criminal that I haven't read a book by Lucy Robinson yet, her latest one sounds to be her best yet judging by twitter!

Anna and the French Kiss - Stephanie Perkins
I have heard such good things about this series, I don't know why I am missing out on these, I will get round to it soon I hope!!

Beyond Grace's Rainbow - Carmel Harrington
Simply put, after seeing Jill (from jill loves to read) describe this book in 5 words I was inspired to move this book (and Carmel's second book) up my TBR!

Dear Thing - Julie Cohen
Another book that seems so delicate and emotional, right up my street!

Beautiful Disaster - Jamie McGuire
After reading Beautiful Oblivion, I realised it was a mistake putting off this series for so long... Trent Maddox says it all!

First Last Kiss - Ali Harris
I loved both of Ali's other novels, they have something magic about them. I've heard so many good things about her other novel, I cannot wait to read it!

What books haven't you read, but have heard good things about?

Monday, 18 August 2014

Poppy Does Paris by Nicola Doherty

Paris. City of love, city of romance. The last place you want to go to on a work trip when you're in the middle of an epic dry spell. But that's where Poppy is headed, along with her colleague Charlie, who's shallow and annoying but very, very good-looking. During a white-wine-fuelled session with her friend Alice, Poppy concocts the perfect plan: work by day, and have some no-strings fun with Charlie by night. Of course, it might prove a little more complicated than that, but it's nothing Poppy can't handle - or is it?

Girls on Tour is an irresistible series of interlinked stories about four friends, ordinary girls who have extraordinary fun in faraway places. Expect the unexpected, the utterly hilarious and unforgettable, on this rollercoaster ride of love, laughs, surprises and sparks. You have a VIP pass to join each girl's adventure, so pack your bags and buckle your seatbelts, because just about anything is possible...
Poppy Does Paris is the first in the 5 part ‘Girls on Tour’ series by Nicola Doherty. The covers for the series are amazing, and this one definitely portrays the feeling of the book for me.

The story centres on Poppy who works in the book publishing world (Jealous, me? Never!) and is sent to Paris with her sexy colleague Charlie. This book is light, summery and fun, it’s the perfect book to read by the pool. The book is incredibly descriptive, you really get to join in Poppy’s passion for Paris.

Both the lead characters are great. Poppy is cute and loveable and Charlie is really charming, in a slightly cheeky way. I really liked the chemistry between them in their friendship. 

Overall I think the plot of this book was really fun, the name dropping scene was really funny, I cannot wait to read the other books in the series.

Order on Amazon now!

Published by: Headline

Gratefully received from the Publisher for review.

Thursday, 7 August 2014

A Hundred Pieces of Me by Lucy Dillon

Letters from the only man she's ever loved.

A keepsake of the father she never knew.

Or just a beautiful glass vase that catches the light, even on a grey day.

If you had the chance to make a fresh start, what would you keep from your old life? What would you give away?

Gina Bellamy is starting again, after a difficult few years she'd rather forget. But the belongings she's treasured for so long just don't seem to fit who she is now.

So Gina makes a resolution. She'll keep just a hundred special items - the rest can go.

But that means coming to terms with her past and learning to embrace the future, whatever it might bring . . .

I have heard great things about this book, so it became my first book choice when I started listening to audiobooks. I haven't read any books by Lucy Dillon before, so wasn't sure what to expect other than it was probably going to be an emotional read.

I was not left disappointed. The story is just beautiful. Each chapter belonging to an object that is means something to Gina, you then get a memory explaining what it means and then you get a segment from the current time where you see Gina struggle through a divorce. 

I thought it was really well structured allowing you to see everything leading to what made Gina who she is today. A strong woman who has a big feeling of guilt due to an accident over ten years prior.

Gina has been through a lot, and her best friend Naomi was amazing, she was so supportive (whereas some other characters were less so) and at the same time she injects humour into the book, I really like her and want to be her friend! 

Gina’s mum I found really rude and annoying, especially when talking to Gina about her ex, Stuart. However, by the end of the book I really started to like her, but I did feel sorry for Gina, having to put up with her.
Through Gina’s adventures she meets Buzz, an abandoned greyhound. Buzz was such a cute dog, the relationship that he and Gina developed was so special and amazing!

Gina’s passion for renovation was lovely and really shone through when taking on her a job to project manage a house for someone, even though it’s her dream house. Nick, her client I thought was really friendly and funny and you find yourself wondering how heand Amanda ever got together, she seemed quite uptight, whereas he was more chilled.

I thought the narrator of this book done a very good job, all the characters, Naomi especially really came alive. This book was so lovely and touching, I cannot wait to read another by Lucy. 

Order on Amazon now!

Published by: Hodder & Stoughton

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Top Ten Books I'd Give To Readers Who Have Never Read Women's Fiction

Top Ten Tuesdays
Top Ten Books I'd Give To Readers Who Have Never Read Women's Fiction

Heaven Can Wait - Cally Taylor
This book is just amazing, the concept is really unique, and the ending made me grin so much at something where I would be unhappy!
The Secret Dreamworld of a Shopaholic - Sophie Kinsella
Sophie Kinsella is THE queen of Chick Lit in my opinion, her books are everything I love about this genre. She has written so many great books, but I think you'd have to start with Becky Bloomwood's story, because it is just fantastic!

My Best Friends Girl - Dorothy KoomsonThis book was just stunning the first time I read this, so powerful, and nothing like anything I had read before prior to reading this. The Memory Book - Rowan Coleman
This book is so great that it just leaves me speechless. I just have to think about it for me to tear up, it is so heartbreaking at times. Check out my review for something that's a tiny bit more coherent.

The Charm Bracelet - Melissa Hill
Melissa Hill's books are so charming and magical, I love 'The Charm Bracelet', Holly is such a lovely character, this book is one of the most heartwarming books I've read.

Breakfast at Darcy's - Ali McNamara
This book is really good, a great concept, I was smiling the whole way through.

Chasing Daisy - Paige Toon
This book combines racing and romance, and stars a hot Brazilian racing driver, what more do I need to say?!

What I Did On My Holidays - Chrissie Manby
I loved this book, great concept and funny the whole way through. Perfectly summery!

I Heart New York - Lindsey Kelk
As mentioned last week, I love this series of books and it starts with this one. Set in my favourite city, you're introduced to one of my favourite characters ever!

Unsticky - Sarra Manning
This book has a really interesting concept, it was a great read!

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