#BlogTour! #Review – How to Mend a Broken Heart by Anna Mansell (@AnnaMansell) @bookouture

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Sorry to break your hearts ladies and gentlemen, but we have come to the end of the blog tour for Anna Mansell’s debut, How to Mend a Broken Heart! TWG isn’t the only one helping to close the tour, so make sure you check in with my blogging buddy, Laura Bambrey Books too. Seeing as I have broken your heart by being the bearer of bad news in regards to the tour, I SUPPOSE I had better tell you how to mend your broken heart eh?
Oh, I can’t. Anna Mansell has already done that so read my review and you can mend your own heart via the Amazon ‘to buy’ link at the bottom! Enjoy!

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Hello? Rhys Woods? I have a patient here I think you know. Yours is the only number in her diary…

When Rhys is called to the hospital to meet Susan, a woman he barely knows, he is compelled to help her. Still grieving the loss of his brother months earlier, Rhys knows all too well the feeling of loneliness.

There are years between them, but Rhys is the only person Susan will respond to, and when she asks him to bring her her most treasured possession, a book of fairytales, he is intrigued.

Hidden in the book is a clue to Susan’s past, and the painful regrets she carries with her. And as Rhys starts to unearth Susan’s secrets, he finds that his own grief begins to heal too…

Together, Susan and Rhys must learn to live again. Can they help each other to find happiness and finally mend their broken hearts?

How to Mend a Broken Heart is a heart-wrenching and absorbing story about second chances, forgiveness, and making every second count, perfect for fans of Jojo Moyes, Lucy Dillon and Miranda Dickinson.

What does TWG think?

I really do feel like a worn out record saying this, BUT, if you think the cover hints that the storyline is a candyfloss type of chic lit/romance novel where the ending signifies walking off into the sunset, stop right there. Now, I adore the cover as it’s simple, pretty, and very eye-catching in a very intriguing way. However, all you really need to focus on with the cover is the title and the author as this storyline contains more grit than the front cover could ever hold. By all means, admire the cover, but don’t let yourself get hung up over it or try to question what lies behind the cover. How to Mend a Broken Heart has a storyline which needs to be savoured word by word, line by line and page by page…

I had a little nose at some of the reviews which have already been posted on Goodreads, before I started writing my review and a lot of readers have the cover as a talking point. Just like many others, my first reaction to the novel was based on its cover and an assumption. But, as soon as I got stuck into Anna Mansell’s novel, I quickly realised how my initial reaction to the book could not have been further off the mark if I tried.

The novel introduces the three main characters, Kat, Rhys and Susan pretty early on in the storyline, even though it is quite clear that things aren’t quite as simple as they first seem. Kat is nursing her broken heart after being dumped by her long-term boyfriend. Rhys heart got completely smashed when his brother committed suicide. And then there is Susan, her heart has been broken for many, many years and she is stuck in her own emotional jail. Which one of the characters, if any, will be able to find the right key to free Susan from her turmoil?

As soon as someone says that they’ve had their heart-broken we automatically assume it’s to do with a relationship. I know I do. I mean, the only way you get your heart broken is when your partner dumps you, right? Completely WRONG. Before I read Anna Mansell’s novel, my mindset was the same as the above, yet the complexity of each character within the storyline, opened my eyes to the fact that a lot of things can break someone’s heart; such as suicide, any other death related circumstances or horrific events involving people you know, love or care about, just to name a few. Every human being will have their own trigger where their heart is concerned, just like Kat, Rhys and Susan. Three individual people with one big thing in common; they all have had their heart broken yet no-one else will understand their own personal pain.

