#Bookreview – The Paris Effect by Karen Burns.

The Paris Effect by Karen Burns.
Published 31st May 2016 by Velvet Morning Press.
Available to buy from Amazon US//Amazon UK

‘Friendship, loss… and a tantalizing trip to Paris in this highly praised debut novel!

Amy and Kat had a plan: A secret trip to Paris. Even Amy’s husband wouldn’t know about it. But when Amy loses Kat, the “friend of her heart,” to cancer, she knows the plan, too, has disappeared forever. Or has it?

Guided by memories of her friend and dissatisfaction with her own calorie-counting life in Phoenix, Amy sneaks off to Paris while her husband is away on a business trip. Once there, she’s robbed, stalked, arrested and kidnapped (almost). Worse, she finds that her numerous issues have come right along with her.

Through her adventures, laced with luscious descriptions of food and Paris, Amy learns that often in life, love and friendship, nothing is exactly as it seems. Grab a croissant and settle in for a decidedly non-touristy trip to the City of Light.’

‘The Paris Effect’ is a book that I have seen pop up on my Twitter feed more than once. At first I had no idea who wrote it (sorry) because I was memorised by the cover. I saw the colours, the word ‘Paris’ and it went straight on my TBR list. The more I saw it, the more intrigued I became. I did want to read it but every time I saw it, I was already ‘booked’. Then one day, the lovely Karen Burns sent me a lovely e-mail asking me to review her book ‘The Paris Effect’. It was one of the nicest request e-mails that I have ever received, plus it wasn’t a book I was going to turn down, obviously! Thank you Karen for sending me the copy of the book and for your truly lovely e-mail!

I did make room for this book I’ll be honest (read it the day after I got sent it!).
Have you ever made a pact with a best friend, to do something completely outlandish, planned to the last detail, with the only participants being you and your best friend?
But what if you could no longer make that pact a reality?
When Amy loses her best friend to cancer, she has not only lost her best friend; the one person that truly knew her, she has also lost Kat’s words of wisdom and friendship. They had a plan to go to Paris, everything was planned, outfits organised, itinerary known..but one important thing was missing. Kat. Amy could go to Paris with her husband, after all, it is a romantic city, she could go on her own with no husband and no Kat, or she could not go full-stop. Where do Amy’s priorities lay? With her husband, herself or her best friend that is no longer with her?

I was slightly disappointed when I began the book and read a chapter or two as there were rules on dieting and being obsessed with calories. As a person that has struggled with eating disorders and weight for many years, it caught me off guard a little bit. However, once I had removed my own personal struggles from the concept of the book and how that tied in with Amy’s character, my disappointment soon went and I began to enjoy it. The rules for dieting turned out to be quite cleverly done too.
I did feel quite sorry for Amy, she had just lost someone close to her and her husband was being a gigantic pain in the pear tree. Amy goes on her journey making some rather questionable decisions, but you can tell by the emotion within the story, that it was right for her despite the consequences that she will face.

I adored feeling as though I was getting a tour of Paris, monuments and well-known spots being described brilliantly. Well, I say brilliantly, I have never been to Paris but if I do go, I’ll expect it to look like what Karen has described it to be! No pressure haha. Despite the chic lit background what with the obsession with food and best friend plans, ‘The Paris Effect’ had some rather fast paced situations which bumped the book up another level for me, personally. I felt that it gave the story another dimension to it.

As Amy continued her journey she came across a selection of very different people. At first glance they were just the ‘average Joe’, but Amy soon released that people, and places, aren’t always as straight forward as we believe. My opinion of Amy differed immensely throughout the book because of every choice that she made. Part of me felt sorry for her, another part of me felt she needed to grow up, but then another part of me wanted to support her. How can you support someone who seems such a lost cause though?

