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…

Advertisements
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.

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, 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?

2019, Author Love, Review, Uncategorized

Book Review: Last Orders at the Star and Sixpence By Holly Hepburn

Blurb: Nestled in the quiet countryside sits the cosy village of Little Monkham, home of The Star and Sixpence, a renovated pub owned by sisters Sam and Nessie. As the locals welcome the new season, it appears that change is afoot in their tiny community, and not all of it for the better . . .
 
Nessie is moving in with her boyfriend, leaving Sam alone in the pub. But with the arrival of new chef Gabriel causing a flutter among the women of the village, it seems that Sam might not be so lonely after all. Having just recently come out of a relationship, Sam’s attraction to Gabe is inconvenient, but that’s the least of her worries when an unexpected visitor arrives at the pub, determined to stir up trouble.
 
As Gabe and Sam grow closer, Little Monkham’s latest arrival threatens to reveal a secret that will turn more than one world upside down. Can Sam and Nessie work through the fall out, or is it really last orders at The Star and Sixpence?

Review: I often find the term an emotional rollercoaster a bit of a cop out when reviewing a book but Last Orders at the Star and Sixpence is definitely a thrilling rollercoaster of a multitude of emotions. I’d like to take this time to thank Harriet at Simon & Schuster for not only championing me as a blogger but for the invite onto this tour. I will cherish my last orders beer mat.

Reading a Holly Hepburn novel sure is like reuniting with old friends, comforting, heartwarming and full of such hope. I must admit as much as I am always taken with her characters they can also be some of the most frustrating creatures I have ever met. Just like a friend who never takes the advice you have dished out.

I adore Nessie and Sam, I must admit the original A Year at the Star and Sixpence I own but I’ve only read the Valentines section. I know I know. But the good thing is when I’m really missing this bunch I have that to fully discover. I love how close these sisters are and I love how different they both are. If I can channel a little bit of either of them then I will definitely feel much more confident in my own skin and my abilities.

There are so many sub-subjects in this novel – family, friends, happiness, loneliness, grief, addiction, and a few tragic circumstances that I won’t reveal and most of all love.

Romance – now….I made Holly’s day on Twitter after my words on that kiss, that kiss when you read this novel you will know exactly what I’m talking about. Wow! The intensity gave me all the feels and I wasn’t even being kissed myself but I was definitely left breathless and wanting more.

Now I don’t want to spoil any actual information as I want you to read this book with the intrigue and suspense that I did, there’s a scene that is heart achingly real although, it’s not something I have suffered but I know people who have been through similar heartache. Saying that said sadness had me reading just a little more to find out what happened next.

Grief hits us all in different ways and out thoughts go into overdrive. Holly captures grief in both a male and a female but ultimately proves together they can heal. The Star and Sixpence is very much community driven and this bunch really do rally round for one of their own. This was truly heartwarming and something you really don’t see enough of these days.

There were so many lines that truly had me thinking about life. Sam had many great one liners and “If I cant have a love life of my own, at least I can get a vicarious thrill through yours.” Had to be one of the best I can imagine a cheeky glint in her eye and a smile on her face.

There was one character who I didn’t like from the off and something about said character had me dubious and I was right. I loved seeing the outcome and via whom. I now have to give a special mention to Ruby – everyone needs a Ruby in life. She’s experienced, classy and just damn fabulous.

I loved my time at the Star and Sixpence, Last Orders at the Star and Sixpence is very much a just another chapter sort of read and it each turn you’ll want more and more. It’s best served with an ice cold beverage and a slice of something sweet. I had a few cans of Baileys mocha and I no longer have any. I had a few breakfasts alongside this treat and I must say after spending Monday and Tuesday morning with them, I sure did miss them this morning.

I hope this isn’t the end as I would love another visit to the cosiest pub around and to see how Sam and Nessie and co are getting on. To be honest I would love to join them. Holly has left me feeling swoon-some and longing for romance.

