Not Your Average Nurse by Maggie Groff book review

not your average nurse

Not Your Average Nurse written by Maggie Groff, publisher Corgi/Transworld Digital is available NOW in ebook, paperback and audio download format.

To buy link:

Product Details (as per amazon page)

‘Over time, I nursed victims of war, the posh, the poor, the famous and the infamous… Oh, the stories I can tell!’

To a young girl the life of a nurse sounds exciting, but with long hours and short shrift it’s never easy. So when Maggie Groff embarks on her training at London’s King’s College Hospital she must quickly get to grips with a demanding career. It’s sink or swim.

From the watchful gaze of stern sisters and the trials of nursing on a poor south-east London housing estate, to the explosive dramas of staff health checks at sophisticated Selfridges, Maggie shares warm and witty stories of mistakes and mayhem, tea and sympathy, and the life-affirming moments that make it all worthwhile.

Played out against the march of feminism and fashion, IRA bombings and the iconic music and movies of almost half a century ago, Not Your Average Nurse is a delightful romp through time.

NYAN BlogTour Poster

I am so pleased to be involved in the blogtour celebrating and promoting the launch of Maggie Groff’s Not Your Average Nurse.  I don’t normally like biographies but Not Your Average Nurse was such an insightful, entertaining book that I am so pleased I have had the pleasure to read.

This is a true story based on real life experiences of young Maggie, who at 17 decided she wanted to give up her studying at school and enrol as a Student Nurse.  The year is 1970 and the world was still struggling to cope with women in the workplace but Maggie didn’t have dreams of settling down and finding a husband, she had dreams of becoming a writer but in the meantime nursing would do.  Maggie’s stop-gap nursing career was to span nearly two decades.  The skills Maggie learnt from nursing were to put her in good stead for the new adventures she was to endure in her life.

This remarkable story was written with such honesty by Maggie Groff, she didn’t leave anything out and at times her anecdotes were shocking and uncharacteristically funny.  There were scenes that I couldn’t quite believe and I laughed so hard at them, life’s accidentally funny moments are just priceless!  Pure joy from the wonders of life and all it’s glorious array of people.  Sadly, as in real life Maggie faced many traumatic and gut wrenching moments and when tragedy stuck too close to home Maggie’s skills from nursing were now needed imperatively.  One minute I was crying with laughter, the next my heart was breaking and there were many tears of sadness.  Starting your career at the beginning of  a pivotal time with NHS reforms must have been quite difficult at times but also the hope of new beginnings and the solidarity of the workmanship must have felt very comforting.

A truly remarkable story of a young lady that took life and all it’s spoils and went with it.  An educating, entertaining read that captivated me.  5/5*

About the Author

Maggie Groff is an award-winning novelist, columnist and non-fiction writer living and working in Australia. As a young woman in England she trained as a state registered nurse at King’s College Hospital, London, and worked at several London hospitals before securing a position as an in-house nurse at Selfridges. From there Maggie went on to pursue a richly varied and, at times, unusual nursing career. Aware that her daughter had no knowledge of her working life prior to becoming an author, she was inspired to write this memoir.

A Dangerous Crossing by Rachel Rhys book review

a dangerous crossing

A Dangerous Crossing written by Rachel Rhys, publisher Transworld Digital and Doubleday, is available NOW in ebook, hardcover and audio download format.

To buy link:

Product Details (as per amazon page)

Sparkling cocktails, poisonous secrets …

1939, Europe on the brink of war. Lily Shepherd leaves England on an ocean liner for Australia, escaping her life of drudgery for new horizons. She is instantly seduced by the world onboard: cocktails, black-tie balls and beautiful sunsets. Suddenly, Lily finds herself mingling with people who would otherwise never give her the time of day.

But soon she realizes her glamorous new friends are not what they seem. The rich and hedonistic Max and Eliza Campbell, mysterious and flirtatious Edward, and fascist George are all running away from tragedy and scandal even greater than her own.

By the time the ship docks, two passengers are dead, war has been declared, and life will never be the same again.

vintage photo ocean liner sydney harbour

This was such a remarkable read full of hope and new beginnings and much, much more.  With the myriad of passengers from all walks of life on board the ocean liner set for Australia in 1939 young Lily Shepherd was full of trepidation, excitement, isolation and hope.  Lily was soon thrust into the company of strangers; people whom she would never socialise with and the thought of a young working class girl sitting and talking with educated, wealthy, socialite people was quite thrilling for her.  The glamour of these people was intoxicating and Lily was soon elevated into their world.

As the voyage to a new country, a new beginning, a new world went on friendships and enemies were made.  Lily on few occasions was warned about associating with these new friends of hers but it was almost like an addictive pull on both her side and her new friends side for them to be together.  Confidences were spilled revealing tragic pasts from many.  However, the voyage was to reveal more than traumatic histories, a darkness fell between the new friends and fear swept between them.  The glitz and glamour of the ballroom and of the beautiful new countries they docked at were overshadowed by tensions of love, lust, secrets, political unrest and death.

