This book was awesome. I loved it.
The book centres on Alba who we meet right at the very beginning of the book. Alba is in a dark place and is wandering aimlessly around Cambridge one night when she suddenly finds herself outside of number eleven Hope Street. She is very puzzled as she has never encountered the house before, although she is certain she has been this way countless times. There is something about the house that draws her to it, draws her up the garden path and up to the front door where she finds herself knocking on the door. She is let in without hesitation by a woman named Peggy. It soon becomes apparent to Alba that this is no ordinary House. There is something uniquely special about it. Alba, along with the other women who are staying at Hope Street, is nudged in the right direction when it comes to finding out the truth about her life and the choices she needs to make.
The book is a delight to read. It has a fantastic array of famous characters in it all more than willing to give advice to the women who stay at Hope Street. I found that the book was well written and easy to enjoy. It had all of my favourite ingredients – hope, love, joy and a happy ending.
I would highly recommend this book and am happy to give it a five star plus rating.
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED READ.
Magee Sinclair works for the family advertising agency and is set to take over the helm once her father retires. Recently though, she just cannot get anything right. Desperate to prove she is not a screw up she is relieved when she lands a contract, a contract she believes will save her career. There is only one problem though, when she met with Justin Kane, the owner of a bike shop. Justin hopes to expand his bike shop and Magee promised him she was the right person for the job. But she had to tell a lie to get him to agree to use her family’s advertising agency.
What could possibly go wrong?
When Justin’s girlfriend dumps him just before the client he is trying to woo flies into the country, he finds himself turning to Magee to help him out of a bind. After all, she has as much to lose as he does if the client does not invest in his company. Justin needs a temporary girlfriend, a woman who told him she loved mountain biking as much as he did.
When Justin approaches Magee asking her to be his stand in girlfriend, outlining what the weekend will entail, she cannot believe that her small, white lie has come back to haunt her in such a way. But, believing she can pull the whole pretend girlfriend gig off without anyone being any the wiser, she agrees.
This is a very fast paced read, but really enjoyable all the same. It is not difficult keeping up with the plot. You know its going to go wrong eventually.
Magee is a very likable character and you find yourself willing everything to work out for her and Justin, especially when Tina, Justin’s ex, turns up causing a scene and threatening to expose the lie.
An excellent read.
5 stars *****
New York heiress Lizzie Hathaway is not quite the media babe you might expect her to be, she is anything but. This does not bother her though, she thinks she is the luckiest woman alive as she has found her dream man in Conroy Beale, a man she believes is every bit as rich as she is. Conroy makes her feel good about herself, she isn’t exactly the typical heiress type and is lacking in confidence when it comes to her appearance and personal life. That Conroy chose her has her walking on cloud nine, and when he proposes to her she feels like the luckiest woman alive.
But then her whole world comes crashing down around her in spectacular style. Her father is arrested for fraud after he has embezzled all of Lizzie’s inheritance and then she finds out that Conroy is not the man he claims to be. Lizzie is devastated, firstly she has to endure the very public scandal surrounding her father and then she discovers that Conroy is not the rich tycoon he told her he was, instead he is a mechanic with no money. Believing that Conroy does not really love her, and that all he was truly after was her money, Lizzie spirals out of control.
But Conroy truly does love her and now he must prove that he is not just out for what he get out of her. In order to this he kidnaps Lizzie and then allows himself to be dragged back to the Bayou where he hails from. Lizzie believes she has conned Conroy into marrying her – exclusively filmed by her scheming cousin who works for a TV company. What she does not bank on are her growing feelings for the man she believes has duped her.
Loved this book!
From the moment I began reading this book I was totally hooked. I loved the characters, the plot and the ending was fantastic. I loved the concept, loved how the guy was poor for a change. I loved how everything went belly up and the woman acted bad and the guy was the one trying to put everything right.
I would definitely recommend this book.
5 stars *****
Review of A Faded Cottage.
