This, for me, was an uncomfortable read. I get the fact that many people have said this is a witty book, it is in parts. But there is a lot of darkness in it, and some pretty graphic details. If we weren’t currently living through a pandemic I think I would have enjoyed reading this book.
The story is set in late 2023/early 2024. A new virus named 6DM (six days maximum) has wiped out the human race. It is the end of the world. Yet there is one woman still alive. Despite coming into contact with people who have 6DM, including her own husband, this woman survives.
The book is written in the style of a diary that is being kept by this woman – unnamed – and it discusses her life before 6DM hit, how the new and deadly virus ravaged her life and loved ones and how she survives. She comes across as quite self-centred and I think the point is to show the reader how she has had to adjust from selfish to self-reliant.
For me, there was too much graphic content in terms of animal suffering. The demise of the humans she knows and encounters is almost comical in some parts, but the description of animals suffering and dying as a result of the deadly virus really upset me.
The end was quite disappointing. We don’t get to find out what happens to her. We do find out that she wasn’t the only survivor – there are a couple of clues in the book that suggest this – but we don’t get to know what happens to her.
This is not the kind of book I would normally read, much less during a real-life pandemic! It is well written, and yes, there are some witty moments in the book. Like other people have already discussed elsewhere, the woman isn’t that likeable, but that’s probably the point. I would have liked to know why she seemed to be immune to this virus too.
This book is published by Mills and Boon and is clearly in the Romantic Fiction genre.
The story centres around Victoria Scott and Oliver Russell. She’s a budding fashion designer, working in a pub to make ends meet, he’s the heir to a department store empire. Naturally there is a little tension when they first meet, but that doesn’t stop Oliver asking Victoria to be his pretend fiancé for the sake of his sanity, as well as to keep his mum from constantly trying to meddle in his non-existent love life.
She agrees as Oliver has offered to showcase her fashion designs at the opening of his new store. Victoria does have some qualms about the store opening and she uses her influence to have Oliver invite the traders from the local area set up stalls in his store on opening day.
To convince Oliver’s parents that this relationship is real Oliver insists that they have dinner with his parents. This has Victoria worried, they are only a fake couple, is it fair to dupe his parents in this way? After meeting them, and hitting it off with them right away, Victoria is more concerned than ever that what they are dong isn’t right.
The lines between fake relationship and real feelings begin to blur, for both of them. But just as everything appears to be going in the right direction for them both, Victoria’s past rears its head, and Oliver’s cousin finds out her secret, threatens to expose her unless she leave Oliver. Believing she’s doing the right thing, Victoria calls off the arrangement and heads home to Devon.
Both Oliver and Victoria are miserable by Victoria’s decision, but will either of them push their pride aside and reach out to the other before it’s too late?
I did enjoy this book, I wasn’t sure if I would as I had read some negative reviews by people so wasn’t sure what to expect. The storyline is in keeping with the Mills and Boon remit, so if you love this publishers titles you won’t be disappointed.
The story is set in the run up to Christmas so it’s obviously an excellent choice to read at this time. I do feel that you could read this book at any time of the year though; it is part of a series by the same author so reading this at any time of the year would not feel out of place.
It was very surreal reading this book that is mostly set in 2020 and there is no mention of COVID, obviously!
I instantly loved Minnie Cooper – what a name! – she was just what you would want in a character for this genre. Quinn Hamilton started out as a decent sort of guy, but for me, he went down hill fairly quickly. His personal issues did explain a lot and I was torn over whether I thought they were the reason he was the way he was, or whether he used them as an excuse to hide behind when it came to intimacy.
The to-ing a d fro- ing from present day to the past was a little annoying, I totally got why the author had written chapters in the past tense and they did flesh out the background of both Minnie and Quinn, but I just wasn’t a fan of that style in this instance.
There are lots of comical moments in the book, and it isn’t dripping with saccharine sweetness, so it’s a perfect light-hearted read. On the whole I think lovers of the romcom genre will love this book. Definitely recommended for lovers of that genre.
I really wasn’t sure what to expect with this book. I hadn’t read the first one so had no idea what I would be reading about in terms of the plot. The first few pages were still not enough to convince me this was a sub genre I was really interested in. I’ve never read this kind of book before – fantasy and sci fi, yes, but not this particular type. My first thoughts were that I would read the first chapter and see how I went.
The first chapter bypassed me long before I even realised, I think I was about six chapters in before I remembered what I was going to initially do. Once I realised that this particular book was not too dissimilar to any other sci fi or fantasy novel I had got about half way through.
I really did enjoy the story line and the twists and turns the author has weaved into it. Usually I will write about how believable the characters are, and so on, but that won’t do here. The characters are obviously not the usual female/male, but they do have a love story unfold. That blossoming romance that stutters and starts, just like any other romance novel, played out just how you would expect. The storyline isn’t drenched by it though, it is very much a secondary aspect to the storyline and I actually found that very refreshing.
The action within this novel is probably quite tame, but that suited me just fine. I think that is exactly what had me hooked, the lack of blood and gore and battles every other page.
Without reading the first book in this series I can’t say either way how it relates to the second, other than the fact that some of the characters are in both books. There were a couple of occasions where I was left wondering about something, but it certainly wasn’t anything major. This is definitely, in my opinion, a book you can read as a stand-alone.
Superbly written and very thoroughly researched, in the sense that it makes complete sense, the characters and plot flowed well. There are some darker moments when dealing with Aaliyah’s past, but they aren’t too graphic and they are essential to the storyline. They were written with care and compassion too, which is a credit to the author.
Thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and definitely recommend it.
