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30 September 2015

Review & Guest Post: 'Letting You Go' by Anouska Knight (2015)

What if a tragedy occurred and you only had yourself to blame? How do you move on from the past?

Alex Foster lives a quiet life, avoiding the home she hasn’t visited in eight years. Then her sister Jaime calls. Their mother is sick, and Alex must return. Suddenly she’s plunged back into the past she’s been trying to escape.

Returning to her hometown, memories of the tragic accident that has haunted her and her family are impossible to ignore. Alex still blames herself for what happened to her brother and it’s soon clear that her father holds her responsible too. As Alex struggles to cope, can she ever escape the ghosts of the past?

I've got a great review to share with all of you today! Great because it is actually a great review because I really enjoyed this book, but also great because I had been looking forward to reading an Anouska Knight novel for so long and was over the moon when I received a review copy of her latest release 'Letting You Go'! I had heard so many positive things about this author's work from other readers and bloggers, and somehow I've never managed to actually sit down and give one of her other novels a try. So, it was about time I was introduced to Anouska Knight's writing and I couldn't wait to dive into this gorgeous book (don't you just love the cover?)!

After a tragic accident tore Alex and her family apart, she decided to leave her home town of Eilidh Falls for good, not just leaving her mother, father and younger sister Jem behind, but also Finn, the love of her life. Because her father has seemed not able to forgive her, Alex hardly has any contact with her family and after having quit her studies, spends her days working and blaming herself for what happened all those years ago. When Alex's mother unexpectedly ends up in the hospital with a suspected stroke, Alex knows she has no other choice but to go back to Eilidh Falls. The ghosts of her past immediately come back to haunt her, but Alex realises it might be time to confront her fears and stop hiding from everything and everyone that once meant so much to her.

I have a feeling Anouska Knight’s ‘Letting You Go’ will stay with me for quite some time to come. The story really grabbed me and I ended up warming to all of the characters, not wanting to put down the book until I had reached the very last page. It took me a while to pick up my first Anouska Knight  novel, but I have to say I am glad it was ‘Letting You Go’ because it has definitely made me want to read more of her novels in the future. The novel has a story about family and love at its core and is filled with lots of emotions. The book already starts with a heartbreaking moment, namely the accident that caused the death of protagonist Alex’s little brother Dillon. This is the event that changed everything for the, sometimes quite complex but really authentic, characters in the book, which focuses on the different fascinating relationships between them. I specifically loved the relationship between Alex and her sister Jem, and Alex and her ex-boyfriend Finn. 

The book is quite a long read with almost 500 pages. While I did think the story was a bit unnecessarily slow-paced at times, I was taken in by the author’s detailed writing style and the way she managed to get different emotions across on paper. It really felt like I went on a journey with these characters, unveiling secrets along the way, and as we got further I enjoyed it more and more. It is quite a heavy book, but not too heavy for it to no longer be enjoyable. I thought ‘Letting You Go’ was a stunning, beautifully written and emotional read about family and the power of forgiveness. I’m so glad I was provided with the chance to review this book and I am sure this will not be my last Anouska Knight novel!
Rating:9/10
 
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.





Guest Post by Anouska Knight!

I'm both honoured and excited to welcome Anouska Knight to the blog today! I was provided with the opportunity to give Anouska a topic to write about for a special guest post for 'A Spoonful of Happy Endings' and I asked her to tell us a bit more about how she finds the inspiration for her novels and whether she has any writing rituals she wants to share with us!

I’m not really sure where the first whiff of an idea comes from (and it is only a whiff) but thankfully it does! Eventually. There’s a lot of idle pondering, on the school run, around the supermarket, in the shower etc. A lot of vacant staring. Lately, I’ve found swimming helps. The exercise keeps the blood pumping nicely so I’m alert, plus no one bugs me for an hour (or until the vending machine lures me out) which is ace! But a spark of an idea is all you really need to begin with and once it comes, you just think on it some more. 

With each of my books so far, I suppose that spark has had roots somewhere in the things that worry me personally… the thought of losing my best friend and husband as Holly did in Since You’ve Been Gone, or feeling out of control of my own situation as did Amy in A Part Of Me. More recently with Letting You Go, it was the idea of being responsible for something so catastrophic my family would never recover. Awful!

