Sunday, 29 May 2016

Rae reads... The Late Blossoming of Frankie Green by Laura Kemp

About the book:

Frankie Green is perfectly happy in her marriage until her husband drops a bombshell. He doesn't think things are working, especially in the bedroom. Asking for space he moves out and that is when Frankie begins her lessons in sex education. Can Frankie win Jason back and regain her confidence?


My thoughts:

I instantly liked Frankie, she was quite innocent and I felt so sorry for her when her husband walked out. However I also felt anger on her behalf too, I couldn’t believe how awful it was to leave her like that. Her friends Em and Letty are great you can see what a great friendship they all share. Each of the characters stories were interesting and combined together with Frankie's made a great book. I have to say one of my favourite characters was Floyd I took to him straight away.

The plot moved pretty quick with no slow parts and it was so funny at times. I have to admit I ended up giggling to myself quite a lot. My husband kept looking at me wondering what I was reading! The story was engaging and I wanted to see where Frankie would end up along with her two best friends.

Overall:

The characters were well developed and I felt like I got to know them all. The story grabbed my attention from the start and kept my interest. I loved the message of finding the real you, overcoming insecurities and ultimately finding happiness.

I was hooked from the start and it just got better and better. The Late Blossoming of Frankie Green is comical, heartwarming and most of all entertaining!

Five stars from me!

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

Friday, 27 May 2016

Rae reads... Those Summer Nights by Mandy Baggot

About the book:

Imogen has just applied for her dream job when her brother Harry decides to impulsively buy a Greek restaurant in Corfu. He decides that that he will run it himself and tries to persuade Imogen to help.


Panos wants to buy back his family taverna, which Harry has just bought. Imogen thinks this is the perfect solution but Harry won't sell. Imogen begins to love the sparkling mediterranean sea and endless blue skies but is it just Corfu that she is falling for?



My thoughts:


I loved the cover of this book it really set the scene and I couldn't wait to start reading. 


I think it would be hard not to like Imogen and even though Harry is a bit flaky to start with he is a great character too. The characters were well developed and I felt like I was a part of their world. Panos to start with is a little unlikeable although there is a definite spark between Imogen and Panos. As the book progresses I got to know the characters well. Most of them had issues which gave their characters extra depth and meaning. I found myself immersed in their lives. I really took to the character of Elpida she was like the glue that bound the story together. She was always trying to help and be there for everyone.  


The writing is descriptive and I could really imagine myself in Greece soaking up the sun and eating the local food. The plot was easy going and kept up a good pace throughout, put it this way I didn't get bored. It was good to have the point of view from both Panos and Imogen, I think it always adds more meaning to a story. 


Overall:


I could have happily read this in one sitting unfortunately part time work and having two young children doesn't really make this possible! I did however stay up pretty late two nights in a row to finish, although feeling pretty tired now! 
I especially loved reading all about the characters and Corfu itself. 

Those Summer Nights really is a feel good summer story that left me with a smile!

Five stars from me!

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


Tuesday, 24 May 2016

My blog - Six months on...

I started my blog back in December and I can't believe that we are nearly in June it really has gone so fast. It got me thinking about how little I knew about starting a blog at the beginning. To be totally honest I still have a lot to learn but I feel like my book reviews are improving slowly but surely. 

I haven't really posted any personal blog posts as I find it hard to talk about myself. I am not the most confident of people and it can sometimes take a while to show the real me. I think that is why I like the idea of a blog I can express my feelings without being face to face with someone and feeling any embarrassment. 

If anyone wants to comment
How did you feel after the first six months or even a year of starting a blog? Were you happy with the way your blog was going or could you see anything that needed improving upon?

So here I am saying Hi and if anyone wanted to just say Hi back then great. It would be lovely to hear from you!

Rae :-)


Rae reads... Natalie's Getting Married by Rosa Temple

About the book :


Career minded, Natalie Spencer, had never been in love. She could never understand what all the fuss was about. But when she met Jackson Humphries during Fresher’s Week at university, that all changed.


