I’d seen this book advertised on my journey to work and was very intrigued, even more so when I heard it had been selected for the Richard & Judy book club, from which I’ve found many a favourite read. So I was very excited when I finally managed to lay my hands on a copy of this book, and I’m pleased to say not disappointed!
Jess and her boyfriend Adam split up a few months after their baby son William was born, following a series of events that showed Adam to be a womaniser who couldn’t make it to the birth of his own son and has spent the last few years lying about where he was that night. But William is now 10 and Jess’ mum is very ill and it is her wish for William to have a relationship with his dad. So this is how it comes to be that William and Jess are off to spend the summer at Adam’s Chateau in France.
From the first moment of being reunited it’s clear that despite the anger Jess has towards Adam there is very much a spark remaining between them, one which she spends a long time fighting against. I don’t want to spoil the plot of this book too much so I won’t post any spoilers in this post other than to say the reason that Jess fights that spark so high isn’t just related to the past events with Adam.
All of the main characters in the book are instantly likeable and there are moments of joy and sorrow as the plot moves on. There are parts near the end of the book where I was genuinely moved to tears. It’s one of those books that does make you think about life and living every moment! 5 out of 5 stars!
You Me Everything
Simon & Schuster UK
26 July 2018
Jess and her ten-year-old son William set off to spend the summer at Château de Roussignol, deep in the rich, sunlit hills of the Dordogne. There, Jess’s ex-boyfriend and William’s father, Adam, runs a beautiful hotel in a restored castle. Jess is bowled over by what Adam has accomplished, but she’s in France for a much more urgent reason: to make Adam connect with his own son. Jess can’t allow Adam to let their son down because she is tormented by a secret of her own, one that nobody - especially William - must discover.
By turns life-affirming, heart-wrenching and joyful, You Me Everything is a novel about one woman's fierce determination to grab hold of the family she has and never let go, and a romantic story as heady as a crisp Sancerre on a summer day.
If you’re looking for that perfect summer holiday getaway read I can highly recommend Rebecca Freeborn’s Hot Pursuit.
A book spanning different countries, a race against time to crack the truth of a missing (presumed dead) Indy band member, a heart broken girl and her former one night stand photographer working together on her first case as a journalist – what could possibly go wrong?
Sarah Burrowes is a kick ass chick who comes across as a determined, fearless woman who isn’t afraid of working to get what she wants. She want take rubbish from her womanising photographer, and gives as good as she gets from those trying to stop her from getting to the truth of her case. She is the perfect lead female character for this story and you’ll love her from the first page to the last.
The story is fast paced with many twists and turns right until the end – but Sarah is always at the very heart of the novel and we are reminded throughout of her vulnerability as well with the involvement of her now ex-boyfriend James.
The banter between Sarah and her photographer Nick is funny and also a wonderful look at the dynamic the 2 of them have – I couldn’t wait to see what would happen there.
Honestly grab this book now for your holiday bag, you won’t be disappointed.
28 March 2018
A missing rockstar, a suspected murderer on the run, and a chase through some of the world’s most romantic destinations
Sarah Burrowes is left with a shattered heart and a huge mortgage after the love of her life abruptly runs out on her.
An aspiring journalist, Sarah spends her days slaving away at a gossip magazine—far from her dream job.
Heartbroken and fed up, Sarah decides to take her career by the reins and lands herself the assignment of a lifetime in Europe. But there’s a catch—her boss pairs her with gorgeous but egocentric photographer, Nick, who just happens to be her ex’s best friend.
But when Sarah’s assignment takes a darker turn, she discovers there’s more to this story than meets the eye. Is she ready to risk everything to get the scoop?
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
9the August 2018
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…
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
Simon & Schuster UK
28 July 2016
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...
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
Lake Union Publishing
14th Februry 2017
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.
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
Simon & Schuster UK
17 May 2018
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…’