This storyline had me pinned against the sofa with a little voice whispering in my ear, ‘don’t you even think about putting this book down!’. Even if I wanted to put it down (which I didn’t), I couldn’t tear myself away from the emotional orb I had found myself temporarily residing. Even though the book contains a lot of intense moments, it also contains many, many heart-warming and uplifting scenes; it was as though you were walking the journey with the characters and holding their hands for comfort. Does that make sense? I love how Anna Mansell has been able to acknowledge heartbreak in various different forms, highlighting the fact that everyone’s life journey is exactly that…their own. I truly believe that a lot of readers will be able to relate to the three main characters as they all have such a powerful presence within the storyline.

It really blows my mind that ‘How to Mend a Broken Heart’ is Anna Mansell’s debut novel, as she has such a distinctive writing style which automatically made me feel as though I already knew her. I could tell that Anna Mansell has poured her heart and soul into every single line of the book, as though she had published 123248347 books previously.

‘How to Mend a Broken Heart’ made me wear my heart on my sleeve (for an Ice Queen that is unheard of), due to its intense, emotional and raw situations. I cried whilst reading this, more than once, and I’m not ashamed in the slightest. Anna Mansell, if I could hug you right now I would, truly!

A spellbinding novel full of love, tears and heart ache, How to Mend a Broken Heart not only shows how the heart can be broken, it also shows how broken hearts are mended with the right love, care and attention. To you that ‘thing’ may be small, but to another person it may just be the one ‘thing’ they have been searching for to fix their broken heart. Don’t judge, just love. Absolutely fantastic novel, Anna Mansell has set the bar incredibly high with her outstanding debut novel, How to Mend a Broken Heart.

Thank you Bookouture.

Buy: Amazon UK // Amazon US

About the author.

Anna spent almost twenty years trying to shoehorn writing in to her career as a marketing manager for dance and theatre companies. Eventually, she did what you are not remotely supposed to do and walked away from an excellent job in order to try to become a published author. Three years, lots of tears and some slightly hairy bank balances later, she met Kirsty Greenwood and the rest, as they say, is history. Anna lives in Cornwall with her husband and two kids. She feels very fortunate!

#BlogTour! The Lost Daughter of Liverpool by Pam Howes (@PamHowes1) #Review @bookouture

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Blurb.

Can she save herself, her marriage – and her daughter?

It’s 1946 and the war is over. In Liverpool, the blackout blinds may be coming down, but one family is about to face devastating misfortune…

Dora Evans is finally marrying the love of her life, Joe Rodgers, and her dreams of opening a dressmaking business look as if they might come true. With twin daughters on the way, Dora has everything she’s ever wanted.

But then tragedy strikes: one of Dora’s babies dies in infancy, and a catastrophic fire changes their lives forever. Dora is consumed with grief, struggling to get through each day and Joe is suddenly distant, finding solace in his colleague, Ivy.

With Ivy watching and scheming, and Dora battling against her own demons, can she keep her family together?

What does TWG think?

Before reading ‘The Lost Daughter of Liverpool’, I hadn’t really read that many historical fiction novels. Whilst war-time history, especially involving women workhouses etc, is a big interest of mine, it never really occurred to me to make it one of my ‘go to’ genres. Well, until now that is.

Set in 1946 Liverpool where the aftermath of the war is still prominent and rationing is still part and parcel of daily life, Dora is about to marry the love of her life. However, the newlyweds find that married life isn’t as plain sailing as people seem to think, especially where families and babies are concerned. The setting of the storyline was incredible as even though the war had finished, the war-time life was still extremely evident, making it feel as though I literally had stepped back in time.

Dora goes through some very harrowing times and despite them being heart breaking to read, the situations were very realistic and incredibly eye-opening. I couldn’t sympathise with Dora as I have never been in her position(s), but my heart went out to her multiple times and I may have shed a tear or two (may = obviously I did). Reading a novel in 2017 which is set in 1946 takes a little bit getting used to, especially if you weren’t born around that time. I know that sounds weird of me to say, but, life was extremely different back then due to the war, religious beliefs, rationing, lifestyle differences, money, health care, emergency services and so on. So, because of that, my FIRST thought during yet another devastating situation in the book was ‘GO IN!!!!’, and they couldn’t because certain things weren’t invented then. It was things like that, that opened my eyes big time and also made me think about how spoilt we are in this day and age.