Utterly infatuated, Natalie quickly discovers the meaning of love and, before she knows it, she's heading up the aisle – for the first time, that is.

This is a tale about four wedding dresses, a runaway groom and a girl who got so carried away, she couldn’t see true love staring her right in the face. 



My thoughts:

Natalie was a great character, she was really likeable and I was instantly on her side. I loved all of the interactions between Natalie and Gabe. It was frustrating at times for me as the reader as I wanted Natalie to realise who Mr Right was. Although it wouldn't have worked as a story if she had figured it out straight away! The fact that Natalie made mistakes definitely made her more believable as a character.

The story made me smile throughout and the plot moved at a pretty good pace. I especially liked the various locations where Natalie ended up. This book is set over a quite a few years and I thought that this was a great idea. I hadn't really read any book where this happened before and it made Natalie Getting Married that little bit more engaging.

Overall: 

This book is full of fun, charm and romance. I really enjoyed getting to know Natalie and her possible love interests. Each character was developed well and played a part in making this a lovely story. 

Four and a half stars from me!

Thank you to Rosa Temple for kindly sending me a copy to read and review.

Monday, 23 May 2016

Little Chickies by Susie Jaramillo

About the book:

A spanish nursery rhyme about some adorable baby chicks that hatch from their eggs hungry. Their mama then takes care of them.



My thoughts:

I am always looking for books to read to my little ones. When I saw this I liked that it was a Spanish nursery rhyme that had been translated to English. It also has the Spanish version which was a nice touch.

My little boy is three and he enjoyed the story and we talked about the pictures and what he could see. My one year old really liked the illustrations too.

It is a lovely easy to read story perfect for pre school ages. It kept both my childrens attention, even the youngest which isn't always easy!

Overall:

Perfect for young children, it is a lovely story with great illustrations. An engaging book to encourage children to learn a second language whether it be English or Spanish.

Four stars from me!

Thank you to AuthorBuzz & Netgalley for my copy to read and review.

Sunday, 22 May 2016

Rae reads... The Sunshine and Biscotti Club by Jenny Oliver

About the book:


When Libby's husband walks out she needs help getting the Sunshine and Biscotti Club up and running. So she calls on her friends for help. 

Eve is struggling in her marriage so it seems the perfect time to take a break from things and help her friend in the process
Jessica is a workaholic who has never got over the man who didn't love her back, unfortunately he has just turned up in Tuscany too.
Will everything be ready in time and will all of their tangled relationships work out? 



My Thoughts:

After looking at the cover I couldn't wait to read this it was just so colourful and I thought the title was great. So after the first chapter I was instantly on the side of Libby she had been left in the lurch by her husband and luckily her friends all gathered around to help. The story had my attention from the start and pretty much kept it all the way through. I liked how each chapter was from a different characters point of view it actually helped to keep things interesting. The plot was a good one even after all these years the friends would band together to help. I was even more entertained because there were some tricky relationships between them all. 
I think all of the characters had their good points and also their flaws but I probably liked Jessica the best. You really did get the long time friendship vibe from them all and I had to keep reading to see how they were all connected in the past. There were a few surprises along the way and the ending left me with a smile. 

Overall:

The Sunshine and Biscotti Club really has a summer feel to it and I felt like I really got to know the characters in this book. Perfect for a holiday read!

Four stars from me!

Thank you to Carina UK & Netgalley for my copy to read and review.




Saturday, 21 May 2016

Cover Reveal and Q&A - The One With the Hen Weekend by Erin Lawless

I am so happy to be sharing the gorgeous cover reveal for:

The One With the Hen Weekend by Erin Lawless

Release Date: 15th September, 2016

Available for Pre-order now!


For fans of romantic comedies like Bridesmaids and Four Weddings & a Funeral, and bestselling authors Mhairi McFarlane and Jenny Oliver, this is a hilarious new romantic comedy series about one bride and her four best friends.


Book Links: 



So after seeing that lovely cover how would you like to see a few photos from Erin's real life Hen Party?