2019, Blog Tour, Book Snippet, extract, Uncategorized

Blog Tour: Last Orders at the Star and Sixpence By Holly Hepburn

It is the greatest pleasure of mine to be on this blog tour for a book that well and truly got inside my heart. I will be sharing an extract and later you will also find out my thoughts on this beauty. Without further ado I’m going to hand over to my good friends Nessie and Sam at the Star and Sixpence although the menu invitation does not copy well…

Chapter One
A Taste of Autumn
at the
Star and Sixpence
The leaves are turning gold and there’s a chill in the air, so why not join our new chef, Gabe Santiago,
for an evening of smoky flavours and zinging cocktails as he introduces his new brand-new menu.
Booking essential. Thursday 25th October

It was a crisp mid-September morning, the kind that began with dewy grass but promised warmth as the sun rose higher in the sky. Nessie Chapman leaned back against the wrought- iron bench in the garden of Snowdrop Cottage and let her eyes drift shut. Soon, she’d have to walk over to the neighbouring Star and Sixpence and help her sister, Sam, welcome their new chef on his first day. But not right this second. She could steal a moment or two to appreciate the chirp of birdsong and gentle buzz of a nearby bee; Sam wouldn’t begrudge her that. In fact, knowing Sam, she might even prefer to be alone to greet the undeniably gorgeous Gabriel Santiago, although she’d insisted after they’d agreed he was the right person for the job that she was only interested in his prowess in the kitchen.
The truth was, Sam didn’t begrudge Nessie much. She’d cheered to the rafters when Nessie had finally got together with Owen Rhys, the blacksmith who lived next door to the Star and Sixpence, and she’d continued to cheer even when her own love affair with cellarman Joss ended in another tumultuous break-up. And she hadn’t objected a few months later when Nessie tentatively mentioned that Owen had asked her to move in with him, even though it meant Sam would be living in the pub on her own. She’d simply beamed in delight and declared that she couldn’t wait to have the place to herself.
There was a faint creak behind Nessie, alerting her that the back door of the cottage had opened.
‘A penny for your thoughts,’ a deep, Welsh-accented voice said.

