The Mum Who’d Had Enough by Fiona Gibson

themum

Length: 385 pages

Please note that the cover image leads to a universal Amazon buy link for the book which is out this week!

What they say: After sixteen years of marriage, Nate and Sinead Turner have a nice life. They like their jobs, they like their house and they love their son Flynn. Yes, it’s a very nice life.

Or, at least Nate thinks so. Until, one morning, he wakes to find Sinead gone and a note lying on the kitchen table listing all the things he does wrong or doesn’t do at all.

Nate needs to show Sinead he can be a better husband – fast. But as he works through Sinead’s list, his life changes in unexpected ways. And he starts to wonder whether he wants them to go back to normal after all. Could there be more to life than nice?

The Review: Nate Turner wakes up one morning to find his dog licking him. Then

‘I flip over to joke with Sinead about waking up being snogged. The joke will have to wait. Sinead isn’t lying beside me.’

And we’re off! First off, you all probably know that Fiona Gibson is my ‘one author who can do no wrong,’ in the rom com stakes (remember the gush that was ‘As Good As It Gets?!’), and this book was no exception (I’m sorry if you wanted something different, but here we are!).

What Nate finds instead of his wife is a list. A very detailed list that tells us that his wife has been hoarding issues up for a very long time and they’ve exploded out of her with gusto.

I was thinking about this review and actually it’s one of those that there’s not a lot I can say without giving the game away. I CAN tell you that early on I realised I had inadvertently taken sides and even though of course when I heard the other person’s point of view I was going to swing over a little, in general I think I made the right choice. For me. And that was actually because one of the people in the couple had my ideas and my way of going about life and one didn’t and I could warm to that person, but not quite empathise with them and their actions (just to give you a laugh, just because I’m hypothesising over these important things in life, I’m actually saying this out loud as I type, kind of in a Carrie Bradshaw way!) I loved the everyday, with their son, Flynn, who has Cerebral Palsy and Nate’s job as a driving instructor, which was hilarious (special mention to Angus Pew and his threats!) and of course Tanzie. Smiles. Perfection. I loved this book. Thanks to Avon and Netgalley for this book in return for an honest review.

Rating: 5/5

 

Would Like To Meet by Polly James

wltm

Length: 400 pages

Note: Cover image leads to a universal Amazon buy link

What they say:

A hilarious, heart-warming read perfect for fans of Shirley Valentine and You’ve Got Mail.

Could the worst thing that’s ever happened to Hannah Pinkman also turn out to be one of the best?

She and her husband Dan have reached the end of the line. Bored with the same gripes, the same old arguments – in fact, bored with everything – they split up after a trivial row turns into something much more serious.

Now Hannah has to make a new life for herself, but that’s not easy. She’s been so busy being a wife and mum that she’s let all her other interests slip away, along with her friends. And when Hannah is persuaded to join a dating site, her ‘best match’ is the very last person she expects it to be . . .

A clever, funny and poignant novel about life after a long relationship, the importance of friendship, and rediscovering your identity.

The Review: To start with, what a cover. I saw this and somehow knew that there was such a little chance of it being anything but enjoyable, and I wasn’t let down.  So we begin with a prologue that tells us of the beginnings of Hannah and Dan and we smile at how in love they are. Fast forward twenty seven years and now we are beginning to see the end, when a simple few comments quickly turn into some home truths that get out of control. I loved Ms James’ style, it reminded me of Fiona Gibson or Aimee Horton, more dialogue and funny goings on with a nice mix of realistic descriptions that put you at the scene of the crime each time. There were a few things to be sorted as you read, in the back of your mind you had an idea of what was going on, and sneaking suspicions of other happenings. The characters were great, I loved how human Hannah was, how strong her aunt Pearl was, and I loved the ‘baddy’ of the story-again so human that you couldn’t figure out what to feel about here. Joel was great, as was Dan, and I loved the insights into how both parties of the break-up felt.

