If This Is Paradise, I Want My Money Back! – Claudia Carroll

If this is paradise i want my money back

“Charlotte is hovering between life and death, but it’s taken a coma for her to realize she’d made a complete mess of her short time on earth.  Not to mention the five precious dating years she’s just wasted on the cheating, faithless James Kane.

But after a quick peek at the afterlife, she decides it’s not all it’s cracked up to be either.  So, when she is offered the chance to go back to earth, this time as a fully fledged angel, she jumps at it.  As always, there’s a catch.  The person she’s assigned to watch over is… a certain Mr James Kane.  And this is where the fun really starts.

Well just because she’s passed on it doesn’t necessarily mean she’s moved on, does it?”

I always enjoy books by Claudia Carroll (you can find some of my reviews here) and this was one that I hadn’t got around to reading so when it got to the top of my to-read list I was very excited!  I just love the title and the blurb sounded lots of fun too, I couldn’t wait to dive in.

The book began with Charlotte in a coma but very aware of her surroundings, I loved how the author made this serious subject so light-hearted and I found myself chuckling regularly.  Straight away I got a bad impression of James (her boyfriend/ex-boyfriend, I wasn’t too sure at this point) and I was hoping she would get the chance to repay him for the horrible way he had treated her.

A couple of twists later and Charlotte found herself facing an afterlife assessment followed by angel training, she was understandably confused and rather overwhelmed by everything but I found it highly entertaining especially with all the one-liners she kept coming out with.  I couldn’t wait for her to head back to earth and begin making mischief :).

Once on earth Charlotte had lots of fun messing around with James and I absolutely loved this part, I think I would have done the same if I had been in her shoes and his reactions to what she was saying was hilarious!  My favourite moments included a shock on the loo and an important but disastrous meeting.

It wasn’t all about revenge though, Charlotte also wanted to help those who had been important to her in life.  I didn’t think she went about it in the best way but her intentions were pure and I liked her for it. This part really got me thinking – I couldn’t help but imagine what I would do if I were in Charlotte’s position.

When everything came crashing down Charlotte found herself in trouble and had to make things right again, I could tell that her mindset had changed by this point and I wondered how she would do things differently.  Then came a really unexpected twist and by the end I just wanted to know more – I would love a sequel to this book!

This was a great book filled with funny one-liners and a storyline that pulled me in and wouldn’t let go.

If This Is Paradise, I Want My Money Back can be purchased from The Book DepositoryAmazon or from most good book retailers.

To find out more about Claudia Carroll visit her website here.

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A Very Accidental Love Story – Claudia Carroll

“Eloise Elliot is one of the youngest newspaper editors in the country.  She’s at the top of her game but on the eve of her thirtieth birthday she’s hit with a sharp pang of loneliness.  With dazzling clarity, she realises what she wants – someone to share her life with.

Fast forward three years and she is the adoring mother of a gorgeous little girl, Lily.  Juggling a high-powered job with single motherhood is not easy and when Lily starts asking about ‘daddy’ Eloise begins to panic.  What will she tell her?

So Eloise goes on a mission to find Lily’s father.  After all, she chose the perfect donor, surely there won’t be any surprises…” 

Firstly I’d like to thank Claudia Carroll and HarperCollins for sending me this paperback book to read and review.  A Very Accidental Love Story is released today!

I absolutely love the cover on this book and the synopsis really intrigued me so I couldn’t wait to get reading.

It starts with Eloise’s disastrous thirtieth birthday, being thirty is bad enough (I have that dreaded pleasure coming up in a few months) but the lack of friendly faces at the party makes her realise just how alone in life she really is.  There and then she decides to change things and three years later it seems she has done just that by having Lily.

My first impression of Eloise was that she was very strong and if she put her mind to something it would get done.  As the book progressed I began to see chinks in her armour, I actually enjoyed these moments that showed her to be a more sensitive character.

I love Claudia’s comfortable style of writing, whenever I read one of her books it feels familiar, almost like I’m chatting with an old friend.  The humour in this book (and her other books) is also very much my thing, in particular the hilarious insults, I found myself laughing out loud many times throughout the story.

Eloise was a newspaper editor and I enjoyed the interesting insight into that crazy and busy world.  It certainly seemed like a cut-throat business especially with Seth hanging around waiting for Eloise to make a mistake – he played the villain of the story perfectly.

I adored Lily, I could imagine her speaking in that cute little toddler voice and wrapping everyone around her finger.  I particularly enjoyed following Eloise as she tried to track down Lily’s father, I had my fingers crossed hoping she would be able to find him.

