The Bow Wow Club – Nicola May

The Bow Wow Club

“In this entertaining sequel to Working it Out Ruby never expected to be starting over… …but after a shocking bereavement, she begins to question whether or not she will ever be happy again.

A chance encounter with handsome author Michael Bell throws her fragile heart into turmoil. Plus, a dark family secret and completely unexpected love interest add to her confusion. Encouraged to face her demons, she volunteers at the Bow Wow Club – (Boyfriends of Widows, Wives of Widowers).

You will laugh and cry along with a myriad of eccentric characters as Ruby searches for her inner peace. But will she let love win? Or allow her past to continue to haunt her?”

Firstly I’d like to thank the author for sending me this eBook to read and give an honest review.  I was so excited to hear that Working It Out (review here) was getting a sequel, Ruby was a great character and I was looking forward to catching up with her.

From reading the blurb I knew something bad had happened in Ruby’s life and I had a pretty good idea what it was going to be.  The prologue confirmed my suspicions and I knew it wouldn’t be long before I was crying.  Boy was I right – I just couldn’t stop the tears from falling as I read the devastating scene.

Getting past the tears, I was pleased to see that Fi was her usual whirlwind self as she tried to coax Ruby into having some kind of life.  There was a real sense of fun whenever she was around and she was definitely a good (depending how you looked at it) influence on Ruby.  I was thrilled that Tony Choi made a couple of appearances, he was such a memorable character from the previous book and he made me laugh just as much as he did before!

An unfortunate incident led Ruby to the wannabe author Michael Bell and when I got to read from his perspective I was excited by what I read.  Things moved surprisingly quickly after that and it all seemed too good to be true, to be honest I started to think that Michael was a bit stalker-like.  His book painted a confusing picture to begin with and I was desperate to find out the truth behind it.  I laughed when he couldn’t decide whether certain words would be considered too rude for the book he was writing as I could picture writers in the real world facing the same dilemma :).  Obviously this means that the story contains some swearing and scenes of a sexual nature so be warned.

Ruby’s first visit to the Bow Wow Club was great, the crazy group of characters were so entertaining particularly Simon Dye who ended up being one of my favourite characters!  Later on there was an exciting twist in the form of Harry Bowman-Green and this brought out a whole new side to the storyline that I hadn’t expected.

The author wrote about grief, and all the other feelings that go along with it, in a sensitive and honest way – there were times when I could almost feel Ruby’s emotions rolling off the page at me.  Although this book could probably be read as a standalone read I would recommend reading Working It Out first, just so that you have a full picture of the characters and their history.

This was a fab one-day read that took me on a rollercoaster ride of emotions, I would definitely recommend it!

The Bow Wow Club is due to be released on 14 May 2013 and can be pre-ordered from Amazon.

To find out more about Nicola May click on the following links:

Website | Twitter | Facebook

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The School Gates – Nicola May

The School Gates

“At 3.10pm every weekday, parents gather at Featherstone Primary in Denbury to collect their children.  For a special few, the friendships forged at the school gates will see them through lives filled with drama, secrets and sorrows.

When Yummy Mummy Alana reveals the identity of her love-child’s father, she doesn’t expect the consequences to be quite so extreme.  Ex Czech au-pair Earth Mummy Dana finds happiness in her secret sideline, but really all she longs for is another child.  Slummy Mummy Mo’s wife-beating husband leads her down a path she never thought possible, and Super Mummy Joan has to cope when life deals her a devastating blow.  And what of Gay Daddy Gordon?  Will he be able to juggle parenthood and cope with his broken heart at the same time?

Four very different mothers.  One adorable dad.  And the intertwining trials and tribulations that a year at the primary school gates brings.”

Firstly I’d like to thank Nicola May for sending me this paperback to read and give an honest review, I enjoyed her previous books (reviews here) and with this being her latest book I was really looking forward to it.

I had a feeling that I would easily be able to relate to this story because I seem to spend half my life stood at the school gates myself!  I was right but not in the way that I had expected – there was something from each family that made me nod my head in recognition of my own life.  I also found myself comparing characters to the parents from our school and now I have to try to keep a straight face whenever I see them in the playground :).

Meeting each of the families at the beginning was enjoyable and because it had been written in a comfortable way I felt like I was part of it all too.  I have to admit that it was difficult to read about Mo’s abusive husband but it was certainly necessary to gain the full picture of the character and her surroundings.  Once the introductions had been made, the rest of the book was broken up into school terms, I really liked this because it was so real to life (my whole world revolves around school terms) and made it more familiar for me.

In my opinion the whole book really captured the essence of family life, I felt like I had been on an emotional rollercoaster ride – one minute I was smiling and laughing and the next I was feeling desperately sad.  There were twists and turns aplenty, a few of which had me gasping out loud in shock!

Something that this book highlighted for me was how people can put on a front, you never know what goes on in their personal lives or what has happened in their past, so I think it gives the message that you should never judge a book by its cover (a very appropriate message for a book blog I think :)).

The ending was completely unexpected and I’m hoping that the author is planning to take this further with another book because I really want to know what the future holds for all the characters!

This was a fun story with a serious and emotional edge, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

The School Gates can be purchased from Amazon UK, Amazon US or from the Author’s Website.

Better Together – Nicola May

“Jess is nearly 40 when she meets Dan Harris at a party. She is single, sorted, happy – with a great job and a buzzy social and sex-life. All of this is threatened when she falls deeply in love with Dan, who is only 23. 

