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Archive for the ‘Women’s Fiction’ Category

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Published: 15 October 2016
Reviewed: 1 January 2017

4 out of 5 stars

Copy provided by Legend Press in return for an honest review

Description:

When Jen goes to her grandmother’s house for the last time, she’s determined not to dwell on the past. As a child, Jen adored Lily and suspected she might be a witch; but the spell was broken long ago, and now her death means there won’t be any reconciliation.

Lily’s gone, but the enchantments she wove and the secrets she kept still remain. In Lily’s house, Jen and her daughter Marianne reluctantly confront the secrets of the past and present – and discover how dangerous we become when we’re trying to protect the ones we love.

My Thoughts & Review:

I’m not quite sure what it was about this book that first caught my attention, perhaps it was the beautiful artwork of the cover image or maybe the description which sounded so intriguing but either way I am definitely glad I took a gamble on this book.  A break from my usual crime thrillers, this book hints towards an existence of “magic” or “special abilities”, something I avoid but here it works so well within the plot.

The reader meets Jen who has sadly lost her grandmother Lily.  Jen and her daughter head off to Lily’s house to deal with affairs and get the house in order and the reader is quickly drawn into the stories of the house, how it played an important part in Jen’s younger years, the memories attached to the house come flooding back to Jen.  What she doesn’t count on are the secrets that she uncovers amongst the memories.

Cassandra Parkin possesses a rare gift, her writing flows so beautifully, it is full of emotion and is utterly enchanting.  I found that I was mesmerised when reading this book, my attention never wavering from the pages and delighted with all the subtle nuances cleverly woven into to the text.  The characters were so well constructed, each multilayered and engaging.  The plot is clever but there is mention to a topic that some readers may feel uncomfortable reading about, domestic abuse.  Parkin however does write with care and sensitivity on this subject ensuring that it remains integral to the plot without becoming gratuitous.

I cannot quite believe that this is the first book that I have read by Cassandra Parkin, but based on this novel I will definitely be keeping an eye out for future works!

You can buy a copy of Lily’s House here.

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You Had Me at Merlot

Author: Lisa Dickenson

Published: 16 June 2016

Reviewed: 17 August 2016

5 out of 5 stars
Copy supplied by Little, Brown Book Group UK / Sphere in return for an honest review

Description:

This book provided a break from my usual gritty crime and thriller books, and what a lovely change it was, like stepping out into the sun on holiday.

The story centres around Elle and her friend Laurie, the only singletons remaining in their group of friends.  Elle is quite happy with her relationship status (or lack thereof), but Laurie’s desire to settle down sees her booking a holiday for them both to Tuscany, a singles holiday.

Lisa Dickenson truly brings her characters to life with her writing style, it flows well and feels so natural.  Elle and Laurie are wonderful characters, so lifelike and I think most readers will be able to recall a friend just like one or both of these ladies.  There is a lovely heart warming silliness in Dickenson’s writing, the characters getting up to hijinks gives the reader a giggle and leaves a smile on their face.

Vivid descriptions of the physical settings are absolutely breathtaking, I’ve never been to  Tuscany but after having read this I feel like I went on holiday with Elle and Laurie.  I could almost feel the sunshine and see the beautiful vineyards, but my cup of tea was a poor substitute for the wines being sampled.

Pace of the novel was good, just right for a relaxing and enjoyable read, and it held my interest throughout.

This book radiated warmth and sunshine, the sense of humour Dickenson pours into her writing makes this a delight to read and so very enjoyable.

You can buy a copy of You Had Me at Merlot  here.

 

 

About the Author

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Image and author information courtesy of Amazon.co.uk

Lisa Dickenson was born in the wrong body. She was definitely meant to be Beyoncé. Despite this hardship, she grew up in Devon attempting to write her own, completely copyright-infringing versions of Sweet Valley High, before giving Wales a go for university, and then London a go for the celeb-spotting potential. She’s now back in Devon, living beside the seaside with her husband and forcing cream teas down the mouths of anyone who’ll visit. She is sadly still not Beyonce.

Lisa’s first novel, The Twelve Dates of Christmas, won the Novelicious Debut of the Year award. Her second novel, You Had Me at Merlot, was also an instant hit with readers who were won over by her wit, charm and naughty sense of humour.

To find out more about Lisa and her books go to her website http://www.lisadickenson.com/ or follow her on Twitter @LisaWritesStuff

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Four Weddings and a Fiasco

Author: Catherine Ferguson
Published: 16 June 2016
Reviewed: 3 August 2016

4.5 out of 5 stars

Copy supplied by HarperCollins UK, Avon in return for an honest review


Description:

Katy Peacock lives a life as colourful as her name.

