Thursday, 31 October 2013

Love, Lipstick and Lies by Katie Price: Review

Love, Lipstick and Lies by Katie Price
 When Was It Released?:  24th October 2013
Where Did I Get It From?: From Netgalley. Thank you!
Who Published It?: Century
Number Of Pages?: 336 Pages
Buy?:Paperback or Kindle

The last three years of Katie Price's life have been as dramatic as ever. From the highly publicised divorce from Alex Reid to the romance and split from Leandro Penna, and a whirlwind marriage and surprise pregnancy with Kieran Hayler, Katie has been through a lot of changes. And that's just her love life.
Katie has also dealt with increasingly bitter disputes with first husband Peter Andre and her former manager, as well as her public spats with comedian Frankie Boyle, who made offensive comments about her son Harvey, and Kelly Brook, over her dalliance with Danny Cipriani.
Despite her personal life being played out in the public arena, Katie remains true to her heart by always speaking her mind and living life to the full. This fifth installment of Katie's roller-coaster life provides intimate access to her side of all the stories with her own special brand of humour, compassion and total honesty.


I have been a big fan of Katie Price ever since her days of only being known only as Jordan. When her first autobiography was released I remember buying it, reading it and loving it. I admire her as a successful business woman and an amazing mother, but I have to admit I am also very intrigued by her relationships which usually seem to end quite badly. Since her first autobiography ‘Being Jordan’ I have to admit I haven’t read any of her others so when I received my copy of Love, Lipstick and Lies I couldn’t wait to dive in.
While Love, Lipstick and Lies is 400 pages long, I have to admit that it seemed a lot shorter when reading it. This could be due to the pictures that are included, which sadly seem to be missing from the kindle version so I was unable to look at these. So I would recommend that if you are interested in the pictures then buy the paperback so you are disappointed. I enjoyed reading about Katie’s life, especially in terms of her relationships, her life as a mother to her four children and her businesses. 
The problem with this autobiography was that if you are up to date on all Katie Price news then there will really be nothing new in the book.  There is a lot about the ending of her relationship with Pete, her volatile and shocking relationship with Alex, her whirlwind romance with Leo, her encounters with Danny Ciprani and her new marriage to Kieran all of which has been vastly covered in the press. This was fine with me as I am no longer really one for reading gossip magazines but if you are then you will probably know the whole story already. I also felt at times that there is a lot of self promotion in this book while she is talking about her different businesses and all the ranges. It was interesting to read about the businesses to begin with but I soon felt as though I was reading an advertisement instead of a book.
Overall, I really enjoyed reading Love Lipstick and Lies, and catching up on all that has been going on in the world of Katie Price. It was a very interesting read but I do wonder whether Katie has enough material to keep writing her autobiographies at the rate she has been doing.
 
 

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Take A Look At Me Now by Miranda Dickinson: Review

Take A Look At Me Now by Miranda Dickinson

When Was It Released?:  24th October 2013
Where Did I Get It From?: From Netgalley. Thank you!
Who Published It?: Avon
Number Of Pages?: 390 Pages
Buy?:Paperback or Kindle

How far would you go to make a new start?
When Nell’s on-off boyfriend Aidan calls her into his office, losing her job is the last thing she expects.
Heartbroken and unemployed to boot, she makes a radical decision to blow her redundancy cheque and escape to the untested waters of San Francisco.
But is the glamour of the city too good to be true? And can Nell leave her past behind?


Whenever this time of year rolls around and it gets to the time when Miranda Dickinson releases a new book I always get excited and this one was no exception. Team Nell has been all over twitter from Miranda and her fans for a long time and I just could not wait to find out about Nell and discover just how much I was going to love her character and exactly why everyone was routing for her. Once I received my copy of this book I could not wait to dive in, and even though it was a busy time for me that meant I didn’t have as much time to read as I would have liked I still finished this book within two days. I just could not put it down.

Take A Look At Me Now is such a relevant book for this moment in time, with the economy how it is and many people finding themselves in difficult situations with losing their jobs. Nell gets made redundant but instead of letting this get her down she decides to spend her redundancy check on a trip to San Francisco. I loved the setting of San Francisco, somewhere that I have never been interested in before now that is. I adored the way in which Miranda Dickinson described San Francisco, it made me feel as though I was there alongside Nell during her trip and almost made me feel as though I already knew the city. You can tell that Miranda did a lot of research and even took a trip to San Francisco itself which really brings the setting to life within the book. I wanted to step into the pages of Take A Look At Me Now and visit Annie’s Dinner and taste her incredible pancakes, which made me hungry every time I read about them.  

After reading this book I could completely see why so many people have been on Team Nell, she is such a wonderful character that you can’t help but route for the entire time. I wanted so badly to see Nell discover herself and find true happiness as she is such a relatable character. Aside from Nell I adored Max Rossi, who seemed like such a kind hearted man and I was dying for this book to end a certain way for him. There are just too many characters I loved for me to mention. I really enjoyed how as Nell meets and grows to like the characters so did I, especially the children in the SOS club who were just too cute for words.
Take A Look At Me Now was hands down one of my favourite books I have read this year. The story completely captured me and stole my heart along the way.  It is always so difficult to write a review of a book that I have fallen in love with, because words cannot get across how much I truly enjoyed this story. I would urge everyone to go and get a copy of Take A Look At Me Now because I can guarantee you will not regret it.


