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Book review: The Best Thing That Never Happened To Me by Laura Tait and Jimmy Rice

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

This book was and actually still IS, a MEGA HIT! I remember a couple of months ago my twitter feed being clogged with pictures of people reading this book and tweets re how awesome this book is. So, thanks to the fantastic guys from Transworld I got a review copy via NetGalley and owe them BIG time! Because, truly this book was such an enjoying, warm, fantastic read. Could it be because it’s written by two authors and is a product of the synergy between their excellent writing skills? I guess, that could be the answer, but let’s not overthink this matter, for only one thing is important – The Best Thing That Never Happened To Me is probably one of the best things that happened to me lately. Ha! (see what I did there?)

This is a fantastic story everyone can connect to, everyone that loves/d, everyone that has/d a best friend from the opposite sex, everyone that believes in true love and friendship. I always have been a huge fan of books or movies about high school sweethearts, or of friends who secretly wished they were more than just friends. Well, in this book I got it all, and I was so so sad when I finished reading it.

Holly and Alex know each other for what seems to be forever. They grew up together and were always there for each other. But, they eventually go separate ways unaware of their feelings, or better to say maybe fearing acknowledging their feelings for each other. It’s been looong time, 11 years have passed and they have their lives on track, each of them making something out of their lives. But, seems something in their life is lacking…you know, that part we all call the other half?

They are about to find out if what they felt for each other back in the days was real, and if it’s still alive. Oh my God, seriously guys, there are no words to explain how sweet and warm this story was. It’s told from both Holly’s and Alex’s POV and the switching between POVs is done brilliantly. There’s no gap whatsoever between Holly’s and Alex’s actions, thoughts or feelings. I absolutely loved hearing both of their sides and reading about their feelings, they just felt so real and maybe that’s the main reason why I loved this book. It felt like both of these MCs popped out of the pages and I could see them standing in front of me. They didn’t feel like fiction at all! I applaud to both Laura and Jimmy for the lovely dialogues, the banter between Holly and Alex which made this book such an enjoyable read.

Alex and Holly were wonderfully portrayed and their story is definitely one that will live with me for a long time. I’m not sure if there’s a sequel coming or if Laura and Jimmy are working on another book, however I’m sure that one DOESN’T change a winning team! It’s obvious that they make a great team, each adding with their writing style. I truly hope I’ll be able to read another one from them any time soon.

My rating: 4.5/5

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Book review: A Cornish Stranger by Liz Fenwick

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

‘A Cornish Stranger’ is the first book by Liz Fenwick I have read, but it certainly won’t be my last one. I absolutely enjoyed each second of it and am truly fascinated with Ms. Fenwick’s writing. 

The story is centered around Jaunty and her granddaughter Gabe (short for Gabriella) who moves in with her grandmother to help her out during her last days. Jaunty is 92-93 years old but seems she can do most things on her own. Except maybe deal with her past and all the secrets she’s been hiding so well throughout the years. Secrets she kept well from her beloved ones, but as she’s approaching the end of her life, she’s determined to reveal them hoping she’ll get the forgiveness (and understanding) from her granddaughter. 

Jaunty’s life hasn’t been easy, she’s been a victim, a survivor, and finally a well known artist. But her secrets are threatening to destroy all she’s been working for. Along comes a stranger who not only reminds her of her past, but seems also to be strongly connected to it.

Gabe is a talented singer but with a lot of burden on her shoulders. Despite her great talent and beautiful voice, she has stepped off the scene, abruptly and mysteriously to many who have followed her carrier. She has some secrets of her own, so going back to the place where she grew up to help Jaunty seems to be the perfect getaway for her.

