Book Review: The Single Girls Calendar by Erin Green

The Single Girls Calendar

Synopsis

 

A task a day to cure a broken heart.The Single Girl's Calendar

Esmé Peel is approaching thirty with some trepidation, but hope in her heart. If she can just get her long-term boyfriend Andrew to propose, she will have ticked everything off her ‘things to do by the time you’re 30’ list. She didn’t reckon on finding another woman’s earring in her bed however, and soon she finds herself single, homeless and in need of a new plan. Her best friend Carys gives her the perfect present – The Single Girl’s Calendar – which has a different cure for heartbreak every day:

Day 1: Look and feel fabulous with a new hair style.

Day 2: Step out of your comfort zone and try something new.

Day 3: Reconnect with friends and enjoy!

Despite thinking it’s a bit of a gimmick, Esmé hasn’t got any better ideas, so she puts the plan into action. By the end of week one she has four new male housemates, and despite a broken heart she is determined to show Andrew she can do more than survive, she can thrive.

Review

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Okay so I finished this books a couple of days ago and I have really struggled to force myself to sit down and write this review. Usually there are many reasons as to why this might be, I generally don’t have the time, I’m procrastinating, I’m to busy reading my next book, but for this one it’s because I generally have had a hard time deciding how I feel about the book.

20171228_145831.jpgIt starts of exactly how the blurb promises, Esme full of hope that her long time partner would propose is instead met with the stark reality of a cheating not even finance to be. This being one hell of a deal breaker she leaves and desperately tries to scramble to sort out her life. With a calendar giving her a task a day she is well on her way to finding some sort of order in the chaos.

So I will start with everything that I liked about the book, it was a great little beach and wine kind of read, the nice easy relaxing sort of read which is great for holidays and relaxing. There wasn’t to much indecision with the character as she knew she had to make a change and she went ahead, took the opportunities that were presented to her and just really went for it. The book took a few unexpected turns which to be honest I wasn’t really expecting and there was a few side stories going on to break up the book a little bit. All was going well till about half way through.

The second half of the book I lost it a little bit with Esme, the decisions become a tad more erratic, character development seems to slow and I just couldn’t get behind everything that was going on, but I was definitely still invested and I really wanted to see her get her happy ending. The ending I did not like. At all. It felt like it was going backwards, some of the ‘twists’ genuinely annoyed me and it really tainted how I felt about the entire book. I can see why the author chose to take the story in that particular direction, I just didn’t like it. It took a bit of debate for me to decide how I wanted to rate it at all but overall I think it does deserve a solid 3/5 despite the ending. Saying that I did enjoy the writing style and at points it did surpass much of my expectations. Not one I will read again but it hasn’t put be of trying more of the authors work.

Thank You to NetGalley and the publishers for providing me with a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 3/5

Would I read again: No

Would I Recommend: If you like chick lit, probably other then that no.

Would I read another book from this author: Yes

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Book Review: Belle by Sarah Price

Belle: An Amish Retelling of Beauty and the Beast.

SynopsisBelle: An Amish Retelling of Beauty and the Beast (An Amish Fairytale #1)

To most townsfolk, he’s known simply as The Beast. Annabelle Beiler has little interest in gossip, but she’s heard about Adam Herschberger’s scars and his gruff, solitary ways. Though he sounds like a character from one of Belle’s treasured books, the man is real and, it turns out, just as unreasonable as the rumors claim. When a buggy accident wipes out the last of her daed‘s money, forcing him to sell their farm, Adam buys it. Then he offers Belle a deal–marry him, and her family can keep their home.

Everyone is shocked by Belle’s decision, but she’s determined to be a good fraa, cleaning Adam’s rundown house and tending the overgrown garden. Breaking through her new husband’s icy reserve will be another matter. Belle’s courage and strength are abundant, but it will take true faith to guide Adam back to the heart of his Amish community–and to the loving marriage they both deserve.

