Thursday, 31 December 2015

2015 reading wrap up!

Well 2015 has been a very different year to last year. In terms of reading, things haven't been quite as good as last year. Not because the books haven't been as good but because of goings on in my life that have prevented me from reading, I got 2 new jobs and had masters modules to write, working and writing and reading AND sleeping just don't fit in. Needless to say, this year has been very heavy on the audiobooks, listening to them as I sit in traffic jams on the m4 every day has been a complete life saver meaning that I get to read and I also get some distraction from the fiat that I am sitting in pointless traffic when I could be sleeping/reading/working (note that sleep comes first in the list here unfortunately!)





Despite the fact that I have not met my Goodreads challenge for the first time ever, I have read 105 books in total this year, have a look back at my top ten from 2 weeks ago to see which books made it into my top ten for the year... So next year I think I'll set my total a little lower so I don't end up 20 book short of my goal, 100 seems like a nice number to me! 





In terms of events though, this year has been a triumph, I have been to so many amazing bookish events, author signings, events hosted by publishers and had several amazing authors come to school as well. I have written wrap ups from all of them and would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to all the fabulous authors and publishers involved, you have literally made my year! 





Looking ahead to next year. I am about to start a new job, yet again, and so I really can't even predict how busy I am going to be with that. I am also still in the midst of a masters and so I'm going to have to give some time over to that (I still haven't written the essay that I dues 2 weeks today!) and I could possibly have another big move ahead of me which I can't talk about yet... But I hope that 2016 will be filled with as many amazing books as this year has been, there are some fab releases coming out in January that I can't wait for and I know I have some long flights booked that I will enjoy reading to my hearts content on (travelling alone has certain perks you know!)

Thank you to all of the people that have made my bookish year so enjoyable. The people that I get to meet because of my love of books are seriously amazing and I'm so lucky to be able to chat to you on twitter and in real life about all of the fabulous things we have and want to read. 





Happy new year! 

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Guest Review: Christmas at Lilac Cottage by Holly Martin


Welcome to the charming seaside town of White Cliff Bay, where Christmas is magical and love is in the air…

Penny Meadows loves her home – a cosy cottage decorated with pretty twinkling fairy lights and stunning views over the town of White Cliff Bay. She also loves her job as an ice-carver, creating breathtaking sculptures. Yet her personal life seems frozen. 

When Henry and daughter Daisy arrive at the cottage to rent the annex, Penny is determined to make them feel welcome. But while Daisy is friendly, Henry seems guarded. 

As Penny gets to know Henry, she realises there is more to him than meets the eye. And the connection between them is too strong to ignore… 

While the spirit of the season sprinkles its magic over the seaside town and preparations for the ice sculpting competition and Christmas eve ball are in full swing, can Penny melt the ice and allow love in her heart? And will this finally be the perfect Christmas she’s been dreaming of? 





What a lovely seasonal tale this is - the subtitle says it all. Holly Martin shows what a wonderful story-teller she is in this book with wonderful descriptions of settings and people on every page. I was instantly drawn into the world of the heroine of the story and found it a difficult one to put down. 

The central character is Penny, the owner of Lilac Cottage, so prettily illustrated on the book's cover. The 'cottage' itself sounds a great deal bigger than its name suggests, with its special areas to cater for Penny's ice sculpting business and its annex which is big enough to rent out as a home to another couple. That pair, Henry and Daisy, are the other main characters in the story. The small seaside town of White Cliff Bay, in which the story is set, sounds a lovely place to live. Everybody knows everybody else's business, but in the best possible way. There is a real sense of community that comes over well in Holly's writing. We see them all pulling together in times of need. 

While this is mainly a romance, there is also plenty of drama and a bit of humour in the story. It had me laughing out loud one minute and sitting on the edge of my seat the next. In the end it left me with a happy smile on my face.  I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a romance with a Christmassy feel. I'm looking forward to reading more about happenings in White Cliff Bay. 

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books I Wouldn't Mind Santa Leaving Under MyTree This Year 22.12.15



Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because they are particularly fond of lists over there at The Broke and the Bookish. I'd love to share my lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

With my birthday coming up tomorrow, this list is very apt. As you know I've been really into the audiobooks this year, especially during the second half of the year, it's been the only thing getting me through as I haven't had time to actually read (hopefully Santa would bring me some reading time too??) so I've been loving the autobiographies so apologies, this list might be a lot of those...

