Spring at Blueberry Bay takes us to Hope Island where we meet Bella. Bella is having a tough time since losing her job a few months earlier following a huge scandal with her bosses and is only just making ends meet. Too proud to ask for help, Bella keeps her financial difficulties hidden from her family as she feels they have done so much for her after taking her in as a child. Then Bella meets Isaac, a homeless man who is camped outside her door, but all is not as it seems and Bella’s life will never be the same again.
Spring at Blueberry Bay is a book which had me hooked from page one. I was instantly drawn in to Bella’s world and her life, eager to discover more and get to the bottom of the issues which had led to Bella guarding her heart so fiercely and avoiding love. Bella was a character which I could’t help but fall in love with immediately; she is a character whose love and kindness oozes from the page and left me with a warm, fuzzy feeling. My heart broke with hers as I discovered more about her past and the deep rooted sense of abandonment which she carries in her heart. Bella is the sort of girl you would wish to be your best friend.
Then we meet Isaac. At first I wasn’t sure about him, with his deception and need to test people. But as I came to learn more about him and see the feelings and relationship he developed with Bella, I couldn’t help but like him. By the end I literally wanted to marry him myself.
Holly has a way of portraying characters which makes them so realistic, all of her characters are exceptionally well described and realistic. I love how I have an insight into each of them and the way they are all connected and how their relationships work and develop.
Spring at Blueberry Bay is Holly Martin at her best. I always love Holly’s books, but somehow she seems to get better and better with each new novel. Her writing ability is exceptional and literally have me spell bound, it is truly magical. The depth of descriptions of both the settings and the characters allows me to vividly image the scene as though I am living it myself, something which I find amazing.
But Holly you are not helping with my sleep. Once I made the mistake of picking up this book I literally could not put it down and found myself reading into the early hours. The words just flow with ease and grace from the page, painting this amazing world and life before my eyes of which I just can not get enough. My only criticism is that it had to end. I need more!!!!!!
Spring at Blueberry Bay
Welcome to beautiful Hope Island where the sea sparkles, the daffodils are blooming and a blossoming romance is just around the corner…
Bella has always had a sunny outlook and caring nature, despite recently falling on hard times. When she finds a handsome homeless man on her doorstep, her kind heart tells her she must help him. So, she invites Isaac into her cottage and into her life in ways she could never have imagined…
But Isaac is not what he seems. He’s keeping a huge secret from Bella, yet he never expected to fall for this open, generous and charming woman.
Bella can’t ignore the chemistry between her and Isaac, but she’s had her trust badly broken in her past. Will she run when she learns the truth about Isaac, or will he be the one man who can help Bella believe in love again?
**This article contains spoilers about Flawed, the prequel to Perfect.**
Thanks to the publishers for allowing us an advanced copy of the sequel to Cecelia Ahern’s Flawed Series – Celeste is back in Perfect.
Having enjoyed the first book in the series (Flawed – check out our review for that here: http://compellingreads.co.uk/flawed-cecelia-ahern/), we were excited to get our book wormy hands on the sequel we were so excited for.
In Flawed we left Celeste branded flawed – the most flawed person ever in fact and now having been forced away from her family. In Perfect we pick up with Celeste as an evader, in hiding from the Whilstleblowers and Judge Crevan who are desperate to locate her and bring her under control, for Celeste has become a light of hope to flawed everywhere and she has dangerous information against Crevan himself, which he is desperate to prevent becoming public knowledge.
As Celeste faces challenges in keeping away from those desperate to bring her into line, combined with her determination to bring to light the truth about the Guild and the system that itself is flawed. Can Celeste trust anyone? And will she be able to reveal the truth of her brands and Crevan’s part in them?
In Perfect we see a more grown up Celeste and her relationship with other flawed, especially Carrick. While to some she is a hero, it is a role she is unsure of, one which is forced upon her but due to her nature she can see the ‘flaws’ in the system that is running her society. She herself knows that it is mistakes that people learn from, but in this time it is mistakes that make the flawed outcasts. When those hold up to be perfect seem to be the most flawed in their hatred of difference and selfish motives.
We see Celeste torn between Carrick and Art, who she still believes to have a good heart despite being the son of the person who has changed her life forever. It’s easy again to become lost in this book and I read it within a few hours as it’s simply impossible to put down.
