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Friday, 23 February 2018

Review: If Only I'd Listened

If Only I'd Listened If Only I'd Listened by Claire Boley
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is a book which will take you back to the 1960’s.
So you need to think about that era as you read it.

Times are so different now on how morals have slid and cliches like “ born on the other side of the blanket” has been thrown away with the babies bath water!
People will say, what does that actually mean?

Today you don’t get looked down on or treated different if you had a child out of wedlock.

Back then you did.

Parents would have course be disappointed if they’re youngster found themselves potentially becoming parents when what they should be concentrating on is getting an education.

This is the case of Peter and Samantha.
Sixth formers. A quickie fumble and Sam finds herself pregnant.

We have all the emotional journey of both immature kids, but I personally thought Peter a bit of a plank. He got on my nerves so many times.

It’s an everyday type of family drama that no matter what era.....happens. Despite acceptance or not, it happens.

An easy read, gentle unfolding of the characters.
Mild.
Not much grit or something you could get your teeth into however it’s subject matter was something we all could sympathise with.

The author was good at her details of the area which added some firm grounding.

The ending wasn’t the greatest.
Not sure why it ended so abrupt, but, maybe the authors planning a book 2. I’m not sure.

If you are looking for an easy read, drama/ family type read. This one may be your choice.

View all my reviews

Thursday, 22 February 2018

Prosecco and Promises by A.L. Michael SPOTLIGHT & REVIEW



A feel-good story of self-discovery and love in the face of grief, join Mia in the beautiful Italian island of Ischia. Perfect for fans of Mhairi McFarlane, Lindsey Kelk and Lucy Vine.

Since her mother died when Mia was a child, her dad has been her best friend and her idol. Now, the cancer he survived years before is back, and this time there’s no fighting it. To make matters worse her dad’s last request is for Mia to leave him and visit her mother’s family on the Italian island of Ischia so she doesn’t have to be there at the end.
Arriving at the sun-soaked island, Mia is embraced by the warm, crazy family she doesn’t know. While she waits for the phone to ring with the dreaded news, Mia desperately looks for a connection to the mother she never knew. Stumbling upon an antique shop run by the charming Antonio and his grouchy but handsome grandson Salvatore, she throws herself into helping with the shop restoration. As Mia and Salvatore’s bickering soon turns to chemistry, will she risk having her heart broken when she knows what’s waiting for her at home?







This was a sweet insightful story. It’s about grief, raw feelings, family loyalty and keeping promises.

Mia lost her Mother, and when young was taken to Italy by her Father to visit the Italian family and her mother’s heritage.

Now that she’s older, this time she is returning to Italy, to her mothers Italian family to fulfill her fathers dying wish. It’s painful to leave him behind weakening each day dying from cancer. His secound wife is not much older than Mia.

She’s had to break all ties, not ring, not write to her father.

Can you imagine that?

When she returns to Ishcia among her mothers family she gets a warm welcome. Apart from her Mothers, Mother. Is it because she doesn’t want her there that her Grandmother doesn’t speak to her, or is it because of language barrier or something else?

Mia revisits a store which she remembers from the first time she was there. Is that man the owner still alive?

We travel with Mia through her grief, through her emotions, finding love in the most unexpected place. Her highs, her lows and the loss of one half of her family with the gain of the other.

I read this in one sitting. An easy flowing read that you will adore.

Thank you Canelo via Net Galley for my copy
 and to Ellie Pilcher for inviting me to be part of this blog tour



A L Michael is a writer, currently living in Watford. She has a BA in English Literature with creative writing, and an MA in Creative Entrepreneurship, both from UEA. She also has an MSc in Creative Writing for Therapeutic Purposes, where she researched the usefulness of therapeutic writing with those in recovery from eating disorders.

She writes books about women who are trying to figure out their place in the world, and who aren't afraid to make mistakes.

When she's not writing novels, she's working as a content writer, practicing yoga, looking at puppy videos or drinking too much red wine.

She is represented by Madeleine Milburn.


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Review: If Only I'd Listened

If Only I'd Listened If Only I'd Listened by Claire Boley
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is a book which will take you back to the 1960’s.
So you need to think about that era as you read it.

Times are so different now on how morals have slid and cliches like “ born on the other side of the blanket” has been thrown away with the babies bath water!
People will say, what does that actually mean?

Today you don’t get looked down on or treated different if you had a child out of wedlock.

Back then you did.

Parents would have course be disappointed if they’re youngster found themselves potentially becoming parents when what they should be concentrating on is getting an education.

This is the case of Peter and Samantha.
Sixth formers. A quickie fumble and Sam finds herself pregnant.

