The Sunday Lunch Club by Juliet Ashton book review

sunday lunch club

The Sunday Lunch Club written by Juliet Ashton, publisher Simon & Schuster UK, is available from 19th April 2018 in ebook and paperback format.

To pre-order/buy link:  https://goo.gl/7ZaA3V

Product details (as per amazon page)

The first rule of Sunday Lunch Club is … don’t make any afternoon plans.

Every few Sundays, Anna and her extended family and friends get together for lunch. They talk, they laugh, they bicker, they eat too much. Sometimes the important stuff is left unsaid, other times it’s said in the wrong way.

Sitting between her ex-husband and her new lover, Anna is coming to terms with an unexpected pregnancy at the age of forty. Also at the table are her ageing grandmother, her promiscuous sister, her flamboyantly gay brother and a memory too terrible to contemplate.

Until, that is, a letter arrives from the person Anna scarred all those years ago. Can Anna reconcile her painful past with her uncertain future?

table setting clipart

I voluntarily reviewed an arc of  this book.  All opinions are my own and no content may be copied.  However, authors and publishers may use elements of my reviews for quotes.

Firstly, I’d like to talk about the cover of this novel, it is such an appealing colour and quite striking and sitting on a shelf amongst other books it would stand out for me.

I adored this wonderful book by Juliet Ashton and The Sunday Lunch Club is her fourth book.  I do need to find the time reading her back catalogue.

Whilst reading this novel I felt like it would work wonderfully as a Sunday night TV serial. The drama and emotion surrounding each member of the family captivated me. I felt the raw emotion from each character as they were struggling to cope with demons from their past and the demons that they had carried all throughout their life. Each sibling and their respective partners and friends had their own unique personality but they complimented the family unit as a whole. Even though their was plenty of drama and hurdles for the siblings to climb there was plenty of fun interspersed within the storyline.  The novel had a wonderful cosy feeling about it, a feeling of togetherness between the family and I especially liked the powerful bond between the grandchildren and Dinkie.

A beautiful, heartfelt novel that was full of family sagas but had an intense feeling of family spirit surviving all that was dealt their way.

To learn more about the author Julie Ashton please visit the following pages:

Author website:   http://www.berniestrachan.com/
Twitter:   http://www.twitter.com/julietstories

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Letters to Iris by Elizabeth Noble book review

letters to iris

Letters to Iris written by Elizabeth Noble publisher Michael Joseph (an imprint of Penguin) is available NOW in ebook and hardcover format.

To buy link:  https://goo.gl/ErY46d

Product Details (as per amazon page)

Tess has a secret – one which is going to turn her life upside down in just nine months’ time.
The only person she can confide in is her beloved grandmother. But Iris is slipping further away each day.
Then chance brings a stranger into Tess’s life.
Gigi’s heart goes out to Tess, knowing what it’s like to feel alone. She’s determined to show her that there’s a silver lining to every cloud.
As their unlikely friendship blossoms, Tess feels inspired to open up.
But something still holds her back – until she discovers Iris has a secret of her own. A suitcase of letters from another time, the missing pieces of a life she never shared.
Could the letters hold the answers that Tess thought lost for ever?

stack of old letters

I voluntarily reviewed an arc of  this book.  All opinions are my own and no content may be copied.  However, authors and publishers may use elements of my reviews for quotes. 

I am in total awe of this wonderful novel and it will definitely be one of my standout reads for 2018.  Letters to Iris is Elizabeth Noble’s eighth novel and I am astonished that it is my first introduction to the author’s work.  Elizabeth Noble’s writing flows beautifully and you are soon enraptured in the hearts and lives of the characters she has described on the pages.

