Friday, 13 October 2017

The Man I Thought You Were by Leah Mercer

One fine autumn evening, Anna returns from work and starts making dinner, eager to welcome home her husband, Mark. It’s just like any other day in their ten-year, Pinterest-perfect marriage—until he says he’s leaving her.

Discovering that the man she thought she knew better than anyone else is capable of abandoning it all sends Anna reeling. She believed the life they’d built together—and the bright future they’d imagined—counted for everything. How can he walk away?

The truth is Mark is battling secrets of his own—secrets Anna knows nothing about. A painful past and an uncertain future threaten to bring his life down around him—and he’ll do anything not to expose her to that.

But unravelling the past is lonelier than Mark could ever have imagined and, as the days turn to months, Anna worries the separation will break them forever. Can she bring him back from the brink of self-destruction before it’s too late, or will she discover that she never really knew him at all?

Anna's husband Mark tells her he's leaving her after ten years of marriage. Anna has no idea why and Mark offers no explanation,he just leaves.

When we find out why Mark has left  I felt annoyed with him. I realise there were hidden events in his life that made him act the way he did but I still found his reasoning difficult to understand.

I liked Anna's character and the journey she takes us on trying to find where her husband is and the real reason why he left. I even liked Mark's father, although he knew he had made mistakes in the past he admitted the and was ready to be a better dad.

I didn't gel with Mark throughout the book until near the end of the story, but I never quite forgave him for what he put Anna through.

Another good read from Leah Mercer who's books keep getting better and better. If you haven't read her before,give her a try.

Out in kindle or paperback. Kindle download is £1.98

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Nineteen Letters by Jodi Perry

The 19th of January, 1996 . . . I'll never forget it. It was the day we met. I was seven and she was six. It was the day she moved in next door, and the same day I developed my first crush on a girl.
Then tragedy struck. Nineteen days after our wedding day, Jemma was in an accident that would change our lives forever. When she woke from her coma she had no memory of me,of us,of the love we shared.
That's when I started writing her letters. The stories of our life. Of when we met. About the happier times, and everything we'd experienced together.

What can I say about this book? It grabbed my heart and squeezed every emotion it could find from it.
Jemma and Braxton have been neighbours and friends since childhood. They have been married for nineteen days when tragedy strikes and Jemna is left in a comma. Braxton is devasted and stays by her bedside until she awakes. 

When Jemma comes round from the comma she has no memory of who she is or of the life she had.
Braxton's world collapses again when Jemma orders him out of her hospital room. He has no idea how to get throught to her,then someone suggests writing his feelings down in letters to her. This becomes the first of nineteen letters he sends to Jemma, nineteen is a significant number to them.
We hear their story through the letters and what a beautiful story it is, but can Jemma ever find her way back to Braxton and the life she lived? 

The other characters in the book have good sub plots too, Jemma's parents,Braxton's father,and two of Jemma and Braxton's friends.
Set in Australia this story is so beautifully written it will break your heart and stay with you long after you have closed the book.

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

The House by Simon Lelic

The heart-stopping thriller about a husband and wife who are hiding something from each other, and from you...This book won't let you go until you've found out the truth. Perfect for fans of Erin Kelly, Gillian Flynn and Fiona Barton.

Whose story do YOU believe?
Londoners Jack and Syd moved into the house a year ago. It seemed like their dream home: tons of space, the perfect location, and a friendly owner who wanted a young couple to have it.
So when they made a grisly discovery in the attic, Jack and Syd chose to ignore it. That was a mistake.
Because someone has just been murdered outside their back door. And now the police are watching them.

I'm delighted to be today's stop on the blog tour for The House by Simon Lelic.
Jack and Sidney bid for a house in London. The have tried to buy one many times before but because of the London house market have always been outbid for a property.
This time is different. Despite there being many bids for the house and despite their bid not being the highest it is sold to them.
The house is sold as seen and is full of the vendor's possessions. It seems he found love and moved to Australia to be with his girlfriend leaving everything behind..
Jack and Sidney are too happy to care but Jack does have a nagging doubt that everything is not as it seems.
They have forgotten the saying that,if something is too good to be true it probably is.

