The Art of Hiding by Amanda Prowse book review

the art of hiding

The Art of Hiding written by Amanda Prowse, publisher Lake Union Publishing is available NOW in ebook format.  The book is also included in the kindleunlimited scheme.

To buy link:

Product Details (as per amazon page)

Nina McCarrick has it all: a loving husband, two beautiful boys, a well-appointed home and more time than she knows what to do with. Life is perfect. Until her husband, Finn, is killed in a car accident and everything Nina thought she could rely on unravels.

Alone, bereft and faced with a mountain of debt, Nina quickly loses her life of luxury and she begins to question whether she ever really knew the man she married. Forced to move out of her family home, Nina returns to the rundown Southampton council estate—and the sister—she thought she had left far behind.

But Nina can’t let herself be overwhelmed—her boys need her. To save them, and herself, she will have to do what her husband discouraged for so long: pursue a career of her own. Torn between the life she thought she knew and the reality she now faces, Nina finally must learn what it means to take control of her life.

Bestselling author Amanda Prowse once again plumbs the depths of human experience in this stirring and empowering tale of one woman’s loss and love.

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Amanda Prowse knows what she is good at and she continues to dig into our hearts and souls with the words she pens across the page.  From the synopsis you know there is tragedy ahead but when you get lost in the minds of the characters the tragedy that strikes hits you like a sledgehammer and you are left with a shattered heart.  As the main character, Nina, slowly picks up the pieces of her heart you too are gaining strength from within.

Nina’s childhood wasn’t without struggles and when she meets Fin, 10 years her senior a confident, charismatic property developer she is taken in by his promises of a better life.  Happily married with two boys aged 10 and 15 life was idyllic for homemaker Nina but when tragedy strikes her world is turned upside down.  With the sudden death of her husband and father to her two boys Nina is trying so hard to be strong for her family.  However, she is to be dealt with another blow and her boys and herself have to take drastic action to survive.   When the full extent to the secrets he had hidden so well are uncovered Nina starts to doubt whether she actually knew her husband and also whether he actually knew her.

Building a new life for herself and her boys was a challenge and Nina had to step out of her comfort zone which she had slowly built around herself and had been hiding in since her marriage.  Her responsibilities with the love of her boys and her memories from her childhood gave her the strength she needed.

A truly beautiful story of grief, loss, secrets, strength and taking one day at a time.  Heart wrenching but at times inspirational.  5/5*

To find out more about Amanda Prowse and her books please do visit the following pages:

Website:  http://amandaprowse.org/

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

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

 

My Husband’s Wife by Amanda Prowse book review

 

my husbands wife

My Husband’s Wife written by Amanda Prowse, publisher Head of Zeus, is available NOW in ebook, hardcover, audio download and paperback format.  The ebook is also included in the kindleunlimited scheme.

To buy link:

Product Details (as per amazon page)

Once a week, Rosie Tipcott counts her blessings.

She goes to sit on her favourite bench on the north Devon cliffs, and thanks her lucky stars for her wonderful husband, her mischievous young daughters, and her neat little house by the sea. She vows to dedicate every waking hour to making her family happy.

But then her husband unexpectedly leaves her for another woman and takes the children. Now she must ask the question: what is left in her life? Can Rosie find the strength to rebuild herself? More importantly, does she even want to?

park bench clipart

This is the first book I’ve had the pleasure to read written by Amanda Prowse.  I’ve heard so many good remarks about her stories and My Husband’s Wife didn’t disappoint.  I was instantly glued to this heart wrenching family drama.  Amanda’s words took you right there with the characters and you could feel the torment, the hurt, the despair, the gut wrench … This was such an emotive storyline that gripped me and at times I was shocked by the turn of events and I was taken on the emotional journey with the characters.  When I got to the end I felt I wanted; no I needed more!

This is a story of a happy family that one day became broken and once the cracks appeared they started spreading, causing even more damage.  Could the damage be repairable?

Rosie and Phil have been happily married for 12 years, they have two beautiful daughters, Naomi 7 and Leona 5 and live in the idyllic seaside town of Woolacombe.  When Phil announces out of the blue that he wants more out of life and that he also wants more than her Rosie’s world is turned upside down but this is just the start.  Her new life, which she is struggling to comprehend, is now like an emotional war torn field that she is unable to climb over the debris.  The pain and the heart wrenching increases.  Rosie has to experience all this and more to appreciate what her heart truly wants and needs.

A beautiful, gripping story that pulls at your heart strings.  5/5*

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

To find out more about Amanda Prowse and her books please do visit the following links:

Website:  http://www.amandaprowse.org/

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

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

Englishwoman in Manhattan by Jenny O’Brien book review

englishwoman-in-manhattan

Englishwoman in Manhattan written and self-published by Jenny O’Brien is available in ebook format NOW.  The ebook is also included in the kindleunlimited scheme.