1. Spectacles by Sue Perkins



2. Bad Feminist by Roxanne Gay



3. Seriously....I'm Kidding by Ellen Degeneres



4. Is Everybody Hangining Out Without Me by Mindy Kaling



5. Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson



6. Charlotte Bronte: A Life by Clare Harman



7. Hot Feminist by Polly Vernon



8. Asking For It by Louise O'Neil



9. Dream A Little Christmas Dream by Giovanna Fletcher



10. According to Yes by Dawn French


Monday, 21 December 2015

Review: My True Love Gave to Me edited by Stephanie Perkins

If you love holiday stories, holiday movies, made-for-TV-holiday specials, holiday episodes of your favorite sitcoms and, especially, if you love holiday anthologies, you’re going to fall in love with MY TRUE LOVE GAVE TO ME: TWELVE HOLIDAY STORIES by twelve bestselling young adult writers, edited by international bestselling author Stephanie Perkins.



Review: so I have recently dipped back into these short stories because there were some that i didn't read last Christmas and I'm just not the type of person who can read Christmas books outside of Christmas time, once it hits time to go back to school in January, I'm done, that's it. 

So I really enjoyed this collection of short stories and think that it is such a good idea for the festive period to have this little collection because it is a busy time of year and so to have one to read when you have time between Christmas movies and all the holiday shopping is fab. I liked to read one at bedtime, a little like the bedtime stories from when I was younger. I think my favourite of the bunch was Welcome to Christmas CA by Kiersten White, it was just a little different from the others and also different from the other YA Christmas plots I had heard before. 

Although this is obviously a collection of YA authors, I don't think that this book is aimed entirely at the YA audience, I mean I loved it.I think having and collection like this, at this time of year, is extremely helpful and definitely something that anyone could dip in an out of. There is comedy, romance and lots of very strong stories in their own right. This is definitely a must-read for the holiday season!










Friday, 18 December 2015

Review: A Night in With Audrey Hepburn by Lucy Holliday

Unlucky in love, failed actress Libby Lomax has retreated into the world of classic movies, where the immortal lives of the screen goddesses offer so much more in the way of romance than her own life.
After a terrible day on the set of a cult TV sci-fi series where she has proved herself to be the antithesis of feminine poise and embarrassed herself in front of heartthrob actor Dillon O’Hara, she plonks herself down in front of her trillionth viewing of Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Relaxing on her battered old couch, salvaged from the props department by her best friend Olly, Libby is gob smacked to find actual Screen Icon, Audrey Hepburn, sitting beside her. Dressed in her little black dress, wearing her trademark sunglasses, Audrey proffers advice to the hapless Libby between ladylike puffs on her vintage cigarette holder.
And so, Audrey becomes Libby’s confidante and friend – but has Libby got what it takes to turn her life from a Turkey to a Blockbuster? With a little bit of Audrey Hepburn magic, she might just pull it off…
A Night in With Audrey Hepburn is the first in a series of three books following the life and loves of Libby Lomax as she blossoms from Z-lister to A-lister and all of the stages in between with a little bit of help from some very special friends.


Read: I loved this book, I found it to be a very quick read because it was such a fun and light-hearted story and I enjoyed every moment of it. This novel reminds me of a cross between something by Lindsey Kelk and something by Alexandra Potter-you have to suspend your disbelief for the duration but there are some truly laugh out loud moments worthy of a Lindsey Kelk novel. There were also some really heart-warming moments as well as those every day life observations that we can all relate to...

I loved the main character of Libby so I can't wait to read about her again as the series progresses. She is literally your girl next door and someone who we can all relate to. She is trying to find herself to some extent and she does a really good job of doing that over the course of the novel. I love the fact that she falls into the trap of moving into a flat which turns out to be a bit of a nightmare flat but, like all of us, she has to put up with it because she's now tied into a contract. Of course there is a love interest or two and all sorts of fun ensues because of that. the other man character is the one and only Audrey Hepburn and I had great fun reading about her-the book must have been so much fun to research and this read inspired me to watch a couple of Audrey films myself!

Libby's family also plays a big part in the novel and she doesn't have the best relationship with them, I liked the fact that Lucy Holliday wrote about this because people sometimes don't have that family support there and have to strike out on their own, but Libby still has a loyaty to them which i thought was really sweet. 

