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BOOK REVIEWS

My blog is linked to my Goodreads and Amazon account and I leave reviews for all the books I read.

 

YOUR LOVE OF READING

Have you always read books or did you start as an adult?

Where did your love of books come from?

My love started as soon as I could read so birthdays and christmas always bought a few more books. I loved the annuals at christmas time. Every night saw me go to bed to read and most times never turned the light out until I was threatened with the removal of the book. Once I started a book I had to finish it, there was no, just reading a couple of pages and putting it down. I am still like that and will read all the time no matter what is going on. I think my reason for reading at such an early age was escapism as I was a very lonely child even though my grandparents were the very best I always felt very different from all the other kids. Divorce and living with your Nan and Granddad were unheard of then.

We had the newspaper delivered every day and Nan got her magazine once a week and she used to read me the story about the robin and as soon as I could read I had a comic delivered, I was always up and ready early on those mornings so I could have a quick read before school. I think Twinkle was the first one and that progressed up to Jackie over the years and then Loving and Love Affair as I loved the stories in those.

Enid Blyton was the best author as far as I was concerned, how did she think up these great adventures although I used to think she was writing about herself and envied her so much for having such cool friends and camps.

I would never give any of my books away and made Granddad put them all up in the loft in a big metal trunk, not sure how he got the metal trunk up there. I can remember when I was married asking him if I could have some of the books and he told me he had given a lot to the children hospital, I was devastated at the time but pleased they went to a good place.

I used to read library books every week as we used to go every Saturday to change them and I am sure I read every Enid Blyton book they had. Topsy and Tim was also a favourite of mine. From the age of about ten I helped out in the library every Saturday afternoon, how good was that stamping the books out and going through the cards and then I made a library at home with all my books.

As I was an only child and lived with my grandparents I would often get a bit bored so Granddad used to make up topics and I would get a new exercise book and then go and find the books I needed and find out about the topic Once it was clouds and I knew all the names of all the different ones and did drawings of them all. I guess once a reader always a reader and I now read almost any books apart from historical as I prefer the modern-day. Of course my dream would be to see my book in a library or in the window of Waterstones.

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 DEAR FATTY BY DAWN FRENCH

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My friend Sally told me about this book as it is written in letters to people from your life.  I think it is a brilliant way of remembering but also saying things that you wish you had years ago.  I am thinking of writing about my past and Sally suggested I use this method and I must say that since reading this book I have decided that it is a brilliant idea.

Dawn has a way with words that makes this book so entertaining and to be honest she does not even need the reviews as it has sold so well.  You get to know her and her family in such an endearing way that you like all of them.  Some aspects of her life were not so good, I won’t go into details and spoil it for you but I do know how hard the changing schools constantly was but Dawn French got through it all very bravely.

I am so glad I bought this book as it was a joy to read and I would recommend it to everyone.

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 THE FAMILY DIVIDED BY ANNE ALLEN

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Anne sent me this book to read and I was hooked from the first page, the story is so realistic and the characters warm and believable.  It was lovely trying to picture the scenes in Guernsey, maybe a bit more description would of given me a better picture but it does seem a picturesque place to visit.   The turmoil of the families keep you going to the end and there is enough for a second book if it was carried on as only the basic ending is given here.  I am looking forward to reading more books by Anne.

 

NEXT OF KIN BY SUE WELFARE

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Sue sent me this signed book of  Next Of Kin to read and by reading the blurb on the back I knew it was going to be good.  But I was shocked, it is not just good but fantastic and is up in my top three books.  I really liked Girl on a Train but this beats that, yes it really does.  It should be up there in the best sellers list, for a debut thriller she has written a super book.

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What starts off as a brother and sister story with the typical bickering going on but before you know it a lodger appears and things then go from bad to really bad.  There are a few bits that surprised me and I was not expecting but that just added to the suspense.  I never realised I liked these kind of books until I started branching out and reading different genres for my writing. This is definitely a ‘can’t put down’ book and I really hope Sue writes another thriller as she is very good.

I love the way the main character Sarah goes to so many lengths to save the people she loves and you can just imagine someone doing this.  Her brother Ryan is a typical young man but he develops during the book but grows up too late to protect his sister.  Very believable characters and fantastic story that you really must read.

Well done Sue Welfare, looking forward to your next book. x

 

 WHEN DREAMS COME TRUE BY REBECCA EMIN

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This is a delightful book for any girl to read, nothing horrible just happy kid experiences and some wishes too.  The main character Charlie is in year 9 with boys as mates that she goes on adventures with.  Suddenly everything changes, making Charlie question her feelings and her family.

The old house sounds great the way it is described in the book, even having its secrets for Charlie to find.

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This is a great book and I would recommend it for all girls.  In a very subtle way it reminded me of Enid Blytons books.  Well done Rebecca Emin, may all your dreams come true.

 

THE CAKE SHOP IN THE GARDEN BY CAROLE MATTHEWS

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Another best seller from Carole Matthews and it even got the backing of Mary Berry the famous cake cook, as she simply loves Carole’s books.  I read this very quickly as it was so good and I just did not want to put it down.  I was craving cake all the time I was reading it though.

