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Book review: The Life You Left by Carmel Harrington

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*Copy provided by publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

First time I heard about Carmel Harrington was last year when I read so many fantastic reviews of her debut ‘Beyond Grace’s Rainbow’. I still haven’t read that book, but it’s on my kindle and I do hope I will be on it soon. The positive feedback from my friends/bloggers and praise of Carmel’s writing were enough to get me excited about reading her books. I was beyond thrilled to be approved for this title on NetGalley and started reading it immediately. I found myself immediately drawn into it, from the opening line which is probably one of the most powerful openings I’ve ever found in a book.

Carmel created one interesting mixture of drama and suspense with lots of paranormal and bit of romance elements. Sarah has just received the most terrifying e-mail from her husband, telling her he’s leaving her and their 3 kids because he’s under too much stress and needs some time by himself. A lame reason, if you ask me, especially since one of their kids is just a baby. It really made me hate him from the bottom of my heart, and made me wonder what kind of animal could do such a thing to his family? But it also got me intrigued to find out all the reasons as well as the history of Paul and Sarah’s relationship. What could lead to such a thing? Was is Sarah’s fault? Is Paul having an affair? WHAT? I just needed to know.
However, this is not the usual drama/romance..there’s also the paranormal element, since Sarah has a gift, one she’s been wanting to forget all about but seems that’s been thrown into her face just when she’s in the hardest situation in her life. While trying to meet ends and provide for her family, she’s also reconnecting with an old friend of hers, Edward who is an angel.

I found the story really unique and interesting, especially since it’s been a while since I’ve read a story with paranormal elements. I must say I hated, HATED HATED HATED Paul and despised him so much I really felt like throwing my kindle any time he would appear in the story. As for Sarah, I can’t say I connected 100% with her, but I did admire her for her strength and willingness to make things right and everything she did to save her family. BUT there were also some parts which felt kind of unbelievable, and no, I don’t mean the paranormal bits. It was because of those things I couldn’t truly sympathize with Sarah, but they might be considered as spoilers so I will not include them in this review. I also expected this book to get more feelings out of me, however it didn’t. Maybe I was not in the right mood for it, or maybe (which is more probable) I just couldn’t connect to Sarah as much as I wanted. I did feel so much hate for Paul, but just couldn’t feel as much love for Sarah.

I also wish there was more romance, but that’s just me. Overall, this was an interesting read and kind of felt like stepping out of my comfort zone. I’m definitely looking forward to reading Carmel’s ‘Beyond Grace’s Rainbow’ and once I’m done reading I can maybe compare these two books, which as I understood from friends who have read it, do differ.

My rating: 3.5/5

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Book review: Deathbed Dimes by Naomi Elana Zener

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*Copy provided by author in exchange for an honest review*

Joely comes home one day and finds out that she was robbed and her fiance was kidnapped. But in fact, he left her because he was gay and took all the furniture with himself. Things to be worse, her lousy collegue Chip gets the promotion instead of her. So she leaves. Going home to her mom is not that easy as it seems. Her mother is a former actress and her father is former director who has a lot of mistresses. Her mother thinks that only good career for a woman is to be mother and wife. Trying to escape from her family issues, Joely start a law firm with her two best friends, Coco and Ethan. First case, Esty’s legacy. Joely meets Esty on her airplane to home, and they talk to each other. Joely remembers that she has seen the file while working in the previous law firm. And she remembers the details. A revenge for Chip is such a good thing for Joely.

I love Joely as a MC. I love her attitude, her way of coping with the ups and downs in her life. I adore Coco, her best friend and Sylvia, Joely’s  mother. Both are so hilarious, so funny, but also so loyal and always there when you need them (in their own way).

What started as a really good chick lit story, soon switched into a legal thriller. At first I enjoyed reading about Joely and her friends and her family, but soon after that, the whole story turned into a legal thriller full of law terms. I was expecting classical chick lit story, and it started that way. But soon the story got in another direction and it wasn’t chick lit anymore. Somehow it splashed to the end. I got lost in all those law terms.