But there are also the odd occasions where a throwaway comment or a setting can trigger a plot idea too. In Letting You Go Dillon Foster’s character came to me after I’d been walking beside the river that cuts through the village near to where I’d just dropped my little boys off at school. A gang of us used to mess around down there as teenagers on hot summer afternoons. We didn’t think much about the dangers back then because teenagers don’t. But as a mum to mischievous boys, it looks very different now. Accidents happen, in a blink. After an accident like Dill’s, nothing is ever the same again.     

When it comes to the actual writing itself, I guess my only ‘rituals’ are grabbing a cuppa, finding a plug socket and putting as much space between me and the rest of the rabble as possible. Once I’ve got the triggering event sorted in my head though, I do like to have a good root around my music collection and start piecing together a playlist that will see me through the writing ahead. Usually they’re songs that fit with the themes I think will be running through the book, but also they’re songs that help me get in the right sort of headspace to write about certain emotions. 

There are times though that even the music doesn’t help the writing along and I feel like I need to clear my head and come at it all from a different angle. I hate when that happens, but when it does, and invariably it does at least once with each book, I tend to take myself off up Cannock Chase and blow the cobwebs away. I’m lucky to live so close to all that woodland and it’s perfect for clearing the mind. You have to remember, I share my home with four fellas… I usually have to find my zen somewhere outside of the house! 

Thanks so much, Anouska! :)

29 September 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Books to Read If You Like Nicholas Sparks

'Top Ten Tuesday' is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. I love making lists, so this feature fits me perfectly! If you also take part in this feature or have any additions to my lists, please get in touch; I'd love to hear from you!
 
 
10 Books to Read If You Like Nicholas Sparks

I am absolutely head over heels in love with Nicholas Sparks and I'm not afraid to say it. I love love love his romantic novels and he's one of my favourite authors ever. He just really understands what romance is all about and I envy his wife, to be honest! So, for today's Top Ten Tuesday list I went through the list of books I've read over the last couple of years and decided to find 10 books I think would be perfect to pick up if you enjoy Nicholas Sparks' novels. So, if you're in the mood for a good romance, be sure to pick up one of the novels below!



1. Tasmina Perry - 'The Proposal'



I loved this Tasmina Perry novel which included a lovely romance. It's really well-written and I just loved it from start to finish.




2. Cecelia Ahern - 'Where Rainbows End'



If you enjoy Nicholas Sparks' stories, you should definitely give Cecelia Ahern a go, if you haven't already. I love the magic feel of her novels and 'Where Rainbows End' is my favourite.




3. Amanda Prowse - 'Will You Remember Me?'



The love sparks off the pages in Amanda Prowse's novels and 'Will You Remember Me?' is one that will certainly make you cry a tear or two!




4. Lisa Jewell - 'Vince and Joy'



One of my favourite books as a teenager. I used to love the romantic story of main characters Vince and Joy and definitely want to pick up the book again, see what I think about it now I'm older.




5. Hannah Beckerman - 'The Dead Wife's Handbook'



Perhaps a bit more dramatic than Nicholas Sparks' novels, but still an emotional and beautiful story that's definitely worth picking up.




6. Melissa Hill - 'A Gift to Remember'



Oh, I loved this book. The story inside is just as lovely as the book cover!




7. Charity Norman - 'The Son-in-Law'



Another author whose writing reminds me of Nicholas Sparks. Charity Norman is an amazing author and her novels always make an impression and have me thinking about the characters for weeks.




8. Ella Harper - 'Pieces of You'



Okay, there are quite a lot of real tearjerkers on this list, haha! 'Pieces of You' is another one, but a simply stunning novel as well.




9. Amy Silver - 'The Reunion'



Amy Silver's 'The Reunion' is a novel that really stayed with me and one that deserves to be read by a lot more people.




10. Jane Austen - 'Pride and Prejudice'



Of course this novel deserves a place on this list, did you expect anything else? The mother of all romantic stories, if you ask me <3

What did you focus on for this week's Top Ten Tuesday? Be sure to leave your link in the comments section below!