Fay Merryweather, what a surname, I love it.  Anyway Fay is a great character even if you just want her to think of herself at times and not everybody else, she flows through the book so effortlessly that it is fantastic reading.  An absolute great book that I would recommend to everyone and you will see why Carole is  a Sunday Times best selling author.

I liked all the descriptions of the canals especially The Grand Union which goes through Milton Keynes and I really want to take a trip on a narrow boat now so have started looking.  It all sound so wonderful, so long as it is not raining.

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 MIA’S WORLD BY MIA DOLAN

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I was looking through the books in a charity shop and came across this one, it appealed to me because one of my grandaughters is called Mia, so I bought the book.  I think I have had it a few months and a couple of weeks ago I saw it on my bookshelf and got it out to read.  As I read the covers I realised how interesting the book was as I have lived near to where Mia has lived all her life, I had a few holidays when I was younger down on the Isle of Sheppey.  I also have a huge interest in clairvoyance, with many psychics telling me I have the gift.  I have never been able to use it apart from using the cards on some friends.

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Mia is very well known in the physic circles and has been on a lot of TV shows and also helped the police.  This book tells the journey of how Mia taught a journalist how to be psychic or to use her gift all in the space of 6 months.  I like the way the book really explains how this was done and it also makes it all sound very feasible.

If you have an interest in anything psychic or you are a sceptic then you really should read this book.  I found it really interesting and have begun to do some of the exercises she writes about.

I have found Mia on Facebook and I am really hoping to meet her one day as she sounds such an interesting person.

 

 WHAT WE LEAVE BEHIND BY MATTHEW ALAN

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Matthew sent me his book to review and I am so pleased he did as it was one I could not put down and stayed awake one night as I just had to finish it.  I have already lent it to my friend, telling her what a wonderful book it is.

As you read it, you feel sure that the author is actually going through these emotions as they are so real and raw.  He packs a lot of feelings in but in such a real way, for a man he really has got a grip on how women feel.  When I finished the book I re-read all the covers as I was sure that he had actually written this from experience, yes, it is that good.

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I would love to read more of his books and will be recommending this to everyone.  I did shred a tear at one point as the ending could of gone either way and I think I would of cried at both as this is a heart wrenching book but also full of genuine feelings, fears and life situations.  I love the characters and also how the book ties up all the loose ends, it does not just leave you wondering what happened and I like that in a book.  This story would make a great film and I think it would touch a lot of hearts all over the world.

Wonderful book Matthew and I am looking forward to reading more of your work. x

 

 

LOVING LIAM BY GLORIA HERRMANN

What a lovely happy book, I was dragged into it as soon as I saw the cover and those gorgeous eyes, I need a man like that. lol  His character is so lovely and genuine which makes a change as usually they have an ulterior motive but him and all the characters are good people.  I love a book that makes you feel good when you are reading it.  The story is not uneventful though as at one point I thought the female lead was going to end up with someone else or even leave.  In some ways it reminds me of years ago when families were big and all stuck together in a good way of course.

I loved the descriptions of the weather and at one point pulled the covers up as I was reading in bed.  I am looking forward to reading the next book and indeed the series so Gloria you need to get writing.

Gloria Herrmann will be visiting the UK during 2018 and doing lots of signings and meeting her readers so watch this space as you will see it here first.  If you are a fan and would like to meet Gloria then please let me know.

Gloria will be in Belfast for the Titanic Signing on Saturday 24th March 2018

 

 GIRL NUMBER ONE BY JANE HOLLAND

What a brilliant story, well done Jane Holland, this is going in my top five of books as I loved every bit of it.  Kept you on edge wondering what was going to happen next, made so many guesses as to who killed Eleanor’s mother which is how the story begins and got it wrong every time. Actually the ending came as a bit of a shock as it was the one person that I did not think of.  The story flowed so effortlessly as it was written really well, characters true to life and extremely believable.

I am finding this a bit hard to write as I really do not want to give anything away so it spoils it for you as you really have got to read this book.  This is up with the top best sellers. I really loved the way everything was ended completely so you had no un-answered questions as that is really annoying.  I know its good for a follow on book but after reading something you need to know what happens in the end to these people that you get to know during the story.

I will be looking out for other books by Jane Holland its a shame mine is on my Kindle as no one can borrow it.

 

 REASONS TO STAY ALIVE BY MATT HAIG

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I am so pleased I met Matt and bought his book as it was extremely good.  If you suffer or have suffered from depression, anxiety or panic attacks then this book is a must read for you, I feel it not only gives everyone hope who is suffering but also it is a wonderful feeling to realise that you are not alone and the feelings you are having or had are not unusual.

To know that there is light at the end of the tunnel and you will reach it eventually is hard to imagine so reading that he did gives you hope.  He was only 24 when all the lights went out from the inside, his battle back was long and slow.  His girl friend Andrea was constantly by his side, eventually becoming his wife and I feel sure that that helped in such a massive way as she always seemed to say the right things.  That comes from a person with a deep understanding as not many can do that and seem to say just about everything we do not want to hear.