Thank you to Erin Lawless for the brilliant hen party photos it looks like you had an amazing time!


Q&A with Erin Lawless


What do you like to do when you're not writing? 

I know it's boring, but I love to read. In fact I love anything with a story - immersive video games, binge-watching boxsets of TV shows. I'm also a history blogger, so you can usually find me sampling the cakes at National Trust properties up and down the country of a weekend! And I'm not sure if I "like" to do this when I'm not writing (!) but 'by day' I work in intellectual property law. Books, cakes and trade marks - that about sums me up!


If you were stranded on a desert island what three books would you want with you?

I'd have to bring Barbara Erskine's Lady of Hay because it's one of my all-time favourite reads - and it doesn't hurt that it's fairly long and covers a fair few genres! Attachments by Rainbow Rowell, because it never, ever fails to make me smile. I'm stuck now, because a lot of my favourite books are part of a series, and it would drive me crazy not to be able to read the rest of the story... Can I say the bind-up edition of His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman? It's not strictly cheating because you can buy the three books as one paperback! That series is a forever favourite - I based my undergraduate dissertation on it.


What three words best describe your personality?

Multitasker; storyteller; shot-pimp.


Many thanks to Erin for taking part in the Q&A!



Author Biography
& Links

You'd probably like Erin Lawless; she's quite nice.

She lives a happy life full of wonderful friends, in love with a man who buys her books instead of flowers. To mix things up a little, she write books where friends and lovers hit obstacles and (usually) overcome them. When she's not doing that she's reading absolutely everything she can get her hands on, spending an inordinate amount of time in pyjamas and running a fun-but-informative blog on British history.


Goodreads

Facebook
Twitter
Instagram
Amazon UK

Thursday, 19 May 2016

Rae reads... The Little Bookshop Of Lonely Hearts by Annie Darling

About the book:

Posy Morland works in a lovely bookshop spending her days reading romance novels. However when Bookends owner Lavinia dies and leaves the shop in her hands. It is time to step up and try to keep the ailing business going.


Lavinia’s grandson, Sebastian, AKA The Rudest Man In London has his own ideas as to what will keep the business going. Will they ever see eye to eye? 





My thoughts:

I really liked the premise for this book, which I think anyone who loves books would especially romance. The story was really easy to follow and I think the plot moved at a pretty good pace. I found the story both sad and comical at times. Although I would have to say that there was a good balance throughout. I loved the Ravished By the Rake story that Posy concocted although I love historical romance so maybe I am a bit biased! It was really fun to read and I would happily read it in its own right.

The characters of Posy and Sebastian were really entertaining. I loved their interactions or sparring whichever you prefer. Posy was quite lovable and laid back who hadn't had an easy time of it. With her parents dying and then raising a younger sibling I guess it changed who she was. Sebastian was great, even though he could be pretty annoying. I actually liked how honest he was, it really made a refreshing change. The minor characters all added a certain something. I can't wait to read the next book in the series and find out what happens with everyone.

Overall:


The Little Bookshop of Lonely Hearts is a lovely, romantic and engaging story. I really enjoyed spending time with Posy, Sebastian and all the other characters in this book. The ending well I can't say anything other than it was just perfect!

Curl up and relax with this book it will definitely leave you with a smile.

Five stars from me! 

Thank you to Harper & Netgalley for my copy to read and review. 

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Cover Reveal - The Little Antique Shop Under the Eiffel Tower by Rebecca Raisin


Rae reads is pleased to share the lovely cover reveal for The Little Antique Shop Under the Eiffel Tower by Rebecca Raisin


Book Information

Title: The Little Antique Shop Under the Eiffel Tower
Author: Rebecca Raisin
Series: The Little Paris Collection, Book 2
Standalone?: Yes
Release Date: July 1, 2016
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers

Summary

Don’t miss the exciting new title The Little Antique Shop Under the Eiffel Tower by Rebecca Raisin available on July 1, 2016 - pre-order your copy today!
Watch out for more in The Little Paris Collection
1. The Little Bookshop on the Seine
2. The Little Antique Shop under the Eiffel Tower
3. The Little Perfume Shop off the Champs-Élysées

