#Review – #DareToDream by Izzy Judd (@Mrs_izzyjudd) @Transworldbooks #letstalkfertility

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Izzy Judd shares the story of her and her husband Harry’s fertility journey in this honest and heartfelt memoir.

‘All I ever wanted was to be a mum – I couldn’t wait and it felt as though my time was so close. But the months started to tick by, with each one ending in disappointment and frustration. And then the inevitable panic started to set in …’

Having been told by doctors that, due to Izzy’s polycystic ovarian syndrome, they would have difficulty conceiving – and after two years of trying – Izzy and Harry turned to IVF.

Izzy’s aim, drawing on her own experience, is to break through some of the taboos surrounding miscarriage, IVF and fertility issues. This brutally honest and deeply personal account will acknowledge the struggles that so many couples go through but will ultimately focus on the positive, life-changing and remarkable results that IVF can yield. One in seven couples in the UK have difficulty conceiving and although many babies are now born through IVF, there is still a sense of awkwardness around the subject.

Izzy hopes that this book will be a companion to those going through similar challenges to those she has experienced. As she herself says, ‘No couple should have to go through it alone and in silence.’

What does TWG think?

When it comes to books written about a real life person and their ACTUAL life, how on Earth do we begin to review the book? In other book reviews we may discuss the pace of the book, or how it was written…things like that. But let’s be honest, it would take someone with the character of a female dog to start reviewing this book in terms of ‘storyline’, ‘plot’, and how ‘believable’ the entire book was. So, whilst I am still calling this post a review, I sure as hell won’t be pulling apart anything except the thoughts from my mind. After all, who are we to judge someone else lifestyle and the harrowing situations which they had to face?

As most people are aware, Izzy Judd is in the public eye (just like her husband Mcfly drummer – Harry Judd). Because of that, certain parts of their lifestyle will make the media before they have had time to finish their morning cuppa, or, in Izzy’s case, write a book about it. We all know that the media can stretch things. We all know that the media can put two and two together to make five. However, the media is was brought Izzy’s journey to light in passing and luckily, all of us would have the chance of reading her story in her very own words thanks to this book.

Why did I choose to read ‘Dare to Dream’? Well, as a huge fan of Mcfly and Escala (Izzy’s old group), I wanted to know more about their real lives away from the spotlight. Plus, seeing as ‘Dare to Dream’ is about such a personal and sensitive topic, I knew that whilst Izzy’s journey was a different one, I knew that I would be able to relate with the overall topic of fertility itself. Back in 2011 I was diagnosed with a chronic illness which ended up making me think that I would never be able to have children or, if I did fall pregnant, I knew that the risks of miscarriage and such, were all extremely high. I may not have had IVF, but I have fertility struggles. For me, ‘Dare to Dream’ became the voice of unborn babies and ready wombs everywhere.

Naively, I always thought that IVF worked every time, literally being a case of doctors putting the fertilised egg back in the womb and away you go. Oh my goodness I couldn’t have been more wrong! Based on Izzy’s own personal experience, getting her body emotionally and physically ready for IVF seemed to be an extremely challenging experience, and that was before the IVF even started! Not only were the Judd’s dealing with a lot of negative emotions due to conceiving not happening naturally as it were, they found themselves (Izzy more so) having to completely change their mindset when it came to pregnancy. Having dealt with multiple blows, I am in awe at how Izzy turned her emotional wellbeing upside down, gave herself a little shake and climbed through the mud, despite not knowing what could be waiting for her on the other side. Whilst some people may say that if you truly want something you’ll walk to the end of the Earth to get it, I truly believe that it takes a certain amount of strength to keep going along a path when all you want to do is hide. Through the fear. Through the emotional turbulence. Through the hormonal and physical changes outwit your control. THAT takes, in my eyes, severe courage, strength, and power to be able to get you and your body through that. I am completely in awe at what I read –  I admire Izzy Judd so much after reading this.

Obviously, if you haven’t been through something yourself, or been indirectly involved with someone who has, understanding that situation can be quite difficult, if not impossible. How can you know how someone feels after having needles stuck into their stomachs? How can you understand someone’s pain that their body isn’t working how they thought it should? How can you begin to understand someone’s journey one hundred percent, if you’re not THEM? You…..can’t. Izzy made it perfectly clear on more than one occasion that, whilst multiple people go down the IVF route, her journey and everyone else’s journey are completely separate and personal to each person. That said, Izzy also included some rather lovely hints and tips should anyone feel that they wish to try something which they hadn’t thought of before, whilst embarking on their IVF journey.

