Thursday, 15 June 2017

Review | A Year and A Day ~ Isabelle Broom


A Year and A Day
Isabelle Broom
Penguin, Michael Joseph
November 2016
Rating 5/5


               

Welcome to a city where wishes are everywhere
For Megan, a winter escape to Prague with her friend Ollie is a chance to find some inspiration for her upcoming photography exhibition. But she's determined to keep their friendship from becoming anything more. Because if Megan lets Ollie find out about her past, she risks losing everything - and she won't let that happen again . . .
For Hope, the trip is a surprise treat from Charlie, her new partner. But she's struggling to enjoy the beauty of the city when she knows how angry her daughter is back home. And that it's all her fault . . .
For Sophie, the city has always been a magical place. This time she can't stop counting down the moments until her boyfriend Robin joins her. But in historic Prague you can never escape the past . . .
Three different women.

Three intertwining love stories.

One unforgettable, timeless city.


                 

A Year and A Day is a beautifully descriptive story of three girls who come together by chance in Prague who very quickly form a strong bond and friendship.

Megan is a photographer and has come on a trip with her school teacher best friend, Ollie, to take some images of Prague as he learns about the city for his pupils.
Very early on it's clear that both have feelings for each other but only Ollie is open to the idea of a relationship. Megan has been hurt in the past of which we learn the details as the story unfolds and is desperate to keep a hold of her feelings.

Hope, the oldest of the trio, has been treated to a romantic weekend away by her new man Charlie, but is missing her grown up daughter, Annette, who is still upset and barely talking to her mum over the fact that Hope has left her marriage and is making a new life for herself. The couple are incredibly loved up however Charlie's secret phone calls are making Hope question his motives and her true feelings towards him.

The final lady featured is the delicate Sophie who is travelling alone as she awaits her fiance Robin to join her in a few days time.
Sophie is very quiet but tales some wonderful stories of her travels and from when her and Robin first met.

I want to give you all the details as A Year and A Day really is a gem of a book to read, but the way the three sets of travellers are brought together and their experiences of things you wouldn't want to witness yourself, means that if I did, I would completely spoil the plot for you!

What I will say though, is A Year and A Day is a powerful story about love and loss in various ways, about friendships, hopes and dreams.
As with the author's first book, My Map of You, this one is deliciously descriptive - I felt like I was right there on the Charles Bridge with the characters, ear-wigging on their conversations!

This along with powerful story-lines and Isabelle's way with words to make you feel and think what the characters feel and think, makes her work a complete page turner and a must read author!


            


Monday, 12 June 2017

Review | Holiday in the Hamptons, From Manhattan With Love Book 5 ~ Sarah Morgan


Holiday in the Hamptons
From Manhattan With Love series, book 5.
Sarah Morgan
HQ
June 2017
Rating 5/5


            

The perfect summer escape…?
Professional dog-walker Felicity Knight loves everything about New York…until her ex-husband starts working at her local vet clinic. She hasn’t seen Seth Carlyle in ten years, but one glimpse of him – too gorgeous, and still too good for her – and Fliss’s heart hurts like their whirlwind marriage ended yesterday. So when her grandmother in The Hamptons needs help for the summer, it seems the perfect way to escape her past…
Their relationship might only have lasted a few scorching months, but vet Seth knows Fliss – if she’s run away to The Hamptons, it’s because she still feels their connection and it terrifies her. He let her go once before, when he didn’t know any better, but not this summer! With the help of his adorable dog Lulu, and a sprinkling of beachside magic, Seth is determined to make Fliss see that he’s never stopped loving her…

            

Holiday in the Hamptons is the latest instalment in the From Manhattan With Love series by Sarah Morgan, with the focus this time being on Fliss. If you have been following the series then you will know from the previous novel - New York, Actually - that Fliss has suddenly been made aware that her ex-husband, Seth, is currently working in the city as a vet.

The beginning of Holiday In The Hamptons gives a little background history so can totally be read as a stand alone novel, however I personally feel that you would benefit reading in order.
Fliss starts with some comical avoidance moments as she really can't face seeing Seth, although she says it is from the way they broke up, as I reader I suspected that it was more due to the fact that there where lingering feelings lurking around.
When Fliss' Grandmother rings informing Fliss who is pretending to be Harriet, to inform them that she has had a fall and needs some care for a few weeks, Fliss begs Harry to let her go believing that this is just the escape from Seth she needs...