Monday, 7 October 2013

So You Think You're A Celebrity Chef by Caroline James: Blog Tour

Fiction Addiction Tours presents:

 



So You Think You're A Celebrity Chef by
Caroline James
When Was It Released?:  4th October 2013
Where Did I Get It From?: As part of the blog tour
Who Published It?: Thornberry Publishing
Number Of Pages?: 284 Pages
Buy?:Paperback or Kindle

Mix together…
A tough-cookie media agent who's clawed her way to the top, and a con-man who wants to open a cookery school. Add in a washed-up celebrity chef whose career needs re-building…
Flavour with…
An aging rock star fresh from rehab, and a Sloane Ranger food writer who gets her own TV show…
Bring to the boil…
At a Gourmet Food Festival, in Ireland, where anything goes!
When media agent Hilary Hargreaves travels to Ireland to look at a campaign for a new cookery school, she meets a blast from her past - the romantic but feckless chef Mickey Lloyd, who is hell-bent on resurrecting his flagging career. Her tough demeanour is rocked as it becomes apparent Mickey's intentions involve more than a stint behind a stove in his quest to pursue her. But as plans for the school gain momentum, she realises that she's developing more than a passing interest in reformed alcoholic Long Tom Hendry, who owns the crumbling old mansion where the school will be homed. Hilary has many ingredients to juggle with her demanding client list - which looks set to boil over if she doesn't keep control. From London's bustling Soho, to Southern Ireland and the sunny shores of the Caribbean, has Hilary got too much on her plate and is she really prepared to risk it all for love?


When invited to join the book tour for Caroline James' new novel, So You Think You're A Celebrity Chef, I jumped at the chance. I love cooking shows and so reading a book about the lives behind the glossy world of celebrity chefs is something that really had me intrigued and a concept I had not read about before.

I absolutely loved the main character of Hilary Hargreaves, the agent of the celebrity chefs.  She was such a character, with her larger than life character. She has a harsh exterior but once you delve beneath that layer Hilary is hilarious and is found dancing on tables to the 'gobble dance', drinking far too much Black Velvet and champagne and being the focus of a large amount of male attention. My favourite character had to be Bob, Hilary's flamboyant assistant who absolutely loves gossip but is completely loyal to Hilary. All the supporting characters were all interesting and memorable including, Lenny the scammer, Mickey chef and Hilary's ex-lover, Zelda the posh chef who cant control her weight and Long Tom the mysterious rock star.

I really enjoyed delving into the world of celebrity chefs and all the crazy happenings. Its a world that isn't looked into very often and I can imagine that some well known celebrity chefs can be a complete handful to deal with getting up to all sorts of mischief. The plot takes the characters from their base in London to Kindale in Ireland for a food festival to the exotic Caribbean. I enjoyed jetting off to all these different locations in the food world.

So You Think You Are A Celebrity Chef is a funny, well written novel centred around  the world of celebrity chefs. I found myself laughing out loud on many occasions and was routing for Hilary and who she would end up romantically with in the end. A highly recommended read for anyone looking for a light hearted novel.



Giveaway

The giveaway is AWESOME and there is something for UK and International. Click on the link to
enter: A Rafflecopter Giveaway

 
5 x Chocolate Brownies (UK only)
In the book, gorgeous Gary from Bon Appetite! makes sublime melt-in-your-mouth brownies. We’ve commissioned award winning Brownie Queen, Justine Forrest to supply her amazing brownies, individually boxed as a giveaway treat!
5 x Bespoke Book Bags (UK and International)
The perfect little bag to pop your book or kindle in – don’t forget your glasses and a bar of chocolate! Individually designed for this tour by Leanda Peters Designs.
Signed Paperback copy of So You Think You’re a Celebrity … Chef?(UK)
Kindle Gift Copy of So You Think You’re a Celebrity … Chef?(International)

Monday, 30 September 2013

Glittering Fortunes by Victoria Fox: A Review

Glittering Fortunes by Victoria Fox


When Was It Released?:  2nd September 2013
Where Did I Get It From?: From the publisher. Thank you!
Who Published It?: Mills and Boon
Number Of Pages?: 400 Pages
Buy?:Paperback or Kindle

Charlie Lomax hasn't seen his brother in years.
Cato's been too busy living the A-list Hollywood dream to bother with the likes of a small Cornish town. But now he's back.
Hollywood and British aristocracy are about to clash as Cato sets out to claim the Lomax legacy he believes is his birthright.
Unsuspecting Olivia needs a job after spectacularly failing to make a life for herself in London. Forced back to Cornwall, she has no idea what she's letting herself in for by becoming a gardener at the crumbling but beautiful Usherwood estate. She certainly didn't bargain on becoming embroiled in the biggest scandal of the year, and not least because the brooding Charlie is a man she can't seem to stay away from...

Having read  and enjoyed some of Victoria Fox's previous bonkbusters I was excited to read her first novel published by Mills and Boon which was said to take a different direction to her usual novels. I couldn't wait to dive in and find out whether I would enjoy Glittering Fortunes just as much.