I enjoy Cecelia Ahern’s adult books but I’m in love with this Young Adult series, which is by name and in reality Perfect.
The book highlights very serious issues in an easy to follow way, Celeste acknowledges that no-one is perfect and it is flaws that make people unique and allow people to learn. My favourite quote which sums up this central idea is in chapter 81 which I’d like to end this post with:
“For someone one win, somebody else must lose. For that person to have won they must have lost something in the first place.
The irony of justice is that the feelings that precede it and those which fruit from it are never fair and balance,
Not even justice itself is perfect”
If that wasn’t enough for you, we also have an exclusive extract from the book for you to read – just click the link below:
6th April 2017
The thrilling, shocking and romantic sequel to the bestselling YA debut FLAWED is finally here. When we embrace all our flaws, that’s when we can finally become PERFECT…
Celestine North lives in a society that demands perfection. After she was branded Flawed by a morality court, Celestine's life has completely fractured – all her freedoms gone.
Since Judge Crevan has declared her the number one threat to the public, she has been a ghost, on the run with the complicated, powerfully attractive Carrick, the only person she can trust. But Celestine has a secret – one that could bring the entire Flawed system crumbling to the ground.
Judge Crevan is gaining the upper hand, and time is running out for Celestine. With tensions building, Celestine must make a choice: save only herself, or risk her life to save all the Flawed. And, most important of all, can she prove that to be human in itself is to be Flawed…?
With thanks to the publishers for sending us a copy of this book in exchange for review. I was interested in the description of this book, which bought to mind the books of Dinah Jefferies that I’ve been enjoying recently and I was intrigued to take on another authors take on historical romance.
In the Silk Weaver Liz Trenow introduces us to Anna Butterfield, on the death of her mother she has given up the comforts of her peaceful life tending to her dad and sister and is thrown head first into London life with her aunt – her uncle a silk merchant has a social status which Anna finds she must also step into. She must wear the right clothes and be seen with the right people for a young woman of her status.
However soon on arriving Anna meets French silk weaver Henri and soon through several twists of fates their lives become intertwined in a forbidden romance.
Trenow has managed to weave a wonderful story which immerses the reader in history, I did however find this book a bit slow going to start with and it takes a long time to get into the romance. However once it began I was drawn into the relationship and the book was better for it.
The Silk Weaver
1760, Spitalfields. Anna Butterfield’s life is about to change forever, as she moves from her idyllic Suffolk home to be introduced into London society. A chance encounter with a French silk weaver, Henri, draws her in to the volatile world of the city’s burgeoning silk trade. Henri is working on his ‘master piece’, to become a master weaver and freeman; Anna longs to become an artist while struggling against pressure from her uncle’s family to marry a wealthy young lawyer.
As their lives become ever more intertwined, Henri realises that Anna’s designs could give them both an opportunity for freedom. But his world becomes more dangerous by the day, as riots threaten to tear them apart forever . . .
Inspired by real historical events and characters, The Silk Weaver is a captivating, unforgettable story of illicit romance in a time of enlightenment and social upheaval.
We were absolutely ecstatic to receive a very special bloggers copy of Rowan’s latest novel A Summer of Impossible Things and eager to get lost amongst it’s pages!
In a new turn for Rowan this story explores the possibility of time travel, but in a very clever way. Luna and her sister have lost their mum and are visiting America to sell off her old family home, but the death of their mother has uncovered some major secrets about who Luna is and being back in her mum’s childhood home has some unsettling effects for Luna – she finds she is literally drawn back in time and it’s possible that it’s down to her to change the tragic events of the past and hopefully make a new brighter future for her family.
The plot was very cleverly put together for this story and despite the time travel it was never unclear where you were in time or the story and the plot unwound naturally. I really enjoyed the relationship between Luna and her sister and how Luna supported her sister through her own issues. Luna was selfless in her determination to resolve the issues from the past even though it was clear this could mean she lost herself and her own happiness in the process.
The subplot of Luna’s own love interest in the past was also well done – showing two people drawn together by fate and unexpected circumstance and how they can overcome barriers to find love.
There are very few time travelling novels that I’ve actually enjoyed but I can genuinely add this one to the list. A beautiful book!
The Summer of Impossible Things
29th June 2017
This summer, get ready to believe in Impossible Things with the brand new book from international bestseller, Rowan Coleman. This is THE TIME TRAVELLER'S WIFE for a new generation of readers. Available to pre-order now!
