Tag: RATED 3/5

The Garden on Sparrow Street by Tilly Tennant

51i+CbkuNYL Synopsis: As Christmas cheer fills Sparrow Street with excitement, grieving widow Nina is having a hard time. December is always a difficult month to face without her beloved husband Gray, the days feel long and bleak, and to cap it all, she’s just lost her job.

So when Nina hears that Sparrow Street’s Community Garden, one of Gray’s favourite places, is to be put up for sale she knows she must do something. Filled with purpose, she gathers the residents of Sparrow Street around her to turn the neglected patch of land into a Garden of Memories.
Continue reading “The Garden on Sparrow Street by Tilly Tennant”

When Life Gives You Lemons by Fiona Gibson

41D1gSSc0EL Synopsis: Sometimes life can be bittersweet . . .

Between tending to the whims of her seven-year-old and the demands of her boss, Viv barely gets a moment to herself. It’s not quite the life she wanted, but she hasn’t run screaming for the hills yet.

But then Viv’s husband Andy makes his mid-life crisis her problem. He’s having an affair with his (infuriatingly age-appropriate) colleague, a woman who – unlike Viv – doesn’t put on weight when she so much as glances at a cream cake. Continue reading “When Life Gives You Lemons by Fiona Gibson”

Dumped Actually by Nick Spalding

Synopsis: When Ollie Sweet is very publicly dumped by ‘The One’, his seemingly perfect world dissolves into misery, self-pity, and a bizarre rooftop meeting with a suicidal man in flip-flops. While most would seek out the support of loved ones at such a torrid time, natural-born journalist Ollie asks the subscribers of his website: how did they get over their failed relationships?

When Ollie follows some of their more extreme advice, chaos inevitably ensues, including accidentally exposing himself to some unsuspecting wildlife, jumping out of a perfectly serviceable aeroplane, and suffering from an extremely painful bottom, courtesy of a maniacal Scotsman. Continue reading “Dumped Actually by Nick Spalding”

The Bookshop on The Shore by Jenny Colgan

JC Synopsis: Zoe is a single mother, sinking beneath the waves trying to cope by herself in London. Hari, her gorgeous little boy is perfect in every way – except for the fact that he just doesn’t speak, at all. When her landlord raises the rent on her flat, Zoe doesn’t know where to turn.

Then Hari’s aunt suggests Zoe could move to Scotland to help run a bookshop. Going from the lonely city to a small village in the Highlands could be the change Zoe and Hari desperately need.

Faced with an unwelcoming boss, a moody, distant bookseller named Ramsay Urquart, and a band of unruly children, Zoe wonders if she’s made the right decision. But Hari has found his very first real friend, and no one could resist the beauty of the loch glinting in the summer sun. If only Ramsay would just be a little more approachable…

My Rating: 3/5

My Review: I have very mixed feelings about this book. On the one hand by the time I had finished it I realised I had enjoyed it, however on the downside it took me two attempts to get into the book. Normally with a JC book it just flows, but for some reason I struggled to gel with the main character Zoe and her son Hari. This had a somewhat lacklustre feel to it, which is not at all how I normally feel about her books but there was something missing for me in this latest book. Zoe and Hari start afresh up in Scotland, and Zoe splits her time between running a mobile bookshop for Nina and looking after Ramsay Urquarts children. The story just seems to trundle along with no real eye catching characters which is again slightly unusual with this author. I persevered and by the end it was a reasonably enjoyable book but in truth nowhere near as good as her other books.

Her Husband’s Mistake by Sheila O’Flanagan

51EFH2s4q3L._SX308_BO1,204,203,200_ Synopsis: Roxy’s marriage has always been rock solid.

After twenty years, and with two carefree kids, she and Dave are still the perfect couple.

Until the day she comes home unexpectedly, and finds Dave in bed with their attractive, single neighbour.

Suddenly Roxy isn’t sure about anything – her past, the business she’s taken over from her dad, or what her family’s future might be. She’s spent so long caring about everyone else that she’s forgotten what she actually wants. But something has changed. And Roxy has a decision to make.

