While I was sleeping – Dani Atkins

While I was sleeping – Dani Atkins

I was fortunate enough to receive an advanced proof copy of this book while I was at the Books In the City Spring Blogger event and I’m so glad I did.

While I was Sleeping is the story of Maddie, newly pregnant and about to marry the love of her life when tragedy strikes. Waking up in hospital Maddie knows something is different but she isn’t sure what.

I really don’t want to spoil this week so it’s very hard to review without posting spoilers, but what I can say is this book is beautifully written, you have instant connection with all the characters and are pulled into an emotional tour de force as the story progresses. I cannot praise this book highly enough – this is the best book that I have read this year and I urge you, no implore you to go out and buy this book now. You will not be disappointed!

While I was sleeping Book Cover While I was sleeping
Dani Atkins
Simon & Schuster UK
23rd August 2018
Paperback
560

A brand new and brilliant emotional family drama for fans of Jojo Moyes and Dorothy Koomson, from the bestselling author of Fractured.

I don't remember what happened or what has changed.

I can still hear your voices but you can't seem to hear me.

I was about to be married and had everything to look forward to.

Now I have to find a way back - to you, to our family, to us.

The Plus One – Sophia Money-Coutts

The Plus One – Sophia Money-Coutts

I was lucky enough to nab an advanced net galley copy of The Plus One, which I was eager to read after hearing some great things about this book and I wasn’t disappeared.
In the Plus One we meet Polly ex beauty therapist now journalist for ‘Posh’ the magazine of the filthy rich, she’s been single for quite some time, living with her gay flat mat and the now her oldest friends is getting married and the other is in a committed relationship. Living her thinking about her own love life and how long it’s been since she was in a relationship,
When she is asked by her boss to interview a newly single very eligible bachelor she even has her own Cinderella imaginings, but it seems it’s not all one sided and she soon finds herself being chased.
I was genuinely pleased with this book, it has all the good things of a romantic fiction, star crossed lovers, friendship, and laughs. I was instantly drawn to the character of Polly and felt part of her life. As she experiences the highs and lows of the book I was right there with her, laughing and supporting her. I was secretly hoping for a Cinderella moment that didn’t come in the park but was more than happy with the ending. I hope that we get to see more of the relationship that ends the book in future novels as I really didn’t want the story to end there!

 

You’l want to add this one to your summer reading lists!

The Plus One Book Cover The Plus One
Sophia Money-Coutts
HQ
9the August 2018
Kindle
384

Polly’s not looking for ‘the one’, just the plus one

Polly Spencer is fine. She’s single, turning thirty and only managed to have sex twice last year (both times with a Swedish banker called Fred), but seriously, she’s fine. Even if she’s still stuck at Posh! magazine writing about royal babies and the chances of finding a plus one to her best friend’s summer wedding are looking worryingly slim.

But it’s a New Year, a new leaf and all that. Polly’s determined that over the next 365 days she’ll remember to shave her legs, drink less wine and generally get her s**t together. Her latest piece is on the infamous Jasper, Marquess of Milton, undoubtedly neither a plus one nor ‘the one’. She’s heard the stories, there’s no way she’ll succumb to his charms…

Obsession – Amanda Robson

Obsession – Amanda Robson

I was surprised to find that Obsession was Amanda Robson’s debut novel, as it had all the feel of an experienced story-teller.  When Carly asks her GP doctor Rob what other woman he likes she is surprised by his answer… their good friend Jenny.  Met on an NCP course, they attended together and becoming firm friends because of their similar career paths (both Jenny & Carly are nurses) and families who have strong religion.  Carly just can’t get the thought of Jenny & her husband together out of her head.

Slowly it becomes clear that Carly has an unhealthy and possibly irrational jealousy of Jenny and so plots her revenge for what she sees as Jenny taking her husband by setting her sights on Jenny’s. The twists that unfold lead the reader into a very dark world of obsession and mental illness, but the lines for me were blurred and just who had the obsession in this story.

While the obvious obsession stems from Carly as the plot progresses we are drawn into looking at Jenny and Rob also and at times it’s not clear what is true and what is part of the “obsession” of whichever character we are viewing from.

Each character has their own voice in this story so we really get to be in their head and see the story through them, which at times was disturbing, but this was a book which held me till the last page and I’ll definitely being going back for me of Amanda Robson’s work if it’s all as good as this debut

Obsession Book Cover Obsession
Amanda Robson
Avon
1st January 2017
Kindle
464

One evening, a wife asks her husband a question: who else would you go for, if you could?

It is a simple question – a little game – that will destroy her life.

Carly and Rob are a perfect couple. They share happy lives with their children and their close friends Craig and Jenny. They’re lucky.
But beneath the surface, no relationship is simple: can another woman’s husband and another man’s wife ever just be good friends?

