Wednesday, 31 December 2014

My Virtual Book Awards 2014

During 2014 I have reviewed 53 books and read another ten which are waiting to be reviewed. I hope I have been honest in my findings but my reviews are only my opinion and its okay for you to have a different one. If I hate a book I will not write a review on it I will simply put it to one side. I will say what I like or dislike about a story but I know how much blood sweat and tears authors put into their work so I would never tear it apart.
Some of my reviews may be shorter than others. This may be because if I say anymore I will give away important and exciting parts of the story and I never want to do that.

Thank you to everyone who has read any of my reviews this year. I hope they have been of some help to you. Thank you to Net Galley, Bookbrigr, Avon Books and all the authors who have trusted me with their books to review, it has been a pleasure.
To round off 2014 here are the Books with Wine and Chocolate Book Awards.


  The Sunrise by Victoria Hislop

The Separation by Diana Jefferies

The Atlas of Us by Tracy Buchanan

The Memory Book by Rowan Coleman


  Take Mum Out by Fiona Gibson

One Plus One by JoJo Moyes.


My Life in a Nutshell by Tanya Peterson

Diamonds and Dust by Carol Hedges

I have to give a special mention to the two non fiction books I read this year.
Watery Ways

and Harbour Ways both written by Valerie Poore. They introduced me to a world on the waterways that was both informative and very funny. Well worth a read.

It was so difficult to pick out a few books for an award as there are many more I have read and loved. If you click on the name of the book it will take you to my review.
I wish you all a Happy New Year see you all in 2015 x

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

A Special Delivery by Clare Dowling

Amazon uk

Every family has its ups and downs ...

Aisling Brady is miserable. So is her husband Mossy. The three kids are too. Yet nobody dares say a thing. Instead the Bradys keep their heads down and grimly look forward to another miserable Christmas in Dublin.

What Aisling doesn't know is that this year, they will get the most unexpected gift of all. One that will bring joy and heartbreak, hope and a string of sleepless nights.

As their world is turned upside down, questions have to be asked. But are the Bradys ready to face the truth about themselves? And what each of them has done?

From the first line in this book we know that the Brady family are not having a good time. It is hinted that there is a family secret,one that is not talked about and everyone is suffering because of it.
 Aisling is trying to hold her family together but her heart is breaking and she's not sure if she can face a second miserable Christmas. Mossy her husband throws himself into work instead of speaking to Aisling and trying to sort things out.
Thrown into that mix is a teenage pregnancy and all the issues that come along with it and a mum who feels she can't cope. With the family at breaking point just what will be the straw that breaks the camel's back?

I love a book set in Ireland and this one doesn't disappoint. Along with the trials and tribulations of the family is some humour in the shape of Aisling's Polish neighbour Zofia who is training to be a make up artist and practising her skills on Aising.
The story looks on teenage pregnancy from all sides. The young mum who's not coping,the teenage father who hasn't a clue as he's still being pampered by his mum and the grandparents who don't know what to do for the best.

I enjoyed this book and found it hard to put down. I wanted to know what secret was tearing Aisling and Mossy apart. As a mother I empathised with Aisling and knew I would do exactly what she had done in similar circumstances. Mossy was a different kettle of fish. I really didn't like him at all through the book. I thought he was unreasonable,in fact he probably acted in the same way lots of men would but that didn't stop me wanting to throttle him.
After we find out the secret there is still one more surprise to come for the family but you'll have to read it to find out what it is.
The is the first book I've read by Claire Dowling but as I love Irish writers I'll be looking to see which one I'll read next.

 A special Delivery at Amazon uk

Saturday, 13 December 2014

I'll Take New York by Miranda Dickinson

When her boyfriend lets her down for the last time, Brooklyn bookshop owner Bea James makes a decision – no more. No more men, no more heartbreak, and no more pain.
Psychiatrist Jake Steinmann is making a new start too, leaving his broken marriage behind in San Francisco. From now on there'll just be one love in his life: New York.
At a party where they seem to be the only two singletons, Bea and Jake meet, and decide there’s just one thing for it. They will make a pact: no more relationships.
But the city has other plans . . .

This is the second book of Miranda's I have read but already I know what to expect, a good read with a happy ending.
Bea owns a bookshop with her friend Russ. It sounds like the ideal place to work and Bea loves it but her love life is not going so smoothly. After five years she finally tells boyfriend  Otis it's over after one too many let downs. She is sworn off relationships for good when she meets Jake at a party. He is going through a divorce and thinks the same way as Bea,so they make a pact to steer clear of relationships. They become close friends and spend their free time taking each other to places they love in New York.
Reading this book made me want to visit New York so much. I want to have coffee in Bea's bookstore, visit Kowalskis Flower shop and sit at the lake in Central Park.

Miranda writes with such conviction that all the sights,sounds and smells of New York came alive for me.
I loved the letters between Bea and her grandmother in England and the books sent by the book mice.
All through the book I knew what I wanted to happen for Bea but despaired at times that it was all going to go wrong. As I said I expect a happy ending and I got it. The characters have to go through the mill before they get their happy ever after but then that's what makes a good book.
I've read that some of the characters in this book are also in Fairytale in New York. I haven't read it yet but I will look forward to reading about them.
If you like reading Chic Lit you'll love this book.

amazon for kindle