Tuesday, 19 September 2017

The Art of Hiding by Amanda Prowse

What would you do if you learned the life you live is a lie? 

Nina McCarrick lives the perfect life, until her husband, Finn, is killed in a car accident and everything Nina thought she could rely on unravels.

Alone, bereft and faced with a mountain of debt, Nina quickly loses her life of luxury and she begins to question whether she ever really knew the man she married. Forced to move out of her family home, Nina returns to the rundown Southampton council estate—and the sister—she thought she had left far behind.

But Nina can’t let herself be overwhelmed—her boys need her. To save them, and herself, she will have to do what her husband discouraged for so long: pursue a career of her own. Torn between the life she thought she knew and the reality she now faces, Nina finally must learn what it means to take control of her life.

This is the first book by Amanda Prowse I have read and I throughly enjoyed it. The family in the story went from having a luxurious lifestyle to losing the father and breadwinner and then losing everything else.

 This is not what the story is about. It's about the human spirit,it's about change, but most of all it's about family and who is there for you when your life changes,who turns their back on you and who stays around.

Although I didn't cry reading this story there are parts which are very sad. I wanted to reach out to Nina's two boys,one a teenager and one only ten. Nina found out a lot of things about her marriage after her husband died. She thought she had the perfect life but didn't realise that he had isolated her from friends and family,put her in a bubble and when the bubble burst she had no one.

The only negative point I have to make about this book is that is too short with less pages than most novels I read. 

£2 for kindle download. Also out in paperback.


The Break by Marion Keyes

Amy's husband Hugh says he isn't leaving her.

He still loves her, he's just taking a break - from their marriage, their children and, most of all, from their life together. Six months to lose himself in South East Asia. And there is nothing Amy can say or do about it.

Yes, it's a mid-life crisis, but let's be clear: a break isn't a break up - yet . . . 

However, for Amy it's enough to send her - along with her extended family of gossips, misfits and troublemakers - teetering over the edge.

For a lot can happen in six-months. When Hugh returns, if he returns, will he be the same man she married? Will Amy be the same woman? 

Because if Hugh is on a break from their marriage, then so is she . . . 

What would you do if your husband said he was going on a break from your relationship for six months? He was leaving you to cope with the children,the house, the bills and your job. I would certainly have more to say than Amy did. So Hugh swans off to Thailand and Amy is left,all she makes him promise is he won't post photos on social media for her friends to see. Amy also has her own agenda, a crush she had on a guy a few years ago and didn't act on it but if Hugh is free to do what he wants,is she free too.?

The best part of this book is Amy's Irish family, especially her parents and her sister. I did have a good laugh at their antics. Amy's mother is driven mad with the father's dementia and is finding solace outside of the home re- inventing herself and becoming well known on the Internet.

I didn't feel so invested in the main story of Hugh and Amy. This is mainly because we didn't get to know Hugh before he left. We don't know what his reasons were except that he wanted "a break," don't we all? He told Amy there would be no contact from him for six months, no texts or phone calls so we never got to know the story from his point of view. The ending was predictable and by that time I didn't care for either of them. The Irish family saved the book in my opinion.

At £9.99 for a kindle download,I'd wait until the paperback edition is published.


Friday, 15 September 2017

Another Woman's Husband by Gill Paul

Two women who challenged the Crown.

Divided by time. Bound by a secret...

Rachel's romantic break in Paris with her fiancé ends in tragedy when the car ahead crashes. Inside was Princess Diana. 

Back in Brighton, Rachel is haunted by the accident, and intrigued to learn the princess had visited the last home of Wallis, Duchess of Windsor, only hours before the crash. Soon, the discovery of a long-forgotten link to Wallis Simpson leads Rachel to the truth behind a scandal that shook the world.

At the age of fifteen, carefree Mary Kirk and indomitable Wallis Warfield meet at summer camp. Their friendship will survive heartbreaks, separation and the demands of the British Crown until it is shattered by one unforgivable betrayal...

