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6 May 2016

Review: 'Miss Wrong and Mr. Right' by Robert Bryndza (2015)

Natalie Love has worked hard to have it all: she runs a successful theatre in Soho that’s about to host one of Hollywood’s leading stars. Her biggest supporter is her eccentric Hungarian Gran, and she even has the ‘perfect’ yoga teacher boyfriend – Namaste!

Life in the bright lights of London has always been Natalie’s escape from her chaotic country family in rural Devon and Jamie, the childhood sweetheart she left at the altar 15 years ago. And then he turns up at her theatre door…

With rivalry clouding old feelings, events in Soho bring Jamie and Natalie together in hilarious ways. Gran is loose in the city once more, it seems to be raining sandwiches and records are broken for Burlesque flash mobs. If she can keep her world together, will Natalie discover who is really Mr Right, and that perhaps she isn’t Miss Wrong?

It's once again time to share a review of a book that has been lying on my TBR-pile for way too long already, in this case Robert Bryndza's 2015 release 'Miss Wrong and Mr. Right'! I received a review copy of this novel last year, but so far never got around to actually sitting down with it, until now, that is. When I did a bit of research before starting this book, I read a lot of very positive reviews of Robert Bryndza's work, which got me both very curious and excited about finally checking out this novel and its author!

At the age of nineteen, Natalie Love wasn't ready to marry her boyfriend Jamie, which led to her leaving him at the altar and running away to London to start afresh. Now, fifteen years later, Natalie loves her London life and particularly her job as a manager of the Raven Street Theatre in Soho. They are about to stage a production of Shakespeare's Macbeth with popular American actor Ryan Harrison as the lead and Natalie knows it is going to be amazing. However, Natalie's even more amazed when she discovers her ex-fiancee Jamie has decided to turn the building opposite her theatre into a pop-up venue. Not only does this mean Jamie is back in her life, but she also has to face some competition and it looks like only one of them will be able to win...

Before picking up this book I had never heard of author Robert Bryndza, but I am so immensely glad I was contacted to review this novel because it is undoubtedly one of my favourite books I've read this year so far! I loved the characters and the storyline, which focuses on main character Natalie, who was easy to warm to and just a great and likeable character overall. The book includes some wonderful secondary characters as well, such as Natalie's colleagues, ex-boyfriend Jamie, American heartthrob Ryan, and a very special mention for Anouska, Natalie's hilarious Hungarian grandmother, whom I am sure every reader will fall in love with, just like I did. Some of the things she said really made me laugh out loud and I got a few funny looks while travelling on the train to work!

The whole story is linked together so well and everything that happens, happens for a reason, and all characters are there to mean something to the storyline. I really enjoyed Robert Bryndza's writing style, it was so easy to fall into the story and forget about reality for a bit. The chapters were a great length, the story is well-paced and I just honestly didn't want to put the book down but keep on reading. I don't know what else to say than to once again shout out how much I loved this novel and how glad I am to have discovered author Robert Bryndza. I am sure I will try and pick up another one of his works soon, because I can't wait to read more! 'Miss Wrong and Mr. Right' is a thoroughly entertaining, wonderfully well-written and simply great romantic comedy that I can recommend to any chick lit fan looking for their next read; you won't be disappointed!
For more information about this book: / / Goodreads

Thanks to the author for providing me with a review copy in exchange for an honest review.

5 May 2016

Back to the Future Book Tag!

It's been a while since I posted a book tag, so I had a browse around some other book blogs and found this Back to the Future Book Tag over at 'The Girl Who Read Too Much'! If you would like to take part in the tag as well, be sure to leave a comment with a link to your own blog in the comments section below because I'd love to read your answers! :)

Name a movie/book/show that makes you want to go back in time when you were younger and enjoy it all over again!

Movie: I wish I could go back and see 'The Baby-Sitters Club' movie which was released in 1995 again. I loved the book series when I was younger and I remember watching this film for the first time and loving it so so much. It would be great to be able to go back and have that same experience again, haha!

Book: I'd have to go with the Harry Potter books, because there are hardly any books that come close to that particular reading experience.

Show: I'd have to be Dawson's Creek. I loved that show so much and especially couldn't get enough of the Pacey/Joey romance <3

What’s your favorite sci-fi and or fantasy book/show/movie?

Movie: It's a tie between the Harry Potter movies and 'The Neverending Story', which I used to love as a kid.

Book: Again, Harry Potter, but mainly because I don't read that much Fantasy/Sci-fi.