‘A Cornish Stranger’ is told from both Januty’s and Gabe’s POV and I must admit Ms. Fenwick did a great job in bringing these characters to life. I thoroughly enjoyed their stories and found myself completely immersed in their memories, their past and their present. The author managed to create powerful characters, different yet similar to a certain extent, and intertwine their POVs, past and present delivering one complex and beautiful story. There aren’t many characters, yet each is so important and adds to the story. At times I would be in awe of Jaunty’s energy, strenght and zest for life, but then I would completely be shocked by her past. This is definitely not a predictable book, and there were couple of twists I certainly didn’t expect. It’s hard to say if I related to Jaunty or Gabe more. While I admired Jaunty for her strength and wisdom, I could relate to Gabe’s insecurities, and I was rooting for her since the beginning.

One of the things that makes this book even more beautiful is the setting and all the vivid descriptions. I was literally transported to this beautiful place, breathing in the sea air, feeling it fill my lungs. That obviously once again just proves Ms. Fenwick’s writing skills and mastery. To everyone enjoying a well written, unputdownable family drama, with historical and mystery elements, THIS is a book not to be missed out on.

My rating 4.5/5. 

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Book review: Escape For The Summer by Ruth Saberton

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

This is my first Ruth Saberton book, but now after finishing it I can only say it certainly won’t be the last. I enjoyed the story so much that now I’m on a search of other books from Ms. Saberton. This story is anything but boring.

The plot is centered around three young women, Andi, Angel and Gemma. The three main characters are so hilarious, so adorable, yet at the same time very down-to-earth. Miranda (Andi) finds out that her boyfriend took all her money from her credit card. The same day when she discovers this, she loses her job and comes home earlier, just to find out that Tom is sleeping with the neighbor next door.What else can go wrong?

Andi’s little sister, Angelique or Angel, works as an beautician. She is not very happy with her rich Russian customer who seems that can never be pleased. And that lady has a huge mole on her face that’s very very hard not to stare at. But this time the mole looks swollen. After her mother died from skin cancer, Angel is very concerned about this thing. To tell or not to tell? The Russian lady is very offended so Angel loses her job.

Angel’s best friend Gemma is an actress. But working on TV means each day she faces one tough competition with all those skinny models. She loves to bake, eat and naturally seems to always struggle with her weight.

What happens when all your ships sink? You go back to the last place where you were happy and try to start all over again.

The plan is to go back to the Rock, the place Andi and Angel used to visit for the summer. Here they can relax and make some plans for the future. While Andi wants nothing but to chill and move on with her life, Angel thinks of finding the best way to grab herself a millionaire. Gemma wants to enter that realty TV show for losing weight that is located on the Rock.

Escape For The Summer is very enjoyable read. You’ve got everything here, from famous and rich people,  to TV celebrities. You might find out that behind all those titles and TV masks are just ordinary people who are trying to be happy. And these three women accidentally put themselves in so many hilarious situations. So, if you need a read that can make you escape your reality and make you feel like you’re vacationing with your best friends, this is the perfect read for you.

My rating: 4.5/5

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Book review: The Single Girl’s To Do List by Lindsey Kelk

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I’ve been feeling rather crappy lately and been under great pressure. I was looking for an easy, uplifting, funny book that will get me out of this shit mood. I have a huge TBR list and yet I found myself asking for people’s help in finding THAT book that will lift my spirits. At the end, they suggested couple of books, but I had a strong feeling I should FINALLY read this book. Being a big fan of Kelk’s I pretty much knew what to expect (which is comforting, when you know the author writes fantastic and you’re obviously gonna enjoy the book), but this book exceeded all my expectations.

First off, as much as I enjoyed The I Heart series (though I have not finished all parts) I have to admit I enjoyed this book more. It could be the fact I’m not that crazy about series’. BUT frankly, one could tell when comparing the first 2 books from I Heart series with this stand alone, that Lindsey certainly polished her writing style, got more original and grown as a writer.