But that didn’t stop me from enjoying the book, most of the time. Overall, it’s an enjoyable read full of goofy characters that will make you laugh most of the time.

My rating: 3.5/5

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Book review: Synchronized Breathing by Tara Ellison

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*Copy provided by author in exchange for an honest review*

Scarlett thinks that she has everything, a gorgious husband, a lovely little son, a job. That’s until she finds out her husband’s little secret, and decides to leave him. Under her mother’s roof again, with a little boy in the package, Scarlett has to start all over again. But being a single mum is not an easy job at all. Finding a flexible job (bills have to be paid), looking for the One, starting all over again, takes a lot of efforts. Her mother CeCe is not a role model for a mother. She moves a lot, jumps from one man to another all the time. Even if she is little crazy, she loves her family very much and always has a good advice in store (well, sort of).

Scarlett is a strong person as a MC, most of the time. She longs for that everlasting love, for the life she never had, for the place called home she never had. But you have to kiss many frogs until you find the prince. She longs for that moment when you lay with your man together and breathe as one, being one. But she has a son, a cute little boy named Oliver, and not all men want commitments. Scarlett is a good mother, her son always comes first.She wants to be a better mother than CeCe. So when Scarlett has to choose between the man she loves and her boy, she does what every mother would do, chooses her son. Even if I doubted her from time to time, I really respect her for that.

Overall, Synchronized Breathing is a loveable emotional read about starting anew, about coping with issues being a single mother. You have to take every chance to rebuild your life again. I had some doubts while reading some parts, but overall, it’s a great debut.

My rating: 3.5/5

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Book review: Geli Voyante’s Hot or Not by Elle Field + INT giveaway

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Meet Angelica, or Geli (as her friends call her), the writer of the famous column Hot or Not. Writing the most impressive columns and getting the boyfriend of her dreams, she seems to have it all. Until, a photo on Facebook ruins it all.

Her archenemy Tiggy is getting married.

Tiggy is also Geli’s stepsister and she has to attend the wedding. Just how on earth, the most selfish bitch got the most gorgeous and nicest man in the world?

There are things about Geli that I loved. I was so impressed with her way of doing her job. I laughed so hard at the conversation about Hilary-Obama marathon. Poor Geli, she thought it was all about two sportists running a real marathon. Well, not everyone is interested in politics. On the other hand, seeing all friends’ statuses changed into “engaged”, makes her feel jelous. Her sister is getting married, her archenemy is getting married, however she is not getting married. So what!?! She’s just twenty-five. Everyone has fears that will stay single for the rest of the life while all the others are getting married. But Geli suddenly starts to show interest for Tiggy’s boyfriend. Not Hot, at least for me. Her attitude was little bit annoying sometimes, but that made her appear only more real. Nor good or bad, just ordinary girl with feelings.

Geli’s family life is like a telenovela. Tiggy was her best friend until she lost her virginity with Geli’s boyfriend. Geli and Tiggy’s families were best friends until Tiggy’s father died and couple of months later, Geli’s father divorced her mom and married Tiggy’s mom. So the girl she hated the most became her stepsister. And she hates her.

Theo is Geli’s gorgeous boyfriend. She always admires his well-shaped body. He knows about politics and he reads her column. What’s more to ask? Is this guy real?

Tiggy always has two faces. One as a mask, the other one is real. Everything is just a play for her. She seems so nice, but than, boom, she stucks a knife in the back. The author created a reading that was fun and entertaining to read. It made me laugh so many times. Sometimes it made me feel like watching a telenovela. I liked the way it was narated and how characters were developed. Overall, I did enjoy it and will be on a watch out for Elle’s upcoming novels.

