Summer Nights at The Moonlight Hotel

IMG_1627

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Publication Date: 24 March 2016

“The Moonlight Hotel sits on the shore of England’s best-loved lake, Windermere, exuding vintage glamour.
 
Lauren loves the hotel, for hidden inside its faded walls is the key to her most precious memories. So, along with her best friends, Cate and Emily, she signs up to a new dance class in its gorgeous ballroom. They aren’t going for the men, they’re going for a laugh – although a little romance wouldn’t hurt . . .
 
But then a chain of events off the dance floor puts their friendship to the ultimate test, and makes Lauren question everything she holds dear.”

MY REVIEW

Firstly I’d like to thank the publisher for sending me this book to read and share my thoughts. It initially appealed to me because of where the storyline was set – I love the Lake District! Reading about places I’ve actually been gave me a sense of familiarity and enabled me to visualise everything so vividly.

It was easy to become caught up in Lauren’s life. There was a wonderful camaraderie between her group of friends that was endearing (and kind of made me want to join them). Her job as a primary school teacher was hugely entertaining, especially her attraction to fellow teacher, Edwin.

There was a blossoming relationship that I correctly predicted quite early on but the fact that I’d guessed where things were heading didn’t affect my enjoyment of the process one little bit. Every new revelation simply made me smile even wider!

The author’s style of writing was light and humorous which meant that it was really fun to read – I love a book that can make me giggle out loud. It wasn’t all fun and laughter though, there was a touching moment which took me by surprise and brought tears to my eyes. I suddenly found myself looking at things from a completely different perspective.

Another more serious branch of the storyline centered around revenge of a devastating kind. I felt that this was particularly relevant to today’s world of social media and I applaud the author for putting it in the spotlight!

This was an addictive read filled with characters who were easy to take to heart. I can’t give it anything but 5 stars.

CONNECT WITH THE AUTHOR

Jane Costello was a newspaper journalist before she became an author, working on the Liverpool Echo, the Daily Mail and the Liverpool Daily Post, where she was Editor. Jane’s first novel, Bridesmaids, was an instant bestseller. Her second novel, The Nearly-Weds, won Romantic Comedy of the Year 2010. Jane lives in Liverpool with her husband and three young sons and she is currently working on her next novel.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

BUY THE BOOK

Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.com

kate1

Advertisements

Strictly Between Us by Jane Fallon

IMG_2556

Publisher: Penguin | Michael Joseph

Publication Date: 14 January 2016

Rumours, secrets and lies. It’s all in a day’s work.
Tamsin and her best friend Michelle have been inseparable since they were teenagers. Even now they spend all their time together, along with Patrick, Michelle’s handsome husband.

So when Tamsin hears a rumour that Patrick is having an affair, she is furious. Unwilling to ignore it, Tamsin plots a scheme to catch Patrick in the act, using her assistant Bea as live-bait. It should be fool proof.

After all, Tamsin can trust Bea with anything. From her daily coffee order to fetching her dry-cleaning, writing reports and doing all the filing – Bea does everything with a smile on her face.

Except Tamsin never considered Bea might have her own agenda.
And if she does, then Tamsin really needs to watch her back . . .”

MY REVIEW

Firstly I’d like to thank the publisher for sending me this book to read and share my thoughts. I was intrigued by the blurb and couldn’t wait to get stuck in.

I have to say, the blurb didn’t come anywhere close to preparing me for the shocking first chapter, I was so confused! What I was reading was completely unexpected but it definitely caught my attention. My imagination was working overtime and I came up with many theories as to how Tamsin had found herself in that position. Luckily, in chapter two, Tamsin began to explain all.

I adored the conversational style of writing, it made me feel like I was chatting with a friend and on more than one occasion I found myself talking back (my family are now used to the fact that I talk to books so this is completely okay in my world).

Once I was fully updated on how the unexpected had happened, I then wanted to know what was next. This inevitably meant that I was turning the pages into the early hours of the morning, I simply couldn’t stop reading!

As I progressed through the book, everything began to slot into place and an understanding took over. But just when I thought I had it all figured out, along came more shocks as the storyline switched to Bea’s point of view. I think at that point I just gave up trying to predict what would happen.

Tamsin turned out to be quite the detective, and a very funny one at that. I really enjoyed following her crazy spy antics especially when she was joined by an equally funny sidekick.

This was an utterly compelling read, it brought out a whole range of emotions – everything from anger to laughter. I’ll definitely be reading more from this author.

CONNECT WITH THE AUTHOR

Jane Fallon is the multi-award-winning television producer behind shows such as This Life, Teachers and 20 Things to Do Before You’re 30. Her previous books, Getting Rid of Matthew, Got You Back, Foursome, The Ugly Sister and Skeletons have sold over 710K to date and have been hugely successful bestsellers. Strictly Between Us is her sixth novel. She lives in North London with her long-term partner.

Website | Facebook | Twitter

BUY THE BOOK

Amazon.co.uk | The Book Depository

kate1

The Mince Pie Mix-Up by Jennifer Joyce

Publisher: Carina

Publication Date: 26 October 2015

‘I wish I could live your life. I’d happily swap lives with you.’

’Tis the season to be jolly but for Calvin and Judy the usual festive bickering has already begun! Judy’s convinced that her husband has it easy – no glittery wrapping paper, no playground gossip and absolutely no Christmas baking.

Calvin wishes he could trade in his obnoxious boss and dull nine-to-five job to spend more time kicking back with his kids – how hard can Judy’s life really be?