What made me quite emotional (aside from Izzy and Harry’s journey), was how Izzy thought of other people whilst going through her own situations. It’s clear from the onset that Izzy wanted to write this book to bring awareness to fertility issues via her own story, however, I found my eyes leaking when I read how Izzy also wrote this book with other people in mind, whilst wanting to ensure that nobody ever felt alone whilst going through their fertility struggles.

I’ve said it before in this post, but I’ll say it again; Izzy Judd is such a remarkable woman with an extremely big heart. I loved how in ‘Dare to Dream’, we got to read Harry’s side of the story as well, especially as it’s clear that the women can only house the baby, their partners are involved in the emotional side from a soon-to-be father point of view, as well as a loving partner. Even though I am a single mum, it was refreshing to see the journey from both angles.

‘Dare to Dream’ hit home in many ways from the emotional struggles, to the fertility struggles, to the feelings of self-doubt and failure. ‘Dare to Dream’ made me feel as though there is hope. I was lucky enough to become a mum the one time, however my fertility issues still continue and my body (and future babies) are forever at risk. Reading Izzy Judd’s honest and emotional story made me feel as though there was now a little angel sitting on my shoulder, ready to be the voice of hope, love, positivity and friendship. Honestly? I wish I had a friend in my life like Izzy Judd, I’m not going to lie.

A beautifully written, heartbreakingly poignant story about love, life, loss, but most importantly – faith.

‘Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain’ – my all time favourite quote.

‘Dare to Dream’ is available now from Amazon.

#MeetElviraCarr #BlogTour! A Letter to myself – Frances Maynard @perkinsfran1 @mantlebooks

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I am delighted to be day two of the #MeetElviraCarr blog tour, courtesy of Mantle Books! Big thanks to Don Shanahan for inviting me to be a part of the tour! For my stop today I have the pleasure of sharing the author’s, Frances Maynard, letter to her younger self.

But first, here are the all important details of Frances Maynard’s new book, The Seven Imperfect Rules of Elvira Carr, which will be published by Mantle Books on the 24th August!

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Funny, heart-warming and ultimately triumphant, The Seven Imperfect Rules of Elvira Carr is the perfect story for anyone who doesn’t quite fit in – and for everyone who chooses not to.

Elvira Carr is twenty-seven and neuro-atypical. Her father – who she suspects was in the secret service – has passed away and, after several Unfortunate Incidents growing up, she now spends most of her time at home with her overbearing mother. But when her mother has a stroke and is taken into care, Elvira is suddenly forced to look after herself or risk ending up in Sheltered Accommodation. Armed with her Seven Rules, which she puts together after online research, Elvira hopes to learn how to navigate a world that’s full of people she doesn’t understand. Not even the Seven Rules can help her, however, when she discovers that everything she thought she knew about her father was a lie, and is faced with solving a mystery she didn’t even know existed . . .

Click here to pre-order your copy of the book.

A Letter to my younger self by Frances Maynard.

Dear Frances,

Don’t listen to them.

Don’t listen to your parents.  How can you be a carbon copy?  Family doesn’t have to be blood.

Don’t listen to your teachers.  Most of them will never teach you anything you need to know.  But keep learning.

Don’t listen to advice.  It will be unasked for, undeserved and irrelevant.  You’ll only learn, unfortunately, by doing.

Don’t listen to conventions that, at the time, seem set in stone.

Don’t listen to anyone who’s certain about anything.  Certainty is blinding.

Do listen to your friends (but not the drug-addled ones).  Wisdom is not confined to the old.

Do listen to your gut instinct.

Do listen to the little voice inside that is telling you: one day things will be different, one day you’ll have more power, one day your time will come.

Love from

Frances

Huge thanks to Frances Maynard for such an honest and empowering letter.

#BlogTour! #Review – The Girls of Mulberry Lane by Rosie Clarke @Aria_Fiction

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1938, Mulberry Lane, London. War is looming, but on Mulberry Lane there are
different battles being fought… Perfect for fans of Nadine Dorries and Cathy Sharp.

Maureen Jackson is a prisoner of her father’s blackmail. Three years earlier, she’d
been hoping to marry Rory, the man of her dreams. However, after her mother’s
death, she was left to care for her overbearing father. Now Rory is back in London
with a pregnant wife in tow to remind Maureen of the life that should have been
hers.

