2020, Author Love, Publication Day, Review, Uncategorized

Book Review: Dark Corners By Darren O’Sullivan

A thrilling fast paced read.

Blurb: It’s been twenty years since Neve’s best friend Chloe went missing. Neve has never recovered and promised herself she’d never go back to that place.

But secrets can come back to haunt you

When Neve receives news that her first boyfriend Jamie has gone missing, she’s forced to return. Jamie has vanished without a trace in a disappearance that echoes the events of all those years ago. Somebody is watching and will stop at nothing until the truth about what took place that night is revealed …

Review: Most of you who know me know that Darren O’Sullivan’s debut novel Our Little Secret pulled me out of some of my most darkest moments during ankle gate. I’m so pleased to have read and to now be reviewing his fourth book. Darren we are on book four and wow what a rollercoaster ride it’s been not only your latest novel but your journey. I couldn’t be prouder of you.

I had seen a few writers who had read early copies stating how this was Darren’s best and I was sat there thinking but I’ve loved all of his books in different ways. I knew I would love it but I didn’t know the emotional journey I would go on in reading it. It’s such a weird place in the world right now but being immersed in this fast paced thriller sure has helped me to say the least.

Dark Corners is so aptly named but you won’t even realise that until right near the end of the novel. It’s a story about a group of childhood friends who go through a lot together and when tragedy strikes they all cope in different ways.

Neve is our main character and the story revolves around her, we have parts of her story from now and parts from back in 1998 when Chloe went missing. I loved getting the back story although it didn’t always make sense and it’s safe to say it’s hard to review without explaining any of the plot.

What I will say is Darren weaves a good tale and right up to 80% in I was still sitting there with not that many answers there were a number of OMG moments. I was shocked even if it made sense when you stepped away from the story. The perfect tale to read during these strange times we are living in- I was swept away on Neve’s rollercoaster ride where she wasn’t sleeping, heavily relying on booze and distancing herself from pretty much everything.

This is out today so go grab this beauty because this book really does deserve to fly….Here

2020, Paige Toon Read Along, Review, Uncategorized, wrap up

What I read in March…

Now March really did turn the tide in my life. It changed dramatically when work was shutdown until further notice. My happy place was taken from me. I mean for a book worm it did help my reading and I’ve been able to make more time for my blog and for a few things I’ve been saying I would do in a while. I had hoped to have included a few shorts to end my March reading but I’ve had a headache for the past few days, I’m getting there now but there’s still a niggle but seeing as this post was virtually done I decided I would post it. To those who voted for my post on Monday it will be here I promise I just have been feeling so rubbish the past few days….

March started with the newest Cornish story from Cressida McLaughlin and my heart bursted once again.

It was so good to have the gang back and to have the new additions.

You can read my thoughts here.

As you may remember both myself and Catriona are in the midst of a Paige Toon read along….I’m loving having mostly Paige in this write up.

As I said in my review I had met a few of these before but it was so nice to see their story play out. You can read my thoughts Here.

Now I cannot help gushing at these stories I really do think Joe and Alice could be my favourites. I’ve also realised there’s a few of my paperbacks that aren’t signed I will be digging out my favourites the next time I can see Paige. She kindly signed the first few of the read-along that weren’t signed.

You can read my thoughts on quite possibly one of my fave Paige Toon couples Here

Darren O’Sullivan is one of my most favourite authors and his fourth novel really does showcase how his writing has changed,this one is a lot more fast paced. Darren’s latest will be out tomorrow and my review will be up then 🙂 so you will need to wait another day to read my thoughts on this.

Part two of this Cornish gorgeousness was just what I needed in these strange times. I was left longing for a hug from Sam. You can read my thoughts Here

This was a very different feel for a Paige Toon novel but all the same I loved my trip to Key West.

This beauty is available in June and my god I want to talk about it but there’s so much I cannot say. My review

Re-listening to this beauty I bloody love Bronte and I also had trouble choosing between those boys…I also realised that I had never penned my thoughts on this beauty.

