Monday, 27 June 2016

The Hope Family Calendar by Mike Gayle

 I would like to thank the publishers, Hodder and Stoughton for my copy of this book via bookbridgr in return for an honest review.

Tom Hope had the perfect family life. He adored his wife and two daughters more than anything in the world. He had a great job as a television producer and wanted for nothing.  That was until, one phone call changed his life forever.  His wife has been in a fatal car accident and he is left to raise his two daughters alone.  Unable to cope, Tom goes into meltdown, leaving his mother-in-law, Linda to pick up the pieces and raise his daughters.  When Linda reaches breaking point, she decides to go and visit her friend in Australia, a trip that she has been putting off for a very long time, she leaves Tom to learn how to be the best Dad that he can be.

I've never read anything by Mike Gayle before this, but I am itching to go to Amazon and fill my kindle up with his books.  I really didn't know what to expect when I started reading this book and I definitely wasn't expecting to fell the rollercoaster of emotions that I felt as the story progressed.  The Hope Family Calendar really makes you stand back and be thankful for everything that you have.  It teaches you not to take anything for granted.

I loved the characters in this book.  Tom was the perfect leading character.  I adored how the book switched between to point of view of Tom and Linda.  I loved that I was able to get an insight into both characters lives.  I liked Linda as a character, but I feel that if the book didn't touch on her point of view from time to time, then I wouldn't have like her for various reasons.  That is why I think this book was brilliantly written, because it really shows that there are two sides to every story and to never judge a book by its cover.  The characters of Evie and Lola were brilliantly written and I found myself falling more and more in love with the two little girls as the book went on.  I think that the characters of Fran, Clive and Desi add that something special to the book.

The Hope Family Calendar made me laugh and cry.  It is both heartwarming and heartbreaking at the same time.  A beautiful story, that is so brilliantly written.  I am very much looking forward to discovering more of Mike Gayle's writing.  I am so glad that I read this book, it's one that I won't forget for a very long time.

4 stars

The Hope Family Calendar can be bought on kindle and in hardback here.

BLOG TOUR: Last Kiss by Laurelin Paige

Today is my stop on the Last Kiss blog tour an I am delighted to welcome Laurelin Paige to my blog to talk                   about how she came up with her characters.  

How I came up with my characters:

Emily Wayborn and her friend Amber were the first two characters I imagined vividly. Most of the women I write are strong and intellectual and usually brunette, but I wanted Emily and Amber to be, on the surface, anyway, very different. I pictured the type of women that were trophy wives. There’s a generalization that these women are generally blonde and buxom and materialistic. I wanted to take that stereotype and flip it on its head.

Thus came Emily.

While on the surface Emily is stunning and sexy, she’s also all the things we don’t usually attribute to party girls. She’s smart and calculating and brave and strong. It wasn’t until I was writing the series that I really understood why a woman like her needed to be dominated and how deep this desire went for her.
Reeve’s character developed out of necessity. He became what I needed him to be in order to make the storyline interesting for Emily. He needed to be what she considered her worst nightmare. Notorious and criminally minded were the first traits that came to mind. He needed to be commanding and controlling. Those are qualities that would scare most women. For Emily, he was more terrifying because he was also all the things that she secretly yearned for.

And, of course, he’s also hot as hell and extremely good in bed because doesn’t that make it more fun? 

Last Kiss by Laurelin Paige is out now on ebook, and is released in paperback on 5th July

Monday, 20 June 2016

A Life Without You by Katie Marsh

A Life Without You by Katie Marsh is available to buy on kindle now and will be available in paperback from Thursday 14th June 2016.

I'm going to save my full review for the paperback release, as I am giving away a copy of the book on that date.  So I'm just going to write a few lines for now to tell you how utterly amazing this book is.

I am such a huge fan of Katie's writing.  I couldn't have loved her first book, My Everything, more.  I couldn't wait to get my hands on this book and I am so happy to say that it didn't disappoint.  I loved every page, the characters are so real and they became friends the more I read.