Letters to Iris focuses on predominantly four female characters with the principal character being Tess.  Tess adores her grandmother Iris, who at 96 years of age is now living with the devastating condition of alzheimers.  Tess’ mum Donna has led abit of a nomad lifestyle and Tess spent a lot of her childhood with her gran Iris.  Tess and Donna’s relationship is a little strained but when Iris’ condition becomes worse and she needs more specialist care in a home Donna surprises everyone with her attention to detail when visiting her mother.  When Tess’ own life takes on a new journey that shakes up her love life she soon faces an uncertain future but once again Donna surprises Tess with a solution to her immediate problems.  Tess is quite overwhelmed emotionally with all that is going on in her life but when she bumps into another visitor, Gigi, at the Care Home a bond is soon formed.  Gigi’s father-in-law is a resident of the same care home and Gigi has spent many hours visiting him.  Gigi has been married for over 30 years to Richard and has three grown-up children and a granddaughter.  Gigi is starting to feel a little invisible in her marriage and she starts to question her future.  Reading about how each character’s relationship is evolving with each other was wonderful to see and left you feeling hopeful and gave you a warm cosy glow.

Four different women at different stages in their lives coping with changes in their journeys.  Changes that can bring positive directions to their lives but also new enlightenments bringing many thought provoking moments and questioning of the past. Secrets from the past that are so heart wrenching and unbearable to think about.  A highly emotive story but also with a beautiful, underlying story of romance.  You cannot help but fall in love with Letters to Iris and I didn’t want to leave the characters I had warmed to and soon classed them as my friends.  Truly stunning, emotive storytelling.

To learn more about the author Elizabeth Noble please visit the publisher’s website page:

Penguin UK:  https://www.penguin.co.uk/authors/elizabeth-noble/32447/

 

 

The Little Perfume Shop off the Champs-Elysees by Rebecca Raisin blogtour book review

the little perfume shop off the champs elysees

The Little Perfume Shop off the Champs-Elysees written by Rebecca Raisin, publisher HQ Digital, is available NOW in ebook and audiobook format.

To buy link:  https://goo.gl/vcwJz8

Product Details (as per amazon page)

What is French for falling in love?
When Del leaves small town America to compete in a perfume competition in Paris, she thinks it is just the next step on her five-year-plan. It’s an exciting opportunity. What started out as just a dream for Del and her twin sister is nearly in her grasp. If she wins this competition, they are on their way to opening their very own perfume boutique!
Arriving in Paris, watching the sun glinting off the Seine and wandering the Champs-Elysees, Del discovers the most perfect perfumery she’s ever seen. Yet, as the competition dawns Del realises that whilst she might have had the best nose in her small village, her competitors seem to know more than she could ever have dreamed. This competition isn’t going to be easy…
Del has the romance of Paris to sweep her away from her worries, but as the competition heats up, so does her desire for that which she cannot have! If only the dashing owner Sébastien didn’t smell so seductive, look so handsome and make her heart flutter like it never has before. They say love smells as sweet as a red rose in bloom, but Del would tell anyone that true love can’t be bottled – it’s beautiful and unique to everyone…even herself. With everything on the line for her future, can Del really let a little attraction get in the way of securing her dreams?

LittlePerfumeShop_BlogTour

I voluntarily reviewed an arc of  this book.  All opinions are my own and no content may be copied.  However, authors and publishers may use elements of my reviews for quotes.

I am so pleased to be involved in the blogtour celebrating and promoting the launch of Rebecca Raisin’s latest book: The Little Perfume Shop off the Champs-Elysees.  This is the third book in The Little Paris Collection but each story can be read as a standalone however, I’d highly recommend reading each story in the collection because you will be intoxicated by the beauty of these stories set in the city of light (love).  The books in the series are:

  • The Little Bookshop on the Seine
  • The Little Antique under the Eiffel Tower
  • The Little Perfume Shop off the Champs-Elysees

I absolutely adore stories set in Paris, I get swept away with the magic of the streets, icons and chic of the city.  Rebecca Raisin once again has taken me to the delights of Paris.  This was an evocative tale of following your dreams but also accepting that sometimes your dreams may need a little deviation along the way and also the helping hand of others to open your eyes to the clues that will lead you to the most loveliest of possibilities.

I loved this storyline of a search for a new star in perfumery.  Perfumery experts from all around the world were shortlisted to attend the final few challenges set in an esteemed perfumery in Paris.  This perfumery was a dream for it’s creator who sadly is no longer with us, his son Sebastien is still grieving for his father.  Sebastien is like a lost soul at the moment and has lost his love for the trade which took more than his father from him.