My rating: 3.5/5

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GIVEAWAY:

Thanks to lovely Elle, we have one paperback of ‘Geli Voyante’s Hot or Not’ to give away. The giveaway is open internationally and closes on April 25th. The winner will be contacted by e-mail and will have 48 hours to claim their prize by responding to our e-mail. In case we don’t hear from them in 48 h, we’ll have to pick another winner. This Chick Reads is not responsible for the delivering of your prize. This giveaway is sponsored by Elle Field. Enter through rafflecopter and best of luck!

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Book review: Honeymoon in Paris by Juliette Sobanet + INT Giveaway

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*Copy provided by author in exchange for an honest review*

I’m a HUUUGEEE fan of Juliette Sobanet and she got on my list of favorite authors immediately after I read her debut ‘Sleeping with Paris’ (back in 2011). That book was just so much fun! Naturally, I was over the moon when I got the opportunity to read the sequel and see what Charlotte is up to now.

For those who haven’t read ‘Sleeping with Paris’, fear not my friends. There’s enough information in this sequel about the MC’s past, so it can be easily read as a stand-alone. Still, I advise you to read the first part too, mostly because of it’s awesomeness.

So, lovely Charlotte is back, now she’s a year older and more mature and she’s marrying the love of her life. The wild lady who started up a blog dedicated to how to date like a man, fell madly in love, stopped blogging and decided to dedicate herself to Luc and her stepdaughter.

And she’s gonna have the honeymoon every woman dreams of, except…of meeting Luc’s ex-wife. No, that part is definitely more like a worse nightmare, and could ruin her honeymoon. Things start to get complicated when Charlotte finds out Luc has been keeping many secrets from her. They are mostly family business and things connected with his dad. But what kind of life could she expect with a man who’s starting to build their mutual life on lies?

Without wanting to spoil this book for you, I’ll just say – be prepared for lots of drama and some mystery.
Recently I read Juliette’s book ‘Dancing with Paris’ which is not part of this series, and though I enjoyed it I realized Juliette’s writing has changed quite a bit during the years. Now, don’t get me wrong, she’s still a brilliant author, but unlike her debut and first part of this series, seems Juliette started experimenting with genres. ‘Honeymoon in Paris’ has less romance and more drama, action and mystery. I’d say it’s a mixture of chick lit and cozy mystery, which really is fine with me, still I kind of wanted more romance and humor.

Some of the things were bit over the top for me, and even for a chick lit (I don’t say this in a bad way) they somehow felt way too surreal. And yes, that’s what fiction is all about – make you escape reality, however, I do value a good dose of realism in my books (or in MCs).

That said, I have to admit I enjoyed this book less than ‘Sleeping with Paris’. Still I’m glad I read it and I’m so happy to get together with Charlotte once again. Though she’s matured, she’s still the lovely, cute, up-beat Charlotte I fell in love with years ago. I loved her friends, though I must say, they do end up in loads of trouble!

Overall, this was a quick, easy and enjoyable read. If you’re a fan of chick lit with strong cozy mystery elements, I do recommend you check this book out. I’m sure I’ll be reading everything Juliette writes in the future, and am really intrigued by all these transformations she’s going through as a writer.

My rating: 3.5/5

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GIVEAWAY:

Thanks to lovely Juliette, we have an 3 e-copies of ‘Honeymoon in Paris’ to give away. The giveaway is open internationally and closes on March 31th. The winners will be contacted by e-mail and will have 48 hours to claim their prize by responding to our e-mail. In case we don’t hear from them in 48 h, we’ll have to pick another winner. This Chick Reads is not responsible for the delivering of your prize. This giveaway is sponsored by Juliette Sobanet. Enter through rafflecopter and best of luck!

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Book review: Never Google Heartbreak by Emma Garcia

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*Copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review*

Actual rating 3.5/5

It usually doesn’t take me long to settle for a rating, but this particular book gave me a bit of headache. While it had great potential to be even a 5* one, there were couple of things that did trouble me. At the end, I’m rounding it to 4 stars while it’s more of a 3.5*.