At the beginning some of the characters appear a little shallow and one sided, with them being the typical stereotypes that you would expect. As the novel, progressed, however so did the characters and I was pleasantly surprised to find that Victoria Fox added more depth especially to Cato and Susannah. I found that at times I was conflicted as to whether to hate them or to feel sorry for them. I enjoy reading about characters that you hate but see are not entirely bad underneath it all. I loved the rivalry between the two brothers Charlie and Cato, while routing for Charlie throughout. Olivia was a good heroine, even though I found her annoying at times, especially with her obsession with Addy, which drove me a little crazy. In the end I was hoping for a little romance between her and Charlie.

Glittering Fortunes is not just your typical romance story, it has humour, especially from Susannah and I found myself laughing out loud at some of her theories throughout. There is also a twist in the story, which I could see coming before it happened, however I still enjoyed it and think it played out well. I have a fascination for stately homes and country estates and so loved reading about Usherwood House and the upkeep of such a home as well as Charlie's complete and utter love for it.

Glittering Fortunes is a beautifully written story that had romance, secrets, humour and wonderful characters. I would highly recommend this book especially if you have enjoyed Victoria Fox's previous novels, you are always guaranteed a fun and entertaining read.


Friday, 27 September 2013

Amelia Grey's Fireside Dream by Abby Clements: A Review

Amelia Grey's Fireside Dream by Abby Clements 


When Was It Released?:  26th September 2013
Where Did I Get It From?: From the publisher. Thank you!
Who Published It?: Quercus
Number Of Pages?: 365 Pages
Buy?:Paperback or Kindle

Amelia has a dream: toasting chestnuts by the fire with her husband Jack in their own cosy cottage. Their real life is another world - a cramped one-bedroom flat in Hackney. But when life takes a surprising turn, removal vans are soon heading to the Kent countryside.
They soon realise the cottage makeover is a far bigger project than they'd anticipated. On top of that, there's Amelia's newly loved-up mum and her tearaway half-sister, Mirabel, to contend with - pushing Amelia and Jack's marriage to breaking point.
Amelia begins to strip back the wallpaper and fittings in the cottage and discovers the story of the cottage's previous owner - and a hidden secret. As Amelia's ideas about love and family change, will her fireside dream finally come true?


I have read all of Abby Clements previous novels and loved them, so when I heard that she was releasing a second novel this year I just couldn't wait to pick it up and devour it. The cover is so enticing and just draws you in, it is the perfect cover for an autumn read. With the change in the weather I love snuggling up with a cosy autumn read and this cover sets that mood perfectly.

Many people dream of moving from the hectic life of the city to somewhere quieter in the country and that is just what Amelia has always wanted to do before she turned thirty. Moving house and especially moving from one environment to another is never easy and I enjoyed how realistic Abby Clements made the situation. What I really loved about this novel was the decorating and renovation element. Amelia has to redecorate the entire house from top to bottom in her own style and I loved that the novel moved from room to room and the way Amelia made mood boards and details on how she would do each up. It almost made me want to start redecorating my own home so I could join in on all the fun.

I found the character of Amelia really relatable and I think she will strike a chord with many who want to make changes in their life and find out where they are headed. Amelia grabbed onto a dream that she had and followed it through which I found inspirational. I also really admired how much she cares about the students she teaches and how the school is run, it showed her caring side. I have to admit that I wasn't too keen on Jack, Amelia's husband. Yes he is a busy man who works in the city but at the same time I felt that he almost left Amelia in the country to get on with things while he continued to live his life with little disruption. I also didn't like the way in which he felt that his decisions and opinions on how life should be were much more important than Amelia's. That being said I was routing for both characters as a couple throughout.

I would recommend this novel for anyone looking for the perfect autumn read to snuggle up with as the nights draw in with a hot cup of tea. Amelia Grey's Fireside Dream is a moving realistic story that I found difficult to put down.


Tuesday, 17 September 2013

The Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks: A Review

The Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks

When Was It Released?:  17th September 2013
Where Did I Get It From?: From the publisher. Thank you!
Who Published It?: Sphere
Number Of Pages?: 416 Pages
Buy?:Hardcover or Kindle

Ninety-one year old Ira Levinson is in trouble. Struggling to stay conscious after a car crash, with his mind fading, an image of his beloved, and long-dead, wife Ruth appears. Urging him to hang on, she lovingly recounts the joys and sorrows of their life together - how they met, the dark days of WWII, and its unrelenting effect on their families.
A few miles away, college student Sophia Danko's life is about to change. Recovering from a break-up, she meets the young, rugged Luke and is thrown into a world far removed from her privileged school life. Sophia sees a new and tantalising future for herself, but Luke has a secret which threatens to break it all apart.
Ira and Ruth. Sophia and Luke. Two couples, separated by years and experience, whose lives are about to converge in the most unexpected - and shocking - of ways.


Before I begin I just have to let you all know that I absolutely adore Nicholas Sparks. I have seen all his film adaptations and read a lot, although not all, of his books. I was eagerly awaiting The Longest Ride, his latest novel, and was so excited when I received a copy for review that I just had to dive straight in.

The Longest Ride switches between the plot of two different stories, that of Ira and that of Sophie and Luke, while alternating between the perspective of all three. I enjoyed seeing the two stories and eventually learning how they connect. Ira's story was beautiful and told of his journey and I learnt a lot about his past. Each time Ira's chapters came around I found myself liking him more and more and realising just what a wonderful man and character he really is. His love for his wife never falters and is so emotional to read about. I adored the character of Ruth and the way she is portrayed. I also enjoyed the story of Luke and Sophia, although I did like Luke's character a little more. Luke came across as caring and very family orientated while I have to say Sophia was a little selfish at times. Although as their chapters move on I did find myself liking each character by the end of the book.