I admire the man for writing his most innermost thoughts on a subject that is not received very well.  The long road back that has so many dips and turns is very hard especially if you really don’t want to see the light at the end of the tunnel.  This book should be in all waiting rooms as I am sure it would help a lot of people. The trouble with depression when it sucks you in is that you have no control over it, it stops you thinking and feeling anything apart from the blackness.

The day I met Matt I was discharged from Mental Health and I had a conversation with him about this, he asked how I felt and I told him how isolated and scared I was, “I bet” he said.  Knowing exactly how I was feeling.

 

 ENTWINED WITH YOU BY SYLVIA DAY

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L have had this book on my shelf for a while as have so many to read at the moment.  I wish I had realised that there is a set of three books as this is the middle one so I want the end one so as I can find out what happens.  It is a good story and well written by Sylvia Day which you would expect as she is a very talented writer and very popular.  I loved the characters and the fact that Eva is so normal and down to earth, I guess it is all girls dream to meet a rich and wealthy young man and she does.

A wonderful book but please buy the set as I am sure it would be a wonderful read.

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 IN SEARCH OF MARY BY BEE ROWLATT

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Feminism, what does it mean to you?  If you are like me it brings back memories of The Suffragette movement and years later women burning their bra’s.

This book takes you on a journey with the author Bee Rowlatt to discover what the first celebrity feminist Mary Wollstonecraft discovered on her journey.  The sense of achievement they both felt while travelling from country to country with their child, not an easy thing to do what ever year you do it in.

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This story encloses you into the depths that it goes to discover what feminism is, how it has changed or has it?  Woman have evolved but they still negotiate careers and babies with remarkable strength but the one thing that was present years ago and today, it all revolves round the love we have in our lives and for what is ours.  Love gives us the power to continue and up-hold all we hold dear as we stroll down the path of life.

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This book was amazing, it took me longer to read as I was devouring every bit of information and feelings that it evokes in you.  Bee Rowlatt is an amazing author and woman and this comes through the entire book.  Well done Alma publishing for bringing this book to us, it is wonderful and I highly recommend it.

 

 MAGGIE’S MARRIAGE BY GLORIA HERRMANN

   

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After reading the first book about Loving Liam and absolutely loving it, I was looking forward to carrying on with Maggie’s Marriage.  I was not disappointed as it is a lovely feel good, happy book.  You know everything will turn out ok in the end but the story keeps you entertained.  

As you get to know the characters you will fall in love with them as they are all so lovely, in fact I feel a bit sad that I am not part of a big family like this that all actually like each other. This could even be made into a TV series as it has all the ingredients to make it a big hit. 

I am now looking forward to the next book which is all about Patrick, I think he is about to find true love without feeling guilty about his late wife.   Definitely a book you have to read, will suit all ages and it will make you feel happy. 

Well done once again Gloria Herrmann

 

 BEST SELLER BY ALESSANDRO GALLENZI

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I loved this book and gave it five stars, I found it really entertaining.  I do not know if any of the publishing world is like the things written in this book but you could very well imagine them to be and even think that they probably are somewhere in the world.

I loved the characters and their individual stories, they felt so alive to me, I think it could well become a back stabbing business if there were no rules to live by.  Alessandro has captured the lives and stories superbly and I really did not want it to end, he could even do a follow up book when he has the time.

A lovely man to talk to and also has the Alma publishing company, go check out their books as there is a vast selection.  Bee Rowlatt’s I have reviewed on here and there will be another one coming soon.

 

 REDEMPTION SONG BY LAURA WILKINSON

 

What a wonderful story, I loved all of it and would not have guessed what was going to happen in it like you can some stories so it all came as a surprise.  Characters were full of life and described very well.  The setting sounded just like a place you went for your holidays when you were small and always wanted to stay and live there.  I am looking forward to reading more of Laura’s work.  This is a must read happy book that will keep you enthralled until the end.

 SPIRALS BY SARAH DALTON

Just read this last night and really liked it so am now going to read the series that follows on from this.  Great story and is open to go in many directions so really looking forward to reading the next one.  Love the characters and very believable if you have had a teenager live with you.  I like the way Sarah writes, making it an easy and enjoyable read.  I am off to read now. x

 

SMOKE & MIRRORS BY KATHLEEN ANDREWS DAVIS

  
After reading Kathleen’s first book in this series it was good to read another one as the story is full and engaging so keeping children hooked until the end.  I love her imagination and the history that is thrown in and you don’t even realise you are learning.  Great characters full of descriptions so you can really get to know them and follow their adventures.

I love the way you never know when the story is going to end, so you keep going and more things happen.  Great book and I am sure most children would love it. 

A DAY IN THE LIFE BY MATTHEW ALAN

This is the second of Matthew’s books I have read and I love them. This is different as each chapter is about a character and they only get one each, chapter I mean. Amazingly it is enough as they all link together, really love this combination and it works very well with this story.  All strong people who appear real as this whole story is so lifelike, you can just imagine all this happening.  Absolutely love this book and you should read it ASAP. 
 

