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22 March 2017

Upcoming Release: 'The Woman Who Met Her Match' by Fiona Gibson


What if your first love came back on the scene... 30 years later?

After yet another disaster, Lorrie is calling time on online dating. She might be single in her forties, but she’s got a good job, wonderful children and she’s happy. This, Lorrie decides, is going to have to be enough.

That is, until she receives a very unexpected request from France. Antoine Rousseau, who had once turned a lonely French exchange trip into a summer of romance, wants to see her – after thirty years.

But Lorrie is a responsible woman. She can’t exactly run off to Nice with the man who broke her teenage heart...can she?

I'm really excited to see Fiona Gibson is treating us to sparkling new novel next month! I've had the pleasure of reading several of Fiona's reads over the years and I always enjoy her stories. 'The Woman Who Met Her Match' sounds like another promising and enjoyable read and it's definitely a title I've added to my wish list. Hopefully I'll be able to get my hands on a copy as soon as possible, because I'm really excited to give this one a shot!

Amazon.co.uk / Amazon.com / Goodreads

21 March 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Top 10 Books That Will Make You Read the Day Away

'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 That Will Make You Read the Day Away

Don't you just love getting lost in a novel that is so good you just simply don't want to put it down, ever again? Since I became a book blogger and ended up reading a lot more books than I used to do, I really came to realise how special it is to find books that actually make you feel that way. Today I'm sharing ten of my personal favourites with you; books I couldn't stop reading!

Be sure to share your own TTT's in the comments section below; I'd love to hear from you! 



1. 'Harry Potter' series - J.K. Rowling



I've never had the same reading experience as when I picked up Harry Potter novels. I honestly did NOT want to put these books down and continued reading until late in the night, not caring about anything else than the story <3





2. 'Queen of Babble' - Meg Cabot



I love Meg Cabot, and I remember picking up this novel and enjoying reading it so incredibly much.




3. 'Wickham Hall' - Cathy Bramley



Reading a Cathy Bramley novel is like wrapping yourself in a warm and comfy blanket and not getting out until you're ready to face the real world again; I love it.




4. 'The Notebook' - Nicholas Sparks



I love the romance of Nicholas Sparks novels and love getting lost in his stories. I also feel they work best when reading without too many breaks in between, really results in the best reading experience.




5. 'I Heart...' series - Lindsey Kelk



I've only got love for this series, and whenever a new read comes out I could lock myself in a room and not come out until I've finished the book.




6. 'Something Borrowed' - Emily Giffin



Another one of those chick lit reads that just grabbed me as soon as I picked it up and didn't let me go until I had come to the very last page.




7. 'Twilight' - Stephenie Meyer



Oh, I LOVED this book when I first read it. Really did not want to put it down, I can really remember the feeling I had while reading it.




8. 'Party Girl' - Rachel Hollis



I loved this book. One of the few books in the past few years that I honestly loved from start to finish, and was so glad to hear it was actually the first part of a whole series!




9. 'The Help' - Kathryn Stockett



Another fantastic read I can't recommend enough.




10. 'Love Me or Leave Me' - Claudia Carroll
Another chick lit read from the past two years I loved from start to finish, and I remember having to rush out of the train because I almost missed my stop because I was so lost in this novel, haha.

20 March 2017

Review: 'If Not for You' by Debbie Macomber (2017)

Sometimes, just one person can change your whole world...

If not for her loving but controlling parents, Beth might never have taken charge of her life.

If not for her friend Nichole, Beth would never have met Sam Carney – a tattooed mechanic who is her conservative parents' worst nightmare.

And if not for Sam – who witnessed a terrible accident and rushed to her aid – Beth might have never survived and fallen in love.

Yet there are skeletons in Sam's closet that prevent him from ever trusting a woman again. Will he be able to overcome his past and fight for love?

Over the past few years I have had the pleasure of reading several Debbie Macomber novels and I have to say she has definitely become one of my go-to authors when I need a warm read that will make me smile and has a guaranteed happy ending. Her Christmas novels, such as ‘Starry Night’ and ‘Mr. Miracle’, are always lovely festive reads, and most recently I read ‘A Girl’s Guide to Moving On’, which is the second part of Debbie’s ‘New Beginnings’ series; another novel that I thoroughly enjoyed (click here to read my review). On 9 March the third part of her latest series, ‘If Not for You’, was released by publisher Arrow and I was lucky enough to get a review copy. I straight away loved the pastel-coloured book cover and was keen to give it a read!

