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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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/

The Queen of Wishful Thinking by Milly Johnson book review

queen of wishful thinking

The Queen of Wishful Thinking written by Milly Johnson, publisher Simon & Schuster UK, is available NOW in ebook and hardcover format.  The book will be available in paperback format from the 4th May 2017.

To buy link:

Product Details (as per amazon link)

When Lewis Harley has a health scare in his early forties, he takes it as a wake-up call. So he and his  wife Charlotte leave behind life in the fast lane and Lewis opens the antique shop he has dreamed of. Bonnie Brookland was brought up in the antiques trade and now works for the man who bought out her father’s business, but she isn’t happy there. So when she walks into Lew’s shop, she knows this is the place for her.

As Bonnie and Lew start to work together, they soon realise that there is more to their relationship than either thought. But Bonnie is trapped in an unhappy marriage, and Lew and Charlotte have more problems than they care to admit. Each has secrets in their past which are about to be uncovered. Can they find the happiness they both deserve?

rainbow umbrella

Milly Johnson has a knack of creating characters you instantly warm to and want to champion. This is how I felt about Lewis and Bonnie, the two main characters in The Queen of Wishful Thinking. Lewis Harley and Bonnie Brookland haven’t had an easy life; what with Lewis’ sudden heart attack two years ago which made him take stock of his job in London and Bonnie’s grief for the losses she has incurred in the past and also the despair of living in a loveless marriage. Bonnie was in desperate need of a new job and approached Lewis, the owner of the new antique shop, Pot of Gold, for a possible vacancy. Fate has played a big part in putting these two people together, like two pieces of a missing jigsaw. The Pot of Gold was such a warm, friendly antique shop and working in the shop was giving Bonnie a new hope for the future and she was feeling the strength to make big decisions about her personal life.

Lewis’ own personal life takes a dramatic turn and the shop with Bonnie and her quirky friends turn Pot of Gold into a lifesaving haven for many that set foot in it’s door.

Bonnie’s husband is not happy with the changes she makes and he takes up drastic action himself which leads to a series of secrets and revelations being unearthed that could rock Bonnie’s future.

Emotions are running high for both Lewis and Bonnie and the future is looking very unsettled.

This was such a wonderful heartfelt story. The characters were written with such warmth and personality. I particularly liked the array of eccentric sub-characters. As always Milly sets her stories in her beloved Yorkshire, with it’s wonderful backdrop of moorlands and little villages. I particularly love this about Milly’s novels the location and dialect of the characters are very relatable and charming and you can hear the characters come to life in your head. I was surprised but thrilled with the twists and turns in this tale which left me turning the pages to find out what happens next. A gorgeous story that had me hooked from start to finish.

To find out more about Milly Johnson and her books please do visit the following pages:

Website (which I recommend signing up for Milly’s newsletter as she offers many competitions and informative news):  http://www.millyjohnson.co.uk/

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

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

Devastation Road by Jason Hewitt book review

devastation road

Devastation Road written by Jason Hewitt, publisher Scribner UK (an imprint of Simon and Schuster UK), is available NOW in ebook, hardcover and paperback format.

To buy link:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Devastation-Road-Jason-Hewitt/dp/147112746X/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

Product Details (as per amazon page)

Spring, 1945: A man wakes in a field in a country he does not know. Injured and confused, he pulls himself to his feet and starts to walk, and so sets out on an extraordinary journey in search of his home, his past and himself.

His name is Owen. A war he has only a vague memory of joining is in its dying days, and as he tries to get back to England he becomes caught up in the flood of refugees pouring through Europe. Among them is a teenage boy, Janek, and together they form an unlikely alliance as they cross battle-worn Germany. When they meet a troubled young woman, tempers flare and scars are revealed as Owen gathers up the shattered pieces of his life. No one is as he remembers, not even himself – how can he truly return home when he hardly recalls what home is?

black n red poppies image

I’d like to thank the author and his publishers for an arc in return for a review.  This book is quite different to my usual genre of women’s contemporary fiction and romance however, I’ve read a few wartime sagas that have transported me to an era that changed the world we live in now and have been fascinated.  Nonetheless, I do feel this story held some similarities to my usual genre as it was a story of how people, from all walks of life, react with each other during a traumatic time.  Their reactions of love, of hate, of respect and honour, of kindness, of survival, of fear of the unknown and of fear visibly seen before their eyes.

The story starts in 1945 with a man, Owen, waking up bewildered in a field.  He’s battered, bruised and bloody.  He doesn’t recognise his whereabouts and can’t recall how he got there.  Bit by bit his memory vaguely recalls something or he finds something he believes maybe of some significance.  He has to write it down to help him remember but also to make it feel more real.  He feels like he is losing his mind, as if he’s in a ‘groundhog day’.  He knows he has to get back to England as he’s figured out he’s far from home.  Along his journey amongst the mass of refugees, with barely anything to call their own, he befriends two battle scarred lost souls; a young man called Janek and a young mum, Irena, with her baby.  They form an unlikely comradeship across a war torn Germany, seeking help, refuge, their lost family and a way to get home.