As war threatens, Janet Ashley hopes to marry her sweetheart Mike, but her father
refuses to grant them his blessing. Defying his wishes, Janet finds herself pregnant
and her mother Peggy is determined to hold her family together at all costs. Will the girls of Mulberry Lane manage to snatch happiness before the darkness of WorldWar II descends?

What does TWG think?

Rosie Clarke is back with a brand new book! Not only is it a new book, it’s also start of a brand new series, how exciting! I have only read one of Rosie Clarke’s previous books, so I was looking forward to seeing how ‘The Girls of Mulberry Lane’ would make me feel seeing as I just adore historical fiction. Set in London during war-time, life was extremely difficult for the residents of Mulberry Lane.

All Maureen wanted was to marry the love of her life, but seeing as life doesn’t always go the way we want it to, Maureen’s dream was unable to come true due to having to care for her father. With Rory moving on with his life, Maureen finds it hard to let go of what should have been.

Local girl, Janet, decided to choose her own path in life, going against the head of the family (her father) but wanting to marry her sweetheart Mike, the father of her soon-to-be child. Will she regret going against her fathers wishes?

Having struggled a tad with Rosie Clarke’s previous novel, I was over the moon to find myself falling head over heels in love with the Mulberry girls! For me, there is nothing I like more than delving into historic London during wartime. It’s fascinating. Eye-opening. Heart-breaking. I mean, historical fiction is based around real life events which a lot of us were not on this planet to witness, and for us it can be quite heart-breaking to read. Yet on the other side of the coin, readers who were brought up during those years will be able to resonate and remember certain events as though they happened yesterday. I cannot imagine what anyone felt during those distressing years, I can only guess thanks to Rosie Clarke’s poignant and realistic writing which managed to find its way into my soul from the get go.

I loved how unique each of the characters were, as they all brought something different to the overall feel of the storyline which, for me, kept my attention a lot more. In my eyes, there is nothing worse than reading a book with flat and boring characters. Luckily in this book, that was not the case. Because of how much I liked the characters, I found myself becoming far too attached to their journeys which meant I ended up feeling quite emotional when something happened to them, or someone close to them.

By the end of ‘The Girls of Mulberry Lane’, I realised that I had found some new fictional friends, and I cannot wait to take a trip down Mulberry Lane with book number two.

A heart-wrenching, beautifully written, addictive novel from Rosie Clarke,

Thanks Aria Fiction.

Amazon
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iBooks
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The blog tour isn’t over yet, so make sure you stop by all of the other hosts:

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#BlogTour! #Review – I Know a Secret by @TessGerritsen @TransworldBooks @annecater

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I am delighted to be closing Tess Gerritsen’s blog tour with my review of her new book, ‘I Know a Secret’. Big thanks to Alison Barrow from Transworld Books for the ARC, and thank you to Anne Cater for inviting me to be part of the blog tour!

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I have a secret.
And someone wants to make sure I never tell . . .

In a house decorated with horror movie posters, a young woman’s body is found. She lies on her bed, two bloodied objects clutched in her palm. Detective Jane Rizzoli and Forensic Pathologist Maura Isles are called to the murder scene, but even faced with this gruesome sight they are unable to identify the immediate cause of death.

Their investigation leads them to a high-profile murder case that was seemingly solved years before. But when another body is found in horrific circumstances, the link between the two victims is clear. Was the wrong person sent to prison? Is the real killer out there right now, picking off new targets?

One woman knows the killer is coming for her next. She’s the only one who can help Rizzoli and Isles catch him.

But she has a secret that she has to keep . . .

What does TWG think?

Before I go any further, I need to admit something. I had never, ever read a Tess Gerritsen novel before I read this one. I know what you’re thinking, it’s shameful. I keep asking myself why I haven’t picked up one of her books before now, yet I still haven’t managed to come up with a decent answer. I have absolutely no idea why I haven’t.

Would I pick up another Tess Gerritsen novel in the future?

UHHHH HELL YAH!

What more can I say? As soon as I spotted the cover of ‘I Know a Secret’ on Twitter I just knew that I had to read it. I was intrigued. Severely intrigued. Did I start the book with any expectations? For once, no I didn’t because as Tess Gerritsen was a new author for me, I had no idea what her writing style would be like, or how she would manage to capture her reader’s attention. Before I began this book I had one hope – to enjoy it.