Nessie smiled and opened her eyes. ‘If I had a penny for every time you’ve said that . . .’
Owen smiled back, his dark eyes crinkling beneath his coal-black brows and unruly curls. ‘You’d have around twenty pence, I expect. I should up my rates.’
He dipped his head to brush her lips with his and she felt the same familiar rush of delight mixed with incredulity that she still got every time Owen kissed her. Would it ever get old? she wondered, gazing up at him. It was hard to imagine at the moment, when every kiss still felt like their first.
‘So,’ he said, raising an eyebrow. ‘Do I have to guess what you were daydreaming about?’
Nessie laughed. ‘You won’t be surprised to hear I was thinking about the pub. Sam wants to make sure everything is gleaming for the new chef’s arrival.’
‘Ah, yes,’ Owen said wryly. ‘The much-anticipated Señor Santiago. I popped into the bakery yesterday and Martha was like a cat on hot bricks. I hope he’s ready to become Little Monkham’s new heart-throb.’
Nessie pictured the brooding Spanish chef and pulled a wry face. ‘Something tells me he’s already used to that kind of attention.’
‘I can imagine,’ Owen replied. ‘How does Sam feel about him?’
The question was innocent enough, but Nessie felt her- self bristle slightly at the implication behind the words; Sam had been at the centre of village gossip on more than one occasion in the past. Or at least her love life had. Then Nessie reminded herself that this was Owen, who didn’t have a gos- sipy bone in his body, and she forced herself to relax. ‘She’s looking forward to it, I think,’ she said cautiously. ‘We both are. He’ll be a breath of fresh air.’
Owen smiled. ‘He’ll certainly cause a lot of sighing, if his photo is anything to go by. Luke is hoping you’ll be able to sneak some puddings home.’
An image of Owen’s nine-year-old son popped into Nessie’s head; blond-haired and blue-eyed, he was the oppo- site of Owen’s dark Welsh looks, but they shared the same appetite. In fact, Luke didn’t so much eat food as inhale it and Nessie could just imagine him licking his lips at the thought of the kind of desserts that might be going begging at the end of the night in the Star and Sixpence kitchen. ‘I’ll see what I can do,’ she promised.
‘And now I suppose we’d both better get to work,’ Owen said, casting a rueful glance towards the pub. ‘You know where I am if your wonder chef decides to whip up an impos- sibly fancy lunch, although a decent steak sandwich would be just as welcome.’
Nessie laughed. ‘We’ll let him unpack before we start demanding meals, shall we?’
Owen accepted the teasing rebuke with a cheerful nod. ‘I suppose you’ve got a point. See you later, then.’
Dropping another kiss onto her forehead, he crossed the yard and disappeared into the forge.
Nessie sat for a moment longer, then roused herself with an inward sigh; Owen was right, she’d better get moving. Sam might not begrudge her sister’s happiness, but she definitely wouldn’t appreciate cleaning the pub on her own.
Nessie wasn’t sure she’d ever seen Sam as anxious as she was right before Gabriel Santiago was due to arrive. She paced the floor in front of the gleaming bar, casting fret- ful glances back towards the door that led to the newly fitted kitchens.
‘You did steam-clean the floor, didn’t you?’ she asked Nessie, running a hand through her usually sleek blonde bob. ‘After you’d done the oven and swept up the dust?’
Nessie summoned up her most soothing voice. ‘You were there when I did it, Sam. And I’ve double-checked the spare room, before you ask – everything is ready. All we need is the man himself.’
Sam checked the time. ‘He said he’d get here around ten o’clock, depending on traffic.’ She took a deep breath and glanced towards the spotlit bottles that lined the back of the bar. ‘God, this is stressful. Is it too early for gin?’
‘Relax, Sam,’ Nessie said, frowning a little. ‘Would it help to think of him as just another new employee?’
Now it was Sam’s turn to frown. ‘An employee who just happens to be an internationally respected Michelin- starred chef – one we’ve been boasting about for weeks. There’s a lot riding on making sure he settles in fast and sticks around.’
‘He’s also a professional,’ Nessie reminded her. ‘And he’s already inspected the kitchen, before he agreed to work with us. A speck or two of dust won’t scare him off.’
For a moment, Nessie thought her sister would argue, but then she sighed. ‘You’re right. I don’t know why I’m so worried.’
Nessie thought she knew: Sam had been different since her relationship with Joss had fallen apart. It had been a dif- ficult break-up – neither had wanted to accept that the bad times had begun to far outweigh the good – and Nessie sus- pected her sister had been considerably more hurt than she’d ever admit when Joss had made the decision to leave Little Monkham ‘for both their sakes’. He’d been Sam’s first serious love affair and the ensuing fallout had dampened her usual optimism, making her more wary of everything. Including, it seemed, their new business venture.
‘I thought I was supposed to be the worrier,’ Nessie said, her tone gently teasing. ‘Connor and Tilly will be here soon – they’ll get everything ready for opening. Why don’t we go upstairs and grab a cuppa?’
Connor was the burly ex-fireman who looked after the pub’s cellars, and Tilly was their nineteen-year-old barmaid; both were stalwart members of the Star and Sixpence team. And Nessie wouldn’t be surprised if Tilly’s mother, Martha, abandoned the village bakery to catch an early glimpse of the pub’s new chef – he’d been all she had talked about for weeks.
Sam puffed out a long breath. ‘Okay, deal.’
The first-floor rooms were a far cry from the gloom and woodchip wallpaper that had dominated when Nessie and Sam had first moved into the Star and Sixpence. The bedrooms hadn’t needed much; a lick of paint on the wood-beamed ceilings and plush new carpets to take some of the chill out of the early winter mornings. The kitchen had been another story – Sam hadn’t wasted any time in stripping out the boxy wall units and replacing them with something sleek and tasteful. The outdated appliances had gone too, including a fridge that was so vintage it had almost come back into style. In the living room, there were now two matching teal sofas that went beautifully with the oak coffee table and bookshelf, plus a flat-screen TV that Sam and Nessie had rarely found the time to watch. The rooms were still recognisably part of an old building but updated and modernised, in the same way that the pub downstairs was a fresher, more inviting version of the sixteenth-century inn it had been.
‘It’ll be weird having a flatmate again,’ Sam said, as they sat around the small table in the kitchen, sipping tea. ‘And even weirder that it won’t be you.’
‘I’m sure it will just be a temporary arrangement,’ Nessie said. ‘I imagine Gabe will want his own space too, once he’s settled in a bit.’
Sam gazed at her over the top of her mug, her expression pensive. ‘We are doing the right thing, aren’t we, Ness? Expanding the business, I mean.’
Once again, Nessie was struck by the reversal in their roles. Sam had always been impetuous and confident, while Nessie was more thoughtful and reticent. But those differences had grown less marked over the last year and not all of it was due to Sam’s broken heart; Nessie felt more settled in her role as the official landlady of the pub, in her place among the Little Monkham community too. Being with Owen had helped – his placid strength gave her something to lean on and the future no longer looked dark and unknowable. She could see the years stretching ahead, comfortable and safe, and the thought gave her more peace than she’d ever known.
‘Of course we are,’ she told Sam, with a smile of encouragement. We need to keep growing if we’re going to bring home that National Pub of the Year award.’
Sam nodded slowly. ‘I know. But are we being too ambi- tious? We could have gone for a lower-profile chef.’
‘We could,’ Nessie agreed. ‘But when have we ever taken the easy path? More importantly, when have you?’
Sam said nothing.
‘We chose Gabe because he’s a rising star – fresh and exciting and not afraid to take a few risks,’ Nessie went on. ‘Anyone can do good pub grub. We want more than that.’
‘Go hard or go home,’ Sam said, a wry smile tugging at her mouth. ‘Okay, you’ve convinced me all over again.’
The thud of feet on the stairs made them both glance towards the kitchen door. ‘Good,’ Nessie said. ‘Because it sounds like he might be here.’
Tilly appeared in the doorway, her cheeks unusually pink. ‘There’s a man at the door asking for you,’ she said, sounding flustered. ‘It’s . . . He’s . . .’