My Everything was my favourite book of 2015, and I fail to see another book that can come along this year and take the title of my favourite book of 2016 away from A Life Without You. I love everything about this book, from the striking cover to the beautiful tale that lies within it's pages. Katie Marsh is a hidden gem within the world of fiction and I cannot recommend her books enough. I will be shouting about this book to everyone who will listen. A Life Without You is not to missed.

My full review will be up on the 13th of July in time for the paperback publication.  Until then, the kindle version can be bought here:

Monday, 13 June 2016

How To Find Your (First) Husband by Rosie Blake

I would like to thank Corvus for my copy of this book in return for an honest review.

When Isobel Graves moves to LA to make it as a big time actress, she didn't expect to be handing out fliers dressed as a Giant Prawn, promoting a fish market.  Instead of living the glamorous life that she thought she'd be living, she spends her evenings in front of the TV watching boxsets and spending time with her boyfriend, who is probably to worst boyfriend in the world.  Isobel can't help but think that her life is going downhill fast. The only thing that keeps her going is the thought of her childhood crush, Andrew, who she married in the school playground when she was a child.  When she spots Andrew in the background of a news programme at home in England, Isobel decides that if she can track him down, her life would take a turn for the better.  This adventure takes Isobel from Sunny LA, back home to Devon and then to a remote Malaysian Island, in the search for Andrew and true love.

Rosie Blake is one of the greats when it comes to writing women's fiction. She has a way of telling a story that no other author can master quite as well.  Just like Rosie's previous books, How To Find Your (First) Husband is a laugh out loud tale about love and friendship, that sucks you in at chapter one, takes you through many twists and turns and spits you out when it's all over.  I found it absolutely impossible to put this book down and I refused to go to sleep until I had read it in full.

The characters in this novel became friends to me. I loved all of the characters, but Isobel is a the perfect leading lady in this book.  She added fun and humour to the story.  This book is a laugh a minute and I adore this about it.  It is the perfect summer read and I love that it is light hearted and doesn't take itself too seriously.  

How To Find Your First Husband is witty and entertaining from beginning to end. Full of great one liners that had me in stitches.  Rosie Blake transported me to the sunny remote Island in Malaysia, and described is so vividly, it made me want to pack my bags and set off there.

This is another dazzling read for Rosie Blake and I can't recommend this book enough.

4 stars.

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

The Girl From The Savoy by Hazel Gaynor

I would like to thank Harper Collins and Hazel Gaynor for my copy of The Girl From The Savoy in exchange for an honest review.

The Girl From the Davoy takes us back to the magical era of 1920's post war London, where we meet Dorothy 'Dolly' Lane, who had just gotten a job as a maid in London's most well established hotel, The Savoy. But Dolly has left a life behind in Lanchasire, in order to life in the bustling city that is London. With the man of her dreams ack home, the question is what dark secret forced Dolly to move to London. Loretta May is a huge West End star and someone that Dolly really looks up to. However, Loretta is also carrying a huge secret. When Dolly and Loretta meet, that learn more from one another that they ever could have imagined.

The Girl From The Savoy is a such a magical story that has sweeped me off my feet and landed me in 1920's London. I loved every last page of this incredible book. Hazel Gaynor has a huge talent for taking you back in time and allowing you to leave everyday life. The characters are beautifully written and became friends as the book progressed.

From the moment I opened the book and started reading, Dolly captured my heart and captivated me. I loved the character of Loretta, but there is just something special about Dolly. I loved that this book had two very strong female leads.

The Girl From The Savoy made me cry tears of sadness and tears of joy, sometime without even having to turn the page. The more the story and the characters developed, the more in love I became with the book. It was as if Hazel Gaynor was sitting beside me reading the story to me herself, he storytelling ability is faultless and utterly breath-taking. There is not one thing that I didn’t like about this book, every single page was filled with magic and sparkle. No other author does Historical Fiction as good as Hazel.

The Girl From The Savoy is an absolute must read.

5 stars

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