Archive for the ‘life changing’ Category

A Parcel For Anna Browne

Author : Miranda Dickinson
Published: 24 September 2015
Reviewed: 05 October 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 Pan Macmillan in return for an honest review via NetGalley.


4 out of 5 stars

The gift of a lifetime? Anna Browne is an ordinary woman living an ordinary life. Her day job as a receptionist in bustling London isn’t exactly her dream, yet she has everything she wants. 
But someone thinks Anna Browne deserves more . . . 
When a parcel addressed to Anna Browne arrives, she has no idea who has sent it. Inside she finds a beautiful gift – one that is designed to be seen. And so begins a series of incredible deliveries, each one bringing Anna further out of the shadows and encouraging her to become the woman she was destined to be. 
As Anna grows in confidence, others begin to notice her – and her life starts to change. But who is sending the mysterious gifts, and why?

We first meet Anna Browne, a quiet but friendly receptionist at a London newspaper, when she receives a parcel at work.  Anna is intrigued, she never gets parcels, not even at home so who could be sending parcels to her at work?  This coupled with the upcoming “job swap” scheme dreamed up by management at the newspaper is enough to have Anna wondering what’s going on. 
The beautiful gift in the first package gives Anna the confidence to take on the job swap she was assigned, shadowing the top reporter, who she might just have a slight crush on. 
Anna and Ben work well together, her new found confidence shining through showing her fun loving and interesting personality, and a new friendship between the pair is formed.  
Most people hearing about the package that arrived for Anna advise caution, who could this mysterious benefactor be?  Why did they send such an impressive, expensive looking gift?  What do they want in return?  Could there be a more sinister motive behind the gift?  But Anna looks at it differently, someone has sent her an exquisite gift that she adores and cannot think who it could be but would love to be able to tell them just how much it means to her. 

The office is abuzz with intrigue when more parcels arrive, almost one a week arriving for Anna, no note of who the mystery sender is, but each one containing something so incredible that Anna can barely believe her luck.  As the intrigue builds, the scandals intensify….is it Ben sending gifts to Anna to declare his intentions?  Does Anna have a mystery admirer?  Is she sending them to herself for attention?

With each new parcel Anna grows in confidence, she becomes more outgoing, people notice her more for the new person she has become and she is happy.  It is fair to say that the character blossoms with the arrival of each gift, as well as becomes driven to try and find out who is sending them.  There is also an element of memory attached to a lot of the parcels, they stir memories long forgotten about Anna’s childhood in Cornwall.  Or help her remember times of happiness when she was younger during a troubled childhood.

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 way this novel is written is good, the pace is steady and flows well, I found myself almost speed reading at times desperately trying to see if I was right about who was sending the parcels.  The physical descriptions of settings and people are very good, I could almost imagine the settings of the beach in Cornwall, the little shops in London described whilst Anna was on her hunt for her mystery benefactor, but also the descriptions of the gifts and their packaging and how delightfully beautiful they all appeared to be to Anna.  So much so, at times I wished someone would send me a package or two containing a pretty gift!
I very much enjoyed Miranda Dickinson’s writing and  I will definitely be on the look out for more of her work in the future.  

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 Pan Macmillan for the copy of this book in return for an honest review and if you would like to buy a copy, this book was published on 24th September 2015 .  A copy can be purchased here A Parcel For Anna Browne (UK Kindle 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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