#BlogTour! Love Them & Leave Them by Sue Shepherd (@thatsueshepherd) @emmamitchellfpr #Review

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On his way home, Ed makes a split-second decision that changes the lives of all those who love him.

Six years on, Ed’s daughter, Jessie, is stuck in a job with no prospects, her dreams never fulfilled. It will take more than her unreliable boyfriend, Chris, and temperamental best friend, Coco, to give her the confidence to get her life back on track.

But what if Ed had made another decision? It could all have been so different …

Six years on, Ed’s daughter, Jessica, has a successful career, loving boyfriend, Nick, and a keen eye on her dream home. But when new clients, a temperamental Coco, and her unreliable boyfriend, Chris, walk into her life, Jessica’s perfect world soon starts to unravel.

Love Them and Leave Them is a story of love, families, friendship and a world of possibilities. Whichever decision Ed makes, the same people are destined to come into his daughter’s life, sometimes in delightfully different ways. And before they can look forward to the future, they will all have to deal with the mistakes of the past.

What does TWG think?

Wow, where do I begin? It took me a little while to work out what was happening as the storyline kept switching between times, which wasn’t as clear as I would have liked. However, once I realised it was like that I was able to envelope myself in the storyline.

This is yet another tough review to write as I need to be extremely careful about what I say in case the slightest sentence written, gives away anything vital!
I must admit though, the entire novel caught me off guard. I didn’t start reading with any expectations yet from start to finish, the storyline exceeded any expectations I would have had, or did have subconsciously. Does that make sense?

I was absolutely blown away by the powerful emotion that hid beneath Sue’s intense storyline. It really did make me think about how our decisions, regardless of how big or small, will affect someone or something in an irreversible way. Scary thought really isn’t it? Makes the question ‘could you pass the milk?’ not as simple as one once thought as you’re either going to annoy them by saying no, or you’re going to be pausing what you’re doing to say yes, in turn annoying yourself. Don’t get me wrong, the powerful storyline in this book is nothing compared to milk, but hopefully you get what I’m saying! The whole concept really did make me think and it was even harder to digest when you had different outcomes of those choices, unfolding in front of your very own eyes.

Whilst ‘Love Them & Leave Them’ is based, albeit loosely, around relationships, the novel stands out from similar rom com style books. This isn’t a book about the simple things in life, or whether the boy gets the girl. It’s a book about choices and what happens when you make a decision based on a whim. It’s a book about putting your trust and faith into people who have never given you reason to trust them before. It’s a book about thinking and learning how to do what is right for YOU when the situation calls for it. That said, it’s also a book about making decisions because you HAVE to and not because you WANT to.

‘Love Them & Leave Them’ filled me with so much raw emotion, I couldn’t even file my thoughts away as quickly as I would have liked to. The storyline made me think, it made me gasp, it made me laugh and yes, it even made me well up. BUT, Sue Shepherd’s book isn’t a plain sailing as the cover suggests that it is; it’s deep, raw and it just keeps giving.

The way the storyline was set out, the dimensions of the characters, even the possible outcomes of the circumstances in question; everything just….fit.

‘Love Them & Leave Them’ really blew me away with its quirkiness and powerful storyline, so much so, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it since I finished reading it.

Eye-opening, thoughtful and incredibly intense; ‘Love Them & Leave Them’ will stay with you for a very long time. As long as you remember to think…

Thank you Sue.

Buy now.

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‘Love Me for Me’ says Jenny Hale! TWG says..#bookreview!

Love Me for Me.
Published: 21st May 2014 by Bookouture.
Available to buy from Amazon UK and Amazon US.
Add it to your GoodReads shelf!

‘Sometimes you find perfect where you least expect it…
Libby Potter has just lost the perfect job, the perfect apartment and the perfect boyfriend. Moving back to the home town that she couldn’t wait to escape when she was younger was definitely not on her to-do list. Especially as it means running into the man whose heart she broke when she left.
Pete Bennett can still make Libby’s world stop with just the sound of his voice – even ten years on. Only now, she is the last person in the world that he wants to see.
As everyone else welcomes Libby home with open arms, she realizes she’s missed that special closeness that comes from lifelong friendship. And, as Libby seeks to make amends with Pete, she begins to wonder whether she made the right choice in leaving all those years ago.
When an amazing career opportunity gives her the chance to leave again, Libby will have to decide what her version of perfect is… and where she really belongs. ‘

Jenny Hale has always been a familiar name that has stuck in my mind for ages, and I couldn’t quite place where from. I mean, I knew she wrote books, obviously, but which ones? I knew I had seen them somewhere. So, one rainy day in May, I scurried off to Amazon to do a little bit of detective work. As you do. Within 0.1232 seconds I had a lightbulb moment. I KNOW WHAT BOOKS! How do I know? Because I had put a load of them into my wish list…and never bought them. Such an idiot!!!!! Soon after I was involved in ASI (author scene investigation 😉 ), I noticed on Twitter that Jenny was about to release a new book Summer at Oyster Bay (casually throws in a clicky to the new book). Anyway! Back I went to Amazon and gave myself a swift talking to. I wanted to read her new book but I had to read an older one first, for research purposes….’Love Me for Me’ it was!