Only what she doesn't know is that Seth working in Manhattan was a temporary measure and he has already returned to his home in the Hamptons.

What follows is some more great comical moments as Fliss tries to portray the image that she is Harriet, along with a bumpy ride of discovery and truths about events in the past which are to know shape her future. Holiday In The Hamptons is a real roller coaster of emotions for both Fliss and Seth, and just when you think things are on the right path, something happens which puts barriers straight back up.

Holiday In the Hamptons is a wonderful story about love and discovery. Yes, there are lies and deciept but these are done through fear and panic and it was a joy to read and see Fliss go through the emotions and challenges of opening up not only to her Grandmother and Seth but to Harriet too where we see a slightly different side to Harry so I can't wait to read her story later in the year.

I found Seth a really good character - although nursing his own heartbreak he was patient and understanding with Fliss yet determined and strong too.
I loved Grams and her friends - they could do their own series alone but provided light relief to the darker plots of Fliss' past.

Another fab read from Sarah Morgan on what has been a wonderfully romantic series thus far.


         






Friday, 9 June 2017

Blog Tour ~ Review | Come Sundown ~ Nora Roberts


Come Sundown
Nora Roberts
Piatkus
June 2017

Rating 5/5


               

Love. Lies. Murder. A lot can happen... COME SUNDOWN
Bodine Longbow loves to rise with the dawn. As the manager of her family's resort in Western Montana, there just aren't enough hours in the day - for life, for work, for loved ones. She certainly doesn't have time for love, not even in the gorgeous shape of her childhood crush Callen Skinner, all grown up and returned to the ranch. Then again, maybe Callen can change her mind, given time...
But when a young woman's body is discovered on resort land, everything changes. Callen falls under the suspicion of a deputy sheriff with a grudge. And for Bodine's family, the murder is a shocking reminder of an old loss. Twenty-five years ago, Bodine's Aunt Alice vanished, never to be heard of again. Could this new tragedy be connected to Alice's mysterious disappearance?
As events take a dramatic and deadly turn, Bodine and Callen must race to uncover the truth - before the sun sets on their future together.


                

Despite having Nora Roberts recommended to me on various occaions, I've yet to have read one of her novels... until now.

I was offered the chance to read and review Nora's latest book, Come Sundown, as part of her blog tour, and wow - what a book to start with!

Come Sundown starts off with Alice Bodine, a young girl who ran away from home but has corrected her ways and is heading back to make peace with her family. When her truck breaks down she is offered a lift by a passerby going that way. Said  passerby is later known throughout the story by Alice as Sir. She is locked up in a basement and, well, lets just say isn't treated nicely or with much respect.

Moving on, the main focus of the book is set in the present day and around the Bodine/Longbow Ranch and Resort.

Bodine Longbow is head boss of the family business, she lives for her family and the success of the job which doesn't leave much time for love.
That is until Callen Skinner returns!

Cal was Bo's crush when they were younger but being her brothers best friend, she never went there and kept her feelings hidden.
Each of them have now grown up and Callen has returned from his working time away in Hollywood - the the attraction between the pair is very obvious!

Although Come Sundown heavily features Bo, Cal and the rest of the Bodine/Longbow clan and ranch as the main focus of the story, there are two murders and a cop with a grudge from years back lands Cal in the firing line as the prime suspect.

Throughout the book at the end of various chapters we are thrown back to Alice and Sir and when Alice eventually escapes the two worlds collide and the ranch is thrown in turmoil as it is more than 25 years since Alice was last seen by her family.

Come Sundown quite simply had me gripped - it was a complete page turner!

I will be honest though, the first chapter or two I found a bit difficult to get into - all of the Bodine/Longbow family members were introduced and it was a long list of characters to get to know, not only that but some of their names were repeated as it took a few pages to get ton know who was related to who and how!
Once I'd worked this out though the only other thing that I struggled with was the odd 'cowboy phrase' but this is just my personal opinion and to be honest, the story and book were so good I could put up with these!

Some of the story line was tough going at times - particularly the scenes with Alice and Sir but the way that Roberts wrote them meant that as much as I was not wanting to read, I was wanting to read on!

The present day characters were likeable and there was an incredible sense of family loyalty - both with blood and non-blood relatives. Once Alice had been found I thought that the story and narrative especially was brilliantly done and very well thought out with Alice almost reverting back to being a child.

Come Sundown is a gripping read that will have you hooked right from page one...