2020, ebook, Review, Uncategorized

Book Review: If I Never Met You By Mhari McFarlane

Blurb: If faking love is this easy… how do you know when it’s real?

The brand new novel from Sunday Times bestselling author Mhairi McFarlane

Laurie and Jamie have the perfect office romance

(They set the rules via email)

Everyone can see they’re head over heels

(They staged the photos)

This must be true love

(They’re faking it)

When Laurie is dumped by her partner of eighteen years, she’s blindsided. Not only does she feel humiliated, they still have to work together.

So when she gets stuck in the lift with handsome colleague Jamie, they hatch a plan to stage the perfect romance. Revenge will be sweet…

But this fauxmance is about to get complicated. You can’t break your heart in a fake relationship – can you?

Review: Mhari McFarlane literally had me at Hello….ever since devouring that novel I’ve been such a fan. Sometimes life and book blogger problems have got in the way but whenever I delve into a Mhari novel I know I will be sucked in from the off. I remember pre-ordering this as soon as I had read the blurb. It took me a little longer than expected to get to it and to devour it but it was everything I needed and more.

From the off I loved Laurie and I really love the fact she’s a high flying woman of colour. I am not a woman of colour but there isn’t enough books like this. I also loved how Mhari has brought across how most of us ladies do not realise our own value in ourself. It took Laurie feeling downtrodden via her long-standing boyfriend in dumping her to realise her worth. She’s an intelligent woman who is highly thought of at her law firm but for so long she’s pushed Dan to be the one chasing promotions when realistically she should have been looking in the mirror.

I just adore Mhari’s way of writing her descriptions are witty and relatable there were so many moments that I could 100% relate or that had me simply laughing out loud. I won’t be delving into the main aspects of the story as that would simply take the joy away from reading another fantastic Mhari McFarlane novel.

As I stated I loved Laurie from the off and her office pals. Jamie had me on the edge of my seat I just didn’t know what to make of him. Although I did call a few of the outcomes before they happened.

I have to mention Laurie’s best friend Emily I always adore the friendships in these novels and these two are a team to contend with. They wholeheartedly have each other’s backs even if they don’t always agree with the other.

If you are looking to loose yourself in a book that will have you constantly turning the pages then look no further the queen of wit and relatable reading has done it again. If you have never read a Mhari novel this isn’t a bad place to start.

2020, Uncategorized

Book Review: The Longest Holiday By Paige Toon

Blurb: Laura has been married to the man of her dreams for seven months. But, she now discovers, a week before the wedding Matthew made a terrible mistake …

Escaping the heartache and humiliation, Laura is whisked off to Florida’s Key West by her best friend Marty. A carefree holiday full of cocktails and fun, surrounded by gorgeous, tanned men, is exactly what the doctor ordered. Distraction comes in the form of sexy Cuban scuba diver Leo. As the end of the holiday approaches, Laura doesn’t want to go home. Is it time to face the music? Or is there more to Key West than a holiday romance?

Review: The Longest Holiday Really did have a totally different feel to that of most of Paiges reads. It just felt different somehow not in a bad way just a change of writing and tact in the way Laura spoke.

Laura has to be one of the most free spirited ladies who speaks exactly how she feels. What I did love about this story was seeing how different Laura, Marty and Bridget are. Now I had already met Laura and Bridget from different books but seeing what joined them together was a totally different feel. As the book begins Laura is feeling a multitude of emotions following Matthew’s heartbreaking mistake. You can see why Laura is feeling the way she is and I believe Paige showed the emotions that any woman would be going through. At the start of the holiday Laura is going through the motions but she’s not truly thinking about what she wants and deserves not really. She’s grateful to the girls for taking her away from it all but when push comes to shove she’s not ready to go back to her reality. Her reality is that of nightmares and her heart isn’t ready to face what awaits her in London or what she would leave in Key West. I don’t want to say too much but that scene at the airport I had my heart in my mouth….