But after a magical mince pie mix-up, one thing’s for certain – by Christmas Day, life for Judy and Calvin will never be the same again. Perhaps the grass isn’t always greener after all…”

MY REVIEW

Firstly I’d like to thank the publishers for approving my NetGalley request for this eBook. The blurb really intrigued me – I’ve said many times (jokingly of course 😉 ) that hubby has it easy, going off to work while I’m at home looking after the kids and house. I was curious to see how swapping places would work out for Calvin and Judy.

As soon as I started reading I found myself smiling because the crazy morning scene playing out in front of me was just so familiar. Even down to the verbal checklist as they were walking out of the door. It was a typical family morning with Judy running round in circles trying to do fifty things at once and this made her an instant hero in my eyes (us busy mums have to stick together)!

There were so many funny moments that had me chuckling to myself as I read. Let me share some of my favourites with you:

  • Calvin entertaining himself by changing swear words into something more festive.
  • The moment the switch was discovered.
  • After the switch when Judy realised she had a new plaything!!
  • A doggy mess in the kitchen.

The whole idea of switching places with your loved one really got my imagination working overtime and that’s what made this book so enjoyable for me. I just couldn’t help but imagine hubby and I in the same situation – you will do exactly the same when you read this so be prepared.

The Mince Pie Mix-Up was a light-hearted read that was incredibly easy to relate to. Lots of fun!

CONNECT WITH THE AUTHOR

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

BUY THE BOOK

Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.com

kate1

Jera's Jamboree/Talk of the Town

The Drowning Lesson by Jane Shemilt

image1

Publisher: Penguin

Publication Date: 24 September 2015

The press conference, one year ago

Our home is a crime scene now.

I am in yesterday’s clothes. The clothes in which I kissed Sam goodbye. Then he’d belonged only to us. Now his image will be shared with the world.

We should be grateful.

‘Our son . . . Sam . . .’ My eyes fill with tears, the writing on the paper blurs. ‘Someone took him. Please help us . . .’

I back away from the microphone, the paper falls from my hands.

The anniversary

The Jordan family thought they would return from their gap year abroad enriched, better people, a closer family.
Not minus one child.

A year on, Emma remains haunted by the image of that empty cot, thousands of miles away, the chasm between her and the rest of the family growing with each day that Sam remains missing. Is her son still out there? Will the mystery about what happened that night ever be unravelled?”

MY REVIEW

Firstly I’d like to thank the publisher for sending me this book to read and share my honest thoughts. I have to admit, after reading the blurb I was concerned that the subject of the storyline would make it too difficult for me to read. On the other hand I was also intrigued: Why and how was Sam taken? Where were his parents at the time? Would there be a happy ending?

Before I even started reading my mind was conjuring up images of children from real newspaper stories, not all of which ended well – I desperately wanted this book to finish on a happy note.

The storyline began by switching between the past and the present, something that enabled me to build up a clear picture of events in my mind. An overwhelming sense of loss weaved its way through the author’s words and I was held tight by these and also the desire to find out what was going to happen next!

My feelings towards Emma were mixed. There were times when I just couldn’t understand her, I guess she wasn’t as motherly as I had expected and some of her thoughts were completely alien to me. Then there were times when she made complete sense and I could feel the pain in her heart.

There was such an honest vibe to the storyline, especially when the worst happened, the events unravelling on the page before me felt so believable and real. My suspicious mind worked overtime as I tried to figure out who was responsible and now I do know I think I’d like to re-read the book to see things through a more informed set of eyes.

I admit that I cuddled my little one a bit closer as I was reading certain parts of this book, I became so entrenched in the horror of the situation that I needed to remind myself it wasn’t happening to me!

This was a tense and thought-provoking read. It left me feeling kind of numb – I can’t decide if that’s a good thing or a bad thing, maybe it’s a bit of both!

CONNECT WITH THE AUTHOR

While working as a GP, Jane Shemilt completed a post-graduate diploma in Creative Writing at Bristol University and went on to study for the M.A in Creative Writing at Bath Spa, gaining both with distinction. Her first novel, Daughter, was selected for the Richard & Judy Book Club and became a Sunday Times Top Ten bestseller. She and her husband, a professor of Neurosurgery, have five children and live in Bristol.

Blog | Twitter

BUY THE BOOK

Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.com

kate1

So, You Think You’re A Celebrity… Chef? by Caroline James

So you think...

Mix together…

A tough-cookie media agent who’s clawed her way to the top, and a con-man who wants to open a cookery school. Add in a washed-up celebrity chef whose career needs re-building…

Flavour with…

An aging rock star fresh from rehab, and a Sloane Ranger food writer who gets her own TV show…

Bring to the boil…

At a Gourmet Food Festival, in Ireland, where anything goes!”

MY REVIEW

Firstly I’d like to thank Janice from Loveahappyending for sending me this eBook to read and give an honest review.  I think this is only the second book I have read about chefs so it was a refreshing change for me, particularly as this one involved celebrity chefs.

The descriptive writing brought everything to life, it made every scene so easy to picture in my mind and there was even a moment which was so beautifully described it made me seriously crave a bacon sandwich for the rest of the day!!  I loved reading from each characters point of view because it gave me a deeper insight into their lives and personalities.  It also meant that there were many different sides of the story so I felt like there was always something going on to keep me interested.

Romantic tension, criminal activity and unexpected twists were just some of the features of this book that made it so readable for me.  I wasn’t sure how it was going to end but I had a firm idea in my head of how I wanted it to go – as I read the final few pages I had a smile on my face so you can be assured I was pleased with the result.

This was a fun read full of interesting characters, who knew the celebrity chef world would be so fascinating!

CONNECT WITH THE AUTHOR

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Loveahappyending

BUY THE BOOK

Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.com