The Week ahead in books

 

The Girl In The Ice by Robert Bryndzathe girl int he ice

What they say: Her eyes are wide open. Her lips parted as if to speak. Her dead body frozen in the ice…She is not the only one.

When a young boy discovers the body of a woman beneath a thick sheet of ice in a South London park, Detective Erika Foster is called in to lead the murder investigation.

The victim, a beautiful young socialite, appeared to have the perfect life. Yet when Erika begins to dig deeper, she starts to connect the dots between the murder and the killings of three prostitutes, all found strangled, hands bound and dumped in water around London.

What dark secrets is the girl in the ice hiding?

As Erika inches closer to uncovering the truth, the killer is closing in on Erika.

The last investigation Erika led went badly wrong… resulting in the death of her husband. With her career hanging by a thread, Erika must now battle her own personal demons as well as a killer more deadly than any she’s faced before. But will she get to him before he strikes again?

A page-turning thriller packed with suspense. If you like Angela Marsons, Rachel Abbott and Karin Slaughter, discover Rob Bryndza’s new series today – at a special launch price.

Watch out for more from DCI Erika Foster.

She’s fearless. Respected. Unstoppable. Detective Erika Foster will catch a killer, whatever it takes.

I’ve already started this book, but other commitments prised it out of my hands. I am so hooked and cannot wait to properly sit down with it again. It’s the first thriller I’ve read in some time that lets you see the daylight as you investigate the murder, so it doesn’t drag you along in the gloom the whole time. As I said, Cannot wait!!

 

The Summer We Danced by Fiona Harper

thesummerwedanced

What they say: After a humiliating divorce and watching her former rock star husband leave her for a model live on reality TV, Pippa is determined to disappear. So she returns to the small Kent village where she grew up to make a fresh start. Little did she know that would mean saving her beloved childhood dance school or falling for her old school crush Tom too!

I started this today as it’s out on the 7th April and I wanted to be done ahead of that date. I read The Little Shop Of Hopes and Dreams back when I began to blog and I absolutely fell for Ms.Harper’s descriptions. I’m happy to say that so far not only are they as mesmerizing here, but they’re also joined with a narrator I love, with a narrative I love, and a story-line that has already grabbed me; Pippa has returned to her childhood dance class to lose weight and begin her new life. Bring it on! Out April 7th.

The Rest of my Life by Sheryl Browne

therestof

What they say: You can’t run away from commitment forever …
Adam Hamilton-Shaw has more reason than most to avoid commitment. Living on a houseboat in the Severn Valley, his dream is to sail into the sunset – preferably with a woman waiting in every port. But lately, his life looks more like a road to destruction than an idyllic boat ride…
Would-be screenplay writer Sienna Meadows realises that everything about Adam spells trouble – but she can’t ignore the feeling that there is more to him than just his bad reputation. Nor can she ignore the intense physical attraction that exists between them.
And it just so happens that Adam sees Sienna as the kind of woman he could commit to. But can he change his damaging behaviour – or is the road to destruction a one-way street?

Every review I’ve read of this has been glowing. Cannot Wait. Out April 7th:)

What about you? What are your plans for the week? To the comments!

My March Bookish Wrap Up!

Please note: if you don’t have the time to read through the post, the pics link to the reviews! Enjoy:)

allaboardsleeplessinmanhattenholdingoutforaherotapestryroomnataliesgettingmarriedthetreacheryoftrainsdeardadtherunawaybridesmaidKitty'scountryside

Another good month in books! It all began with me giving my book of the year so far seal of approval to The Canal Boat Cafe book number 1: All aboard by Cressida McLoughlin, chick lit at its beautiful, descriptive, gripping best! I was torn on Sleepless in Manhatten by Sarah Morgan, which grabbed me with  its building a business form nothing storyline, kept me happy with its comedy, and yet didn’t quite hit the mark Christmas Ever After had done.