Now don’t get me wrong, the books in the I Heart series are great, however in this book I liked the MC more. In my opinion, Rachel just felt more real, I could relate to her though I’m not going through the same stuff she’s going through. But she’s fantastic, I’m telling you! Now some of the parts, like the time frame in which she’s to complete her to-do list which her friends made for her, might be a bit unbelievable, I still didn’t care. She’s hilarious and so are her two besties, Emelie and Matthew. What I appreciate the most is the fact that you can see Lindsey put as much effort in creating fantastic and well developed side characters, as she did in creating the MC. Honestly, I can’t say who’s my fave of them all, they are just such a jolly bunch, each adding to the story.

The list they create for Rachel is simply hilarious, some stuff being maybe over the top. Yet, they will make you laugh out loud! I started reading it last night, went to bed and this book was the first thing on my mind when I woke up (of course after…ahem… bathroom and teeth brushing). I literally devoured it in less than 24 hours, it was that good. And the best part…It totally brightened my day, even energized me and definitely made me forget about all the stress I’ve been feeling lately. In one sentence, if you’re feeling crappy and looking for a laugh out book – THIS is the one for you! Trust me, it’s the BEST THERAPY you could get!

My rating: 4.5/5

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Buy ‘The Single Girl’s To Do List’ on amazon.co.uk and amazon.com

Book review: Younger, Thinner, Blonder by Sue Watson

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

Tanya Travis seems to have everything. She is a Daytime TV Show star, has a gorgeous boyfriend and a designer’s kitchen. But being over 40 in show business is not easy. The TV set decides to replace her for a younger host, her boyfriend, music-star-to-be, is accused of being a father of young starlet’s unborn baby, and she loses her house. Her last chance is winning the reality show Celebrity Spa Trek where former stars are climbing the mountains in Nepal. So, how can someone like her survive in Nepal’s wild?

OMG! Tanya Travis is my new favorite character. She is so funny and always gets herself in so many ridiculous situations. Poor Tanya, always misunderstood by the paparazzi, she made me laugh out loud. One moment she has everything, a gorgeous house with a cook from Sweden, her own TV Show, a boyfriend that she loves, designer’s clothes. But do all these things really matter? So, when she loses everything, she grabs the very last chance to come back. Celebrity Spa Trek is not what she wants in life, but seems she has no choice. But, deep in the jungles of Nepal, high in the mountains, she starts to change herself. She realizes there’s more to life than designer’s shoes and dresses.

Another character that I loved is Astrid, Tanya’s cook. She has a really dirty mouth, but that’s because she learns English from the movies. Astrid is that BFF that you always need. So funny, so hilarious, so naive. I adored her.

Nathan is Tanya’s boyfriend. The tabloids say that he is just a boy-toy, that he is with her just for her money and fame.

So, reality TV fans, tabloid fans, good book fans, get ready. Climb the mountains of Nepal with Tanya Travis and don’t worry about cellulite. Having wrinkles is not the biggest problem in the world. Hope you’ll enjoy this hilarious book as much as I did.

My rating: 4.5/5

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Buy ‘Younger, Thinner, Blonder’ on amazon.co.uk and amazon.com

Find Sue Watson on her blog, facebook and twitter

Book review: White Lies by Emily Harper

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

Well, well, well… Helen Fielding’s fans, Sophie Kinsella’s fans, there’s a new chick lit author ready to conquer the stage! Emily Harper might be new on the chick lit scene, but trust me, she KNOWS what readers want and what’s more important, this debut really feels like breath of fresh air.

I’ve been wanting to read this book ever since I saw the cover, which by the way I think is very chic and girly. When I was asked to review it, I couldn’t be happier. I mean, discovering new authors and brilliant fresh reads is the most interesting part of a blogger’s life.

I didn’t have any expectations, but I did have a strong feeling this will be a good chick lit read. I was close because it’s not just good, it’s FANTASTIC!

The story is centered around Natalie Flemming, an accountant in a shoe-designing company. Now Natalie is sure one of the loveliest, funniest, cutest MC I’ve read about lately. She’s just so upbeat, I could literally feel her energy bursting out of the pages.