Beth knows she did the right thing when she decided to leave behind Chicago and her controlling mother, to build up a new life for herself in Portland. She has her aunt Sunshine, whom she adores, and a job as a teacher at a local school that she really enjoys. When her colleague Nicole invites her over for dinner, Beth is thrilled until she discovers it is actually a blind date. Nicole’s husband invited one of his own friends, but it is clear from the start that Sam Carney and Beth are not exactly hitting it off. Deciding to make it an early night, Beth drives away from Nicole’s home but ends up in a horrible car accident. Sam is there to witness everything, and makes sure Beth is taken to the hospital. The accident seems to bring Beth and Sam closer together, but what will Beth’s mother say when she meets Sam, and is Sam really ready for a serious relationship after everything that he has been through…?

I love how after just two or three chapters of a Debbie Macomber novel I already feel as if I have known these characters for a long time and am really curious to discover what will happen to them and how things are going to work out. ‘If Not for You’ is definitely one of those reads; I was straight away intrigued by Beth and Sam and the connection between the two of them, and thoroughly enjoyed exploring that connection by reading on. While the story was a bit slow-paced at times I still really liked it, especially since there were also two other smaller storylines that played a role in the novel, one with a focus on family relationships and one with a focus on Beth’s aunt Sunshine. As always in Debbie Macomber’s novels there was a lovely dose of romance in the book, and sometimes it’s just a nice feeling to know the story you’re reading is definitely going to end in a way that will leave you with a smile on your face instead of tears.

While this novel is the third part of the author’s ‘New Beginnings’ series, it can definitely be read as a stand-alone. Readers who have read the other books will come across a few familiar faces, such as Nicole and Rocco, but that is just a nice little extra, not something you need to know if you want to read and understand this novel. With her well-developed and realistic characters and wonderful storytelling ability, Debbie Macomber has treated us to another lovely, warm-hearted and sweet read in the form of ‘If Not for You.’ I really enjoyed this book and already look forward to the next Debbie Macomber read I will be able to pick up. If you’re a romance fan and not yet familiar with this author and her work, definitely go out and get one of her novels; I don’t think you’ll be disappointed with what you will find!
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.

19 March 2017

Review: 'One Less Problem Without You' by Beth Harbison (2016)

Meet Prinny, Chelsea and Diana. Prinny is the owner of Cosmos, a shop that sells crystals, potions, candles, and hope. It’s also a place where no one turns down a little extra-special cocktail that can work as a romance potion or heal a broken heart. But Prinny is in love with her married lawyer and she’ll need nothing short of magic to forget about him.

Chelsea works as a living statue at tourist sites around Washington, DC. It's a thankless job, but it helps pay the rent. That, and her part-time job at Cosmos. As her dream of becoming a successful actress starts to seem more remote and the possibility of being a permanently struggling one seems more realistic, Chelsea begins to wonder: at one point do you give up on your dreams? And will love ever be in the cards for her?

Diana Tiesman is married to Leif, a charismatic man who isn’t faithful. But no matter how many times he lets her down, Diana just can't let him go. She knows the only way she can truly breakaway is if she leaves and goes where he will never think to follow. So she ends up at Cosmos with Leif’s stepsister, where she makes her homemade teas and tinctures as she figures out whether she'd rather be lonely alone than lonely in love.

Last year I finally got the chance to sit down with a novel by an author I had been meaning to be introduced to for quite some time already: Beth Harbison. I continued to find reviews of her books from friends or other bloggers on Goodreads, I saw her novels pop up as recommendations on Amazon, but somehow I still hadn’t picked up one of her books myself. I enjoyed ‘If I Could Turn Back Time’, but I also couldn’t help the feeling that I had somehow expected more (click here to read my review). I was determined to give the author another chance, so when I saw ‘One Less Problem Without You’ on NetGalley, I straight away requested a review copy and here we are. Not too long ago I finally sat down with that second Beth Harbison novel, and I was curious to see how I was going to feel after this one…