Pam Howes made time stand still with her FANTASTIC new novel; The Lost Daughter of Liverpool. Emotion became the paper that the words sat on and reality became 1946 instead of 2017. I could not put the book down as I felt as though I would miss a birth, miss another heart breaking moment or the light at the end of the tunnel being switched on. My only irk towards this novel is the blurb because it gives a little bit too much away. The Lost Daughter of Liverpool is such a special momento of way back when and I just feel that the reader should embark on the journey through time themselves.

This HAS to be made into a movie, it just has to be. I really am in awe at the magic that my min and soul digested; I feel incredibly bad that I can only give this book five stars when it deserves way, WAY more. The Lost Daughter of Liverpool is a tale as old as time with enough spellbinding moments to warrant its own bodyguard. Absolutely BRILLIANT; I wish I could find the right words to say exactly how much this book moved me. I loved it.
Ladies & gentleman, you’re looking at my new favourite book of 2017 so far. Outstanding.

Thank you Bookouture!

The Lost Daughter of Liverpool by Pam Howes, published by Bookouture is available to buy right now, and I highly recommend that you do so: Buy now from Amazon (Amazon US customers: buy now).

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Blog tour stop for ‘When he fell’ by Kate Hewitt.

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Blurb.

‘The powerfully gripping new book from USA Today bestselling author Kate Hewitt.

Josh and Ben are nine years old and best friends, until a single, careless act in the school playground destroys the lives of both families – and wrenches their small Manhattan school apart. As both mothers Maddie and Joanna try to find out what really happened between the boys, they discover the truth is far more complicated and painful than either of them could have ever realised… with lasting repercussions for both families. And when tragedy strikes again in the most unexpected of ways, the lives of these two women will be changed once more, and this time forever.’

Big thank you to NeverlandBT, Kate Hewitt & Netgalley for allowing me a copy of the book for my honest opinion.

My goodness me, where to start! I didn’t read the blurb before I agreed to do the tour as I wanted to find out the whole story by myself, I chose to review it purely based on the title and the fact that Kate Hewitt would be a new author for me.
As a mother myself, reading this novel hit home in many, many ways because the main storyline is something I wouldn’t be able to ever comprehend if it happened to my child.
Maddie and Ben are a team. She would do anything to protect her son from harm and she expects the school he attends to do the same whilst he is in their care. Unfortunately, a playground incident happens involving Ben and his best friend Josh and Maddie is left trying to find out exactly what had happened and why. Easier said than done when people at the school decide that it’s much better to keep the information to themselves. But is it?
Ben’s best friend Josh finds himself spiralling lower and lower into a depressed state, much to the sadness of his parents Lewis and Joanna.
I found ‘When he fell’ to be an unpredictable, heartfelt and emotional read. I think that Kate Hewitt has written about such a sensitive and devastating subject with incredible detail which made the story stand out and not seem like she hadn’t done her research. Clearly, she has. For the majority of the story, I felt like I was standing behind Maddie and seeing everything that she saw. Very cleverly written to be able to make the reader move into the story so to speak, but I found that incredibly emotional. Being totally honest, halfway through I felt like I shouldn’t carry on reading it because of the topic covered, especially with how deep and harrowing it got. However, the story had me gripped and I wanted to find out exactly what happened that day at school. Why the head teacher wasn’t volunteering information, and why Josh didn’t want to talk about it. Why didn’t he want to talk about it?
Several times throughout the book, I did get frustrated because I was desperate to find out why, I wanted answers for Maddie and Ben and they’re characters in a book! Joanna, Josh’s mum, has fears about her and Lewis’ relationship, especially as Lewis and Maddie spent time together during the children’s playdates. She thinks her son isn’t watching her body language or facial expressions, but he is, he can tell something is wrong. The calm before the storm. Joanna’s fears sound so minor compared to Ben’s accident, but everything isn’t as it seems.
I honestly thought I had guessed what the outcome would be when I was three-quarters of the way into the novel. I was wrong. Completely wrong. It’s not often I say this, but I loved being wrong in this instance because the last quarter of the story popped up from nowhere. Jaw dropped, gasping and going ‘oh my…..’. That is the sign of a very good writer because not only did Kate Hewitt manage to make me feel like I was IN the book, she had a way of connecting with my emotions. I say that like she wrote the book for me, hah. No, I mean it seems like she intended to connect her words with the reader and feed the reader such a poignant and memorable storyline.
The events that happened within the book are real life events for some children, which makes the storyline even more emotional. That said, Kate has written such a powerful book, especially when I keep thinking about it despite finishing the book a week ago. Such a talented writer, I cannot wait to read another of Kate Hewitt’s books!