Jess, being older, recognises this as the real, precious thing – but in his immaturity, Dan does not. Unable to cope with the stigma of being with an older woman, he eventually leaves her. 

Ten years pass…

Jess, who is still gorgeous at 50, is married now, with a child of her own.They meet again. The years fall away.

This time, Dan understands – but is it too late?”

I got this book when it was available as a free download from Amazon (current price 77p).  I have previously read, and very much enjoyed, two of this author’s other books and you can find the reviews here.

This book was a real rollercoaster ride, my opinions and emotions were all over the place!  It was broken up into three parts, part one explained Jess and Daniel’s history and how they first came to be lovers.  I do find it difficult to read about guys/girls cheating on their partners so there were some bits of this book that I found uncomfortable.

It wasn’t easy to predict what was going to happen – there was one mystery involving a child’s paternity that really had me stumped and when I finally found out who it was I have to admit that I was shocked.

Towards the end of this part Jess had a big decision to make and Part two dealt with the aftermath of that decision.  It was at this point that I began to get annoyed with Daniel and his selfish ways.

I loved the authors writing style, it made for a very easy read and before I knew it I was halfway through the book!  It just continuously surprised me, whenever I thought I had everything sussed out something changed and I’d realise that I got it all wrong.

Part three took me forward in time by ten years (I felt a little bit like Dr Who at that moment :)) and I couldn’t wait to see what had happened during that time.  Things had certainly changed for her but it wasn’t all as it first seemed!

I enjoyed Jess’s time in Polperro because it brought back memories of my own holidays in Cornwall, the descriptions of the tiny fishing village conjured up vivid images in my mind and it almost felt like I was back there.

Later on in the book things took a sinister turn and again I couldn’t guess who was responsible, from this moment everything changed dramatically for Jess and led to a very unexpected ending.

This was a fab read that kept me guessing throughout.

To find out more about Nicola May visit her website here.

Star Fish – Nicola May

“Tired of looking for love Amy Anderson decides that an astrological dating agency is the only way she is going to meet the man of her dreams.

Star Fish follows Amy’s hysterical search for her ‘sole mate’ as she dates her way through the twelve signs of the zodiac.

So who will finally woo Amy? Will it be Ted the Arian photographer with a passion for ice skating, or maybe Laurence, the Libran IT whiz kid who likes to get behind the wheel of a fast car? Or, how about Capricorn Christopher, the owner of Starr & Son, the dating agency?”

I got this eBook when it was available as a free download from Amazon (current price 77p).  I read and reviewed Working it Out by the same author here.

Straight away I liked Amy and her friends – oh how I love characters who are a little bit crazy! Amy’s cat was also a great part of the book, I loved the idea of having a male cat called Penelope 🙂

When Amy joined a dating agency which specialised in setting people up according to their star sign I just knew there would be some laughs ahead.  I found myself looking forward to getting to the man with my husband’s star sign to see if the character would be anything like him (it turned out that there were some similarities actually).

The thing that really stood out with this book was how much I laughed out loud, my family thought I had gone mad because I was literally crying with laughter at one point (a scene involving a restaurant toilet and yoga, keep an eye out for that part).

This book never failed to surprise me, I just couldn’t predict what would happen and was guessing right until the end.  A shocking twist in an airport hotel, another in a curry house and then later on a devastating occurrence were just some of the events that added to the excitement running throughout the story.

There were a few sexual scenes that I felt fitted the storyline and weren’t out-of-place and all this led up to a lovely ending although I was kind of hoping for a different outcome.

This was a fast-paced and fun book that held my interest throughout, a fab one-day read!

To find out more about Nicola May visit her website here

Working it Out – Nicola May

“Ruby Matthews has a plan. Twelve jobs in twelve months, until she finds the one of her dreams…

After an unexpected redundancy, Ruby begins to question her priorities. Inspired by a quote from Kahlil Gibran about loving your work, she launches her mission to find the ideal job.

Her year of gainful (and sometimes painful!) employment includes nannying for clients in the South of France; dealing with embarrassing ailments in a Harley Street Clinic; waiting tables in a buzzy Soho cafe; and meeting the celebs of years gone by in a home for retired actors. And even though love is no longer top of her list, relationships just seem to start happening along the way – which sees her handing out some P45s of her own!

But will any of the jobs, or men she meets, see her dreams come true? Or will Ruby just end up back where she started?”

I got this eBook when it was available as a free download from Amazon (current price £1.90).

The main character Ruby was made redundant just before Christmas and spent a tearful New Years Day with just her cat for company.  After being inspired by a quote she found on the internet she decided to make a New Years resolution that, hopefully, would see her succeed in finding happiness. Her big plan was to try twelve different jobs in twelve months to see which one she would like to commit to – I found this whole idea very interesting and I couldn’t wait to join her on her journey.

Just a few of the jobs Ruby tried out included a funeral director, sexual health clinic receptionist, fortune-teller and care assistant.  She met some fabulous characters along the way, Tony Choi being one of my favourites – he was hilarious and had me crying with laughter.  The only problem I found with having so many different characters was that sometimes I struggled to remember who everyone was.

Ruby’s love interests were as varied as her job choices but my favourite was definitely gorgeous George, I really enjoyed his cheekiness!

I found myself looking forward to Ruby’s next career move, I couldn’t wait to find out which career she would choose in the end and when she finally did I have to admit that it was unexpected.  There were many, many laugh out loud moments throughout the book but also a few incredibly touching moments so I feel like this book covered everything.

This was a fun read with a happy ending, a perfect curl up on the sofa and have a laugh book.

To find out more about Nicola May visit her website here.