 

PLASTIC PARADISE 2 BY CARLIE PETTIT

 
This is the second in the series and she has kept us hanging on again but it’s all good as we all really want to know what happens to them all.  I love these characters even if they are living in a world of money all of us just dream about.  I guess some would say it is a slow story but I like the detail that Carlie puts into her books so you can really imagine the plot.  For a second book Carlie has done really well and I wish her all the luck in the world for her future writing and hope I am one of the first to read them.  x 

DANGEROUS WATERS BY ANNE ALLAN

This is the second book of Anne Allan I have read, they are both set in Guernsey and really get a hold on you once you start, I actually had trouble putting this down which was good as I did not feel well at the time and it took my mind off the pain.  Anne describes the island of Guernsey in so much detail it makes you really want to go there as it all sounds so lovely.  I love a book with a happy ending and all the loose ends tied up and this did just that superbly.

 

INTENSIVE CARE BY NICKI EDWARDS

What a lovely story, I read it very quick and loved the characters.  I could just imagine her farm and I guess it is a few peoples dream to go get your own eggs from the garden for the cakes you make.  I am looking forward to reading the next book in this series, just right for Spring days sitting in the garden. 

 

CUPCAKES AT CARRINGTON’S BY ALEXANDRA BROWN

I had this book on my Kindle and have started to read it before I go to sleep as you don’t need any lights on so I can just drift off, I do have a bit of trouble sleeping.  This was a super read with handbags in it which I love and very enjoyable characters, I did get a bit confused with the men but that was just me and I did work it out eventually.  I also liked the way you didn’t really know how it was going to end, I really like that in books as if it’s all very predictable it can also be a bit boring.  I am now looking forward to getting the rest of these books and seeing how the characters all develop.  

I really like Alexandra’s style of writing so I will keep a look out for her new books and let you know.  Would highly recommend this to everyone. 

 

MARY HADES BEGINNINGS BY SARAH DALTON

 After reading Spirals I was looking forward to these next books and I was not disappointed as they are so well written that I could see how no child could not like them.  I love the way the stories all follow on but are still different in their own way.  I think Sarah Dalton has got the recipe just right for these books and I am sure they will be best sellers.  Her new book Haunt Me has also just been released and that is also getting fab reviews.  Well done Sarah x 

 

DEATH IN PROFILE BY GUY FRASER-SAMPSON

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 The sun was shining as I made my way down to Rye in East Sussex this morning making it a beautiful drive through the Marsh.  Arriving at the bookshop I could see that it was already busy with two authors doing their signings.  I have only read Guys book, Death in Profile which I read in three days so yes, I thoroughly enjoyed it and am now really looking forward to the next one in the series of The Hampstead Murders.    What a good feeling knowing there are more great stories coming from an author you like. 

Hampstead, London is where the murders take place but the police find it hard to connect any of the leads they have so eventually they use a psychological profile but even that does not turn out as straight forward as they would hope.  This leads them to convict the wrong person forcing the police the look at the facts again and try to solve the murders in Hampstead.

 This book has you trying to guess who has committed these crimes and I must admit it lead me on a false trail and I never did guess who did it until the end.

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MY MOTHER IS A RIVER BY DONATELLA DI PIETRANTONIO

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I met Franca the translator and publisher of this book at the Folkestone Book Festival last year, she was so moved by the book that she began a publishing company just so she could publish the book for us all to enjoy.

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This book follows the route of a mother and daughter fighting the disease that is robbing her mother of her memories.  A very moving tale following the life of Esperia who comes from a small village in Italy.  A sensitive and powerful story of love through the years and family life.

I enjoyed this book and the details it covered on all levels.  This disease robs people of their life as once the memories are gone, what do you have? Donations from this book are going to the Alzheimer’s Society as the research they are doing is very needed before we lose the memories of the ones we love.

 

MY SOUL IMMORTAL BY JEN PRINTY

   

What an amazing book and very different to what I normally read, I am so pleased authors are sending me books to review so that I am reading many different genres.  I really like this author as she describes everything in such detail that you can almost see and feel it.  The characters Jack and Leah are great and you really want them to live happily ever after, so many obstacles are put in their way.  Immortality is a word that can conjure up lots of ideas but it would be great if we were or would it?  This story makes you think about many things and would make a good prompt for creative writing classes as you can take a lot from it and make it into anything you want.

Jen Printy is a great author and I look forward to reading more of her work.  A great book that I would highly recommend. 

  

 

WHAT HAVE I DONE BY AMANDA PROWSE

 

The story of a wife living a tormented life by the hands of her husband, I think he is a bit mad as you could call this torture.  Remaining silent so she gives her children a home and family but never realises how it affected them, then the shame of living with the fact that their mother killed their father!

