Thursday, 19 April 2018

Book Review - The Lido by Libby Page

Amazon UK
Title:  The Lido
Author: Libby Page
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Orion
Publication Date: 19th April 2018
Rating: 4 Stars

Meet Rosemary, 86, and Kate, 26: dreamers, campaigners, outdoor swimmers...

Rosemary has lived in Brixton all her life, but everything she knows is changing. Only the local lido, where she swims every day, remains a constant reminder of the past and her beloved husband George.

Kate has just moved and feels adrift in a city that is too big for her. She's on the bottom rung of her career as a local journalist, and is determined to make something of it.

So when the lido is threatened with closure, Kate knows this story could be her chance to shine. But for Rosemary, it could be the end of everything. Together they are determined to make a stand, and to prove that the pool is more than just a place to swim - it is the heart of the community.

The Lido is an uplifting novel about the importance of friendship, the value of community, and how 
ordinary people can protect the things they love.

This is a story of an unlikely friendship, of two women who have one main thing in common The Lido in Brixton - and their mission to save it from being closed and turned into a private sports facility.  

This is the story also of Rosemary and George and their shared history of over seventy years at the lido, and it is also the story of Kate and her attempts to once and for all conquer "the panic". 

Kate and Rosemary only meet when Kate, is sent to the Lido to do a story on it closure, and wants to interview Rosemary. Rosemary is 86 years young, and loves the Lido, she swims daily and also spends time in the cafe just watching life pass by in her favourite place in the world. 

Between the two ladies we also get a fabulous picture of Brixton itself, and almost makes the most dedicated North Londoner, in me, go south of the river and experience the multiculturalism of Brixton for myself. 

There is some fabulous descriptions in this book which really give you a feel for the lido, its users and also Brixton as a whole. 

However what I found frustrating was how frequently you seemed to be in the present with Rosemary and then suddenly she is reminiscing about her life with George, and I found I was losing track of the time lines, as we get a look at their lives at the Lido over a lifetime. 

I found The Lido to be an interesting story of friendship,  that was enjoyable to read and has me curious as to what else the author may write in the future. 

Thank you to Orion and Netgalley for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily. 

Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Book Review - It Started With A Tweet by Anna Bell - #HolidayReading Book 29

Book 29 of 30 that I read on my holiday to Fuerteventura in December 2017

Amazon UK
Title: It Started With A Tweet
Author: Anna Bell
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Bonnier Zaffre
Publication Date: 27th December 2017
Rating: 5 Stars

Daisy Hobson lives her whole life online. But when her social media obsession causes her to make a catastrophic mistake at work, Daisy finds her life going into free-fall . . . 

Her sister Rosie thinks she has the answer to all of Daisy's problems - a digital detox in a remote cottage in Cumbria. Soon, too, Daisy meets a welcome distraction there in Jack, the rugged man-next-door.

But can Daisy, a London girl, ever really settle into life in a tiny, isolated village? 

And, more importantly, can she survive without her phone? 

Utterly hilarious and a perfect way to spend a few hours while waiting for a transfer back the airport at the end of the holiday.  Of course I had I read this at any point over the previous 2 weeks I would have been saying generally that is a perfect poolside read.

From the fun and clearly social media addicted start of the book Daisy soon makes a vital error tweeting something inappropriate from the wrong twitter account, which since I now have multiples I can completely understand the fear. 

Her sister comes to the rescue after the errant tweet goes viral and encourages Daisy up to the wilds of Cumbria for a digital detox, plus her own ulterior motive too.

I loved every single second of this book, Daisy was just fabulous and Iliked the various men she met too - from Dominik that triggered the mess she is in, to Jack and Alexis out in the countryside. All 3 different but gorgeous!

I read this without stopping in about 4 and half hours give or take some eating of lunch simultaneously. I just couldn't and didn't want to put it down as I was enjoying myself so much. 

If like me you understand the addiction of social media the odds are you will also adore this book.  I'm also a massive fan of this authors writing and she is getting better and better with each book, and each fab idea for a story.  Wonder what the next one will bring.  

