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30 March 2017

April 2017 Releases!

It's almost April, which not only means that Spring has made its first appearance of 2017 (hooray for that!), but it also means there are some great new book releases coming our way soon...! The next thirty days have some pretty promising chick lit titles to offer us; it was tricky to just pick 10 of them to share with all of you today. The titles below are definitely on my wish list for next month, but I'd love to hear which ones you are looking forward to reading most at the moment! 

'The Choir on Hope Street' - Annie Lyons (6 April)

The best things in life happen when you least expect them.

Nat’s husband has just said the six words no one wants to hear – ‘I don’t love you any more’.

Caroline’s estranged mother has to move into her house turning her perfectly ordered world upside down.

Living on the same street these two women couldn’t be more different. Until the beloved local community centre is threatened with closure. And when the only way to save it is to form a community choir – none of the Hope Street residents, least of all Nat and Caroline, expect the results…

 

'A Not Quite Perfect Family' - Claire Sandy (6 April)

Fern Carlile has a lot on her plate. It’s a good thing she loves her big, imperfectly perfect family, because she’s the one who washes their pants, de-fleas the dog and runs her own business. A hearty meal is the one thing that brings the Carliles together – but over the course of a year, the various courses also pull them apart.

Around the table sits an eight-year-old militant feminist, a pair of teenage accidental parents, and a cantankerous OAP. Fern’s husband needs an extra seat for his spectacular midlife crisis.

Will Fern’s marriage be over by the time coffee is served? Perhaps she’ll give in and have the hot new dish that looks so tempting. Decisions, decisions...



'Spring at Blueberry Bay' - Holly Martin (7 April)

Bella has always had a sunny outlook and caring nature, despite recently falling on hard times. When she finds a handsome homeless man on her doorstep, her kind heart tells her she must help him. So, she invites Isaac into her cottage and into her life in ways she could never have imagined… 

But Isaac is not what he seems. He’s keeping a huge secret from Bella, yet he never expected to fall for this open, generous and charming woman. 

Bella can’t ignore the chemistry between her and Isaac, but she’s had her trust badly broken in her past. Will she run when she learns the truth about Isaac, or will he be the one man who can help Bella believe in love again? 



'The Big Little Wedding in Carlton Square' - Lilly Bartlett (7 April)

‘I feel like The Wurzels visiting Buckingham Palace!’

When Emma’s boyfriend Daniel pops the question with a ring the size of a small country, she suddenly realises just how different they are. She’s the Eastenders to his Made in Chelsea. She wants a low-key wedding with close friends and family in Uncle Colin’s pub, while Daniel’s mother is expecting a society do that their high-brow guests won’t forget!

How on earth can Emma put together a celebration fit for Lords and Ladies on a shoestring budget? Not to mention the fact her cross-dressing Uncle Barbara wants to be a bridesmaid, her best mate Kelly can’t stand Daniel’s best friend Cressida, and her dad is too proud to accept any help from Daniel’s family towards the costs.

There’s three months to go until the big day. Will Emma’s happy-ever-after end in disaster?



'The Horse Dancer' - Jojo Moyes (11 April)

When Sarah’s grandfather gives her a beautiful horse named Boo—hoping that one day she’ll follow in his footsteps to join an elite French riding school, away from their gritty London neighborhood—she quietly trains in city’s parks and alleys. But then her grandfather falls ill, and Sarah must juggle horsemanship with school and hospital visits.

Natasha, a young lawyer, is reeling after her failed marriage: her professional judgment is being questioned, her new boyfriend is a let-down, and she’s forced to share her house with her charismatic ex-husband. Yet when the willful fourteen-year-old Sarah lands in her path, Natasha decides to take the girl under her wing.

But Sarah is keeping a secret—a secret that will change the lives of everyone involved forever.



'The American Girl' - Rachael English (13 April)

Boston 1968. Rose Moroney is seventeen, smart, spirited – and pregnant. She wants to marry her boyfriend. Her ambitious parents have other plans. She is sent to Ireland, their birthplace, to deliver her daughter in a Mother and Baby home. Against Rose's will, her baby is taken for adoption.

Dublin 2013. Martha Sheeran’s life has come undone. Her marriage is over, and her husband has moved on with unsettling speed. Under pressure from her teenage daughter, she starts looking for the woman who gave her up for adoption more than forty years before.

Martha's search for her birth mother leads her to the heart of long-buried family secrets and forces her to question everything she thought she knew. When her first love, Paudie Carmody, re-enters the frame, she's also forced to take a hard look at her own life.



'A Wedding in Italy' - Tilly Tennant (14 April)

Kate is living the dream with her gorgeous boyfriend Alessandro in his native city, but the reality is sometimes a little less romantic than she’d hoped. Every day in her new home is a fight against leaking pipes, her cantankerous landlord and her less-than-perfect grasp of the Italian lingo. 