The Longest Ride was not a typical Nicholas Sparks novel. Yes it had the raw emotion, yes it made me cry, more than once, but it was a little different. I think perhaps because of the two stories running along side each other of which you do not see any connection until the end of the book. I do not think this is a bad thing as I enjoyed both stories and their connection, it just made it a little different from previous Nicholas Sparks novels.

Overall, I loved The Longest Ride. The grand love story is there and I think the marriage and love between Ruth and Ira is one of the best I have read about in a long time. It made me wish for even a small amount of the way in which they love each other. I would defiantly recommend The Longest Ride for any Nicholas Sparks fan or for anyone looking for a great romance with strong emotion that will pull at the heart strings. Just be prepared, you will end up crying.



Sunday, 15 September 2013

The Reunion by Amy Silver: A Review

The Reunion by Amy Silver

When Was It Released?:  12th September 2013
Where Did I Get It From?: From Netgalley. Thank you!
Who Published It?: Arrow
Number Of Pages?: 432 Pages
Buy?:Paperback or Kindle

They thought they'd be friends forever.
Jen, Andrew, Lilah, Natalie and Dan were inseparable at university, but in the seventeen years since they left they have hardly seen each other. Until Jen invites them all to stay at her house in the French Alps. The house where they once spent a golden summer before tragedy tore them apart.
When a snowstorm descends, they find themselves trapped and forced to confront their unresolved issues, frustrated passions and broken friendships. And as relationships shift and marriages flounder, the truth about what really happened years before is slowly revealed. And Jen realises that perhaps some wounds can never be healed..


I have never read any of Amy Silver's previous novels, however from reading their synopsis and comparing them with The Reunion it seems as though Amy Silver has taken a turn in her writing. Her previous novels seem like more fun light hearted reads while the reunion takes a more mature storyline and deals with emotion, tragedy and friendships changing over the years.

The plot is told through three sections; the reunion of the six friends, the events of the past and then what happens after the reunion. Usually I don't enjoy books that move around between time periods, however with The Reunion I think this meant I understand the characters and the events that occur with much more clarity. I really enjoyed that at the end of most chapters is a letter sent between the friends, which really gave an insight into each characters true feelings. I think this is a unique and interesting way of telling the story. I also enjoyed how each character gets to tell their own story and we see the events that happened from each perspective, showing that there is always more than one side to every story

The Reunion is an emotional read that is deep and dark in certain places. While there is romance none of it is light hearted and there always feels to be something dark lurking with the relationships showing the problems and difficulties within each. Real friendship and the issues that are faced are dealt with extremely well, as many friendships do not last forever and if they do last then they change in many ways.

I would highly recommend The Reunion to anyone looking for a story with great depth and emotion. I had tears in my eyes on more than one occasion and the ending truly broke my heart. The story is thought provoking and beautifully written making me look at my own friendships and cherish life while we still have it.


Thursday, 12 September 2013

Tempting Fate by Jane Green: A Review

Tempting Fate by Jane Green



When Was It Released?:  12th September 2013
Where Did I Get It From?: From the publisher. Thank you!
Who Published It?: Penguin
Number Of Pages?: 394 Pages
Buy?:Paperback or Kindle

Jane Green is one of my all time favourite authors and has been for many years. Every time she releases a new novel I rush out to buy it and devour it as quickly as possible. I have never been disappointed by a Jane Green novel and her writing just seems to get better and better over time. Tempting Fate, the latest novel, fulfilled all my expectations and much more.

When Gabby first met Elliott she knew he was the man for her. In twenty years of marriage she has never doubted her love for him - even when he refused to give her the one thing she still wants most of all. But now their two daughters are growing up Gabby feels that time and her youth are slipping away. For the first time in her life she is restless. And then she meets Matt . . .
Intoxicated by the way this young, handsome and successful man makes her feel, Gabby is momentarily blind to what she stands to lose on this dangerous path. And in one reckless moment she destroys all that she holds dear.
Consumed by regret, Gabby does everything she can to repair the home she has broken. But are some betrayals too great to forgive?

Tempting Fate pulled at my heat strings in a way that many books fail to do. I am against cheating in a very strong way but I empathised with the main character Gabby throughout the entire novel. I knew that she had done wrong and couldn't condone her behaviour but I also couldn't help feeling for her. There were times throughout this novel that I felt truly uncomfortable and really anxious for certain characters and it is Jane Green's fantastic writing and character building that did this for me. All through Tempting Fate I just wanted things to work out for Gabby and I have to admit that I cried on more than one occasion, which is a rare occurrence for me when it comes to books.

There may not be a lot happening in Tempting Fate in terms of plot, as this is more a character driven, emotional story about feelings, but I didn't feel anything was lacking within this book. I couldn't stop turning the pages anticipating what was going to happen next and how things were going to end up for the Gabby and Elliot. I really enjoyed that even though the majority of the story is told from Gabby's point of view, there are also a few pages showing the story from Elliot's side as well. This really added to the story as in these kinds of situations there really are two sides to every story and it was interesting to see how Elliot was coping throughout.