It does still mean I liked it, because I really did. I don’t have a different criteria for debuts and I always try to approach a book totally unbiased, even those that are written by my fave authors. I have to admit I’ve read quite..ummm…not good debuts and every time I pick up one I get strangely nervous and a bit anxious. But good thing from reading lots of debuts is discovering new authors, fresh stories, different writing styles. So it’s a bit of challenge, but overall is a pleasant experience.

I would never tell ‘Never Google Heartbreak’ is a debut. The writing is fantastic and you can tell the author sure put all her heart into this book. The title is brilliant and the cover is stunning, and as much as everyone says those stuff don’t matter..still they are a great bonus right?

All Viv wants is to marry Rob, the love of her life. But seems every time they get close to an engagement, Rob gets cold feet. Viv is full of understanding, but the last time Rob says they need a break, she fears something else is happening. Is a new woman involved? Was he unhappy with her all this time? Why would anyone need a break from a steady, lovely relationship? She’s devastated and appears she’s not able to let go of Rob. Is Rob the right guy for her, or is there someone else waiting to give her the love and respect she deserves?

Some parts of this book were simply hilarious! I was laughing and laughing, I just couldn’t stop myself. I loved the whole idea of setting up a website to ‘heal’ and help other heartbroken people. But when it comes to the characters, I have to say as much as I wanted to LOVE Viv, I simply couldn’t. I did like her and sympathized with her (and am forever grateful to her for making me laugh so hard) yet at times all these attempts to get Rob back felt too tiring. She’s trying so damn hard and obviously he didn’t appreciate it, so those bits really annoyed me a bit.

As for the story, as much as I enjoyed it, I was surprised with some parts (not in a good way), but I wouldn’t like to spoil the book for you and I’m not gonna comment on them.

Overall it was an enjoyable and funny read, one I’d definitely recommend. I’m not sure if there’s a sequel coming (I read that some place) but if there is one, I’d definitely want to read it.

My rating: 3.5/5

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Blog Tour: Hopelessly Devoted to Holden Finn by Tilly Tennant – Review + Giveaway

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Blurb:

There’s only one man for Bonnie, and that’s Holden Finn.

The problem is that Holden Finn is a twenty-three-year-old pop megastar with his boy band, Every Which Way, and has no idea she exists. Not only that, but half the women in the world want to be Mrs Finn, including Bonnie’s teenage daughter, Paige. The real men in Bonnie’s life do nothing but let her down, but a man you can’t possibly have can never do that… right? She’s safe inside her fantasy bubble.

Then Paige wins a radio competition to meet Holden and the band, and Bonnie’s carefully-constructed world starts to unravel. She is about to find out that you should be very, very careful what you wish for …

My review:

*Copy provided by author in exchange for an honest review*

Actual rating 3.5/5

‘Hopelessly Devoted to Holden Finn’ is an interesting and fast read. It’s centered around Bonnie, a 35 year old woman and a single parent to Paige. She’s got a huge crush on Holden Flinn, who’s not only a mega star, but is much younger than her. Bonnie and her friend win a competition and they are about to meet Holden Finn. Dreams do come true, e? Well after Bonnie gets to meet Holden, the plot starts really to get interesting and drama starts happening. And then there’s Max and Bonnie’s ex Henri.

Well, personally I did find this whole crush thing a bit silly, because I’m almost 35 and I certainly do not daydream about celebrities. Maybe it’s because of this that I couldn’t really connect to Bonnie, though she’s an interesting character. But I loved her relationship with Paige and it was really wonderfully described.

The writing is lovely and makes the book a real page turner. It’s quite a short read, and perfect for fans of romantic comedies.

My rating: 3.5/5

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Excerpt

Bonnie lay in the bath, staring up at the ceiling. It needed painting, she thought vaguely, as she gazed at the bubbled plaster and clouds of mould that had gathered in the corner by the window. The walls weren’t much better. If she was completely honest, the whole room needed to be ripped out and started again, but that wasn’t going to happen any time soon on her budget.  She had dropped massive hints to her mum that she needed a visit from the DIY SOS team, but Jeanie had stubbornly refused to notice.  Paint was going to have to do, but even that would have to wait. With a school trip to Belgium to pay for and a list of bills that never seemed to be under control, it was just another promise to herself that would not be delivered.

