Sunday, 28 June 2015

Book review: Making Ends Meet - Anna Clifton (Reviews By Mom)



From Anna Clifton comes a sweet, emotional, beautiful romance about a man whose life has been derailed and the unexpected woman who can help him get it back on track.

‘It’s for other reasons that I won’t need a nanny beyond a month.’

Twenty-three year old nanny Somer Sullivan has never had a job quite like this one: fix the messed-up, out-of-control life of high-profile artist and thirty-something dad Harry Halligan. But Somer is organised, efficient and not afraid of a challenge. She will do everything Harry needs her to do, including bringing his ex-wife home for good.

‘One month, Harry, and I’ll be out of here.’

Harry Halligan doesn’t want a nanny, but he needs one—he needs Somer. She’s the only one who can reach his troubled daughter, who can bring some measure of peace to his home. But as Somer advances her mission to fix his life, a few things become clear: his ex-wife might not be the answer, and Somer just might be. But Somer is running like hell from something in her own life and hiding in his.

Only one thing is for sure. Harry now has less than a month to make the hardest decision he’ll ever have to make—a decision that will change all of their lives forever.
 


Review By Mom
Making Ends Meet tells the beautiful story of  Somer and Harry Halligan, brought together by intervention of friends and relatives, not knowing what all live-changing impact their encounter would bring.
They both have had their share in life when it comes to grief, loss, feelings of disappointment in love. And above all, they both share a strong feeling of guilt and responsibility for what happened tot hem and to the people they love.
This makes them very reluctant and hesitant when it comes to opening up to someone else and for love.
Anna Clifton describes perfectly and with such beautiful prose how the main characters feel. The dialogues between all the characters in the book are heartwarming and contain such a lot of wisdom. Even Harry’s 7 year old daughter is extremely clever when it comes to relationships, honesty… You immediately feel familiar and sympathizing with Harry, his children and Somer.
It’s a moving story, romantic and not at all cheesy; I loved to read it. Once started it’s hard to put the book down.


 


Saturday, 27 June 2015

Book review: Paris for One - JoJo Moyes

 

Bestselling author Jojo Moyes brings us a charming and heart-warming short story in association with Quick Reads.

Nell is twenty-six and has never been to Paris. She has never even been on a weekend away with her boyfriend. Everyone knows she is just not the adventurous type.

But, when her boyfriend doesn't turn up for their romantic mini-break, Nell has the chance to prove everyone wrong.

Alone in Paris, Nell meets the mysterious moped-riding Fabien and his group of carefree friends. Could this turn out to be the most adventurous weekend of her life?
 


My opinion.
What a charming novella! In what literally seems like only a few pages, JoJo Moyes introduces two fabulous characters and the most heartbreaking yet romantic setting at the same time.
What could have been the worst weekend ever for Nell, turns into the perfect movie-like scenario.
My only regret is that this wasn't a full length novel. Both the story-line and the characters could have easily filled a 400 page novel and I would have been completely in love.
Paris For One is the perfect holiday read. Stay away from the internet though, 'cause you just might book yourself a trip to Paris after reading this!



 



Friday, 26 June 2015

Book Review: Return To Bluebell Hill - Rebecca Pugh


As sweet and satisfying as strawberries and cream! This British summertime, get out in the garden with Rebecca Pugh’s sparkling debut novel.

Home is where the heart is…

Jessica McAdams has never belonged anywhere; never truly felt at home. Of course, what did she expect from parents who never made her feel welcome in her own house? Leaving her life in London to return home to the charming country village of Bluebell Hill is harder than she thought. Especially as she never considered she’d be returning under such heart wrenching circumstances…

Clearing out the stunning and imposing Bluebell House after her parents’ death is difficult for Jessica—they never had the best relationship and now it’s too late. Yet spending time in the house that was never a home, having afternoon tea with dear old friend Esme—and sharing hot, sizzling kisses with delectable gardener Rueben!—opens Jessica’s eyes to the potential of Bluebell House… Could this big old, beautiful manor really be her forever home? Is Bluebell Hill where her heart is, has always been?

Jessica soon dares to dream of her very own home with delicious Rueben by her side. But when a deep, dark secret of Bluebell House is unearthed, Jessica’s world is turned upside down…

Will Jessica ever find where her heart truly lies?

An emotional tale of self-discovery, taking chances and romance! Rebecca’s unique British voice feels like coming home again and again.