Show: There are quite a number of TV shows I loved, such as 'Charmed' and 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer.' At the moment I really enjoy 'Once Upon a Time' and 'Agents of SHIELD.'
What’s a moment in a book that takes place in the past or future that you’d like to visit?

I'd love to jump into the pages of 'Pride and Prejudice' and witness Darcy and Elizabeth's love story and visit Pemberley.
What’s a fictional store, cafe, etc. in a book/show/movie you’d like to visit?
Movie: The Shop Around the Corner from 'You've Got Mail'; I'd love to work there! <3

Book: I'd love to visit Hogsmeade from the Harry Potter books, it really sounds like a magical place (no pun intended, I promise...!).

Show: It has to be Central Perk from 'Friends' or Luke's from 'Gilmore Girls'!
Name an automobile or way of travel in a book/show/movie that you’d like to take for a ride. What book/show/movie is it from?
Hmmmm, let's just go for an old-fashioned carriage ride from Jane Austen's time. I'm not that fussed about cars or other flashy ways of transport, to be honest.

Favorite fictional scientist?
It has to be Sheldon.

4 May 2016

Review: 'Missing Pieces' by Heather Gudenkauf (2016)

Sarah Quinlan's husband, Jack, has been haunted for decades by the untimely death of his mother when he was just a teenager, her body found in the cellar of their family farm, the circumstances a mystery. The case rocked the small farm town of Penny Gate, Iowa, where Jack was raised, and for years Jack avoided returning home. But when his beloved aunt Julia is in an accident, hospitalized in a coma, Jack and Sarah are forced to confront the past that they have long evaded. 

Upon arriving in Penny Gate, Sarah and Jack are welcomed by the family Jack left behind all those years ago—barely a trace of the wounds that had once devastated them all. But as facts about Julia's accident begin to surface, Sarah realizes that nothing about the Quinlans is what it seems. Caught in a flurry of unanswered questions, Sarah dives deep into the puzzling rabbit hole of Jack's past. But the farther in she climbs, the harder it is for her to get out. And soon she is faced with a deadly truth she may not be prepared for.

Normally I don't read a lot of thriller/detective novels, even though I can really enjoy them from time to time. I love the guessing and trying to discover how all the pieces of the puzzle fit together, but I can get a bit depressed by all the death and despair that often also play a role in these kind of books. When I was asked to review Heather Gudenkauf's 'Missing Pieces', which was released earlier this year, the request came at a good time because I was actually looking for a good thriller, something else from the usual chick lit and women's fiction. I wasn't familiar with the author's work, but looked forward to giving it a chance and discover whether I would be able to solve the puzzle at the centre of this novel!

Sarah Quinlan and her husband Jack are on their way to Penny Gate, Iowa, which is Jack's hometown and a place he hasn't visited for years. Jack's aunt Julia, who is also the one who raised Jack and his sister Amy, has been in a serious accident and is now in the hospital. As the facts surrounding Julia's accident slowly come to the surface, Sarah discovers she actually doesn't know anything about her husband's past and his family. Following her instincts as a journalist, she can't help but dig deeper and deeper into the lives of the Quinlan family and it soon turns out Jack has been hiding a lot more than Sarah initially expected...

'Missing Pieces' was my first experience with author Heather Gudenkauf and I have to say she has definitely made a good first impression with this latest work of hers. The story focuses on the Quinlan family and is completely told from the perspective of Sarah Quinlan, who has married into the family. After an accident the whole family comes together in the small town of Penny Gate, where a lot of hidden secrets come to the surface. I have to say I was really intrigued by both the story and its characters from the first chapter and it's been a long time since I read a book I just really didn't want to put down, but that was definitely the case with this one. There seemed to be twists and turns all over the place, urging me on to keep on reading until the case had been solved.

I think a lot of readers will recognise the feeling of reading a book and already knowing/feeling what the story is leading up to, what is eventually going to happen. This is not always a bad thing, but with thrillers it can work as an anti-climax. In this book I think I suspected almost every character at a certain point and I still got it wrong in the end and was really surprised, which is why I also feel that this book deserves the high rating I am giving it. 'Missing Pieces' is exactly what I look for in a thriller; fascinating characters, a storyline that kept me guessing until the very end, good writing, and a lot of tension. I highly recommend this to anyone looking for their next read and I already look forward to checking out more of Heather Gudenkauf's work in the future!
For more information about this book: / / Goodreads

Thanks to the publisher for providing me with a review copy in exchange for an honest review.