All around her there is talk of weddings, but when a secret from her past is thrust out into the open, Kate must fight to prove to Alessandro’s Mamma – and the rest of his formidable family – that she truly is Italian marriage material. 

With the women in Alessandro’s life on a mission to break them apart, the cracks begin to show and Kate starts to question if Alessandro really is the man of her dreams. Can love and the city of romance conquer all, or is that just a fairy-tale? 



'The A-Z of Everything' - Debbie Johnson (20 April)

P is for Paris where it all began. J is for Jealousy where it all came undone. But the most important letter is F. F is for Forgiveness, the hardest of all.

Sisters Poppy and Rose used to be as close as two sisters could be, but it’s been over a decade since they last spoke. Until they both receive a call that tells them their mother has gone – without ever having the chance to see her daughters reunited.

Andrea, though, wasn’t the kind of woman to let a little thing like death stand in the way of her plans. Knowing her daughters better than they know themselves, she has left behind one very special last gift – the A-Z of Everything.



'The Woman Who Met Her Match' - Fiona Gibson (20 April)

What if your first love came back on the scene... 30 years later?

After yet another disaster, Lorrie is calling time on online dating. She might be single in her forties, but she’s got a good job, wonderful children and she’s happy. This, Lorrie decides, is going to have to be enough.

That is, until she receives a very unexpected request from France. Antoine Rousseau, who had once turned a lonely French exchange trip into a summer of romance, wants to see her – after thirty years.

But Lorrie is a responsible woman. She can’t exactly run off to Nice with the man who broke her teenage heart...can she?

Amazon.co.uk / Amazon.com / Goodreads


'Slightly South of Simple' - Kristy Woodson Harvey (25 April)

Caroline Murphy swore she’d never set foot back in the small Southern town of Peachtree Bluff; she was a New York girl born and bred and the worst day of her life was when, in the wake of her father’s death, her mother selfishly forced her to move—during her senior year of high school, no less—back to that hick-infested rat trap where she'd spent her childhood summers. But now that her marriage to a New York high society heir has fallen apart in a very public, very embarrassing fashion, a pregnant Caroline decides to escape the gossipmongers with her nine-year-old daughter and head home to her mother, Ansley.

Ansley has always put her three daughters first, especially when she found out that her late husband, despite what he had always promised, left her with next to nothing. Now the proud owner of a charming waterfront design business and finally standing on her own two feet, Ansley welcomes Caroline and her brood back with open arms. But when her second daughter Sloane, whose military husband is overseas, and youngest daughter and successful actress Emerson join the fray, Ansley begins to feel like the piece of herself she had finally found might be slipping from her grasp. Even more discomfiting, when someone from her past reappears in Ansley's life, the secret she’s harbored from her daughters their entire lives might finally be forced into the open.

 

29 March 2017

Review: 'Bad Will Hunting' by Heather Wardell (2014)

During her time on "Ragged Royalty", Ashley developed a reputation as the show's scowling shrew. Clever editing, no doubt, but she still hates it. Now that her stint on the show is complete, she's determined to get the revenge she deserves on the producers who made her look so awful. Without it she can't move forward and decide what comes next for her. She knows what doesn't, though--ever seeing MC or Kent or any of the other contestants again. She hates all of them and they hate her too. Who could like "Angry Ashley"?

When she meets sexy attorney Will on the flight home, she believes he can help her get everything she needs. Until he double-crosses her. Now she needs revenge on him too.

After reluctantly enlisting fellow contestant Sam's much-needed help in her "Bad Will Hunting" mission, Ashley turns up a ton of dead ends but also some exciting life-changing possibilities. But she can't get over her need to get one over on Will, and on everyone else who's wronged her.

With so much "bad will" in her way, can Ashley ever find true happiness?

Last year I got the chance to check out Heather Wardell’s novel ‘Seven Exes Are Eight Too Many’ (click here to read my review), and after I posted my review I was contacted by Heather, asking whether I was perhaps also interested to read and review the sequel to that novel, ‘Bad Will Hunting.’ The first book had made me curious enough to want to find out more about the different characters and check out some more of the author’s writing, so I said ‘yes’ and received that review copy (thanks, Heather!). While I was going through my list of review books a few weeks ago I stumbled upon this one and decided to sit down with it, and today I’ve got my review to share with all of you, so be sure to scroll down and check it out!

