White Lies and Wishes by Cathy Bramley

HI guys, and happy Tuesday –  very unexpectedly FREE Tuesday for me. We have a black ice, it’s impossible to move without ice skates, and let’s forget about driving a car. I love my car, and I love driving but today it’s no fun at all, the schools are closed and my boss called me to tell me to stay at home. I like such surprises 🙂 And to make the day even more better, I am absolutely, super dooper excited to welcome you to Cathy Bramley’s blog tour today! I love Cathy incredibly and I couldn’t wait for my stop to share my review of “White Lies and Wishes” with you!

White Lies and Wishes by Cathy Bramley

 

51lyldrcjrl-_sx319_bo1204203200_Publisher: Corgi

Publishing Date: 26th January 2017

Source:  Received from the publisher in return for an honest review, thank you!

Number of pages: 384

Genre: Romance, Women’s Fiction

 Buy the Book: Kindle | Paperback

 

Synopsis:

What happens when what you wish for is only half the story…?

Flirtatious, straight-talking Jo Gold says she’s got no time for love; she’s determined to save her family’s failing footwear business.

New mother Sarah Hudson has cut short her maternity leave to return to work. She says she’ll do whatever it takes to make partner at the accountancy firm.

Bored, over-eating housewife Carrie Radley says she just wants to shift the pounds – she’d love to finally wear a bikini in public.

The unlikely trio meet by chance one winter’s day, and in a moment of ‘Carpe Diem’ madness, embark on a mission to make their wishes come true by September.

Easy. At least it would be, if they hadn’t been just the teensiest bit stingy with the truth…

With hidden issues, hidden talents, and hidden demons to overcome, new friends Jo, Carrie and Sarah must admit to what they really, really want, if they are ever to get their happy endings.

Rating: 4/5

Reading a Cathy Bramley book is like settling down after a stressful, demanding day, like doing something you love to do – her stories are like an unicorn mug of hot chocolate with marshmallows and glitter on top – warm, inviting, making you feel welcome. So it is probably not a surprise for you to hear that I was waiting impatiently for the author’s new release – “White Lies and Wishes”, no? I thought so. I’ve read all Cathy’s books, fell in love with her writing and she’s at the top of my favourite authors list, and I am sure she’s going to stay there for ever and ever. I can’t get enough of her stories and I always repeat: Cathy, please do keep them coming!

This story was a bit different to all the other storylines in Cathy Bramley’s books because it follows not one main female character, but three – three women who unexpectedly meet and become friends. There were moments that I had a feeling I’m reading a book by Lucy Diamond, as she is the champion of writing stories about surprising friendships, and Cathy Bramley has also managed it brilliantly. The women meet at the funeral of their mutual friend’s husband and funeral here or there, but there was one scene that had me in stitches – actually the one when all three met for the first time. There is Jo Gold, who’s running a failing family shoe business but she’s determined to save it. Then there is Sarah Hudson – a new mother who’s juggling coming back to work, baby and staying at home husband. Sarah is a woman with ambitions and the thing she wants most right now is to become a partner in the firm she’s working for. And there is Carrie Radley, married, not working and over – eating her problems. All three of them quickly bond and decide to put together a wish list of things they want to achieve till September – Jo wants to overcome her fear of heights, Sarah wants to be a partner in her firm and Carrie wants to wear a bikini in public. But – are they really truthful? Will they manage? Are those really they real wishes? Will they stay friends?

Now. The characters. I’ve never before had problems to love Cathy Bramley’s immediately and stay like this for the whole duration of reading the book. However, this time, I had some problems to warm to them, to fell for them and to get them. If they bonded so well that they decided to be BFFs, then why hide their real wishes? Also at the beginning they were mostly a bunch of unhappy, moaning women and only after getting to know them better, seeing how they tick and what inspires and drives them, I started to feel more comfortable in their company – however, I still had a niggling and troubling feeling that they are really not honest, with themselves, with each other and with us. Carrie was like enigma, and the dynamics between her and her husband were really weird, and I couldn’t see where they were coming from. Sarah seemed to know what she wants but I all the time had the feeling that she really doesn’t. I think that Jo was the most believable one of them, with her ideas and determination and eventually showing her weakness. And the relationship between them was not as open and friendly as you would expect. I guess it just takes time to trust each other and maybe they just expected too much from their friendship at the beginning?
But my issues apart, the characters were – as always – brilliantly written. Cathy Bramley has made it her hallmark to write the most believable, relatable characters. She can easily get into their heads and tell three different stories in an engaging, light – hearted way. Jo, Sarah and Carrie could be – in fact – any of us, and when reading you can easily nod your head, sigh and tell them you know what they’re feeling because you’ve been there as well. In the end the girls overcame their reservations and it was great to see how much support there is in the air, how they support each other.