Quaid Witherspoon’s life is turned upside down when he becomes ill and is unable to continue with his painting. Quaid is a very rich man and has always had everything that money can buy. One summer, during his teens, he met Sandy and fell fast and hard for her, but his family were less than impressed with his choice of girlfriend. Like the dutiful son Quiad did as his parents bid and married a dutiful, rich girl more suited to their lifestyle than someone like Sandy.
Fast forward thirty years and Quaid has returned to the place where he and Sandy first met. He is living a quiet life now, away from prying eyes, out of the public eye where he can avoid the pitying stares of his many fans, friends and family, along with the media and general public. Quaid is a critically acclaimed artist but since his illness he has not been able to hold a paint brush. He cannot stand the pity he receives from others so he goes away to Hathaway Cove to avoid the public eye.
The story centres around two weeks of Quaid’s life; the two weeks around Christmas time. Sandy turns up and their relationship springs back to life, much to the delight of Quaid. But Sandy is hiding something from him, a secret she fears will take him away from her again.
When I first started reading this book I actually thought I was not going to enjoy the story. It took me a little while to get into it, but then I found I was enjoying the story and became easily engrossed in it. Towards the end of the book I felt the story became rushed, and I did not enjoy that. For me, it spoilt the story somewhat; given that the story had romantic overtones I felt leaving the reader guessing would have been a much nicer ending, rather than the methodical tidying up of loose ends.
Overall the story was slow to start and the ending was less than satisfactory, in my opinion. That said, the main bulk of the story was well written and a pretty good read.
3 stars ***
Annie Kendall is a recovering alcoholic who has come to London, from the USA to revive her career. Annie is an architectural historian and the Shalom Foundation, headed by Philip ~Weinraub, has head-hunted her to work for them. The brief is to locate several pieces of Judaica – historical items significant to the Jewish faith – rumoured to have been gifted by a mystery man known as the Jew Of Holborn. Annie isn’t certain that such a figure actually existed, he was said to be around during Henry VIII’s reign and as this was a particularly unsettled religious time, especially for Jews, it seems unlikely that such a man would have been open about his beliefs, let alone lavish the religious artefacts upon the chosen people.
But Annie is keen to reignite her career and what better way than to prove that the Jew Of Holborn is more than a myth but also to find his missing treasures. Her flight and accommodation are arranged by the Shalom Foundation, she is to stay in an appartment in Bristol House for the duration of her trip. The owner is going away for a while and her niece, in the employ of the Shalom Foundation, arranges for her to rent the appartment whilst her Aunt is away. Before she takes possession of the appartment she is instructed by the owner to take an inventory of the furniture and items of art etc that are in the flat. It is while she is doing this that she encounters a monk. The puzzling fact is that he is a Carthusian monk and definitely not from this era.
At first Annie is a little spooked by these events but pretty soon she finds herself engrossed in her research which accidentally introduces her to Geoff Harris, a TV celebrity, renowned for his investigative journalism and his current affairs show. Of course Annie has no idea who he is but she warms to him immediately.
Throughout the book we are subjected to Annie’s history, her remorse for her actions in the past, her enthusiasm for her research and her keen sense of something not being right about the whole gig she has signed herself up to. With the help of Geoff and his mother and her friend they uncover some startling revelations about the Tudor past and th Jew Of Holborn, with a link to the present day. They also uncover a plot by Philip Weinraub to wreak havoc within the Catholic church and right in the midst of Rome itself.
The book is a pleasant read, plenty of action and suspense to keep the reader hooked from start to finsih. The suspense at the end of the book is quite thrilling, ensuring the reader stays with the story right until the end.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would recommend it to everyone. It has something for everyone, from mystery to romance and loads of history thrown into the mix too.
My rating for the Bristol House is 5 stars *****
The fantasy genre is becoming my favourite genre, so I looked forward to reading this book. It did not disappoint. It is well written and the author uses clever language to explain her characters and their powers in a way that makes sense to the story line, and does not come acoss like a reference section!
Written in the first person the story follows Aidan Brook, a water elemental, who has lived in solitude for a decade. She left her old life in Lake Tahoe behind after she could not prevent the deaths of three people who got caught up in a murder spree her and her best friend, fire elemental Sera, were unwittingly caught up in.