What reviewers are saying about The Little Bookshop on the Seine

‘ This novel is a love letter to Paris, and even more so a love letter to books; it is absolutely a must-read book for book lovers.’ – Rather Too Fond of Books

‘easy to read and devoured quickly, I literally could not get enough and I was so sad to finish it. It was a truly captivating, spellbinding tale of taking chances and living life to the full that I am sure will ring true with many readers.’ – Compelling Reads

‘I love love love this author, and this book cements the fact that this series is a winner!’ – Fiona (Goodreads)

‘I loved every second of The Little Bookshop on the Seine, easy to read, with words oozing charm and good feeling, that just made me feel warm and cosy.’ – Rachel’s Random Reads

‘a beautifully written novel’ – Hilda (Goodreads)
‘A delightful story that's perfect for reading in your favorite cozy chair. … Such a good book to lose yourself in.’ – Janet Robel (Goodreads)

‘It really brought Paris to life … extremely romantic, love is most definitely on the menu’ – Elaine (Goodreads)

‘a great escape to Paris and I’m looking forward to the other books in the Little Paris Collection.’ – French Village Diaries

Book Links


Author Biography

Rebecca Raisin is a true bibliophile. This love of books morphed into the desire to write them. She’s been published in various short story anthologies and in in fiction magazines, and is now focusing on writing romance.

Rebecca aims to write characters you can see yourself being friends with. People with big hearts who care about relationships, and most importantly believe in true love.
Come and say hello to Rebecca on her Facebook page or Twitter.

Social Networking Links









Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Rae reads... A Summer Of Secrets by Alice Ross

About the book:

A perfect, feel-good summer read about love, life and family.
One long hot summer. Secrets never stay buried for long…

Portia is determined to restore Buttersley Manor, her family’s crumbling ancestral home, to its former glory. Yet she has a feeling that there are a few forgotten skeletons in the dust-covered cupboards.

Jenny has put her life on hold for far too long. It’s time to finally start living and to dig up those hopes and dreams she’s kept hidden all these years – but is she brave enough?

Rich is happily married with a beautiful wife and lovely daughter. In fact, his world is perfect until a very unexpected consequence of his past walks through the door…

Joe would like nothing more than to travel back in time to when he and Gina were happy. But is it too late to rescue what they once had?

One thing’s for sure, nothing’s ever quite what it seems when it comes to life in the country!
 





My thoughts:

I liked how the story progressed in this book and it was interesting to see how each character developed. The plot was easy to follow and I ended up reading well after I should have gone to sleep. I found myself immersed in the story and the characters lives, it felt like I was almost a part of their village too.

Even though there are a few characters to follow I never got confused about who was who or what was happening. Each character brings something to the story but I have to say my favourites were Rich and Portia. Although to be honest I had fun reading about all of the characters problems. I especially liked how the characters lives intersected with each other it made it more fun to read. 

Overall: 

I enjoyed reading this book it was a delight to spend a few hours with all the characters and read all about their lives. This book kept me entertained right from the start and I would recommend this to anyone wanting to read a feel good summer book.

A Summer Of Secrets was a light hearted, entertaining and fun story. It is a perfect book to curl up with and get lost in the story!


Four stars from me!

Thank you to Carina UK & Netgalley for my copy to read and review.


Monday, 16 May 2016

Cover Reveal and Q&A - Found (Arielle Lockley series book 3) by Elle Field

Rae reads is pleased to share the lovely cover reveal for:

Found (Arielle Lockley series book 3) - Elle Field
Release Date: August 9th
(Available to pre-order now)



Synopsis:


One death. Two weddings. Three months in New York City.

Who knew one flight could change everything? When Arielle Lockley stepped on the plane at Heathrow, she never realised how different her life would be when she touched down in New York. Now she's dealing with that aftermath, as well as trying to find common ground with Etta, her new and unwanted business partner.