My only issue with this book was, I suppose, a big enough one. When the pacing dipped I found myself having to push myself to keep going, just a little bit. The out of the ordinary events, the mix-ups, and all that involved much excitement, were so brilliantly done that the book couldn’t help but drop for me when Hannah was nostalgic or trying to figure out how to be alone, brought to the forefront by the length of the book, which could have been quite a bit shorter. That being said I still enjoyed it so much it wouldn’t hamper my excitement at finding another gem of an author to follow- I have to admit after this Ms. James’ name will be on my firmly ‘to look out for’ list (yes, I have one of those) and I’ve already bought ‘Diary of An Unsmug Married.’ Thanks to Netgalley for this book in return for an honest review.

Rating: 4.5/5

#ChickLitMay A to Z Scavenger Hunt

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Hi everyone and welcome to the ChicklitMay scavenger hunt! We were set with the task of writing a post on a word beginning with a letter in relation to something, well, chicklitty! If you see at the bottom of the post there are details on what happens in the scavenger hunt, running at the times stated (I’m a little early so there may be a little wait involved) and the prizes you can win! So best of luck to you all and enjoy!

Y is for YOUTHFUL

I chose my word because when I read chick lit I want my lead character to be youthful, and by that I mean chirpy, vibrant and full of life. Think Becky Bloomwood from The Shopaholic Series by Sophie Kinsella, Bridget Jones by Helen Fielding or Charlotte Bristow from ‘As Good As It Gets (see my review here)’ by Fiona Gibson.  By the by, they’re the reason Heather came barrelling into my life, I loved finding a character that tried her best to skip from crisis to crisis with a smile on her face and her good humour intact!

Before I go on please note: If you click on any of the top sets of book cover images you will be led to universal buy links for the books. The covers with Amazon listings marked underneath require you to click on said  links INSTEAD of the image:)

sophiekinsella      bridgetjones

asgoodasitgets    ItStartedWithASnub

Similarly,the main character, Karly in Tripping Through by Michelle Morgan is 29 (young;)) but her youth shines true even more than most because despite all the things working against her, she is always hopeful of a better future. So no matter what life throws at her, she will always believe the best in people (almost to a fault) and always be looking forward to tomorrow.

trippingthrough

Amazon UK

Amazon US

And that’s what I want to read about! Now I was a bit worried that twenty and thirty something year olds in chick lit were all too common, but- (yay!) almost straight away I pulled out two older positive chirpy heroines who were a little older!

Jackie Sullivan is the main character in JEEP TOUR by Gail Ward Olmsted. Recently divorced and about to turn 40- she moves cross country in search of her happy ever after following a chance encounter with a sexy tour guide. (She will be returning in Driving on the Left this summer, a book I’ve already had the good fortune of reading!)

jeeptour

Amazon UK

Amazon US

 

How Do You Know? by Meredith Schorr features a 39 year old Maggie Piper. She’s extremely youthful, but worries she’s “too youthful” to be turning 40 in a year…

howdoyouknow

Amazon UK

Amazon US

What do you think? Are you a fan of the vibrant, happy go lucky heroines that reside in some parts of chick lit land? Or do you prefer the ‘older’ characters (as in in their demeanor)- those that begin as less sunny, more storm cloud and travel a journey to be happy again? And what of older heroines in chick lit, have you read any books with youthful older characters? All suggestions welcome! Anyhoo, back to the task at hand …

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GRAND PRIZE Want to win a Kindle Paperwhite + a $100 Amazon gift card? Visit each of the 26 stops on the #ChickLitMay A to Z Scavenger Hunt and collect the alphabet word at each stop (A, B, C, D, etc.), then submit the A-Z list of words via e-mail to traciebanister@gmail.com with the subject “A to Z Scavenger Hunt Entry.” Entries will be accepted until Sunday, May 22nd at midnight E.D.T. A winner will be chosen on Monday, May 23rd. Good luck!

 

The next stop on the Scavenger Hunt (the letter ‘Z’) is here.

If you’d like to start back at the beginning of the Scavenger Hunt (the letter ‘A’), go here.

 

 

My February Bookish Wrap Up!