A story that goes through the years in no order, I can understand why Amanda wrote it like this but it is hard to follow as you are shifting through the years finding out things in a muddled order.  This may be just me though as I had to concentrate so I didn’t lose the thread. 

I really wanted to know more about the children and their feelings, thoughts and life over the years.  I really wanted them to understand why their mother killed him and how much she protected them.

A super story that kept me gripped all the way through as wanted to know more and more about the wife.  Unexpected events, like the holiday never turn out how you would think so I loved that as never really knew what I was going to read about next.

Great book by Amanda Prowse, looking forward to reading more by this author.

 

PERFECT DAUGHTER BY AMANDA PROWSE

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This is the second of Amanda’s books I have read in the last month and was not disappointed as again it was lovely, flowed well  with great characters.  A good book to take on holiday to accompany you to the beach.  We all want the best for our children and strive for that to happen but also caring for your ill mother all squashed into a small house makes everything that much harder.  Then your daughter gives you a surprise that you think is just going to ruin her life!  This story probably connects with so many people who can see themselves in this position but this gives you the hope to carry on.  Wonderful story another hit for Amanda Prowse. 

ME BEFORE YOU BY JOJO MOYES

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 I have been meaning to read this book for a while so as I have not been feeling well I thought it was a good opportunity and I am so glad I did.  I read it in a couple of days as it’s one of those books that you just cant put down.  It is so well written and I loved the characters, I will recommend this book to everyone and gave it 5* I really loved it.

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There are so many things I love about this story as on one hand it is just like the girl next door but then you taken to the other scale where a boy played in the grounds of a castle for fun.  I have got the next book so will take that on holiday with me as I just know it’s going to be good.

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The best bit is that they have made a film about this story that is released in UK on 3rd June 2016, I cannot wait to see the film.  I like to read the book before I see the film as you often find you know the little bits that they do not include.

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DEATH OF A BRIDE BY LUKE CHRISTODOULOU

 

This is the book you need to get for long lazy days of summer as this will take your mind of the fact that the weather is so crap miserable considering it is supposed to be summer.  I do love a good mystery and this certainly is that as I made loads of guesses and never got anything right, OK, you may be better at it than me.  These characters were great and I am really looking forward to their next adventure especially if it is in Greece as I do love that country.  The story flowed really well considering you had all the members of two families and it was all kept straight forward so you never got confused about who was who.  The end went on a bit and could of been condensed with the ending of each character but it is nice to know what happened to each of them with the way left open for future adventures.  Great book by Luke and looking forward to reading his next book.  

 

WHILE MY EYES WERE CLOSED BY LINDA GREEN

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 Was browsing through my Kindle, how did I get so many books on there and came across this, how pleased was I when I started to read it.  Brilliant book by a brilliant author, loved the way it just flowed making it such an enjoyable read.  I love a story that has surprises and things that you just do not expect to be happening.  The Mum was described so well it really made you feel her pain and I am sure that no one knows what that pain is like unless you have been in that position.  In some ways the ending was abrupt but I didn’t really need to know what happened to the woman as it was all about the child.

 I like the planning of this book as it is split into chapters about each character, I think this is what makes it easy reading.

 A perfect book for dull, rainy summer days, well done Linda another great book.

 

GONE BY STACY CLAFLIN

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 I loved reading this book so much that I could not put it down and read it all in a day!  I am still not feeling the best so that is why i can lay reading all day but it was very enjoyable.  This story really makes you realise how quick things can happen and then you have no control.  I was really shocked at the end as it was a cliff hanger like no other, i was so shocked as I had not paid any attention to the fact that it was the first in a set of three!  I am now looking for the second one which is called HELD I must say I am eager to read it as the story was so good.  Brilliant author who has written a few books that all sound really good, she will go down on my list to look out for when I visit the charity shops for more books.

 

HELD BY STACY CLAFLIN

 

After reading the first book GONE in this trilogy I was so looking forward to this the second one and I was not disappointed. The story followed on and flowed beautifully with scenes set with so much description you felt like you was trying to escape with Macy yourself. This is an agonising book and the parents pain becomes yours as you read through it. 

I am now looking forward to the final book where I hope there is a happy ending but you never know. Stacy is a superb author and I cannot praise her enough, you need to read the books and you will know what I mean. 

 

OVER BY STACY CLAFLIN

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This is the third book in the trilogy and it is even better than the previous two, all the loose ends were finished so no wondering what happened to anyone.  The main character Macy is such a strong person and it really comes through and makes you admire her so much.  She is a fighter and refuses to give up even when things get very hard for her, the struggles give her more determination to get home to her parents.

 These stories make you realise how easy it is for children to disappear and that is a very scary thought.

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Stacy Claflin is a very talented author and I really do recommend that you read these books as they are extremely good.  Not many characters but you get to know them all so well and really feel for them with what they go through.  It must be horrendous losing a child and never knowing if you will see them again but Stacy has captured the feelings with such heartfelt writing, it feels so real in places.   Brilliant writing Stacy.