Little by little, Carly’s question sends her life spiralling out of control, as she begins to doubt everything she thought was true. Who can she trust? The man she has promised to stick by forever, or the best friend she has known for years? And is Carly being entirely honest with either of them?

Obsession is a dark, twisting thriller about how quickly our lives can fall apart when we act on our desires.

The Trouble with Henry & Zoe – Andy Jones

The Trouble with Henry & Zoe – Andy Jones

The good thing about long summer evenings is that they give me the perfect chance to sort through my “To read pile” and find those hidden gems that have been languishing away waiting for the right moment to come to light. The Trouble With Henry and Zoe has been on my pile for some time now and I was glad to finally get a chance to let this story invade my imagination.
Henry is a dentist, but also a hairdresser – a bit of a strange career twist, but Henry is a complex character. On the one hand he is the guy that loves old movies, Casablanca, When Harry Met Sally and on the other he is the guy that jilt his long term girlfriend at the aisle by running away the night before they are due to marry.
Zoe is on the other hand settled, living with her long term partner, but then tragedy strikes leading to her having to make some new choices, it’s during this time of crisis I suppose for both characters that they meet. Though very different characters and lives they find a common ground, although the timing of their meeting may not be great as a reader you eagerly anticipate the twists and turns of their story and whether they can be bought together.
Andy Jones is probably my favourite male author of the rom-com for want of a better category for the book – he has perfected the voice of male and female character and the ability to bring their stories to live on paper. His characters surrounds you like a real family and you are truly among them in the story, egging them on, laughing (& crying) with them.
Another 5 stars from me!

The Trouble With Henry & Zoe Book Cover The Trouble With Henry & Zoe
Andy Jones
Simon & Schuster UK
28 July 2016
Kindle
464

Henry and Zoe have more in common than they realise. For a start, they both have pasts they'd rather leave behind.

After jilting his childhood sweetheart on the eve of their wedding, Henry makes a break for London. He has no friends, no job, no home, no plan.

Zoe has great friends, two jobs, a new house, and a big scary plan. After a traumatic, life-changing event, she plans to leave London and spend a year travelling. Alone.

If Henry and Zoe had met one year ago, things might have worked out differently. But that s not the way life works. They meet seven months after their worlds have been turned upside down. And four months before Zoe is due to climb on a plane...

The Cottage on Sunshine Beach – Holly Martin

The Cottage on Sunshine Beach – Holly Martin

Wow Holly is back and better than ever! the Cottage on Sunshine Beach takes us back to Sand Castle Bay, where we catch up with Melody, Jamie, Tori and the gang.

This time we focus on Melody and Jamie who we met previously in The Holiday Cottage by the sea. We know from the previous book that Melody is in love with Jamie but doesn’t feel that this love is reciprocated. We learn more about Melody’s past and why she is cautious with her heart. We also get to hear the story from Jamie’s perspective too, learning that he has the same feelings and worries as Melody. We learn Jamie’s past and all the reasons why he has felt the need to protect his own heart.

The Cottage on Sunshine Beach is Holly at her absolute best. I love the use of the dual narrative, allowing me as the reader to see the story from both sides. I fell a little bit in love with Jamie myself. I was desperate for them to realise their feelings were reciprocated and to fall hopelessly in love. Holly certainly took us on a rollercoaster ride, with highs and lows keeping me on the edge of my seat. This was a real feel good read and it was amazing to be back in such a wonderful world. I loved catching up with the characters from the previous book in the series and seeing how their lives had progressed and what had happened since we were last in Sandcastle Bay.

Sandcastle Bay is the most perfect setting for such a wonderful series. It’s picturesque and so beautifully described I could picture the village with such clarity. I want to move there myself!

Holly has a beautiful writing style, her words flow and tell the most effortlessly beautiful stories with stunning scenes and loveable characters. I was disappointed to have finished this book so quickly. I really hope we see more from the villagers of Sandcastle Bay again really soon 🙂

The Cottage on Sunshine Beach by Holly Martin
Buy Links:
The stunning new summer story from the bestselling author of Summer at Buttercup Beach. Step into the delightful seaside village of Sandcastle Bay, where you’ll discover golden sand, welcoming smiles and an unforgettable romance…

Melody Rosewood loves her new home in idyllic Sandcastle Bay. The beautiful little cottage on the edge of Sunshine Beach, with its bright yellow door and view of the sea has captured her heart. And she loves being close by to her family and best friend Tori Graham

Life by the sea is pretty much perfect, there’s just one thing missing…

Gorgeous Jamie Jackson, with his cheeky grin and adorable puppy, works as a sculptor opposite Melody’s jewellery shop. From the moment he and Melody meet sparks fly. But despite their instant attraction, a past heartache is holding Jamie back.

As Melody starts to make a life for herself in the close-knit, quirky seaside community, she realises Jamie could be the one for her. But as the two of them take a chance on romance, it’s one dating disaster after another. Are they destined to always be just good friends? 