Along with Promises To Keep, Tempting Fate is one of my new favourite Jane Green books. I absolutely loved the story and just could not put it down. Even days later I am still moved by the story and cant stop thinking about the characters. If you love Jane Green you need to pick up Tempting Fate I cannot recommend it enough

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Revenge Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger: A Review

Revenge Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger


When Was It Released?: 4th June 2013
Where Did I Get It From?: From the publisher. Thank you!
Who Published It?: Harper Collins
Number Of Pages?: 432 Pages
Buy?:Paperback or Kindle

I was an enormous fan of The Devil Wears Prada, both the book and the movie versions, if you haven't read or watched this yet then you really need to. As soon as I heard that there would be a sequel, Revenge Wears Prada, I could not wait to get my hands on a copy. I just had to see what had happened to Andy, Emily and Miranda since the days of working at Runway.

Everything's in place for the season's hottest launch: Tall latte (with two raw sugars)? Check. Gucci trench (draped over desk)? Check. Outrageous, unreasonable demands? Check. Andy has just turned thirty and is an incredibly successful magazine editor, working closely with her best friend Emily, another Runway survivor. She's about to get married - life's on track and she's been careful to stay clear of Miranda Priestly, her dreadful first boss. But Andy's luck is running out. Miranda Priestly isn't the kind of woman who hides in the background. She's back...and more devilish than ever.

I love Lauren Weisberger's writing style; it just flows so easily and naturally while still managing to be engaging. I found myself wanting to keep reading on and on as Lauren Weisberger managed to make me want to know exactly what was going to happen next by leaving little cliff hangers at the end of chapters, making it very difficult to put the book down. I did enjoy reading about the old characters, especially Miranda Priestly who returns in full force in this sequel. She was her usual self and defiantly a character that I love to hate. I could not get enough of her in the book. I also loved how Andy and Emily now run a wedding magazine, The Plunge, as I have a fascination for wedding so I enjoyed getting a glimpse into that world.

My main issue with Revenge Wears Prada was with the character of Andy. I loved Andy in The Devil Wears Prada, but there were very few flashes of that old Andy with Revenge Wears Prada. Most of the time I felt like I was reading about an entirely different character, someone new and definitely not Andy. Even though I know that the book is set ten years later and so of course Andy's character has grown and changed I just felt that she had changed beyond recognition at time. Even Emily did not seem to be the same girl she was in the previous book.

The Revenge Wears Prada may not have lived up to the expectations I had for a sequel to The Devil Wears Prada but overall it was still a good book. I loved returning to the characters that I have missed and reconnecting with them all over again. Revenge Wears Prada is filled with the luxury and glamour of living in Manhattan and left me wishing that I could live in that world.


Friday, 23 August 2013

Swimming Pool Summer by Rebecca Farnworth: A Review

Swimming Pool Summer by Rebecca Farnworth


When Was It Released?: 18th July 2013
Where Did I Get It From?: Netgalley. Thank you!
Who Published It?: Arrow
Number Of Pages?: 448 Pages
Buy?:Paperback or Kindle

I love reading a good summer read while it is hot outside and I can relax in the sunshine imagining that I am on some exotic island far away. A large part of reading for me is about escapism so devouring Swimming Pool Summer over the summer months was just perfect for me. Although I am sure that if you pick up this read during the winter it will be able to transport you away from those cold winter nights.

Frankie hasn't had a proper relationship for years. But though she tells everyone this is how she wants it, secretly she's in love with her best friend Patrick.
Tor didn't think she could have a baby, but now she is pregnant by her younger lover. Could this mean the end of a romance that has started to mean more to her than she expected?
Leila seems to have it all - a happy marriage, a beautiful daughter and a successful career. But Leila is harbouring a secret that could destroy her marriage forever.
On an idyllic Greek island, the three women try to keep their secrets hidden. But emotions are running high, and when an unexpected guest arrives, events start to spin out of control.


The premise of the story is quite simple focusing on the three women and their separate as well as inter-joined lives while on holiday in Greece. Rebecca Farnworth manages to describe Greece in such detail that I find myself wanting to book a holiday there immediately. From the villa the women are staying in to the restaurants and the scenery, it was all brought to life and made me feel as though I could almost be there along with them. I love books that are set abroad as they manage to add another layer of escapism while reading and Swimming Pool Summer did this perfectly for me.

All three main characters were fantastic, each being so relatable with their problems and dilemmas. I really felt for each of them with what they are going through as thirty something year old women in todays society. I really enjoyed the way in which the novel switches between the viewpoints of the women each chapter meaning I got a real feel for each of the ladies in turn and kept the plot moving at a good pace. My favourite character was probably Tor as she has many insecurities that a lot of women can relate to yet really she is a beautiful woman.

Swimming Pool Summer is a fantastic book to devour over the summer or while on holiday with a cocktail in hand. A beautiful setting, real issues and likeable characters make for a great light hearted summer read. I am looking forward to reading more from Rebecca Farnworth.


Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Love Is A Thief by Claire Garber: A Review

Love Is A Thief by Claire Garber


When Was It Released?: 5th July 2013
Where Did I Get It From?: Netgalley. Thank you!
Who Published It?: Mira
Number Of Pages?: 416 Pages
Buy?:Paperback or Kindle

Have you ever wondered how different life would have been if you hadn't met your current or ex-boyfriend and fallen in love? I sure have and I know that it can be a dangerous question to start thinking about considering there is not much that can be done to change the past. Love Is A Thief is a story that focuses on just that question and shows the story of how it is never too late to give up on what you want from life.