I was thrilled to be part of the Holding Out For A Hero by Victoria Van Tiem’s book tour with Hello Chick Lit, where 80’s was the era of the day, definitely one for any eighties fan! Tapestry by Elle Turner mesmerized me with its beautiful mixture of slightly dark stories, and, speaking of dark, I finally reviewed and raved about Room by Emma Donoghue.The Runaway Bridesmaid by Daisy James was a bit too flowery for me, I’m afraid, but I acknowledged that it could be a very popular book, as I did with Kitty’s Countryside Dream by Christie Barlow, which didn’t go the way I expected.

Natalie’s Getting Married gave me chick lit heaven, The Treachery of Trains gave me a lovely, slightly dark, european rom com, and Dear Dad by Giselle Green gave me a gorgeous rom com about three characters on a journey to find their place.

I had a lovely interview with Rosa Temple, and did my first, and only ‘Stacking the Shelves‘ Post (Unfortunately I’m trying to cut down on books at the moment, my volume books on Netgalley are weighing me down!). I also posted on the books I use for writing, which is starting to take off again, I’m currently 10,000 words into book 2, not much, but an achievement for me (I was 20,000 words into a different book 2 and it wasn’t working, so I put it aside and was feeling quite despondent but now I’m all excited again:)). I’m still trying to get it together in terms of a solid blogging presence, and figure out my timetable, but hopefully I’ll get there.

Hope you all had a great month too, let me know in the comments!

Bernadette:)

 

 

 

Dear Dad by Giselle Green

deardad

What they say: Handsome, 28-year old, Nate Hardman is a frontline reporter with a big problem. Suffering from shell-shock and unable to leave his house, he’s already lost his social life and his girlfriend. Now his career prospects are sinking fast.

9 year-old Adam Boxley who lives alone with his ageing nan, also has big problems. Neglected at home and bullied at school, he’s desperate to reach out to his dad – and that’s when he sends his first letter to Nate. Only Nate’s not who he thinks he is. Will he help? More importantly – can he?

Across town meanwhile, caring but impulsive teacher Jenna Tierney really wants to help Adam – except the feisty redhead has already had enough of teaching. Recently hurt by yet another cheating boyfriend, Jenna’s now set her sights on pursuing a dream career abroad … only she’s about to meet Nate – her dream man who’ll make her re-think everything.

The big question is; can three people desperate to find love, ever find happiness when they’re only connected by one big lie?

The Review: First off thanks so much to the author for this book in return for an honest review. I have to admit, when I first saw the cover of this I was a bit worried. I wasn’t sure it was my type of read. With the child looking so serious and the light shining on him I was afraid their might be something of a dubious nature within the book, but one quick look of the blurb and I was looking forward to reading. This book was a cross between What Milo Saw by Virginia MacGregor and Into The Night Sky by Caroline Finnerty and it matched up nicely, with a great storyline, humour, romance and fun.

The story alternated between characters Nate and Jenna, a tool I’m always a fan of, and we got to know both of them intimately, Nate, a twenty seven year old front-line war correspondent who’s suffering from post traumatic stress disorder, and Jenna, a primary school teacher who has just arrived home after leaving  a cheating fiance in Sicily. Nate was great, the perfect mix of ‘not so sure about him,’ mixed with ‘I adore him so much.’ He narrated his episodes brilliantly, and we were tentatively shown his back stories nicely as the story progressed. The one thing I couldn’t fathom was why we kept being reminded of how young Nate was, and at times this grated on me, just a little.

Jenna was great, I loved her from the start, with her ability to tell it like it was perfect. In particular I adored her arrival at her new school, which was genius, and how she stepped straight in and did the right thing.

I loved the story-line, with 9 year old Adam Boxley, as expected, the star of the show, taking his lot with such bravery, and showing us how to smile despite having so much to deal with. In particular his letters were the perfect mix of heartbreaking and hilarious. I loved how the mix-up came about, and thought it was nicely carried through. In general there was perhaps one too many mix ups, where someone didn’t say something where they should have, but in general this was also well done.

I now have to throw up a huge kudos for all the side characters, Mr Drummond a good ‘baddy’ and Marcie a great boss, although my favourite were her best friend Mags, and Nate’s work associate, Hal. Both were lovely, giving their characters moral support, told honestly, at times with hilarious results! They told us what we needed to know as we needed it, without being hit over the head with it. Actually, in general this was the magic of the book, I was totally engrossed and walking alongside the characters as everything happened while we were told what was happening through dialogue and descriptions.