I loved how each character stood out of the book in their own ways and weren’t just part of the story to make up numbers so to speak. ‘The Paris Effect’ was the first book that I had read of Karen’s so I was looking forward to finding out her style of writing. I definitely wasn’t disappointed. Despite my earlier reservations, after a couple of chapters, I was hooked. I couldn’t put it down and I was eager to find out what happened to each character and what path they were destined to be on.

‘The Paris Effect’ is a novel full of emotionally charged situations. A novel that opens your eyes to people’s motives, including your own. A novel that will take you on a journey around Paris and show you that it’s okay to eat nice things. A novel that will make you question whether you’re on the correct path for YOU or whether you are going along for the ride. A novel that, if like me, will leave you thinking that you have something ‘in your eye’. A novel that will make you message the author and ask her whether there will be a next book…..

Such a brilliant read, I would read it again in a heartbeat….unless the next book comes out and then I will read that first!

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#Review of ‘Chances are’ by Wendy Lou Jones.

Chances are by Wendy Lou Jones.
Published 25th June 2016.
Available to buy from Amazon UK//Amazon US

‘Luke is the man with the money, the fast car and the hot woman. There’s no way he would even think about getting serious, but a face he can’t remember soon threatens his calm.
Rebecca isn’t interested in a relationship, and definitely not with him. How could she, after all he put her through? She’s spent the last 4 years hiding away from society, a one woman crusade for children’s road safety. Who would have thought one fateful day, it might almost be her … again.
As two worlds collide, will opposites attract?
Not if she can help it’

I would like to start by saying thank you to Wendy for putting this lovely book under my nose, and I want to apologise for keeping you waiting with the review. I would say that I have been chasing my tail, but then I would be insulting myself by saying that I am indeed a dog!

A man who has it all; money, career, lifestyle and the ability to click his fingers and a woman would come running to him.
A woman who is afraid of having it all. Afraid of putting her heart on the line. Afraid of history repeating itself.
After all, it nearly did repeat itself. Rebecca lost the man that she loved, the man that she was supposed to marry and ever since that day she has tried to make the roads a safer place. Then one day, along comes Luke, trying to multi-task whilst driving and nearly sends Rebecca to the same place as her fiancé.
Is Luke really that arrogant where women are concerned? Or is Rebecca too guarded after her past? The ‘chances are…..’
At first, I disliked Luke with a passion. Arrogance in men does not appeal one bit, especially when they think they are the be all and end all. He could have caused a terrible accident, yet ‘that woman’, Rebecca, is on his mind. Seriously? Surely you would avoid contact with a person that you nearly put in an unfortunate situation? I’m not nitpicking at Wendy’s writing, definitely not. Despite my early opinion of Luke, as the story progressed, my opinions changed for the better. Which, if I’m honest, was a surprise to me!
But then there is Rebecca. A lost soul and extremely guarded after everything she has been through, and thanks to an idiot in a car, she gets to re-live the past to a certain extent. No wonder she wants to stay clear…at first. My heart definitely went out to her because she seemed so lonely and without a purpose.
The way that Wendy incorporated chalk and cheese personalities, and completely turned them and the storyline around, takes such talent. She has created very complex characters with highly strung personalities and a lot of baggage. To fit all of that, and the future into just one book, made for an exciting yet emotionally charged read.
Watching the characters grow as they dealt with their own pasts and feelings made me feel like I was walking the journey with them. When the characters were happy, I was happy, when they were sad, I was crying like a baby unable to breathe and looking like I had met Ruldolph for a slush puppy (red nose).
Even though I found ‘Chances Are’ a very moving story, crying with the events within the book felt like the natural step. Every situation flowed and every word had its place. I am in awe of Wendy and how she has written such an emotional, rollercoaster ride of a book, with such a BEAUTIFUL cover! A pleasure to read.

Book review of The Little Bookshop of Lonely Hearts by Annie Darling.

The Little Bookshop of Lonely Hearts by Annie Darling.
Released date for Kindle: 19th May 2016.
Release date for paperback: 25th August 2016.
Published by: HarperCollins.
Available to buy online from: Amazon UK and HarperCollins.