If you could change the past, would you?
Thirty years ago, something terrible happened to Luna’s mother. Something she’s only prepared to reveal after her death.
Now Luna and her sister have a chance to go back to their mother’s birthplace and settle her affairs. But in Brooklyn they find more questions than answers, until something impossible – magical – happens to Luna, and she meets her mother as a young woman back in the summer of 1977.
At first Luna’s thinks she’s going crazy, but if she can truly travel back in time, she can change things. But in doing anything – everything – to save her mother’s life, will she have to sacrifice her own?
With thanks to The Orion Publishing Group for allowing us an advance copy of this book in exchange for review – the third in a series by Becky Masterman, however we’ve not read any of the previous books and had no problem getting stuck into this story reading it as a standalone.
Here we meet Bridget Quinn reminiscing on her first time witnessing someone’s execution and flashing forwards to present day where she winds up travelling to her parents as her dad is gravely ill and reencountering an old colleague who is now desperate to save a man days away from execution on death row. Marc Creighton is accused of the murder of his wife, thanks to some loose fingerprint evidence, and it’s also believed he murdered his children who disappeared the same night.
Marc however has always protested his innocence but can he convince those who want to put him to death in time? Bridget is looking over the case and this turns into a gripping thriller with a race against the clock element – unfortunately at some point the clock runs out but the pace of the story doesn’t falter and there are many more puzzle pieces to fit together before the oh my god twist of an ending!
A fantastic crime narrative and I’m sure to return to this author!
A Twist of the knife
Weidenfeld & Nicolson
8th June 2017
It takes a strong woman to be able to watch someone die.
Brigid Quinn is tough, determined, steely and sharper than sharp. As an ex-agent of the FBI she has seen it all, and survived. But nothing can cut her closer to the bone than family...
When Brigid gets a call from her mother saying her father is in hospital with pneumonia, she decides to check on her former colleague Laura Coleman who is living nearby. Having saved Brigid's life, Laura is now working on an 'innocence project', investigating cold cases. And one in particular seems to have caught her attention. Fifteen years before, Marcus Creighton was accused of killing his wife and three children. Now the state governor has signed the warrant for his execution.
Worried that her friend is getting in too deep, Brigid promises to help. But what if her instincts are betraying her? If she can't even trust her memories of her own childhood, how can she make a call on some stranger's story that took place over fifteen years before?
We’re really enjoying reading Dinah Jefferies at Compelling reads so were thrilled to be asked again to take part in the Blog Tour for her latest novel Before The Rains.
This time Dinah takes us on a journey to India – Eliza is an aspiring photographer, who is widowed but determined to forge ahead in her career. She has connections with India from her childhood, where she tragically witnessed the death of her father, murdered by a bomb from a freedom group. This sets up the political undercurrent of the story, as old traditions struggle against British rule and the fight for freedom from it.
Eliza has returned to photograph the royal family of Rajputana where she meets and is attracted to Prince Jay, second in line to the throne, while he teaches Eliza about Indian culture she shows him the true poverty of his country and inspires him to take up a project of water irrigation. As Eliza grows closer to Jay it isn’t unnoticed by those around and she is discouraged from getting close to him as he is destined to marry well. British diplomat Clifford also has designs on her and in using her to spy on the Royal family.
It’s a complex love story which is cleverly played out to highlight the politics of the time – both sides end up making sacrifices for love and in Eliza’s case she makes a few discoveries about her own identity, as a woman post widowhood and her family history.
It’s a novel which again blends history, romance and the exotic Indian landscape into a captivating story, it’s Dinah’s signature style which works so well and keeps us returning to her stories.
See our other Dinah Jefferies reviews and posts here: http://compellingreads.co.uk/?s=dinah+jefferies
Before The Rains
23rd February 2017
1930, Rajputana, India. Since her husband's death, 28-year-old photojournalist Eliza's only companion has been her camera. When the British Government send her to an Indian princely state to photograph the royal family, she's determined to make a name for herself.
But when Eliza arrives at the palace she meets Jay, the Prince's handsome, brooding brother. While Eliza awakens Jay to the poverty of his people, he awakens her to the injustices of British rule. Soon Jay and Eliza find they have more in common than they think. But their families - and society - think otherwise. Eventually they will have to make a choice between doing what's expected, or following their hearts. . .