All in all, a book I couldn’t put down (the pacing was really well done). I relished every single chapter while having to hold back from seeing what happened and where these three very different lives would end up. And I can simply say, it was worth the wait. Very much recommended:)

Rating 4.5/5

 

About Giselle

gisellegreen

Again the best way to tell you about Giselle, is in her own words 🙂

Giselle’s website

Giselle on Twitter

Giselle on Facebook

Giselle Green’s books on Amazon

 

Author Interview: Rosa Temple: Natalie’s Getting Married

nataliesgettingmarried

Hi Rosa! So I had to start by telling you that I enjoyed this so much and was really sorry when it ended. I knew from the blurb it was going to be a goodie, but never guessed the many places it could go. Before I hop along and start to ask questions, can you tell me a little bit about ‘Natalie’s Getting Married’ in your own words?

Well this what I call my ‘feel good’ novel. But, like you say, it goes to many different places and not all of them are ‘feel good’. Natalie’s journey to find her happy ever after means she had to cry a few tears and kiss a few frogs along the way. It’s the story of a girl becoming a woman and trying to find her happy place in terms of her work, family, social and love life.

I’d love to know how much of the book was planned from the start: So you have multiple love stories in here, did you know they were all going to happen, or did your characters decide to mix things up a little?

I started with a seed of an idea. And though I thought I would be writing a convoluted romantic comedy, I was actually writing a coming of age story too. So, yes, a lot of things surprised me, not only in the characters choosing to do their own thing, but because of the plot twists that just needed to happen.

Jackson’s mother wasn’t very fond of Natalie, did you think it was a class thing or was nobody going to be good enough for her little boy?

In my mind it always about class. Mind you I think Mrs Humphries was in a class of her own. I’m sure if Natalie came from the ‘right’ family, she would have been happy (well I’d like to think so).

There are some gorgeous friendships in the book (Bella, Alissa and Gabriel were brilliant), did they take you by surprise or did you know they were going to happen?

There was one friendship I planned from the start – and that was the one between Natalie and Gabriel. I never knew that Bella would have such a big role to play but she was the perfect vehicle to show us who Natalie was. In a lot of respects, the same could be said of Alissa. Both Alissa and Bella are opposites to Natalie and you wonder how they’d ever get on. But somehow it works and, despite their faults, they’re a lovely bunch of people.

What did you think of Gabriel and Natalie’s friendship, did you think that any prospective partners had a right to be jealous of them?

In many ways, I could see how prospective partners could be jealous. The two of them were so close. They were the type you’d imagine shared ‘in jokes’ that no one else got. They hugged each other and slept over at each other’s houses. And though their relationship was purely platonic, a partner might find that hard to understand.

Can you tell us about Margie McGee (no spoilers)? Is the whole dress shop experience based on real life?

When I got married I went to a discount wedding suppliers in North London. My wedding was very small and done on a budget. My husband’s suit was more expensive than my dress, which is unheard of! But I remember that shop and how the dress I wore was perfect for me. Sadly there wasn’t a Margie McGee at the place I bought my dress. Margie was a made up character who in my head looked like Edna Mode in The Incredibles.

That is absolutely brilliant, she really is! Now there’s an image that’ll stick:) One more question: I loved Gabriel’s success, did you enjoy writing it?

As a writer just starting out I love the idea of a writer doing really well. I could have made him a struggling artist, like the rest of us, but I’m secretly in love with Gabriel and think he deserves to have been successful. He was a really great writer anyway.

(I was secretly rooting for him all along;)) Well, thanks so much for dropping by, Rosa, really, really enjoyed having you over:)

 

Rosa Temple author pic

About the author (she says it best herself on her website here, so enjoy!:))

Website

Facebook

Twitter

Rosie’s Novella ‘Sleeping with your best friend’ on Amazon

Note: As always, the image leads you to the buy links for the book.