28 September 2015

Review: 'Ally Hughes Has Sex Sometimes' by Jules Moulin (2015)

Life isn’t easy for single mother Ally Hughes. Teaching at Brown, her class load is huge and her boss is a menace. At home, she contends with a critical mother, a falling-down house, and a daughter who never misses a beat. Between taking care of the people she loves, teaching full time, and making ends meet, Ally doesn't have time for a man. She doesn’t date. She’s not into flings. But then she meets Jake, an eager student, young in years but old in soul, who challenges his favorite professor to open up her life, and her heart, to love. It doesn't work. In fact, his urging backfires.

Ten years later, Ally's still single. Jake reappears and surprises her in a brand-new role: He's dating Ally's now-grown daughter. In this hilarious, heartrending tale, Ally is finally forced to concede (not only to herself) that an independent, "liberated" woman can still make room in her life for love.

Today I have another review of a debut novel to share with all of you, namely Jules Moulin's 'Ally Hughes Has Sex Sometimes'. The book was released in August 2015 and I requested a review copy via NetGalley because I instantly liked the title, the book cover, and the description of the story. It's always fun to check out debut novels because I love discovering new authors to follow. I have to admit I did start this novel with certain expectations, because I had read a couple of quite serious and heavy women's fiction titles before it and was really looking for a fun romantic comedy/chick lit novel. 'Ally Hughes Has Sex Sometimes' seemed to fit that description perfectly, so I sat down with it, hoping it would match those expectations!

Ally Hughes is a single mum to 20-year-old daughter Lizzie and works as a professor. When Ally was only 17, she unexpectedly got pregnant and has since then devoted her life to raising her daughter, while continuing to work hard on her career as well. Now, Lizzie is old enough to take care of herself and Ally has a job she enjoys, but there's no man in her life and there hasn't been for quite some time. Ten years ago, Ally shared a passionate weekend with one of her students, Jake Bean, but, despite their feelings for each other, she sent him away, worrying about what others might think and not wanting it to affect Lizzie. Image the surprise when, 10 years later, Jake, now known as Noah, walks into Ally's dining room as her daughter's date for the evening...

It took me a bit of time to really get into the story, but as soon as I was I really enjoyed it. The author has quite a distinctive writing style which was really fast-paced at times and consists of a lot of short sentences. It fit the story, but I did need a few chapters to get used to it. The dialogue made me laugh out loud several times and I quite liked the main character, Ally. Through the use of flashbacks to what happened between Ally and one of her students, Jake, ten years ago, we learn more about Ally's background and why this was such an important moment in her life. I love the use of flashbacks, even though it was in this case sometimes a bit unclear whether something was taking place in the past or the present.

The chemistry between Ally and Jake was for me one of the strongest points of the novel. The two of them formed a great match and I was really rooting for them throughout the novel. I did think some parts of the storyline were a bit strange, such as Ally's daughter Lizzie wanting a nose job and getting involved in all kinds of things to earn the money she needs, and that part of the book just didn't really work for me. However, overall, it was an entertaining read which I really enjoyed and I'll definitely pick up another one of Jules Moulin's works in the future. 'Ally Hughes Has Sex Sometimes' is a quirky, contemporary, fast-paced read that made me laugh and forget about the real world for a while, which we all crave every now and again!
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.

26 September 2015

Liebster Award!

Thanks to Ellie over at EllesBelles Bookshelf I was nominated for the Liebster award! I've actually been nominated and have taken part in this before, but it's always fun to learn a bit more about other book bloggers so I decided to just give it another go! :) 

Here are the Liebster Award rules:
·        You can’t nominate the people who nominated you.

·        You have to notify the new nominees of the event, providing a link to your blog to these instructions.

·        You have to ask 11 questions set for bloggers only.

·        Nominate 11 different blogs.

11 Questions:

1. Why did you start blogging?
I had been thinking about the idea of starting my own book blog for quite some time but never actually did anything with it. When I suddenly found myself with some extra free time on my hands a few years ago I decided to just give it a serious go and that's how 'A Spoonful of Happy Endings' was born!

2. What is your favourite hobby?
Reading! Even though I love visiting country houses/estates just as much, I just don't get to do it as often, unfortunately!


3. Who is a person you admire?
I'm going to have to go with my parents and I don't care whether that's cheesy or not. I admire both of them for building their family together, including all the sacrifices they had to make along the way and everything they've been through together. If I can do half as well in life as they did, I'll be really lucky!