‘Once upon a time in a crumbling London bookshop, Posy Morland spent her life lost in the pages of her favourite romantic novels.
So when Bookend’s eccentric owner, Lavinia, dies and leaves the shop to Posy, she must put down her books and join the real world. Because Posy hasn’t just inherited an ailing business, but also the unwelcome attentions of Lavinia’s grandson, Sebastian, AKA The Rudest Man In London™.
Posy has a cunning plan and six months to transform Bookends into the bookshop of her dreams – if only Sebastian would leave her alone to get on with it. As Posy and her friends fight to save their beloved bookshop, Posy’s drawn into a battle of wills with Sebastian, about whom she’s started to have some rather feverish fantasies…
Like her favourite romantic heroines, will she get her happy ever after too?

Do you believe in happy endings? Happily ever after? Or are you a cynic and believe in happy never after?
Woah, woah. I do apologise, I think I’ve gotten ahead of myself already! I nee to ask you a pretty serious question, well, maybe more than one. More serious than my ‘happy ending’ question. You ready? Sure?
……
……
Do you like books?
Romance books?
Cake?
Books?
Um…..what else…..
Books?!?
Bookshops?
BOOKS?!?!

Phew! I thought I was going to have to lay down with a book then if you had said no! I mean, how can you not like books?! Anyway, now we have that serious question sorted, I can go a read this book again and eat cake….can’t I? No? I have to give you more reasons than ‘books’ to read this beauty? Oh. Well aren’t you a spoilsport…..but go on then!

Meet Posy. She loves books, romance novels to be precise. Isn’t too fussed on blood and gore. She has been part of ‘Bookends’ history for as long as she can remember, but never in her wildest dreams did she think she would take over Bookends the bookshop. Neither did anyone else though, especially Sebastian,  a pain in the……bookshelf, so RUDE! But seeing as Posy was left the bookshop by  the previous owner in her will, she is determined to prove everyone wrong. Including herself. Can she turn the failing bookshop into the wonderful bookshop that it once was? Or will the pain in the posterior, Sebastian, prove to be more than a pain in the suit pocket and get in her way?

Why did I choose this book I hear you ask…..because I love books. Did you guess that? Before I go any further I would like to say a MASSIVE thank you to Annie, HarperCollins and Netgalley for allowing me to review this book before the release date!
What an incredibly uplifting, humorous powerful story this is! If you know your romance novels, like Posy, you’re in for a treat. Not only have you got innuendo humour and sarcasm, you have the true beauty of the quotes from classic novels jumping out at you throughout. My heart went out to Posy multiple times in the story because you can tell she is an old soul. A soul that is hopeful for her happy ending, but has been dealt the very short straw so far. Met with multiple issues, in more ways than one, Posy and her colleagues fight for what they believe in. Bookends. You go through the ups and the downs with the Bookends family which made it feel more realistic and relatable, rather than just a boy meets girl, happy ending type story. Annie Darling has written a book with gusto, historical references and the power of determination. At one point during the story, I wanted to climb into my Kindle and give Posy a hug, and let her know that she could do it. Sounds silly really doesn’t it? Or maybe it just means that this book can give you an escape, and that is down to Annie’s writing. It’s not often you can feel the words, but I did. I thoroughly enjoyed this book because of how it all flowed and came together. Especially how loveable most of the characters were as well. I say most, there are two that made me go ‘what the…..bookmark!!!’, but without those two, it wouldn’t have been the heartfelt story it is. Plus, seeing as I am never ashamed to admit this, I did cry!
If you want a book that makes you curl up and feel cosy, that makes you reaching for the cake and an old classic book (after you have finished reading this one of course), then this book is for you. Humour and hugs in one book, what more could you want? Definitely my favourite book of May so far!


Goodbye Ruby Tuesday by A.L.Michael. Book Tour!

Goodbye Ruby Tuesday by A.L.Michael.
Published: 29th April 2016 by Carina UK.
Available to buy from Amazon UK.