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

thevalentinefreezonethegirlyoulostvalentinesdayatthestarandsixpencethe astonishingreturnofNorahWellssomewhereonlyweknowthetheseushowtogethitchedSmartgirlfriendslikethese

 

So it’s been a good February, reading wise, maybe better writing-wise, as I finally put aside something I’ve been working on for a long time, that has been giving me no joy, and have started on a new story instead. I felt better the second I made the decision, as it was like pulling teeth, and although I’ve been set back a few months I’m really excited to see where the new story takes me:)

In terms of books, Valentines was very much in the air, with me finding myself very happy on reading the next of The Star and Sixpence series by Holly Hepburn, Valentine’s Day at the Star and Sixpence, which was really good, although it didn’t quite beat Snowdrops at the Star and Sixpence, one of my top Christmas reads, and continuing with me finding a short gem from Fiona Gibson, author of As Good as it Gets called The Valentine-Free Zone. I was honoured to be part of Samantha Tonge’s ‘How to Get Hitched in 10 days’ blog tour. How to Get Hitched in 10 days was the perfect short story for those who are fans of their rom coms that have multiple characters and many misunderstandings and was beyond enjoyable, although in a different way to Game of Scones, which I had read last year.

 

As you can see from above it was a month where I mostly back to a few fave authors, with The Girl You Lost by Kathryn Croft being almost as enjoyable as The Girl With No Past, which was a five out of five read for me. I also rediscovered Virginia Macgregor, whose second book ‘The Astonishing Return of Norah Wells‘ was as unputdownable as ‘What Milo Saw.

I was very taken with the bewitching Smart Girl by Rachel Hollis, although I decided it might be for a different age-group to myself. I became a fan for life of Erin Lawless, as I wrote my review for ‘Somewhere only we know,’ a rom com that visits the emigration office to see if the vibrant Nadia will be deported, got to meet a group of zany friends that made me laugh out loud in ‘Friends Like These,’ jumped out of my comfort zone to investigate the 7/7 bombings in The Theseus paradox by David Videcette(I also posted an excerpt), and finally, but perhaps most excitingly, I had a blogger interview with the beyond lovely Sharon, from the brilliant Shaz’s Book blog. Not a bad month, actually!;)

The Valentine-Free Zone: A Love Maybe eShort by Fiona Gibson

thevalentinefreezone

Amazon UK

Amazon US

What they say: The Funny One: Part of the Love…Maybe ebook short story collection.

Jenny’s teenage son Cameron wants her out of their flat while he cooks a special Valentine supper for his girlfriend… so how on earth is she supposed to spend the most romantic night of the year?

A laugh-out-loud Valentine’s read, perfect for fans of ‘Outnumbered’ and Fern Britton.

***This is a short story, which you can also buy as part of the Love…Maybe Eshort Collection***

 

The Review: First off change ‘Jenny’ to ‘Sally’ and ‘Cameron’ to ‘Riley’ in the blurb above (wires crossed somehow)!!!! When I was looking up Valentine’s reads this jumped out at me after reading and adoring ‘As Good As It Gets‘ by Ms. Gibson, as well as while looking forward to ‘The Woman Who Upped And Left‘ by the same author (out soon and I can’t wait!).  Here we meet 39 year old Sally, a full time beauty therapist, who is with Michael, a man whose interests don’t quite mirror her own. Wandering around an art gallery on Valentine’s day, listening to Michael bemoan all things romantic, and thinking about her son Riley’s impending departure from the family home, Sally wonders if this is all there is  is to her life. Cue Valentine’s evening and Sally has been told to vacate the premises so Riley can have a Valentine’s night in. Michael is busy and Sally is at a loss. Enter a night out with some friends where a ‘Valentine’s free zone’ is declared and Sally begins to realise what life is all about.

There are books, or in this case short stories, that cause you to gush and exclaim and proclaim and then there are tales that don’t need it. This e-short, part of a larger collection that I’m sure to check out later in the year, is simple, easy going, cliched (in the best possible way) chick lit at it’s very best. We have an idea where it’s going and yet we want to head along on the journey anyway, and savour and enjoy. I sat down with it and then didn’t move until it was finished. There was romance, fun, misunderstandings … everything you want with a short such as this. Very much recommended and I’ll continue to watch for Fiona Gibson’s work.

Rating: 4.5/5