We have all had to keep a secret at some point in our lives, whether it was one of our own, or whether it was someone else’s secret. However, what we don’t stop to consider are the consequences keeping said secrets can uncover. Those secrets may rip people’s lives apart, create divorces, lose lives, lose trust, and may even save your own life. In ‘I Know a Secret’, author Tess Gerritsen uses secretive notions as the underlying content for her storyline (as well as crime obviously), where secrets are put into the spotlight and eyes are opened (or closed) when those secrets are on the path to be discovered.

A young woman is dead. The only message she can relay to Detective Jane Rizzoli, and Forensic Pathologist Maura Isles, is via the two bloodied and shocking objects in her hands. Cause of death? Currently unknown, however with past investigations coming back under the spotlight, the cause of death will be found…eventually. Well, once the cause of death of the second victim has begun to be investigated. Secret? What secret?

Beads of sweat on forehead? Check.
Heart rate above normal? Check.
Dangling off the edge of the sofa without caring? Check.
Nausea? Check.
A sense of urgency in finishing the book? Double check.
Jumping out of your skin every time your hear a noise, even if it’s the dog snoring? Triple check.

FYI – I think I have fallen in love with forensic storylines. That sounds quite odd on the outside of my mind, but I’m sure you know what I mean! Anyway, what a heart-in-mouth book this was!! I have never read anything like it! The storyline was incredibly rocky with nothing 100% guaranteed. I stopped trying to guess the outcome and the routes the characters took – it was far simpler to sit back and enjoy (whilst being rather on edge) Tess Gerritsen’s novel.

I’m no expert on forensics or anything medical related, but the way the author wrote particular scenes involving such intricate levels of detail, completely blew me away. It was like I was hanging off of every word she wrote. So much so, I reckon the author could write anything and I would believe it. She has THAT kind of writing style. I’m not saying what she wrote wasn’t factually sound by the way, I’m just saying I would believe every single thing she wrote because she wrote it in such a cut throat kind of way – absolutely brilliant FYI.

To say I am impressed with Tess Gerritsen’s story telling would be a severe understatement. The author managed to pull me in and keep my attention for the entire duration of the novel, whilst peaking my excitement with every turn of the page.

Seeing is believing where ‘I Know a Secret’ is concerned, but I’ll tell you something – to miss out on such an intense, mind-blowing, highly eventful and brilliant written novel, would be an absolute travesty. Period.

Thank you TransworldBooks.

Buy now from Amazon UK

#Tour! #Review – The Big Dreams Beach Hotel – Lilly Bartlett @MicheleGormanUK @HarperImpulse

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Thrilled to be one of the hosts on Lilly Bartlett’s publication day, today! Huge thanks to the author for personally inviting me to be a part of her blog tour. I am delighted to be sharing my review of ‘The Big Dreams Beach Hotel’ with you to today. Enjoy!

Big Dreams Beach Hotel eBook UK

Wriggle your toes in the sand and feel the warm breeze on your face when you check into the hotel that’s full of dreams…

Three years after ditching her career in New York City, Rosie never thought she’d still be managing the quaint faded Victorian hotel in her seaside hometown.

What’s worse, the hotel’s new owners are turning it into a copy of their Florida properties. Flamingos and all. Cultures are clashing and the hotel’s residents stand in the way of the developers’ plans. The hotel is both their home and their family.

That’s going to make Rory’s job difficult when he arrives to enforce the changes. And Rosie isn’t exactly on his side, even though it’s the chance to finally restart her career. Rory might be charming, but he’s still there to evict her friends.

How can she follow her dreams if it means ending everyone else’s?

What does TWG think?

Even though I fell head over heels, madly in love with the cover of ‘The Big Dreams Beach Hotel’, it took me a little while to fall in love with the storyline itself.

Rosie had her heart set of staying in the city that never sleeps. She wanted to be queen of the hill; number one if you will. She was adamant that if she could make it in New York, that she could make it anywhere. Annoying when life doesn’t go to plan, isn’t it?

‘The Big Dreams Beach Hotel’ switches between Rosie’s past in New York, and her current life as a hotel manager in sunny Scarborough. Being back where it all started, wasn’t exactly part of Rosie’s five-year plan. But, then again, meeting a bloke named ‘Chuck’ in New York wasn’t part of the plan either, and look how that turned out! Well, you’ll look how that turned out when you read the book. #sorrynotsorry.