Review

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This was the first book I had read from this author and I was really excited to see an Amish twist on Beauty and the Beast. The book started of relatively slow, with a fair amount of repetitiveness in the way Belle experienced the world and to be honest just not that much going on in general. She also had way to much optimism with pretty much everything bring her joy or some other form of small happiness. Not that this isn’t good I’m not quite a gremlin that wants to see just bad things happen to the characters, quite the opposite in fact, in this case I just felt it was a tad overdone.

However once Adam comes into the picture, not only does the pace of the book pick up a lot more interesting things start to happen. It was great to read Adam’s character development as well as how they begin to build their life together. I also thought the way that the author tackles the aspect of ‘the beast’ was really well done as well as a great portrayal of how people can be prone to treat each other when somebody is different. I also loved the incorporation of other languages as the characters are speaking to give it just that bit more of an authentic feel.

Though the book was pretty well researched I would of liked to see a few more Amish facts and one or two more ‘surprises’.  However I really did enjoy reading through the novel and although predictable it was exactly what I wanted to be reading at that moment.

Thank You to NetGalley and the publishers for providing me with a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 3.5/5

Would I read again: Yes

Would I Recommend: Yes

Would I read another book from this author: Yes

Book Review: The Weight of Shadows by Karl Holton

“The weight of shadows can be devastating”

Goodreads Synopsis:The Weight of Shadows (Shadow Series, #1)

When you have spent your life in the shadows, what would you do at the dying of the light?

Three years ago the best murder detective in London is blamed for the death of his colleague and kicked out of the Met.
A man with secrets buried in the past and present returns to London, the city that started the mysterious career which made him a billionaire.
The two need each other.
But they have no idea how much.

A gripping crime thriller mystery with twists from the beginning to end.

Review:

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This was the first crime novel I had read in awhile, I usually have to be in the right frame of mind before I can even pick one up so I was surprised by how easily I was able to get into this book! Now I have mentioned this book before in an Author Showcase I did awhile back so I thought I had some idea of what to expect, turns out I was wrong, this is a fast paced multiple POV thriller that had me eagerly anticipating what would happen next only for that to be blown out of the water. Now this did take me a little while to get through, mainly because there are a lot of characters to get your head round. I knew they would all probably connect in the end but I will admit to go just a bit slower so I could try figure it all out before hand. The amount of characters and the many different places in the world where the book does take place is my reasoning for dropping the half the star as personally I do prefer books that are a little more straight forward.

One of the things I was impressed with about the novel was the obvious amount of research which had gone into the book, the amount of details that he is able to go into is great. I was also surprised that each character was well developed and had their own ‘voice’. With so many characters floating around that definitely is no easy feat. It also gets bonus points for being the only book in a long while to end on a ‘cliffhanger’ of sorts and me to not be irrationally angry! As this was the first book in a series I am looking forward to the second instalment.

Thank you to the author for providing me with a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 4.5/5

Would I read again: Maybe

Would I Recommend: Yes

Would I read another book from this author: I would be willing to try another

Book Review: Love is Love by Mette Bach

“If you don’t love yourself how in the hell you gonna love somebody else?”

Goodreads Synopsis:

Overweight and unhappy at home, Emmy gets sexually involved with a popular Love Is Loveclassmate so that people will think that she is worth liking. When she realizes that he is just using her, she decides to leave her home in Winnipeg to stay with her uncle’s family in Vancouver. Emmy has always been intimidated by her perfect cousin Paige and Paige’s cool friends, so she is surprised to find that the coolest of them is transgender. Emmy is instantly attracted to Jude (who used to be Judy), and starts hanging out at the coffee shop where he works. She even performs at the poetry slam Jude hosts there.

Emmy is never sure where she stands with Jude, and can’t believe that such a confident, charismatic guy might actually be interested in her. Both her mother back in Winnipeg and Paige warn her away from Jude, saying that he will just use her and she will get hurt. But it’s not until she almost falls again into the trap of casual sex to boost her self-esteem that Emmy realizes it’s worth it to put your true self out there for real love.