Jake was lovely, even though his life had been very different to Eloise’s they connected beautifully and really seemed to have a good effect on each other.

The real nail-biting moment for me came during an eventful work weekend away, after Shania’s funny ‘pearls of wishdom’ (that’s not a spelling mistake, you’ll understand if you read the book) things went downhill rapidly and Eloise had a lot of explaining to do.

I loved the idea for the story, it was a joy to read and definitely a page turner – I finished the book with a big grin on my face.

A Very Accidental Love Story can be purchased here or from most good book retailers.

To find out more about Claudia Carroll visit her website here.

He Loves Me Not… He Loves Me – Claudia Carroll

“In the heart of County Kildare is Davenport Hall – a crumbling eighteenth-century mansion house, ancestral home to Portia Davenport, her beautiful younger sister Daisy and their dotty,eccentric mother, Lucasta.  

Disaster strikes when their father abandons the family, cleaning them out of the little cash they had managed to hold on to.  But a ray of hope appears when Steve Sullivan, an old family friend and confirmed bachelor, suggests that they allow the hall to be used as the location for a major new movie.

So Davenport Hall is taken over by the crème de la crème, including the self-centred Montana Jones, fresh out of rehab and anxious to kick-start her career, and Guy van der Post, a major sex symbol with an eye for Daisy.  Throw in Ella Hepburn, Hollywood royalty and living legend, and soon there’s more sex and drama off camera than on!” 

You may or may not know that I am a huge fan of Claudia Carroll’s work, there are still a few of her books that I haven’t managed to read yet so when I saw this one (which is the first book she wrote) I simply had to buy it.

I got caught up in the story quickly, I love books with a celebrity twist in them and this certainly had plenty of that with Davenport Hall being used as a movie set.

I really fell in love with all the characters, they were wonderfully stereotypical and so much fun.  The eccentric Lucasta and straight-talking Mrs Flanagan were particular favourites of mine, their arguments were hilarious even though I got the feeling that deep down they were actually quite fond of each other.

Andrew was a very charming character and I loved the way he called Portia ‘my lady’.  Paddy was another funny character, the poem he wrote near the end had me in stitches.  There were many laughs to be had in this book, one of the funniest moments for me was when the Davenports went to their neighbours house-warming party – with Lucasta and Daisy as guests there was certainly no need for entertainment!

There were misunderstandings galore throughout the book and a couple of surprises that kept me on my toes, including one that occurred at a breath-holding auction.

This book does include some swearing which doesn’t bother me in the slightest but if you would be offended by it then maybe this isn’t a book for you.

Perfect escapism, this book is another great read from Claudia Carroll.

To find out more about Claudia Carroll visit her blog here

Personally, I Blame my Fairy Godmother – Claudia Carroll

“Jessie Woods absolutely believes in fairytale endings.  So would you if you had a high flying career as a daredevil TV host, a palatial pink mansion and the dream boyfriend.

But, quicker than you can say Cinderella, her life falls to pieces and suddenly her prince isn’t quite so charming, her party-loving friends disappear and even her faithful friend Visa no longer loves her…

Utterly heartbroken and jobless, Jessie is forced back home, to live with her stepmum and two evil stepsisters.

Is it time for her to give up on the dream – or will Jessie learn that happy endings can come in the strangest of places?”

Having read and enjoyed four other books from Claudia Carroll, Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?, I Never Fancied Him Anyway, Do You Want To Know a Secret and Remind Me Again Why I Need a Man?, I spotted this book when I was out and about (somehow I found myself in a bookshop….. again) and just had to get it!  I really love the title and the cover too – anything with shiny writing will always grab my attention.

This really is a Cinderella type story, at the beginning Jessie leads a crazy fast paced life but she is struggling to keep up with it financially.  There are many twists and turns that follow and as with other Claudia Carroll books there are plenty of funny moments too.  Some of the situations Jessie finds herself in regularly had me laughing out loud, I particularly enjoyed the moments that followed the phrase and that’s when it happens’.

All the characters were fun and memorable and I could picture them all so easily from their descriptions.  Jessie’s stepsisters were rather rude and nasty to her but I still found myself really liking them.  I thoroughly enjoyed Maggie’s jokes and one liners, they definitely contributed to most of my laugh out loud moments whilst reading this book.

Jessie learns some important life lessons in this story, going back to basics makes her realise what is important in life and I loved this factor of the book – it’s so easy to get carried away with material things that really aren’t that important and this made me think differently about those things (I love a book that can do that!).

The ending of this story really made me smile, it was just the kind of ending that I had hoped for.

For me this was another hit from Claudia Carroll, it was entertaining and very funny.