My opinion.
First, I'd like to congratulate the wonderful Rebecca with her fabulous debut!
I really enjoyed reading Return To Bluebell Hill. The cover is stunning, the characters easy to love and the setting is gorgeous. Rebecca's descriptions of the town are brilliant. Post-card-perfect; just like Bluebell House, I'm sure!
Although Jessica, the main character, is going through an emotional time, the story is still very upbeat. It feels care free and has the perfect male lead to swoon over.
I'm usually not one to comment on writing style - not being a native speaker - but I truly loved Rebecca's writing and beautiful words.
Like I said, I really enjoyed reading it and I'm already excited to read more. Very promising debut!


 


Book review: Hero or Zero - Julie Shackman (Reviews By Mom)



A light-hearted, funny romance novel you will adore

When single mum Chloe Jones wins a magazine competition to have TV heartthrob Ethan Blake live with her for a month, she thinks her dreams have come true. And the presence of the handsome star in her home and small Scottish town certainly causes a stir. But when Chloe begins to see his true colours, will she find the courage to face him, and admit where her heart truly lies?
 


Review By Mom.
Hero or Zero is a lovely, fun story. Although the story line is a bit simplistic, Julie's writing is funny, reads very smoothly and had me laughing out loud a few times. It's a fun story about a girl's dream come true, but maybe not quite as she'd expected. Call it a 'modern day fairy tale' with a happy ending.
It's a relaxing read with funny dialogues. 


 

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Book Tour: Never Let You Go - Katy Regnery


Regret, betrayal, kidnapping, loss, madness, abuse, passion, love.

In this modern retelling of Hansel and Gretel, thirteen-year-old foster children Griselda and Holden escape from their abductor after three years of brutal captivity, and try to cross the Shenandoah River on foot. Tragically, one of them makes it to safety, but the other is left behind.

Ten years later, Griselda’s boyfriend drags her to a fight club grudge match, and her world is turned upside down when she watches Holden step into the ring.

Though the connection between them is fierce, bitter regret, simmering rage, and a tangle of physical and emotional scars lie between them, just as dangerous as the white water of the Shenandoah.


Never Let You Go is a story of fear and hope, defeat and survival, and two people—once profoundly broken—who discover that love is the only thing that can make them whole again.


My opinion.
I've been a big fan of Katy Regnery's romance novels for a while now, and she never ceases to amaze me. I was completely overwhelmed with the intensity of The Vixen And The Vet, but nothing prepared me for this one.
At first you can't stop reading because you have to know what happened, you have to have the pieces of the puzzle to keep your mind at ease. Then, you can't put the book down because you're desperate to know "what happens next". And all of a sudden, you find yourself completely in love with these characters and putting the book down is simply impossible.
It's a dramatic, emotional and passionate love. Never Let You Go is the sort of story that will stay on your mind long after you finished reading it.
Yes Katy, Queen of Romance, you did it. Yet again.


Barnes & Noble - http://bit.ly/1cKiYoo
iTunes/iBooks - http://apple.co/1GbUbnL



Excerpt from Never Let You Go

This girl. Everything about this girl made him want, made him long, made him yearn to change his life, start his life, finally live his life after a decade of going through the motions. He wanted to get a better job to take care of her. He wanted to stop fighting because she disapproved of it. He wanted enough money to have every tally mark lasered from his arm. He wanted some sort of guarantee that she’d never, ever leave him again. And he wanted all of it now. Yesterday. Ten years ago, and every day since.
Standing up slowly, he let his body settle into an upright position before taking his time crossing the hall to the bathroom and then heading out into the common room.
She stood at the stove with her back to him, her feet bare, her hair in a ponytail, the mouthwatering smell of fried chicken filling the entire cabin with goodness. Holden leaned against the wall, crossing his arms over his chest, a grin taking over his face as he watched her.
“It’s just the thought of you—the very thought of you, my love,” she sang, using a fork to transfer a golden leg to a paper towel–covered plate.
As she reached forward to turn off the stove, some of the leftover grease in the frying pan spat up at her and burned her wrist.
“Ow!” she yelped. “Damn it!”
With a sudden rush of adrenaline, Holden crossed the kitchen in two strides. He turned on the faucet and grabbed her arm to thrust her wrist under the cold stream. He held it there, wincing at the red blotch developing on her white skin. When he lifted his eyes to hers, she was staring at him with a surprised, curious expression.
“It’s just a little burn.”
He shrugged, still holding her arm, staring down at the burn.
“You were asleep,” she said.
“You were singing.”
“Too loud?”
“No.”
“You remember that song?”
“I remember.”
He slid his palm down her arm to cradle her wrist from below.
“The stove’s still on,” she said.
Without dropping her hand, he took a step closer to her, reached around her waist with his free hand, and flicked the burner off.
“I made fried chicken,” she said softly, her cheeks flushed.
“I can smell it.”
“You like fried chicken. I mean . . . you must have mentioned it to me a hundred times when we were—”
“It’s still my favorite.”
They were both silent for a few seconds, and Holden knew he should drop her hand and step away from her, but he couldn’t. She’d hurt herself doing something kind for him, and it just about shredded his heart.
 Just another moment, he told himself. A few more seconds touching her and then I’ll move away.
“Sorry about the singing,” she whispered, unmoving, her breath kissing his throat.
He jerked his neck to face her, his thumb curling into her palm, his eyes searching hers for mercy.
“I loved it,” he murmured.
She stepped forward, closing the distance between them, her lips parting, her breasts grazing his chest through his T-shirt as she stared up at him.
“Holden, I . . .”
Every breath she took seemed to draw him closer to her, as if she was breathing him, not air. He leaned forward, into her, his free hand reaching for hers.
“Griselda . . .”
Her eyes, dark blue and churning, flicked to his lips, lingered there, then slid back up his face and seized his.
His self-control snapped.
After all, he was only human.