As a wedding photographer, she spends her days making other people smile as she captures all sorts of fun and capers at celebrations that range from the wacky to the wild.

But her own life isn’t looking quite so rosy. Her mum is acting out of character, her menacing ex is back on the scene, and she is torn between two gorgeous men. And that’s before we even get started on the trouble her sister is causing…

As Katy weathers the ups and downs of the season, she revisits problems from the past, discovers new friendships and finds that four weddings and a fiasco have the power to change her world beyond measure.

My Thoughts & Review:

An enjoyable read, in fact, a pretty good summer read and one you could happily pack with your luggage to read when you’re away on a break.  

Katy Peacock is a wedding photographer in a lovely little village, but after a bad fall out with her sister two years ago she is finding it hard to manage her photography business alone.  
She’s also trying desperately to steer clear of men, so when she falls into the arms of a gorgeous man after trying to climb over her fence, the reader knows things won’t go as Katy plans.

Katy is a great character, very likeable.  She’s independent and determined to work hard to solve her financial issues which includes paying back an ex boyfriend.  But in spite of her own issues, she always has time for her friends and family, and always has a word of advice or sympathetic shoulder for her prospective brides.  Mallory, Katy’s best friend is another brilliant character, well created and very likeable.  Her down to earth perception on life and events provides light relief to Katy’s moments of doom and the pair really come across as believable. 

The story is broken into four parts, each is a season with a different wedding which allows the story to move briskly and keeps the reader focused.
The dialogue is well written, adding an authenticity to situations and relationships – in particular the relationship between Katy and her mother and Katy’s struggles to reconnect with her sister.  The writing overall is solid, the story flows well and with plenty humour interspersed this makes it a witty and enjoyable read.  

Despite thinking I knew where the story was going I still really enjoyed this book, it held my attention and it was an easy read so I was reading “just one more chapter before bed”, and before I knew it I’d finished the book!  

A lovely feel good book, brings a little light relief from everyday life and a welcome escape just when you need it most.  

You can buy a copy of Four Weddings and a Fiasco here.

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We’ll Always Have Paris

Author: Sue Watson
Published: 28 July 2016
Reviewed: 26 July 2016
4.5 Stars out of 5

Copy supplied by Little, Brown Book Group and Sphere in return for an honest review

Description:



My Thoughts & Review:

This book certainly didn’t start as I thought it might, Rosie Draper, nearing 65 loses her husband Mike to cancer……initially, I wondered what I was letting myself in for, but somehow, Sue Watson manages to turn this tragic event into something that draws the reader in slowly.  
Rosie, feeling that she has had her happiness, is ready to move on in her grief and settle for living out her days peacefully with the memories of her husband.  Never in her wildest dreams does she imagine a chance meeting with her first boyfriend.  

The romance aspect to the book was really well written, heartfelt and uplifting to read.  Reading how Rosie coped with the loss of her husband and struggling to get back to a place mentally where she could go on was very carefully written.  Care and consideration was shown by the author to this sensitive aspect of the book and for that I am grateful.  All to often authors brush over this and never really attempt to put into words how events such as this can impact on the characters left behind.  
Rosie is a lovely character, she teaches us so much – never to give up hope, never to give up on love but most importantly hindsight is something we have to learn from. 
All of her characters are realistic and most people will be able to identify with them, I loved the way they all seemed to open up and develop as realisations dawned upon them.  
Sue Watson writes a wonderful book, with a strong female lead character, some romance but most of all, she gives the reader pause for thought.  This book was exceptionally good at making me reflect on things and inspiring hope for what lies ahead.  More than I bargained for when I first read the description of the book, but I am so glad that I did read this one.  

I would definitely recommend this book, it’s the sort of heart warming story that cannot fail to capture the attention of readers, and their hearts in places too. This was the first book written by Sue Watson that I have read, but it definitely won’t be the only one, having thoroughly enjoyed this, I will be searching Amazon later for more of her books to enjoy!  

You can buy a copy of We’ll Always Have Paris  here.

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The Astonishing Return of Norah Wells

Author: Virginia MacGregor
Published: 14 January 2016
Reviewed: 26 February 2016
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 supplied by Little, Brown Book Group UK in return for an honest review

4 out of 5 Stars

 



Description: 

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The Broken Hearts Book Club

Author: Lynsey James
Published: 12 October 2015
Reviewed: 19 February 2016
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 supplied by Carina UK in return for an honest review

3 out of 5 Stars

 



Description: 

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