Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Rae reads... Kitty's Countryside Dream by Christie Barlow

Kitty's Countryside Dream by Christie Barlow

When Kitty becomes the new owner of Bluebell Lodge she has no idea how much her life will be turned upside down. From chickens, to a crush on the lovely Tom and a mysterious diary to contend with life will never be the same again.


I loved how there was a mystery running throughout the book regarding Kitty's grandmother and her parents. It added an interesting spin and I was eager to find out what had happened in the past. I found myself unable to put the book down in parts as snippets from her families past are revealed.

I instantly liked Kitty's character, she is a strong main character who has recently had quite an upheaval in her life. The minor characters all add something to the story and I liked all their interactions with Kitty. I felt after finishing this book that I knew all the characters really well and could have gone on reading about their lives some more.

Overall I really enjoyed this book and I am eager to read more books by Christie Barlow. This book is in parts sad but the main focus is on family and friends and it really is a lovely story. The setting for the story is lovely and I could easily picture myself at Bluebell Lodge. Christie Barlow really sets the scene with descriptive writing that doesn't go overboard.

Four and a half stars from me.

Thank you to Bookouture and Netgalley for my copy to read and review.

Sunday, 27 March 2016

Rae reads... A Summer at Sea by Katie Fforde

A Summer at Sea By Katie Fforde

Emily has a great life, she is a midwife and is perfectly happy with how things are. Although when a friend gets in touch and asks for help she decides to take a risk and spend a summer at sea. Working as a cook onboard their Puffer boat. Will life be the same for Emily after her summer away?



I have read quite a few of Katie Ffordes books and always found them enjoyable however I did find this book a little bit more difficult to get into. I normally find myself engrossed in the plot and characters almost from the very first chapter. I would have to say that the main reason was that it took me a while to take a liking to Emily. With Emily being the main character this obviously caused a problem. I think the reason I didn’t instantly like Emily was due to her views on midwifery. I am all for the mother having a choice about where she gives birth. It just seemed a little bit too pro home birth for me which just slightly impacted on my enjoyment of the book at the beginning.


However by the half way point my opinion had changed and I found myself actually liking Emily. In a way Summer By the Sea was made more interesting because I made a u turn regarding my feelings about the main character. I did however love the friendship between little Kate and Emily. I really liked their interactions they were both sweet and fun.

I found the attention to detail spot on especially when Emily first arrived on board the Puffer vessel. I really could imagine myself being there in person in all the confined spaces. It was a lovely story and Katie Fforde set the scene really well. I will continue to read her books & I am sure that my slight disappointment with the beginning is just a blip.

Overall it could have been a slightly better but if you are in the mood for a light & easy to read book then definitely give it a go, especially if you are already a fan.

3.5 stars from me


Thank you to Random House UK, Cornerstone & Netgalley for my copy to read & review.

Thursday, 17 March 2016

Rae reads...Manners Are Not For Monkeys by Heather Tekavec

Manners Are Not For Monkeys by Heather Tekavec

When the zookeeper moves the monkeys to a cage near the picnic area she doesn't realise the trouble it will cause. The monkeys watch the children and soon begin behaving like them. However their mummy isn't impressed as the monkeys are using good manners she replies with "Manners are not for Monkeys"


I like to read with my children even though my youngest isn't too fussed (she is only 1 though) my oldest is 3 and he loves to look at books, even ebooks.

So the story is pretty straightforward, it is easy to understand and isn't too long winded. The plot develops nicely as the monkeys develop good human manners but this greatly upsets their mummy. I liked that the monkeys mummy was so upset that they weren't acting like real monkeys it gave the story a different spin. It kept my little ones attention although he may be too young to fully understand the story and it's content. The illustrations were great, they were fun to look at and really added to the book.

Overall I think it is definitely an interesting take on teaching children about manners I wouldn't say I loved the story but I did enjoy reading it with my son. It's worth a try if you are looking for something out of the ordinary.

3.5 stars from me & Dex

Thank you to Kids Can Press & Netgalley for my copy to read and review.

Friday, 11 March 2016

Rae reads... Getting Over Gary by Jessica Redland

Getting Over Gary by Jessica Redland

Elise's perfect world comes crashing down around her after discovering a massive secret about her husband. After 12 years of marriage her dreams of starting a family have just been destroyed. Can Elise move forward with her life and be happy.


I was drawn into Elise's life quite quickly, the author has written an interesting main character who is very likeable. As the truth is revealed I couldn't help but imagine how hard it would be to be in her situation, what would any of us do in that moment. The story moved at a good pace and I never felt bored by the plot. To start with I wasn't quite sure how everything would play out. There were quite a few possibilities and I was kept guessing if Elise would get her happy ending. Elise's back story with her mum was very sad and I definitely felt sympathy for her. It also explains some of her behaviour with Gary, her friends and her possible love interests.

Even though this is the second book in a series it can be easily read as a standalone book. The characters fit well into the story and with each other. The frostiness between Elise and Clare is quite a good side story and how they animosity creates problems with their mutual friend Sarah. After every situation Elise finds herself in I kept thinking to myself it can't get any worse can it?

Overall I would recommend this book its not a straight forward romance there are a few twists along the way. This makes it a slightly more interesting read than your average book.
Perfect reading for the weekend or a holiday, it will definitely leave you with a smile on your face!

4 stars from me!

Thank you to So Vain Books & Netgalley for my copy to read & review.