True to her forecast, Paige had taken herself into her bedroom as soon as they walked back into the flat and had been in there for the two hours they had been home. Bonnie could hear the odd stifled giggle, and the low hum of conversation, but what was being discussed she could only guess at and, despite the fact that Paige would probably be unaware of it, eavesdropping didn’t seem right.  With that in mind, she wasn’t rushing to get out of the bath only to sit in front of the TV alone and watch the endless stream of pointless drivel that counted for entertainment. It seemed like a long time ago since Paige had wanted to sit with her and chat in an evening.

Dear Holden,

Please rescue me.

Love, Bonnie.

 

Bonnie’s thoughts were interrupted by a hammering at the door.

‘Mum!’

‘What?’

‘The internet’s gone down again!’

Bonnie frowned. ‘What do you want me to do about it? I’m in the bath!’

‘I was in the middle of an important conversation with Annabel.’

‘And?’

‘Well, now I don’t know what she wanted to say.’

‘Have you turned off the router and started it up again?’

‘Yeah, that didn’t work.’

‘I don’t know what it is then. I’ll have to phone the cable company or something later.’

‘What about Annabel?’

‘What about her?’

‘I need to speak to her.’

‘Phone…’

Bonnie heard a loud, theatrical sigh and then Paige’s footsteps as she stomped away.

Wine was in order, lots and lots of wine. Tomorrow was Sunday and there wouldn’t be anything better for Bonnie to do than nurse a well-earned hangover.

Reaching for the towel, Bonnie hauled herself out of the bath. She ought to go and look at that router before Paige exploded with rage.  Knowing her daughter’s volatile temper these days, it wasn’t completely unimaginable…

That was when she heard the high-pitched squeal.

Wrapping the towel around her dripping body, Bonnie rushed into Paige’s bedroom.

‘Mum!’ Paige shouted as Bonnie burst in the door. ‘What the hell’s the matter with you?’

‘I could ask you the same thing!’ Bonnie thundered as she saw that Paige was lounging on her bed with the phone, just ending a call and clearly not injured or in any sort of peril at all.

‘There’s nothing wrong with me.’

‘I said I would ring the cable company, but you could at least let me get out of the bath.’

‘Who cares about the stupid internet? Annabel phoned me when she couldn’t get through.’

‘What’s with the screaming then?’

Paige sat up, her face now glowing and her eyes suddenly alive with excitement.

‘Annabel’s just told me about an amazing competition.’

‘Competition?’ Bonnie asked with some exasperation, now aware that she was making quite a wet mess on the carpet.

‘Yeah! To meet Holden!’

Bonnie’s mouth fell open. Her gaze travelled to the poster above her daughter’s bed.  She didn’t need to ask which Holden. Suddenly, her pulse seemed to run that little bit quicker. ‘Holden?’ she repeated.

‘Yeah, Holden Finn… from Every Which Way.’

‘I know who you’re talking about,’ Bonnie said in a dazed voice.

‘I’m going to enter; it’s dead easy; all you have to do is text his middle name.’

‘Gabriel!’ Bonnie squeaked.  As soon as she had, she felt the colour rush to her cheeks.

‘OOOH, get the oldie in the know.’

‘I’m not that old,’ Bonnie laughed awkwardly, relieved that her moment of embarrassment had gone unnoticed.  But inside she was a whirlwind of emotions. She might be as close as a text message away from meeting Holden Finn. But then she saw something of her own excitement reflected in her daughter’s face and realisation came crashing in on her. Even in the incredibly unlikely event of her winning if she entered this competition, how could she not give her place to Paige? Paige, who would want her best friend, Annabel, to go with her, not her embarrassing, almost grey-haired mum.