Yes there is an element of magic about this story, someone who starts seeing Audrey Hepburn in their flat, there's going to be but I never really found it difficult to believe or hard to grasp the concept, I just liked the fact that Audrey was there for help and advice and like Libby's Nespresso machine-who wouldn't? So you will have to keep an open mind whilst reading this, its a bit like a Christmas Carol or Its a Wonderful life, just keep that in mind and you'll be fine!

I am currently reading the next in this series and would really recommend reading them back to back, when they're such quick, fun reads though, that's not a problem. This book comes highly recommended from me, it was a pleasure to read!

Thursday, 17 December 2015

Review: How to Stuff up Christmas by Rosie Blake

Eve is heartbroken after discovering her fiance is cheating on her. Being surrounded by the joys of Christmas is more than Eve can bear, so she chooses to avoid the festivities by spending Christmas alone on a houseboat in Pangbourne. Eve gets gets an unexpected seasonal surprise when handsome local vet Greg comes to her rescue one day, and continues to visit Eve's boat on a mission to transform her from Kitchen Disaster Zone to Culinary Queen.


But where does Greg keep disappearing to? What does Eve's best friend Daisy know that she isn't telling? And why is there an angry goose stalking Eve's boat?


A hilarious and heart-warming novel about Christmas, catastrophes and cooking, containing exclusive Christmas recipes, from the talented Rosie Blake.




Review: What a fab, funny, festive story! I so enjoyed this book and absolutely raced through it because it was such a fun read... I really liked the idea of trying to avoid Christmas but still paying homage to the festive season and that is just the kind of thing that Eve is doing in this book. I thought the story was told really cleverly because this is not an overtly Christmasey tale, but a romantic comedy about a strong female-I loved it!

I really liked the character of Eve. She was totally relatable and so I found myself really wanting all the best for her. She makes decisions and then sticks to them (nothing worse than a wishy washy heroine who can't make up her mind!) and I really respected her as well. The other characters in the book are also well written. We all have a friend or relative who seems to have it all and therefore seems that little bit unapproachable, that is Eve's sister. We all know the guy who seems to blow hot and cold and we just can't quite figure out and that is the very handsome vet in this case. There is also a strong sense of community between the characters in the novel which was truly in keep with the message at Christmas!

I loved the fact that this novel was set predominantly on a houseboat at winter time, it made me want to stay snuggled up with the book, a blanket and a cup of something hot (mulled wine anyone?) and I liked the aspect of Eve having to adapt to live minimally. The new skill that she learns during this time is also really interesting because I enjoyed reading about her learning to actually do it but I also enjoyed the fact that she didn't just give up and wallow, she wanted to better herself and keep herself occupied during a difficult time! As you can tell, I loved this book and you should all pick up at least two copies this Christmas, one to snuggle up with and one to gift!







Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Guest review: Christmas For One by Amanda Prowse

This year, she can make it come true for her own little boy. There will be turkey and all the trimmings, a glittering tree, and a stocking hung up by a roaring fire. Who cares if there's no devoted husband in the picture? She and Lucas will be just fine on their own.
But then a chance meeting with a stranger in New York unravels everything she's planned. Will Meg finally get everything she wished for? Or will she be alone this Christmas after all?


Review: I love a Christmas story, so the title of this audiobook caught my attention right away. I hadn't read anything by Amanda Prowse before, but I thought I would give it a try. So glad I did, because this was a lovely story, really well written and with lots of depth. 

The main character is Megan, a single mother with a loveable, if precocious, four-year-old son, Lucas. She herself has had a sad upbringing, but is now in a job that she loves and is surrounded by friends who have absorbed her into their family. Her job involves working with a family-run bakery, so not a story to be read when you're hungry. Worse still, she ends up visiting New York and doing all the touristy things there, which made me ache to go and visit again. New York also is home to red-haired Ed, a delicious-sounding guy who she meets in the course of her work, but she begins to wonder if he is as good as he seems. 

I really enjoyed every minute of this story. It is definitely one that would be good to read whilst curled up by the fire on a cold winter's day in the run-up to Christmas. It's not one of those stories where you can predict the outcome from the beginning. There is plenty of drama there that has you on the edge of the seat wondering how it is all going to pan out and really feeling for what Meg is going through. If you haven't already got a huge pile of Christmas reads, go and pick it up. 

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Best Books I Read in 2015 15.12.15



Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because they are particularly fond of lists over there at The Broke and the Bookish. I'd love to share my lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

Why why why do I have to decide on this again? Ok here goes, and they're in no particular order, just let me make that clear...

