Our Little Secret by Claudia Carroll

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Length: 416 pages

Please note that the cover image leads to a universal Amazon buy link for the book

What they say:

Sarah Keyes has the perfect life. A high-flying job in a law firm, a beautiful daughter and a house to die for. So how does she find herself looking in through the kitchen window while another woman enjoys it all?

When Sarah takes pity on a struggling young graduate who can’t get a job, she thinks she’s doing the right thing. She’s being kind, generous and helpful to others, as she always is.

But as Sarah allows the younger woman into her home, her law firm and even her family, is there more to this pretty youngster than meets the eye? And how can Sarah reclaim the life she has built?

A sensational, page-turning read, perfect for fans of Marian Keyes and Patricia Scanlan.

The Review: I have to admit when I picked this up my first worry was that Claudia Carroll was heading into psychological thriller territory (I always worry when authors I enjoy are changing genre), and was thrilled to find that actually this was listed simply under ‘legal’ (it’s in the book!) and humour. And yet this is a nice feathery little foray into thriller territory for the people out there that say they don’t like anything too scary or creepy.

It is the story of Sarah Keyes who has an excellent job in a law firm. I have to say this is where the book excelled for me. I loved hearing about her daily life, the excellent settings and also about the cases she did, both pro bono and her current case working for a hotel that have allegedly wronged a wedding client.

So Sarah meets Lauren, who has a legal background but can’t catch a break. Before she knows it Lauren is right on top of things, putting it mildly. It was excellent that Ms. Carroll never alienated her character, so when things start to unravel and she figures that Lauren may not be all sweet and niceness, she’s already got the brilliantly suspicious Liz in her corner, who used to not only work in the firm, but who has a husband there too. This is the genius part, as you don’t know when people go down, who’s  going down too.

The book is told from many different voices, my favourite being without a doubt Liz’s, my least being Darcy’s who actually made me find the first part of the book difficult, with her attitude and hashtags, although I made my peace with her later on. The comedy wasn’t totally for me, and there was bad language that I kind of have to mention, but other than that I most definitely enjoyed this light all encompassing and definitely recommend. Thanks so much to Netgalley and Avon Books for this book in return for an honest review.

Rating: 4/5

#BlogTour Perfect Match by Zoe May

Today I’m thrilled to be part of The Perfect Match blog tour!

perfectmatchLength: 305 pages

Please note that the cover image leads to a universal Amazon buy link for the book

What they say:

Can you ever find true love online?

Sophia Jones is an expert in all things online dating: the best sites, how to write a decent bio, which questions to ask and the right type of photos to use. The only thing she’s not so great at? Picking the guys…

After sitting through yet another dreadful date with a man who isn’t quite what she expected, Sophia is just about ready to give up on the whole dating scene. But her flatmate, Kate, persuades her to give it one more chance, only this time she must create a profile describing her ‘perfect’ man.

Yes, he must look like Robert Pattinson and needs to own a multi-million pound business, but there are a couple of other deal breakers, too! So, when a guy comes along who ticks every box, surely there’s got to be a catch?

A laugh-out-loud romantic comedy, perfect for fans of Catherine Bennetto and Rosie Blake!

The Review: We meet Sophia Jones on a date that isn’t going so well and learn that it’s most definitely not her first. Sophia occupies a world where everyone else seems to be coupled up, or have their life together, as she sees it anyway! She’s living somewhere she’s not sure of and hates her job as a proofreader for papers about UTIs as she writes a novel she’s just not motivated with (we all know that feeling!). I have to admit it took me a while to get into this book, as from the start I was afraid it actually wasn’t my cup of tea at all, there was a moment when I thought it would be cruder than I enjoyed, but then suddenly the (reading) fog cleared and I was most definitely looking forward to seeing what was going to happen!