‘Anyway, it costs, like, about two quid to text, that’s alright though, yeah?’ Paige rattled off, already tapping away on her phone without waiting for her mum’s reply.

‘I suppose,’ Bonnie said. ‘Maybe I should text too, from my number, double your chances and all that?’

Paige looked up in surprise. ‘Would you, Mum? That’d be epic.’

‘Hmmm, epic… I suppose it would be,’ Bonnie murmured to herself as she went to get dry.

About the Author:

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Tilly Tennant was born in Dorset but now lives in Staffordshire with her slightly nutty family. Tilly is married to Mr Tennant (not that one, though a girl can dream). After years of dismal and disastrous jobs, including paper plate stacking, shop girl, newspaper promotions and waitressing (she never could carry a bowl of soup without spilling a bit), she decided to indulge her passion for the written word by enrolling on a degree in English and creative writing. She wrote her first novel in 2007 during her first summer break at university and has not stopped writing since. She also works as a freelance editor, and considers herself very lucky that this enables her to read many wonderful books while getting paid for it.

Tilly Tennant on Twitter: https://twitter.com/TillyTenWriter

Tilly’s facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/TillyTennant?ref=hl

Tilly’s blog: http://tillytennant.com/

GIVEAWAY!

Lovely Tilly and Shaz from Fiction Addiction Tours are giving you a chance to win some awesome prizes. The giveaway on this tour is paperback copy of Hopelessly Devoted to Holden Finn PLUS £15/$25 Amazon Gift Card and it’s open internationally. Entering is easy, just follow the refllecopter and you’re in. Best of luck my lovelies!

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Book review: Once upon a Christmas by Sarah Morgan

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*Copy provided by author in exchange for an honest review*

WHAT? Surprised I’m still reading Christmas books? Well don’t be, because I really don’t care if it’s February, July or December. I can read Christmas books all year round. Especially if they are written by Sarah Morgan! Last year I read Sleigh Bells in the Snow and I absolutely fell in love with Sarah’s writing, so when I was asked to review this book, I really couldn’t be happier. There’s something so warm, so comforting in reading Christmas books, no wonder I’m so addicted to them.

Once Upon a Christmas is indeed a light and feel-good festive read with all essential elements a good Christmas book should have. The cover is stunning and the writing is wonderful. What I found most interesting is the fact it’s divided into two parts, telling two stories but they are well connected. The first story is about Bryony and Jack and the second one is centered around Bryony’s brother Oliver and her good friend Helen. So that’s a really strong connecting and both stories flow, perfectly intertwined around these 4 characters.

The two stories are a bit different, of course because these couples are different, so you might end up liking one better than the other. In my case, I wasn’t really fascinated with Jack as a character, I hated the fact he called Bryony ‘Blondie’ and really found it so irritating at times. But him and Bryony do share a long history, the fact they know each other for 20 years. Yet I didn’t like him calling her that way, it just seemed a bit disrespectful, but Jack is Jack…once you get to know him, you’ll realize he doesn’t have bad intentions, and is really fond of Bryony and her sweet daughter.

Helen and Oliver were a completely different story. While Bryony is trying really hard to find a man, Helen is doing everything but. She’s been very hurt in the past, so I could really understand her fears. But Helen and Oliver seemed more likable couple and I enjoyed their story more.

As usual when it comes to Sarah, the romance part was well and gradually built and the chemistry between her characters is electrifying. Bryony’s little girl was such a sweetie and her wish to have a dad for Christmas brought me nearly to tears.

Overall, this was a fun and enjoyable read. It reads really fast, it’s fun and has lots of romance. So, if you’re looking for an enjoyable read with lots of romance that will keep you warm on this cold winter days, this is the perfect book for you.

My rating: 3.5/5

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Book review: The Biggest Lie by Lisbeth Foye – Blog Tour + Giveaway

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The Hague, Holland 1976 
After a procession of hapless relationships, 23 year-old Lana Milton finds herself recklessly falling for a man who should be out of bounds, but despite fighting with her emotions the affair begins, an affair which can only cause pain and heartache; not only to Lana but – more importantly – to the innocent party. 