‘One Less Problem Without You’ focuses on three women that are all linked together in the form of one man. Chelsea has always dreamt of becoming a famous actress, but the reality is that she’s working part-time as a living statue and part-time at Cosmos, a shop that sells potions and crystals. Even though she can try and predict the future for their customers, what does her own future have in store? Prinny, the owner of Cosmos, is also dealing with some questions of her own, mainly revolving around her lovely lawyer whom she can’t seem to get out of her head. Diana is stuck in a marriage to her husband Leif who has cheated on her more than once, but somehow she can’t get herself to leave him. When things get too much, Diana finds herself fleeing to the only safe place she can think of: her step-sister’s shop Cosmos. What’s in the cards for Chelsea, Prinny and Diana; and will they be able to help each other with finding what they are looking for?

When picking up this novel I couldn’t help but secretly hope I’d end up enjoying it more than the previous Beth Harbison novel I read, and I’m really glad to say I definitely did. I personally almost always enjoy stories that focus on several interesting female characters and are told from the different perspectives of these women, and in this novel we have three of those: Chelsea, Prinny and Diana. Each of these women had her own story to tell and I can honestly say I didn’t have one particular favourite, even though I did really like the romance element in Prinny’s storyline. The book deals with a number of issues, some of them quite serious, and I applaud Beth Harbison for bringing all of it together in this enjoyable women’s fiction read.

While I certainly liked this book and was curious to finish it, it still feels as if something is missing in Beth Harbison’s writing. I don’t know what it is exactly; I wish I could point it down, but I can’t help but feel a certain distance between her writing and my reading. I can’t 100% relate to the characters and can’t 100% see what every scene should look like… I am sure this is something personal, and not something that should stop readers from wanting to pick up this read. However, I wouldn’t be honest if I didn’t at least mention this feeling in my review. Overall, though, I enjoyed ‘One Less Problem Without You’; it has made me curious for more of Beth Harbison’s writing, and it’s a novel with some interesting female characters and storylines at its core, a book that definitely deserves the chance to be picked up and read!
Rating:8/10
 
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.

17 March 2017

Review: 'A State of Jane' by Meredith Schorr (2017)

It’s more about finding yourself than finding a man.

Jane Frank is ready to fall in love. It’s been a year since her first and only relationship ended and far too long since the last time she was kissed. With the LSAT coming up, she needs to find a boyfriend (or husband) before acing law school and becoming a partner at her father’s firm. There’s just one problem: all the guys in New York City are flakes. Interested one day and gone the next, they seemingly drop off the face of the earth with no warning and no explanation. 

In her misguided belief that life doesn’t really start until you get married and have kids, Jane jumps from one extreme to the next trying to force a happily ever after until she breaks. Will she ever find her path, and can she do it without alienating her friends and family and risking her career in the process?

I’m willing to give every book that’s part of the Henery Press Chick Lit Collection a fair chance; they know what great novels are and sometimes you just need a good chick lit read to relax with…! Last year I was introduced to author Meredith Schorr; I loved her Blogger Girl series, so when I saw that Henery Press was re-releasing her novel ‘A State of Jane’, I knew this was a review copy I couldn’t possibly say ‘no’ to. Luckily, my NetGalley request was approved and I honestly couldn’t wait to sit down with this Meredith Schorr read. The book was actually released before ‘Blogger Girl’ and I was curious to check out some of the author’s earlier work and hoped I would end up enjoying it!

Twenty-something Jane Frank is single and willing to at least try to mingle. After ending her long-term relationship with her high school sweetheart Bob, Jane needed a year to herself but now she is ready to find her Prince Charming. However, it doesn’t take long for Jane to realise that finding an attractive and nice single guy in New York City is like looking for a needle in a pretty big haystack. With her LSAT exam, and with that also her future, coming up quite quickly, Jane has more than enough to keep her busy, especially as she starts on her very own dating adventure. But will she be able to find that one guy that will make her heart beat faster, or should she perhaps have held on a bit tighter to the great guy she used to have….? 

Just like many other female readers I really enjoy stories focusing on what it is like to a single twenty-something in our modern day and age. ‘A State of Jane’ is a novel that tackles that particular topic in an entertaining way, and pays attention to that enormous pressure to find your soulmate, get married, and live happily ever after. Leading lady Jane is determined to find the right guy for her, but the search is not as easy and straightforward as she initially expects. Next to her search for romance, Jane is also dealing with her future; she is planning to take the LSAT exam, but is that really her calling? Her friends and family all seem to have an opinion on her life and what’s going on in it, but Jane is the only one that can eventually figure it out, and I really enjoyed joining her on this trip.

