More Than a Feeling by Cate Woods

More Than a Feeling by Cate Woods

 

41213431Publisher: Quercus

Publishing Date: 27th December 2018

Source:  Received from the publisher, thank you!

Number of pages: 432

Genre: Women’s Fiction

 Buy the Book:  Kindle | Paperback

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

‘Cate Woods is laugh-out-loud funny and life affirming’ Closer. The second novel from Cate Woods, author of the laugh-out-loud bestseller Just Haven’t Met You Yet.

In her twenties, Annie Taylor was sorted: she had her dream job, an amazing social life and was happily single. She had bags of confidence and played up her likeness to a young Barbra Streisand in turbans and winged eyeliner. Annie knew exactly who she was, and her future looked bright and full of adventures.

Life, however, hasn’t turned out quite how she expected. Now 33, Annie is living with her boyfriend Luke and is a stay-at-home mum to their baby daughter, Dot. The promising photography career has petered out, and with it her confidence and creativity. And when Luke does the unforgivable, Annie finds herself suddenly, terrifyingly, on her own. With the help of her group of loyal friends, Annie faces the challenge of building a new life for herself and Dot – while at the same time trying to reconcile the glamorous, carefree Annie of old with the knackered mum-of-one she sees in the mirror today. Is old Annie gone forever, or could this finally be the chance to find herself once more?

Rating: three-stars

Annie Taylor lives in London with her partner and their four – months – old daughter Dot. She used to be a fashion photographer and spent her time between work and partying. However, this changed after a family tragedy. When she thinks she’s come to terms with her life and plucks up the courage to be happy, she finds out that Luke has been cheating on her. Annie leaves, and now it’s a question of what it is she wants to do with her life – get a job, find a place to live, rediscover the old Annie…?

The characters were relatively well drawn, though, to be honest, I didn’t feel any connection with them. The way Annie changed, from the colourful, wild and free bird into the cautious, prudent person after her parents died didn’t feel too natural, and I really had a feeling she doesn’t feel comfortable in her own skin. It took her a lot of time to eventually realize what it is she wants, however all the dilemmas and wondering and comparing the Annie from then and the Annie from now simply didn’t sit with me and they didn’t correspond with Annie. It was as if the death of her parents was simply an excuse, though I’m not sure from what. I also understand there must have been the will they/won’t they cat and mouse play, to make the story unpredictable and excitable, but oh my word, guys, I beg you… Half of the book was about Annie wondering what to do, even though it was obvious what she should do and what Luke is up to.

The story felt very repetitive and slow, I eventually found myself skim – reading, skipping passages to finally arrive at some action. I also had a feeling that the author has just tried too much, with everything – characters that in the end turned out very stereotyped, with plot that didn’t bring anything new, with humour that unfortunately felt much too forced and didn’t make me laugh. I couldn’t wait for Annie to FINALLY, EVENTUALLY make up her mind, at anything at all. The way she always hoped everything will sort itself out till the next time was annoying – she was 31years old, for God’s sake, you can’t live avoiding confrontations or hoping that all the bad or uncomfortable things will melt away in the air. So sadly, very sadly, I didn’t enjoy this book as I hoped I’m going to, and Cate Woods’s debut novel “Just Haven’t Met You Yet” was much, much better. But the book altogether was not bad, oh no, guys, don’t get me wrong. It was funny, it had its moments, actually when I couldn’t sleep last night I’ve remembered something from the novel that made me smile, and the author is a brilliant story teller, she writes in a vivid and descriptive way and she delivered a light – hearted story full of your usual trials and tribulations, ups and downs. The plot felt tired but there was a lot of potential and I am already looking towards Cate Woods’s third book.

 

Advertisements

The Mother of All Christmases by Milly Johnson / Blog Tour

The Mother of All Christmases by Milly Johnson

 

40200649Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Publishing Date: 15th November 2018

Source:  Received from the publisher, thank you!

Number of pages: 528

Genre: Women’s Fiction

 Buy the Book:  Kindle | Paperback

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Eve Glace – co-owner of Winterworld – is pregnant.  This sends the whole of the theme park into baby mania, especially as the baby’s due date is 25th December. But their joy is soured by the fact it appears someone is trying to sabotage the Christmas celebrations.

Annie Pandoro and her husband Joe own a small Christmas cracker factory, are well set up and happy together despite life never blessing them with a much-wanted child.  Now, Annie thinks she is going through the menopause and any vestige of hope has been extinguished.

Palma Collins has agreed to act as a surrogate, hoping the money will give her a helping hand out of the gutter in which she finds herself.  But when the couple split up just after she finds out she is pregnant, she is left carrying a baby she never wanted in the first place.