Thank you to Netgalley and Bonnier Zaffre for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily. 

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Book Review - The Sunday Lunch Club by Juliet Ashton

Amazon UK
Title: The Sunday Lunch Club
Author: Juliet Ashton
Format reviewed: Paperback
Source: Publisher goody bag
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: 19th April 2018
Rating: 5 Stars

The first rule of Sunday Lunch Club is … don't make any afternoon plans.

Every few Sundays, Anna and her extended family and friends get together for lunch. They talk, they laugh, they bicker, they eat too much. Sometimes the important stuff is left unsaid, other times it's said in the wrong way. 

Sitting between her ex-husband and her new lover, Anna is coming to terms with an unexpected pregnancy at the age of forty. Also at the table are her ageing grandmother, her promiscuous sister, her flamboyantly gay brother and a memory too terrible to contemplate.

Until, that is, a letter arrives from the person Anna scarred all those years ago. Can Anna reconcile her painful past with her uncertain future?

Juliet Ashton weaves a story of love, friendship and community that will move you to laughter and to tears. Think Cold Feet meets David Nicholls, with a dash of the joy of Jill Mansell added for good measure.

How novel, a whole novel told in a series of Sunday lunches, I loved it.  For the Sunday Lunch club is more than just eating, its about family and friends of the family, getting together on semi-regular basis to exchange news and give each other support. 

The main focus of the book is Anna Piper and its the Piper family we really get to know, with her grandmother Dinkie,  and siblings Neil, Maeve and Josh, plus her ex husband Sam.  

Through the story we have all manner of life issues touched on, some of them very contemporary, others a bit more worrying, plus hidden secrets for all of the family members are hiding certain things from their loved ones, not necessarily huge things, but secrets nonetheless. 

I loved getting to know each and everyone of the characters and by the end of the book I felt like an honorary member of the Piper family. 

I loved how each chapter started with whose house the Sunday Lunch club was meeting in, and then the menu for the week. There were huge differences in the food each person would serve and all of the feasts matched their makers personalities really well. 

This is a loving, warm hearted book that is a pleasure to read. I can't find any fault with it, and whenever I wasn't reading it, I was wishing I had more time on my hands so I could go back between the pages and finding out what would happen next.  This is another gem from Juliet Ashton that comes highly recommended from me. 

Thank you to Simon & Schuster for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily. 

Monday, 16 April 2018

Book Review - Come and Find Me by Sarah Hilary - Rachel Reads Randomly Boo #94

Amazon UK
Title: Come and Find Me
Author: Sarah Hilary
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Headline
Publication Date: 22nd March 2018
Rating: 5 Stars

On the surface, Lara Chorley and Ruth Hull have nothing in common, other than their infatuation with Michael Vokey. Each is writing to a sadistic inmate, sharing her secrets, whispering her worst fears, craving his attention.

DI Marnie Rome understands obsession. She's finding it hard to give up her own addiction to a dangerous man: her foster brother, Stephen Keele. She wasn't able to save her parents from Stephen. She lives with that guilt every day.

As the hunt for Vokey gathers pace, Marnie fears one of the women may have found him - and is about to pay the ultimate price.

Woah! Well that was a book completely unlike the rest of this series but utterly compelling, and still completely brilliant.  

There is good progress made on some of the overall series story arcs, especially Marnie's feelings towards Stephen Keele, her foster brother. Noah's story continues too, with regular updates on Sol, Noah's brother. 

But the main story this time felt like a game of hide and seek.  We know what the big chaotic violent event is, but we don't know exactly who did what and why, but the suspicion is the man that escaped must be to be blame for it all. 

In amongst the police work, we get chapters from the only person able to give an accurate eye witness account of just what happened at the prison, and the run up to the large amount of chaos, and the story is revealed in small sections. What is apparent early on is that this is being told by someone critically ill who can't speak, and that they are in hospital. 