Coming face to face with the one person she is hurting the most, Lana has to make a decision which breaks her heart. She knows that she is the only one to make the choice, something she can only do by lying, a lie which betrays the truth. Lana’s distortion of the truth closes the door on the only real love she has known. 

In life’s ups and downs even her best friend Tess, is not what she seems. Tess turns on her, leaving her and their friendship in tatters.

From Holland, Lana moves on to a new start in London where she meets rich, tormented Howard Marshall. Howard is frustratingly aware that his love for Lana is not reciprocated. Slowly, over-time his attempts to control her with his furtive mind-games and calculated derisory tactics only serve to curtail the chance of her ever loving him back in return.

After nearly 20 years of manipulation, Howard’s desperate struggle to break the woman he loves finally backfires when Lana, now middle-aged and fuelled with the still-burning embers of her long-ago love, confronts Howard. She stands up to his bullying and devious malicious ways, her anger fills her with a renewed strength in which she finds the courage to leave him to start her life yet again.

Now in her late fifties and living in a calm, non-disruptive world close to her family, Lana is content and yearns for nothing more in life. 

But fate has other ideas as it smashes through the door to bring her life around, full circle.

The Biggest Lie – a tale of love, friendship, hope and strength is set in the era of glitter-ball discos which grows to maturity in the 21st century. Proof, that it’s never too late for anything…

The BIGGEST LIE is Available from Amazon UK, Amazon US and from Smashwords.

LUCA is a free download available from SMASHWORDS

Our thoughts

The plot centers around Lana, a young English woman living in Hague, Holland. The story follows her life from the time when she is a young woman with free spirit to the time when she is old an lady. Her lifetime is fulfilled with ups and downs, good and bad relationships, gaining and losing friendships.

I didn’t like Lana at the beginning. I couldn’t connect with her as a character. One thing that bothered me is Lana being “the other woman”. She loves Joe, he is the love of his life, but he is married. He was married even before their relationship started and she knew it. Spending so many years willingly being “the other woman”, is something that I cannot connect to. Spending an hour weekly somewhere hiding from everyone else, is not my idea of healthy relationship. But that’s just me and my issues. As the story continues, Lana grows up as a character. She shows that she has straight to be an independent woman with free spirit and no one has that right to take that away from her.

I also cannot connect with Joe. He seems like a nice guy, but he is indecisive He loves Lana, but he doesn’t leave his wife. They don’t have any children, so what’s his excuse? He always looks at his watch, the time is limited, he has to go back home to his wife.

The one character that I love most is Bini, young woman from Indonesia and great friend of Lana. She is that unique ad that gives the story a sense of freshness.  I admire her courage, straight and optimism. She always sees the best in people.  I love her spirit full of joy. Her sad life story really, really  touched my heart. I didn’t want her to end like that.

I loved the narration of the story. Well written, with few characters, it gives you a feeling that you know personally each one of them. Each character has his/her own issues.

It is not just Lana’s life that is described in the story. You can read about The Live Aid concert, the time from typing machines and gramophones to laptops, tablets and iPods. It’s a vivid description of an era of changing of technology.

Overall, The Biggest Lie is well written story of love, friendships and making choices. Everyone of us makes choices every day. Good or bad, the choices we make define us as people and persons. We choose to stay in or leave a bad relationship, we choose to gain respect or let some people disrespect us. It’s up to us.

My rating: 3.5/5

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About the Author

I’m the author of two fictional novels; The Biggest Lie and Luca.

I was born in York, England in the early 1950s and lived there until the 70s when I took off to go travelling around Europe. I spent the decade living and working in Paris – France, Spain and many years in Holland before returning to England in 1983 where I settled in London before moving to Cambridgeshire where I now live; close to my niece and her family. I believe that there’s still another location or two I have yet to move on to…

I’m a nomadic-hippy at heart; my experiences have been a big influence contributing to the colourful characters and incidents in my books.