Natalie’s Getting Married by Rosa Temple

nataliesgettingmarried

What they say: Career minded, Natalie Spencer, had never been in love. She could never understand what all the fuss was about. But when she met Jackson Humphries during Fresher’s Week at university, that all changed.
Utterly infatuated, Natalie quickly discovers the meaning of love and, before she knows it, she’s heading up the aisle – for the first time, that is.
This is a tale about four wedding dresses, a runaway groom and a girl who got so carried away, she couldn’t see true love staring her right in the face.

The Review: I had heard a lot about this book, a lot of gushing, people saying how excited they were, how enjoyable it was, how they devoured it … and I have to echo all of their claims. I loved this book. I read this in the middle of a week of solely chick lit and by golly was I satisfied at the end of it (the week, but also the book!).

So, the book was divided into three parts. The first, the new girl, harks back to October 1990, where Natalie Spencer is starting out in University. First off we see her meet the lovely Gabriel, who adored. I guessed he was going to be a big part of her life and was thrilled to have guessed correctly. I loved that their friendship came before everything, and, as it does in life, ebbed in and out, popping up in unexpected places. In general the friendship theme was brilliantly done, and I fell for the other two friends, Bella and  Alissa.

In university in terms of love we watch her stumble through,all intentions of not falling in love thwarted, and when she does it is for Jackson Humphries, the all rounder, popular boy about campus, who doesn’t notice her, until he does. There was a lovely subtle comedy in there (present throughout the book) which I really appreciated:

‘I had analysed every aspect of the left side of Jackson’s face and neck, from the freckle just below his left eye to the tiny mole on the side of his neck which I prayed, secretly, wasn’t cancerous. I’d waited over two years to speak to him, I wasn’t about to lose him to a life-threatening illness.’

‘His mother began to call me Jessica after Jackson’s ex-girlfriend and was relentless. In the end Jackson’s father got confused and started calling me Jessica too.’

Cue wedding bells and an intro into Part 2, The Brave New Girl which is the aftermath of the wedding. I will say only that Part 3 is The Career Girl. I had a whole different plan for this post, but to be honest I think I’d rather people read it as I did, waiting to see what would happen next. I know I’m not usually so cryptic, but, I’ll be very honest, I read this without reading the blurb and so got a few shocks along the way! A special mention to Margie McGee, the owner of the wedding dress shop that Natalie attends, let me just say her presence, shop and participation in the book was cinematographic material. Thanks so much to the author for the book in return for an honest review and stay tuned for the author interview with Rosa Temple, due tomorrow. In short, highly recommended for any chick lit fans out there.

Rating:4.5/5

About the author (she says it best herself on her website here, so enjoy!:))

Website

Facebook

Twitter

Rosie’s Novella ‘Sleeping with your best friend’ on Amazon

 

 

Room by Emma Donaghue

By the

 

room

Amazon US

Amazon UK

What They Say: NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE — nominated for four Academy Awards, including Best Picture

To five-year-old-Jack, Room is the world. . . . It’s where he was born, it’s where he and his Ma eat and sleep and play and learn. At night, his Ma shuts him safely in the wardrobe, where he is meant to be asleep when Old Nick visits.

Room is home to Jack, but to Ma it’s the prison where she has been held for seven years. Through her fierce love for her son, she has created a life for him in this eleven-by-eleven-foot space. But with Jack’s curiosity building alongside her own desperation, she knows that Room cannot contain either much longer.

Room is a tale at once shocking, riveting, exhilarating–a story of unconquerable love in harrowing circumstances, and of the diamond-hard bond between a mother and her child.

The Review: I read this some time ago but due to all the buzz and craziness (probably warranted) I thought I’d post a review. It’s now a bit overdue but anyhoo …

I adored this book. When I read it there was a lot of talk about it (pre film, though a lot of people were hoping for one), but I had no real idea what it was about and I’ll admit, hadn’t even read the blurb. The narrator  of the book is the gorgeous five year old Jack, obviously intriguing and ingenious in itself,a s he goes through everyday life in ‘Room, ‘with ‘bed’ and ‘wardrobe’ practically characters in his mind. We are given insights into his mother’s frame of mind and yet her strength as she struggles to give Jack a ‘normal’ life, playing with him, telling him of stars and things ‘out there’ that he doesn’t believe exist. This may just be a mother’s view, but I think one of the big themes of this book was that even faced with huge amount of adversity in life, if a child has some form of stability in forms of a parent or guardian, they can still be well adjusted and educated.

