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23 January 2017

Review: 'Love Connection' by Camilla Isley (2016)

Have you ever wondered what might have been?

Gemma Dawson is at the airport, staring at two plane tickets to two different cities. Two different weddings. Two possible futures. She’s at a crossroads.

Be maid of honor at her best friend’s wedding or crash her ex’s?

Gemma’s decision, unknown to her, hinges on a delayed flight and a chance meeting. Now her life is about to go down two parallel tracks—will Gemma fly toward a life with her first love or a future with a man she’s not even met yet?

I love it when I get to discover authors that are still completely new to me and I end up really enjoying their novels. Last year this happened to me when I was asked by author Camilla Isley to read and review her novel 'A Sudden Crush' (click here to read my review). I thought it was a great and especially promising read and was definitely curious to see what Camilla would come up with next. Luckily, once again Camilla was so lovely as to provide me with a review copy of her latest release and I straight away loved the cover of 'Love Connection.' This is actually the start of a whole new romantic comedy series and I was really excited to check it out!

Gemma Dawson is at the airport and needs to make one of the most important decisions of her life: will she fly to her ex-boyfriend Jake's wedding to crash it and tell him how much she still loves him, or will she attend her best friend Amelia's wedding where she is the maid of honour? As readers we are invited to join Gemma on parallel tracks: what would have happened if she had taken one flight, what if she had taken the other? And is it really true that fate always knows what it has in store for us in the end and will make sure we ultimately go into the right direction, or can certain obstacles really alter our course and change our destiny forever...?

I was really in the mood for a feel-good romantic comedy read when I picked up Camilla Isley's 'Love Connection' and I'm happy to say the book was exactly what I was hoping it would be. I've always had a soft spot for books with parallel storylines, focusing on the idea of someone's life being changed by certain decisions they make and how fate/destiny plays a role in this. Sometimes this is a topic that just doesn't work, but Camilla Isley definitely found her own way of writing about this and I really enjoyed both storylines focusing on different routes of Gemma's life, and how everything was brought together again at the end of it, without things getting confusing at any point, which is also quite an accomplishment when writing something like this!

While I really enjoyed this read I unfortunately didn't really connect with any of the characters. I liked Gemma and easily warmed to her best friend Amelia and some of the other secondary characters, but I think I missed a bit of background information and emotion to really connect with any of them. Yet, let it be clear that I thoroughly enjoyed reading this novel and I already can't wait for the second part of this new series by Camilla Isley. 'Love Connection' is a sweet feel-good chick lit read about the idea of fate; a lovely read!
Rating:9/10
 
For more information about this book: Amazon.co.uk / Amazon.com / Goodreads

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

22 January 2017

Why I've Decided to Stop Book Blogging... For Now

Whenever you read a post from bloggers announcing that they have decided to quit their blog, it is always mentioned that it was one of the most difficult decisions they had to make. Of course I can't say for other people what is a difficult decision and what isn't; I just know that for me personally, all of a sudden, it was clear that the 'A Spoonful of Happy Endings' era had come to an end.

I had been thinking about starting my own book blog for quite some time and I was so incredibly excited and proud when I finally launched this blog in March 2013. In the past few years I've read and reviewed hundreds of books, been part of numerous blog tours, got the chance to interview and chat to some amazing authors I never thought I'd be able to get in touch with, and met some great people within the book blogging community. However, I've also experienced the competitiveness, the nasty people who seem to always be on the look-out for a fight or the chance to hurt someone else, the pressure... It has definitely been quite a ride.   

And while I could continue book blogging for another few years, I decided to stop. Mainly because I can't remember the last time I picked up a book purely of my own choice. Receiving free books and getting the chance to review them is one of the best things ever, but I do feel after four years that it is time for me to go back to reading for myself. Thanks to my book blog I've learned to also pick up other genres, to step outside of my comfort zone every now and again, which is a wonderful thing. And to be honest, I can't wait to do just that. To re-read the whole Harry Potter series because I can and don't have to feel guilty because I still have a whole pile of review books waiting for me.

Of course I'm keeping all promises made and all review books I still have lying around will be reviewed on my blog, so this page will definitely be up until I've come to the final book on the review pile. What's next? I think I want to continue blogging, but I'm not quite sure yet what. I've been toying around with the idea of a Jane Austen-focused blog, using my passion for everything Austen-related, but if I do end up doing something else, I'll make sure to leave a link on here, for anyone who might be interested.

The biggest thank you to all the authors, publishing staff and book bloggers that made the last four years pretty great ones filled with tons of fantastic reads and bookish chats. For now, it will be business as usual, but I already wanted to inform all of you of my decision.

20 January 2017

Review: 'The Marriage Lie' by Kimberly Belle (2016)

Are you ready to question if everything in your life is really as it seems…

She thought they had a perfect marriage….
When a plane crashes, Iris Griffiths watches the news unfold with horror…and then relief. Her beloved husband Will had just flown out from the same airport, but he was on a different flight.

So why is his name on the list of victims? 
Surely there’s some mistake – her husband would never lie to her. Would he? But wading deeper into the truth of her husband’s deception, Iris begins to think the unthinkable.

Maybe she’s glad that he’s dead…

Kimberly Belle's 'The Marriage Lie' was released at the end of last year. I was straight away intrigued by the description of the book when I was contacted by the publisher, but I was still stuck in a pile of Christmas reads in December, so saved the book for January to be one of my first review books for the new year. As many of you will know I usually go for chick lit reads or books that guarantee a happy ending, but I can quite enjoy a good thriller every now and again, as long as it's not too gruesome! So, I was curious to get started on 'The Marriage Lie' and hoped I would end up enjoying it!

Iris and Will are the example of the ultimate happily married couple. They are still crazy in love with each other and can't wait to start with the next step in their lives: trying for a baby. But everything goes horribly wrong when Iris discovers that Will has died in a horrible plane crash. The strangest thing is, though, that Will was supposed to be flying to an event in Florida for a three-day business trip, but the plane involved in the crash, Liberty Airlines flight 23, was on its way to Seattle. Iris can't ignore the strange feeling in stomach and decides to dive into Will's life to discover what else he was hiding from her. She soon finds out their whole marriage was built on lies and Iris knows she won't be able to let this go until she has discovered the whole truth...

I really love it when you start reading a book that has a storyline at its core that immediately grabs you and keeps you wanting to read more because with each chapter you discover new things and you just need to know where it is all leading up to. That was exactly how I felt when I was reading Kimberly Belle's 'The Marriage Lie', which is an intriguing and well-written read that focuses on main character Iris. Her life is turned upside down when her husband Will unexpectedly dies in a plane crash of a plane he wasn't supposed to be on. Each chapter of the novel introduced new elements to the storyline and it continuously had me guessing and wondering what it would all lead to in the end, and that end still managed to surprise me a bit as well, even though I did see a few twists and turns coming. 

I quite liked Iris, who works as a counsellor at a school for privileged kids. I secretly hoped her job would play a big role in the story, since I would have loved to read more about it, but that wasn't really the case. I also immediately warmed to Iris' family, especially her brother Dave, who helps Iris to try and solve the puzzle surrounding Will's death. This was my first time reading something by author Kimberly Belle and I have to say I certainly enjoyed it and hope we are treated to another one of her novels soon. On the whole I thought 'The Marriage Lie' was a gripping and intense read that had me on the edge of my seat with its twists and turns; a convincing thriller I can definitely recommend.
Rating:8,5/10
 
For more information about this book: Amazon.co.uk / Amazon.com / Goodreads

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