To buy link:

Product Details (as per amazon page)

Englishwoman in Manhattan, the stand alone follow-up to Englishwoman in Paris.
Recently widowed Lady Cara Bachmeire has moved away from Paris and the world she once knew to New York in order to escape from the past, a past where she’s lost her husband, her career and nearly her life. She wasn’t expecting much and certainly not the peace and sanctuary of Gramercy Park. Gramercy Park, Manhattan’s best kept secret with its precious keys very much in the style of The Secret Garden.
Lawyer Matti Bianchi, second generation Italian/American is also in possession of a key to Gramercy Park. He’s also in possession of a musically gifted daughter who attends the prestigious academy for gifted musicians, the same academy Lady Cara has run away to when her career is taken away from her. But that’s not all Matti is. He’s also working for an asset stripping company and the next building on the list to be stripped just happens to be Lady Cara’s estranged step-mother’s Manor House in Berkshire.
Can Lady Cara find love for a second time and what about her career as one of the most talented concert pianists of her generation? And what about Matti? Is he just what he seems or…

lady-painist

Lady Care Bachmeire is still grieving for her husband, it’s been two years since his untimely death.  She is also grieving for the life she had and the life she was promised.  The accident that took the life of her husbands has left Cara emotionally and physically scarred.  She is now working in New York as a music tutor in a private girl’s school.

Matti Bianchi is a single parent and lawyer in one of the most prestigious and cut-throat asset stripping firms in the city.  His teenage daughter has started teasing him about middle age spread and Matti starts jogging in Gramercy Park to appease his daughter.  Whilst back in his apartment that overlooks the park he spots a young woman with long auburn hair that he can’t help but be drawn to.  This young woman happens to be Cara and during a music performance at his daughter’s school he sees this mystery girl and makes the connection.

The school is running a trip to London with a select few of the girls and Evelyn, Matti’s daughter is invited.  As Matti has business in London he tags along with the school excursion. Cara and Matti are drawn together through mutual circumstances at first.  These moments give Matti time to get to know Cara but the pain from her past which is still evident is hard to conceal.

Cara is fighting with her emotions over Matti, is it too soon since her husband’s death to find and accept love again?  She is also fighting with her physical scars and what limitations it has left her with.  Can Cara place her belief in someone to help her with her scars both emotionally and physically?  Will Matti’s business involvement in London hinder his developing feelings for Cara?

This was a lovely story that was emotive with all the heart wrenching history from the characters still very evident.  It was also endearing, inspiring and romantic taking you on a journey of self-discovering, encouragement, lust and love.  Englishwoman in Manhattan is a standalone story in the ‘Englishwoman in’ series.  Characters from Englishwoman in Paris do crop up and to fully appreciate and enjoy the series I would encourage you to read both books in order.  You can find my review of an Englishwoman in Paris here.

To find out more about Jenny O’Brien please do visit the following pages:

Website:  http://www.jennyobrienwriter.wordpress.com/

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/JennyOBrienWriter/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/ScribblerJB

The Serial Dater’s Shopping List by Morgen Bailey book review

 

the-serial-daters-shopping-list

The Serial Dater’s Shopping List written and self-published by Morgen Bailey is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.  It is also included in the kindleunlimited scheme.

To buy link:

 

Product Details (as per amazon page)

31 dates in 31 days – what could possibly go wrong?

Isobel MacFarlane is a recently-turned-40 journalist who usually writes a technology column for a newspaper based in Northampton, England, but her somewhat-intimidating boss, William, has set her the task of meeting 31 men, via a local internet dating site, all within a month.

Having an active, though fruitless, social life with her friend and ‘Health & Beauty’ colleague Donna, she knows what she wants in a man, so creates a shopping list of dos and don’ts, and starts ticking them off as she meets Mr Could Be Right Except For, Mr Not Bad, Mr Oh My Goodness and Mr Oh So Very Wrong.

Follow the ups (there are a few) and downs (there are many) of the dating process and intertwined with her experiences, get to know her colleague and family, including her niece Lola who, apart from being an amazing storyteller, can eat ambidextrously whilst wearing a Princess glove puppet on her right hand, and Baby, William’s non-too-healthy African Grey parrot.

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I loved the premise of this story … 31 dates in 31 days what could go wrong?!  Izzy works for the local newspaper as a Technology Reviewer however, her latest assignment is completely out of her comfort zone.  She’s to register on the local dating agency and go on 31 different dates in 31 days and do a daily feedback article for the paper.  For single woman Izzy she is looking forward to this new challenge, to be paid to go out and have an expense budget too all sounds very exciting.