 

LOST GIRLS BY CELINA GRACE-BOOK REVIEW

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 I am really liking these psychological thrillers at the moment and can’t get enough of them.  This one is another great story written by Celina Grace, I have not read any of her books before but I will be keeping a look out now for them.  I know I have said it before but I really love a book that you can get stuck into and you are surprised by some events, meaning that you never get bored while reading.  This certainly did surprise me at the end as I had not even thought of that happening.  I never give away any good bits from the books I read and review as that takes all the fun out of it if you know whats going to happen.  Sometimes I don’t even read the blurb as they tell you so much which spoils it for me. 

If you are looking for a super read while on the plane to take your mind of flying as that’s what I do then you really must get this book.  You will not be disappointed.

 

THE GUARDIAN BY NICHOLAS SPARKS

 

 Kara bought me this book for my birthday, what a super choice as I really liked this story.  It starts off nothing like it finishes with the suspense keeping you reading while hoping that Julie will be ok.  Lots of things occur that you would never dream a person could do but I guess it can happen.  This is not just a love story but a story of suspense and drama that you never know how it will end.  I could not put it down once I got into it so it is a good read, I loved the dog and would love one that seemed to understand you like Julie’s one did.  Another great book by Nicholas Sparks who is also the author of The Notebook, loved that story as well.

 

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 My friend Carol gave me a book token for my birthday so I wanted to get one that I would keep and continue to look at and then I remembered about this book. I have had it on my WANT list for so long so I was so pleased to be able to buy it and I was not disappointed at all, it really is a superb read with so many different parts in there.  I love the recipes, could you imagine putting vodka in penne pasta?  I will take pictures and do a taste test when I make it.

 The other book I got this week I wanted for my writing and again I was so pleased when it arrived as so many good points and words that I am sure it will be used a lot.

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 My friend Angela the sci-fi author told me about this book and can understand why she loved it so much.  Well worth getting if you are an author and get stuck for words at times, I find I know a word in my head but I just cannot recall it so this really helps me.

 

 ELOISE BY JUDY FINNIGAN

 

 Judy Finnigan is well-known for her stint presenting Good Morning on ITV with her husband and it was only once they left that she decided to start writing which she had always wanted to do.

 Her love of Cornwall really comes out in this story and I loved all the references to places and people there.  I guess if you are not spiritual then this may not appeal to you but I would like to think that this can happen to anyone you are very close too.  I loved that the suspense keeps you going until the end as you are never sure who the bad person is, I even thought it might be her husband at one point.  The characters are great with the story flowing and captivating you into their secrets, I was so keen to know the end that I read half the night to get it finished.

 A wonderful summer beach read especially if you are in Cornwall, I wish I had read this before I went earlier this year as I would have liked to see the places she writes about.

 

 

A SEASIDE AFFAIR BY FERN BRITTON

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 It is rarely that I read a book that I cannot get into at all and I usually persevere so I can do a review but this one had me struggling from the start.

There are so many people in it that I was losing the plot totally, it jumps about in each chapter and I had to keep going back to try to make out who the person was.

I realise that this might be just me as with the M.E. I do struggle at times but it was all the time in this book.  It was a shame as I was really looking forward to reading Fern’s book.

Please do try it for yourself and I would be interested to know what you thought of this story.

 

 UNBROKEN TRUST BY JILL ANDERSON

 

 I cannot remember where I got this book from but I love it and am 80% through it, so emotional and true to life.  I could really feel for them as I suffer from the same thing, it really does make you feel so useless at times.  For people who cannot understand Chronic Fatigue or M.E. they really should read this book.

 

BEYOND RIGHT OR WRONG BY RENEA TAYLOR

 

Renea emailed me after connecting on Facebook and asked if I would review her book, of course I said yes as I never say no to any authors as I feel so privileged that they have taken the time to find and interact with me.

I have not really read many adult books, apart from Mr Grey of course and this is mainly just because the romantic part of me likes a good chick love story.  I was not sure what to expect after seeing the cover but I am very pleased to report that I loved the story, for some reason which escapes me, I was not expecting something that I could not put down as the events kept you reading more to discover what happens.

 I loved both characters, the plot and the way the story flowed so effortlessly with something always happening that you could really relate too.

The ending was a surprise as I was not expecting it to be a family member but I will say that I thought more could be made of that fact as it all felt as if it ended really quick.

 I will be looking out for more of Renea books as enjoyed this one so much, even if I am dreaming about hot policemen now.

 

MY HUSBAND'S WIFE BY AMANDA PROWSE

 

 I have got to say that this is one of the best books I have read for a while as nothing was predictable in the story at all and I love that.  So even though it could be about your neighbours as it is a regular family living through a break-up nothing is set in stone and anything could happen.  Most you would not think about so there are surprises along the way.  Even the ending towards the end you are still not sure as it could go anyway.

 Once again Amanda Prowse has excelled herself in writing a fantastic story that will be another best seller for her.  I am excited already for her next book, her writing just appears to flow through so easily and gets you gripped from the very beginning so you just cannot put it down.

 A 5 star best seller that you simply must read.