Annie, Palma and Eve all meet at the ‘Pudding Club’, a new directive started by a forward-thinking young doctor, who was Palma’s first love at school.  Though their lives have gone in very different directions, will this group help each other to find happiness and peace as Christmas approaches?

Rating: five-stars

“The Mother of all Christmases” by Milly Johnson – when you read this book you’ll appreciate how adequate this title is! – follows stories of three very different women, Palma, Eve and Annie. Palma is the one from the wrong side of the town and with a painful past and finds herself in a very difficult situation. Because of her financial troubles she agrees to become a surrogate for a couple who can’t have children. Eve and her husband Jacques run the Christmas themed Winterworld park and are up to their noses with organizing things. Eve knows her husband want a baby with his all heart and well, she doesn’t say no as well, but there is never the right moment for a baby, right? And Annie and her husband Joe, who run a cracker company have been desperate for a baby all their life but it just never happened. There were failed IVFs, a failed adoption and well, they came to terms with the fact that it’s only the two of them. Until it turns out that it’s not the menopause Annie thinks it is.
The three women meet at the Christmas Pudding Club, a club for pregnant women, and they hit it off immediately – their friendship start and they go together through happy and hard times, and there are going to be plenty of those for them.

I don’t know how Milly Johnson does it but each and every book of hers is simply brilliant – she for sure keeps her standard high, and “The Mother of all Christmases” is another cracker (pun intended) from this author. This book was so full of surprising moments, there were twists that I haven’t seen coming and that broke my heart more than once, but then mended it again. It made me cry ugly tears and it made me laugh out loud. It was clever, poignant, uplifting and simply beautiful.

What I found so brilliant and clever was the fact that we already know some of the characters in the book, and not only this, but also The Daily Trumpet, with all its hilarious spelling errors is back. Eve and Winterworld we’ve got to know in “A Winter’s Flame”, as well as some other characters and places from Milly’s previous books and it was so nice to be back with them, to see what’s happened to them and how they’re doing.
However, no worries, it is absolutely a stand – alone novel! But it’ll only make you wish you had read the other books as well, so be prepared, and maybe have the books on pre – order already, if not at your side already.

There are relatively many characters being introduced to us in this book but I coped! Actually, very easily. I had no problems to quickly get who is who, why and to whom they belong. All the characters tell their own, beautiful, sometimes very poignant, stories. The female leading characters Palma, Annie and Eve, even though they don’t know each other yet, have one thing in common – they’re all find themselves pregnant. It took some time for all of them to realize that they’re pregnant, especially in Eve’s case, and yes, she made me feel desperate at the fact that she didn’t notice/didn’t want to notice things that were obvious but well, she had her reasons. All the pregnancies were different – one that might be considered a controversial one, then a very unexpected one, and one simply a nice surprise. I loved all of the three characters though, probably not surprisingly, my heart went to Palma. Her story was so heart – breaking and it will probably stay with me for a very long time yet.
And I must mention one of the male characters – Tom. Guys, he was Mr. Perfect. Milly Johnson has so brilliantly captured the essence of him and has made him, a boxer, so human and so vulnerable, and the things he said to Palma… well, if somebody told me such things I’d print them, put them in frames and hang them on the wall.
The thing with Milly Johnson is that, even if it’s crystal clear that she herself loves her own characters, she gives them all her whole heart and soul, and she makes their lives happy and lets them look optimistically into their futures – then bang, and something happens. Something unexpected, something that turns their worlds upside down. There is actually a tension detectable through the pages, I personally couldn’t shake off the feeling that something bad is going to happen, and I kept everything crossed that it won’t happen. It doesn’t happen often that I’m so deeply involved in the characters and their lives, but in this book I actually lived and experienced things together with them, I fell for them and I couldn’t bear the thought that something could go wrong for them.

“The Mother of all Christmases” deals with many issues, some of them lighter, some heavier, and with Milly Johnson’s writing that is full of heart you’ll find yourself laughing, crying, smiling and laughing again. It is truly Milly Johnson at her best. She deals with the stuff that life throws at her characters in such a down – to – earth, casual way, she’s not afraid of throwing many challenges at her characters, of making their lives complicated and difficult. It is so well written, so full of events and there is not a single flat moment, the story is just flowing and you together with it. It was a story about friendship, sisterhood, loss, love, grief, relationships, second chances and many other things, beautifully and seamlessly binding all the threads and events together. It didn’t feel too overloaded, the pace was perfect and you’ll quickly find yourself engaged in the characters’ lives. Highly recommended!

FOLLOW THE BLOG TOUR:

blog-tour-12-days-of-christmas-banner