2019, Shelf Control, Uncategorized

Shelf Control #2

Shelf Control is a meme run by Lisa at Bookshelf Fantasies.  It is a weekly celebration of the unread books on our shelves.  Pick a book you own but haven’t read, write a post about it (suggestions: include what it’s about, why you want to read it, and when you got it), and link up!

For more info on what Shelf Control is all about, check out Lisa’s introductory post.

So I’ve gone for a Kobo/Kindle shelf read. Although my Kobo passed on last year some time but it was six years old so I got my money’s worth and some. I was thinking last now how bad I’ve been over the years for 99p and freebie reads and it brought me to this book.

I downloaded this what must have been Boxing Day 2012 or so. I’m not 100% but I remember being at my Nan & Grandads and downloading this from the Boxing Day sale….What I’ve read of Giovanna I have enjoyed and I feel awful to have had this on my digital library for so long.

As I haven’t read Billy and Me I still haven’t read the Christmas short either.

Have you read this or any of Giovanna’s books? I loved You’re the One that I Want.

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2019, Uncategorized

It’s Monday what am I reading…..

So I’ve seen this meme come up loads and I may have done it before but I’m extremely blonde at the moment so here I am.

Thanks to those of you who responded on my Twitter poll www.twitter.com/HayleyTOfficial it’s better late than never…so what am I reading…

On audio I’m listening to the extremely funny.

Just yesterday I finally started….

Why has it taken me so long I’m only a few chapters in but wow!!

I’ve been itching to read this I’ve had it since the event in June I will be buddy reading this with Catriona…. I haven’t started it yet but once I’ve posted this post I’m drying my hair and diving in before bed.

Have you read any of my choices? I would love to hear from you.

2019, Author Love, Review, Uncategorized

Book Review: When Polly Met Olly By Zoe May

Blurb: Polly and Olly were never supposed to meet…

Polly might spend her days searching for eligible matches for her elite list of clients at her New York dating agency, but her own love life is starting to go up in smoke.

Even worse, she can’t stop thinking about the very person she’s meant to be setting her latest client up with… surely it can’t get any worse!

But then Polly bumps into oh-so-handsome Olly, who heads up a rival agency, and realizes that perhaps all really is fair in love and dating war…

Review: I’ve been championing this lady since devouring Perfect Match – it was a Netgalley read that provided me a new author and friend. I’ve spoken to Zoe so much over Twitter and Instagram and as much as I have championed her she’s also been very complimentary of me and my blogging efforts.

When Zoe went to New York to research for this novel we had chatted loads and loads I felt like I wanted this book long before it had been written. In a way it’s bad form on me for only having just finished it. I’ve been away with my family and I knew it would be the perfect time to get some reading done although I haven’t read as much as I would like I’m so glad to have read ‘When Polly Met Olly’. It’s a perfect feel good read and the ultimate tonic when you need a pick me up or if you’re in a reading slump.

Zoe writes about dating so effortlessly, I’ve been a huge fan of Celebs Go Dating for yonks and if you have ever watched the series I’m sure Olly will remind you of a certain Eden Blackman. I could picture him from the off and for me it added to my enjoyment of the story. I didn’t always like Olly but deep down there was always another side to him and I’m glad that that came into fruition before the story ended.

I loved Polly and everything about her story, seeing her progress in New York. I said to Zoe how real Polly was with her struggles to become a photographer, I’ve known that pain. Having studied New Media Journalism and spent so much of my spare time trying to make something of myself. In reading this book it’s shown me that we do have to go back to why we started and why we loved it. I may not be getting paid to write but I have a blog that I enjoy sharing my passion for books and the written word. I’ve also shared a few of my other passions and lifestyle changes, in starting my new job at the end of September I’m hoping to add some new additions to the blog and I cannot wait.

Zoe May writes a truly engaging novel that keeps you on your toes. I loved the different aspects with the emails and Tinder/Match messages alongside texts and dialogue. I also loved the stark contrast to people in New York with money and those trying to make their way. I also have to mention Gabe I truly loved the friendship between Gabe and Polly, everyone needs that friend who will tell you how it is rather than what you want to hear.

The other resounding message from this novel is looks can be deceiving. In this day and age with social media taking over we’re all obsessed with how we come across and insta and reality are two separate things and sometimes we all need to take a step back. I pride myself on taking people as I find them and Polly’s gut instincts helped her in the end.

A truly enjoyable read that could have been devoured in a solitary sitting if I had had that luxury. A fantastic final read before I head back to reality, back to work for me tomorrow and I still have an audiobook to finish…

2019, New Author to me, novella, Quick Reads, Review, Short Story, Uncategorized

Novella Review: Stepping Out By S.J.King

Blurb: WINNER of the Books and the City Choice Award in the #heatseeker short story competition, Stepping Out is a poignant, inspiring short story about acceptance, self-love and finding the courage to be who you really are.