The whole book felt a lot like it was smoke and mirrors, the more you thought you knew about the case and the many they are looking for, the less you really did seem to know.  At no point in any of it did I have any suspicions to the truth. 

This book pulls you into many different directions, and you are never sure what is a red herring or key evidence.  The readers know not much more than the police in this story and I loved the pacing and how the whole book was written. 

This is an excellent fifth book in this series, and I'm highly curious what direction the author will take her characters in next. One this is for sure if Come and Find Me is anything to go by, there will be more incredibly cunning and twisted villains to come, and be found. 

Thank you to Netgalley and Headline for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily. 

Thank you to everyone that voted for this book, it was only a glut of other thrillers released on the same date that lead to me not having read this yet, as I was always intendit to fit it in as soon as I had a chance.  I do though wonder what you will pick for me this week! 

Rachel Reads Randomly - Vote #95

Thank you everyone for your input last time. The results of the last vote were:

2 Votes - Natural Born Readers by Victoria Connelly
5 Votes - Spring on the Little Cornish Isles by Phillipa Ashley
8 Votes  -  Come and Find Me by Sarah Hilary 

Another overwhelming winner this week and well deserved, I loved this book and want the next Marnie Rome book to be available already.  I did though this week also read Natural Born Readers as it seemed to make sense to read a book about book lovers on the way to London Book Fair, so that review will be up in May. 

For the next few weeks we will be randomising from my review back log - until each book in the back log has been up for a vote I keep falling further behind this may take a while,   Also hoping it means there are books more of you have heard of and thus will be more engaged with the vote!  

Below is my initial theory for this feature, and then a bit further, what you are all waiting for... This weeks's vote! Enjoy!

I am also awful at deciding what book to read next, as I often have about 10 titles or authors jumping into my brain at any time, shouting at me to read them, and I tend to worry I have made the wrong decision while reading a perfectly good book. I am hoping this will save me having to make at least 1 choice a week, while possibly providing a review to the site of a book you all either love or are curious about yourselves. 

So what I am proposing, is my lovely loyal readers of Rachel's Random Reads, select one book for me to read a week, and I will post the review the following week. 

This week's random numbers are...

And the books these numbers correspond to are...

So the 3 choices with my gut feeling responses are:

5 - The Garden of Small Beginnings by Abbi Waxman - I love the look of this cover and can't help but think as Spring is allegedly here reading a book featuring any sort of garden may be good timing
7- The Babysitter by Sheryl Browne - I keep meaning to read this, it was released on a hectic publication day and just didn't make it to the front of my pile. Love the author so much 
10 - Annie's Summer by the Sea by Liz Eeles - I have loved the first two books in this series and am really looking forward to picking this one up. 

Loving this selection of books, not entirely sure what direction it will take, but every eager to find out.  Have a feeling I should enjoy any of these if they win. 

And authors, if its your book up on this feature, feel free to take part, vote for yourself, or stir up excitement amongst your fans! 

Pick your favourite or the one you most want me to review, or just the one you are curious about, and leave me a comment below, before midnight on Wednesday. 

I look forward to seeing what I will be reading over the weekend, courtesy of you all. 

The explanation if you haven't seen the feature before. 

How is this going to work?

Every Monday, I am going to have a post like this, which is going to have some choices on it. I am planning on using to select 7 random numbers, to coincide with my spreadsheet of unread books.  

I will from that produce a list of hopefully 5 books, I reserve the right to veto any books, and will give reasons for them, if it occurs.

I will take screenshots and post them, of the chosen books, and also give you my instinctive reactions to the choices (without checking blurbs or any other info about them, which could be interesting as there are probably many forgotten about books on my spreadsheet!). 

Your task is to post a comment on this post, with the book you would like me to read this week. At midnight on Wednesday I will take a tally of the votes and the book with the most, I will read and review for the following Monday, where you will also get a new choice post. 

In the event of a tie, I will chose which one appeals most, for the Monday review, and possibly try and read and review the other to appear when I can. 

