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:)

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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!;)

How To Get Hitched in 10 Days (a short story) by Samatha Tonge

Tour banner HTGHITD for JENNY

 

howtogethitched

Amazon UK

Amazon US

What they say: HOW NOT TO GET THE GIRL… Meet Mikey, every girl’s best friend – he bakes the creamiest cheesecake, loves movie nights and is a great dance partner. For Jasmine, Mikey is the perfect flatmate – he owns a 50s diner that turns out the best food around, gives the best bear hugs and amazing romance advice – after all they’re scoping out the same hot guys! So when her boyfriend proposes in the worst possible way, Jazz knows her best friend will be there to pick up the pieces with gourmet popcorn, Pinot sleepovers and a shoulder to lean on. But Mikey isn’t about to let Jasmine give up on love, and he’s ready to do whatever it takes to mend her broken heart – even if it means helping the one person who sees him as the enemy… Because at the end of the day, all’s fair in the pursuit of true love… right?

 

The Review: First off how exciting is it to be part of a blog tour of this magnitude on VALENTINE’S DAY?! Talk about happy out, especially since it’s Samantha Tonge, whose book Game of Scones  was a sensation over the Summer in blogging circles, and who is always so vibrant and lovely on social media in both blogging and author circles. The greatest of thanks to Ms. Tonge, Carina UK,  Jenny In Neverland and NetGalley for this book in return for an honest review.

I loved this book. It began with us getting an insight into the friendship between Polka Dot Diner owner Mikey, and Jasmine Jarvis, his flatmate and best friend. They have one of those uber relaxed, no-holds barred friendships where they lounge around together and plan their evenings around each other. From the start it was easy to see that this, coupled with Dave, Jasmine’s boyfriend’s apparent dislike for Mikey, was not going to make things easy.

Nevertheless when Dave proposes to Jasmine, and it falls extremely flat,  Mikey jumps in to help out. He will help Dave propose in the best possible way before Jasmine leaves to go to New York for her career. This of course brings with it the issue of Dave and Mikey not getting on and with it some heart-rending back-stories on Mikey’s part showing how he’s been a victim of homophobia, as Mikey (and we the readers) try to figure out Dave’s dislike for someone so nice, while somehow we begin to suspect that Mikey may or may not be as he seems. This was where the book excelled for me: at times you were so wary. It was one of those ‘who do you like’ and ‘who do you trust’ books because you felt you had to pick a side. Sometimes you were surprised, at others not, and this was what led to a short story that had very few pacing issues, for me it was a lovely page turner.

The nice little trick of multiple points of views also showed us why Jasmine was so upset with the proposal, leading us to some home truths about her past also. The settings were great, in  particular I loved the vibrancy of the Polka Dot Diner, with its appropriate jukebox choices to accompany the mood. The characters were excellent, I fell for Dave big time, then Mikey, then Dave, then Mikey … well, you get my drift. I’m afraid I guessed the ending, but that was fine, I still really enjoyed it. Any book that has friendships, relationships, drama, misunderstandings, comedy, romance, as well as twists and turns that keep you guessing? Highly recommended, and since it’s only 89p at the moment on Amazon, I’d say, off you go! Happy Valentine’s Day:)

Rating: 4.5/5

About Samatha Tonge:

Samantha lives in Cheshire with her lovely family and a cat that thinks it’s a dog. Along with writing, her days are spent cycling, willing cakes to rise and avoiding housework. A love of fiction developed as a child, when she was known for reading Enid Blyton books in the bath. A desire to write bubbled away in the background whilst she pursued other careers, including a fun stint working at Disneyland Paris. Formally trained as a linguist, Samantha now likes nothing more than holing herself up in the spare room, in front of the keyboard. She has sold over 80 stories to women’s magazines. Her bestselling debut novel, “Doubting Abbey”, from CarinaUK HarperCollins, was shortlisted for the Festival of Romantic Fiction best Ebook award in 2014. Game of Scones won the 2015 Love Stories Awards Best Romantic Ebook category.

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