Paula has been practising walking in her new red velvet heels for weeks. So far, she hasn’t made it past her front door.

But tonight is different.

With the help of her sister, a panty-girdle and a little bit of Dutch courage, Paula is stepping out, for the very first time.

Will she find the courage to show her true identity to the world? And if she does, will they accept her?

Review: I purchased this on 16th September 2018 and just under a year later I’ve finally read it. The Heat-seeker winners that I’ve read have been fantastic and following Hannah Pearl’s treat I instantly downloaded this one. For one reason or another it’s taken me this long to read this but I truly enjoyed this short read. It’s the perfect tonic in between reads and kept me entertained with a coffee and a biscuit just after my breakfast and in between my lunch whilst at the seaside.

I honestly didn’t know what to expect from this novel, from the off I worked out it was heavily focused on anxiety but considering the title I was a little naive in what I thought it was about. An extremely well written short that had me on the edge of my seat throughout constantly wanting more and not feeling like I’d been short changed by the novella. I wholeheartedly felt captivated by the thoughts and feelings of someone overcoming these sort of challenges, and how it changes even the smallest of events hence Paula’s night out taking so much effort and preparation.

A truly heartfelt and powerful read of anxiety change and the love of a sister.

2019, Author Love, Buddy Read, Uncategorized

Book Review: The Day We Meet Again By Miranda Dickinson

Blurb: Their love story started with goodbye…

Phoebe and Sam meet by chance at St Pancras station. Heading in opposite directions, both seeking their own adventures, meeting the love of their lives wasn’t part of the plan. So they make a promise: to meet again in the same place in twelve months’ time if they still want to be together.

But is life ever as simple as that?

Review: I’m always always itching for a new Miranda Dickinson and this one was especially special. Not only did I get it early which I’ve been lucky to do a few times but I got to share this emotional rollercoaster with Catriona and I swear when we are reading together we read super fast and are itching to catch up with each other and discuss. We even managed a late night my side phone call and then were like ok back to it.

Long before I was approved on Netgalley I loved every single thing I heard about this novel and as ever it has its pure Miranda sparkle.

Phoebe and Sam captured my heart from the off, when they met at St Pancras station. Meeting the right person at the wrong time – Phoebe and Sam are perfect together in only the shortest amount of time. It seems like a kick in the teeth when they both carry on, on their separate journeys. Although both Phoebe and Sam have been putting off life changing things that they both need to do.

As ever I’m turning those pages quicker than lightening but at times I’m growing frustrated with them both and the friends they make along the way. I love how Miranda set this out with texts, postcards and calls from time to time. We all change so much in a year but from the intensity they both felt it seemed like this story only had one outcome. I won’t be spoiling any of the detail as I want you to pick up and fall in love with this book the way I did.

Sam takes us to Scotland – there are parts of Scotland I love so it was nice to hear of his travels. Although I haven’t been to the more atmospheric countryside. I loved how Sam was finding himself but also how he reconnects with Uni friends when they needed him too. I think we all have a danger of being too wrapped up in our own lives, I think it was brave of Sam to admit his shortcomings and it made him a better person in doing so.

Phoebe takes us to different parts of Europe. I still haven’t been to Italy but my the coffees and the croissants sure did make me hungry. I loved how she was documenting her journey in the form of a journal. I also really enjoyed the section with the rocks and whilst at the coast myself this past few weeks we came across these.

Transporting me back to Phoebe and her story.

Sam and Phoebe go through so much in a year and it’s surprising just how much changes in twelve months.

This was the most beautiful story full of love, life, hope and finding yourself.

In reading this I could 100% see this on the big screen. Miranda has written a story of the love I hope to find someday. It sure was a rollercoaster read that had me laughing out loud, screaming and becoming increasingly frustrated with Phoebe and Sam but it was the read I needed…

2018, august, Monthly Wrap Up, Uncategorized, update, wrap up

What did I read in August.

Now I was overly optimistic with my TBR for August with so much happening it was obvious to me that I wouldn’t have completed it.

However, I sure did read some beauties that have left their mark on me.

I loved each of these for different reasons and they are all authors I adore. I must admit I have a few more of Catherine’s on my Kindle but that’s the first of hers I’ve devoured and what a fantastic start….

My thoughts on these 📚

Rewind By Catherine Ryan Howard

One Winter Morning By Isabelle Broom

The Turn of the Key By Ruth Ware

I’m hoping to have my Miranda Dickinson review up for publication day tomorrow. I started September with a few short reads which were ace and I’m now in the midst of Zoe May’s When Polly Met Olly which I’ve been meaning to read for ages. I feel like my time away caught up with me and last night and this morning I’ve had a massive headache – so I’ve only managed a little reading. I have two very different audios on the go and one is for a blog tour.