I was drawn to Lily’s character her freshness for wanting something more in life and her heartbreak from her past.  This journey she embarked on was captivating, thrilling and the events that unfolded in the five weeks on board will leave a lasting effect on many on board.

A read full of fanciful moments that are shocking, tragic, captivating and poignant.  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.

About the author

Rachel Rhys is the pen-name of a successful suspense author.  A Dangerous Crossing is her debut novel under this name.  The story is inspired by a real diary which the author discovered by accident while helping her mother move house.  It was written with care and with extraordinary attention to detail by a young girl in service who travelled from England to Australia on a cruise liner in the late 1930s.

To find out more about the author please do visit the following pages:

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

Website:  http://www.tammycohen.co.uk/

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

One Little Mistake by Emma Curtis book review

 

one-little-mistake

One Little Mistake written by Emma Curtis, publisher Transworld Digital, is available NOW in ebook format.

To buy link:

Product Details (as per amazon page)

YOU TRUSTED YOUR BEST FRIEND . . . YOU SHOULDN’T HAVE.

Vicky Seagrave is blessed: three beautiful children, a successful, doting husband, great friends and a job she loves. She should be perfectly happy.

When she makes a split-second decision that risks everything she holds dear, there’s only person she trusts enough to turn to.

But Vicky is about to learn that one mistake is all it takes; that if you’re careless with those you love, you don’t deserve to keep them . . .

silhouette-of-family

I was gripped from the first few pages of this psychological story.  I have to admit psychological thrillers are not my usual preferred genre but I was gently persuaded to give this story a go.  I love stories about people, personalities and relationships and the author, Emma Curtis, had packed this story full of all this and more.

Vicky Seagrave from the outside had it all; three beautiful children, a loving husband, great network of friends and a job she loves.  However, one fateful day she let’s her heart rule over her head and risks everything that matters to her.  This sudden lapse of judgement brings devastating results and Vicky’s life starts tumbling around her.  Like a line of dominoes one mistake, one lie leads to more; bringing heart ache, chaos, deceit, betrayal, confusion, manipulation, blackmail, danger, hurt and despair.

Vicky thought she could rely on her best friend, Amber, for her support during this traumatic time but unbeknown to Vicky, Amber had an ulterior motive.  Amber and Vicky have been best friends since they met at a pregnancy class six years ago.  They soon found a kinship with each other and have been inseparable since.  However, Amber had met Vicky before, a long time ago when they were young girls.  Vicky cannot recall this at all as it was only a brief encounter but to Amber it was a time she will never forget.

Emma Curtis cleverly tells this story from two different perspectives and times.  The mistake from here and now which cultivated a whole host of chaos to Vicky’s life.  And of a traumatic time of a young girl wanting the love she deserves but facing something much more sinister.  These two stories are compelling in their own right.  Very dark issues were revealed and are quite harrowing to read but the author, Emma Curtis, dealt with these matters quite sensitively.  There were scenes that I couldn’t quite believe what I was reading , they left me astonished and shocked.  I was gripped and captivated, my heart was pounding and the twists and turns shook my core.  A stunning psychological thriller that is thought provoking, engaging and dramatic.  A page turner that took me out of my comfort zone that left me compelled to find out what happens next.  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 Emma Curtis and her work please do visit the following page:

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

My not so Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella book review

my-not-so-perfect-life

My not so Perfect Life written by Sophie Kinsella, publisher Bantam Press and Transworld Digital is available in ebook, hardcover and audio download format from 9th February 2017.

To pre-order/buy link:

Product Details (as per amazon page)

Katie Brenner has the perfect life: a flat in London, a glamorous job, and a super-cool Instagram feed.

OK, so the truth is that she rents a tiny room with no space for a wardrobe, has a hideous commute to a lowly admin job, and the life she shares on Instagram isn’t really hers.

But one day her dreams are bound to come true, aren’t they?

Until her not-so-perfect life comes crashing down when her mega-successful boss Demeter gives her the sack. All Katie’s hopes are shattered. She has to move home to Somerset, where she helps her dad with his new glamping business.

Then Demeter and her family book in for a holiday, and Katie sees her chance. But should she get revenge on the woman who ruined her dreams – or try to get her job back? Does Demeter – the woman who has everything – actually have such an idyllic life herself? Maybe they have more in common than it seems.

And what’s wrong with not-so-perfect, anyway?

instagram-logo

There’s something special about a new Sophie Kinsella novel, the anticipation and excitement for what we have to look forward to is quite profound.  Sophie Kinsella is a pedigree when it comes to writing contemporary women’s fiction that makes you smile, laugh out loud, fall in love with the characters, melts your heart and gives you a stonking good read you just don’t want to end!