Del has travelled from America and learned all her perfumery skills from her late grandmother.  Del has a five year plan and winning this competition would be the first step in achieving her goal.  However, since her gran’s death she has struggled with certain elements of perfumery.  Maybe Del needs to experience more aspects of life to enable her to fill in the gaps in her skill.

I loved all the challenges in the competition, there were the usual competitors in attendance, the highly competitive and the shy individuals hiding in the shades.  Del’s character was very likeable she was sensitive to other’s feelings and emotions and was a sort of whisperer when it came to prescribing scents and aromas to heal the heart and soul of others but could she put this into practice in helping herself?  The challenges took you on a journey through the streets of Paris to the aromatic and colourful fields of Provence.  Del had another challenge in addition to the perfume competition and this was a challenge she didn’t expect but her heart and soul was being put to the test also.

Rebecca Raisin has taken you on a wonderful sensory journey with this story, she has sensitively dealt with the poignant emotions of grief with new friends amongst a new city bringing with it new possibilities in life and love. Gorgeous and romantic story that filled me with warmth and I didn’t want it to end.

To learn more about Rebecca Raisin and her work please do visit the following pages:

Website:  http://www.rebeccaraisin.com/

Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/@jaxandwillsmum

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/RebeccaRaisinAuthor

old perfume bottles

Sweet Home Summer by Michelle Vernal blogtour book review

Sweet_Home_Summer_01_New

Sweet Home Summer written by Michelle Vernal, publisher HarperImpulse, is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.

To buy link:  https://goo.gl/bKXcTQ

Product Details (as per amazon page)

Sometimes, home really is where the heart is…
Leaving behind her hi-flying career in London, Isla Brookes has had enough. Burnt out and tired of an unfulfilling profession and lousy boyfriends, it’s time for her to go home.
Arriving back in cosy Bibury to stay with her grandmother, Bridget, everything is charmingly familiar. Even her childhood sweetheart, Ben, is as handsome as she remembered…
And when she discovers a stack of long-forgotten Valentine’s Day cards, Isla, with the help of Ben, begins to realise exactly what is most important in life.

Sweet Home Summer Full Banner

I voluntarily reviewed an arc of  this book.  All opinions are my own and no content may be copied.  However, authors and publishers may use elements of my reviews for quotes.

I am so pleased to be involved in the blogtour celebrating and promoting Michelle Vernal’s latest novel: Sweet Home Summer.

This was a lovely family saga, a story of two halves and told in two voices; gran Bridget’s coming of age and falling in love story set in 1957 and forward to the present day grandaughter Isla moving back home after 10 years in London following her burn-out professionally and personally.

After 10 years in London Isla Brookes was ready for a change, exhausted from work and her love life strains a new work-life balance was needed and Isla felt like the place to reflect on her future was back home in New Zealand.  Moving back in with her beloved gran Isla was ready to start again looking for a certain something to inspire her.  However, when she left home years ago she broke not only her own heart but another.  Seeing Ben again after so long has ignited a slow burning for her old flame but the timing is not right now as Ben has moved on.  Inspiration comes from an unlikely location but Isla feels a pull and feels totally reinvigorated with this new dream that is building inside her.

Living with her gran has given Isla some wonderful moments of nostalgia and when she unearths a secret her gran has kept hidden for so long Bridget soon starts reminiscing about the past.  A past that held a beautiful, touching blossoming love that was sadly thwarted by prejudices and tragedy.  Once Bridget starts unravelling her past she vows to make things right and sets a plan in action with the help of her granddaughter and her new friends.

I loved Isla’s relationship with her gran they were quite similar in personality and their love of baking I felt opened up the emotions from both gran and granddaughter.  Isla’s mother and father were a great pairing, her mum was so vivacious and young spirited, I loved the sound of the new keep-fit class NLNL.  Isla’s dad loved his hobbies and liked to spread this love to all around him.  The author, Michelle Vernal, has woven some humorous scenes in the storyline bringing much charm and character.  I also loved the sense of community spirit involvement helping out one of their own and also to a local cause that was an essential place to all in the village.  The secrets that started unravelling brought many mixed emotions and gave all those concerned reflection to what was important in the whole scheme of life.