When Laura returns to London her thoughts are a million miles away across the pond. Watching her agonise over her situation was heartbreaking and hard to read. Now I 100% can’t say much more but woah Paige I wasn’t expecting what happened that raw emotion of Laura, her friends, her parents, Matthew and Leo meant I lapped up the final pages full of eager and intensity.

Another gorgeous tale from Paige Toon which right now you can download for 99p. What are you waiting for?

2020, Author Love, Uncategorized

Book Review: One Perfect Summer By Paige Toon

Alice & Joe have well and truly stolen my heart.

Blurb: Do you still love him?’ Every second of every minute of every hour of every day…Alice is 18 and about to start university while Joe’s life is seemingly going nowhere. A Dorset summer, a chance meeting, and the two of them fall into step as if they have known each other forever. But their idyll is shattered, suddenly, unexpectedly. Alice heads off to Cambridge and slowly picks up the pieces of her broken heart. Joe is gone; she cannot find him. When she catches the attention of Lukas – gorgeous, gifted, rich boy Lukas – she is carried along by his charm, swept up in his ambitious plans for a future together. Then Joe is there, once more, but out of reach in a way that Alice could never have imagined. Life has moved on, the divide between them is now so great. Surely it is far too late to relive those perfect summer days of long ago?

Review: I’ve said it before and I will say it again I got into Paige Toon seriously late with The Last Piece of My Heart being the first of her books that I read. But I’m not saying that was a bad thing I loved the heart and soul of that read and I remember finishing it in the early hours of the morning with a tear stained face but with an extremely happy heart and from that moment on I was a fan and was eager to lap up anything and everything Paige had written.

So in doing this read along with Catriona I’ve loved delving into her back catalogue. I have met Joe and Alice before in previous books but I hadn’t read their own story. Oh my….how has this beauty been on my shelf and on my kindle for ages although I totally forgot I also had the digital version. That could have sped up my reading time…

This book is in a few sections with The Summer, six months later and then a few years on and on. The Summer in Dorset where Joe and Alice meet is intense and all consuming. The chapters are quite short so it’s easy to be like just one more just one more…It never felt false or rushed their love story blossomed quickly and intensely, it swept me along and consumed me, which was exactly what I needed with the world going crazy right now.

When it got to six months later I found myself frustrated not by Alice or her emotions but by the lack of Joe. It brought me back to reading Eclipse enjoying the pages but longing for Edward to return to Bella. I loved meeting Jessie and the punting gang I had forgotten that I had also met him before in the One Perfect Christmas collection – after this I did re-read that with such love and a new found understanding for all the characters, and for their individual stories.

Which then brings me onto Lukas – there were elements of Lukas that I found sweet but I never warmed to him. I found him controlling in the weirdest of ways… even though in some ways he was good for Alice at that part of her life but I like Alice was still longing for Joe.

I shan’t be ruining the ins and outs of the story but I must say this read did give me a rollercoaster of emotions and left me with a bit of a book hangover and longing for a cuddle. I do love seeing how all these characters intertwine it’s like reuniting with old friends comfortable and like a warm hug.

If you want a Paige Toon to start with One Perfect Summer is a gorgeous introduction to an author who covers many real-life aspects in a way that keeps you informed and let’s you escape. I’m totally loving this read along with one of my closest friends even though she’s across the pond and one of my most favourite authors.

2020, Author Love, Book Snippet, Uncategorized

An update plus Rosie Blake goodness.

I’m so sorry I had started drafting a rather good World Book Day post whilst on my way to work yesterday morning. My break seemed to fly in the blink of an eye and I was out for a colleagues birthday so I apologise.

When I returned home I had received a parcel but said parcel wasn’t opened until this morning.

I’ve been such a fan of Rosie Blake since falling in love with her writing in her debut How to get a Love Life? Since then I’ve loved her other novels How To Find your (first) Husband? How to Stuff up Christmas? And the Hygee Holiday. So when the lovely lady herself sent me a message asking if I would love a super early copy the answer was always going to be YES.