It was easy to like Jane at the start of the novel and I loved seeing her dating different guys, trying to find ‘the One.’ However, I have to say that as the novel progressed, Jane seemed to become more and more self-absorbed and I found it quite challenging to continue to like her and feel for her, which was too bad. However, I do understand what the author tried to do with the story, and I definitely still enjoyed it and am sure other chick lit fans will as well. Yet, I do believe that Meredith Schorr’s writing has only gotten better over the years, so if you are looking for your next chick lit read, first contemplate picking up ‘Blogger Girl’ instead. All in all, though, ‘A State of Jane’ is an enjoyable and fun novel with a relatable heroine at its core; a book that has managed to turn me into an actual Meredith Schorr, if I wasn’t one already….!
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.

15 March 2017

Upcoming Release: 'Miss Mary's Book of Dreams' by Sophie Nicholls


In historic York, Ella seems to have the perfect life. She's a published author, her bookshop is thriving, she's married to the man of her dreams and they've started a family of their own. 

But Ella is struggling. Motherhood isn't quite everything she imagined it to be, and she's worried that there may be cracks in her marriage. 

On the other side of the Atlantic, despite endless blue skies and a stream of eager customers in her vintage dress shop, Ella's mother Fabia finds that life in San Diego is not enough for her. She misses York, and can sense that Ella needs her, so she flies home. 

And this is when they meet Bryony. With a complicated life and secrets of her own, Bryony may have some of the answers they're looking for. 

Can Ella and Fabia help her find her way, whilst also working out how to find their own happily ever after?

On the 23rd of March author Sophie Nicholls' exciting new novel 'Miss Mary's Book of Dreams' will be released! I've had the pleasure of reading 'The Dress', which I thought was a fabulous read, so I'm definitely curious to see what else Sophie Nicholls has in store for us. I have to say I already love the cover for this new book and think the description sounds very promising. Definitely at the top of my wish list for this month and I can't wait to sit down with this lovely novel myself!

14 March 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Top 10 Books On My Spring 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 Spring TBR

We've had a few weeks without any Top Ten Tuesday lists to share, but I was glad to see the site back up and running again with some new ideas for the upcoming Tuesdays, starting with today's list: top 10 books on my Spring TBR! As hopefully many of you know by now, I've decided to stop with this book blog as soon as I've dealt with all review requests I still have waiting for me. So, my Spring TBR includes some review books I received and can't wait to pick up and finally review, check out the list below! 

Be sure to share your own TTT's in the comments section below; I'd love to hear from you! 



1. 'Who Does He Think He Is?' - Emily Kerr



Lady Aurelia Osbourne-Lloyd has long wished her bank balance was as big as her name. But her home, Leydale Park, is more of a pile in a state than stately pile, and with her father off ‘finding himself’ in Thailand, it’s up to her to turn the family fortunes around by entertaining demanding tourists.

When – thanks to her father’s interference – a Hollywood production company chooses the estate as a location for a Regency movie, a whole new level of chaos enters Aurelia’s life. Her quiet days shattered and privacy non-existent, she has no choice but to go with the flow and let them take over.

Never mind the added distraction of dishy leading man, Xander Lord, who may have an ulterior motive for wanting to get close to her…

Can Aurelia keep her cool in light of all the upheaval? 




2. 'Laura Lake and the Hipster Weddings' - Wendy Holden



She'll need a triple-barrelled name for the castle one. She'll need a gallon of glitter for the woodland one. She'll need a lobster-shaped hat for the Shoreditch one.

Laura Lake longs to be a journalist. Instead she's an unpaid intern at a glossy magazine – sleeping in the fashion cupboard and living on canapĂ©s. But she's just got her first big break: infiltrate three society weddings and write a juicy exposĂ©.

Security will be tighter than a bodycon dress, but how hard can it be? Cue disappearing brides, demanding socialites – and a jealous office enemy who will do anything to bring her down...



3. 'Summer at Rose Island' - Holly Martin



Darcy Davenport is ready for a fresh start. Determined to leave a string of disastrous jobs and relationships behind her, she can’t wait to explore White Cliff Bay and meet the locals. 