It’s funny how such a simple story can bring you along with it, for most of it is simple, you remember that they’re trapped there, you have a slight feeling of unease  and yet you’re just listening to a mother and son converse, a mother explaining things to her son without trying to upset him and yet, as would be expected, it’s not always that easy, nobody could be expected to hold it together all the time, and there are times she falls and you feel the horror again, how can anyone exist like this and what will happen to make things change?

Her captor makes appearances every so often and he’s everything you expect him to be, a monster who thinks of people as property, with no thought for what he’s doing. Even though he is this, and even though the subject matter is oh so dark, I didn’t really empathise with the reviews that found it so disturbing, and I think that that’s where Ms. Donoghue’s simple and effective writing, as well as the child’s narrative comes in. We’re so deeply involved in the story, in listening in, in thinking about their next move, as in the next five minutes, not whether this can continue long term, that we just read on, we have the slight uneasy feeling the whole time, but there’s not the graphicness and horror that other writers may have added to shock. I have not seen the films, but was a bit shocked by the unnecessary spoiler contained in the trailer, in the same way I’m pretty sure the paperback had a hint as to what might happen in the book and it annoyed me. Let me tell you, you don’t need to know. A must, must, must read (in my humble opinion!) Oh and make sure to let me know, have you read? Have you seen the film? Maybe you plan to do both together or are you just not bothered?I’d love to know!

Rating: 5/5

 

The Week Ahead In Books …

The Lost and Found of Rosy Bennett by Jan Birley

thelostandfoundlife

What they say: Rosy loved her London life – her job in a designer shop, her gorgeous West London family house and of course her gorgeous family (although young sons are enough to test anyone at times). All that disappears when, one unremarkable morning, after one unremarkable school run, her husband collapses on a crowded tube carriage and dies.
As she struggles her way through the grief, she discovers her husband’s secret life: secrets accounts, secret deals that their solicitor knew nothing of, secret debts and what looks like a secret “very close friend” at least.
Totally unprepared and suddenly in debt, Rosy is forced to leave London to start a new life with her incredibly reluctant boys in the countryside. Can angsty urban teenagers cope with farm life, let alone enjoy it? More to the point, can their mother? It’s certainly not going to be easy but when you are at rock bottom the only way is up.

Am on 60% of this at the moment and cannot tell you how this is totally doing it for me. Brilliant story-line, great great characters, coupled with an unusual premise … loving, loving, loving:)

Natalie’s Getting Married by Rosa Temple

nataliesgettingmarried

What they say: Career minded, Natalie Spencer, had never been in love. She could never understand what all the fuss was about. But when she met Jackson Humphries during Fresher’s Week at university, that all changed.
Utterly infatuated, Natalie quickly discovers the meaning of love and, before she knows it, she’s heading up the aisle – for the first time, that is.
This is a tale about four wedding dresses, a runaway groom and a girl who got so carried away, she couldn’t see true love staring her right in the face.

I have heard so so much about this and was thrilled to be offered it to review. I adore wedding stories, and this sounds like the ultimate in matrimonial craziness. Happy? Me? Very:)

The Treachery of Trains by Sylvia Ashby

thetreacheryoftrains

What they Say: Sky has made an abominable mistake at work. Something so awful she doesn’t dare stay in the HR office of XIM Technics for fear of being lynched by her colleagues.

So she gets on a train…

What happens when it hasn’t been your day, your week, your month, or even your year?

Sky Candy is about to find out.

