Review of 365 Blessings To Heal Myself And The World.

As the title implies, 365 blessings. One for every day of the year. From my point of view this is a great book to help with a positive mindset. The idea being you read one of the blessings each day and it sets you up to embrace the positive vibe it’s created.

There are blessings for everything and everyone. From blessing your neighbour, to the nurses and the journalists. A blessing for a new home, to a blessing for food. From a blessing to have the courage to follow your own path, to a blessing on giving up the desire to control.

At first I felt it may become a little too God centred, but as I read on I realised the blessings encompass any faith, even those termed new age. This book is definitely one you can dip in and out of time and time again. In an age where positive thinking is at the forefront of the minds of many people this book is a must have.

Definitely recommended.

Review of Christmas on the Home Front by Roland Moore.

Right from the beginning of this book I was gripped. The action wasn’t really fast paced, but it was gripping drama that had me wanting to find out more. I read this book in around five hours, mostly because I could not put it down.

The story is set around Christmas 1944, the last Christmas during World War 2, in the sleepy village of Helmstead. The story centres around Joyce Fisher, a land girl working at Pasture Farm, as well as two German airmen who have been shot down by allied forces during an air raid.

There are other characters in the book, namely Dr. Richard Channing, who play an important role in the story, and they all blend well together. Sometimes you can just guess what is going to happen next, other times you’ll be reading on, desperate to find out what happens.

The tone of the book isn’t too grim, despite the back drop of WWII and the events that are central to the story. This did surprise me a little, I felt sure I’d find it grim reading, but it really wasn’t.

I’ve read reviews where it was said the story was slow to develop, that wasn’t the case for me. I felt that the author had the pace of the story just right. Joyce thinks back quite a bit and I feel that the storyline flowed really well; sometimes when a character is thinking back the story can become slow and clunky, but that wasn’t the case here.

This book is part of a series – I didn’t know this when I started reading, but the book works as a stand alone story too.

I loved the gritty determination of Joyce and Connie. I think the spirit of the Land Girls was captured really well in this book, and the spirit of the people who lived through the war.

Highly recommended.

The Little Bakery of Hopes and Dreams by Kellie Hailes

Josie Donnelley hates Christmas because of painful memories connected to her Mum. She moves to the small village of Sunnycombe hoping to avoid any festivities. Getting a job in the local bakery she feels she’s safe enough from too much Christmas stuff.

What she. hadn’t banked on though was falling for her boss and his adorable daughter Mia. Callan, the bakery owner, is a widower and hates Christmas as much as Josie, but Mia is all excited by the festivities and her Dad and Josie find it hard not to get sucked into the excitement too.

A heartwarming seasonal read. Beautifully written. Lovely characters. A feel good read for the festive season and those long winter nights when you just want to curl up with a good book.

Recommended.

Review of The Wives by Lauren Weisberger.

This book is the third instalment in The Devil Wears Prada series. Although I’ve watched The Devil Wears Prada movie, I haven’t read any of the books prior to this one. I was a little worried I wouldn’t be able to get into the story or keep up with what was going on with any of the characters.

My worry was unfounded, the story flowed beautifully and the characters weren’t complicated at all.

This particular book is set in Greenwich, Connecticut, and revolves around Emily, Miriam, and Karolina.

Emily turns up in Manhattan during the New Year festivities with the hope of saving the career of a celeb gone bad. This particular bad boy shuns her assistance, preferring the help of a rival of Emily.

Emily decides to spend some time with Miriam and it’s whilst at her house that she gets drawn into helping Karolina fight a DUI that she didn’t even commit, but her politician husband and his would-be new wife are stopping at nothing to get rid of Karolina.

This story is hilarious and full of scandal. It is told from the perspective of all three women and each different point of view reflects upon the issues these women are facing, showing us readers that even the rich and famous have issues and hang-ups just like the rest of us.

I absolutely loved Thais book and highly recommend it.

Review of End Of The Line.

I read this book in a day. Once I picked it up I couldn’t stop. The storyline pulled me in deeper and deeper, my need to find out what would happen next driving me onwards.

The End Of The Line is a thrilling tale of magic and the depths people will go to in order to harness the raw power of it, even summoning a demon. But for Amanda Coleman magic is the root of all evil. Her father was a powerful Abra – the name given to powerful, magical practitioners- he used his power to get what he wanted, both for himself and others, by using Amanda and her mother’s blood to enhance his abilities. But one day Amanda snapped and killed him, earning her the legendary title of Abra killer.

Amanda and her associates are con artists and they go on heists for their criminal boss, but when he dies and a younger newcomer takes over the gang the crew are hired to trap a demon and banish it in a remote part of Siberia. The cost of doing so will take everything they have, including the lives of their loved ones.

Well worth a read. Highly recommended.

Review of The Seduction Expert.

I received this title for review from NetGalley.

I found this book really difficult to get into and because of that I chose to read reviews others had posted. It seemed that everyone else was loving this book, which left me wondering why wasn’t I?

I couldn’t warm to the Baroness at all, she comes across as shallow, nasty, and spiteful. With reference, again, to other reviewers they all claimed to be loving the bad “guy” of the story. I found her an awful character and definitely could not find any reason to “love” her.