When Darcy swims in the crystal clear waters of the bay, she discovers the charming Rose Island Lighthouse. But it’s not just the beautiful building that she finds so intriguing…

Riley Eddison doesn’t want change. Desperate to escape the memories of his past, he lives a life of solitude in the lighthouse. Yet he can’t help but notice the gorgeous woman who swims out to his island one day.

Darcy is drawn to the mysterious and sexy Riley, but when it seems the town is trying to demolish his home, she soon finds herself having to pick sides. 

She’s fallen in love with White Cliff Bay. But is that all Darcy’s fallen for? 



4. 'Poet of the Wrong Generation' - Lonnie Ostrow



The year is 1991; the place, New York City. Here we meet Johnny Elias, a college student from Brooklyn with boundless adoration for two things in life: timeless popular music, and the heart of a sweet, complicated young woman who is clearly out of his league.

Megan Price not only is the object of Johnny’s affection, but also the only daughter of New York’s most powerful PR woman: the indomitable Katherine Price.

Projecting that her daughter’s boyfriend will never live up to the family standard, Katherine cleverly perpetrates a series of duplicitous schemes to rid Johnny from her high-class world. But in her callous disregard, she inadvertently sets him on a determined course to his improbable musical destiny - while sending her own daughter spiraling down a path of devastation.



5. 'The Idea of You' - Amanda Prowse



With her fortieth birthday approaching, Lucy Carpenter dares to hope that she finally has it all: a wonderful new husband, Jonah, a successful career and the chance of a precious baby of her own. Life couldn’t be more perfect.

But the reality of becoming parents proves much harder than Lucy and Jonah imagined. Jonah’s love and support is unquestioning, but as Lucy struggles with work and her own failing dreams, the strain on their marriage increases. Suddenly it feels like Lucy is close to losing everything…



6. ' Lady Cop Makes Trouble' - Amy Stewart



After besting (and arresting) a ruthless silk factory owner and his gang of thugs in Girl Waits with Gun, Constance Kopp became one of the nation’s first deputy sheriffs. She's proven that she can’t be deterred, evaded, or outrun. But when the wiles of a German-speaking con man threaten her position and her hopes for this new life, and endanger the honorable Sheriff Heath, Constance may not be able to make things right. 

Lady Cop Makes Trouble sets Constance loose on the streets of New York City and New Jersey--tracking down victims, trailing leads, and making friends with girl reporters and lawyers at a hotel for women. Cheering her on, and goading her, are her sisters Norma and Fleurette--that is, when they aren't training pigeons for the war effort or fanning dreams of a life on the stage. 




7. 'The Misadventures of a Playground Mother' - Christie Barlow



After a year of country living, Rachel Young is finally getting into the swing of things. Her four kids are happy and content at the village school, and she’s managed to navigate the choppy (shark-infested) waters of the playground mafia. Or… so she thought. 

When playground mum Penelope Kensington moves herself and her kids into Rachel’s home, after discovering husband Rupert has been having an affair, Rachel knows she must ask them politely to leave. The problem is, Penelope never takes no for an answer. 

As Rachel tries to deal with Penelope, she also meets new school mum Melanie. Melanie is a breath of fresh air, but her arrival sends ripples of gossip through the playground. Melanie has a few secrets in her closet, and it seems she’s not the only one… 



8. 'There's Something about Cornwall' - Daisy James



A knight in a shining camper van!

Life is far from picture perfect for food photographer, Emilie Roberts. Not only has her ex-boyfriend cheated on her, he’s also stolen her dream assignment to beautiful Venice! Instead, Emilie is heading to the wind-swept Cornish coast...

Emilie doesn’t think it can get any worse – until disaster strikes on the very first day! And there’s only one man to rescue this damsel in distress: extremely hunky surfing instructor, Matt Ashby.

Racing from shoot to shoot in a bright orange vintage camper van, Matt isn’t the conventional knight in shining armour – but can he make all of Emilie’s fairy tale dreams come true?



9. 'Love London Collection' - Nikki Moore



Six couples. One city. A year to remember.