Jack and Sidney's problems all begin with the house and now the find themselves accused of murder.
They decide to write down everything that happened since they bought the house. Each telling their side of the story in alternate chapters.
This book held my interest all the way through. There is a sub plot when Sidney meets a young girl Elsie who reminds her of herself. Trying to help the girl Sidney tells her the story of her childhood and we are drawn into the lives of this woman and young girl.

So much happens in this book,it twists and turns and you don't know who is doing the twisting.
Can Jack and Sidney's relationship survive someone determined to destroy it?
This is the first book I have read by this author and I really enjoyed it. I thought at first it was a ghost story, which it isn't but it's full of nervous tension and keeps you on the end of your seat.

find it on Amazon here

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

The Art of Hiding by Amanda Prowse

What would you do if you learned the life you live is a lie? 

Nina McCarrick lives the perfect life, until her husband, Finn, is killed in a car accident and everything Nina thought she could rely on unravels.

Alone, bereft and faced with a mountain of debt, Nina quickly loses her life of luxury and she begins to question whether she ever really knew the man she married. Forced to move out of her family home, Nina returns to the rundown Southampton council estate—and the sister—she thought she had left far behind.

But Nina can’t let herself be overwhelmed—her boys need her. To save them, and herself, she will have to do what her husband discouraged for so long: pursue a career of her own. Torn between the life she thought she knew and the reality she now faces, Nina finally must learn what it means to take control of her life.

This is the first book by Amanda Prowse I have read and I throughly enjoyed it. The family in the story went from having a luxurious lifestyle to losing the father and breadwinner and then losing everything else.

 This is not what the story is about. It's about the human spirit,it's about change, but most of all it's about family and who is there for you when your life changes,who turns their back on you and who stays around.

Although I didn't cry reading this story there are parts which are very sad. I wanted to reach out to Nina's two boys,one a teenager and one only ten. Nina found out a lot of things about her marriage after her husband died. She thought she had the perfect life but didn't realise that he had isolated her from friends and family,put her in a bubble and when the bubble burst she had no one.

The only negative point I have to make about this book is that is too short with less pages than most novels I read. 

£2 for kindle download. Also out in paperback.

The Break by Marion Keyes

Amy's husband Hugh says he isn't leaving her.

He still loves her, he's just taking a break - from their marriage, their children and, most of all, from their life together. Six months to lose himself in South East Asia. And there is nothing Amy can say or do about it.

Yes, it's a mid-life crisis, but let's be clear: a break isn't a break up - yet . . . 

However, for Amy it's enough to send her - along with her extended family of gossips, misfits and troublemakers - teetering over the edge.

For a lot can happen in six-months. When Hugh returns, if he returns, will he be the same man she married? Will Amy be the same woman? 

Because if Hugh is on a break from their marriage, then so is she . . . 

What would you do if your husband said he was going on a break from your relationship for six months? He was leaving you to cope with the children,the house, the bills and your job. I would certainly have more to say than Amy did. So Hugh swans off to Thailand and Amy is left,all she makes him promise is he won't post photos on social media for her friends to see. Amy also has her own agenda, a crush she had on a guy a few years ago and didn't act on it but if Hugh is free to do what he wants,is she free too.?

The best part of this book is Amy's Irish family, especially her parents and her sister. I did have a good laugh at their antics. Amy's mother is driven mad with the father's dementia and is finding solace outside of the home re- inventing herself and becoming well known on the Internet.

I didn't feel so invested in the main story of Hugh and Amy. This is mainly because we didn't get to know Hugh before he left. We don't know what his reasons were except that he wanted "a break," don't we all? He told Amy there would be no contact from him for six months, no texts or phone calls so we never got to know the story from his point of view. The ending was predictable and by that time I didn't care for either of them. The Irish family saved the book in my opinion.