The only real irk I had with this book in my opinion, was how the lifestyle, time switches weren’t made clear enough. After a while I managed to work it out and caught the gist of it, but at first I was extremely confused and wondered where the hell the New York parts went!

Aside from that, I really did enjoy ‘The Big Dreams Beach Hotel’ as it had a completely different feel to the other hotel storylines already published. Take the hotel’s new owners for example; extremely bonkers and OTT, I had to keep reading to find out what lengths the owners were going to go, in order to make their mark on the Scarborough hotel. Without giving away too much, all I’m going to say is those parts are absolutely hilarious and, whilst I was brought up not to laugh at other people’s misfortunes – I just couldn’t help myself.

I didn’t know what to make of Rory at first, but I kept envisioning a ‘Clark Kent’ type of persona and I have no idea why. That’s not a bad thing by the way! I did find him a little…patronising though, but Rosie was written brilliantly and with such a kick ass attitude, I’m surprised she didn’t eat him alive!

Plenty of giggles, cringey moments, and real friendship; ‘The Big Dreams Beach Hotel’ is the perfect antidote for when antics in the real world are severely tragic – just like now.

Put the kettle on, grab a bar of chocolate (large size obviously), stick your phone on silent  and curl up with the enchanting, huggable, gigglefest from the brilliant, Lilly Bartlett.

Huge thanks to the author and Harper Impulse.

To buy your very own copy of ‘The Big Dreams Beach Hotel’, click here!

#CoverReveal of ‘Christmas With You’ by Sheila O’Flanagan (@sheilaoflanagan) @headlinepg

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Sleigh bells ring, are you listening….TWG hassssss a festive cover reveal….we’re singing a song, as we go along…..

Feeling festive now?

No?

Ahhhh, I know what might help! Sheila O’Flanagan will be releasing a Christmas book in the not so distant future, and Becky H from Headline Books, asked me to reveal her festive book cover for you guys! I am over the moon to be able to do that!

So, without further ado, it’s time to reveal ‘Christmas With You’ by the incredibly talented, Sheila O’Flanagan! Let me know what you guys think!

Christmas with you FINAL

Don’t you have the urge to get on your most comfiest pyjamas, make a cuppa of something warm and toasty, and just curl up on the sofa, after seeing that cover? I don’t know about you, but I certainly do!

Make sure you follow Headline Books on Twitter (@headlinepg) & Sheila O’Flanagan (@sheilaoflanagan) to keep up to date with the latest happenings where ‘Christmas With You’ is concerned!

Yet another Christmas book on my TBR!

Weekly Wrap Up! (1)

#BlogTour! #Review – Dead To Me by Stephen Edger (@StephenEdger) @Bookouture


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How do you catch a killer who knows your every move?

She drew the curtains and returned to the kitchen where she removed the bottle of vodka from the freezer and reached for the large kitchen knife. If he dared to come back, she’d be ready for him.

When a body is found hanging in the remains of a dock-side warehouse, Detective Kate Matthews is called to the scene. Recently transferred following the death of a colleague, Kate is yet to see a successful prosecution over the line. But this won’t be an easy win…

Someone is watching her: leaving her clues in her home, taunting her to throw the case and threatening the life of her little girl.

As more bodies begin to surface and Kate’s stalker closes in, her instincts tell her that there is a link hidden among the victims’ missing pieces. This is a killer with a message and Kate must race against the clock to solve his twisted riddle.

But at the end of this impossible puzzle lies an impossible choice…

A dark and compulsive cat-and-mouse thriller that will keep you guessing to the very last page. Perfect for fans of Angela Marsons, Sarah Hilary and Patricia Gibney.

What does TWG think?

Another brand new series alongside a brand new author; for me anyways! I haven’t read any of Stephen Edger’s previous novels and, considering how many there are, I am genuinely surprised that I haven’t!

Almost straight away we find out that there has been a murder; a body has been found and Detective Kate Matthews has been called to the scene. Having been relocated from the Met, Kate Matthews has a lot riding on this investigation and whether she is able to get to the bottom of the murder. Why did they murder the victim? Is the murder related to any other investigations? So many questions remain unanswered, and it’s down to Detective Kate Matthews to get them answered before time runs out.