Now you can get all of Nikki Moore’s gorgeously romantic stories from the #LoveLondon series in one book! This is THE book to fall in love with …



10. 'Bad Will Hunting' - Heather Wardell



During her time on "Ragged Royalty", Ashley developed a reputation as the show's scowling shrew. Clever editing, no doubt, but she still hates it. Now that her stint on the show is complete, she's determined to get the revenge she deserves on the producers who made her look so awful. Without it she can't move forward and decide what comes next for her. She knows what doesn't, though--ever seeing MC or Kent or any of the other contestants again. She hates all of them and they hate her too. Who could like "Angry Ashley"?

When she meets sexy attorney Will on the flight home, she believes he can help her get everything she needs. Until he double-crosses her. Now she needs revenge on him too.

After reluctantly enlisting fellow contestant Sam's much-needed help in her "Bad Will Hunting" mission, Ashley turns up a ton of dead ends but also some exciting life-changing possibilities. But she can't get over her need to get one over on Will, and on everyone else who's wronged her.

With so much "bad will" in her way, can Ashley ever find true happiness?

13 March 2017

Review: 'Smoke' by Catherine McKenzie (2015)

After a decadelong career combating wildfires, Elizabeth has traded in her former life for a quieter one with her husband. Now she works as the local arson investigator in a beautiful, quaint town in the Rockies. But that tranquil life vanishes when she and her husband agree to divorce and a fire in nearby Cooper Basin begins to spread rapidly. For Elizabeth, containing a raging wildfire is easier than accepting that her marriage has failed. 
 
For Elizabeth’s ex-friend Mindy, who feels disconnected from her husband and teenage children, the fire represents a chance to find a new purpose: helping a man who has lost his home to the blaze. But her faith is shattered by a shocking accusation. 
 
As the encroaching inferno threatens the town’s residents, Elizabeth and Mindy must discover what will be lost in the fire, and what will be saved. 
 
I love the feeling of having a completely new novel written by an author whose writing you just really love, waiting for you to pick it up and give it a read. Over the past few years I have had the chance to read several of author Catherine McKenzie’s novels, such as ‘Forgotten’ and ‘Spin’, which I both really enjoyed. I fell in love with Catherine McKenzie’s writing straight away; her captivating storytelling never feels to pull me in, so I was definitely curious when I was asked to review another one of her books, namely ‘Smoke’. I don’t know whether this is really the kind of read I would have picked up based only on the book description, but with this author I think I would have picked it up anyway, no matter the description… Fingers crossed it would live up to my expectations! 
 
Elizabeth and her husband Ben have been together for a long time, living in the town of Nelson in the Rockies, but things haven’t been great between them for quite a while now. Both of them see no other way out than to get a divorce, but their plans are put on hold when a raging forest fire suddenly threatens their town. With a former career within the world of wildfires, Elizabeth is involved in finding out what started this fire: can it be stopped on time, was it perhaps started intentionally? Elizabeth’s former friend Mindy is also dealing with how the forest fire is affecting her life; initially she is determined to help out a man who needs it, but then certain allegations result in her and her family getting even more involved in the fire than she ever expected. 
 
‘Smoke’ is another great and convincing novel by author Catherine McKenzie; an author whose books I hope to be able to pick up for years to come. The story focuses on female characters Elizabeth and Mindy, who used to be good friends but are now no longer speaking but both dealing with some pretty big things going on in their lives. The different storylines are all linked to a big forest fire that is threatening the town of Nelson, and the questions is what is going to happen to the town and what is the story behind this fire? I really enjoyed the different elements that were brought together in the book; there was a touch of mystery/detective, but also a focus on relationships, family, friends, and a touch of romance. 
 
It’s clear author Catherine McKenzie did quite a bit of research before writing this book; there are a lot of details focusing on the forest fire, and everything that goes with it. She also created some realistic leading ladies in the form of Elizabeth and Mindy; whose stories both intrigued me and I was really keen to just keep on reading and see what would eventually happen. I have to admit this wasn’t my favourite Catherine McKenzie novel, but ‘Smoke’ was still a convincing and entertaining read and one I can definitely recommend to women’s fiction fans out there, and I’m personally already looking forward to what this author is going to treat us to next.
Rating:8,5/10
 
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.

12 March 2017

Review: 'Ambulance Girls' by Deborah Burrows (2017)

On duty during London's Blitz...  
 