Three Amazing Things Amazing Things about You by Jill Mansell



Paper Towns by John Green



Meet me in Manhattan by Claudia Carroll



The Girls by Lisa Jewell



Letters to The Lost by Iona Grey



The Day we Disappeared by Lucy Robinson



The Vintage Guide to Love and Romance by Kirsty Greenwood



Age Sex Location by Melissa Pimentel



Always The Bridesmaid by Lindsey Kelk



The Piano Man Project by Kat French


I have a nice mix of fiction and non-fiction, romantic comedy and YA there, I like it!

Here's to a great reading year next year too!



Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten New-to-me authors I read in 2015 8.12.15



Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because they are particularly fond of lists over there at The Broke and the Bookish. I'd love to share my lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

I have to say, I love to find new authors and sometimes I find authors that have been around for ages but I haven't been able to try them out yet. This was a really good year for doing that and so I'm glad this top ten came along!

1. Jill Mansel-I can't believe I haven't read anything by this author until now! Needs to change...





2, Carole Matthews- a book with someone of the same name as me starring-what could be wrong with that?



3. Cathy Kelly, I loved Between Sisters and want to read more!



4. Erin Lawless, having met this lovely lady twice this year, I read her book as well.



5. Liz Tipping, again I met this lovely author so I read her debut novel, that's how it works!



6. Lucy Holliday-I loved a Night in With Audrey Hepburn and I can't wait to hear about Marilyn Monroe next!




7. Kat French, I have another of Kat's novels at home but I haven't read it yet. I loved The Piano Man Project so you know I now want to read the other one!



8. Kerry Fisher, i listened to this on audiobook with my Mum and we both really enjoyed it!



9. Laura Barnett- a massive hit this year!



10. Emma Hamilton-I am so enjoying  this series, I need to finish it quickly so I can read the Christmas one!



I could go on and on, there have been so many! What a fab list already though right?!

Monday, 7 December 2015

Review: Between Sisters by Cathy Kelly

Cassie has spent her married life doing everything right - making sure her children have the perfect life, being a devoted wife and a dutiful daughter-in-law. Although it's left her so exhausted that 'wine o'clock' comes a little earlier each afternoon . . .
Her sister Coco runs a vintage dress shop and has shied away from commitment over the years. Coco believes men complicate things, and she's got enough to contend with. Until a face from her past returns.
Watching over them is grandmother Pearl, tucked away in her little house in Delaney Square. But something is keeping her awake at night. Was she right to do what she did all those years ago?
And then there's Elsa, the polished face of daytime TV, who's battled demons of her own in the past and come out on top. Now Elsa faces one final fight - but it will require more bravery than anything which has come before.


Review: I loved this book so much more than I thought I would. I know that makes it sound negative but it really isn't that, I've just never read anything by Cathy Kelly before then I went to an event with her and loved the sound of the book so I downloaded the audio book and absolutely raced through it, i literally couldn't wait to get in the car and get stuck into it. I listened to the last 3 hours back to back when I got home, it was so exciting.

The characters in this book are so strong, I am thinking about them still! I loved these sisters and all the other characters who revolved around them. When phoebe (not a sister) was introduced to the story, I was a little confused about where she would fit in to it all but she actually turned out to be one of my favourite characters and her storyline has really stuck with me. It was fabulous how each character had a chapter at a time dedicated to them but also each character was intertwined with another and so it was all woven together beautifully!

I really liked that fact that the book took place over a pretty short time frame and yet we have lots of references to things that have gone on in the past and so you really feel like you have been taken into these characters lives and embraced into their inner circle. Although it did jump around between places and characters it was easy to follow and was so engaging, you barely noticed that you were having to adjust to someone else!

I think this would be a great read for anyone who wants a good heart-warming read, esepcially at this time of year when family are so improtant. I think if you have children or if you don't have children, you will be able to identify with the characters in this book. And if, like me, this is your first Cathy Kelly book, or whether you are a Cathy Kelly fan already, you won't be disappointed! This would also make a lovely Christmas present...

Saturday, 5 December 2015

Blog Tour: Extract from and review of Follow me by



I am very lucky today to have an extract for you as well as a review of Follow Me by Anfela Clarke, firstly I'll whet your appetite with the extract from fairly early on in the book. Keep scrolling down for my review and the blurb...


