Nashville Parts 1-4


When I was approached about reviewing Inglath Cooper’s Nashville box set I accepted without hesitation.  As an avid viewer of the TV show of the same name I expected the book version of that.

Nope, I was wrong, although there are similarities between the two these books are not the same as the TV show.  With that in mind I had no idea where the books were going to take me and that was a good thing.

In part one of this series we are introduced to three characters, CeCe, Holden and Thomas.  The books give us both CeCe and Holden’s point of view throughout and I think that makes it really interesting from the start.  Getting the perspective of the other party involved always adds a fantastic dimension to a book.

We begin with CeCe making her way to Nashville to pursue her dream as a Country music star.  She’s travelling in her Grandmother’s old car – a car which her Grandma had from brand new.  Unfortunately for CeCe the car breaks down and subsequently sets on fire, she’s lucky to get out with her dog, Hank Junior, and her guitar.  Everything else goes up in smoke.

She is rescued at the side of the road by two guys who are also heading to Nashville to pursue their dreams of becoming singers.  Thomas is keen to help CeCe, he is the one who insists that she gets a ride with them, much to Holden’s chagrin.  CeCe tries her hardest not to annoy Holden but no matter what she does he just gets annoyed at her.    Despite this Thomas insists that she stay with them at the apartment that they have lined up and having no money or clothing after the fire she has to agree.

Despite having a girlfriend Holden finds himself attracted to CeCe – no matter how hard he tries to fight his feelings he cannot get her out of his head.  The two of them go out to find work the next day and catch their soon to be boss in a compromising position with a famous Country singer.   They both get the jobs they are going for and their first couple of days in Nashville go smoothly.

But a couple of days later Thomas manages to lose Hank Junior when he is taking him for a walk whilst CeCe is at work.  When she and Holden return home they end up spending the night looking for her dog, finally discovering he has been taken to the local dog pound.  CeCe is so distressed at this that Holden promises to wait with her until the pound opens at 8am the next morning.

They manage to convince a worker to let them into the pound a little before 8 and they rescue Hank Junior. They also convince the guy to let them have a dog who is also in the same pen as Hank Junior and is due to be euthanised that morning.  Holden is so taken with her that he adopts her and names her Patsy.

When they return home Sarah, Holden’s girlfriend from Atlanta, has turned up and whatever had transpired between him and CeCe must now be forgotten about.  They all muddle along for a few days until they are caught in a tornado.  Once the danger has passed they leave the cellar of their work place and head home.  But they come across Lauren, their boss, finding her unconscious. They get her to hospital and Holden rings Case Philips to inform him.  He is so grateful that they saved her – she’s a diabetic – that he offers them to come to his home where he has a recording studio and cut a demo.  The only snag is that they need four members for the group and Holden has to convince Sarah, despite her dislike for CeCe, to join them.

Just when they think that everything is going their way, tragedy strikes for Sarah and she returns home, closely followed by Holden.  That breaks CeCe’s heart and she just has to get on with her life without him.

Eventually everything begins to work out for them all; CeCe has become involved with Beck, Case’s son and she and Thomas are playing gigs most nights of the week at cafes and bars in Nashville.  Holden is still writing songs for them, despite not being in Nashville and one song in particular catches the attention of someone close to a famous singer who lost his wife to a drunk driver.  The artist is determined to have that song for his own and eventually Holden is convinced to come back to Nashville.  

Case Philips is due to go on tour but his support act has pulled out. He convinces his CeCe and Thomas to join him, along with his son and Holden.  They manage to put any weirdness behind them – given how CeCe and Holden feel about each other and that she’s now involved with Beck.  The tour works out but CeCe and Beck don’t, mainly because he catches her and Holden kissing.  Beck responds by getting it on with a couple of women and taking drugs, this means that CeCe and Holden have to stay away from one another for the sake of the tour.  But towards the end of the tour they spend the day together and decide they are going to commit to one another.  But again tragedy strikes and everyone is affected so badly that it seems certain things will never be the same again.

This series will definitely take you on a roller coaster of emotions.  It’s beautifully written and despite me not liking country music I could definitely relate to the characters.  You will feel for CeCe and Holden throughout the series and will feel their pain and frustration too.  I wasn’t sure what to expect at the end of this box set but I certainly wasn’t disappointed.

The author has a wonderful way with words and her stories are captivating.

Definitely worth reading.

***** 5 stars.

Review of Code Red by Lisa Lister

code red

I first discovered Lisa Lister and her work when a friend on Facebook shared a link to her blog.  Ever since then I have been an avid reader of all things sassyology and so began my journey on the path to better understanding my Lady Code, a.k.a my period.

When the chance arose to review Lisa’s upcoming book, Code Red, I jumped at it and offered to do a review.  From the very start I was nodding my head in agreement, pausing to relay some of the sound advice to my husband and journaling for the good of my health.

A couple of people I have spoken to have asked whether the book is a joke about women and their foibles at their “bad time of the month” which kind of angered me because we women have periods and they are nothing to joke about.  I decided not to lose it with them and told them to read this amazing book for themselves, find out what it’s all about.  They have promised they will, so hopefully they will soon be on their own amazing journey to enlightenment when it comes to their own Lady Code.