4. What is your ideal birthday?
Oh, that's a good question! I'd want to spend it with the people I love the most. And it would definitely have to include a visit to a book shop where I can pick out as many books as I want; a visit to a fabulous library/country estate in the UK; and a lot of yummy snacks like these gorgeous cupcakes!


5. If you could pass one law what would it be?
Oh gosh, there are so many clever things I could say right now, but it's late and it has been a long day... Bad excuse, yes? I'll go with a law that makes it possible for every child, anywhere, to go to school until they're at least 16 years old, including a free library card with which they have access to all kinds of books!

6. What is your favourite food?
It's difficult to pick just one favourite kind of food, but if I have to make a decision I think I will have to go with Italian. You can't also make me choose between pasta or pizza, it's impossible!

7. What are two aims for your blog?
Two important aims for my blog are that I will continue it as long as I am still enjoying it. I don't want blogging to turn into something I 'must' do and don't get any joy from. And another aim is to hopefully reach 175.000 views before the end of the year, ahhh! 


8. If you could travel back in time where would you go?
Ohhhh, on the one hand I'd love to go back in time to when my parents were younger, because I'd love to see what they were like and to be able to meet my grandfather, who unfortunately passed away before I was born. On the other hand, I'd also love to go back to Jane Austen's time and become best friends with her and visit some lovely pretty manor houses and wear gorgeous dresses (I can't help but get carried away now, sorry)!

9. What is your favourite quote/motto?
I honestly don't have a motto; never had and never will, probably. However, there are lots of quotes I love. Some of my favourites:

Love is like the wind; you can't see it, but you can feel it.

I am not afraid of storms for I am learning how to sail my ship.

Don't you know that everybody's got a fairyland of their own?
10. What were your dreams as a child?
I specifically remember one dream I had over and over again, which was that I could fly. It was always the same dream and every time I woke up I would wish wish wish it would come true!

11. What was the last thing that made you smile?
My boyfriend who made a really silly but secretly really funny joke, haha.

11 New Questions:
  • Which book are you reading right now and what are your first thoughts about it?
  • What do you dislike the most about book blogging?
  • Nutella or no Nutella?
  • Which book genre have you never tried before?
  • Which TV/movie character are you most like if you had to pick one?
  • What is the last thing you bought?
  • If you could teach one course at university, what would it be?
  • What is the first word that comes to mind that starts with the letter... F?
  • What is your favourite breakfast?
  • Which book was a real struggle for you to finish and why?
  • I know this is a mean one, but if you have to pick one favourite author at this moment, who would it be?

11 Bloggers I Nominate:


25 September 2015

Review: 'Appleby Farm' by Cathy Bramley (2015)

Freya Moorcroft has wild red hair, mischievous green eyes, a warm smile and a heart of gold. She’s been happy working at the cafĂ© round the corner from Ivy Lane allotments and her romance with her new boyfriend is going well, she thinks, but a part of her still misses the beautiful rolling hills of her Cumbrian childhood home: Appleby Farm.

Then a phone call out of the blue and a desperate plea for help change everything…

The farm is in financial trouble, and it’s taking its toll on the aunt and uncle who raised Freya. Heading home to lend a hand, Freya quickly learns that things are worse than she first thought. As she summons up all her creativity and determination to turn things around, Freya is surprised as her own dreams for the future begin to take shape.

Love makes the world go round, according to Freya. Not money. But will saving Appleby Farm and following her heart come at a price?

Doesn’t the book cover of Cathy Bramley’s ‘Appleby Farm’ just make you want to smile? I love the gorgeous and colourful cover and it immediately makes me long for a trip to a small and lovely UK village where I never want to leave again! On August 13th, Corgi released the paperback version of ‘Appleby Farm’ and I was so happy when I found a review copy in my mailbox (which was made even more special when I discovered I was mentioned in the Acknowledgements, thanks so much, Cathy!). The novel was actually already released as an e-book series consisting of 4 separate parts last year, but now the stunning paperback version has also hit the book shop shelves. I just knew I would end up falling head over heels in love with this book as soon as I turned to the very first page, and I definitely did!