Taking part in reality TV show ‘Ragged Royalty’ has affected Ashley’s everyday life in more ways than she had imagined when she decided to give it a go. Known as ‘Angry Ashley’ to the public, Ashley hates the way the producers decided to portray her and she’s determined to get the one thing she desperately wants: revenge. She doesn’t quite know how to go about this, though, but then meets handsome lawyer Will while on her flight back home. He is willing to help her and Ashley can’t believe her luck, until he suddenly disappears and leaves her to fight for herself. Ashley’s revenge list only grows longer and longer, and while people around her, such as fellow ex-contestant Sam, try to make her focus on more positive things in life, Ashley just can’t let go. But will this idea of revenge really help her to become a happier person in the end and will it really help her find what she has been looking for?  

‘Bad Will Hunting’ is the sequel to author Heather Wardell’s novel ‘Seven Exes Are Eight Too Many’, which completely focused on reality TV show ‘Ragged Royalty’, a mix-up of The Bachelor and Survivor with the author’s own ideas added to the mix. In this second novel of the series we get to learn more about contestant Ashley, who has arrived back in the real world but can’t seem to find peace with how she was portrayed on the show (she received the nickname ‘Angry Ashley’), and is therefore keen to get her revenge. In the rather fast-paced novel we join Ashley on her self-discovering journey to get revenge, while running into some familiar and some unfamiliar faces along the way. While this novel could be read as a stand-alone (background information is provided), I do recommend starting this series at the beginning, just so you know what happened and how the characters got where they are in this novel.

I was expecting this sequel to be kind of similar to the first book in the series, but it was quite different, especially since this book is set in the real world and does not read as a reality TV show. I personally had some difficulty liking Ashley; she really has a lot of anger inside of her, resulting in some ridiculous behaviour at times, in my opinion, and I just didn’t really feel for her or wanted to start rooting for her. The story did captivate me enough to keep on reading, and I do think there is something promising in Heather Wardell’s writing, but I didn’t feel like really looking forward to picking up the book and wanting to read what was going to happen next. ‘Bad Will Hunting’ is best read as a sequel in this series, and provides the reader with a look at a different character in the series; an enjoyable novel that I am sure numerous readers will really like, but it just wasn’t the read for me.
Rating:7,5/10
 
For more information about this book: Amazon.co.uk / Amazon.com / Goodreads

Thanks to the author for providing me with a review copy in exchange for an honest review.

28 March 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Authors I'd Love to Meet

'Top Ten Tuesday' is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. I love making lists, so this feature fits me perfectly! If you also take part in this feature or have any additions to my lists, please get in touch; I'd love to hear from you!
 
 
10 Authors I'd Love to Meet

This week's Top 10 is actually one I already shared with all of you quite some time ago, but there's nothing wrong with a bit of good recycling every now and again...! I think to us readers authors can become kind of like celebrities, people we have created to be a certain someone in our heads, and it's almost impossible to imagine we will ever get to meet them. Below are the 10 authors whom I'd love to have a cup of tea with to talk about their books; please share your own lists by leaving a comment below! :)



1. Jane Austen


Yes, I know there's no chance for me to actually meet Jane Austen since she died quite some time ago. However, if I could just pick one author, dead or alive, to meet, it would have to be Jane. 




2. Elizabeth Gaskell


I did a lot of literary research on Elizabeth Gaskell's novels when I was at university and I'd love to be able to sit down with her for a few hours to discuss her novels. Unfortunately, Elizabeth Gaskell also died many many years ago, but if they ever create a time machine... 




3. Nicholas Sparks


This man writes some of the most amazing love stories of all time, and as a true romantic I don't think it's much of a surprise I'd love to meet him.



4. Lisa Dickenson


I think Lisa would just crack me up from the moment I'd be in the same room as her. She's incredibly funny and a lovely person and I'd love to share some cupcakes with her! 




5. Ali McNamara


The same goes for Ali McNamara. A lovely person online whose novels I absolutely adore and It'd be great to have a cup of tea with her and discuss her books! 




6. Jane Green


Jane Green's novels always manage to entertain and intrigue me. I think she's a simply wonderful author and I'd love to meet her and share some thoughts with her. 




7. William Shakespeare


I think Shakespeare just needs to be on this list because he has written so many great stories which we still tell up to this very day... I'm quite curious to meet the man who continues to be one of the world's most-read authors!



8. J.K. Rowling


I'd honestly be quite scared to actually meet J.K. Rowling, but she still deserves a spot on my list, without a doubt!



9. Cecelia Ahern


I fell in love with Cecelia Ahern when I read her debut novel 'P.S. I Love You' and I've loved all of her other novels ever since. It'd be great to meet her and tell her how much her novels mean to me.



10. Cathy Bramley


I met Cathy two years ago when she e-mailed me about possibly reviewing her novel 'Conditional Love' and she is probably one of the nicest and most sincere authors I've met since I started my blog. She's a truly wonderful person and I'd love to meet her one day!