The #houseoncamdensquare tour bus has stopped by my blog today! Super excited to be taking part in my very first book tour for such a talented author! First all of all I would like to say a big thank you to A.L.Michael and Sara for keeping me right with the information for this tour! Think it’s time I put A.L.Michael out of her misery and let you all know what I thought of Goodbye Ruby Tuesday! You comfortable? I shall begin…..

‘Ruby, Evie, Mollie and Chelsea were the bad girls at school. But Ruby was the baddest. Evie fought her anger, Mollie fought her mother and Chelsea…well, Chelsea just fought. But Ruby set her sights on a bigger stage. And together, they dreamed of a future where Ruby could sing, Evie could make art, Mollie could bake, Chelsea could dance – and all of them could finally feel at home.A decade later, the girls are reunited for the funeral of Ruby, who took the world – and the charts – by storm, before fading too soon. And Evie doesn’t know whether to laugh or cry when she learns that Ruby has left them a house on Camden Square – the perfect place for them to fulfil their dreams. But does she dare take the plunge, and risk it all for one last shot at the stars?’

Remember having a group of close friends at school? A group of people with extremely different backgrounds and very different personalities? Meet Ruby, Evie, Mollie and Chelsea, four girls each with their own distinct pasts.  Unfortunately, not all of their pasts were as ‘ruby’ as they might have hoped. To be fair, who’s are? After many years of lost contact and growing up, the girls get to reunite in sad circumstances, for Ruby’s final ‘party’. The remaining girls; Evie, Mollie and Chelsea have taken very different paths in their lives, but all paths have led them back to each other. But why? Because of their friend, Ruby. Will Ruby’s death bring the girls closer again? Or will the girls leave their memories and their old friendships in the past?

In a couple of hours I had read 135 pages, I couldn’t put it down! The only thing that forced me to put the kindle away was the fact it was gone midnight and I had to be a grown up. What.a.book! Oh my goodness. A story of four childhood friends, each with their own very different personalities, disliked each other sometimes, but were still best friends no matter what. A.L.Michael, can I join the gang?! Pleaseeeee!! I felt quite sad that they had lost contact over the years though and that it took an unfortunate circumstance to reunite them. I found all of the characters to be very likeable, well, the main ones anyway! That rarely happens. I do have a favourite character though, little Esme. A little girl with on point humour and talks sense. Wait, I’ll rephrase that. She talks. The sort of person you would go to advice about, apart from she’s little and that’s probably not ideal, but you know what I’m saying. Anyway!
Throughout the story you learn about each of the girls individual pasts, and I found that to be such a clever way of writing as you could see for yourself how much they have grown over the years. They always fought for what they believed in, and they might have the opportunity to fight again…in more ways than one! Despite some of the deep subjects within the book, I found it to be such a light-hearted and very entertaining read. It contains humour, stupid mistakes, men, but most importantly, dreams. If you believe in it, it’s worth it.
I hadn’t read A.L.Michael’s previous books (even though I have one in my ‘to read’ pile) and now I am rather sad that I didn’t find her work sooner. That said, she has set the bar quite high with Goodbye Ruby Tuesday. Every page had me wondering what was going to happen, what else were they going to find out, and what one liners will Esme come out with next. For me personally, that makes a brilliant book to read because not only was it captivating, it had me snorting like a pig and laughing like a dolphin at the same time. I especially loved the bookish references throughout. If you’re a book nerd, you will appreciate those even more so!
I am so honoured that I was given the opportunity to read such a relatable and outstanding book. Such high praise for A.L.Michael! Goodbye Ruby Tuesday is definitely a book that I will remember for a long time. One slight critique I do have……..I didn’t want it to end! I wanted more! I cannot wait to see what the girls get up to in the next book of the series, extremely excited already. I definitely recommend this, everyone needs to have a dream, and everyone needs to be able to fight for it. Goodbye Ruby Tuesday shows you how…