Freya Moorcraft has never been able to really settle down. She flies from one project to another; spreading her wings whenever she thinks it's time for something new. While Freya really likes her job at a small cafe in the town of Kingsfield, and is busy falling in love with her lovely boyfriend Charlie, one phone call from her aunt changes all of that. Her uncle has had an accident which means Freya's help is desperately needed at Appleby Farm, the gorgeous place where Freya spent a lot of time when she was younger. It doesn't take long before Freya discovers the farm is in financial trouble and she decides she will do anything it takes to save it. However, this does mean leaving her new life and boyfriend behind and starting over again. Will following her heart bring Freya what she wants and will it be worth risking everything she has?

Cathy Bramley is undoubtedly becoming one of my favourite chick lit authors. After the absolutely lovely 'Ivy Lane', she has now treated us to another amazing read in the form of 'Appleby Farm', which I loved from start to finish. Cathy Bramley really has her own writing style which manages to completely grab the reader and pull them into the story. She knows how to create simply wonderful places, such as Appleby Farm (in the beautiful Lake District), and groups of fascinating and just lovely characters. Protagonist Freya was such a loveable ball of energy and some of you might remember her from 'Ivy Lane', in which she already made an appearance. I loved discovering more about Freya, her past and her dreams. But there are numerous other great characters which I fell in love with straight away, such as Freya's lovely aunt and uncle, her childhood friend Harry, and her new friend Lizzie. 

I personally really loved the storyline, especially that it consisted of numerous aspects that held my attention throughout and resulted in me not wanting to put the book down. I was completely immersed in the world of Appleby Farm and didn't want to leave! There is also a great touch of romance in the story which made my heart beat a bit faster... I don't have anything else but positive things to say about this read! It really had absolutely everything I look for in an entertaining read and it has made me fall in love with Cathy Bramley even more. 'Appleby Farm' is a fabulously feel-good, warm-hearted and simply delightful read which I didn't want to ever end. A must-read for any chick lit/rom com fan and one of my personal favourites of 2015!
Rating:10/10
 
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.

24 September 2015

What would you add to your dream literary collection?

A few weeks ago I was contacted by the lovely people over at online auction house Invaluable with the question what my dream literary collection would look like. A great question for a book lover like me! I think all book fans will agree with me that it's wonderful to just dream about that perfect book collection. For me personally, my dream literary collection would never be complete, because it's important to keep on looking and discovering new reads. While I have my favourites, like everyone does, it's great to discover new authors and fall in love with new stories you weren't familiar with before. I've spent quite a bit of time on the Invaluable website, I have to admit, browsing through all the fabulous things they have on there. Below, I'll share some of my personal favourites, antique books I'd definitely add to my own dream literary collection!


Jane Austen novels
I'd definitely buy as many different editions of Jane Austen books I could find. The older (or the prettier...), the better! <3



'Little Women' by Louisa May Alcott
'Little Women' is one of my favourite all-time reads and one that means quite a lot to me. I'd love to have an old and special version of the book, including old-book smell!



'Peter Pan' by J.M. Barrie
I just love this stunning 1912 illustrated copy of 'Peter Pan', another one of my personal favourite children's stories. The book looks gorgeous and I am sure the illustrations on the inside look just as great.

'The Wizard of Oz' books by L. Frank Baum
Another favourite of mine! I'd love to have the entire 'Wizard of Oz' series and these old children's book versions look just perfect.

These are just some of the books I'd love to add to my personal dream literary collection, but I could spend many more hours searching for fabulous books online! Which books would you add to your own dream collection? I'd love to hear from you!

23 September 2015

Review & Giveaway: 'You Can't Fall in Love With Your Ex (Can You?)' by Sophie Ranald (2015)

Thirteen years ago, Laura thought her life was over. Now, she’s nailed being a grown-up. Married to the gorgeous Jonathan, she has two wonderful (if high-maintenance) children and a free pass into the school-gate elite. So what if once in a blue moon she still daydreams about Felix, the man who broke her heart? After all, living well is the best revenge. 

But then an unexpected encounter turns everything upside down. How can Laura risk throwing away everything she has for a dream of the past? She can’t be falling in love with Felix all over again... can she?