Buy ‘When he fell’ from Amazon UK
Buy ‘When he fell’ from Barnes & Noble
Buy ‘When he fell’ from Kobo
Buy ‘When he fell’ from Google Play
Buy ‘When he fell’ from Waterstones
Buy ‘When he fell’ from WHSmiths

Kate Hewitt social links.

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Kate’s Facebook
Kate’s Twitter
Kate’s Instagram
Find Kate on Goodreads
Kate’s Blog

If you fancy a chance at winning a paperback copy of ‘This Fragile Life’ by Kate Hewitt, click the link to enter! Good luck!

 Enter the giveaway!

 

A book review of The Insignificance of You by Tammy Robinson.

The Insignificance of You by Tammy Robinson.
Published on the 10th December 2015.
Available to buy for your Kindle from Amazon UK.

‘After the death of her father when she was twelve years old, Skye Levene finds it easier to stick to her daily routine and keep her heart firmly closed against love. Without love, there is no possibility for hurt. At least so she thinks.

However, when she falls off the edge of a cliff and is saved by the mysterious Tai, routine goes out the window and suddenly she’s feeling things she never even knew were possible. Tai, fascinating, funny and sexy as hell, has his own burdens to bear, the reason why he’s camping out in the old abandoned lighthouse on the top of the cliff.

As snow falls and winter deepens, he introduces her to new experiences; card games, hot chocolate and the magic of stargazing. Most of all, he introduces her to love.

But when his past catches up with them, Skye is left wondering whether love is worth risking your heart for after all. 

First of all I would like to say a big thank you to THE Book Club and Tammy Robinson for the chance to read this book!

Skye hasn’t had the easiest of childhoods due to learning to cope with the death of her father. She tries to carry on with her life as best as she can, but, as the anniversary of her father’s death arrives, Skye’s life gets turned upside down. Again. But will Skye ever get her happily ever after? Or will she be faced with more heartbreak?

‘The Insignificance of You’ was the very first book that I have read (and come across) of Tammy’s, and now the bar is now raised incredibly high! Within the first few lines of the story, you’re transported to New Zealand (which is handy if you have never been!). The way Tammy has written about the surroundings is unbelievable. She has described them in such a way that I felt like I was standing on the edge of the cliff, looking out at the ocean. Tammy has stayed with the descriptive writing all the way through the story meaning that everything comes to life, and it’s like you’re in the story yourself.  I certainly felt that way because of the emotion and raw feelings that presented themselves within the story. Skye lives with her mum, and despite being in her late teens, her mother still worries about where she is and whether she can cope on her own. Rightly so if you think of their history!