Libby has lost her livelihood; her job, her boyfriend AND her home. For someone who has to have a plan in life, Libby finds herself faced with severe uncertainty of what lies before her. Which path should she choose? She gave up her old life to move to the big city, and now people of the big city have given Libby up. It’s time to see whether Libby follows her heart or her head….or her mother’s influence….
When you’re of a certain age, with your whole life in front of you to do whatever you choose, it can make you feel incredibly powerful. Your life, your decisions, yes? Well, it’s never that simple. What if you were made to think that a well paid job in the big city and power meant success? What if you were made to think that staying local meant you had failed?
After reading ‘Love Me for Me’ I felt so disappointed in myself because I had no idea why I hadn’t picked this book to read before now. You can tell that Libby is a lost soul, she has no idea whether she is coming or going, or what she wants to do with her life. As far as she is concerned, she made her bed and now she has to lie in it. I loved walking down memory lane, so to speak, with Libby and Pete. Finding out where they used to go as children, who they used to hang around with, all the little things that never seem important at the time. Yet, as soon as you’re an adult, it’s those little things that make your jigsaw complete. I saw some of myself in Libby’s personality because of the way she couldn’t find the confidence to go with her heart instead of worrying what people would think of her.
I seem to be saying that a lot, that I can relate to quite a few characters in stories, but I love feeling connected to a book in that way.
Reading some of the novel with Pete’s thoughts and feelings in the back of my mind, I could tell how much of an ‘old soul’ he was. Heart in the right place, but he was going with his head, the complete opposite to Libby.
I thoroughly enjoyed ‘Love Me for Me’. There was always something within the storyline to keep me wanting more, whether it was an emotional part or nosiness! I can honestly say I could not find one fault with this book AT ALL. Well, except that it had to end, but I suppose that one is allowed ;). Just like Libby, family has always been important but I have never been the sort to do family meet up’s. However, after reading Libby’s story it made me realise that family won’t be around forever and instead of thinking ‘i’ll go see them soon’, change that to ‘now’. Soon may never come around. Memories will stay with you, but so will regret, just as Libby finds out.
Such a thought-provoking read filled with love, passion and learning to make the ‘right’ decisions for the ‘right’ time. Absolutely brilliant.

The Summer Escape – Book Review

The Summer Escape by Lily Graham.
Published: 26th May 2016 by Bookouture.
Available on Amazon in Kindle format.

Amongst the beautiful olive groves and sea-front tavernas, summer has arrived on the sun-drenched island of Crete.
After losing the love of her life, Ria’s life has been on hold. So when her boss becomes completely unbearable she makes the snap decision to run away to the Greek island of Crete, armed only with her passport.
When Ria finds herself working for eccentric novelist Caroline, she meets handsome vineyard owner Tom. He’s charming, mysterious and Ria starts to wonder if it’s not just the beautiful Greek island that she’s falling for.
But as Ria gets to know Tom better, she uncovers a tangled web of secrets. What is he hiding? Ria has some secrets of her own. Can she open up to Tom and learn to live again?
This summer, escape to the sun with this charming and emotional story about starting over and grabbing happiness with both hands.

This is becoming a habit of mine. ‘What is?’ I hear you ask, leaning forward on the edge of your seats waiting patiently for my words…….
Sorry, I went on holiday, to Crete for approximately six hours. Well, it only took me six hours to read! Back to my habit. This was yet another book I judged by its cover. Sorry!! I hadn’t read the blurb before I began to read it, I just spotted the cover and the author on Twitter and went to read it for a review. Simple as that. Thank you to Netgalley and Bookouture for the advance copy of the book!
At first glance, the cover made me think it was going to be a light-hearted, romantic, simplistic book which gives you an idea to find a holiday romance on your travels. Is that what you’re thinking it’s about?
Welcome to Ria’s life, or lack of, seeing as she is stuck in a job with a boss and a colleague that finds fault in everything she writes. Ria finds herself in a difficult situation after terrible things happened in her life, making her future become full of uncertainty. No five-year plan anymore so to speak. Should she stay, or should she go?
Ria makes a decision that changes her life once and for all. A decision that puts her on the path that a loved one had wanted for her all along. But how influential was that loved one? Will Ria be able to honour her loved ones dreams, but more importantly, will Ria be able to find herself again and honour her own dreams?
Along the way you meet vibrant and exciting characters, some who you probably won’t pay too much attention to at first, and some that you wish you had paid more attention to. On her travels, Ria finds herself in hot water, more than once, thinking that she was about to lose her new-found life. Can she hold onto it? Will Ria finally get the happy ending she has dreamt about? Or will Ria find herself going back to living with her parents, working with a teacher’s pet?
After reading the book, I found my first glance to be somewhat incorrect. I mean, it is a romantic story, very romantic. However, oh my goodness me! It isn’t simplistic at all and I love that! The amount of skeletons that you see come from the closet is unbelievable. The amount of secrets that ONE family, sorry, no, one person can have is absurd! Absurd in a ‘this makes fantastic reading’ kind of way. I felt sorry for Ria throughout most of it because she has had an incredibly tough time, and you find yourself willing her to succeed and be happy. Even when she lands herself in hot water you will probably find yourself willing for her still, wanting her to finish what she started! I wouldn’t suggest reading this book when you’re hungry though. You go to several bakeries in the story, more than once, and unless you don’t like Greek pastries then you’re going to be a tad stuck. I have never tried Greek pastries myself, but oh I want to now.
Several times during the book I laughed out loud, the humour and jokes between Ria and Caroline (her new boss) are on point. Modern humour. This book should have come with a warning though: ‘WARNING: do not, under any circumstances, forget the tissues’. Why? Because you will cry! I hope you do actually, because if you don’t then I’m even more soppy than I thought and I cannot have that. So when you read it, cry. Deal?
‘The Summer Escape’ is a book about love, dreams, second chances, but more importantly; truth. It is such an unpredictable read which will have you captivated by the end of the first chapter. Lily Graham has written a book that will stay in the back of your mind, in a good way, and make you question your own paths in life. Are you living your life for somebody else, or are you living your life for YOU?

I have had the absolute pleasure the past few days to get to know Lily, and not only is she a wonderful writer, she is also a wonderful person. You’re all in for a good time with this book. Lily, I cannot wait for your next book, please keep me updated! If it’s anything like this one, it will be incredible!