I simply adore the cover and you can see it’s an August release by the colours…

Blurb: Lottie is always in a hurry, rushing through her days ticking tasks off her to-do lists. Teddy is worried about his granddaughter – and he knows that his late wife, Lily, would have known exactly what to say to make things better. Now that Lily has gone, it’s up to Teddy to talk some sense into Lottie.

With the help of Arjun, Geoffrey and Howard, the elderly reprobates who make up his Gin O’Clock Club, Teddy makes a plan to help Lottie find her way back to the things that really matter – family, friendship and love. But as Lottie balances a high-powered job with her reluctant attendance at whist drives, ballroom dances and bingo, Teddy wonders if she’s really ready to open up her heart to the possibility of true happiness…

I’m in the middle of a Paige Toon readathon plus I have a few other books half started so I cannot start this yet. However it has been bumped up my list so it could slot in very soon watched this space, I opened the book read the gorgeous quote and then proceeded to read a letter. Omg barely two pages and I can safely say this beauty has stolen my heart once again….

You can pre-order The Gin O’Clock Club below

2020, Top Ten Tuesday, Uncategorized

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish and now hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl.

The rules are simple:

Each Tuesday, Jana assigns a new topic. Create your own Top Ten list that fits that topic – putting your unique spin on it if you want. Everyone is welcome to join but please link back to That Artsy Reader Girl in your own Top Ten Tuesday post. Add your name to the Linky widget on that day’s post so that everyone can check out other bloggers’ lists. Or if you don’t have a blog, just post your answers as a comment.

This week’s topic is Books With Single Word Titles. I had seen so many tweets coming up with gorgeous links to this so I was intrigued and in looking back in my read pile there sure are a lot of them.

Now even looking at this cover gives me all those feels back.
This book had me from the get go so fast paced I loved every second.
This woman is a mastermind – loved this.
So good she’s in this list twice…
Haven’t read this one still….

Every single one of these books sent me on a rollercoaster ride and I’ve loved them all. Bar the one I still haven’t read….it’s mad when you realise there really are a lot of one worded books.

2020, A thought? A question, Author Love, Uncategorized

What did I read in February….

I’m drafting a separate post which I had hoped to have posted the other day in regards to the Paige Toon read-along but today I feel like I need to look back on February.

February is my birthday month and it’s always a special time for me….even though the weather can be super cold.

Lucy in The Sky my beloved Paige’s debut how had it taken me so long to have read it. You can read my thoughts Here

Awww Johnny & Meg this book has all the feels another one that it’s taken me ages to read and this ones a signed book.
I’m a massive fan of novellas and so far this is the only one of this years quick reads I have devoured.
More time spent with Johnny Meg and co. This one had a very different feel to it but I loved it and it had me on the edge of my seat all the same.
I loved this short and as I started reading it I realised I already knew part of this story as it’s a crossover to Jessie Jefferson. Still feeling the love for this bunch and this ended my February.

Wow! I really am slacking my thoughts have been penned for one of my February reads. I will change that. Tomorrow I’m going to a blogger event – it’s been a while and I sure do love those evenings so I will have the phone charged and a portable charger and I will be documenting the event so keep your eyes peeled on Hayley Reviews.

Until next time….

2020, Author Love, Readathon, Review, Uncategorized

Book Review: Lucy in the Sky By Paige Toon

Blurb: Settling down for a 24-hour flight to Australia, Lucy finds a text message on her phone – not from her boyfriend James, as she fondly hopes, but from a woman claiming to have slept with him four times in the past month. Trapped on the plane, she questions everything about her relationship with James. She finally calls him and he reassures her: it was only his mates playing a silly joke.