I've had the absolute pleasure of reading and reviewing some of author Sophie Ranald's work before and I really loved her romantic comedy novels 'A Groom with a View' (click here to read my review) and 'The Frog Prince' (click here to read my review). Sophie's writing style is always a joy to dive back into and combined with a captivating plotline and convincing group of characters I have come to look forward to picking up whatever she has written. So, when I heard about her latest novel 'You Can't Fall in Love with Your Ex (Can You?)', which was released in August 2015, I couldn't wait to give it a shot!

Thirty-something Laura has everything many women dream of: she's happily married to her handsome husband Jonathan, they live in a beautiful home with their two lovely kids, and as a stay-at-home mum Laura fits in perfectly with the elite group of school-gate parents. However, sometimes Laura can't help but think back to her twenties, when she was a promising ballerina and still in love with her ex, Felix. When Laura goes to a modern-day version of 'A Midsummer Night's Dream', the unexpected happens when she bumps into Felix, after all these years. Suddenly, she finds herself questioning her current life and the decisions she has made, wondering what if and whether she really has to let go of the past or not.

From the first few chapters of this novel, I was already fascinated by the characters and storyline and was really curious to find out more, just like with the other Sophie Ranald novels I've had the pleasure of reading. Protagonist Laura finds herself in a situation where she is suddenly confronted with her past and she starts to wonder what many of us asks ourselves every now again: what if? What if she had stayed with her ex Felix? What if things had gone differently? I think Laura is a character many readers will be able to relate to and I personally really liked the fact that as a reader I got to know Laura in both her twenties and her thirties, thanks to the various flashbacks. This really showed what happened to her and what got her to this point in her life. 

There is a realistic and fascinating cast of characters at the core of the novel, such as Laura's ex Felix and her new friend Ze. I liked the fact that there was also more to the story than just Laura's experiences, giving the story more body. However, I can't really put a finger to it, but I was missing something that the author's other stories did have. I missed the humour and I somehow didn't connect with Laura as much as I would have liked. The book was enjoyable and the writing was well-paced and flowed well, but it isn't my favourite Sophie Ranald read. Overall, 'You Can't Fall in Love with Your Ex (Can You?)' is a light and entertaining read which I enjoyed, but just wasn't entirely blown away by. If you're looking for your next women's fiction read, don't hesitate to pick up a Sophie Ranald novel, it'll be worth it!
Rating:8/10
 
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.





Giveaway of 'You Can't Fall in Love With Your Ex (Can You?)'!

I'm incredibly excited to be able to make 2 readers very happy with an e-book copy of Sophie Ranald's latest release! Just follow the instructions on the Rafflecopter below; good luck to everyone! :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

22 September 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books On My Fall TBR

'Top Ten Tuesday' is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. I love making lists, so this feature fits me perfectly! If you also take part in this feature or have any additions to my lists, please get in touch; I'd love to hear from you!
 
 
Top 10 Books On My Fall TBR

At the moment, looking at my TBR-list is making me both excited and a bit stressed! I've been lucky enough to have received a lot of review books over the past couple of months, but I really need to find the time to read and review as many of them as possible before I decide to get new books. So, this week's Top 10 list is actually a good reminder for myself to see which books I can look forward to picking up within the next couple of weeks!



1. 'Love at First Flight' - Tess Woods



I've heard a lot of positive things about 'Love at First Flight' and I definitely look forward to finally picking it up myself and giving it a shot this Fall.




2. 'No One Wants to Be Miss Havisham' - Brigid Coady



It's actually been a while since I read a Harper Impulse read and I always really enjoy their reads. 'No One Wants to Be Miss Havisham' has such a lovely cover and I can't wait to see whether the story inside is just as great!




3. 'A Girl's Guide to Getting Hitched' - Sophie Hart



A book which I just know I am going to love and I am so excited to have a copy waiting for me!




4. 'I Followed the Rules' - Joanna Bolouri



Another book which I have been looking forward to picking up, especially because I really enjoyed Joanna Bolouri's previous release.




5. 'The Milliner's Secret' - Natalie Meg Evans



I received this review copy at the start of the summer and have to say I am quite intrigued by the book cover and the blurb. Fingers crossed for a great historical read!




6. 'The Morning After Memoirs' - Kate Michaels



Another women's fiction read which I've received for review and I'm quite intrigued by it, so look forward to reading it within the next couple of weeks.