A charming time-slip story filled with nostalgia, love, tragedy, inspiration and warmth.

To learn more about Michelle Vernal please visit the following pages:

Website:  http://www.michellevernalbooks.com/

Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/MichelleVernal

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/michellevernalnovelist

Anna by Amanda Prowse book review

Anna

Anna written by Amanda Prowse, publisher Head of Zeus, is available in ebook format from 8th March 2018.

To pre-order/buy link:  https://goo.gl/TQt4Tv

Product Details (as per amazon page)

One Love, Two Stories.
Anna Cole grew up in care, and is determined to start a family of her own. Theo Montgomery had a loveless childhood, and wants only to find his soulmate.
Then, one day, Theo meets Anna, and Anna meets Theo. Two damaged souls from different worlds. Is their love for each other enough to let go of the pain of their pasts? Or will Anna and Theo break each others’ hearts?
There are two sides to every love story. This is Anna’s.

abc clipart

I voluntarily reviewed an arc of  this book.  All opinions are my own and no content may be copied.  However, authors and publishers may use elements of my reviews for quotes.

Review

Anna is a deeply moving, beautifully romantic story full of emotions dealing with a torrent of heart-rending moments that define a young woman’s future.

Amanda Prowse is the master of storytelling that pulls at the heart strings but her characters and settings draw you in and you are captivated by the scenes set out so sublimely on the pages.

Anna has experienced so much tragedy, heartbreak and loss at a young age but the love and comfort and sheer belief she was given by her mother feels like she can take on the whole world. But is this enough for Anna to give her the strength to overcome what lies ahead?

All Anna wants is to feel like she belongs, to feel loved and cherished and part of a family. When Anna meets Theo she believes that he is the one to bring sunshine to her stormy days. However, little does Anna know is that Theo himself has faced many battles and his heart has weathered many storms. Can this pair of beautiful people with scarred pasts help each other and go some way to bring light back into their lives?

This story, Anna, was so beautiful and tender I adored it, every emotion it installed in me felt real and honest. I didn’t want the story to end and my mind was racing ahead to scenarios for how I would hope Anna’s life would continue.

I am desperate now to read Theo’s story and can already sense the anticipated emotions it will draw out of me.

To learn more about Amanda Prowse and her work please do visit the following pages;

Website:  http://amandaprowse.org/

Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/MrsAmandaProwse

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/amandaprowsenogreaterlove

The Perfectly Imperfect Woman by Milly Johnson book review

the perflectly imperfect woman

The Perfectly Imperfect Woman written by Milly Johnson, publisher Simon & Schuster UK is available NOW in ebook, hardcover and audiobook format.

To buy link:  https://goo.gl/F7UPYp

Product Details (as per amazon page)

Marnie Salt has made so many mistakes in her life that she fears she will never get on the right track. But when she ‘meets’ an old lady on a baking chatroom and begins confiding in her, little does she know how her life will change.

Arranging to see each other for lunch, Marnie finds discovers that Lilian is every bit as mad and delightful as she’d hoped – and that she owns a whole village in the Yorkshire Dales, which has been passed down through generations. And when Marnie needs a refuge after a crisis, she ups sticks and heads for Wychwell – a temporary measure, so she thinks.

But soon Marnie finds that Wychwell has claimed her as its own and she is duty bound not to leave. Even if what she has to do makes her as unpopular as a force 12 gale in a confetti factory! But everyone has imperfections, as Marnie comes to realise, and that is not such a bad thing – after all, your flaws are perfect for the heart that is meant to love you.

strawberry cheesecake clipart

This latest novel by Milly Johnson was perfectly perfect!

Once again Yorkshire lass Milly Johnson has injected her warmth, humour and charm into the words spelled out across the pages.  Whether you are a fellow Yorkshire lass or lover of a story that injects so much of the cultural charm of the locality in a story you can fully appreciate the author’s love of her county.  Recognising locations brings a feeling of home and also helps the story come to life.