Whether it’s with Dave, or without him, it’s time for Roxy to start living for herself…

Kat’s Rating: 3/5

My Review: I couldn’t help but feel a little disappointed by this book. Even the synopsis sounds cliched and sadly it was a little bit. Roxy is our main character and her and Dave have been married for years and have 2 children together. A day after Roxy’s fathers funeral she comes home and finds Dave in bed with the next door neighbour (see what I mean). Not only do we see Roxy lose her Father but we also see her lose a marriage. 

Now of course like most feel good books we also get to see Roxy try and grow as a person and all that jazz, but I have to be honest there were just too many elements of this book that grated on me. I thought Roxy was pretty weak for start, which normally wouldn’t bother me but with characters such as her Mother stating that “women cannot have it all” just irritated me. For some reason I loathed the majority of the characters and it spoilt the book for me. 

If I were to put my feelings of individual characters aside the story is okay, and I wouldn’t go as far as calling it bad because Sheila O’Flanagan is a natural born writer. I have been reading and loving her books for years, but for some reason everything about the characters just rubbed me up the wrong way. Not a terrible book but certainly not for me. 

I Heart Hawaii (I Heart 8)


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Synopsis: When you’re running away from real life, there’s only one place to go…

When Angela Clark’s best friend Jenny invites her to join a press trip to Hawaii, three days of sun, sea and sleep sounds like the perfect antidote to her crazed life.

At work in New York, she’s supposed to be the face of Having It All. But the only thing Angela feels she excels at is hiding in the printer cupboard, eating Mini Cheddars and watching Netflix on her phone and if this is living the dream, she’s more than ready to wake up.

A few days away with Jenny sounds like exactly what she needs but Angela’s talent for getting into a scrape guarantees nothing goes to plan – and not even the most beautiful beaches, blue skies and daiquiris will get her off the hook…

My Rating: 3/5

My Review: To be honest as much as I love this series I think it’s run it’s course and this seems to be (don’t quote me on it though) the last book in the series which I think it should be. Angela Clarke has been a great character to follow along with her mad friend Jenny and the rest of the gang. This follows Angela as she takes her first break away from her baby and leaves her in the capable hands of her husband Alex, while she flies off to Hawaii with Jenny and a whole crowd of people.

The story has its classic and very funny lines from all involved and as usual had me laughing along to some of the madness Angela gets herself involved in. But for me there was something missing in this book. There is a strain on the friendship between Ang and Jenny and although this is revealed and resolved later in the book, it felt like Jenny was the missing piece for a lot of this book.

There were some very funny moments during the Hawaii trip and Lindsey Kelk’s humour shines through like magic, but for me I was glad this was wrapped up the way it was and it ended the series well. It was a great way to say goodbye to the gang and leave the way clear for new characters and new books.

The Summer Of Serendipity by Ali McNamara

51ob7EeMlZL._SX316_BO1,204,203,200_Synopsis: One summer, property seeker, Serendipity Parker finds herself on the beautiful west coast of Ireland, hunting for a home for a wealthy Irish client. But when she finds the perfect house in the small town of Ballykiltara, there’s a problem; nobody seems to know who owns it.

‘The Welcome House’ is a local legend. Its front door is always open for those in need of shelter, and there’s always a plentiful supply of food in the cupboards for the hungry or poor.

While Ren desperately tries to find the owner to see if she can negotiate a sale, she begins to delve deeper into the history and legends that surround the old house and the town. But for a woman who has always been focussed on her work, she’s remarkably distracted by Finn, the attractive manager of the local hotel. Continue reading “The Summer Of Serendipity by Ali McNamara”

The Christmas Wish by Tilly Tennant

Synopsis: Christmas is coming but it doesn’t feel that way for Esme. Jilted by her cheating fiancée Warren and mourning the death of her beloved grandmother she’s determined not to let life beat her and books a trip to Lapland, on a holiday that her grandmother had always dreamed of taking.