This was a very poignant, engaging read that throws no punches and shows the raw side of people trying to survive a war that has shaken the world to it’s core.  Jason Hewitt manages to open your eyes and feel the hidden sights and sounds in a landscape torn apart.  Such a horrific time for all but humanity remained and the tender, heartrending moments felt more intense.  This is a story that I won’t forget in a long time.  5/5*

To find out more about Jason Hewitt and his books please visit the following pages:

http://www.facebook.com/jasonhewittauthor

http://www.jason-hewitt.com/

http://www.twitter.com/JasonHewitt123

Afternoon Tea at the Sunflower Cafe by Milly Johnson

afternoon tea at the sunflower cafe

Afternoon Tea at the Sunflower Café is available NOW in ebook format and paperback from all good book retailers.

To buy links (amazon uk):  http://www.amazon.co.uk/Afternoon-Tea-at-Sunflower-Caf%C3%A9/dp/1471140466/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1434463211&sr=1-1

Product Details (as per amazon page)

Connie Diamond has always been her husband Jimmy’s best girl or so she thought. But then she discovers that he s been playing away for the past twenty-four years, and that the chocolates she believed he bought her as a sign of his love were just a cover-up, and she is determined to get revenge.

Along with Della Frostick, Jimmy’s right-hand woman at his cleaning firm, Diamond Shine, Connie decides to destroy Jimmy’s life from the inside. Together they will set up a rival business called Lady Muck, and along with the cleaning ladies who meet at the Sunflower Café, they’ll make him wish he had never so much as looked at another woman.

Then Connie meets the charming Brandon Locke, a master chocolatier, whose kind chocolate-brown eyes start to melt her soul. Can the ladies of the Sunflower Café help Connie scrub away the hurt? And can Brandon cure her affliction and make her smile again…?

sunflowersAbout a year ago Milly asked on social media for some readers to become part of a Team Milly, Milly had hundreds of eager readers apply and decided the fairest way to pick her ‘Team’ was to draw names out of a hat.  I feel very lucky and privileged to be a member of Team Milly.  Milly and her publishers, Simon & Schuster UK very kindly supplied her Team with an arc of this novel in return for an honest review.

I have adored all Milly’s previous books and novellas and was honoured to be given an arc of this new novel.  Milly always writes with such honesty and I appreciate this style of writing.  Milly is a Yorkshire lass and her northern charm flows through her words on the pages of her books.

Connie and Della are both in love with the same man, Jimmy Diamond.  One of them is his wife – Connie and Della is his ‘right hand man’ Office Manager.  Jimmy calls them both ‘his best girl’.  However, someone else has caught Jimmy’s eye and he is soon swept away with emotions of lust.  Connie and Della discover that Jimmy is planning to leave his wife of 24 years and marry his new ‘best girl’.  Connie and Della declare an alliance and set about to destroy Jimmy’s life.  What follows is a fun filled story of female camaraderie helping each other achieve what some would think would be impossible.

Milly has created some fabulous characters in this story.  I adored Connie, Della and Cheryl in particular and would love to read a follow-up novella of the progress of these characters (please Milly).  Astrid was a hoot and a legend!  She made me smile quite a few times and came out with some memorable one-liners!  I loved how the novel was broken down into lots of short chapters and each chapter focused mainly on one character and her part in the storyline.  I’d love to be a ‘fly on the wall’ when the girls have their regular meets at the Sunflower Café, I bet they had some interesting tales to tell.  I think a good testimony to a story is when the author has created characters you fall in love with and they have become like a friend to you. The book is fairly long at just over 500 pages but is well worth it as it’s a funny, colourful, heartwarming read that leaves you wanting to find out what happens next to the characters you’ve read about and fallen in love with.

At the end of the book Milly described her perfect afternoon tea which left me salivating for cake!  Omgee, the mini strawberry cheesecakes sound amazing, I definitely want to try these some time.

A brilliant, sunshiney 5/5* read.

Milly is very generous to her readers and always organises great book launches.  I was lucky to share afternoon tea with her and some of her fellow Team Milly members recently.  Also, this Monday 15th June, Milly held a spectacular launch in Yorkshire with an author talk, buffet and raffle with proceeds going to Yorkshire Cat Rescue, The Well and Care for Claire.

A few photos from the Team Milly launch event I’d like to share with you.

flowers n cakes at tea team milly tea

To find out more about Milly Johnson and her books please visit the following links:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Book-Page-of-Milly-Johnson/230675170278016?fref=ts