Nessie took pity on her. ‘Gabe Santiago, I presume?’ The barmaid nodded.
‘Thanks, Tilly, we’ll be right down,’ Nessie said. She
glanced at Sam. ‘Ready?’
Her sister lowered her cup and squared her shoulders. ‘As
ready as I’ll ever be.’
   

Be sure to pop in for a drink with the rest of the gorgeous tour. I will be posting my review later.

2019, august, ebook, novella, Quick Reads, Review, TBR, Uncategorized, update

A Patchwork Family – Part One – Moving On By Cathy Bramley

Blurb: Gina Moss is proud of herself: she’s just had the most amicable divorce ever. No arguments, no fuss, no drama. It means she has plenty of time and energy for her thriving childminding business too.

Welcome Cottage is both home and workplace for Gina. It sits just on the edge of The Evergreens – a grand if slightly run-down Victorian residence to three octogenarians who have far too much fun for their age: Violet, Delphine and Bing.

But a tragedy puts her older friends at risk of eviction – and Gina in charge of the battle to save them. It might be her first fight, but it’s one that Gina is determined not to lose…

Review: It’s been a while since I’ve read a Cathy Bramley novel and when this series was mentioned I instantly pre-ordered it, them good old 99p kindle purchases. I had hoped to have read and reviewed on publication day but that wasn’t to be. See I’m getting more organised but I’m also wanting to read more and more.

Part one is aptly named – Moving On as Gina has accomplished her amicable divorce and later on in the instalment there are more tragic circumstances. It starts with Bramley’s trademark wit, I’d heard of divorce parties via another book and the meal between Gina and Eric sure was full of laughs. It’s extremely rare that marriages can end well – but they are one of those rare breeds. The scene in the restaurant had me laughing out loud, but it also made me want to know more as they got on so well, I’m sat there wondering why they called time on their marriage.

It being part one it sets the scene and the groundwork for the story with the hint of what’s to come. What I’ve grown to love about these type of series’s is that you are left eager and wanting more and this did not disappoint. A Patchwork Family crosses over to The Lemon Tree Cafe as it’s based in the same town with some of the same characters. In realising that I realise I only read the first part of that story, so that will need to be rectified but August is proving to be a busy one.

Gina is a character that I instantly liked, she’s a go getter and wants the best out of life. A tragedy makes her realise she needs to live every day like it’s her last.