Beneath the indigo skies of Lapland, love is the last thing on Esme’s mind but she can’t ignore a spark with Zach, a broodingly handsome actor, also nursing a broken heart. But when Esme is bombarded by messages from Warren promising he’s changed and she discovers that Zach is hiding something-will her head be turned? And when a trip to the northern lights reveals the full extent Zach’s own secret past is there any hope that Esme will get the happy ending that her grandmother wished for her?

My Rating: 3/5 Continue reading “The Christmas Wish by Tilly Tennant”

The Birthday by Carol Wyer (Natalie Ward #1)

Synopsis: One hot summer’s afternoon, five-year-old Ava Sawyer went to a party. She never came home… 

Two years later, Ava’s body is found and another little girl, Audrey Briggs, goes missing. Audrey also attended that party …

Leading the investigation is Detective Natalie Ward. A mother of two teenagers, this case chills her to the bone, and is a disturbing reminder of the last job she worked on. One that still keeps her awake at night…

Natalie soon discovers that Ava’s mother has some worrying gaps in her alibi and as she digs deeper, she’s sure Ava’s father is not telling the full story. And what did the owner of the garden centre Elsa see that day? Something that she’s not telling Natalie …

Just as Natalie is facing up to the grim possibility that Ava and Audrey were killed by someone close to home, another little girl from the party doesn’t come home from her ballet lesson. Can Natalie find a way to stop this killer before more innocent lives are taken?

Kat’s Rating: 3/5 Continue reading “The Birthday by Carol Wyer (Natalie Ward #1)”

Come and Find Me by Sarah Hilary (Marnie Rome #5)

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Synopsis: On the surface, Lara Chorley and Ruth Hull have nothing in common, other than their infatuation with Michael Vokey. Each is writing to a sadistic inmate, sharing her secrets, whispering her worst fears, craving his attention.

DI Marnie Rome understands obsession. She’s finding it hard to give up her own addiction to a dangerous man: her foster brother, Stephen Keele. She wasn’t able to save her parents from Stephen. She lives with that guilt every day.

As the hunt for Vokey gathers pace, Marnie fears one of the women may have found him – and is about to pay the ultimate price.

Kat’s Rating: 3/5

My Review: Well I am a little bit surprised by how I feel having finished this book. I am a huge Sarah Hilary fan and have loved the previous 4 books, however…yes you guessed it, I wasn’t overly keen on this one. Sometimes no matter how much a fan you are, some storylines you just can’t get into and this book was one such case.

For a start I picked up and started this book 3 times which is unusual for me, but every time I got the first couple of chapters in I found I didn’t want to read on. So on my third attempt I ploughed on and as with most books before you know it you are halfway through. The premise involves a riot at Cloverton Prison and a prisoner escapes, which leaves all sorts of problems in its wake and some of these problems involve Marnie Rome’s foster brother, Stephen Keele. Marnie’s sidekick Noah (who I love by the way) is back again and he and Marnie must find the escapee Michael Vokey before he does more damage.

I’m not going to delve any more into the storyline because the synopsis tells you that but in one way I almost felt like I had read this on its own without knowing who had written it Sarah Hilary would have been the last person I chose. I feel like her writing style is somewhat different to previous books and it almost felt like it could be read as a standalone book, even though there are some things that involve past events. I just can’t put my finger on what exactly it was but when you are part way into a series and have loved all 4 books, you have a certain expectation for book 5. I almost feel like having read this, somebody got it wrong and this isn’t the correct book by the right author…does that make sense.

If I look at it as a standalone book, yes it’s certainly not a bad book and I am sure thousands of people will love this. However, for me I really couldn’t move away from a middle of the road rating because it is just too far removed from the others in the series. Having seen many other reviews, I feel like maybe I am in the minority and maybe (sometimes this happens) my head wasn’t in the right frame of mind. I think my conclusion would be certainly not a bad book, just not what I was expecting. I think I may we revisit this in a few months just before Book 6 being released and see if I feel differently about it.