However, after some dates proving disastrous the end of the month can’t come quick enough for Izzy.  At the beginning of the month Izzy compiled her own ‘shopping list’ of what her ideal date would be like.  After each date though she referred back to her ‘shopping list’ and changes and additions were needed.

The author, Morgen Bailey, must have had such fun writing this novel.  It was witty and charming and very entertaining.  I loved the ‘shopping list’ and very often in life we need reminding not to judge a ‘book by the cover’ and sometimes ‘the one’ has been right in front of your face all the time, we just need to open our eyes and view things in a different light.  A great fun-filled romantic comedy 4/5*

To find out more about Morgen Bailey and her work please do visit the following pages:

Website:  http://www.morgenbailey.wordpress.com

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

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

The Bridesmaid Blues by Tracey Sinclair book review

bridesmaid blues

The Bridesmaid Blues written and self-published by Tracey Sinclair.  The Bridesmaid Blues is available in ebook and paperback format and is also included in the kindleunlimited scheme.

To buy link:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Bridesmaid-Blues-Tracey-Sinclair-ebook/dp/B00M83Y3VO/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1472648633&sr=8-1

Product Details (as per amazon page)

Luce knows she should be thrilled when Jenna asks her to be bridesmaid – after all, they’ve known each other since childhood and Jenna is the best friend any girl could have. But it’s hard to get excited about weddings when you’re terminally single and the best man is the boy who broke your heart: Jamie, the groom’s dashing and irresistible brother. How can she face the man who dumped her when she’s still so hopelessly in love? Then again, maybe this is the perfect opportunity – after all, where better to get back together than at a wedding?

So Luce has six months to figure out how to win back her ex, but she has plenty else on her plate – from an old friend returned to Newcastle with an announcement of her own, to a youthful colleague who may or may not have a crush on her and a mother who is acting very strangely indeed… and that’s all before a mysterious, handsome American walks into her life.

Sometimes being a bridesmaid isn’t all confetti and champagne…

thistle buttonhole

I’d like to thank the author, Tracey Sinclair, for an arc in return for a review.

This is the first book I’ve read by Tracey Sinclair and I absolutely adored it.  A perfect read for fans of Bridget Jones and Lindsey Kelk.  A smart, sassy, funny romcom with lots of northern charm.  From the first chapter that had me laughing through the words to the very end of the book I was hooked by Luce’s plight of Bridesmaid Blues and boyfriend woes.

Tracey Sinclair’s northern wit and humour shone throughout the story.  Tracey has created instantly likeable characters especially Luce, an ordinary girl with her woes of always being the bridesmaid, being left on the shelf, her low self-esteem. I loved how we saw Luce’s character growing as she left the hustle and bustle of London to move back to her native Newcastle.  You could almost feel her body and mind relaxing telling her she is more at home in Newcastle.  There is another character later on in the story that has an almost similar reaction, which is quite humbling in a way.  They both left the area to pursue their dreams but in reality your dreams can be achieved wherever you are.

This was such a fun filled, warm hearted read.  I fell in love with Luce’s character, her hapless personality and her great friends in Dennis and Justin gave some fabulous comedic scenes.  The men in Luce’s life each had their own individual charm and personality leaving you falling a little for each one … great book boyfriend material!

I hope Tracey writes some more romcoms as I thoroughly enjoyed this story.  For me the only fault was I wanted more … loved it!  5/5*

About the Author (from her author page on http://www.darkdates.org)

Tracey Sinclair works as freelance copywriter, editor and legal directories consultant.  A diverse and slightly wandering career has included writing factsheets for small businesses, creating web content for law firms, subtitling film and TV and editing one of the UK’s largest legal directories. She regularly writes for online and print publications, including Better Business, Exeunt and The Stage.

Her work has been published in a number of magazines and anthologies and her short play Bystanders was premiered in 2011 as part of the CP Players New Writing Season at Baron’s Court Theatre, London, and in 2015 was performed at the Tristan Bates and White Bear theatres. Dark Dates: An Audience with Cassandra Bick, which she co-wrote with Zoe Cunningham and Peta Lily, was performed by Zoe in the Brighton Fringe and at the Tristan Bates. She has published two small press books (Doll and No Love is This, both Kennedy & Boyd), a romance (The Bridesmaid Blues) and continues to write the well-received Cassandra Bick/Dark Dates series. She lives in Brighton.

To find out more about Tracey Sinclair’s books please do visit her pages:

Website:  http://www.darkdates.org/

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

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/darkdates