Archive for the ‘Chick Lit’ Category

Bright Stars

Author : Sophie Duffy
Published: 01 October 2015
Reviewed: 30 September 2015
What Milo Saw by Virginia Macgregor

Read more at: http://www.london24.com/entertainment/book_review_what_milo_saw_by_virginia_macgregor_1_3750981
Copyright © LONDON24

Copy kindly supplied by Legend Press in return for an honest review via NetGalley.


4 out of 5 stars

Four students are involved in a tragedy that rips their friendship apart. What happens when they are reunited 25 years later?

Cameron Spark’s life is falling apart. He is separated from his wife, and awaiting a disciplinary following an incident in the underground vaults of Edinburgh where he works as a Ghost Tour guide. On the day he moves back home to live with his widowed dad, he receives a letter from Canada. It is from Christie. Twenty-five years earlier, Cameron attends Lancaster University and despite his crippling shyness, makes three unlikely friends: Christie, the rich Canadian, Tommo, the wannabe rock star and Bex, the feminist activist who has his heart. In a whirlwind of alcohol, music, and late night protests, Cameron feels as though he’s finally living; until a horrific accident shatters their friendship and alters their futures forever. Christie’s letter offers them a reunion after all these years. But has enough time passed to recover from the lies, the guilt, and the mistakes made on that tragic night? Or is this one ghost too many for Cameron?

In 1986 Cameron Spark went to university in Lancaster, a shy and quiet young Scottish lad that managed to form three of the most unbelievable friendships that change his life forever, shape what becomes of him and his friends.
Cameron first meets Tommo who is the antithesis of Cameron; he is English, he is loud, he dresses in drainpipe jeans, wears fashionable shoes, drinks alcohol and wants to be a rock star.  Then there is Bex, the love of Cameron’s life, an animal rights activist, feminist and can do no wrong as far as Cameron is concerned.  Christie, the final of the four, is a Canadian, who comes to Lancaster to study marketing before she takes the reins of the family wine business back home.
Being the typical students, they go to lectures, get drunk, go to gigs and generally have a good time being young and free from parents watching over them.  Or that is until that fateful night that changes everyone’s lives, the accident changes Cameron’s life in more ways that he can imagine, friendships are abandoned, and the mistakes that are made that night will haunt each of them for the next 25 years.
Switch to current day, Cameron, now in his 40s has split from his wife, moving back into his childhood home with his widower father (and Myrtle the dog), suspended from his job (pending investigation of an incident in the underground vaults of Edinburgh) and writing a journal as part of his therapy from a counsellor as a means to coping better.  Then the letter arrives from Christie, inviting them to a reunion of sorts, what can she possibly want Cameron there for?  Can he face her after what happened all those years ago?  Have Tommo and Bex been invited too? 

There is so much I could say about this story, but I really don’t want to give away too much and spoil the book for others. 

The writing style of this novel is good, the jumping back and forth between 1986 and present time is done really well, it gives so much information about Cameron as a young man at university and the group of friends he has, and explains a lot of why things have turned out as they have. 
For me, none of the characters are particularly likeable, they are all at one point or another needing taken aside, shaken and told to “buck up” – but this is very realistic in many ways, how many times do we do things, say things, act in ways that make us annoying to others, naive or just plain stupid?  For someone to make characters like that it’s very good writing in my opinion, it’s easy to write loveable characters, but to create ones that are difficult to like seems a lot harder (maybe I’m wrong?).  
There is a fine line between doing things for the right reason and doing things for the wrong reason, and this novel explore that well. 

I would recommend this book to anyone that enjoys Fiction, Chick Lit, it would also make a good holiday read.

I would like to thank Legend Press for the copy of this book in return for an honest review and if you would like to buy a copy, this book will be published on 1st October 2015 .  A copy can be purchased here  Bright Stars (Kindle UK Version).

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The Beachside Guest House

Author : Vanessa Greene
Published: 10 September 2015
Reviewed: 24 September 2015
What Milo Saw by Virginia Macgregor

Read more at: http://www.london24.com/entertainment/book_review_what_milo_saw_by_virginia_macgregor_1_3750981
Copyright © LONDON24

Copy kindly supplied by Little, Brown Book Group UK in return for an honest review via NetGalley.


4 (& 1/2) out of 5 stars

When Rosa and Bee get together in the run-up to Bee’s wedding, they reminisce about the holiday they took together as teenagers to the beautiful Greek island of Paros. They remember the sandy coves, the guest house in the converted windmill where they stayed with their friend Iona, and the gorgeous local men. As memories of that long-forgotten holiday resurface, they are forced to confront the turns their lives have taken – and the guilt they both feel about letting Iona slip away from them.

When they learn that the windmill guest house is going bust they form a plan: why not go back to the island and take it over themselves? And so begins a life-changing journey – because it turns out that opening a guest house and reliving their teenage dreams isn’t that easy . . .

Full of romance and friendship, love and life, laughter and tears, The Beachside Guest House is an uplifting novel about the magic of starting over with friends by your side.

Bee is planning her wedding with the help of family and friends, but for her and Rosa, they realise that one friend is missing, Iona.  As they reminisce over photos of a long past together, they come across ones from their time as teenagers on Paros, a Greek island where they had holidayed as young women taking on the world and savouring their freedom.  
It is from here that we meet each of the women in their current lives, Rosa working for a charity and jetting around the globe helping where she can in remote communities, Bee planning her wedding to Stuart, but both missing their old friend Iona, who is living her own life with her boyfriend, holding down a job and not thinking about Bee and Rosa.  With each chapter you find out a little more about the leading woman, what happened in the years after their first taste of Paros, and why they drifted so far apart. 

When the lighthouse guest house on Paros goes up for sale, Rosa can’t resist making a bid, not knowing that this will turn her world upside down.  Her offer is accepted and life as she knows it changes, but not only for her, but Bee and Iona too.  
That’s about all I can say about the novel without giving too much away, I really don’t want to spoil this for other readers.  

The theme of relationships is very important in this book, for Bee, Rosa and Iona, friendship is the key, they just don’t realise just how vital it is until they really need each other.  
And for Rosa forming new relationships once back on Paros will be so important to the success of her venture. 

This novel is what I would describe as a heart warmingly lovely change of pace.  For someone that loves criminal fiction, thriller and espionage novels, this provided a lovely change, no spies fearing unmasking and nothing too sinister, but that said, it was still a gripping read.  It was enjoyable to read, the descriptions of settings were wonderful, the island of Paros seemed very real and picturesque, the Beachside Guest House sounded so inviting, I wish it were real!  

Greene has become an author I will look out for in future, her style of writing is light and flowing, at no time was I tempted to skip narrative or was bored like I have found to be the case with other novels of these genres.  This was a very enjoyable read, the sort of book you can happily curl up on the sofa with and enjoy a cuppa (and a sneaky chocolate biscuit!). 

I would recommend this book to anyone that enjoys Fiction, Chick Lit, and Romance Genres, it’s also a perfect holiday read!

I would like to thank Little, Brown Book Group UK for the copy of this book in return for an honest review and if you would like to buy a copy, this book will be published on .  A copy can be purchased here Beachside Guest House (UK Paperback)

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