Talk about a simple blurb that reels you in! When I was offered this I couldn’t jump high or fast enough! Really looking forward to it:)

 

The Wedding Date by Jennifer Joyce

theweddingdate

What they say: Delilah James, singleton and smoothie-addict, has six months to find a date for her oldest friend’s wedding. Oh, and to prove to her ex, best man Ben, that she has totally moved on since he dumped her out-of-the-blue nine months, eight days and seventeen hours ago…

So, with her two BFFs playing Cupid, Delilah launches herself into the high-tech, fast-paced and frankly terrifying world of dating. Luckily there’s the hot new guy at work, Adam Sinclair, to practice her flirting on – even if, as a colleague, he’s strictly off-limits!

Yet time’s running out and date after disastrous date forces Delilah to tell a little white lie – and invent a fake boyfriend! But will her secret crush on Adam ruin everything? Does she even care about Ben anymore? And is it too late to untangle her web of lies and take a real date to the wedding…?

Have also started this, and as always, Jennifer Joyce is playing a blinder. Great characters, everyday normality tinged with a nice dash of nuttiness. Brilliant!

So there you go. My week ahead. Am looking forward to every single second of it (does a little happy dance)! Anyhoo, hope you all have good reading weeks, I’d love to hear what you’ve got planned, or indeed what you’re reading at the mo. Happy Monday everyone:)

Bernadette

Tapestry by Elle Turner (a book of short stories)

tapestry

What they say: In hope, in pain,
we lose, we gain,
but always and forever
the human heart braves life
in light and in shade

A collection of twelve short stories exploring the complexities of life and love.

The review: I’m a sucker for short stories. I’m always using the phrase ‘dip in, dip out’ in relation to how you can read them but actually I generally read a book of short stories in one go. It’s the same with books with short chapters, I think to myself ‘just one more, just one more,’ and before I know it I’m nearing the end and am somewhere between tired and irritable and excited to see how the story will end. ‘Tapestry’ was no different. The title of the book first grabbed me and this was quickly followed by the cover. I thought about what a tapestry was, and this book definitely lived up to the title, with stories that are interwoven, themes and characters popping up all over the place with frayed edges, strands almost at breaking point and loose ends that are clearly visible.

The subject matter varied, but they are mostly love stories with a darker tinge to them, some so dark they border on claustophobic, not always a bad thing, it just meant that they reeled me in. I did find that there was possibly one too many in a row on unrequited love and obsession but then the subject matter changed again and all was good with the world. The crossover in particular was artfully done, as you guessed which character would appear again, and, coupled with the presence of twists timed very, very, well, alongside an absence of a twist where there was none required, I was very happy out!

I read it quite quickly (Amazon say it’s only 74 pages), with my eyes rarely moving from my Kindle. It’s always commendable when your eyes remain glued to the screen and your fingers continue to scroll, as if you’re in a trance, and that’s what happened here. There are twelve stories in this book, and I didn’t flick ahead once, nor did my eyes stray from the page. That being said there were possibly one or two I didn’t enjoy as much as the others, but that was evened out by the presence of a few that were outstanding (as well as a few very ingenious ones!).

Very much recommended, in particular for a journey, I think it would pass the time very nicely indeed, just hope that nobody creeps up on you!

Rating 4.5/5

The week ahead in books …

This week I’ve three books planned, obviously if I get to more I’ll let you know, but now, on Monday morning, this is my plan!

tapestry

What they say: In hope, in pain,
we lose, we gain,
but always and forever
the human heart braves life
in light and in shade

A collection of twelve short stories exploring the complexities of life and love.

I am only 5% into this and already I’m hooked. Actually I was hooked on the very first page. I originally chose this book because I had seen it on a number of blogs and was taken with not only the cover, but the name too. ‘Tapestry’ for a book of short stories. Brilliant!

therunawaybridesmaid

What they say: A deliciously enchanting read, The Runaway Bridesmaid is set to steal readers’ hearts and keep them guessing until the very last page!

What a girl wants…

Squeezing herself into a frothy, flouncy, bubble-gum pink dress, Rosie Hamilton thinks that being a bridesmaid for her spoilt little sister Freya can’t get any worse.

But discovering her boyfriend in a cupboard with the bride, ten minutes before Freya is due to say ‘I do’, is the icing on the sequinned wedding cake – and Rosie’s cue to pack her bags.