I found every chapter to have a gripping moment which most certainly kept me even more interested as I carried on reading. I couldn’t wait to see what else happened and ended up reading faster than I do usually! More often than not, I was gasping in shock at the events unfolding before my very eyes. Although I will admit that I cried at the end…for two reasons. One: the ending of the story, and two: because the book was finished!! I didn’t want it to end and I was extremely disappointed that I had finished it. It was an unbelievable book to read from start to finish. I cannot find one thing that I didn’t like about it. There were no dull or slow moments and there was always something to keep you guessing. Personally, I found that the story spoke to me and contained very special messages. A message of following your heart no matter what the circumstances may be. A message of taking chances before it is too late and doing what YOU feel is right. I am in awe at what I read and I am (for once) struggling with my words. The Insignificance of You is such a brilliant and special read and I most certainly recommend this to anyone and everyone. You will not be disappointed. Even if you aren’t a big reader..you will love this!

The years of loving you – Review

The years of loving you –  by Ella Harper.
Published
19th November 2015 by Harper Collins Publishers (Avon books)
ISBN: 978-0-00-758184-9
Available on Amazon in multiple formats (paperback and kindle).

‘What if your first love was your only love?

When Molly is diagnosed with a life-changing illness, it feels like her whole world has come crashing down. She hopes the news will make her marriage to Sam stronger. But why does Molly always call Ed in a crisis?

Ed, the very same Ed that Molly fell in love with at a party when they were teenagers, underneath a star-filled sky. Then life took them in different directions.

Molly starts to question every decision she has ever made. What if they could turn back the clock? When the only certainty they shared was each other….’

Stop for a moment and think about YOUR life. Have you ever had to break devastating news about yourself to any of your loved ones? Or have you been the one to receive the terrible news, getting told that lives will never be the same again? Yes? Thought so. Me too, except that I was the one breaking the horrible news…..multiple times. So was Molly…
The story begins in the present, lots of laughing, drinks and a hint of tension. Throughout the story you not only follow Molly’s life, you follow Ed’s life as well. Ed and Molly have known each other for many years, they share a history and a connection so deep that they have remained friends right into their adulthood. Ed has had a troubled life with secrets and problems he is too embarrassed to tell anyone, even Molly. Unfortunately for Ed, his life comes crashing down and he ends up making one of the biggest mistakes of his life….
Molly is married to Sam, a man who has his eyes firmly focused on the prize….his business. Molly has to compete with it, even when she has to sit down and break the news to him that she has a chronic illness. An illness that will not only change her life, but her loved ones lives too. They will see her grieving over a life she has lost, whilst also trying to adapt to a life that is unpredictable…very unpredictable. Unfortunately, Molly finds herself battling with extra problems and becomes lonelier than ever.
Who will come through for Molly in her darkest times? Sam, or Ed? Or nobody?
The book stood out for me because of the illness situation. I had to find out how other people reacted to life changing news. Why? Because I relate to it in more ways than one. I have multiple chronic illnesses. Reading about what Molly went through and how other people reacted to the news, had me in tears. It’s a topic that people don’t want to talk about and I am very pleased to find Ella Harper putting it in her story. It is real life. People go through it every single day. Personally I found that to be my connection to the storyline and to the characters. Also, I was hooked on finding out whether the girl got the guy, or the guy got the girl!
In every chapter there is something that will grab your attention, whether it’s something funny, or sad. Ella Harper’s style of writing is very engaging and I found myself in the story like I was someone watching everything unfold right in front of me. Depending on your beliefs about certain situations within the story, you might find yourself siding with a certain character and their own decisions. I know I did. ‘The years of loving you’ is an emotional rollercoaster of a book because it takes you on a journey of love, life and self discovery. Personally, I found the ending to just appear, like it was too short, and I think that is because I was incredibly engrossed in the gripping story that I didn’t realise it was coming up!
Ella Harper has managed to capture the soul of each character, bringing them to life in a way that I have never experienced before. A wonderful book that will bring out every emotion possible. A book that will open your eyes to different eventualities, good or bad. A book that will make you think anything is possible. Ella Harper, thank you. It has been an absolute pleasure to read and I look forward to seeing what you come up with next.