So Sophia goes online dating with very exact specifications and a very exact match comes up (I loved how other people reacted to how he looked and his reaction back!). What I really loved, though, was seeing Sophia begin to really look around her and figure out what really made her happy. There are some side friends (I hearted both Sandra and Chris ) that I really enjoyed, and a lot of little mysteries and brilliant pacing to keep you reading. I would say as I read I had totally different opinions as to what should happen, or who should end up with who, and I’d love to have heard more about her book, but saying that the kindle percentages rose and rose and I really couldn’t put it down and. This is one of those books that show you how important the full package is, and not just the look of it from the outside.  Thanks so much to Harpercollins for the book in return for an honest review.

Rating: 4/5

 

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A Home in Sunset Bay by Rebecca Pugh

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Please note: The Cover Image leads to a universal Amazon Link for the book

What they say: There’s no place like home…

Enough is enough! The always perfect Laurie Chapman had jumped in her car and raced as fast as she could from London heading to Sunset Bay and (she hopes!) the open arms of her estranged sister…

Mia Chapman loves running Dolly’s Diner in the picture-perfect coastal Cornish town of Sunset Bay. Now that her and Grandma Dolly’s dream is finally a reality Mia has never been prouder! Until Laurie suddenly turns up on her doorstep… How can she forgive the sister who walked away?

Once upon a time Mia and Laurie were best friends. Back together after so long, the time has come for the sisters to figure out what went so wrong all those years ago – and whether they can ever put it right!

An uplifting romantic comedy about sisters, friendship and the love of good food.

The Review: You’ll remember last year I reviewed Return to Bluebell Hill by Rebecca Pugh. I spoke of how she was one of my favourite bloggers (see her blog here )  and someone who was amazingly helpful when I started on the books scene, both as an author and blogger. It was a relief that someone so nice could put out such beautiful, descriptive writing (horrible when you have to give a bad review to someone you think is so amazing) and I have to say firstly not much has changed, with Ms Pugh’s blog still being one of my first to go to. Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, more relief came with A Home In Sunset Bay. This was a beautiful, beautiful book. The descriptions of scenery, locations and people popped, inspiring both the blogger and the writer in me:

“Mia could see a smattering of white blobs, sailboats she realised, which looked as if an artist had smudged them into the distance with her fingertip.”

And so it was back to the wonderful homeliness that Ms Pugh previously delivered in Return to Bluebell Hill with the vivid descriptions that made you feel like you were gazing at a painting instead of reading a book. We meet Mia Chapman and are introduced to Sunset Bay, a picturesque seaside town, where Mia runs Dolly’s Diner, passed down to her by her beloved Grandma Dolly. The establishment is a lively, vibrant diner that jumped out of the pages of the book and contrasted nicely with the next premises we met, the fantastic Honeysuckle cottage (I am a sucker for cottages that as gorgeous as this!). I also have to mention the snippets of Grandma Dolly’s life and love that were given to us, which were so touching.

I liked Mia straight away, paying close attention to the fact that she perhaps was not as satisfied with her life as she made out. Another person not in the ‘satisfied,’ camp, by a long shot, was Laurie, who had decided it was time to get out of London. The chain of events that lead to her escape was excellently done, and I loved her arrival at Sunset Bay, but I’m afraid I hit two glitches here. Firstly the mystery surrounding their ‘feud,’ when resolved, was disappointing, I suspect I wanted more of a bang in the reason as to why they were fighting. The other was that the ‘baddie’ of the book was overdone, and in the same way I started to find the way we were constantly told how amazing Mia was a little bit jarring. That being said I flew through the book so quickly, reading over two nights and not wanting to put it down. The romance was gorgeous, the pacing and the time span the book took place over perfect, and I really enjoyed it all, including the ending, which was a nice surprise. Told in third person, from the viewpoint of both main characters, it was an easygoing read which I really enjoyed and have to admit, I’ll be heading back to read more of Ms Pugh’s work in Down On Daffodil Lane .

Rating: 4/5