JC, my OH lives in the States, we’re still working out how we will be together but as I’m a great believer in fate, I don’t worry. After all that we’ve been through, I know that the time will come. It’s not a problem for us being so far apart, we’re both secure in our love and I feel him with me constantly. Picking up the phone to each other is so easy these days with Skype – it’s as simple as calling your friend in the next town. The miles between us hold no intrusion into our relationship.

I like other people cooking for me, JC’s a much better cook than me and I love being in the kitchen with him, I wash up and make a salad as he cooks the dinner.

I get emotional at the most obscure things; when I see horses frollicking around a field, I well up with emotion…I look at pictures of our beautiful planet and I feel a strange kind of homesickness…I don’t like vacuuming though, the noise and the way that tube thing bangs against your leg, how it jams itself behind doors; I really cannot stand the things.

Gardening’s another thing I despise, despite my love of nature – I feel that all that weeding is a waste of time.

I look forward to the day when I pack up, move to be with JC and I can say, ‘Well, that’s no more mowing for me…’

Author Links

 Lisbeth Foye Blog: http://lisbeth-foye.com/

Twitter: @LisbethFoye

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LisbethFoyeAuthor

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/23729412-lisbeth-foye

Email: Lisbeth.foye@gmail.com

GIVEAWAY (UK ONLY)

Many thanks to Sharon and Lisbeth for the chance to take part in this Tour. And now for the giveaway part, it’s UK only (sorry INT peeps) and Lisbeth is giving away

2 x notebooks

4 x message plaques/note pegs

4 x message doves

1 x bird whistle

1 x stone engraved with bird paperweight

Entering is through rafflecopter, easy peasy. Good luck guys and make sure you visit the other tour hosts and check their posts too.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book review: The January Wish by Juliet Madison

Image*Copy provided by publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

I’ve always been the one to say a 3* rating is not the end of the world and yet, here I am sad and almost brokenhearted for giving this book such a rating (It’s actually 3.5/5 to be more precise). I am a HUGE fan of Juliet Madison and have read all her works (except for the second one in this series ‘February or Forever’ which I will be reading soon) and I did have high expectations, naturally. Recently I read Fast Forward and undoubtedly that’s one of the best books I’ve ever read. So, after finishing it, I was dying to read the novels from the Tarrin’s Bay series. Now I know shouldn’t be comparing ‘Fast Forward’ with ‘The January Wish’ because while ‘Fast Forward’ is the typical chick lit with time travel elements, ‘The January Wish’ falls into the contemporary romance category with more drama elements. The topic is more serious and it’s deeper and more emotional book, and yet somehow I had the feeling I’m missing that WOW factor that I saw in ‘Fast Forward’.

Let me just go briefly over the plot. The story is quite an emotional one and deals with life and serious issues. Sylvia Greene, the MC in this book is a very down to earth person. But her normal and controlled life is about to change when she meets Grace, the daughter she had when she was only 16. Now as I said, this is a rather emotional book and there were parts where I seriously had to control myself not to burst in tears. Sylvia had to give up her baby because she was so young (only 16) and everyone was telling her a baby would only ruin her life. 18 years later she might be a successful doctor yet she realizes how much she misses that part of her she had to give away.

This was indeed a touchy story, yet I had some issues with it, the biggest being the MC. Sylvia is 34 years old and so am I, so it was really kind of awesome to read a book about someone who’s not in their 20’s. She has a career, so do I..and I really thought I would connect to her more. I know I’ve never been in her situation (thank god) but it was really hard to make a connection with her. It felt like she lacks some depth as a character.

The writing is good, it’s a fast read and a short one too. I also loved Tarrin’s Bay and think Juliet did an excellent job with the descriptions.

I’ll be reading the second one ‘February or Forever’ soon and already looking forward to March.

My rating: 3.5/5

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