Gill Paul has become one of my favourite authors. I describe her books as being set in a special time in history with the added question, "What if ? " And that's where Gill Paul weaves her imagination into a true historical story.

Like many of the people who will read this book I remember the death of Diana and the controversy surrounding it very well indeed. I knew the story of Wallis Simpson from television dramas and newspaper stories. I knew nothing of Wallis's early life or who her friends were or how she managed to get herself in the position of being in the company of a future king. 

She was quite a gal and I am unsure whether she ended up with David (ex King ) by default or whether she really loved him. I found a lot more out about her husband Ernest and his life which was interesting too.

The way the author introduces a connection between Wallis and Diana is very clever. After reading this book I googled lots of facts about Wallis Simpson and was surprised to discover that most of this book is true, there is only a very small part of it didn't happen....or maybe it did and we just haven't been told. You'll have to read it for yourself to find out.

At 99p for a kindle download it's a steal! 


The Little Bakery on Rosemary Lane by Ellen Berry

Growing up in a quiet Yorkshire village, Roxanne couldn’t wait to escape and find her place in the world in London. As a high-powered fashion editor she lives a glamorous life of perennial singlehood – or so it seems to her sister Della. But when Roxanne gets her heart broken by a fashion photographer, she runs away, back to Della’s welcoming home above her bookshop in Burley Bridge.

But Burley Bridge, Roxanne discovers, is even quieter than she remembered. There’s nothing to do, so Roxanne agrees to walk Della’s dog Stanley. It’s on these walks that Roxanne makes a startling discovery: the people who live in Burley Bridge are, well, just people – different from the fashion set she’s used to, but kind and even interesting. Michael, a widower trying to make a go of a small bakery, particularly so. Little by little, cupcake by cupcake, Roxanne and Michael fall into a comforting friendship.

Could there be a life for Roxanne after all, in the place she’s spent 46 years trying to escape?

This is the second book in the Rosemary Lane series. I enjoyed the first one,The Bookshop on Rosemary Lane and I was looking forward to his one.

Roxanne has made it in life. She has managed to escape the boring village she was brought up in and is now a London fashion editor on a glossy magazine. Roxanne loves her life and shares it with her equally successful photographer boyfriend Sean.

Things suddenly change at the magazine and new brooms are brought in which shatter Roxanne's working life. Life with Sean looks like it's going down the plug hole and this prompts Roxanne to seek peace back in her home village where her sister runs the local bookshop. 

Reading this book was like putting on a nice warm,cosy jumper, familiar and safe. I was happy to be back in Rosemary Lane. I would love a job in the bookshop it sounds devine. But this book is about the bakery and although we meet the owner Michael and his family I would have liked the story to have been about them and their bakery more than it was. 

Roxanne was the centre of the story and I suspect book three might be about her too. The descriptions of the village and surrounding countryside and the people who lived there made me want to pack my case and open a shop of my own right next to the bookshop.


Friday, 25 August 2017

I Know Where She Is by S.B. Caves

On the tenth anniversary of her daughter Autumn's abduction, Francine receives an anonymous note containing just five words: I KNOW WHERE SHE IS
When a young woman approaches her the next day claiming to have sent the letter Francine wants to dismiss it as a cruel, twisted joke.
But the stranger knows things that only Autumn would know.
It soon becomes clear that Francine must go to dark places in order to learn the truth about her child’s kidnapping.
She will discover that danger comes from unexpected sources. She will do things she never imagined herself capable of.
But will Francine get her daughter back......or is it too late.