What did you miss out on because you fell in love?
I might just be ‘that’ girl. You know the one. The girl who, for no particular reason, doesn’t get the guy, doesn’t have children, doesn’t get the romantic happy ever after. So I needed to come up with a plan.
What did I like doing? What didn’t I get to do because I fell in love? What would I be happy spending the rest of my life doing if love never showed up again?
Kate Winters is going on a journey to do all the things that love has snatched from her and her friends, to reclaim her dreams and theirs in the hope of finding her future. But there’s a chance that new dreams are better than the old.


I really like the concept of Love Is A Thief, as it looked at love from a completely different perspective. I am sure many of you have given up something for love whether it is willingly or without really realising it and it is interesting to think about and see what Kate and the other characters would have done differently if they hadn't met their partners. In some senses it is almost like a self help book as well as a work of fiction, as it really made me question my own life and what I may not have done because I fell in love and how things may have been different. There is a lot of humour in this book, which keeps it light hearted, and had me laughing on more than one occasion.

The characters were a mixed bag, I really liked Kate as she grows so much throughout the book on her journey finding out what other people have missed out on which in turn makes her question her own life. I enjoyed seeing women become empowered by trying things they always wanted to alongside their relationships and realising they don't have to entirely give up on their dreams. The only problem I had with Love Is A Thief is that, as it is quite a large book, at times it did drag a little and the pace slowed down so I was left wondering when it would become interesting again. These times however, were few and far between.

Overall I really enjoyed Love Is A Thief would recommend it to anyone who loves their chick lit with a twist, especially if you like a book that leaves you thinking about your own life. Love Is A Thief is a story of love, self realisation and humour.

Monday, 19 August 2013

Wicked Wives by Anna Lou Weatherley: Review

Wicked Wives by Anna Lou Weatherley


When Was It Released?: 18th July 2013
Where Did I Get It From?: Netgalley. Thank you!
Who Published It?: Avon
Number Of Pages?: 466 Pages
Buy?:Paperback or Kindle

Every now and again I just love a good bonkbuster full of glamorous women with secrets to hide, rich men who get up to no good and sinful goings on. Usually when I'm after a book like this I would turn to the ever reliable Jackie Collins or Rebecca Chance but when I read the synopsis for Wicked Wives I knew I just had to see whether Anna Lou Weatherly would be able to live up to my expectations.

Playboy Casino owner and serial gambler, Tom Black, leaves a trail of broken hearts behind him wherever he goes. So when he disappears, it’s no surprise that foul-play is suspected.
The finger of suspicion points to three women from his past; Eleanor, the beautiful socialite with a dubious past, Loretta, the fame-seeking gold-digger, and Victoria, the glamorous, bestselling author.
Bound together by one man and his mayhem, it’s not long before secrets begin to surface, forcing the three women to take the biggest gamble of all. But in the game of love there can only be one winner – and the winner takes it all….

Wicked Wives alternates chapters between characters, showing the story from all viewpoints which I love in a book. Not only because I get to know all the characters so much better but also because it helps with remembering who is who, which there are no difficulties with in this book. I loved the characters in Wicked Wives. Anna-Lou Weatherley knows exactly which characters we want to see from the glamorous, beautiful and rich to the conniving, scheming and money grabbing. All are thrown in the mix adding a colourful bunch of characters who I loved and hated in turn.

The plot twists, of which there are many, are set up in such a way that I didn't see them coming and was completely shocked on more than one occasion. Of course with this being a story of the rich and glamorous the story is daring and many of the characters get up to some down right dirty things but this is what we expect from this world and Anna-Lou Weatherley delivers it superbly. I loved her writing style and all her descriptions from the decadent places the characters go to the sex that they have to the exotic destinations they visit.  I wanted to be part of the world while at the same time being grateful that I am not.

Wicked Wives is a fantastic beach read that you will want to take on holiday with you and devour in one sitting. A wicked, decadent, explosive read that will have you hooked from the first page to the last. I'm rushing out to buy Anna-Lou Weatherley's first book, Chelsea Wives.

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Bout Of Books 8.0 Readathon



The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 19th and runs through Sunday, August 25th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 8.0 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team.

I want to keep this nice and simple so I won't be participating in any challenges just reading books from my to be read pile and enjoying the readathon as much as possible. Here are the books that I hope to read during the readthon:

  • City Of Bones by Cassandra Clare


  • Revenge Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger


 
  • Bones Of The Lost by Kathy Reich's


  • Pushing The Limits by Katy McGarry

 

  • Tempting Fate by Jane Green


 Monday
Number of pages I've read today: 353
Total number of pages I've read: 353
Books: Currently reading City Of Bones by Cassandra Clare

Tuesday
Number of pages I've read today: 193
Total number of pages I've read: 546
Books: Finished City Of Bones, now reading Revenge Wears Prada

Wednesday
Number of pages I've read today: 80
Total number of pages I've read:626
Books: City Of Bones and still reading Revenge Wears Prada

Thursday
Number of pages I've read today: 272
Total number of pages I've read: 898
Books: City Of Bones, Revenge Wears Prada, currently reading Bones Of The Lost

Friday
Number of pages I've read today: 216
Total number of pages I've read: 1114
Books: City Of Bones, Revenge Wears Prada, still reading Bones Of The Lost

Saturday
Number of pages I've read today: 198
Total number of pages I've read: 1312
Books: City of Bones, Revenge Wears Prada, Bones of The Lost, currently reading Pushing The Limits and Tempting Fate

Sunday
Number of pages I've read today: 88
Total number of pages I've read: 1400
Books: City Of Bones, Revenge Wears Prada, Bones Of The Lost, currently still reading Pushing The Limits and Tempting Fate

Are you joining in the readthon? What will you be reading?

