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28 August 2015

Blog Tour: 'The Dress' by Kate Kerrigan

Lily Fitzpatrick loves vintage clothes - made all the more precious because they were once owned and loved by another woman. Thousands follow her vintage fashion blog and her daily Instagram feed. But this passion for the beautiful clothes of the past is about to have unforeseen consequences, when Lily stumbles upon the story of a 1950s New York beauty, who was not only everything Lily longs to be, but also shares Lily's surname.

Joy Fitzpatrick was a legend. But what was the famous dress which she once commissioned - said to be so original that nothing in couture would ever match it again? What happened to it - and why did Joy suddenly disappear from New York high society?

I am so excited to be part of the blog tour for quite a special read today, namely Kate Kerrigan’s exciting new novel ‘The Dress’! The book was released on the 27th of August by Head of Zeus and as soon as I first read the description of the novel I knew this was going to be a read I did not want to miss. I immediately loved the sound of the novel, especially since it deals with specific things which I love reading about such as vintage fashion, blogging and the glamorous 1940s and 50s. There was actually nothing about this book I didn’t already love, so I definitely had high hopes for it! As part of the blog tour I also have a special extract from the novel to share with all of you, so be sure not to miss that by simply scrolling down!

Twenty-something Lily Fitzpatrick always wanted to be a fashion designer. Yet her fear of being a failure led her to decide to focus on her successful vintage fashion blog instead, sharing her passion for fashion with thousands of followers each day. One day, Lily unexpectedly finds an article about an amazing dress which was worn back in the 1940s by high society woman Joy Fitzpatrick, who also happens to share Lily’s last name. Lily decides to do some research in the hopes of discovering more about Joy herself, this amazing dress, and the person who made it. As Lily finds out more and more about both the dress and Joy, she realises she has discovered quite an amazing story and won’t stop until she has gotten to the bottom of it.

This is, without a doubt, one of the best women’s fiction reads I’ve read so far this year. Kate Kerrigan is a fabulous author and I honestly already can't wait to read her next work! 'The Dress' focuses on two main points of view: a modern-day storyline told from the perspective of vintage fashion blogger Lily Fitzpatrick and a point of view that brings us back to 1940s America with at its centre married socialite Joy Fitzpatrick. Next to that, there are several chapters told from the perspective of Honor, an Irish small-town girl who is a truly gifted seamstress. Each of these three women has a distinctive voice and a thoroughly captivating and interesting story to tell; stories that are intertwined and which I couldn't get enough of.

While the story includes fun aspects such as the focus on vintage fashion and blogging, it also deals with quite a few serious topics. Kate Kerrigan is a wonderfully talented author with a great writing style. It felt like I was flying through the pages and I could easily conjure up every single detail of the story in my head thanks to all the vivid descriptions. In my opinion this is women's fiction at its best and I understand why this novel has already received numerous 5-star reviews. Overall, 'The Dress' is an amazing and well-written story filled with authentic characters and an engrossing storyline. It grabbed me from the start and I ended up falling in love with it; a book I can recommend to anyone, a truly wonderful read!
For more information about this book: / / Goodreads

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

Extract from 'The Dress'!

The young woman had an almost frightening beauty.
Her high cheek-bones seemed carved from some exquisite
alabaster and her painted red lips were shaped in a perfect,
symmetrical pout. However, it was her eyes – two dark pools
of immeasurable depth – that held him. She had a look of
knowing that transcended her sultry beauty. Although she
was a complete stranger, her fathomless gaze seemed to say
that she recognized him, recognized the vein of sadness
which, despite his great success, still ran through the core of
Francis Fitzpatrick.
Frank did not seek out an introduction, he would not have
presumed, but Victor’s wife, Norah, must have noticed him
staring because before he knew what was happening, he was
being introduced after all.
‘This is Joy Rogerson,’ Norah said.
Frank took the pale, delicate hand in his and tried his best
to retain his composure. But as he looked into the girl’s deep,
sad eyes, Frank knew that, despite the great distance he had
travelled, despite the efforts he had made to chase away the
vulnerable boy and become the strong, capable man that he
was today, Frank Fitzpatrick had utterly lost himself.