I’m hoping that seeing as I’m on holiday until the end of Saturday and I have a little downtime in September that I can read a lot more than I managed in August. I like being optimistic but I also like getting more reading into my month.

Two of my August reads were buddy reads and I’m pleased to say that myself and Catriona have a few ideas up our sleeves and one includes one of my fave authors.

2019, Netgalley, Review, Uncategorized

Book Review: Rewind By Catherine Ryan Howard

Blurb:

PLAY
Andrew, the manager of Shanamore Holiday Cottages, watches his only guest via a hidden camera in her room. One night the unthinkable happens: a shadowy figure emerges onscreen, kills her and destroys the camera. But who is the murderer? How did they know about the camera? And how will Andrew live with himself?

PAUSE
Natalie wishes she’d stayed at home as soon as she arrives in the wintry isolation of Shanamore. There’s something creepy about the manager. She wants to leave, but she can’t – not until she’s found what she’s looking for…

REWIND
This is an explosive story about a murder caught on camera. You’ve already missed the start. To get the full picture you must rewind the tape and play it through to the end, no matter how shocking…

Review: It’s been a while since I’ve read a book like this where the story goes back and forth.

PLAY: Focuses on Andrew the manager of Shanamore Cottages. Andrew is an interesting case and for me he had a touch of Norman Bates about him. Which in turn left me intrigued for each of his instalments. Like Norman he was strange but at times I also felt extremely sorry for him, just like with Norman in Psycho- when realistically the logical part of your brain is saying don’t emphasise he’s a complete creep. For me that’s a fantastic creepy character where you have conflicting emotions. It also made for compelling reading as I wanted to know what he’d done and why he was going through the motions that he was.

Andrew is strange and even his back story shows how weird he is. His thought process isn’t normal and the way he treats girls is sickening but when he sees the murder play out on his hidden camera you can feel his terror.

PAUSE: Focuses on Natalie, from the off I feel for her. I can’t say too much on Natalie as if you read it you’ll soon know her fate or will you? I was conflicted on a number of things linked to Natalie but had somehow overlooked what actually was the case. Just like with Andrew’s instalments it made for compelling reading.

REWIND: Brings you back to the jigsaw of the murder. Who died and why? This kept me on my toes although I wasn’t sure at one point if there was more than one death but as I kept turning those pages I knew my original thoughts were right.

This was a Netgalley read for me and I’m so glad that I was approved to read this beauty. It was just the read I needed at the start of my holidays and just the tonic after a purely emotional read. It really did bring me back to my media studies classes when we were studying Psycho – all those thoughts and feelings came right to the forefront of my mind. A truly creative read that will shock you and keep you guessing in a world where Instagram posts aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. There’s a fine line between online and in real life. It’s also strange to see how people cannot separate reality and fantasy, that aspect is terrifying but I’ll leave you to read and form your own opinions.

I still have Distress Signals on my Kindle and it will definitely be pushed up the list. Catherine writes a compelling story and I’m a definitely a fan.

2019, ebook, novella, Quick Reads, Short Story, Uncategorized

Novella Review: After Hello By Mhairi McFarlane

Blurb: A short story sequel to the bestselling romcom You Had Me At Hello!

In You Had Me At Hello, the one who got away came back… but what happened next?

Together, apart and then back together again, Rachel and Ben had a rollercoaster ride to get here. But now happily in love and partners in crime once more, it feels like it’s all been worth it.

But when a face from the past reappears, misunderstandings come between them once more.

Can they hold on to their happy ever after?

Review: I fell in love with Mhairi’s writing style and her characters when I read You Had Me At Hello. It was a heartfelt read that had me from the get go. I loved Rachel and Ben and their university times really did make me smile. My time at uni wasn’t as interesting as there’s but I did have a crush although it was never on the scale of best friends Ben and Rachel. In that novel I grew increasingly frustrated with them because I could see how they were meant to be.

I’m ashamed to say I’ve had After Hello on my Kindle on both my paper white and my iphone since 26th Jan 2017. As I’m on holiday and having just finished a book I thought let’s see what novellas I have. I love Mhairi’s style and whenever I read any of her books I’m hooked so I knew this would be the perfect tonic and I was oh so right.

I love a novella I know a lot of readers always complain how they are too short but for me they are fantastic quick reads that I like to slip alongside my longer reads. In After Hello I found myself getting angry as Ben and Rachel were the dream team for me in You Had Me At Hello in thinking their happy ever after wasn’t meant to be I was feeling heartbroken. I should have remembered how much Ben used sarcasm to get his point across.

A lovely reunion with Rachel, Ben and the girls. I never tire of reading stories about characters I have fell in love with it’s just like reuniting with old friends. It’s got me thinking of my university bunch and all we went through together.

Thank you Mhairi for taking me back to them, although I don’t think Ben and Rachel’s story has finished….