 

Do You Remember? by Mandy Baggot: Review

Do You Remember? by Mandy Baggot


When Was It Released?: 25th July 2013
Where Did I Get It From?: Netgalley. Thank you!
Who Published It?: Harper Impulse
Number Of Pages?: 306 Pages
Buy?: Kindle

I have a confession to make. I have never picked up and read a Mandy Baggot book. Her books have always intrigued me but I have just never gotten around to reading one. Well lets just say that will all change now that I have devoured Do You Remember, as I cannot wait to read more from Mandy Baggot.


First Love. First Loss. Last chance?
2005 was the most traumatic year of Emma Barron’s life. It was the year her mother died and the year she met Guy Duval. Eight years on, she’s an English teacher with a doting boyfriend and a young son. Life’s been hard but now it’s comfortable. She’s settled and content…so why would she risk it all for another chance with the man that broke her heart?
Guy’s an international renowned footballer newly signed to a top UK team. But behind the confident facade is a man determined to drown the horrors from his childhood with fame, success and money.
Unable to confide in her best friend, Ally, Emma tries to hold her life together as her heart is pulled apart. Did she turn her back on love too soon?
Neither of them know what really happened on 5 September 2005 and as events are slowly revealed can anyone cope with the truth?


Do You Remember? is such a emotional romance story that had beautiful and also heart wrenching moments throughout. I really enjoyed the romance in this book, all the way through I found myself wanting a man who would love me over the years the way that Guy does Emma. What made me enjoy the romance the most, however was that it wasn't easy and both Guy and Emma go through some devastating times within their journey. While no-one wants to go through hard times this did make their romance much more believable as the reality is love is hard.

I loved the character of Emma, she is such a sweet and genuine person who I really connected with. I felt along with her through the whole story, through her moments of doubt, guilt, sadness and also the love and happier times as well. I was routing for her to find a good ending throughout the whole book. I also adored Guy, I mean what is there not to like about a sexy French football player, but he has so much more depth than this. You just know that Guy and Emma are meant for each other and even though they have been apart for so many years I was hoping that they would be able to overcome what ever tore than apart in the past.

I would recommend Do You Remember? to anyone who is looking for a compelling romance story with depth. This is defiantly not a light fluffy romance story but deals with real issues and emotions throughout. I could not put this book down, once I started it just drew me in and didn't let go. If like me you haven't read any of Mandy Baggot's books before then pick this one up I can guarantee that you will not be disappointed.

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

About A Girl by Lindsey Kelk: A Review

About A Girl by Lindsey Kelk


When Was It Released?: 16th July 2013
Where Did I Get It From?: Received from publisher. Thank you
Who Published It?: Harper Collins
Number Of Pages?: 402 Pages
Buy?:Paperback or Kindle

I am a huge Lindsey Kelk fan from her famous I Heart series, which just gets better and better with each book. I was a little worried that with the start of a new series and new characters that it wouldn't be as good. I shouldn't have worried at all, however as About A Girl, the first book in this series was just amazing.

Tess Brookes has always been a Girl with a Plan. But when the Plan goes belly up, she’s forced to reconsider.
After accidently answering her flatmate Vanessa’s phone, she decides that since being Tess isn’t going so well, she might try being Vanessa. With nothing left to lose, she accepts Vanessa’s photography assignment to Hawaii – she used to be an amateur snapper, how hard can it be? Right?
But Tess is soon in big trouble. And the gorgeous journalist on the shoot with her, who is making it very clear he’d like to get into her pants, is an egotistical monster. Far from home and in someone else’s shoes, Tess must decide whether to fight on through, or ‘fess up and run…

About A Girl is the type of book that you will pick up and not want to put down. I read this book on a weekend that I was spending with family so I couldn't just sit down and devour it in one go, even though I know that if I had the time I so easily could have. Every time I picked the book up I just kept getting lost in the characters, the storyline and the setting of Hawaii. The location of Hawaii was just perfect for the book and made me want to book my next holiday there immediately.

The characters in About A Girl are just fantastic. Tess is so likeable as the main protagonist, having so many down to earth qualities that you can connect with. I was routing for her the whole way through, and even though she made some silly mistakes you still couldn't help but feel sorry for her. Amy was the perfect best friend, hilarious and caring but with her own problems as well. Kekipi, the gay butler, had to be one of my favourite characters, his sense of humour was just one of a kind. There are two different love interests in the book and no matter how hard you try to remain neutral you will end up favouring one character over the other.