But, trying to sort out her shop in London whilst Piers is stuck in New York is starting to take its toll on their relationship, and Arielle isn't the only one with an important decision to make... Can Arielle and Etta continue Felicity's legacy without destroying it, and will Arielle and Piers manage to make it down the aisle to say "I do"?

Find out what happens in the final part of the warm and wonderful Arielle Lockley series - out this August.


Book Links:


Q&A with Elle Field


What do you like to do when you're not writing?

Reading is at the top of my down-time list, preferably on a beach somewhere, and I love exploring new places. I’m also a big foodie, so I love trying out different restaurants and cooking new recipes at home. I go and see shows on the West End as much as I can, and I enjoy hanging out with friends and loved ones - the usual sorts of things really!

If you were stranded on a desert island what three books would you want with you?

Crikey - this is a tough one! OK, I’d pick The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis - the series was a childhood fave of mine, plus I sneakily get seven books that way! I’d also take with me The Martian by Andy Weir because it’s a fabulous book, and it would serve to remind me that things could be a lot worse! Lastly, surely Bear Grylls must have written a desert island survival book, right? If he has, that’s my final pick - I think I’d need it to survive the desert island!

What three words best describe your personality?

Silly. Serious. Sarcastic.

Which actress could you see playing Arielle?

I could definitely see Emilia Clarke (Daenerys in Game of Thrones) playing Arielle.

What was the hardest part of writing your newest book? 


B-Side is my newest book, and it’s a spin-off book in the Arielle Lockley series which means it’s not told from the voice of Arielle, but from the perspective of Etta. I find it very easy to write as Arielle now, so probably the hardest part of writing B-Side was not letting Etta’s voice sound like Arielle’s.


I hope you have enjoyed seeing the cover reveal for Found (Arielle Lockley series book 3) by Elle Field. 
Many thanks to Elle for taking the time to complete the Q&A!


You can find out more about Elle Field at the following links:

Sunday, 15 May 2016

Rae reads... Summer At the Comfort Food Cafe by Debbie Johnson


About the book:

Everyone thinks widowed mum-of-two Laura Walker has lost her mind when she decides to uproot her two teenaged children to Dorset for the summer.
However two years earlier Laura lost her husband and she knows that it’s time to move on. Will working at the Comfort Food Cafe help her to do this?

My thoughts:

I loved the letter at the start of the book it really set the scene, it explained what had happened to Laura's character. Due to the letter style it felt natural to read all about her life without it feeling like an information overload. I liked the premise for this story, new beginnings etc. I had been looking forward to reading this book for a while. There were some comical moments that made this book extra special. They helped lighten the mood and I don't think I will be able to sing The Grand Old Duke of York to my children without thinking of this book.

I instantly liked Laura, although there were moments of sadness she came across as a strong and resilient character after everything she had been through. Her two children were a great addition to the story along with her sister Becca who had some great one liners. The character of Cherie also adds a bit of quirkiness to the story. Matt and Laura have great chemistry, I liked all of their interactions. Especially when most of them involved Laura being involved in embarrassing situations. All of the characters bring a certain something special to the mix. I loved finding out along with Laura all about the customers lives.

Overall

I became immersed in the story straight away this was mainly down to the descriptive writing. It was just the right amount to set the scene. I really could imagine myself there especially when Laura first visits the Comfort Food Cafe. The characters are lovely and whilst reading I felt like a part of their world. At times I had tears in my eyes, OK the tears actually left my eyes and fell down my face! Even though there are sad parts they just combined to make this book more charming.

Summer At the Comfort Food Cafe truly is an engaging, entertaining and lovable book!

Five stars from me!

Thank you to HarperImpulse & Netgalley for my copy to read and review.

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Rae reads... Clash Of Worlds by Philip McClennan

Clash Of Worlds by Philip McClennan

About the book:

James has no memory of his parents, he has always wondered who he is and where he came from. He arrived with another boy called Chad, they can both do phenomenal things.