I am hoping this will provide some variety to the books appearing, and will let me potentially read or discover some great authors that I have wanted to read but not got around to yet.

Sunday, 15 April 2018

Book Review - The Man I Think I Know by Mike Gayle

Amazon UK
Title: The Man I Think I Know
Author: Mike Gayle
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Publication Date: 19th April 2018
Rating: 5 Stars

Ever since The Incident, James DeWitt has stayed on the safe side.

He likes to know what happens next.

Danny Allen is not on the safe side. He is more past the point of no return.

The past is about to catch up with both of them in a way that which will change their lives forever, unexpectedly.

But redemption can come in the most unlikely ways.

Really no idea about to review this as the specifics that make James and Danny such special characters are best discovered by the reader. I truly believe going into this book with no preconceptions or thoughts as to what greatness would lie between its pages was the best way forward as anything else would have spoilt the surprise. 

I have always enjoyed Mike Gayle's writing but although this does feature male friendship this a book that is sweet, heartwarming, and talks of new chances and two characters who really do experience huge personal growth as the story progresses. 

Although they don't realise it at first both Danny and James really need each other in their lives, and they both think they are helping the other.  It is not the most likely of fledgling friendships how it begins, especially once you know both mens startin circumstances, 

What I am delighted to be able to say was that I was gripped and moved by the story, I just wanted more and more of these two remarkable young men and their stories. The book alternates viewpoints between James and Danny and I loved getting to know both of them on many levels. 

This book felt very different to the majority of the others I've read by Mike Gayle and if this is the new direction he is taking his writing, then I can only applaud him. The Man I Think I Know is a remarkable book that I wish could have continued for longer. 

Thank you to Netgalley and Hodder & Stoughton for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily. 

Saturday, 14 April 2018

Book Review - Spring at the Little Duck Pond Cafe by Rosie Green

Amazon UK
Title: Spring at the Little Duck Pond Cafe
Author: Rosie Green
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Author supplied copy
Publisher: Self Published
Publication Date: 22nd March 2018
Rating: 5 Stars

Fleeing from a romance gone wrong, Ellie Farmer arrives in the pretty little village of Sunnybrook, hoping for a brand new start that most definitely does not include love! Following an unscheduled soak in the village duck pond, she meets Sylvia, who runs the nearby Duck Pond Café. Renting the little flat above the café seems like the answer to Ellie's prayers. It's only for six months, which will give her time to sort out her life, far away from cheating boyfriend Richard.

But is running away from your past ever really the answer?

Clashing with the mysterious and brooding Zack Chamberlain, an author with a bad case of writer's block, is definitely not what Ellie needs right now. And then there's Sylvia, who's clinging so hard to her past, she's in danger of losing the quaint but run-down Duck Pond Café altogether. 

Can Ellie find the answers she desperately needs in Sunnybrook? And will she be able to help save Sylvia's little Duck Pond Café from closure?

What a charming little novella. It had me laughing and smiling throughout, and really felt like there was a good amount of plot put into a relatively small package. 

Ellie is lovely, we first encounter her contemplating whether she can climb a tree just to take a photograph, and shortly after a meeting with a gorgeous guy, she has a run in with a duck pond.  But everything happens for a reason and before long Ellie is moving to Sunnybrook for a new start. 

She isn't looking for love, wants to get away from men, and needs a new job, while living above the Little Duck Pond Cafe. 

Everyone in Sunnybrook is very friendly and welcoming, with a couple of key exceptions, and as the story progresses I couldn't help buy want to have cake in the Little Duck Pond Cafe, buy bread from the bakery Ellie has started to work in, and watch the ducks at the pond for myself. 

I am really looking forward to the next novella in this series, as I already want to return to this village and its characters. The book is well written, easy to read and highly enjoyable, what more do you want from a shorter read to while away an hour or two. 

Thanks to Rosie Green for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily. 