Marnie Salt has always felt different all her life, from an early age the feeling of her love not being reciprocated has stayed with her from childhood to her adult life, with a string of failed relationships behind her.  When the office heartthrob pays her some attention she feels her luck in love is about to change.

Marnie loves baking, especially cheesecakes from memories she shared as a child with a dear old lady. When Marnie gets chatting to a fellow cheesecake fan on a website forum she builds up a budding friendship with Lillian.  Little does she realise that this new friendship is the start of something new to happen in her life.

Milly Johnson has filled this heartwarming tale with a touch of mystery with hints of myths and legends from centuries ago that left a curse on a small village in the Yorkshire Dales.  I could feel the sparkles of magic amongst the delightful charm of the storyline.  The characters were easily recognisable and written with such warmth and you soon wanted to champion Marnie and all that was dealt her way.  The storyline had many twists and turns and was very poignant and emotive at times but there was a wonderful warm undercurrent of inspiration, fun, love and community spirit.  I was romantised by the charm of this quaint Yorkshire village and I fell in love with The Perfectly Imperfect Woman.

To learn more about the author Milly Johnson please visit the following pages:

Website:  http://millyjohnson.co.uk/

Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/millyjohnson

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/MillyJohnsonAuthor/

Surprise Me by Sophie Kinsella book review

surprise me

Surprise Me written by Sophie Kinsella, publisher Bantam Press, is available NOW in ebook, hardcover, audiobook and audio cd format.

To buy link:  https://goo.gl/fZ4JM5

Product Details (as per amazon page)

After being together for ten years, Sylvie and Dan have a comfortable home, fulfilling jobs, beautiful twin girls, and communicate so seamlessly, they finish each other’s sentences. They have a happy marriage and believe they know everything there is to know about each other. Until it’s casually mentioned to them that they could be together for another sixty-eight years… and panic sets in.

They quickly decide to create little surprises for each other, to keep their relationship fresh and fun. But in their pursuit of Project Surprise Me – anything from unexpected gifts to restaurant dates to photo shoots – mishaps arise with disastrous and comical results.

Gradually, the surprises turn to shocking discoveries. And when a scandal from the past is uncovered, they begin to wonder if they ever really knew each other after all…

snake clipart

I voluntarily reviewed an arc of  this book.  All opinions are my own and no content may be copied.  However, authors and publishers may use elements of my reviews for quotes.

Sophie Kinsella is one of the top bestselling women’s fiction authors around at the moment.  You can always guarantee a read to bring out many emotions in you and Surprise Me didn’t disappoint.

Dan and Sylvie are happily married with their five year old twin daughters.  When their Dr gives them a clean bill of health during their routine insurance renewal he also gives them another diagnosis which alarms Dan and Sylvie slightly and makes them re-evaluate their marriage.  A mutual agreement is made and Project Surprise Me is born!  However, not all surprises are suitable, appropriate, some are quite unorthodox.  With both Dan and Sylvie competing to think up the best surprise for their respective spouse the project soon starts to get out of control.

Whilst project surprise me is in full swing Sylvie’s job is at risk.  Sylvie works at a stately home in London that is open to the public.  Sylvie and her colleagues soon realise they have to bring the administration of the stately home to the 21st century and funds need to be found swiftly to keep the house open.

When Dan becomes very distant Sylvie’s imagination runs wild and she is very concerned for the future.

This was a lovely story about love, life and relationships.  A story that is full of fun and is highly entertaining.  However, when the storyline takes some twists and turns and the surprises leave Sylvie with a dread, a dread that makes you question your past and a dread that makes you question the person you trusted and respected the most.  Life takes on a new direction for Sylvie, one that she can’t turn back on and one that fills her with renewed vigour.

Entertaining, enthralling and Sophie Kinsella certainly surprises you!

To learn more about Sophie Kinsella and her work please do visit the following pages:

Website:  https://www.sophiekinsella.co.uk/

Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/KinsellaSophie

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/SophieKinsellaOfficial