I’m not quite sure what to make of this book, weirdly enough! The storyline has the suspense level down to a fine art which is absolutely brilliant. It did keep me on my toes and it did leave me hanging (pardon the pun), multiple times throughout the storyline.

But, Kate’s story isn’t unique, so for me the majority of the novel came across as a bit samey. I also couldn’t gel with Kate at all due to her questionable choices on a professional level, as well as in her personal life. Don’t get me wrong, there were times when Kate came across likeable and good at her job. I just felt that as the protagonist, Kate’s character didn’t lead the storyline in a way that made me stop and think. For me personally, thrillers like this need me to stop and think and focus on the storyline, instead of having an issue with the main character as that took my attention away from the main focus, unfortunately.

However, I did enjoy the overall concept of the book and the mystery surrounding the murder investigation. ‘Dead To Me’ has enough promise to make me read the next book in the series. I’m looking forward to see how Kate Matthews’ character shapes up in the following books.

An intriguing start to a promising series.

Thanks Bookouture.

Buy now from Amazon UK
Buy now from Amazon US

About the author.

Stephen Edger is a British crime writer, who has been writing since 2010. In that time he has written and published eleven novels, and five short stories. He writes mysteries and thrillers focused on crime.

Stephen was born in the north-east of England, grew up in London, but has lived in Southampton since attending university in the year 2000. Stephen works in the financial industry, and uses his insider knowledge to create the plots of his books. He also has a law degree, which gives him a good understanding of the inner workings of the UK justice system.

Stephen is married, and has two children, and two dogs. He is passionate about reading and writing, and cites Simon Kernick and John Grisham as major influences on his writing style.

https://www.facebook.com/AuthorStephenEdger/

https://twitter.com/StephenEdger

https://www.stephenedger.com/


Make sure you keep up to date with all the stops on Stephen Edger’s ‘Dead To Me’ blog tour!

Dead to me Blog Tour

 

#BlogTour! #Review – True Love at the #LittleBookshop – @_AnnieDarling @W6BookCafe

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I am truly delighted to be hosting todays stop on the #LittleBookshop blog tour! Having loved Annie Darling’s first book in the series; ‘The Little Bookshop of Lonely Hearts’, I jumped at the chance when Harpercollins got in contact about the blog tour. Huge thanks to Jaime Frost for getting in contact! Here is my review of Annie’s new book; ‘True Love at the Lonely Hearts Bookshop’, which is out to buy in e-book & paperback right now!

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It’s a truth universally acknowledged that a single woman in possession of a good job, four bossy sisters and a needy cat must also have want of her one true love. Or is it?

Another delightful novel from the author of The Little Bookshop of Lonely Hearts. Perfect for fans of Lucy Diamond and Jenny Colgan

Verity Love – Jane Austen fangirl and an introvert in a world of extroverts – is perfectly happy on her own (thank you very much), and her fictional boyfriend Peter is very useful for getting her out of unwanted social events. But when a case of mistaken identity forces her to introduce a perfect stranger as her boyfriend, Verity’s life suddenly becomes much more complicated.

Johnny could also use a fictional girlfriend. Against Verity’s better judgement, he persuades her to partner up for a summer season of weddings, big number birthdays and garden parties, with just one promise – not to fall in love with each other…

What does TWG think?

Let’s get straight to the point; Annie Darling set the bar extremely high with the first book in the series, which meant my expectations for this book were extremely high. #sorrynotsorry. At least I’m being honest about it, right?

Verity Love is an independent woman (if you’re not singing the Destiny’s Child version of that song….do I even know you?!) who just wants to be left alone to live her life as she pleases. With multiple sisters, however, Verity is constantly badgered about the ‘state’ of her relationship status. Why can’t her sisters and friends, understand that she actually WANTS to be single? To keep the Spanish Inquisition at bay, Verity Love creates her own boyfriend, just so she can get some peace. Despite of Verity’s on the ball planning (her fictional boyfriend just happened to be away for work A LOT), her foolproof plan falls through quicker than a pair of heels being dropped in a nightclub ready for dancing on a Saturday night. Will Verity Love ever find true love with anyone other than Jane Austen?

As you’re aware, this is the second book in the #Littlebookshop series, and whilst it COULD be read as a standalone, I would highly recommend you reading the first book in the series beforehand, because there is a lot of background information in the first novel, which could hinder your enjoyment for the second book if not known. If you wish to get your hands on book one now, click here.