Friday, 13 April 2018

Book Review - Wishes Under The Willow Tree by Phaedra Patrick - #HolidayReading Book 28

Book 28 of 30 that I read on my holiday to Fuerteventura in December 2017

Amazon UK
Title: Wishes Under The Willow Tree
Author: Phaedra Patrick
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: HQ
Publication Date: 14th September 2017
Rating: 5 Stars

For generations, the Stone family have been making wishes on the old willow tree in their garden. And this year they’re wishing harder than ever…

Benedict and Estelle thought they’d found their happy ending. But, unable to have the children they’ve longed for, their marriage has hit the rocks. And as their tenth anniversary approaches, Estelle decides it’s time to move out. Devastated but unwilling to accept defeat, Benedict vows to win her back – he just doesn’t know how.

The unexpected – and uninvited – arrival of his estranged sixteen-year-old niece is the last thing he needs. But when a decades-old secret is brought to light, Benedict and Estelle realise they’re not the only ones in need of a second chance. And that maybe the family they wished for has been there all along…

I wasn't too sure what to think as I started reading this book. Benedict initially was a tricky character to get to know properly.

However it didn't take long and for Gemma's arrival to liven everything up and make this into a very a interesting story,

I loved all the different meanings of the gemstones, and how Ben and Gemma used them to help people in the little village. 

I loved the idea of the Stone willow tree and generally found this to be a very gentle but delightful story to read.

I ended up really liking Ben as he developed and changed during the book, and Gemma was a bit of an enigma too. 

A fabulous book from an author I am growing to like more and more with each release.

Thank you to Netgalley and HQ for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily. 

Thursday, 12 April 2018

Book Review - The Holiday Cottage By The Sea by Holly Martin - Blog Tour

Amazon UK
Title:  The Holiday Cottage By The Sea
Author: Holly Martin
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Bookouture
Publication Date: 12th April 2018
Rating: 5 Stars

The perfect place to fall in love this summer…

Tori Graham is in need of a holiday. Trying to piece her heart back together after losing the love of her life, she escapes to Blossom Cottage, with its picturesque views of the sea. And plans to spend the summer in gorgeous Sandcastle Bay, where her best friend Melody Rosewood lives.

Tori’s not expecting her summer by the beach to be eventful, until she meets handsome and mysterious Aidan Jackson…

Aidan looks after the holiday cottage Tori is staying in. Healing from past hurts, he wants to avoid any further chance of heartache. But could this newcomer be the breath of fresh air he needs?

Finding herself embracing life in the coastal community, Tori starts to fall in love with Sandcastle Bay and its welcoming cast of residents. But that’s not all she begins to fall for, as Tori is swept away by Aidan’s genuine heart and mischievous sense of humour. The attraction between them is undeniable, but will a simple holiday romance be enough?

As Tori’s stay in Sandcastle Bay comes to an end she has a tough decision to make…. Has her heart found a new place to call home?

Utterly enchanted by this incredibly romantic story, set in a picturesque location, full of characters with really interesting jobs..... it can only have been written by one of the queens of rom coms - Holly Martin! 

I devoured this book and despite not being that keen on fruit, even I wanted to taste the heartberries that were being harvested by the end of the book. 

The banter between Aidan and Tori is hilarious and although you sort of know what the ending will be, I never mind when I am taken on such an enjoyable journey to reach that stage.  Although what you wouldn't predict is the level of meddling Aidan's aunt Agatha enjoys! 

Agatha is utterly hilarious, and she gives Tori all manner of supplies for her first date with Aidan, that you wouldn't expect anyone to just happen to have in their handbag, let alone hand over in a pub to a relative stranger. I was laughing my head off at that scene,  and then it got even better! 

Agatha also a hand in the henna that Tori has on her back, but even I couldn't believe what the design was. Again revealed in a classic scene that is incredibly amusing. 

I loved the names of the places in this book, Sandcastle Bay, Blossom Cottage,  The Cherry on Top cafe,  all which evoke a certain feel to them just from their names alone.  So incredibly creative.  I also loved Tori's two best friends and I am predicting each of their stories may get told in future books this year from Holly Martin. 

