The Lodger – C L Taylor

The Lodger – C L Taylor

I’ve had this short story on my kindle since it was released from C L Taylor’s newsletter, sadly life (a newborn baby) got in the way of me being able to read this till now whilst clearing my vast to read pile on my kindle!

The Lodger introduces us to Laura on the anniversary of her husband Steven, it seems that Laura is not dealing well with his death and after a break in at her home, good friend Ian suggests his homeless brother move in as a lodger.

There’s a creepy twist in the narration of the story as between Laura’s view is this other voice, the voice of someone who is watching Laura, moving in on her. The narration is superbly chilling I had shivers!

For a short story this really did give me the chills and it has a couple of very good twists before it concludes.  C L Taylor just knows how to capture her reader! Loved it!

The Lodger Book Cover The Lodger
C L Taylor
Published to C L Taylor's newsletter
21st March 2017
9000 words

When Laura's husband Steven dies in a tragic accident she no longer feels safe in her own home. Joe, the homeless brother of a friend, offers to move in but Laura isn't keen. When she returns home one day to find that something terrible has happened she has no choice but to invite Joe to stay...

Reveal: Robbie Williams – Chris Heath

Reveal: Robbie Williams – Chris Heath

I bought this book for myself around Christmas as a treat, from the advertising I saw for it it looked like this would be a fun insight into one of the biggest popstars.  The book alternates from more or less the present time 2016/2017 and goes back to the early 2000’s with some mentions of Robbie’s early career in Take That.

I thought that the book would be more structured then it turned out to be, the timeline was going back and forth and there was no real chapter seperations.  For me this made the book a bit difficult to follow and I couldn’t track where in time the biographer was.

Whilst there was some funny insights, the biogrpahy did unveil more of an anxiety ridden guy who doesn’t deal well with praise but also can’t live without the singing / songwriting.  It gave a glimpse into his family life and the way in which he writes songs which was probably the most fascinating part for me.

I did enjoy the book but not as much as I think I would had it been a structured biography with a clear straight forward timeline.  As much as I love Robbie I think this one is better for those diehard Robbie fans, otherwise sadly I think it’s better left under the coffee table.

Reveal: Robbie Williams Book Cover Reveal: Robbie Williams
Chris Heath
Blink Publishing
21st September 2017
Hardback
512

An intimate, funny and frank account of the moments behind the music, of the truth behind the headlines and of the fascinatingly complicated man behind the imperious entertainer, Reveal is Robbie Williams as you've never seen him before.

More than twelve years ago, Robbie Williams and Chris Heath published a ground-breaking memoir, Feel, about Robert P. Williams' rise to fame; a book that was met with worldwide acclaim, from critics and fans alike.

Since that time, Robbie has released six solo albums, reunited with his old band Take That and, in the wake of his twelfth UK number-one album, has returned to the stage with a sold-out run at Wembley Stadium.

In Reveal, bestselling author Chris Heath has been working closely with Robbie for many years to create a personal and raw account of fame, fortune, family and music; a vivid and detailed story of the real highs and lows as Robbie has found his way forward, that is unprecedented in its intimacy and honesty.

Long-awaited by millions, Reveal is the uncensored and compelling portrait of the man as you've never seen him before.

One Perfect Summer – Paige Toon

One Perfect Summer – Paige Toon

There’s something about Paige Toon’s books that is magic, I always find myself drawn in from the first to the last page and One Perfect Summer was no different.

 

Here we meet Alice, 18 and just about to start at university but before she leaves her parents and best friend she has the family holiday to Devon to contend with.  She thinks she’s going to spend the time getting through the reading list she has for Cambridge but she didn’t count on meeting the hot son of the local pub landlords.  Alice and Joe are drawn into a magical love that summer, they grow close quickly and form a tight bond perhaps due to the difficult relationship Joe has with his own parents which make him vulnerable and in need of help.  Then at the end of the summer with the situation with Joe’s family at it’s worst he disappears leaving Alice devastated and with a shadow that will cast over the rest of her life.

 

Alice takes a very long time to recover from Joe, but is finally on the mend with the help of new friends at university and the appearance of a handsome student who begin to mend her broken heart.  Her relationship with Lucas is very different to that with Joe and I really wasn’t sure how it was going to play out or even if I liked him.  I often thought that something bad may come of the relationship (in my head I had this feeling he was going to hurt Alice physically, or not be all that he seemed).  However we do see the relationship play out to a conclusion (I won’t post spoilers), and indeed have resolution when Joe reappears and we get an explanation of his disappearance.

 

When we get to the ending I think Alice makes the right decision (you’ll have to read it to find out what it was)…. Paige has wound her magic again!

One Perfect Summer Book Cover One Perfect Summer
Paige Toon
Simon & Schuster UK
10th May 2012
Kindle
480

A Dorset summer, a chance meeting, and Joe and Alice, both 18, fall into step as if they have known each other forever. But their idyll is shattered as quickly as it began. Joe leaves without warning; Alice heads off to Cambridge University and slowly picks up the pieces of her broken heart.