Lindsey's writing style manages to flow perfectly throughout and her humour and likeable characters mean that I cannot recommend this book highly enough. Go and buy it now. Even though this book is the kind of book that you will want to take on holiday with you and read by the pool it is in fact perfect to read any time of year. I am so excited that About A Girl is the first book in a new series and I just cannot wait for the next instalment to find out what happens next


Wednesday, 31 July 2013

August 2013 Releases I Cannot Wait For

August is almost upon us, which I cannot believe, as it has rolled around so quickly this year, and as ever there are many great new releases to look forward to. All these books look great, however the ones I am most excited for are It's Raining Men by Milly Johnson and Killer Queens by Rebecca Chance, both authors whom I love. Please click on the books to learn more about them.

Killer Queens by Rebecca Chance - August 1st



Me And You by Claudia Carroll - August 1st



My Husband Next Door by Catherine Alliot - August 1st



It's Raining Men by Milly Johnson - August 1st


The Disappearance Of Emily Marr by Louise Candlish - August 1st



Mad About You by Sinead Moriarty - August 1st


Necessary Lies by Diane Chamberlain - August 1st



Playing Grace by Hazel Osmond - August 15th



Coco's Secret by Niamh Green - August 15th


 The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty - August 29th


Which August release are you most looking forward to?

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Save The Date by Allie Spencer: Review

Save The Date by Allie Spencer

When Was It Released?: 20th June 2013
Where Did I Get It From?: Netgalley. Thank you!
Who Published It?: Arrow
Number Of Pages?: 384 Pages
Buy?:Paperback or Kindle

Beach reads and books set abroad are something that I love to read during the summertime. Admittedly, they are much better if you can read them while you are actually sat on a beach, or by a pool, sunbathing with a cocktail at hand. Living in England, however, this is not always possible, so these books work sat on my sofa at home while imagining I am on a beach. The great thing about beach reads is that no matter where you are reading them, they are able to transport you away somewhere exotic, and in the case of Save The Date to the beautiful destination of Tuscany in Italy.

Family weddings can be hell....and, marooned in Italy for her cousin's nuptials, Ailsa can be forgiven for thinking that this one is worse than most. With the bride and groom at loggerheads and the guests in uproar, it is a million miles away from the rest and relaxation she'd been hoping for.
And then suddenly, in the middle of the mayhem, she comes face-to-face with Nick, the man she walked out on just a few months earlier.
How can Ailsa help get the wedding back on track when she and Nick can't stop arguing? But if they do, she might remember why she fell in love with him in the first place - and then there really would be trouble


Save The Date started at a run and never really stopped until the very end. It is absolutely jam packed with drama, with everything that seemingly could go wrong seeming to happen in this book. I enjoyed the action and fast pace, but at times did find all this a little much and began to wonder how one group of people could be so unlucky. The humour kept me racing through this book, Allie Spencer has an amazing sense of humour and I literally laughed out loud on more than one occasion. A good sense of humour is one of my needed traits in all aspects of life and I enjoy seeing it added into books. I loved the way in which Allie Spencer was so descriptive with her details about Italy and the scenery, making me feeling as if I had been transported there along with Alicia.

Alicia, the main character, was also one of my favourite characters as she is so relatable for all female readers. Her heart is in the right place and she is likeable while at the same time being accident prone  and not always making the greatest decisions. My favourite character of all though had to be Arthur, the stray dog who takes a shine to Alicia. Even though he was a dog he had a personality of his own and was always getting up to mischief.

I would thoroughly recommend Save The Date as a fun, light hearted, whirlwind of a summer read. The plot was interesting, the characters likeable and there is certainly never a dull moment. This is the first Allie Spencer book that I have read, but I am certain that it will not be my last.

Thursday, 30 May 2013

The School Gates by Nicola May: Review

The School Gates by Nicola May

When Was It Released?: 3rd September 2012
Where Did I Get It From?: Received from the author in exchange for a review. Thank you!
Who Published It?: Self Published
Number Of Pages?: 301 Pages
Buy?:Paperback or Kindle

I love Nicola May’s books and have done ever since I first picked up Working It Out back when it was first released. Every time Nicola brings out a new novel I am quick to make sure I have my own copy to devour.


At 3.10 pm every weekday, parents gather at Featherstone Primary to collect their children. For a special few, the friendships forged at the school gates will see them through lives filled with drama, secrets and sorrows.When Yummy Mummy Alana reveals the identity of her love-child’s father, she doesn’t expect the consequences to be quite so extreme. Ex Czech au pair Earth Mummy Dana finds happiness in her secret side-line, but really all she longs for is another child. Slummy Mummy Brenda’s wife-beating husband leads her down a path she never thought possible, and Super Mummy Joan has to cope when life deals her a devastating blow. And what of Gay Daddy Gordon? Will he be able to juggle parenthood and cope with his broken heart at the same time?


The School Gate’s is full of Nicola May’s wonderful humour, interesting characters and engaging storyline. I loved in the way in which each family was portrayed as not being perfect and each having their own problems which made them completely relatable. I also really liked the way each chapter was dedicated to a different family, so that the reader doesn’t get confused and really gets to know all the characters individually. I really enjoyed the way the drama around each family unfolded meaning there was never a dull moment throughout the whole book.

My only downside to this book would be that at the beginning, as there are so many characters introduced, it is a little difficult to remember who is who, however once you get a little more into the book this problem is soon resolved. I also would have liked the ending to be a little longer so that we could find out more about what happens to each character.

Overall I loved The School Gates and would recommend it to everyone, especially those who love chick lit. If you haven’t picked up one of Nicola May’s books yet then you really need to, I can guarantee that you will be hooked.