 

SHE'S NOT THERE BY MARLA MADISON

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I could not put this down, what a great mystery and I never did guess who the killer was until it said.  Abused women always makes you think of the husbands so it was a fantastic cover up for the killer.  I loved the characters and the way they all worked together really well also bringing into the story lots of different angles that kept you turning the pages.  I read this in a day as just could not put it down, the friendships that developed gave it a real human feel and I loved it. 

Marla Madison is an author I will be looking out for as this was a super 4 star read.

 

 THE SURPRISE PARTY BY SUE WELFARE

 

I really loved this story it is such a happy book and makes you feel good reading it, Sue is a very talented author in fact a very talented lady.  This is the second book of Sue’s that I have read and both very different stories but appeal to the reader.

The characters are so lovable especially if you have lived with teenagers the bain of your life but they all grow up to be great adults.

If you want to be kept on your toes with all sorts of surprises then this is the book for you as it is full of them.  Ending with the party of all parties but will they all recover?  Be sure to read this book to find out.

 

LOVING LIAM BY GLORIA HERRMANN

What a lovely happy book, I was dragged into it as soon as I saw the cover and those gorgeous eyes, I need a man like that. lol  His character is so lovely and genuine which makes a change as usually they have an ulterior motive but him and all the characters are good people.  I love a book that makes you feel good when you are reading it.  The story is not uneventful though as at one point I thought the female lead was going to end up with someone else or even leave.  In some ways it reminds me of years ago when families were big and all stuck together in a good way of course.

I loved the descriptions of the weather and at one point pulled the covers up as I was reading in bed.  I am looking forward to reading the next book and indeed the series so Gloria you need to get writing.

Gloria Herrmann will be visiting the UK during 2018 and doing lots of signings and meeting her readers so watch this space as you will see it here first.  If you are a fan and would like to meet Gloria then please let me know.

Gloria will be in Belfast for the Titanic Signing on Saturday 24th March 2018

 

 GIRL NUMBER ONE BY JANE HOLLAND

What a brilliant story, well done Jane Holland, this is going in my top five of books as I loved every bit of it.  Kept you on edge wondering what was going to happen next, made so many guesses as to who killed Eleanor’s mother which is how the story begins and got it wrong every time. Actually the ending came as a bit of a shock as it was the one person that I did not think of.  The story flowed so effortlessly as it was written really well, characters true to life and extremely believable.

I am finding this a bit hard to write as I really do not want to give anything away so it spoils it for you as you really have got to read this book.  This is up with the top best sellers. I really loved the way everything was ended completely so you had no un-answered questions as that is really annoying.  I know its good for a follow on book but after reading something you need to know what happens in the end to these people that you get to know during the story.

I will be looking out for other books by Jane Holland its a shame mine is on my Kindle as no one can borrow it.

MAGGIE’S MARRIAGE BY GLORIA HERRMANN

  
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After reading the first book about Loving Liam and absolutely loving it, I was looking forward to carrying on with Maggie’s Marriage.  I was not disappointed as it is a lovely feel good, happy book.  You know everything will turn out ok in the end but the story keeps you entertained.  

As you get to know the characters you will fall in love with them as they are all so lovely, in fact I feel a bit sad that I am not part of a big family like this that all actually like each other. This could even be made into a TV series as it has all the ingredients to make it a big hit. 

I am now looking forward to the next book which is all about Patrick, I think he is about to find true love without feeling guilty about his late wife.   Definitely a book you have to read, will suit all ages and it will make you feel happy. 

Well done once again Gloria Herrmann

 

NEXT OF KIN BY SUE WELFARE

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Sue sent me this signed book of  Next Of Kin to read and by reading the blurb on the back I knew it was going to be good.  But I was shocked, it is not just good but fantastic and is up in my top three books.  I really liked Girl on a Train but this beats that, yes it really does.  It should be up there in the best sellers list, for a debut thriller she has written a super book.

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What starts off as a brother and sister story with the typical bickering going on but before you know it a lodger appears and things then go from bad to really bad.  There are a few bits that surprised me and I was not expecting but that just added to the suspense.  I never realised I liked these kind of books until I started branching out and reading different genres for my writing. This is definitely a ‘can’t put down’ book and I really hope Sue writes another thriller as she is very good.

I love the way the main character Sarah goes to so many lengths to save the people she loves and you can just imagine someone doing this.  Her brother Ryan is a typical young man but he develops during the book but grows up too late to protect his sister.  Very believable characters and fantastic story that you really must read.

Well done Sue Welfare, looking forward to your next book. x

 

WHAT WE LEAVE BEHIND BY MATTHEW ALAN

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Matthew sent me his book to review and I am so pleased he did as it was one I could not put down and stayed awake one night as I just had to finish it.  I have already lent it to my friend, telling her what a wonderful book it is.

As you read it, you feel sure that the author is actually going through these emotions as they are so real and raw.  He packs a lot of feelings in but in such a real way, for a man he really has got a grip on how women feel.  When I finished the book I re-read all the covers as I was sure that he had actually written this from experience, yes, it is that good.