She’s on her quest for Mr.Right and even decides to write an ad in the papers. But wait, she’s NOT desperate or whiny, so don’t you dare go that way. Once you meet Natalie you’ll see she’s one of the happiest fictional characters you’ve come across with.

But back to the story now and sorry for getting a bit distracted (it does happen when a book leaves a strong impression on me). Her company is going through some hard time and a new guy steps on the scene, Oliver, who’s supposed to get everything back on track. But the thing is, Natalie is not aware of who he is or why he’s been employed by the company. But she’s sure about one thing, he’s drop dead gorgeous and she might be a bit attracted to him. Seems both Natalie and the management of Makka (the shoe company she works for) will need to make some decisions while going through so many changes.

This is such a feel-good read, a typical summer read you’d definitely want to have on those lazy days offering you lots of laughs and fun. Natalie is a totally lovable character that will win you over from the first page. She’s like Kinsella’s Becky, but less obsessed with shopping (though she’s still mad about fashion). But there aren’t really that many references to brands (I remember only ones for Makka, which is fine considering it’s the company she works for). I’m saying this, because I’ve met many people who dislike this constant mentioning of brands in books, but in this case, you have nothing to fear my dears.

You’ll root for Natalie, you might even drool over Oliver (or the Makka shoes they design)…but anyway, you’ll devour this book in one sitting, I’m quite sure of that. It’s funny, easy read, hilarious at times, and will leave you with a big smile on your face. The romance part is brilliantly written and gradually built (which is very important for me) and each of these characters feel very real.

I wonder if the author is planning on a sequel? I’m not sure, but I do hope I get to see Natalie and Oliver once again. I loved them both THAT much!

In the mean time, I sure will be checking out Emily Harper’s new novel ‘Checking Inn’, because I’ve already heard fantastic comments. If you’re a chick lit fan or generally, looking for an easy and feel-good read that will make you relax after an exhausting day, THIS is the book for you.

My rating: 4.5/5

ImageBuy ‘White Lies’ on amazon.co.uk and amazon.com

Find Emily Harper on her site, facebook and twitter

Book review: Connectivity by Aven Ellis

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

Named after Olson twin, Mary Kate is chasing her dream to work in the TV industry. But bills need to be paid, so she takes a job as an assistant to the general manager of TATS-Total Access Total Sports in hope to transfer to BH Network, and get her dream job. Stucked with making copies for the boss, she meets William Cumberland, British Media Mogul, who recenly bought a part of TATS. Now, he is her new boss, and she is his personal assistant.

Mary Kate is not looking for a relationship. The previous ones ended badly, so she tries to focus on her carrier as well. The last thing she wants to be is like her mother and sister. She loves them both very much, but there is more to life than being married and having children. A woman can have her own career  too, doesn’t have to give up anything.

William stays away from relationships too. He’s had  enough of women who are after him only for his money. Money that he earned by working very hard. Raised in family where parents had their two sons just to say that they have a family, he decides not to be like them, not to have a family without love. But when he meets Mary Kate, the walls he built around himself start to fall.

I loved both Mary Kate and William as characters. I loved their texts which they were sending to each other  all the time, their support for each other, the way they chose gifts for each other. The romance between MK and WC (they sign their texts with initials) is so cute and innocent. They are just so adorable as a couple.

Baring in mind this is a debut, I have to say Ms. Ellis did an amazing job. She points out the differences between the Americans and the English in such a lovely way, while not offending either of the sides.  Just to mention, Mary Kate is American and William is English.

I really enjoyed reading this lovely romantic story. It’s pretty much a modern version of Cinderella, handsome prince included. Ms. Ellis is definitely an author to watch out for and I’m already looking forward to her next books. Speaking of which, I wonder when is a new one coming out. Let’s hope it’ll be soon.

My rating: 4.5/5

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Buy ‘Connectivity’ on amazon.co.uk and amazon.com

Find Aven Ellis on her site, facebook and twitter