2019, august, Author Love, Buddy Read, ebook, Review, Uncategorized

Book Review: One Winter Morning By Isabelle Broom

Blurb: Genie isn’t feeling very festive this December. 

The frosty mornings and twinkling fairy lights only remind her it’s been a whole year since she lost her adoptive mother, who took her in as a baby and raised her as her own. 

She’s never felt more alone – until she discovers her birth mother’s identity.

And where to find her: New Zealand, half the world away. 

Travelling there could be her one chance to meet the woman who gave her up. 

But will she find the answers she has been looking for? Or something she could never have expected?

Review: It’s been a while since I’ve read an Isabelle Broom novel and I felt so privileged to have buddy read this with Catriona. I feel like I flew through this one, it’s one of those reads where you’re saying just one more chapter and at each turn there was more than enough to keep you wanting more.

This could have easily been read in one sitting but as I’m away with my family that was never going to happen but at each time I read a healthy amount, although at times I stopped myself because of my locations. I could feel my emotions brewing in public places. Not that that’s ever really bothered me but I did not want to feel uncomfortable when I have truly loved every single second with this book and these characters.

One Winter Morning is a story that will have you flying through the pages captivated by the words the imagery and most of all the people. Isabelle really does research her places well. I’ve never been to New Zealand but having read this novel I felt truly captivated by the surroundings and I feel like I’ve visited Lake Wakatipu. Her imagery is astounding I honestly feel like if I visited I would feel like I’d already been there, like retreating to a place you’ve been going to for years.

I really enjoy a buddy read especially with Catriona, it’s mad that now she’s in the States we talk more than we did when she was in the UK. She saw a few things coming in this, although I was pleased to see one of my wants come into fruition. Because of the location I didn’t feel like I was reading a winter book in the wrong timezone, although it was based around Christmas and New Years heavily focussing on love and loss and finding yourself.

There’s so much I want to say but you have to read to fully understand the true gorgeousness of this book. From the off I loved most of the characters Genie aka Evangeline is a great girl struggling with the loss of her adoptive mother and with the emotions over whether to search for her real mother or not. She goes through all the feels, wonder and most of all guilt. In searching for her real mother she feels like she’s cheating on the woman who raised her when in actual fact that’s not the case at all.

I have to mention Hayley, I rarely get to read a book with a Hayley and this one is ballsy and fun and has hollow legs from the amount of cake and physical activity she does. This made my little heart so happy and for her to be such an amazing friend too it really was the icing on the cake.

I feel like I wanted more of David’s thoughts as he played such a huge part in this story and I must say Isabelle wrote a fantastic kids story. I wholeheartedly believe my nieces and nephew would love the Evangeline series.

Tui was the most adorable little girl, a truly gifted child who defies all odds. I loved her story and part of me saw some of it coming but nowhere near to the extent of how her story ended.

I don’t feel like Griff stood a chance next to Kit but oh le sigh! all the feels and some. Isabelle looks at love, loss and healing in so many ways. I loved the sentiment of the future being the light in the sun and the past being the shadow and looking to the sun.

I also loved how there were parts for Genie and for Bonnie and how the letters were in italics. I’m all for a back story and it gave you the remaining pieces of the puzzle not that I saw some of it.

I’m a massive worrier and I often need to take a step back and breathe. I know that I personally need to live in the moment more, I’m often too worried about things and circumstances that I cannot change. Looking too far at what’s to come and what’s been rather than looking into the here and now, I hope to do more of being in the now.

A brilliantly written story of love, loss, friendship and finding yourself. If you are looking for the perfect book to give you all the feels or to get you out of a reading slump this is definitely it.

Now I’ve got those thoughts out I can start another book. Although I must say I really must tackle more of Isabelle Broom’s books, just like Miranda Dickinson’s books I’m left feeling hopeful and extremely positive as well as left with an extremely happy heart and a book hangover.

2019, Six for Sunday, Uncategorized

Six for Sunday – Yellow Books

Six for Sunday is a weekly meme created by https://alittlebutalot.com each week a prompt is given and then you choose books accordingly.

This weeks prompt is yellow books…I love a Six for Sunday and as I’m by the seaside it seems like the perfect one to get involved with.

I’m actually listening to a yellow book although haven’t listened to any so far today.

Yellow and seaside inspired although I still haven’t read this one.

This one sounds sooo good and I have it on my kindle but there’s never enough time for all the books. I may just have to bump this one up.

Another Jenny Colgan I’m not sure if I have or haven’t read this one. Something tells me I had it on a beach but I can’t be 100%

Forgive Me Not was such a memorable read that will stay with me forever.

I still haven’t read this one. I was lucky enough to get Vicky to sign it for me, I very nearly brought it away with me but seeing as it’s a signed one I didn’t want it getting ruined.

What do you think of my choices have you read any of them?