I read and reviewed this book for Reedsy Discovery.
A book that guides you to face off with your fears and issues and gets into the dark places inside of you, shining a light for you on your journey of self-discovery.
Jacquelyn Phillips has ripped open her soul for all to see in this wonderfully written book. She delves into ALL OF HER ISSUES, showing us how they had crept upon her, how she had avoided owning them, and then how she faced them and finally started working through them.
Jacquelyn discusses the various treatments she has undergone over the years, detailing her opinion on whether they are effective or not. This, for me, was very refreshing. Many books of this genre will suggest a certain treatment, but rarely do you hear if the treatment is a waste of time. Obviously this is the author’s viewpoint and will not reflect everyone, but for me, I think her honesty is much needed in this field.
Throughout the book Jacquelyn references her relationship with her Mom. This pulled-back the curtain view into their personal lives is heartbreaking at times, but also offers hope to people who struggle with toxic family relationships.
The book is in three parts. The first part is all about Jacquelyn opening up Pandora’s Box getting all of her troubles and issues out into the open. This section may be uncomfortable reading, but it is absolutely necessary for us to understand how the next two parts work.
Part Two is all about the clean up phase. Here she shares the letters she wrote to her parents as part of her healing process. Those letters are raw and emotive, and they certainly don’t make for easy reading. But there is something beautiful in her words that leave you feeling the release and relief.
Part Three is all about turning pain into power. As someone who has a chronic illness, Jacquelyn has not only used her emotional pain to push her on, but her physical pain too. This is not the sort of book that preaches, it’s aimed at guiding the reader to find their self worth.
Given the difficult topics discussed in this book, I wasn’t sure if I would actually enjoy reading it. But I was surprised to find that this was a book I actually did enjoy reading.
I found this book inspirational and would recommend it.
I received this book from the publisher for review to coincide with publication day. Then I got sick and everything got put on the back burner. Anyway, review is here now.
The title is a bit misleading, you do expect the story to be set in Venice, but only about a third of the story is set there. That said, this does not detract from the storyline.
Joanna is on the brink of divorce and returns home to her sister, Harriet, and their Mum. They live on a farm in Dorset and despite its rundown appearance, Harriet is determined to handle everything on her own. She is suspicious when Joanna turns up, but also relieved.
Their Mum has lost her way since their Dad died, she is a shadow of her former self and is hard work for Harriet alone. She has a tendency to ring tradesmen up and have them come up to the farm with a view to doing work that badly needs doing. Between the two sisters they just about manage to stop their Mum from ringing around the area, trying to get work done on the rundown farmhouse and surrounding area.
One evening Joanna discovers some old letters in the attic. The letters are from a young woman who may or may not be related to Joanna and her family. Joanna becomes entangled with the Emmy story and this leads her to Venice, Lisbon, and then onto Prague.
She also gains an admirer when her visits to the three cities from Emmy’s letters are a chance for her to create three travel guides. Nicholas becomes intrigued by the walks that Joanna has created, and by Joanna herself. The pair start emailing one another, discussing the walks, as well as flights of fancy.
Harriet, meanwhile, has been exploring the world of online dating. Joanna’s return gives her the chance to go out and meet some of the men she has been chatting to on a dating site. She’s also discovered a prowler, this leads to an alarming discovery. She enlists the help of their faithful neighbour, Owen, who is in love with her -unbeknownst to her of course!
This book would make a good holiday read – even staycations need a good book for us to get into. It has just the right blend of humour, intrigue, and realism to keep you entertained, whether you’re staycationing, or need a good book to read, this book has it all.
As soon as I started reading this book I knew it was going to be something special. I began reading it on the morning of one day and finished it the following morning. I think I would have had it read sooner, but real life kept me away from it.
The main characters, Jordan and Daniel, are great. Often with this calibre of character – a superstar – there can be an element of conceitedness in that particular character, but Daniel was down to earth and this makes him oh so endearing! Jordan is a lovely character too. Although she is very stubborn, she has good reason to be so and this helps to endear her to the reader.
The author put so much detail into all of the characters, this really came through in the narrative. The same can be said about the area in which the story is based. The author has researched everything superbly and this really adds to the calibre of the characters and their surroundings.
The story is very in-depth, both of the main characters are explored in great detail and this adds so much to the storyline. The way they act, how they react, all of this makes sense because the author has put so much detail into this story.
The author has done a brilliant job at capturing the attention of the reader with her very real and loveable main characters, plus a sprinkling of secondary characters who are a delight also. Naturally there are one or two unsavoury characters that cause mischief and mayhem, but they are very much background characters – that said, they also have as much depth and dimension as the main characters.
The storyline fits in really well with the modern-day, again, so much attention to detail really brings this story alive. The sights, the sounds, the pace of life in this particular city. How life works in Los Angeles, all the details have been interwoven with the story giving the reader a clear view of the lives of Jordan and Daniel.
In a nutshell, this is a perfect feel-good read, highly recommended for anyone who loves this genre. It is very well written and highly researched, the attention to detail is second to none.
This book is rated as a five-star read and an absolute MUST for all romance novel readers.
This book is full of sobering facts about what we as humans are doing to our planet. The information contained in this book offers plenty of advice, compelling arguments, but also hope. Hope stemming from the actions we can take to heal our economic, ecological, political and health crises.
The author uses clear and concise language so that he book is easy to read – everyone should be able to access this information. There are plenty of hyperlinks to help you understand why this action must be taken. The topics being discussed are controversial, but we need to address these issues regardless of how uncomfortable we feel.
If you want to look into what we can do now to save ourselves and the earth, then this book is a must.