We have all the emotional journey of both immature kids, but I personally thought Peter a bit of a plank. He got on my nerves so many times.

It’s an everyday type of family drama that no matter what era.....happens. Despite acceptance or not, it happens.

An easy read, gentle unfolding of the characters.
Mild.
Not much grit or something you could get your teeth into however it’s subject matter was something we all could sympathise with.

The author was good at her details of the area which added some firm grounding.

The ending wasn’t the greatest.
Not sure why it ended so abrupt, but, maybe the authors planning a book 2. I’m not sure.

If you are looking for an easy read, drama/ family type read. This one may be your choice.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Review: Tess and Tattoos

Tess and Tattoos Tess and Tattoos by H.A. Leuschel
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is one of the stories within the book Manipulated Minds.
This one was published on its own.
I went into this short story blind to only be surprised and amazed by this authors writing.

For such a short book I was so engrossed.

Tess and Tattoos
I loved the title and it has bearing within the story.

Tess has a story to be told.
To her son.
But it can’t be fave to face.

I knew about Stockholm Syndrome.
But this story, revelation and the ending blew my mind.

Absolutely fab.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Review: The Good Sister

The Good Sister The Good Sister by Maggie Christensen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I enjoyed this authors other book I had the chance to read, but this one I did enjoy so much better but for different reasons.

This one is an historical fiction but I enjoyed the modern day overture as it could easily be of present day due to the emotions, love interests etc that are never going to be different from one era to the next.

Isobel MacDonald is falling is love with Bob, he is the smitten image of Clark Gable.
I personally didn't like him.
Isobel is a pure girl, whilst her friends may not have the same morals as her, she wants to stick to her beliefs of staying pure, but Bob isn't so patient with her and he is the most horrible person, I felt like slapping him. It seemed all he wanted from Isobel was what he couldn't have.
So he walks away.

Isobel’s niece, also named Isobel, but wants to be known as Bel, comes to look after her aunt Isobel with her failing health, near her last days. Bel has been away for some time because of circumstances, but she loves her aunt and wants to do what's best for her aunt.

It shows how the generations and the sisters can manipulate for the Good.

The war breaks out and loved ones need to sign up. We see the devastation that can cause.
Lovers wanted to get married in haste 'just in case' because no one knows the future or what may happen in such times.

We have Isobel planning things not only for her death but for instigating the happiness of her dear niece.

I loved this book, I loved the characters, the stories, the past and the present, the love interests the emotions the whole drama/family dynamics unfolding as I read.

I enjoyed this authors book Champagne for Breakfast, but I especially enjoyed this one.

Its well written, its well rounded and has enough going on that peaks you're interest.
A fairly new author to me, but one I'm keeping on my radar.

View all my reviews

Review: Let Me Lie

Let Me Lie Let Me Lie by Clare Mackintosh
My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I have read some emotionally driven thrillers in the past, but boy oh boy what the heat on in this one.
I am definitely not going to go into this complex and cleverly written thriller.

You need to go in blind with this one and enjoy the dynamics of this great book.

About 3/4 of the way in you may think, nothing is happening, its like having your camera pointing at something that is times to come near and you want to snap it before you miss it, this was the case in this book, you are poised, waiting, waiting, waiting and then BANG the explosion happens.
Stay with it, its well worth the suspense.

My thanks to Little, Brown Book Group UK via Net Galley for my copy

View all my reviews

Review: Dead Ernest

Dead Ernest Dead Ernest by Frances Garrood
My rating: 4 of 5 stars


This was an unexpected delight.

Ernest suddenly dies. Hes not long had his tea, so how come he had a heart attack outside the local chippy, his wife wonders.

Ernest didn't expect to die he was a pillar of the Community in which he lived in.

But what is this all about? Annie his wife refuses to have "beloved husband" engraved on his headstone.
Her son feels she has locked away her feelings, she feels nothing, so he calls in the help of the Vicar. The Vicar calls, but she is a bit reluctant, but after several visits she opens up to him.

Gradually things come to light about Ernest and they're marriage. Then up pops Annie's Granddaughter Ophelia.

The Vicar and Ophelia form a bond and all becomes very complicated.

This story spans from the secound world war to the present day.

In those day, in marriage you made your bed you lie in it.

So when Ernest dies Annie is free.
Its like taking the chains off of a prisoner, they have gone from having decisions made for them, their every move accounted for, they suddenly they are free.

Its a poignant story with a sense of sadness, sense of loss but also some laugh out loud moments.

This will be released toward the end of March 2018.

An amazing book that I would love you to take a chance on.



View all my reviews