Swapping her Louboutins for Wellingtons, Rosie throws her bridesmaid bouquet in the air and flies from bustling New York to sleepy Devon. Her late Aunt Bernice’s cosy countryside cottage is the only place that’s ever felt like home.

Now, for the first time in her life, and with the help of her beloved Aunt’s diaries, Rosie must put herself first for a change – and decide what she really wants…

A delightful romance, perfect for fans of Sophie Hart and Lindsey Kelk!

I’m a sucker for a pretty chick lit cover and you don’t get much prettier than this in the world of chick lit! Throw in all the five star reviews and raves I’d seen and I went straight to Amazon. Looking forward to reading.

thelostandfoundlife

What they say: Rosy loved her London life – her job in a designer shop, her gorgeous West London family house and of course her gorgeous family (although young sons are enough to test anyone at times). All that disappears when, one unremarkable morning, after one unremarkable school run, her husband collapses on a crowded tube carriage and dies.
As she struggles her way through the grief, she discovers her husband’s secret life: secrets accounts, secret deals that their solicitor knew nothing of, secret debts and what looks like a secret “very close friend” at least.
Totally unprepared and suddenly in debt, Rosy is forced to leave London to start a new life with her incredibly reluctant boys in the countryside. Can angsty urban teenagers cope with farm life, let alone enjoy it? More to the point, can their mother? It’s certainly not going to be easy but when you are at rock bottom the only way is up.

When I saw this going around for review, I jumped at it! The cover, the blurb, the whole premise-heartbreak coupled with a story of starting afresh? Very much looking forward to it!

As well as this I’ll be delving into my writer’s arsenal to help myself with book 2 (see them here!) So tell me, what are your reading plans this week? Any books you can’t wait to get at? Any books that you’re picking up again, hoping they’ll pull you out of a slump? Looking forward to hearing all, happy reading everyone:)

Bernadette

Blog Tour: Excerpt and Review of Holding Out For A Hero by Victoria Van Tiem

 

Holding out for the Hero Tour Promo 1

HERO-US COVER

Amazon US

Amazon UK

What they say:

Their love survived the 80s. She wished she hadn’t. A funny, bitter-sweet romantic dramedy set to an 80’s soundtrack that proves first love never truly dies.

Libby London fell in love with the 80s, came of age in the 90s, and in the 21st Century is coming completely apart. Her New York fashion sensibility is more ‘vintage tragedy’

than ‘retro babe’ and might just be what’s holding her back in all matters of life and love…

At least that’s what her well-meaning friends think. They’ve staged an #80sIntervention determined to bring Libby bang up-to-date, but how do you move forward when the one you love holds you in the past? Between her dreaded birthday party, friend’s madcap ambush, and being forced to relocate her Pretty in Pink resale thrift shop, Libby’s at the end of her rope. If her therapist isn’t quick, it could be a literal one.

Excerpt

Prologue

My birthday hangs over my head like a noose.

I’d rather just skip it and take the day off. I’m like Cameron in Ferris Bueller: overwhelmed, wound up and seriously pessimistic about the whole idea. Ollie, my best friend’s older brother and I used to debate this movie non-stop when we were teenagers. He swore the entire day was a delusion created by the very sick and depressed Cameron.

‘It’s a crazy theory that’s been floating around, but I stand behind it,’ he’d say with absolute certainty. Oliver liked nothing better than to argue.

I liked nothing better than to wind him up. ‘Sure, he was miserable and the timeline of events impossible, but it doesn’t prove Ferris was a figment of Cameron’s imagination. Was everyone fake? And why would he do that?’

I could hear him pacing, and imagined him at the other end of the line, wide-eyed and gesturing. I loved it when he got that way. I loved everything about him.

‘They’re real, Libby, just not in the context of Cameron’s fantasy. He created Ferris, or at least that version of him, because he had to. He needed a hero.’

Right now, I need a hero. Seriously: where’s my white knight upon a fiery steed? He doesn’t need to be strong, fast, or fresh from the fight, he just needs to be larger than life and capable of saving mine. It’s a mess. But there’s no way I could’ve predicted the position I find myself in right now.

No one could.

