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.

Five Years From Now – Paige Toon

Five Years From Now – Paige Toon

I was absolutely thrilled to be able to get a copy of Paige Toon’s latest book when we attended the most recent Books In the City Spring Blogger Event. As many of our old followers will now we love Paige at Compelling Reads and always eagerly anticipate any new release.

Five Years From Now was inspired by something Paige’s own father said to her once, i.e. that in Five Years’ time you’ll look back at a situation and understand why it happened the way it did. In this book we are introduced to Nell and Van who are just young children when Nell’s father falls in love with Van’s mother. Sadly as young children a tragic event separates them but through the book we see them both grow up and reconnect every five years.

In their second meeting as they grow into teenagers we see the relationship between the two develop from friendship into something more, but as is the way with teenage love it’s strong and all-consuming and over just as quickly due to other circumstances. Throughout the book their relationship grows, is tested, pulled apart, pulled back together and there are many twists and turns and complications of life that both Nell & Van have to overcome.

I really enjoyed how the passage of time was treated in the story and moved the plot on, and it helped in showing the different relationships style and responsibilities had at different ages. I sided more with Nell, I guess because she was the more present of the couple (with Van being the other side of the world), but really rooted for the couple.

There were highs and lows for each character and I was easily drawn in to the drama – I liked the way this wasn’t a simple love story – and grew into more of an adult relationship theme! Paige Toon really does it right every time – it’s a thumbs up 5 stars from me

Five Years From Now Book Cover Five Years From Now
Paige Toon
Simon & Schuster UK
17 May 2018
Paperback
368

What happens if you meet the RIGHT person at the WRONG time?

Nell and Van meet as children when their parents fall in love, but soon they are forced worlds apart.

Five years later, they find each other. Their bond is rekindled and new feelings take hold, but once again they have to separate.

For the next two decades, fate brings Nell and Van together every five years, as life and circumstance continue to divide them. Will they ever find true happiness? And will it be together?

‘One day, maybe five years from now, you’ll look back and understand why this happened…’

The Good Daughter – Alexandra Burt

The Good Daughter – Alexandra Burt

This book had been sitting on my shelf looking at me to sometime waiting to be read and finally back from maternity leave I’m making my way through that ever-growing “To Be Read” pile on my journey into work.

The Good Daughter is written by Alexander Burt author of Little Girl Lost. In this novel we met Dahlia Waller and her mother Memphis, Dahlia it transpires hasn’t had a normal childhood, she’s moved from trailer park to motel with her mother, often leaving in the middle of the night with just what they can fit in the car. Until they settle in the little town of Aurora Texas she has never been to school.

As an adult she quickly moves away but she is still living in the shadow of her childhood, only able to take low paid jobs no questions asked because she is missing the elusive “paperwork”.
When she returns to the town to question her mother she unexpectedly ends up discovering a body and this is a good foreshadowing of the rest of the novel as Dahlia makes more discoveries uncovering the secrets of her past, and learning how she was possibly the biggest crime her mum committed.

I struggled with the book to start with, but this is a slow burn and I’m glad I stayed invested as once I’d got further into the book I was gripped to the last page. There was one concept (that of Dahlia’s fits) that I’m not sure was needed in the book, it didn’t appear to move the book along, but it kind of worked as a plot device initially in triggering memory – but maybe this could have been used more.

I did enjoy how Alexander Burt manages to conjure up an oppressive feeling in the way she writes that perfectly matches the characters surroundings and feelings. I was pulled into Dahlia’s story and determined with her to get to the end and all the answers.

The Good Daughter Book Cover The Good Daughter
Alexandra Burt
Avon
23rd February 2017
Paperback
528

What if you were the worst crime your mother ever committed?

Dahlia Waller’s childhood memories consist of stuffy cars, seedy motels, and a rootless existence traveling the country with her eccentric mother. Now grown, she desperately wants to distance herself from that life. Yet one thing is stopping her from moving forward: she has questions.

In order to understand her past, Dahlia must go back. Back to her mother in the stifling town of Aurora, Texas. Back into the past of a woman on the brink of madness. But after she discovers three grave-like mounds on a neighbouring farm, she’ll learn that in her mother’s world of secrets, not all questions are meant to be answered…

The Good Daughter is a compelling take on a genre that shows no sign of slowing down. The perfect read for fans of Gillian Flynn and Paula Hawkins.

Blood Sisters – Jane Corry

Blood Sisters – Jane Corry

Blood Sisters is a book full of secrets and more twists and turns then a race track!

Ali is an artist, a bit of a loner who seems to be hiding from something or someone – when an opportunity arises for an inhouse artist an a local prison Ali is strangely drawn to the role, however it soon becomes clear that someone is after Ali, sending her letters at the prison and to her home.

Kitty is in a care home, she has suffered a head injury and cannot speak in a way that makes sense to those around her – although she makes perfect sense to herself and she wants to know why she is like she is. A new resident at the home results in some unexpected changes to her life and brings up some hidden memories.

It was interesting to connect the dots between the two characters before it was revealed Ali & Kitty were sisters and as the book went on we learnt more about their difficult history and the accident that caused Kitty’s injuries.

I was gripped by this book from the very beginning and although some of the plot was a little far-fetched taking into context that it is a work of fiction everything worked well to bring the book to its surprising conclusion. It’s definitely worth checking this out!

Blood Sisters Book Cover Blood Sisters
Jane Corry
Penguin
29th June 2017
Paperback
464

Kitty lives in a care home. She can't speak properly, and she has no memory of the accident that put her here. At least that's the story she's sticking to.

Art teacher Alison looks fine on the surface. But the surface is a lie. When a job in a prison comes up she decides to take it - this is her chance to finally make things right.

But someone is watching Kitty and Alison.
Someone who wants revenge for what happened that sunny morning in May.
And only another life will do...

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