14:32

Friday 30 October

 

Sat on the windowsill, trying to block out the late lunch drinkers

in the Queen Elizabeth pub below, Freddie pressed her phone to

her ear. How, in Dalston, in the middle of the country’s capital,

could this be the only place to get signal in her room? Her new

flatmate – what was his name, short guy, wore glasses, worked

in ad sales, always out drinking after work. Pete? P – something.

Edged into her room, en route to the kitchen, mouthing, ‘Sorry’.

Must be his day off.

 

She nodded. Three people in one pokey two-bed flat had seemed

a great money-saving plan. But that was five flatmates ago, when

she’d actually known the two girls she shared with. Now she

slept in the lounge, the sofa claimed as a bed, and all and sundry

crossed her room to get their breakfast cereal. Privacy and mobile

reception were for other people.

 

Freddie gurned at her reflection in the seventies mirror above

the faux thirties fireplace opposite. Her brown hair, cut by a mate

with kitchen scissors, sprang away from her shoulders like she’d

been shocked. Flashes of red hair chalk zigzagged toward her DIY

fringe. Her legs, stubbornly plump despite working on her feet

and taking more than the recommended 10,000 steps a day, poked

out from beneath her nightshirt (a T-shirt that had belonged to

a long-forgotten one-night stand). Unless she squished herself in

with her hands or a belt, she never looked like she had a waist. Her

torso, like her mum’s, was square, with the addition of breasts that

practically needed scaffolding to restrain them. She wiggled her

black plastic rectangular-framed glasses. Not traditionally beautiful.

 

The line in her ear clicked, and the noise of the busy newsroom

came through. ‘Freddie.’ Sandra, the deputy editor of The Family

Paper online, sounded tense and tired. Business as usual. ‘Is there

a problem with this week’s copy?’

 

‘No. No problem.’ Freddie pushed her back into the cold glass,

willing the signal to hold. ‘It’s just I’ve been writing the Typical

Student column for three years now…’

 

‘Time flies when you’re having fun.’

 

Freddie thought of the two years she’d spent on the dole, clawing

her way into glass collecting jobs, churning out pitches, unpaid

articles and free features during the day – a blur of coffee, cigarettes

and unpaid bills since she graduated. ‘Yes, it is fun. And popular.

Didn’t I get over 90,000 hits last week?’

 

Sandra didn’t deign to confirm or deny this figure.

 

‘Well I was wondering if, given the column’s popularity, I might

get paid for writing it?’

 

There was silence on the other end. Only the sound of the UK’s

busiest and most hated newsroom could be heard. The clamorous

grind and grunt as the newspaper was conceived in a hail of

profanities all journalists told you was the best-paid gig. The one

that Freddie had written one hundred and fifty-six eight-hundredword

columns for, and been paid precisely nothing by.

 

‘Sandra?’

 

‘We don’t have the budget. If you could get the column into the

print edition then you’d be paid,’ Sandra sighed. Freddie noticed

it was more from annoyance than shame.

 

‘How do I do that?’ Surely you could do that for me, you lazy cow.

‘I’ll think about it. I’ll send you some emails.’

 

Unlikely.

 

‘Didn’t we try this before?’ Sandra sounded on the verge of

dozing off.

 

We? There’s no we in this, Sandra. You go off with your monthly

pay packet, and I sit in my lounge bedroom trying to work out how

I’m going to afford to eat this month. ‘Yes.’

 

‘What did they say?’

 

‘The student focus was too young for the main paper.’ Snotty

baby-boomers.

 

‘The online readers enjoy your stories of debauched students,

Freddie. They really go for it.’

 

They really go for hating on it. Last week she’d written about

getting wasted the night before an exam. Total fabrication. Her

and her mates had sat in night after night working in fear, as they

watched the collapsing economy swallow everything around it like

a dead star: paid internships, graduate schemes, jobs, benefits.

She might as well have spent her time downing pints of vodka. ‘I

graduated two summers ago, I’m not even at university anymore.’

‘It’s up to you, it’s all good experience.’

 

Experience. Everything was good experience: writing articles

for free for a national newspaper, landing a job in Espress-oh’s

coffee chain to pay her bills, pitching, publishing, pumping out

all her words for no reward. When was this experience supposed

to pay off? When would she have enough experience? ‘I’ll send

the copy over now.’

 

‘Let’s do drinks soon.’

 

They wouldn’t. That was what people with paid jobs said to

get rid of you. They didn’t need contacts. They didn’t need any

more drags on their time. When they were done, they wanted to

go home and wank off in front of their latest box set. Drinks were

for those who needed a way in. Drinks were fucking fictional.