Oh and I haven't even mentioned the animals in this book, Beauty, Beast and Dobby which are nothing like their namesakes.  Dobby is the first we are introduced to, and let's just say he is not typical of his species and is a great little character in his own right.  Beast and his girlfriend Beauty make a lovely couple, and produce a mixture of funny moments and awww moments. 

From the first page this book captured my heart, and I read it in one sitting, completely absorbed by Holly Martin's excellent writing style and story telling. Once again I am astounded by all the small touches that make you really believe in the couple at the heart of the story.   I would without a doubt highly recommend The Holiday Cottage by the Sea. 

Thank you to Bookouture and Netgalley for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily. 

Please do check out all these other great bloggers who will have their own thoughts to share on the book. 

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Book Review - Summer at Willow Tree Farm by Heidi Rice - #HolidayReading Book 27

Book 27 of 30 that I read on my holiday to Fuerteventura in December 2017

Title: Summer at Willow Tree Farm
Author: Heidi Rice
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: HQ
Publication Date: 20th July 2017
Rating: 5 Stars

Is home always where the heart is?

When Ellie spent a summer with her mum on a Wiltshire commune in the 90s it was a bigger disaster than Leo DiCaprio’s trip aboard the Titanic – so fleeing to America seemed a perfect plan.

But now, with her marriage falling apart, running back to her mum seems like the only option for her and her son Josh.

She wasn’t expecting Art, the boy she once had a crush on to still be working at Willow Tree Farm…And still be as hot and bothersome as he was when they were teenagers.

Ellie came to Willow Tree Farm for a fresh start. But is she ready to risk sailing her life – and her heart – into another iceberg?

I absolutely loved Willow Tree Farm, and the main male lead of Art is brooding and sexy and a real challenge of a man!

Ellie on the other hand is wondering just why she came back to the scene of her worst ever summer holiday,  although the fact she is in need of her mum despite their fractured relationship speaks volumes. 

I loved the growing friendship between Toto and Josh the two teenageers who gain a lot from each other. 

The community of people at the farm were a joy to get to know, a mixed selection of friendly characters, that really helped Ellie a lot, and I loved seeing what they were trying to achieve at the farm. 

This was a entertaining romance to read, with clearly sizzling chemistry between the leads, and a good underlying set of storylines too. 

I also really enjoyed spotting that all the titles for the for parts were Take That song titles. The fan in me was jumping for joy!

This isn't the first book Ihave read by Heidi Rice, but it is is the most enjoyable so far. I am eager to see what she writes next, and would love to see a return to Willow Tree Farm in the future. 

Thank you to Netgalley and HQ for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily. 

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Book Review - Poppy's Place in the Sun by Lorraine Wilson

Amazon UK
Title: Poppy's Place In The Sun
Author: Lorraine Wilson
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Harper Impulse
Publication Date: 13th April 2018
Rating: 4.5 Stars

Sometimes you need to lose yourself to find your way home…

With only her trusty dogs Peanut, Treacle and Pickwick by her side, Poppy Kirkbride could be forgiven for having doubts about her move to a quiet village in rural France. But as the sun shines down on her ramshackle new home, Poppy knows she’s made the right decision. A lick of paint, and some TLC and her rustic farmhouse will be the perfect holiday retreat – Poppy’s dream come true.

Poppy is welcomed by her fellow villagers, except for brooding local vet Leo Dubois, who makes it clear Poppy isn’t welcome in his village – or his life! Leo might be gorgeous, but Poppy won’t be told what to do by an arrogant Frenchman – no matter how kind and gentle he is to her dogs!

Determined to stay, Poppy tries to understand the enigmatic Frenchman better. But as the two get closer, Poppy sees another side to Leo – a man with heartbreak of his own. Falling in love with Leo is easy, but can he ever return Poppy's love? And what would this mean for her dream life and place in the sun?

Pure escapist fun, perfect poolside reading. Transport yourself to Poppy's Place in the Sun in rural France, near to Carcassonne.  