At £9.99 for a kindle download,I'd wait until the paperback edition is published.

Friday, 15 September 2017

Another Woman's Husband by Gill Paul

Two women who challenged the Crown.

Divided by time. Bound by a secret...

Rachel's romantic break in Paris with her fiancé ends in tragedy when the car ahead crashes. Inside was Princess Diana. 

Back in Brighton, Rachel is haunted by the accident, and intrigued to learn the princess had visited the last home of Wallis, Duchess of Windsor, only hours before the crash. Soon, the discovery of a long-forgotten link to Wallis Simpson leads Rachel to the truth behind a scandal that shook the world.

At the age of fifteen, carefree Mary Kirk and indomitable Wallis Warfield meet at summer camp. Their friendship will survive heartbreaks, separation and the demands of the British Crown until it is shattered by one unforgivable betrayal...

Gill Paul has become one of my favourite authors. I describe her books as being set in a special time in history with the added question, "What if ? " And that's where Gill Paul weaves her imagination into a true historical story.

Like many of the people who will read this book I remember the death of Diana and the controversy surrounding it very well indeed. I knew the story of Wallis Simpson from television dramas and newspaper stories. I knew nothing of Wallis's early life or who her friends were or how she managed to get herself in the position of being in the company of a future king. 

She was quite a gal and I am unsure whether she ended up with David (ex King ) by default or whether she really loved him. I found a lot more out about her husband Ernest and his life which was interesting too.

The way the author introduces a connection between Wallis and Diana is very clever. After reading this book I googled lots of facts about Wallis Simpson and was surprised to discover that most of this book is true, there is only a very small part of it didn't happen....or maybe it did and we just haven't been told. You'll have to read it for yourself to find out.

At 99p for a kindle download it's a steal!

The Little Bakery on Rosemary Lane by Ellen Berry

Growing up in a quiet Yorkshire village, Roxanne couldn’t wait to escape and find her place in the world in London. As a high-powered fashion editor she lives a glamorous life of perennial singlehood – or so it seems to her sister Della. But when Roxanne gets her heart broken by a fashion photographer, she runs away, back to Della’s welcoming home above her bookshop in Burley Bridge.

But Burley Bridge, Roxanne discovers, is even quieter than she remembered. There’s nothing to do, so Roxanne agrees to walk Della’s dog Stanley. It’s on these walks that Roxanne makes a startling discovery: the people who live in Burley Bridge are, well, just people – different from the fashion set she’s used to, but kind and even interesting. Michael, a widower trying to make a go of a small bakery, particularly so. Little by little, cupcake by cupcake, Roxanne and Michael fall into a comforting friendship.

Could there be a life for Roxanne after all, in the place she’s spent 46 years trying to escape?

This is the second book in the Rosemary Lane series. I enjoyed the first one,The Bookshop on Rosemary Lane and I was looking forward to his one.

Roxanne has made it in life. She has managed to escape the boring village she was brought up in and is now a London fashion editor on a glossy magazine. Roxanne loves her life and shares it with her equally successful photographer boyfriend Sean.

Things suddenly change at the magazine and new brooms are brought in which shatter Roxanne's working life. Life with Sean looks like it's going down the plug hole and this prompts Roxanne to seek peace back in her home village where her sister runs the local bookshop. 

Reading this book was like putting on a nice warm,cosy jumper, familiar and safe. I was happy to be back in Rosemary Lane. I would love a job in the bookshop it sounds devine. But this book is about the bakery and although we meet the owner Michael and his family I would have liked the story to have been about them and their bakery more than it was. 

Roxanne was the centre of the story and I suspect book three might be about her too. The descriptions of the village and surrounding countryside and the people who lived there made me want to pack my case and open a shop of my own right next to the bookshop.