27 August 2015

Review: 'Monogamy Twist' by Nancy Jardine (2015)

When Luke Salieri inherits a dilapidated English estate from a woman he's never heard of— with quirky conditions attached—it’s a mystery he wants to see resolved immediately. But there’s a catch: he needs a woman to meet his needs, but just how far will he have to go to persuade her?

The job of researching Greywood Hall and its fantastic contents is enticing, but can Rhia Ashton see herself living with gorgeous Luke Salieri for a whole year and then walk away? Rhia has her own ideas about what will make it worth her while.

But neither expect love to enter the game.

Nancy Jardine’s novel ‘Monogamy Twist’ was released by Crooked Cat Publishing on the 27th of March 2015 and I hadn’t heard or read anything about the book until Nancy herself contacted me with a review request a few months ago. I was quite intrigued by the description of the book and looked forward to giving it a chance. While I was doing some research I found Nancy’s website and discovered that she has already written several books within different genres (historical romantic adventures, history/mystery thrillers, contemporary romance and time travel adventure for early teens) which made me even more curious to be introduced to her work. So, when I was looking for my next read while I was on holiday I decided it was finally time to sit down and check out ‘Monogamy Twist’!

When Luke Salieri unexpectedly inherits an old English manor house named Greywood Hall from a woman he has never met, he is pleasantly surprised. As a man who rebuilds and repairs buildings for a living, he can’t wait to get his hands on the estate. However, the sudden inheritance comes with some unusual conditions. Luke needs to live in the house for a whole year, together with his wife, before the house will be really his. ‎When he meets Rhia Ashton, a historian, she seems to be the perfect woman for the job. Both of them go into the deal with their own goals in mind, but while Luke considers it all a business deal, Rhia starts to reconsider and it doesn't take long before their feelings take over...

'Monogamy Twist' was quite a quick read since the length places it somewhere between a full-length novel and a novella. From the start I was intrigued by the plotline of the novel, which focuses on business man Luke Salieri who has just inherited a large English country manor with some extraordinary conditions attached to it. While it took me a bit of time to get used to Luke's character, I straight away liked Rhia, the female main character. It's quite an unusual situation the two find themselves in; going from strangers to spouses within a short timespan, but it was an interesting storyline and I was curious to see what would happen and which decisions Rhia and Luke would make. 

I love English country estates, so the setting of Greywood Hall was a great one for a reader like me. Just the idea of unexpectedly inheriting a house like that got me excited! ‎I share Rhia's passion for old estates like Greywood Hall and loved seeing how passionate she was about the house and her research. ‎While occassionally the story seemed to be missing something, it has a lovely romance at its core and a good basis for an enjoyable read. Overall, 'Monogamy Twist' was an enjoyable romance read with a good storyline and two fascinating main characters; a read I enjoyed more and more as the story progressed and a nice introduction to a new author!
For more information about this book: / / Goodreads

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

26 August 2015

Upcoming release: 'Who Do You Love' by Jennifer Weiner

Rachel Blum and Andy Landis are eight years old when they meet late one night in an ER waiting room. Born with a congenital heart defect, Rachel is a veteran of hospitals, and she's intrigued by the boy who shows up all alone with a broken arm. He tells her his name. She tells him a story. After Andy's taken back to the emergency room and Rachel's sent back to her bed, they think they'll never see each other again. 

Rachel, the beloved, popular, and protected daughter of two doting parents, grows up wanting for nothing in a fancy Florida suburb. Andy grows up poor in Philadelphia with a single mom and a rare talent that will let him become one of the best runners of his generation. 

Over the course of three decades, through high school and college, marriages and divorces, from the pinnacles of victory and the heartbreak of defeat, Andy and Rachel will find each other again and again, until they are finally given a chance to decide whether love can surmount difference and distance and if they've been running toward each other all along.

Tomorrow, on the 27th of August, Jennifer Weiner's newest novel will be released (in the UK; US fans have been able to get the book since the 11th of August) and it's a book many people, including me, are quite excited about! I've really enjoyed Jennifer Weiner's other works, such as 'In Her Shoes' and most recently 'All Fall Down.' I just love the description of 'Who Do You Love' and have a feeling this will be quite an amazing read. Without a doubt one of the August 2015 releases I am most excited about and I can't wait to get my hands on a copy!