Review:

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When I first saw this book on NetGalley I immediately knew I wanted to read it from the title alone. Love is Love is a YA LGBTQ book about an overweight girl who moves to live with her Aunt and Uncle and her relationship with Jude, a transgender male who is friends with her cousin. There are a lot of things I liked about this book, it doesn’t shy away from any potential awkward conversations or situations, instead it tackles issues head on in an easy to follow way. There is also a fair amount of diversity as it shows the struggles of multiple characters going through their own individual struggles. The characters are fairly developed throughout the book and the plot moves at a reasonable pace.

Some of the things I struggled about in the book however was some of the negativity, not the negativity aimed at Jude, although there was definitely some of that, but the negativity towards Emmy, her appearance and to her love in general. This was usually directed from Emmy herself and at times I could see why she felt how she did but after awhile I felt it was detracting from the story itself. Another problem I had was the insta-love between the characters, sure it was pretty obvious it was going to happen from the blurb but no where throughout the book did I feel they had any real connection. Also I feel like it’s worth noting that I have no idea who is on the cover of the book as they don’t match the description of either of the main characters. In the end while I did enjoy the book and if you are looking for a YA LGBTQ read I would definitley recommend you have a look at this, there was enough niggly things to bring it down those few stars.

Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 3.5/5

Would I read again: No

Would I Recommend: Yes

Would I read another book from this author: Yes

Book Review: A Year of Second Chances by Buffy Andrews

“And you couldn’t believe that such a large and beautiful shell could be found on such a busy beach. That people had walked by and, apparently, no one had noticed it or, if they had, thought it worthwhile picking up”

Goodreads Synopsis:A Year of Second Chances

When Scarlett comes across a box containing her most precious items from her teenage years, she’s forced to confront the adult she has become. As a divorced mother of two twentysomethings, Scarlett has to admit her life has ground to a halt! Whatever happened to that girl whose hopes and dreams were so naively displayed in a wish list for her life?

So, armed with the list, Scarlett sets about checking off each and every item possible, determined to fulfil her promises to her younger self. Some are easy. Dancing in the rain? Bring on the next thunderstorm! Marrying her high-school sweetheart? Not so easy when married Jake lives clear across the country!

But what started out as a challenge to herself quickly takes on a life of its own, catapulting Scarlett out of her slump and into a life even her younger self could never have dreamed of!

Review:

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What made me first pick up this book was the idea of finding a list that you wrote many moons ago and seeing just how much you had accomplished or changed. It kind of reminded me of those letters that teachers would make you write at school at the start of the year, only to be given back on the last day of school. Scarlett herself finds this at the time with her life where she is not only faced with a number of decisions but at a time where her mortality has been brought it sharp focus.

Scarlett herself was an interesting enough character, she was able to see her flaws, contemplate her decisions in life and make a few that I didn’t see coming, but she was just missing something for me to make her fantastic, this potentially has to do with the fact that she is in a completely different stage of her life right now, making it a it harder to relate and connect. She shines in her interactions with others, especially her children and bestie.

The story itself moves at a fast enough pace, which did keep me engaged throughout and has enough twists and turns to keep it from becoming boring, but the same as above it just felt like there was something missing, that extra little oomf that could of lifted it from being a great enjoyable read to five star material, saying that this was the first book I have tried from this author and it has no way dissuaded me from trying more!

If your looking for a fun, easy, enjoyable read then this one’s for you.

Thank you to Netgalley for providing me with a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 3.5/5

Would I read again: No

Would I Recommend: Yes

Would I read another book from this author: Yes

 

 

Book Review: After I’ve Gone by Linda Green

However hard I try, I will be thwarted somewhere along the line. Resistance is futile. I may as well accept my fate. 

Goodreads Synopsis:After I've Gone

YOU HAVE 18 MONTHS LEFT TO LIVE . . . On a wet Monday in January, Jess Mount checks Facebook and discovers her timeline appears to have skipped forward 18 months, to a day when shocked family and friends are posting heartbreaking tributes to her following her death in an accident. Jess is left scared and confused: is she the target of a cruel online prank or is this a terrifying glimpse of her true fate?
Amongst the posts are photos of a gorgeous son she has not yet conceived. But when new posts suggest her death was deliberate, Jess realises that if she changes the future to save her own life, the baby boy she has fallen in love with may never exist.