I loved the sentiments in this novel, friends and family come in all shapes and sizes and I loved the variation of age groups. You have the older generation who Gina is extremely fond of and then you have the children to whom she is also fond of. Being a childminder and an extremely good and experienced one at that. It also showed me that families can be a blessing and a curse. I don’t want to spoil the intrigue so I won’t say anymore than that. I want to see whether Dexter pulls through for the sake of his family.

2019, july, Stacking the Shelves, Uncategorized

Stacking the Shelves

So as promised I said there would be a second post from me today and here it is.

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme co hosted by Tynga’s Reviews and Reading Reality. Stacking the Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can add any books that you add to your shelves, whether you’ve bought them been sent them or borrowed them from the library. And then be sure to post your links over on Tynga’s Reviews.

Last Saturday we looked at my Netgalley shelf which has risen a few since then now we are to look at my Kindle shelf. I will only be picking a handful otherwise this post could go on for eternity.

Have you read any of these? As ever this is just a snapshot of my Kindle library…

2019, Author Love, debut novel, july, New Author to me, Publication Day, Review, Uncategorized

Book Review: Living My Best Life By Claire Frost

Blurb: Recently dumped by her boyfriend of ten years, Bell is struggling to move on with her life – and surrender the fleecy pyjamas she’s been living in since January. Haunted by #blessed on social media, she can’t help but compare her life to those she follows online, wondering where she is going wrong . . .

In the world of social media, Millie is the successful online influencer @mi_bestlife. But in real life she’s just a regular single mum trying to make ends meet, while fending off the younger competition and tenacious internet trolls. Her Instagram feed is far more #BestLie than #BestLife, and soon Millie begins to wish her life was more like her filters.

It isn’t until Bell and Millie’s paths cross that they begin to realise what they’re both missing. Can Millie prove to Bell that life online isn’t always what it appears to be? And in return, can Millie learn that she needs to start living for the moment and not for the likes? 

Review: Now this is a debut that I couldn’t wait to get stuck into. Although saying that having listened to Claire read a section of Living My Best Life at the Spring blogger event, it’s remarkable that I had managed to wait until nearer to publication day to actually read this treat.

Living my best life is the book every social media addict needs to read. More often than not we all get bogged down by social media in some way and Claire manages to show both sizes of this double edged coin. Our lives on social media are a far cry from the strains of our real lives. I’m not saying it’s all faked but it sure is filtered. Just like Millie I’ve often taken pictures at various angles cropping out all the everyday crap that just isn’t insta worthy.

Where do I start – Living My Best Life focuses on two women Millie – an insta influencer with an adorable son and there’s a lot more to her than meets the eye. And then we have Bell who is approaching her 40th birthday and has just been dumped by her long-standing boyfriend of ten years. Bell works in fashion but has never thought of herself as fashionable.

From the beginning I liked both of them but I instantly warmed to Bell more, don’t get me wrong as Millie’s chapters went on I couldn’t love them both more. I don’t want to say too much about the morals of the story but I loved the community element of this book and we don’t always see that gumption anymore. I love how it brought the two very different women together and it made me think of my various friendship groups. There’s always a link that brings you together but then it’s your actual friendship that stands the test of time.

There are a number of other characters that I could and probably should mention merely due to their humour but I’m going to only add Suze – who is the best mate we all need – she tells Bell exactly how it is and drags her out of her bout of sadness and Cosette – Bells funny and loveable sister who thoroughly thinks of family first.

I’m not 40 for another five years but wow Bell sure did celebrate in style and let’s face it she deserved every single second of it.

Claire’s debut is impressive, funny and plain addictive. I was so heartbroken when I forgot my copy yesterday especially as I was so close to the finish line.

What I also loved was how Claire managed to have humour alongside a number of serious real life issues which include bullying, postnatal depression and loneliness. There may also be a romance that warmed me, I can’t say too much but I was sooo sooo Happy it turned out the way it did and I literally had all the feels. That saying it happens when you least expect it sure did come to mind.

Living My Best Life is the book you need this Summer if you’re not left feeling reflective and ready for anything then did you even read it. It also shows the power of friends and friendship and that alone warms my heart. There’s a few friends who I know will totally lap up this read and I cannot wait to give them this chance.