You can probably guess that the book is all about periods.  I promise you that it is not some ghastly read all about heavy flow and embarrassing tales of leakage.  What you will find in this book is the much researched wisdom Lisa has to share with us all.  In this book you will learn how to maximise your potential throughout your cycle, when to work your butt off and when to slow down.  You will finally begin to understand why you feel like you do at each stage of your cycle and how best to deal with each stage.

This book is full of common sense solutions and wise words on how to become friends with your period – sounds wacky, I know, but trust me, once you read what Lisa has to say on this subject you will understand not only your period better but your entire cycle.  This in turn will benefit you on so many levels you’ll wish you’d had this knowledge right from your very first bleed.

Code Red will be released on April 13th and will be priced at £9.99 for a paperback copy and £4.99 for an e-book.

You can find Lisa at  

Review of My Singapore Lover

I found this book quite confusing to follow.  It felt like I was reading someone’s diary, that was how it seemed to be set out.  The plot jumped all over the place and I very often had to re-read parts to grasp where I was in the story.

The story is about Sara.  She is young and beautiful and works in the publishing industry in Singapore.  Sara has problems with commitment and self esteem and she lurches from one relationship and job to another.  In this book we follow her over the course of a year as she finds herself with the help of her married lover.

Sara’s world is a million miles away from my own and I could not relate to her problems.  I daresay people who are in a similar position to Sara will find empathy for her, but for me she was pretty shallow and lacked depth.  The storyline confused me as it jumped about too much.  There were one or two messages in the book that Sara’s lover imparted to her which I really liked.  Other than that I didn’t really enjoy this book.

2 stars.  **

Forged In Dreams And Magick by Kat Bastion.

This time travel novel was dubbed very raunchy.  I didn’t think it was anymore raunchy than any other modern romance novel, so if that’s what you’re looking for you will be disappointed on that score.

That said, the story is pretty pleasing and makes a refreshing change from sexy billionaire bosses getting it on with their assistants!  Isobel is an archaeology student who is in the Scottish Highlands to see her dying Grandfather.  As she is travelling back to the airport along the open countryside she stumbles across a box, buried alongside a stream.  Something about the box calls out to her, she cannot explain her need to dig this box up, but once she has freed it from the earth she feels strangely attached to it.  She manages to get it through customs as she renters the USA where she is studying at a Californian University.  She contacts a friend of hers, a Scottish actor who she hopes might be able to help her identify something about the box.  But when they both touch it they are transported back in time to the Scottish Highlands in the 13th century.

Her friend has become the laird of the clan and he intends to marry her in a couple of days time at an ancient ritual for Beltane.  Isobel is determined not to fall for his charms but she is as smitten with him as he is with her.  Life in the 13th century is good for Isobel but her curiosity gets the better of her and she ends up discovering a wall that resembles the box – only on a grander scale.  She cannot keep away from this wall and she also wonders what will happen if she touches the box again.

When she does touch the box again she finds herself even further back in time amongst the Picts.  She is taken captive by a group of them but she soon falls for the leader of the clan.  She spends her time learning to understand the clan and life during this time but soon she longs to return to the 13th century.  Once back her husband forbids her to travel back in time, but it is only a matter of time before she goes back again.

The story is well written and the historical facts that come up are given a new twist, which is great.  Isobel can come across as a little annoying at times, but this is down to her feisty attitude and determination to learn as much as she can.  Towards the latter part of the book the story takes an unexpected turn and I was left a little baffled by this turn of events at first.  It was only when I realised that this book was part of a series that this particular plot twist made sense to me.

All in all a good read and I would definitely recommend this book.

***** 5 stars.

Unspoken by Dee Henderson.

I wasn’t sure what to make of this story at first.  The author was obviously drip-feeding nuggets of information relevant to the storyline that keeps the reader’s interest piqued just enough without revealing too much.  This is a good thing, it made me want to come back to the story even when I was feeling frustrated about it.  By the middle of the book I still had no idea which way the plot was going to go, although it did become clearer a little later on.

The story is about Charlotte Graham and Bryce Bishop.  It is heavy going at times, although it has been listed as a romance novel, I would not have categorised it as such.  I think thriller/suspense is more like it.  Charlotte was kidnapped with her twin sister at the age of 16.  She was able to help free her twin early on but she remained captive for four years.  The fact that she was not far from her own home throughout her ordeal was a huge embarrassment to the local police and FBI.

Charlotte has never spoken about her ordeal, not to anyone.  She is a private person and has a team of bodyguards.  She has recently inherited her grandfather’s estate – which is astronomical – and she approaches Bryce to help her offload some of the collections her grandfather had amassed.  The story is not really big on the details of her kidnapping, but a secondary storyline that involved Charlotte is prevalent throughout the book.

Charlotte is wary of men so it is interesting to see how her relationship with Bryce grows and how she learns to trust again.

My only complaint about this book is the constant referencing to God.  But as Bryce is big on his faith the religious aspect is relevant to the storyline.

All in all a good read.  Gripping at times, poignant at others.  Highly recommended.

***** 5 stars.