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Book review: All The Light We Cannot See - Anthony Doerr (Reviews By Mom)


 

Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where he works as the master of its thousands of locks. When she is six, Marie-Laure goes blind and her father builds a perfect miniature of their neighborhood so she can memorize it by touch and navigate her way home. When Marie-Laure is twelve, the Nazis occupy Paris, and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great-uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel.

In a mining town in Germany, the orphan Werner grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find. Werner becomes an expert at building and fixing these crucial new instruments, a talent that wins him a place at a brutal academy for Hitler Youth, then a special assignment to track the resistance. More and more aware of the human cost of his intelligence, Werner travels through the heart of the war and, finally, into Saint-Malo, where his story and Marie-Laure’s converge.


Review By Mom.
All The Light We Cannot See truly is a beautiful and compelling story. It's about young people who grew up in different circles, each with their own expectations, with the grim war as the theme throughout the story. It's  magnificent how all the pieces off the puzzle eventually fall into place. 
Anthony Doerr's descriptions of both the character's lives and how each of them experience the war, are incredible.
I highly recommend this book. Magnificent read.


 

Monday, 1 June 2015

Book Tour: The Definition of Icing - Aven Ellis (Dallas Demons #2)

 


Kenley Hunter finally has everything sorted out. Fresh from studying chocolate making in Europe, she's
gambling everything on her new business, Confection Consultations.

All Kenley wants in life is people to take her seriously, to see the person on the inside rather than the
blonde beauty on the outside. While pursuing her passion of chocolate, Kenley discovered people seek her
knowledge. They see past the exterior and fall for the chocolate delights in front of them.

So with work as her focus, Kenley is ready to start her career in Dallas. Men are out of her recipe, because
she fears that once they get past her looks, they’ll be disappointed in what they find. Kenley decides she's
all about the chocolate now.

Or is she?

Because a chance meeting with new Dallas Demon hockey star Nate Johansson might change everything.
Sent to Dallas in a blockbuster trade, Nate is somewhere he doesn't want to be, for reasons that have
caused him heartbreak on multiple levels. Nate knows he will never trust a woman again after what
happened to him in Minnesota.

But when he meets a woman with an intriguing name and a passion for chocolate, Nate isn't so sure about
his theory. And he might just learn a definition of icing other than the one used in hockey with Kenley as his guide...


My opinion.
She's back! Aven Ellis has treated us to a new fabulous installment in what's proving to be one of the best series ever: the Dallas Demons hockey romances! If you haven't read the first book, Waiting For Prince Harry, no worries: you can perfectly fall in love with The Definition Of Icing without having read the first one, but I would suggest reading them in order - it's just more fun.
It came as no surprise that I fell in love with Nate, Kenley and their story from the moment I started reading. Aven Ellis has a way of writing the girl you've always wanted to be - or wanted as a best friend - and the guy you've always wanted to date. Or at least dream about ;-)
In true Aven Ellis style, her characters are fun, interesting and original. Easy to relate to, but always surprising. Apart from the gorgeous main characters, she also introduces some hilarious new people and with every addition to their Dallas Demons world, you feel more and more like you're a part of their "family".
Get ready to be swept of your feet and to fall in love. [but make sure you have a stash of chocolate at the ready! Along with some tissues, maybe]


Check out more fabulous books by the amazing Aven Ellis:
   

The Definition Of Icing: