Lou Clarke, how we missed you and your stripy tights! Now starting a job in New York and separated from her new love Sam, Lou finds herself alone in a big City where she is surrounded by new sights, sounds and experiences. Now assisting a very wealthy family she is drawn into the bitchiness and secrecy of high society – but keeping secrets in this case lead to some unexpected problems and some even more unexpected friendships.
I loved seeing Lou develop through the course of this book, her fun personality is still there along with her quirky sense of style and New York just seems the ideal place to find her as she “finds herself”. Of course the plot is not without his twists and troubles for Lou – separation from Sam – trying to make long distance love work, handling jealousy, and the appearance of a man who looks just like Will.
The unlikely friendship with Mrs DeWitt and her Pug Dean Martin was wonderful as it grew and I was drawn into Mrs DeWitt’s fabulous wardrobe of treasures for someone like Lou!
This book felt like the right ending for Lou Clarke, she has learnt from Will, taken on his advice and lived her life and finally it feels like she has found herself!
25th January 2018
LOU CLARK IS BACK in the BRAND NEW Jojo Moyes novel Still Me, follow-up to the Number One international bestsellers Me Before You and After You.
Lou Clark knows too many things . . .
She knows how many miles lie between her new home in New York and her new boyfriend Sam in London.
She knows her employer is a good man and she knows his wife is keeping a secret from him.
What Lou doesn't know is she's about to meet someone who's going to turn her whole life upside down.
Because Josh will remind her so much of a man she used to know that it'll hurt.
Lou won't know what to do next, but she knows that whatever she chooses is going to change everything.
This is a book I’ve been trying to read for ages but hadn’t been able to get hold of a physical copy, so was thrilled to get this in my Xmas presents!
Zoe Walker is the same as hundreds of other passengers making their usual journey to work when a chance look through the paper leaves her reeling. There among the classifieds she sees a photo of herself. A double take, a chat with family and she’s nearly convinced that maybe she is wrong and the photo just bears a resemblance to her, but she can’t take the feeling something isn’t right and when a murder is reported and she realises the victim is pictured on the same advert on another day her concerns worsen.
Zoe has unwittingly found herself the centre of a dangerous cat and mouse game, the story has many twists and turns and anyone who is a commuter can’t help but look up and think about just who is watching them on that all to familiar journey. Zoe’s character can be any one of us walking to our station, sitting in our normal seat and being completely unaware of our surroundings. She is easily relatable and pulls you in to her story and her feelings leaving you gripped to the book from the beginning to the end.
As with her previous novel Makintosh has managed to weave a clever web with lots of strands to the story, that you follow to the end. You’re left guessing as to just who it could be behind Zoe’s plight and even at the end when you think you’re shocked there is one final twist to the tale!
I have to say I also found the character of Kelly the BTP officer who ends up solving the case fascinating – I enjoyed the sub plot about her twin sister, but was hoping there would be a revelation by the end of the book that would also reveal the perpetrator there as well – I’m secretly hoping for another book now to follow up on that part!
All in all another chilling read that had me gripped!
I See You
28th July 2016
When Zoe Walker sees her photo in the classifieds section of a London newspaper, she is determined to find out why it's there. There's no explanation: just a grainy image, a website address and a phone number. She takes it home to her family, who are convinced it's just someone who looks like Zoe. But the next day the advert shows a photo of a different woman, and another the day after that.
Is it a mistake? A coincidence? Or is someone keeping track of every move they make . . .
The final in the Fire sermon trilogy! I’ve been eagerly anticipating this book since finishing the first in the series and trying to imagine how Haig was going to conclude her story of a post nuclear war society.
With the Alpha and Omega soldiers now working together with the Ringmaster and the introduction of another way of life in the form of the medicine from Elsewhere that Paloma talks of, the end of twinning is in sight. However The General is still intent on destroying Elsewhere by bringing back the blast and it’s clear to Cass from her visions that the end is coming.
In this final book we finally get a bit more of an insight into Zack the Alpha twin the Omega Cass, I found this particularly intriguing as we’d only heard of him from the memory of Cass and his terrible actions in the earlier books – The Keeping Rooms and the Tankings.
The introduction of the strange and new Paloma from Elsewhere also added another dimension to the plot, a new hope that perhaps things can change. I did however feel that the character was a bit distant (but perhaps this was intentional, she does come from Elsewhere after all), but her growing bond with Zoe seemed to reflect the bridging of a gap between the two worlds.
Once again I was gripped from the first page of the novel, on the edge of my seat during battles and as the book reached it’s conclusion. I was certain there could be no happy ending for Cass – not with The Reformer as a brother, however the ending is very clever in insuring the reader is happy with the conclusion for both him and Cass and may you leave shedding a tear for the right reasons.
Nail biting, edge of the seat reading at it’s best!
The Foreever Ship
25th January 2018
Paloma’s arrival, with news of Elsewhere and the possibility of a world free of the fatal bond between twins, has given Cass and the resistance a hope worth fighting for.
But they are facing a Council more powerful and ruthless than Cass could ever have imagined, willing to unleash weapons from the long-buried past to maintain their power over Alphas and Omegas alike.
As the stunning Fire Sermon trilogy comes to a close, a struggle has begun not only for the future of Elsewhere but for the future of the whole world. And what started with fire may end with fire.
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!
C L Taylor
Published to C L Taylor's newsletter
21st March 2017
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...
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
21st September 2017
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.
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
Simon & Schuster UK
10th May 2012
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?