They each have amazing abilities but as they grow up Chad becomes more unstable and reckless. Will James and Chad find out where they came from and also stop the man in white who is determined to destroy them both?


My thoughts:

The start of the book sets the scene well, it is really descriptive and I was drawn into the story. I think I enjoyed this book because I hadn't read any fantasy stories in a while. So it made a refreshing change to enjoy the escapism. Even though it is a fantasy there are lots of other elements that go into this book.

The characters were developed well and I felt like I was a part of their lives. I think it helped that even though they have a few similar powers they are completely different in their personalities. I liked how the reader followed both worlds it was intriguing to see this and to see how everything played out. I especially liked the character Kara and I enjoyed following her journey in the book.

Overall:

I found that I enjoyed this book there was a good progression to the plot. Something was always happening and the action kept up throughout. The characters were interesting and I wanted to find out more about them. If you like fantasy I would definitely recommend but even if it's not your usual genre it may be worth giving it a try too!

Four stars from me!

Thank you to the author for my copy, much appreciated!

Friday, 6 May 2016

Rae reads... See How They Run by Tom Bale

See How They Run - Tom Bale

About the book:

When Alice and Harry awake to find intruders in their home it is the start of a terrifying nightmare. The men want answers and are even prepared to threaten their baby daughter Evie to get them.
The questions all revolve around a man called Edward Renshaw, the men eventually leave but is it really over?



My thoughts:

I couldn’t believe how much happened in the first couple of chapters, I was hooked right from the start. It didn’t help I was reading at night and it felt so real I had to go and check the door was locked! The pace pretty much kept up throughout the book with plenty of twists and turns to keep the reader on their toes.

The characters of Harry and Alice were great, Tom Bale made them come to life and you felt a part of their life. I liked how the story followed both of them each having different experiences. They were a normal family and this made the story more chilling as it felt like this could happen to anyone.

Overall:

I felt like I had been on a rollercoaster ride, the plot kept me on the edge of my seat and at times it was difficult to put down. I would say just one more chapter and of course that didn’t happen. The characters were well written and I felt like I was on this terrifying journey with them. This is a brilliant thriller that kept my attention throughout and I never knew what was going to happen next. 

This book is full of action and pretty chilling at times, the tension was amazing and I recommend reading this if you are a fan of thrillers. I wish I could have read See How They Run in one sitting it was that gripping!

Five stars from me!

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

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Rae reads... The Little Wedding Shop By the Sea: Cupcakes and Confetti - Jane Linfoot

The Little Wedding Shop By the Sea: Cupcakes and Confetti - Jane Linfoot

About the book:
Poppy works at Brides By the Sea as a cake maker. When her friend Cate's wedding planner walks out Poppy steps in to help save her friends special day. However things aren't as easy as she thinks and throw grumpy farmer Rafe into the mix and things get interesting!


My thoughts:
The introduction to Poppy is really interesting as we are given little snippets regarding the breakdown of her relationship. The reader is given just enough information to keep intrigued as to what happened. Poppy is very likeable I especially liked how she handled the embarrassing situation with the dogs and a whole lot of mud! The minor characters all helped to make this book extra special. Poppy has some great friends who she can really count on and I really liked Immie. Even though Rafe is pretty grumpy and short tempered when we first meet him there is something there that makes him intriguing. I especially liked all of Rafe's slogan t-shirts!

The story grabbed me from the start and I couldn’t wait to read more. The plot was easy to follow and I loved the premise of a one stop shop for all wedding related things. When Rafe shows Poppy around the farm I could really picture myself there. I found myself immersed in the story due to the little details and it was great to read about all the different weddings held at the farm. The chemistry between the two is strong especially when they are arguing. These interactions grabbed my attention and I had to know how it would all end.

Overall:
I really enjoyed this story both the plot and characters kept me entertained throughout. The way Jane Linfoot wrote this book had me both laughing and smiling. I will definitely be looking at reading more books by this author. The ending was pretty perfect and left me with butterflies and a smile on my face.

Five stars from me!

Thank you to Harper Impulse & Netgalley for my copy to read and review.