Review:

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When I first read the synopsis for this book, I was mainly wondering how on earth the author would be able to successfully include Facebook as a manner of time-travel/a portal in the future and it was great to see just how well the author was able to manage this. The story follows Jess Mount as she she attempts to deal with the knowledge that she apparently only has eighteen months to live, however not only is she trying to understand what on earth is happening to her as times goes on it becomes more and more apparent that her demise was not accidental,  someone else is likely behind it. One thing I liked about this was that it kind of took us back eighteen months, to the start of 2016. Not only does this bring up memories from last year some less favourable then others but it shows the use of social media and the way the public reacts to deaths of friends and family as well as celebrities.

Jess herself was a lot younger then I expected her to be and her decisions she makes at the start of the book reflect this. Despite her youth she still has a complicated past with her mother passing away 7 years previously. I think it also provided more of a shock value as a single 22 year old is somehow able to see a glimpse into her future in which is she not only married but is mother to an adorable little boy, that and she is now no longer among the living but I think for her at the time the other stuff was actually more of a surprise. It also provided a great opportunity for the author to be able to show a lot of character growth and development something she took full advantages off. Also double points for including more then a few Harry Potter references haha.

Thank you to Netgalley for providing a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 4.5/5

Would I read again: Yes

Would I Recommend: Yes

Would I read another book from this author: Yes

 

 

Book Review: Kiss Me at Willoughby Close by Kate Hewitt

“She would survive, because that, at least, was one thing she’d always been good at.”

Goodreads Synopsis:Kiss Me at Willoughby Close

Welcome to Willoughby Close… a charming cluster of cozy cottages, each with a story to tell and a happy ending to deliver…

After her husband unexpectedly dies, Ava moves to Willoughby Close, trying to keep her chin up and herself to herself as she’s always done—not answering questions, not making friends, and not seeing much of a future. Her marriage was far from perfect, but it offered her a much-needed security that has now been ripped away. She’s not sure what to do now that she’s thirty-five, widowed, penniless… and unexpectedly pregnant with her late husband’s child.

Jace Tucker is the over-the-top sexy caretaker of Willoughby Manor, and he can see beneath Ava’s glamor girl act to the hurt she’s been hiding for so long. She has secrets for a reason—and so does he. The last thing she needs right now is a fling with a man who hides a past as regrettable as her own.

But with a baby to think about, and neighbors determined to be her friends, Ava finds herself starting to change and even more alarmingly, beginning to hope. Can Willoughby Close work its everyday magic on a woman like her? And when the past comes calling for both her and Jace, will they have to answer for their previous mistakes.

Review:Image result for four out of five stars

Kiss Me at Willoughby Close is the fourth in the series but can easily be read as a standalone, I didn’t actually realize it was part of a series until I had finished the book. The synopsis of the book really had be interested so I was excited when my request on Netgalley got improved. I have to say it still wasn’t completely what I was expecting, in a good way though. I immediately liked Ava as a character, she is dealt a rough hand right at the start of the book, she still managed to keep herself together (for the most part) and at least attempted to carry on with her life. I do tend to get annoyed if all they do is mope after something happened which is probably unfair of me as I bet I wouldn’t do half as well as most the characters I read about. She also went through a lot of personal growth throughout the book which is always good to see. Jace was a surprise, although he is the perfect gentlemen (again for the most part) throughout the book, his histories and secrets did surprise me, I didn’t fell as though we got to see as much growth from him but I guess as more of a secondary character it wasn’t necessary. The plot itself is relatively simple and the story felt quite short, I’m not sure if perhaps I have been reading longer books lately or if there just wasn’t all that much happening. Either way it was a great enjoyable read and I would definitely recommend as a relaxing summer read. I will definitely be on the look out for the release in the next in the series.

Thank you to Netgalley and the publishers for providing a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 4/5

Would I read again: Yes

Would I Recommend: Yes

Would I read another book from this author:Yes