Well that was a traumatic read. At one point I found the subject matter quite disturbing and put the book down thinking I couldn't read anymore. I picked it back up again...I was hooked and I had to find out what happened next.
I'm not going to say anymore about the story,the synopsis says enough. The book was fast paced,never a dull moment. 
Francine,the mother shows us the power of a mother's love. Her belief that her daughter Autumn is still alive after ten years and the feeling that she can feel her near is so powerful.
I found the disturbing parts a bit unbelievable but who knows what goes on in some parts of the world, there are many people with strange ideas of right and wrong.
Most of the book had me on the edge of my seat,biting my nails and unable to stop reading. Although I couldn't read it in bed as it would have kept me awake all night.
What a great debut novel but why isn't it out in paperback? I think it will be,must be soon.
I'm actually a wimp when it comes to reading thrillers or tense stories so I'm pleased I got to the end of this book. I have a question for the author if he reads this, " We know this story is not over so can we please have a sequel?" Give me another year and I will have plucked up courage to read it.
Go on ...read it if you dare! 
 Can't believe this book is 99p for kindle.

Thursday, 10 August 2017

The Trouble With Words by Suzie Tullet

Annabel is desperate to have a baby – there’s just one problem. She’s single and after losing her husband in a hit and run accident, she’s just not ready for another relationship. 
Dan is on the hunt for the perfect woman but when his mother drops a bombshell, he starts to feel the pressure.
When Dan and Annabel’s worlds collide, both start to think that maybe they’ve found the solution to their problems. But things are about to get messy.
Can Dan and Annabel get what they want?
Both will soon find out that the trouble with words is finding the right thing to say.

Annabel wants a baby,which is what her and her husband planned to do before he died but now Annabel wants to find a donor and do it by herself. Like any non sensible person she grabs the first decent man she sees in the pub and asks him to oblige. Luckily it turns out that Dan is a decent man.

No one else thinks this is a good idea as Annabel is still in love with her husband but can Dan change that?
I enjoyed this story, it was very bittersweet. It was the story of a widow moving on from the death of her husband. Annabel still went to her husband's grave to tell him what was happening in her life, but it's lonely when you get no answer back.
I didn't think Annabel was doing the right thing in looking for a sperm donor as it meant she was giving up on finding love again. 

I think Dan was lonely too, he still lived with his mother never finding the right woman who lived up to her expectations. She was desperate to get him together with her old friend's daughter and no one else would do.
I didn't like Dan's mother at all through most of the story I thought she interfered with her son's love life too much and I couldn't understand why he didn't get his own place to live. I liked her more towards the end of the book when she seemed to soften.
There are many funny moments with Annabel and her sister and her friend and some parts are really sad when she speaks to her deceased husband.
The question seems to be,when can you move on? When can you start to want the things that make you happy? And can you do it without the person who you thought was the love of your life?
This book makes you ask all these questions and more.


Thursday, 27 July 2017

Our Summer Together by Fanny Blake

OUR SUMMER TOGETHER is an uplifting story about family, friendship and the happy surprise of finding love later in life.
Caro knows how to be a mother - advising her grown-up daughters on career and relationship worries. She knows how to be a grandmother - enjoying the hectic energy of her three-year-old grandson. She knows how to be a daughter - helping her aging mother retain her independence. 
She thought she knew everything about being a wife, but when her husband suddenly leaves her for another woman, everything is thrown in the air. So, when a chance meeting introduces her to Damir - younger, intriguing and attentive - she realises that opening up to a man so different from everyone else in her life, might also mean getting to know who she really is...

It makes a nice change to read a book about an older woman. Caro's husband left her two years ago when she was turning sixty. If there's anything that would make a woman feel her age it must be when her ex husband finds himself a younger  woman. Caro has accepted it,her two daughters have accepted it so life just has to go on. 
Her daughter's Lauren and Amy are involving Caro more in their lives to keep her occupied but she feels she's being taken advantage of slightly as she has plenty of things she wants to do for herself now. 
She doesn't want another man, she's tried but there's never been that special feeling until Damir walks into her life. Can she trust him? He's younger,what will her daughters say or even her mother?
I loved Caro and throughout the book I just wanted what was best for her. I laughed out loud at a proposition her daughter Lauren put to her but I'm not going to tell you about it, but if you're Caro's age you will laugh too.
Damir was lovely but a bit brooding for me although he has plenty of reasons to be like that I couldn't have put up with him but he made for a good character.
This was such an easy book to read and just a lovely story of a strong woman finding the courage to tell people what she really wanted.