But now Sera has found her and she has some terrible news to share; their mutual best friend, Chris, was murdered recently and his murder bears all the hallmarks of the killings ten years earlier.
The book follows Aidan and Sera as they link up with a couple of other elementals and a couple of shapeshifters all hell bent on finding the killer and bringing him to justice.
The book was a thrilling read and I found I could not put it down.
Early on in this book I thought to myself “I know who the killer is” but then dismissed my thought. Later on when the killer’s identity is revealed I discovered I had been right after all. That does not mean the author made it obvious who the killer is, I just had a gut feeling when I read a certain paragraph.
This book was a joy to read, compelling, thrilling and difficult to put down! Thoroughly recommend giving it a read – you certainly won’t be disappointed.
***** 5 stars!!!!!
Once Upon A Gypsy Moon by Michael C Hurley.
I suspect the target audience for this novel/memoir is really men. It is written by a man and feels like a conversation with a man, for want of a better expression.
The synopsis suggested a story of a man who had gone through a divorce and was struggling with who he was in the wake of the divorce. That much is true. The book is penned by Michael Hurley as his memoir of a time in his life when he was in crisis with himself.
Very well written, but lacked the emotional struggle I had expected to read of. A lot of God references, and if like me you do not believe in God, then these references can become a bit tedious at times. There was also a hell of a lot of technical talk in the book, maybe it should be expected given that the book is about a voyage at sea and invariably technical things tend to go wrong on boats and the like.
The book was not what I expected, although it is very well written. If you are looking for something thought provoking then this is for you. Despite my annoyance with the over-use of references to God, I did find myself pausing to reflect on my own life once or twice.
A couple of reviews I have seen about this book have said there was not enough conflict, I disagree. The author is in conflict with himself, mostly, throughout the book and that really helps to drive the story forward. I thought the voyage itself came to a natural conclusion, albeit a disappointing conclusion for the author. I had half expected the voyage to be abandoned once he met and married his second wife.
I enjoyed reading this book and will give it 3 stars ***
Buy your copy here
Yours At Midnight is a romantic novel about Lyric Whetstone and Quinn Sobel. It is a lovely, gentle tale of love and regret and finding love again. It follows the usual format of this genre. It is written by Robin Bielman and published by Entangled Publishing LLC.
My view on the book:
The first thing that struck me when I began reading this book was the very odd name of the heroine – Lyric. Putting that aside I delved into the book and enjoyed reading it. The story was set in the period of time between Christmas and New Year – I could picture the family during this time in my mind’s eye as I read the book. Some books that are set during the festive period can get too caught up in the whole Christmas thing, and there isn’t enough story, but this book was not guilty of that.
Lyric has a secret and she also has feelings for Quinn. Quinn also has feelings for her and we get his point of view throughout the book, which I loved. I felt it was a nice touch, it helped move the story along for the reader to have Quinn’s point of view and not just Lyric’s.
There is a love triangle throughout the storyline and it creates a really good conflict throughout. The reader obviously knows the guy is going to get the girl, but it’s all about the journey they take to get there and some books are pretty flat, this one created just the right amount of conflict for a couple who were so obviously besotted with one another.
One thing that did surprise me was how late in the book it was before Lyric’s secret was out. Usually with this sort of thing the secret is out pretty early on and the story moves along quite nicely on the back of this. That said, this story manages just fine without having the secret revealed early on. It does give the story a different feel, which is good.
Overall, this book was a good read. Not the sort of book one would read unless they were interested in romance novels, but for fans of the genre a pretty satisfying read. On a scale out of ten, I am giving this book 8/10. A nice modern feel to it makes it a pleasing read. The love triangle keeps the conflict going right until the end, and Lyric’s secret remaining intact helps too. Having Quinn’s point of view also keeps the reader engaged.
The only disappointment I have, is that once Lyric’s secret is out there just wasn’t enough conflict over it for my liking. I felt that with a little more conflict over what is revealed the book would have gone from a pleasing read, to a rivoting read.
Recommended for all lovers of this genre.