Poppy may be the main character but to me the absolute stars of the book are Peanut, Treacle and Pickwick, her trio of tiny dogs, 2 chihuahuas and yorkshire terrier  that have the biggest personalities in the world.  And they aren't the only canines that produce laughs and aww moments, there is also Maxi who lives next door with the gorgeous Will. 

Maxi's introduction to the book is hilarious, and certainly memorable for Poppy who is utterly convinced he is a wolf at first!  Then are are some donkeys who also provide some fun moments, and some other wildlife too to add into the mix. 

This is a book for animal loves, French food lovers, Francophiles in general, romance lovers and for anyone that has ever watched A Place in the Sun and wished it was their life. For that is in part what inspired Poppy to make the move, despite knowing no one in the area. 

I loved seeing how she slowly tries to become part of the community, and does her best to resist feeling anything for the sexy vet next door.  As I have come though to expect from Lorraine Wilson's book by the time the sex scenes occur they are hot, steamy and incredibly realistic - I may just have wished I was Poppy, but not just for that reason! 

Absolutely loved this book, it really hit the spot, and I just wish I had been reading it on holiday, and could have fully appreciated the heat on my body, while reading about how warm the climate in that part of France was. 

Really enjoyable and entertaining story that I completely and utterly enjoyed. 

Thank you to Netgalley and Harper Impulse for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily. 

Monday, 9 April 2018

Book Review - Anna by Amanda Prowse

Amazon UK
Title: Anna
Author: Amanda Prowse
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Head of Zeus
Publication Date: 8th March 2018
Rating: 4 Stars

There are two sides to every love story. This is Anna's.

Anna Cole grew up poor, but her mother's love made her feel rich every day. Then her mother died, and Anna was sent to a care home. As a teenager, Anna vowed that one day, she would have children of her own, and create the happy, noisy family life she always craved.

Then, one day, Anna meets Theo Montgomery in a lift. Theo has kind eyes, but a sad past. His family were rich, but his childhood was full of neglect. Theo can't imagine bringing a child into this cruel world, but he does want a soulmate. Someone to love him unconditionally; someone with whom he can share his family's wealth.

Theo and Anna are two damaged souls, from two different worlds. Is their love for each other enough to let go of the pain of their pasts? Or will Anna and Theo break each others' hearts?

I'm really in two minds about this book but I have been since this and Theo were announced. I can't fully explain it but two books showing the both sides of a love story should be ideal for me, but even having finished Anna, and having "met" Theo, I'm just not sure I want to read the next book.

I think part of it is although I liked Anna, and absolutely was hooked reading her childhood and the tougher parts of her life, I just didn't like who she became with the love of her life.   

Don't get me wrong while I was able t concentrate on the book, I felt the same pull I usually get when reading a book by this author, utter amazement at great the writing is, being drawn into the story and really believing in the characters that they are real people.  

Although I had mixed feelings towards Anna and Theo, the supporting cast were fabulous, I don't really want to name them as to give them context may give away parts of the story that are best discovered for yourself, but there are memorable characters from each section of Anna's past.  

The first half of the story brings us Anna's life from age 6 all the way up current day, and we visit each age for a period of time, so get a feel for Anna at various stages of her early life.  She had one tough childhood which I wouldn't wish on anyone, and the one thing she is craving the whole time is her own family.  

I absolutely love the intermittent letters to Fifi and Fox, and also Anna's alphabet game, both of which give a good indication as to elements of her personality. 

There were a few occasions during the book, including once while I was on public transport when I was on the verge of tears while reading this. At points it definitely gave me the feels, while at others I was wondering why I wasn't feeling the need to read this in one sitting. 

No doubt though that this is very good book, from an extremely talented author, I just think I may not have been in the right mind set for this particular story when I read it.  

Thank you to Netgalley and Head of Zeus for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily, 

Thank you to everyone that vote for Anna this week, really appreciate being made to read this, as I may have left it for longer before getting to it, as I have been tending to stay away from emotional reads recently.  So what will you have me read this week?

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