James is a lawyer, persuasive and gorgeous and Lucy adores him. So why, at the wedding in Sydney of her best friend Molly, does she have niggling doubts, and find herself attracted to Molly’s brother-in-law Nathan? The sooner she gets back to her regular life in London, the flat she shares with James, her job in PR, the better. Nathan is a happy-go-lucky surfer boy, with no prospects, no place to live, an almost-girlfriend in tow. And the other side of the world…

Lucy – a girl caught between two distant continents – and two very different men…

Review: Today sees the second book in mine and Catriona aka www.fabulousbookfiend.com Paige Toon read-along. For Catriona Lucy in the Sky was a re-listen for me it was a first read. I’m a huge Paige Toon fan but I first discovered her books when I read The Last Piece of my Heart – and from that moment I was hooked. This year I decided I will still be reviewing new books but I also want to read more for me this year and so far I’m having a good reading yeah. Saying that after finishing this beauty I was a little book hungover and reeling from Lucy’s story.

Lucy in the Sky is Paige’s debut novel and I’m so annoyed that it’s taken me this long to devour it. I have both a paperback and an ecopy of this book which was great for whilst I was eating and stuff as I could continue to read.

As ever Paige kept me on my toes and had me hooked from the off. From the beginning I adored Lucy yet I was sceptical over James and throughout I was left hooked but what way the story would change. I loved seeing Lucy reunited with her childhood friends and her going back to Australia.

Paige always manages to have very real situations and Lucy’s conundrum is something that can and does happen to many people. I hated how James always had a way of belittling her – when in reality Lucy is an awesome woman with lots ahead of her. The friendships, the love and the laughs really make this book. Nathan and Lucy are fantastic I really enjoyed the bad jokes which even had me thinking of some of my best male friends over the years new and old.

A tale of confusion, love, friendship and trust and lack of. I simply adore Paige Toon and going through her back catalogue is going to be an emotional rollercoaster I loved and loathed Lucy at times. There were times when I had to stop reading and I was simply so angry or overjoyed which meant reading this book was effortless yet it left me a little bereft at the end which is why I haven’t read anything else in between. Shortly I will be starting Johnny Be Good and I cannot wait.

2020, A thought? A question, Film, Uncategorized

Film Review: Bombshell

Synopsis: When Gretchen Carlson slaps Fox News founder Roger Ailes with a lawsuit alleging sexual harassment, not a soul could predict what would happen next. Her decision leads to Fox News correspondent Megyn Kelly coming forward with her own story, as well as multiple other women, inciting a movement that reverberates around the world.

My Thoughts: Wow! Firstly I was always going to publish a film review today but initially this was not the post I had in mind for today. Today I had hoped to share with you my thoughts on Lady Bird but seeing Bombshell made me desperate to share my thoughts on such a hard film.

I must admit when I first saw the trailer for Bombshell I was like this looks like trash, until I realised what it was about and then I was intrigued. If you’ve seen the trailer that’s not even the half of what you will experience.

Bombshell is an incredibly important story with such a hard hitting message for women. What saddens me is I don’t feel like it’s been marketed that well and it’s leaving a number of cinemas a lot sooner than I expected which is why I had to watch it this evening.

This film will should you the real importance of the me too movement and what those women went through.

Margot Robbie, Nicole Kidman and Charlize Theron are all outstanding.

Over the years I’ve had a love hate relationship with Nicole Kidman come on I’m a massive Tom Cruise fan but I can say when I’ve seen a fantastic performance and she is incredibly fierce in her role as Gretchen she puts her career well and truly on the line for the sake of womankind and she holds no punches. There were a number of aspects to her story that I wasn’t expecting but truly empowering to say the least.

It’s an important message in showing the right and wrong in any aspect not just in the work place. There were a number of truly heart wrenching scenes where I was left overwhelmed and incredibly angry. There’s a particular scene with Margot Robbie where I was literally aching for her, you’re winded and truly heartbroken that someone so talented, beautiful and driven is broken down.

Charlize Theron is outstanding she’s fierce but also she knows her place. I loved seeing how her character unfolded.

Bombshell is a film I believe women should watch to be empowered and men should watch to know that that sort of behaviour is not ok and is not acceptable. I left that screening angry yet with a huge amount of gusto and girl power. It’s definitely a must see although I’m not sure it’s the sort of film I would watch again and again as it’s rather intense.