Years later, when she catches the attention of gorgeous, gifted, rich boy Lukas, Alice is carried along by his charm and swept up in his ambitious plans for a future together.

Until news of Joe reaches her once more, but he's out of reach in a way that Alice could never have imagined. Life has moved on, the divide between them is now so great. Surely it is far too late to relive those perfect summer days of long ago?

Some Kind of Wonderful – Giovanna Fletcher

Some Kind of Wonderful – Giovanna Fletcher

Another of our favourite authors at Compelling Reads, we’ve been reading Giovanna’s novels since her first and are always eagerly anticipating her next release…

 

In Some Kind of Wonderful we are introduced to Lizzie who is on holiday with her boyfriend Ian.  We learn that they’ve been together since university and a decade later everyone including Lizzie is anticipating an engagement, every time they go away or have a day out and she comes back without a ring has been a disappointment.  Now it’s the final night of their holiday and Lizzie is thinking it is never going to happen, Ian however is very drunk and when they arrive at a magical romantic meal on the beach it seems it’s finally time for that engagement, but on one knee, mid proposal and what should be a wonderful moments turns to Ian finishing the relationship.

 

Lizzie heads home a decade of relationship behind her and many questions in her head as to who she truly is, it seems that her life has been formed by Ian.  Taking on his likes and dislikes and hobbies and without him she isn’t sure who Lizzie is or what she wants.  So queue a book where Lizzie must learn who she is, and an intriguing look at how people enrich and influence the lives of others through their relationships with them.

 

A wonderful journey of Lizzie’s self-discovery that had me held from the beginning, I think this is Giovanna’s best book ever and I really truly didn’t want this book to be finished when I got to the last page.  I hope that we get to see more of Lizzie’s journey in future books!

Some Kind of Wonderful Book Cover Some Kind of Wonderful
Giovanna Fletcher
Michael Joseph
16th November 2017
Kindle
400

When the love of your life says you're not The One, who are you?

Lizzy and Ian have been a couple since the first week of university. Now, after celebrating a decade together, everyone thinks they're about to get engaged.

Instead, a romantic escape to Dubai leaves Lizzy with no ring, no fiancé and no future.

Lizzy is heartbroken - but through the tears, she sees an opportunity. This is her moment to discover what she's been missing while playing Ian's ideal 'better half'.

But how much has Ian changed her, and who should she be without him?

Determined to discover who she is at heart, Lizzy sets out to rediscover the girl she was before - and, in the meantime, have a little fun . . .

The Escape – C L Taylor

The Escape – C L Taylor

So first off… I’m back!  Apologies for the absence in reviews over the last few months, reading had taken a backseat whilst I was on maternity leave.  However I’m now back on the commute and reading is back on, and I thought what better way to kick off 2018 then revisiting one of Compelling Reads favourite authors C L Taylor.

 

As regular readers of our blog will know we’ve lost ourselves in C L Taylor’s books before and love it when she releases a new one!  The Escape is no different…

 

Here we meet Jo, Jo suffers from anxiety and agoraphobia, we learn that this stems from the loss of her first child.  Although she is still plagued by her anxieties she has set up coping methods which enable her to carry on with her job and look after her daughter Elise.  Jo’s anxieties are heightened however when a rather startling meeting with a woman she meets on the way to picking up her daughter from nursery who makes a thinly veiled threat to her daughter.

 

As the book progresses the strange woman Paula seems to trouble Jo more and more as it’s clear she is after something, something to do with Jo’s husband.  Although her husband appears at first to be long suffering and doing his best to settle Jo’s anxieties, soon Jo’s world seems to tumble around her as the threats turn to actions and even her husband loses patience with her “anxiety” and makes a case to have her daughter taken away.

 

As Jo goes on the run with her daughter determined to prove her innocence the book is gripping, we find ourselves in a tension filled page turner that hurtles towards it’s conclusion.  C L Taylor really knows how to make a thrilling read from a domestic viewpoint, always allowing you to identify with the main character in some way and get you routing for them.  The Escape is once again an unputdownable read!  More like this please!

The Escape Book Cover The Escape
C L Taylor
23rd March 2017
Kindle
432

The Sunday Times bestseller returns with her most thrilling book yet, An unputdownable read for fans of Into the Water and The Girlfriend.

"Look after your daughter's things. And your daughter…"

When a stranger asks Jo Blackmore for a lift she says yes, then swiftly wishes she hadn't.

The stranger knows Jo's name, she knows her husband Max and she's got a glove belonging to Jo's two year old daughter Elise.

What begins with a subtle threat swiftly turns into a nightmare as the police, social services and even Jo's own husband turn against her.

No one believes that Elise is in danger. But Jo knows there's only one way to keep her child safe – RUN.

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