Or will Melody finally find her happily-ever-after in Sandcastle Bay?

A perfect, feel-good summer read that will make you want to escape to the beach for a romantic day in the sun. If you enjoy reading Sarah Morgan, Jenny Oliver and Lucy Diamond this book is for you.
 
 
About the author:
 
Holly lives in a little white cottage by the sea. She studied media at university which led to a very glitzy career as a hotel receptionist followed by a even more glamorous two years working in a bank. The moment that one of her colleagues received the much coveted carriage clock for fifteen years’ service was the moment when she knew she had to escape. She quit her job and returned to university to train to be a teacher. Three years later, she emerged wide eyed and terrified that she now had responsibility for the development of thirty young minds. She taught for four years and then escaped the classroom to teach history workshops, dressing up as a Viking one day and an Egyptian High Priestess the next. But the long journeys around the UK and many hours sat on the M25 gave her a lot of time to plan out her stories and she now writes full time, doing what she loves.

Holly has been writing for 8 years. She was shortlisted for the New Talent Award at the Festival of Romance. Her short story won the Sunlounger competition and was published in the Sunlounger anthology. She won the Carina Valentine’s competition at the Festival of Romance 2013 with her novel The Guestbook. She was shortlisted for Best Romantic Read, Best eBook and Innovation in Romantic Fiction at the Festival of Romance 2014. She is the bestselling author of 18 books

Follow her on Twitter @HollyMAuthor
The Cottage on Sunshine Bay Book Cover The Cottage on Sunshine Bay
Holly Martin
Bookouture
22/06/2018
297

The stunning new summer story from the bestselling author of Summer at Buttercup Beach. Step into the delightful seaside village of Sandcastle Bay, where you’ll discover golden sand, welcoming smiles and an unforgettable romance…

Melody Rosewood loves her new home in idyllic Sandcastle Bay. The beautiful little cottage on the edge of Sunshine Beach, with its bright yellow door and view of the sea has captured her heart. And she loves being close by to her family and best friend Tori Graham

Life by the sea is pretty much perfect, there’s just one thing missing…

Gorgeous Jamie Jackson, with his cheeky grin and adorable puppy, works as a sculptor opposite Melody’s jewellery shop. From the moment he and Melody meet sparks fly. But despite their instant attraction, a past heartache is holding Jamie back.

As Melody starts to make a life for herself in the close-knit, quirky seaside community, she realises Jamie could be the one for her. But as the two of them take a chance on romance, it’s one dating disaster after another. Are they destined to always be just good friends? 

Or will Melody finally find her happily-ever-after in Sandcastle Bay?

A perfect, feel-good summer read that will make you want to escape to the beach for a romantic day in the sun. If you enjoy reading Sarah Morgan, Jenny Oliver and Lucy Diamond this book is for you.

Girl 99 – Andy Jones

Girl 99 – Andy Jones

Having read an earlier book by Andy Jones I’ve had Girl 99 on my kindle a while waiting for the ideal space in my to read pile to jump in.

Girl 99 features Tom who has just broken up with his girlfriend having kissed a colleague and then admitting the indiscretion to his girlfriend by email (perhaps not the best way about things). Following the breakup in a moment of reminiscing Tom works out that he has slept with 85 women – admitting this to his best friend El a bet ensues. El agrees to give Tom £1000 if he can sleep with 100 women by a certain date. So Tom indeed sets out to accomplish the challenge.

The book is not explicit and actually features a lot on Tom’s work particularly in the creation of a skittles advert and his relationship with his dad and sister. However the challenge does lead to the introduction of some other great characters – I especially liked the bunny boiler Estate Agent! The challenge of course as the title suggest hits a stumbling block at girl 99 who Tom actually realises he really likes.

A great fun story that gives an insight into how men think and feel and showed Tom looking at how he was behaving and opening up to girl 99 in the end.

Definitely a hit with me

Girl 99 Book Cover Girl 99
Andy Jones
Lake Union Publishing
14th Februry 2017
Kindle
318

When Tom’s girlfriend walks out on him the day before Christmas, he feels humiliated but not necessarily heartbroken. Sadie wasn’t, after all, The One. If we’re being precise, she was number eighty-five.

Tom’s first mistake is sharing this information with his best friend El. His next mistake is listening when El suggests that he bring his eighty-five up to a nice, neat one hundred.

It was never going to be a good idea, not least because everything else in Tom’s life is in complete chaos. His best friend is dying of a slow and cruel disease, his teenage sister is at war with his well-meaning but dogmatic father, his elderly neighbour is having romantic problems (and makes a dreadful cup of tea), and he has to shoot four commercials with four children and a bad-tempered producer.

And then Tom meets Verity. Whether she’s The One remains to be seen, but she’s certainly more than just another number.

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