The story is all over the place, the book appears to have been translated into English and it’s not a great translation. Don’t get me wrong, the book isn’t difficult to read, it’s just not great.

I want to stress that this review is based upon my personal experience of reading this book. I mention having read the reviews other reviewers left regarding this book and in no way am I mocking their responses to this book. Reading is a personal experience and if someone enjoys a book I did not, then there is nothing g wrong with that. I fully believe people should be allowed to share their own thoughts and feelings on whatever they have read, regardless of whether they enjoyed it or not.

Lastly, this story is to be continued, and whilst I haven’t given a glowing review of the first book and am interested in reading the next book to see where the story goes.

Review of Swallowtail Summer.

The first thing I want to say about this book is how enthralling it is. As cliched as this sounds, I really couldn’t put it down. The twists and turns of the story had me hooked, wanting to know if my theories were right or not.

Swallowtail Summer is a story about three families who are all friends and spend their summers at Linston End, the home of Alistair and his late wife Orla. But this summer is set to be their last at Linston End, Alistair has met a new woman and has plans to sell up.

Alistair’s life long friends, Simon and Danny, and their respective wives, Sorrel and Frankie, along with their children, Callum and Rachel, and Jenna, are all excited to see Alistair upon his return to Norfolk. Since Orla’s death he had been travelling, but he was returning home for the summer.

Little did any of them know just how much their lives were about to turned upside down once Alistair broke his news to them. The news that he had found love again with a woman named Valentina. The news that he was putting Linston End on the market, and once sold he was going to start a new life with Valentina.

The friends didn’t warm to Valentina, as Alistair had hoped. They found her sneaky and were very suspicious of her. Alistair could only see the woman he had fallen in love with, blinded by her underhanded behaviour towards his friends. But with the arrival of her step-children tragedy strikes and more than one life hangs in the balance.

I loved this story from start to finish. I had so many theories about how things would turn out for Alistair and his friends, some were way off the mark! The author has woven a tale of love and betrayal, secrets and lies, and the loyalty of long-standing friendship, it makes for a thrilling read.

Review of Roar.

This book appealed to me as soon as I saw the title. Thirty short stories by thirty women who were sharing their stories, their voice with the world. I have seen some fairly negative reviews on this book and did wonder if I had maybe picked a book that was not as good as I had initially thought.

The stories in this book are all inspiring, not really in a “grab em by the balls” sort of way, but in a way that shows there is always someone out there who is having issues in their life too.

Having read through the book I found I was disagreeing with the critics, but that doesn’t make their opinion any less valid, on the contrary, it allows us to see that this book is dividing opinions, and therefore it makes it worthy of a read.

I didn’t have a clear favourite story, each time I read one I would think about how much I felt what that particular woman was going through. Then I would move onto the next story and the same feelings were evoked again.

Each story is thought-provoking. Each story touches you somewhere deep inside and stirs up a whole host of emotions. From the story about the woman who feels invisible to the story about the refugee mother who feels fear each time she takes her children to school.

This book gives a voice to all women who feel alienated in one way or another. This book champions women the world over, giving the female population a voice to be heard, allowing our struggles to come forth and challenge them.

It may not be to everyone’s taste, and that’s perfectly fine. My opinion is that I found it very thought-provoking and humbling. I felt a deep sense of respect for these women who shared their stories, albeit through the author.

I would definitely recommend this book.

Review of Not That Bad by Roxanne Gay.

This is a very difficult read. No matter whether you’re a survivor of a sexual crime or not, this book will haunt you in ways you cannot conceive.

The anthology hits you right at the core of your emotions. Each story leaving you feeling the emotions that the survivors all went through.

This is a book that is very relevant right now. This is a book that allows people who haven’t been attacked to feel some of what goes through the head of someone who has had this sort of crime committed against them.

Be warned, there are plenty of triggers in this book. The book isn’t graphic, it’s just highly emotional.

Review of The Rumour by Lesley Kara.

This debut novel by Lesley Kara had me hooked from the start.

Someone has a secret, but it’s not who you think!

There’s a tense undercurrent right from the beginning of the book. As the story unfolds snippets of the secret come to the surface. I found myself second guessing every other character, thinking it was them with the secret.

The story starts off slowly, despite the tense undercurrent that was present right at the start of the book. The main character is introduced along with the secondary characters, many of them leaving their mark on the reader as the secret is revealed.

The secret is that a child killer is supposedly living alongside the residents of the seaside town of Flintstead. When Joanna, the main character, hears this she sets off on a quest to find out as much as she can about who the person is that harbours this awful secret; who is it that has been given a new identity and allowed to live among them?

Joanna becomes obsessed with the rumour that she helps to spread, as well as the story of the child killer who was given a new identity. Everywhere she goes in her daily life she wonders if the people she interacts with are the notorious child killer.

The book will have you hooked right from the start. I couldn’t put it down once I started reading it. I thought I knew who the child killer was, then the story took a twist down a different path and I was sure it was another person. I had no idea it was the person who is revealed to be the killer until much later in the book.

The book is very cleverly written, the writer interjects the real killer’s thoughts every now and then but you really don’t get a sense of who this person is for quite some time.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. The fast paced rhythm of the story kept me invested right until the end.

I highly recommend this book. It’s a brilliant debut novel.