Katie Brenner is living her so called dream at the moment.  After training she has gained employment in the city of London working in a big flashy office with cool décor and even cooler colleagues and employers.  Katie comes from Somerset and wants to leave her farming background behind her so has created a different persona from her country ways, she is now known as Cat and has straightened her hair and wears glasses.  However, the reality of it all is far from glamorous.  She lives in a tiny flat that is miles from the office leaving a lengthy and torturous commute to work every day.  Her wages as a junior staff member are pitiful and don’t go far so the swanky restaurants in the city are off limits.  However, Katie’s instagram feed says another story as we see the cool highlights of a glamorous London life.  Katie/Cat loves her job and is keen to progress but her boss Demeter has other ideas and doesn’t see the potential in Cat as Demeter is so eager to remain as successful as she is in her prime position in the company.  Cat bumps into a man at the office, known as Alex, they build up a rappor talking over new products and ideas and Cat soon becomes smitten.  Alex is not all he seems though and when Cat learns the truth about him she feels a fool and is terribly upset, even more so after Demeter cold-heartedly fires her.

Katie’s London dream crashes around her and she has to admit defeat and move back in with her dad on the farm in Somerset.  She invents a story to her father omitting the truth about her decision to move back home.  Katie settles back in the countrylife and helps her dad and Biddy set up a glamping business.  With Katie’s branding and marketing expertise the business soon looks professional and holiday makers start arriving.  One such family is Demeter with her husband and two moody, spoilt teenagers.  Katie sees this chance of getting revenge on Demeter with the way she treated her at the office.  With Katie being in disguise back as her old self the task in hand becomes quite easy.  But can Katie go through with this revenge or should she try and win her job back?

This story was just perfect!  It was sassy, glamorous, wonderfully funny with great witty moments, very now with relatable scenes, sexy and heart warming, full of office politics and gossip, life affirming and just brilliant … leaving you wanting more at the end.  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 Sophie Kinsella and her work please do visit the following pages:

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

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

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

The Shogun’s Queen by Lesley Downer book review

the-shoguns-queen

The Shogun’s Queen written by Lesley Downer, publisher Bantam press and Transworld Digital is available in ebook and hardcover format from Thursday 3rd November 2016.

To pre-order/buy link:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Shoguns-Queen-Shogun-Quartet-Book/dp/0593066863/ref=tmm_hrd_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1477930355&sr=1-1

Product Details (as per amazon page)

Only one woman can save her world from barbarian invasion but to do so will mean sacrificing everything she holds dear – love, loyalty and maybe life itself . . .
Japan, and the year is 1853. Growing up among the samurai of the Satsuma Clan, in Japan’s deep south, the fiery, beautiful and headstrong Okatsu has – like all the clan’s women – been encouraged to be bold, taught to wield the halberd, and to ride a horse.
But when she is just seventeen, four black ships appear. Bristling with cannon and manned by strangers who to the Japanese eyes are barbarians, their appearance threatens Japan’s very existence. And turns Okatsu’s world upside down.
Chosen by her feudal lord, she has been given a very special role to play. Given a new name – Princess Atsu – and a new destiny, she is the only one who can save the realm. Her journey takes her to Edo Castle, a place so secret that it cannot be marked on any map. There, sequestered in the Women’s Palace – home to three thousand women, and where only one man may enter: the shogun – she seems doomed to live out her days. But beneath the palace’s immaculate facade, there are whispers of murders and ghosts. It is here that Atsu must complete her mission and discover one last secret – the secret of the man whose fate is irrevocably linked to hers: the shogun himself . . .

japanese-collage

This was such an epic story that sent my emotions soaring high and dramatically cascading low.  I was enchanted by the author Lesley Downer’s beautiful words describing a colourful world.  I felt instantly transported to a land far, far away to a time where legends and rituals were significant and paramount.  To a time were the unknown were feared.  A time when sacrifices had to be made for the sake of the countries survival.

The Shogun’s Queen is a fictional novel based on events in Japanese history.  Young Okatsu with her beauty, knowledge and courage has been given a task like no other.  At the tender age of 17 Okatsu has been given a mission, a mission that seems almost impossible but none the less she has no option but to try.  Okatsu must leave her family, her village and the love of her life.  A tumultuous journey lies ahead for Atsu, as she is now formerly known and her destiny is shrouded with secrets, political upheaval and death.

The torment that Okatsu faces saying goodbye to her love is so heartbreaking but more heartbreak is to come.  I could hardly read the words with the tears falling.  The Shogun’s Queen story gripped me and left me intrigued all the way through and has left me feeling quite emotional and bereft at the end.  I completely adored this novel and would highly recommend it.  A stunning historical romance of sacrifices and love.  5/5*

I voluntarily reviewed an arc of this book and would like to thank the author and publishers for this.

To find out more about Lesley Downer and her books please visit the following pages:

Website:  http://www.lesleydowner.com/

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

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