Verity Love’s attitude to life and relationships always seems to make me giggle. Weirdly enough, it’s not because it’s funny, it’s because she is absolutely bang on the money and if anyone else attempted to live their life just like her, they would fail miserably. What I did find hilarious however, was the name of Verity’s cat. Even though I’m allergic to cats, I just want to get one so I can call it the same name….STRUMPET. Oh my god, what a fabulous name! The cat totally lives up to its name, although it’s a greedy heifer and can usually be found sticking his paws into places which he shouldn’t. No, I mean REALLY shouldn’t – health and safety ring a bell?

Verity’s fictional boyfriend was a genius move. I did feel quite sorry for her and how she constantly got bombarded about being single, all because those around her were either married, or giving the cat a run for his money in the name stakes. In this instalment, we find ourselves meeting a brand new character who certainly makes himself known during the storyline; Johnny True. Please, please say that you’ve just had a lightbulb moment and seen the connection between the two surnames?!

For me, Verity was such a relatable character who became the voice of single women around the world. Well, aside from the fictional boyfriend thing…that could get messy. She came across as such an honest, warm-hearted yet fiercely independent woman, who knew what she wanted, as well as knowing that she could ask herself one question and get the ‘right answer’. So readers, what WOULD Elizabeth Bennett do?

Verity’s need for peace and quiet was written beautifully. It wasn’t just a case of ‘leave me alone I have a headache’, it was more of a case of sensory overload which drained her from top to toe. Some might find it funny, but it is actually a real thing. People out there do actually suffer with things like this.

So, the burning question for me regarding this book wasn’t ‘what would Elizabeth Bennett do?’, it was ‘did I enjoy the book as much as the first one?’ Honestly? Whilst I thoroughly enjoyed ‘True Love at the Lonely Hearts Bookshop’, it didn’t blow me away as much as ‘The Little Bookshop of Lonely Hearts’. Personally, I felt like there was something missing; a little bit more magic perhaps. The storyline, (whilst written truly lovely – sorry), felt like it was going through the motions without much element of surprise. Don’t get me wrong I laughed, smiled and was completely engrossed with Verity’s journey, but I found myself waiting for that extra something to pop up.

If I could describe Annie Darling’s new book in one word it would be; cosy. If you’re a romantic at heart who is a fan of Jane Austen – you will absolutely loved this book. If you’re not a romantic at heart, don’t stress because this book contains something for everyone. It has humour. It has a cat with a belter of a name. It has true friendship. It has true love. It has grabbing life by the bookshelf. It really is the perfect read to curl up with and forget all the hate that’s going on in the world right now.

Thank you Annie Darling for yet another enchanting novel.

Buy now from Amazon UK

#Review – You, Me and Everything In Between by Helen Rolfe (@HJRolfe)

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Lydia and Theo face the unthinkable when a knock at the door changes everything.

As Lydia begins to pick up the pieces, not every part of the puzzle fits together as neatly as it did before, and she finds herself stuck in limbo between her past and her future.

Theo and Lydia have a history together, but has too much happened to be able to forgive and forget?

What does TWG think?

As I’m sure you’re aware by now, I am a huge fan of Helen Rolfe’s novels – having read nearly all of her published novels bar a measly two, I think I could easily class myself as a super fan! Compared to the author’s previous novels; ‘You, Me, and Everything In Between’ is considerably different. Don’t get me wrong, it still has the authors trademark writing style, but the overall concept of the novel is certainly something I wasn’t expecting.

In a good way? I would say so, yes.
Did I start off with that train of thought? No, I didn’t.

Helen Rolfe’s new novel switches between different times and characters, rather frequently, sometimes going back in time, whilst other times going forward. I do find those style of books somewhat confusing, however, this novel wouldn’t have worked if it was written in any other way. And, seeing as the different points in time were pretty self-explanatory (I mean, the chapter even told you!), the switching was pretty much something I had to either like it, or lump it. Obviously I chose the first one…duuh.

I need to be extremely cautious whilst writing my review as there is so much that could be considered as a spoiler, and let’s be honest, one spoiler in a review ruins the entire book. I don’t fancy ruining anyone’s experience of ‘You, Me and Everything In Between’, I must admit!