Holding out for a Hero Promo 3

And The Review …

First off thanks so much to Chick Lit Plus and Victoria Van Tiem for the chance to participate in the Holding Out For A Hero Blog Tour, and also for the book in return for an honest review. I really enjoyed ‘Holding Out For A Hero.’ From the second I heard about it I was thrilled to hear that music was an intricate part of it. As you can see from the blurb, the book was all about Libby London, who runs ‘Pretty in Pink,’ a thrift shop, which allows her to dress as she wants, in 80’s gear, complete with the hair of the era. Her friends decide to intervene and give her a modern day makeover while organising  dates for her. I loved Libby’s race to save ‘Pretty in Pink,’ and her friend Dora’s ‘interfering,’ although at times I did feel they were too tough on her. I will say that humour wise, it wasn’t always in the same vein as my own, but that’s a subjective thing, and there is a wealth of people out there who loved it for the comedy.

We soon learn that  the reason she’s ‘stuck in the eighties’ isn’t solely due to her love of the movies (with 80’s playlists and movie references such as The Breakfast Club and Pretty in Pink dropped regularly, the attention to detail is amazing), fashion and music, there is also something that happened that kept her tied to that time and never allowed her to move on. This is examined and explored with the help of her psychologist, Dr Papadopoulos, who is helping her figure out her issues with depression. I felt that this was dealt with very well and is a commendable topic to team with a book that would appear to be lighter than that.

Actually, I really enjoyed Dr Papadopoulos’ character and in general the characters in Holding Out For A Hero, and while I enjoyed Libby’s journey, and in particular her realisations as to how she really felt about certain people (no spoilers!), I would be very interested to find out more about her best friend, Dora’s life (sequel maybe?!) All in all, I really liked this book, the musical and cinematic references were flawless, and although I didn’t ‘get’ all of them, I enjoyed them. The romance was well done, as were the flashbacks and the ending that was a different outcome to the one I would have predicted. If you’re a die hard 80’s fan you’re in for a treat, and I’d advise you to get to it!

Rating: 4/5

WIN!!!

Click HERE  To be in with a chance to win a copy of Holding Out For A Hero!!

About the Author:

Victoria Van Tiem Author Photo 2

Victoria Van Tiem (pronounced ‘team’) is an international author of romantic comedy and dramedy novels, a former gallery owner and creative director with a background in brand development. She lives just outside of Indianapolis on a small hobby farm with her husband and two teenage boys.

Find her here:

http://www.victoriavantiem.com/

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Facebook

GoodReads

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To follow the tour on from here, or to look back over some other ‘Holding Out For A Hero’ posts:

March 7th

Literary Chanteuse – www.literarychanteuse.blogspot.ca – Review
Ali -The Dragon Slayer – http://cancersuckscouk.ipage.com/ – Review
Judging More Than Just The Cover – www.ambergreggbooks.com – Excerpt/Review
Grass monster – https://twitter.com/Lost815_Oceanic – Review

March 8th 2016

A Thousand Lives – http://athousandlivesbook.wix.com/bookblog – Review
Boundless Minds – www.boundlessminds.org – Excerpt
Emma’s Book Reviews – www.bookreviewsem.blogspot.com – Excerpt/Review

March 9th 2016

Pretty Little Book Reviews – http://www.prettylittlebookreviews.com/ – Review
ItaPixie’s Book Corner – http://itapixie.blogspot.it – Review/Excerpt
Bookish Escapes – http://bookishescapes.weebly.com – Review

March 10th 2016

Hello…Chick Lit – http://hellochicklit.com – Review
Steamy book momma – http://steamybookmomma0.blogspot.com – Promo Post
BRMaycock’s book blog – http://Brmaycock.wordpress.com – Excerpt/Review

March 11th 2016

Around the World in Books – http://www.aroundtheworldinbooks.ca/ – Excerpt
Book Groupies – http://bookgroupies2.blogspot.com/ – Excerpt
One Book at a Time – http://booksandwinearelovely.blogspot.com/ – Excerpt/Review

 

 

This tour was scheduled and arranged by HCL Book Tours

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