7. 'Christmas at Lilac Cottage' - Holly Martin



YES! Fall means Christmas reads and I can't WAIT to get started on all the fabulous 2015 Christmas books. Holly Martin's is the very first Christmas read I've received and I can't wait to dive in and feel all Christmassy!




8. 'One Wish in Manhattan' - Mandy Baggot



And my second Christmas read on my TBR for this Fall. Such a gorgeous cover!




9. 'The Marble Collector' - Cecelia Ahern



Cecelia Ahern is one of my favourite authors and I always get excited when another one of her books is released. This Fall her next novel 'The Marble Collector' will hit the shelves and I really hope I will be able to read the book as soon as possible.




10. 'A Parcel for Anna Browne' - Miranda Dickinson



Miranda Dickinson is another author who's one of my favourites and her latest novel will be released at the end of September. I really can't wait to read it and hope I will be able to get a copy soon!

21 September 2015

Review: 'How to Get Ahead in Television' by Sophie Cousens (2015)

Poppy Penfold desperately wants a career in television. After months of dead-end applications, she gets her big break with a temporary job as a runner for RealiTV. But to land a permanent role, Poppy will need to go head-to-head with fellow runner Rhidian: arrogant, highly competitive - and ridiculously good looking.

Poppy goes all out to impress, but somehow things don't go to plan. Whether failing to prevent a washed-up soap star from becoming roaring drunk during Scottish game show Last Clan Standing, or managing to scare the horses during the filming of Strictly Come Prancing, Poppy gets noticed for all the wrong reasons. With highly strung presenters and distractingly handsome producers in the mix, it's Poppy's determination that will see her win or lose her dream job, and maybe her dream man too...

In 2014 Corvus, Atlantic’s commercial imprint, and Lovereading.co.uk, one of the UK’s leading book recommendation and discovery websites, launched the #LoveatFirstWrite competition to find a new voice within the world of romantic fiction. The winner’s novel would be released in 2015 and that exciting moment has now come! Sophie Cousens was the lucky winner of the competition and her novel ‘How to Get Ahead in Television’ was released by Corvus on the 3rd of September. I was lucky enough to find a review copy of the book in my e-mailbox and I straight away looked forward to checking out this new romance author. I already liked the bright and colourful book cover and the description promised a good read, so I had my fingers crossed I would end up enjoying it!

Twenty-something Poppy Penfold has always had a dream of working in the world of television and no matter what, she's not giving up. Even though her parents aren't too supportive and her financial position isn't ideal, Poppy knows her time will come and it does, in the form of a three-month placement as a runner for TV broadcaster RealiTV, a well-known production company. However, the placement is a competition at the same time as one of the runners will win a one-year-contract at the end of the three months. Poppy sets out to impress, but unfortunately she somehow manages to get into all kinds of trouble. To make matters even worse, her competition is a good-looking guy named Rhidian whom everyone falls in love with. Poppy knows she will need to give it her all to get that contract, but all the distractions along the way aren't making it easy for her...

'How to Get Ahead in Television' is Sophie Cousens's debut novel and it's a simply wonderful one which I couldn't get enough of! I honestly loved everything about this novel and was taken in by the story from the start. The protagonist, Poppy, is an amazing leading character and I was rooting for her straight away. She's someone who somehow manages to find herself in the craziest situations and you can't help but love her for it. The author's writing style was great; Sophie Cousens really has the perfect well-paced and funny style for a romantic comedy like this one and I just didn't want to put the book down. The chapters weren't too long or too short and I personally really liked all the fun chapter titles.

Next to Poppy, there are numerous secondary characters that added something special and entertaining to the story. There's Poppy's family (especially her mother cracked me up); other runner Rhidian (who I have to admit I developed a little crush on); Poppy's best friend Natalie, and her new colleagues JR, Helen, and David. Overall, the book had everything I look for in a good read: an entertaining plot line, a relatable and loveable group of characters, a fun setting, and a dose of humour and romance. 'How to Get Ahead in Television' is a fabulous romantic comedy set in the world of TV broadcasting; a stunning and thoroughly enjoyable debut novel and a promising start to Sophie Cousen's writing career!
Rating:9,5/10
 
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.