As death and destruction fall from the skies day after day in the London Blitz, Australian ambulance driver, Lily Brennan, confronts the horror with bravery, intelligence, common sense and humour. 
 
Although she must rely upon her colleagues to carry out her dangerous duties, Lily begins to suspect that someone at her Ambulance Station may be giving assistance to the enemy by disclosing secret information. Then her Jewish ambulance attendant and best friend, David Levy, disappears in suspicious circumstances. Aided, and sometimes hindered, by David’s school friend, a mysterious and attractive RAF pilot, Lily has to draw on all of her resources to find David but also negotiate the dangers that come from falling in love in a country far from home and in a time of war. 
 
On the 23rd of February Deborah Burrows’ novel ‘Ambulance Girls’ was released by publisher Ebury Press and I was one of the lucky book bloggers to receive an early review copy of the book! I wasn’t yet familiar with Deborah Burrows before picking up this read, even though she has written quite a number of historical fiction reads over the years. As some of you might know by now I can really enjoy a good wartime romance every now and again, so I was definitely excited to give this title a shot. It is actually the start of a new series of which the description immediately spoke to me and sounded like something I would enjoy, so I had my fingers crossed for a good read! 
   
Australian Lily Brennan is far away from home, working as an ambulance driver during the London Blitz. While her job comes with its dangers and horrors, Lily loves it and always tries with everything she has to help others. Luckily she has a partner in Jewish ambulance attendant David Levy, who feels the same passion for his job as she does. But then David suddenly disappears, and Lily can’t help but feel that something strange is going on. What happened to David and why? She gets help from one of David’s school friends, Jim, and that’s help she will undoubtedly need as she tries to solve the mystery surrounding David’s disappearance while dealing with the every-day dangers of war none of them are able to get away from… 
 
‘Ambulance Girls’ has a brave and strong heroine at its core in the shape of ambulance driver Lily Brennan, and within the very first chapter Lily had already won me over with her determination, her focus and admirable character. I really enjoy reading war-time novels with female characters at the centre of the story, and learning more about their different roles during the war. Author Deborah Burrows obviously did her research before starting this book; even though I am certainly no expert on this topic, her portrayal of London during the Blitz is realistic and I really liked the attention to detail which made it easy to picture everything in my head while reading and to experience everything alongside the convincing characters. 
 
Next to Lily there are a number of fascinating characters in the novel, such as her partner David and some of the other colleagues working for the London ambulance service. I couldn’t help but feel at times that with such an interesting collection of characters there could have been some other elements added to the storyline to really keep my attention at all times, because I felt things were a bit slow-paced at times. However, there’s a touch of mystery to the story, just as a bit of romance, so all in all it was certainly an entertaining read, and I was glad to find out this Ambulance Girls series will most likely have two more books, which I already can’t wait to check out as well. On the whole, ‘Ambulance Girls’ is an authentic, well-researched and warm-hearted novel that I really enjoyed reading; certainly one to keep in mind if you’re looking for an entertaining war-time romance read! 
Rating:8/10
 
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.


10 March 2017

The Rainbow Book Tag!

I love pretty book covers, so when I stumbled upon this fun book tag some days ago (click here) I straight away decided to have a look at some of my favourite book covers and take part!


1. Red
 
I decided to go with Jane Costello's 'The Love Shack' for the red book cover. It's not the prettiest shade of red, in my opinion, but I still think it's red and not pink, and it's a great book and a lovely cover!

2. Orange

I wasn't sure whether to go with red or orange or yellow for this one, so I decided to just go with the middle: orange!

3. Yellow

This cover really takes me back to when the book was first released and I couldn't wait to get a copy and didn't want to stop reading, while at the same time I didn't want to continue reading because I didn't want the book to end...

4. Green

I love all the different shades of green on this cover; fits the story so well!

5. Blue

I still clearly remember when I received a review copy of this book. It was my first Jane Green read, but the cover immediately jumped at me because of the amazing shade of blue and all the stars... Love it.

6. Purple

I had no idea there are so many purple book covers out there before I started looking for one I like, haha...! I immediately thought of Emily Liebert's 'Those Secrets We Keep' and also decided to go with that one in the end; I really like how the purple fades in the background and fits in with the picture of the three women.

7. Pink

Love the different shades of pink, and a great book as well...!

8. White

I have always loved this book cover and still do. Simple, classic, elegant...!