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I would love to read more of his books and will be recommending this to everyone.  I did shred a tear at one point as the ending could of gone either way and I think I would of cried at both as this is a heart wrenching book but also full of genuine feelings, fears and life situations.  I love the characters and also how the book ties up all the loose ends, it does not just leave you wondering what happened and I like that in a book.  This story would make a great film and I think it would touch a lot of hearts all over the world.

Wonderful book Matthew and I am looking forward to reading more of your work. x

 

MIA’S WORLD BY MIA DOLAN

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I was looking through the books in a charity shop and came across this one, it appealed to me because one of my grandaughters is called Mia, so I bought the book.  I think I have had it a few months and a couple of weeks ago I saw it on my bookshelf and got it out to read.  As I read the covers I realised how interesting the book was as I have lived near to where Mia has lived all her life, I had a few holidays when I was younger down on the Isle of Sheppey.  I also have a huge interest in clairvoyance, with many psychics telling me I have the gift.  I have never been able to use it apart from using the cards on some friends.

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Mia is very well known in the physic circles and has been on a lot of TV shows and also helped the police.  This book tells the journey of how Mia taught a journalist how to be psychic or to use her gift all in the space of 6 months.  I like the way the book really explains how this was done and it also makes it all sound very feasible.

If you have an interest in anything psychic or you are a sceptic then you really should read this book.  I found it really interesting and have begun to do some of the exercises she writes about.

I have found Mia on Facebook and I am really hoping to meet her one day as she sounds such an interesting person.

 

 SUNDAY DINNERS BY JON RANCE

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I read this book a couple of weeks ago and have been longing to tell you about it as it is so good.  Made me laugh out loud in places as it is so down to earth and these things really happen.  Jon really makes you feel like you are there and experiencing all the emotions of the characters.

This is out today on Amazon and I fully recommend it, maybe even a Christmas present for someone as I am sure they would love it.

Jon Rance also has a Christmas book out now so you could get both and that's your Christmas reading taken care of.

 

THIS THIRTY SOMETHING LIFE BY JON RANCE

 This is a funny feel good book which is ideal for long summer days in the garden.  I would imagine Jon wrote some of this from experience as it certainly has a ring of truth to it.  I love the way the characters mind runs away with mad answers for some situations and we can all relate to that at times.  At some points in the book you are not sure exactly how it is all going to end but I guess we all want a happy ending.  Harry Spencer really is a believable person and the lure of greener grasses pushes him to make a bad decision!  Great book for a light read, it is written in diary form which reminded me of Bridget Jones but if you can get on with that then go buy this book, it’s good to laugh and you will.  You can connect with Jon on FaceBook and Twitter. 

 

DIAMOND BOY IN THE ROUGH BY HELEN FAUL

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I went completely out of my comfort zone by reading this book but I was pleased that I did as I think it is a well written story that  you will be hooked on and want to read more of his adventures.   I felt like I was drifting back in time while reading this and imagining I was a child again, what a brilliant adventure I would of had.  I very much admire the authors that write these great fantasies, it must be great having a mum like this to make up stories for you at bedtime.

The way Helen draws you in is magnificent and truly believable, Alfie is a great character and much like any boy of that age. It did take me longer to read but not sure if that was just me and my memory as had to go over bits when the Faerians arrived and their names, old age!

I am hoping my grandaughter will read it next as I feel it would be great to get her point of view as she is an avid reader and like me does not drift far from the authors she likes.

This would also make a great film for kids as the special effects you could use would be wonderful.  Walt Disney did you hear that?

Alfie Diamond and his first awakening takes you into fantasy land that is a bit real, well who knows what stories these old houses hold in their walls.  Lovely story Helen and very well written, great imagination.  xx

 

LOVE AND FREEDOM BY SUE MOORCROFT

Sue is one of my favourite authors as well as being such a lovely person to talk to for advice and help.  Sue also teaches in the UK and abroad at some of the writing retreats including one in Italy.  So with her very full schedule she still finds the time to write amazing novels.  

Love and Freedom is one of her best I think and set in Brighton which is a great place and when she mentions some of the names you can just picture it all in your mind and I love that.  The story develops around the character Honor as she escapes to Brighton to find her past and also to decide her future but that is taken out of her hands by love!  I like the characters who are all very believable and the bits of humour that lighten the story and keep you intrigued. I won’t give any spoilers but I must say there is one point that I really wasn’t expecting or it just might be me being a bit slow.

I recommend you read this as it truly is a delightful book and ideal  for a summer read on the beach.

  

THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN BY PAULA HAWKINS

It certainly did not take me very long to read this book as I was addicted after the first page. It is one of the best books I have read for a long time with just the right amount of information to keep you gripped and guessing. I am not going to give you any spoilers as you really must read this book. The characters are all real and extremely believable and you get to know each one by the way the book is written. Each person tells a chapter so you get to know the story from everybody’s point of view and that is very gripping.
Considering this was Paula Hawkins first thriller she has written an amazing story and I would recommend it to everyone.