‘You, Me and Everything In Between’ follows Lydia and Theo’s life through the good times, and the bad. As readers we get to ‘watch’ them both jump over hurdles which seemed to appear out of nowhere, ‘see’ them get in touch with emotions they had to learn about before they could show them, and stand by and watch them make life choices that could either break their whole family apart, or ruin their entire life. I usually want to be a character in a book, but honestly? I am so glad I am not in Lydia or Theo’s shoes.

Even though after reading several chapters I kind of had an inkling as to where the storyline was heading, it still managed to surprise me and stir up those godforsaken emotions once again. I mean really, I would like to keep my ice queen reputation intact through at least one of Helen Rolfe’s novels! Oh hell, who am I kidding. I know you shouldn’t pick sides in books (ahem), but there were many moments where one minute I was siding with Lydia, then the next I was siding with Theo. However, seemed to annoy me a heck of a lot. There was just something about his attitude that riled me. Circumstances aside, in my eyes he made his own bed and he should lie in it.

Of course, just like most people, I did have my hopes up for a certain conclusion to the book and I seemed to read the last chapter holding my breath, wondering how the novels loose ends were going to be tied up! It really was a close call!

Whilst I did enjoy ‘You, Me and Everything In Between’, it didn’t end up becoming one of my favourite books by Helen Rolfe. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the unique storyline and how the characters stood out in their own individual ways. I also loved how the author still managed to incorporate fantastic humour in a storyline which screamed emotional, as opposed to hilarity. Personally, I think that the novel could have had less predictability and more mystery. I liked the fact that Helen Rolfe seemed to toddle out of her comfort zone with this book, but I still feel as though the author has a heck of a lot more to give us in terms of ‘wow’ moments and shocking situations.

As always, I cannot wait until Helen Rolfe’s new book!

To get your very own copy of ‘You, Me and Everything In Between’, click the link below!
Buy now from Amazon UK

#BlogTour! #Review – Dead Girls Can’t Lie – Carys Jones (@tiny_dancer85) @aria_fiction

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DGCL - jacket
Best friends tell each other the truth – don’t they?

When North Stone’s best friend Kelly Orton is found hanging lifeless in a tree, North knows for certain it wasn’t suicide. Kelly had everything to live for – a loving boyfriend, a happy life, and most importantly of all, Kelly would never leave North all by herself.

The girls have been friends since childhood, devoted to each other, soul sisters, or at least that’s what North has always believed. But did Kelly feel the same way, or was she keeping secrets from her ‘best friend’ – deadly secrets…

When the police refuse to take North’s suspicions seriously, she sets out to investigate for herself. But her search soon takes her to a glamorous world with a seedy underbelly, and before long North is out of her depth and getting ever closer to danger. Determined to find the truth, she soon wishes that dead girls could lie, because the truth is too painful to believe…

What does TWG think?

I’ll be honest, after reading Carys Jones’ previous novel, I was a bit apprehensive about starting ‘Dead Girls Can’t lie’. But, seeing as curiosity got the better of me, I knew I had to see what this book was about, making my decision based on this book alone and nothing else.

Well, I really hoped my plan would work. After all, the overall concept of ‘Dead Girls Can’t Lie’ is a belter! So many sticky situations for the characters to find themselves in. So many potential red herrings for us readers to lose ourselves in. I was really excited about the shell of book. But for me, once again there was just something missing.

Whilst Kerry’s death is a shocker in itself, the circumstances surrounding it with her best friend, North, seemed to make me go ‘hmmmm’ more often than going ‘oh my god, really?’ Weirdly enough though, there must have been something rather engaging about the authors writing as I still managed to finish the novel.

I would love to say that ‘Dead Girls Can’t Lie’ had me hanging off the edge of my seat, but honestly, it didn’t. Carys Jones quite clearly knows her audience and knows how to pique interest via  a situation alone, BUT for me, it didn’t make me quaker in my boots.

I don’t dislike the authors writing in the slightest, I actually quite like it. To be honest, I didn’t even dislike the book. What got to me more was the frustration at how the author is quite capable of thinking up these ‘oh em gee’ storylines, but ‘Dead Girls Can’t Lie’ could really have done with extra bite and grit when it came to the execution.

Another promising novel from Carys Jones. Fingers crossed it’s third time lucky!

Thanks Aria.

Buy links

                           Buy Dead Girls Can’t Lie from Amazon

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2rJb1sl

iTunes: http://apple.co/2sYfdba

Google Play: http://bit.ly/2s2P3Ql