The book was very uplifting in tone. I found it great that the girls decided to go for they dreams and weren’t afraid to dream big, even though they hide their true dreams at the beginning. The story also wonderfully describes family and friend’s relationships, shows how hard it is sometimes to cope and basically, tells us how it really is – that life is not only a bed of roses, that you must be prepared to fight for yourself, even if it’s not so easy.

It wasn’t my favourite Cathy Bramley’s book of all time, sadly, but nevertheless it was a gorgeous story about new beginnings and friendship and it for sure will give you a fix of the author’s warm and inviting writing and her gift to write feel – good stories. Altogether, “White Lies and Wishes” was an easy to read book, uplifting story about trials, tribulations and finding courage. It is full of mishaps and misunderstandings, with a romance element to it (of course! And I found it great and captivating, as well as despairing because you’ve seen those two belong together, only they haven’t seen it! Aaaargh! I’m telling you…! But you can trust Cathy Bramley to create a great atmosphere and sparkles). Even though I find Cathy’s previous books better, I still enjoyed this one and I am sure that the readers won’t be disappointed with this lovely story about gaining confidence. Highly recommended!

FOLLOW THE BLOG TOUR!

How to Win Back Your Husband by Vivien Hampshire

How to Win Back Your Husband by Vivian Hampshire

 

33287092Publisher: HQ Digital

Publishing Date: 18th January 2017

Source:  Received from the publisher via NetGalley in return for an honest review, thank you!

Number of pages: 218

Genre: Romance, Women’s Fiction

 Buy the Book: Kindle

 

Synopsis:

The uplifting, feel-good romantic comedy you don’t want to miss!
It’s not over until he says, ‘I do’…

Nicci is throwing a party: she’s getting divorced! The only issue? She isn’t ready to give up on her soon-to-be ex-husband, Mark – and she has thirty days to win him back!

Everyone makes mistakes but Nicci’s was just a little bit bigger. All she has to do is convince Mark that their love is worth fighting for…

Against the odds will Nicci and Mark be able to forget their past, remember their vows and say ‘I do’ to another trip up the aisle?

Perfect for fans of Lindsey Kelk, Cate Woods and Fiona Collins.

Rating: 1.5/5

So guys. I’ve requested this book because the title had immediately caught my eye, and also the synopsis promised it’s going to be the uplifting, feel – good romantic comedy that I don’t want to miss – just something I was in need of – and the cover, so beautiful blue…! When starting to read it I was really thinking yes, just what the doctor ordered.

However, very quickly everything went belly up. The first scene with the cake was relatively funny but that was all. To be honest, I’ve never even smiled when reading the story, let’s forget about the promised “feel – good romantic comedy”. I had a feeling that this whole book is one long whinge, grousing and unhappiness. The characters, Nicci and Mark, spent all of their time thinking they don’t want a divorce but doing nothing, only inner – monologuing. And well… It’s not easy, but let’s talk about Nicci herself. She was acting selfish and childish and probably we should admire her for admitting her mistake to Mark but the only thing I felt to Nicci was indifference and I really didn’t care what’s going to happen with her. she shouldn’t have made this mistake in the first place, right? Maybe it was brave to write a novel centred around such character and such thing, I don’t know, as it could go two ways I think, and for me it just went the wrong way. And also, all the characters felt flat and under – developed. I also couldn’t understand what adding some of the characters should bring to the story, like the old customer of Mark, and really, the birthday party that he attended made me roll my eyes and skip this chapter. Actually, I skipped a lot of this book, only skim – reading it – it just didn’t keep my attention.

I didn’t mean to sound harsh but it is really hard to sing this novel praises and it is probably true that when you have nothing nice to say, than better say nothing – I just think that I should justify my poor rating. When I start reading a book I am full of hope and I can’t explain how disappointed I am that I didn’t enjoy this story as much as I thought. I had great expectations for “How to Win Back Your Husband” and I am incredibly sad that this book didn’t work for me. However I can see that people are enjoying it more than I did, so please don’t feel dispirited and give this novel a go. I will for sure try the author’s next story.