 

Freddie left the phone on the windowsill. She should sleep.

What had she managed? Her shift finished at 6.00am. She’d brainstormed

ideas on the way home on the Ginger Line. 9.30am first

commission came in. There were three in total today, all wanted

them filed within a couple of hours, all under a thousand words,

only one of them was paid. Thirty pounds from a privately funded

online satire site. Gotta love the rich kids. Awash with their parents’

money, they didn’t have enough business sense to demand that

their contributors work for experience.

 

She clicked refresh on her Mac mail. No new emails. Then she

clicked refresh again. Then she did the same on Twitter, Facebook,

WhatsApp and Snapchat. Round and round. Waiting. For what?

Something. Something big.

 


Here's the blurb: 


LIKE. SHARE. FOLLOW . . . DIE

The ‘Hashtag Murderer’ posts chilling cryptic clues online, pointing to their next target. Taunting the police. Enthralling the press. Capturing the public’s imagination.

But this is no virtual threat.

As the number of his followers rises, so does the body count.

Eight years ago two young girls did something unforgivable. Now ambitious police officer Nasreen and investigative journalist Freddie are thrown together again in a desperate struggle to catch this cunning, fame-crazed killer. But can they stay one step ahead of him? And can they escape their own past?

Time's running out. Everyone is following the #Murderer. But what if he is following you?

ONLINE, NO ONE CAN HEAR YOU SCREAM …




Review: I was definitely hooked into this book from the word go. I don't read many books from this genre, but I know when Avon sends me one, it's going to be a good one. I have to admit, I really didn't like main character Freddie to begin with, or any of the other characters to be honest, but she grew on me as the book went on, there are lots of police names in the novel, understandable as it is a book about a serial killer, and a found those a little hard to keep up with, but it knew the main ones that I help contempt for so that was ok...


I liked the fact that this book was set in the UK, it made the real places and areas of London easier to follow. The story surrounding the serial killer is totally believable as well, it's something that could actually happen and that makes this book even more scary! I would say, though, that if you're not very social media savvy, some of the hashtags and abbreviations won't make as much sense as if you are very into Twitter or other social media sites. The main story will still flow and you'll be able to follow it but if you're not into twitter, I would suggest having a quick look at it before reading this! 


There is quite a lot of swearing in this book, at times I found it a little unnecessary, however I do understand that it is the character of Freddie and she swears a lot, does a lot of things a lot of people wouldn't do. I don't mind swearing in novels but there is quite a lot of crude language right from the word go. The murder scenes are pretty graphic and scary as well so something else just to be warned about. I think the fact that this book comes with so many warnings shows you what an effective read it is, it definitely effected me and I am glad that I read it! 

Thursday, 3 December 2015

Guest Review: When You Walked Back into My Life by Hilary Boyd

For eight years Flora's love affair with Fin was a whirlwind of fun and spontaneity - but when Flora wanted to settle down and have children, Fin vanished.
Life moved on and Flora's world filled with other people, other cares. There were benefits to being single - no socks under the bed, no mess in the bathroom - even if the memory of Fin could never be completely erased.
But then suddenly, shockingly, Fin reappears. He's a changed man, he says, and her wants her back.

Is this a chance to put right the wrongs? Or a massive mistake?




This author is new to me, but when I saw this audio book on the shelf in the library, I thought it looked well worth a try. I'm glad that I did, as I found the story captivating and compelling.

It is basically the story of Flora and Fin, an ex-boyfriend who suddenly reappears having suddenly walked out on her without explanation several years before. Flora is a lively and highly likeable character - kind and gentle. She puts up with an awful lot from Fin, but then she's in love. I felt really suspicious of his motives all the way through the book and even found myself shouting at her not to tell him things!

In addition to those two, there are only a few other characters in the cast, but all are strong individuals with their own stories. Flora lives with her sister, Pru, and family, including her niece who clearly idolises her aunt. Flora is a nurse for a lovely old lady, Dorothea, who has a slightly dodgy nephew hanging about in the wings. There are also the other private nurses and Dorothea's attentive family doctor. Finally, the doorman to the block of flats where Dorothea lives. He is an entertaining but caring guy; just the right personality for the job.

I found the book well written and engaging. It left me wanting to know how life progressed for Flora after we left her, which I think is the sign of a good story. I shall certainly be looking out for other books by Hilary Boyd.