No – One Ever Has Sex at a Wedding by Tracy Bloom

No – One Ever Has Sex at a Wedding by Tracy Bloom

 

43465865Publisher: Bookouture

Publishing Date: 29th March 2019

Series: No – One Ever Has Sex #4

Source:  Received from the publisher via NetGalley, thank you!

Number of pages: 260

Genre: General Fiction, Humour

 Buy the Book:  Kindle | Paperback

 

Synopsis:

In Katy’s opinion, weddings should follow some basic rules:

1) No-one should ever have sex. Of course. The married couple has the rest of their lives for that, and the guests should be too busy partying.

2) If you are heavily pregnant (as Katy is) you should obviously not be invited to three weddings in the space of one summer. Your husband’s accident-prone best friend, your attention-seeking colleague, your 73-year-old mother’s marriage to her Spanish toy boy – all without even an alcoholic drink to make them bearable.

3) During the speeches, it should not be revealed that you had a secret one-night-stand with one of the other guests.

4) Instead of laying bets on the length of the best man’s speech, guests should not be laying bets on whether a marriage will be in ruins before the end of the meal…

But this summer, Katy is lucky enough to be the special guest at the weddings that break ALL of the rules. What could possibly go wrong?

Rating: four-stars

 

Katy is pregnant with her second child and has a problem – there are not only many weddings looming in the future, but Braindead had inadvertently, during his groom speech at his wedding, let the cat out of the bag about the situation that has happened many years ago, and now Alison has kicked Matthew out. So it’s not only that all the friends feel obliged to bring them back together, there is also the joint wedding of Daniel and her own mother. Oh boy.

Dreams comes true, ha? So many of the readers always wanted to read more about Braindead and here we are. “No – One Ever Has Sex at a Wedding” follows the group of our old friends but while the other books were mostly about Katy and Ben, here the author focuses on the other characters as well, and you know what? I really enjoyed it. I’ve got my dose of Katy and Ben but I also satisfied my curiosity when it comes to Matthew, Alison, Braindead, Daniel and co. This time Alison kicks Matthew out and everybody feels obliged to help them see the sense. Each of the characters is involved – Katy because she feels guilty, Ben because he has no other option, Daniel because he loves to be the centre of attention, Ian because he wants to have his flat for himself again, Braindead because he was the reason Alison found out and, as you can expect, chaos arises. But it’s a brilliant chaos, funny and heart-warming, and while it may not be a read that’s going to stay with you for long, it’s a pure entertainment.

This is already a fourth book in the No – One Ever Has Sex and I am not sure if I would advise you to read it as a stand – alone. Simply, you’d miss too much on brilliant reads, but also, even though the most of the key plots from the previous reads are mentioned briefly, I still think that to fully enjoy the story and understand the characters (I’ve noticed some of the reviewers were annoyed with the nickname “Braindead” for example – but those were the ones who haven’t read the previous books before) you should read the books in the right order.

It was a quick, entertaining read that was like a sitcom. There weren’t many detailed descriptions and the events were happening one after another without long and unnecessary introductions, it was more dialogue – orientated and believe me, there were some brilliant conversations throughout the story, the banter was quick, sharp and hilarious. However, guys, this book is not only laugh, there are also some more poignant moments and I liked how the author balanced those moments. Some of the speeches were simply beautiful and unforgettable.
Altogether, “No – One Ever Has Sex at a Wedding” was a funny, undemanding read with a hidden depth, full of shenanigans and embarrassing situations about families, relationships and great friendship, about sticking together through thick and thin. Truly recommended!

 

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Reasons to be Cheerful by Nina Stibbe

Reasons to be Cheerful by Nina Stibbe

 

40664387Publisher: Viking

Publishing Date: 28th March 2019

Source:  Received from the publisher via NetGalley, thank you!

Number of pages: 288

Genre: General Fiction, Women’s Fiction

 Buy the Book:  Kindle | Hardcover

 

Synopsis:

‘When people in the village heard I was about to start working in the city they tried to unsettle me with tales of woe. The sun, blotted out by the tall buildings, couldn’t shine and the rain was poisoned by the toxic fumes that poured from the sock factories. My skin would be covered in pimples from the hell of it all’

So begins a young woman’s journey to adulthood. Lizzie Vogel leaves her alcoholic, novel-writing mother and heads for Leicester to work for a racist, barely competent dentist obsessed with joining the freemasons.

Soon Lizzie is heading reluctantly, if at top speed, into the murky depths of adult life: where her driving instructor becomes her best friend; her first boyfriend prefers birdwatching to sex and where independence for a teenage girl might just be another word for loneliness.

In Reasons to Be Cheerful Nina Stibbe shows her extraordinary gift for illuminating the vital details which make us human. She is that rare writer who makes us laugh whilst reminding us of the joy, and the pain, of being alive.

Rating: four-stars

 

Lizzie Benson, who we met in “Paradise Lodge” and “Man at the Helmet”, finds a job as a dental nurse to a horrible, incapable dentist JP Wintergreen. As it turns out, Lizzie is rather good at the job, she even undertakes some dental work herself. She also moves into the flat above the practice, becomes a fan of the women’s magazines she finds in the waiting room and learns a dental technician she falls for.

The characters were hilarious, but at the same time believable and relatable. Nina Stibbe has nailed the distinctive voice of Lizzie brilliantly and also, her characterizations are perfect and engaging. It was a great joy for me to read this book as it was the third one in the series and I loved to see the characters again – I’ve already grown fond of them and there is something special in them all – you may not like some of them but you still care about them. They’re all brilliantly crafted, no matter if they’re the main or the background ones.

This book is full of ridiculous situations but it doesn’t mean that it is not believable, because it is. Maybe it’s a bit overboard, maybe it’s a bit over the top, maybe we need to read it with a pinch of salt but this is what I expect from Nina Stibbe. The events simply work here, with this bunch of eclectic characters, and it seems natural. The author is great at observing and pays incredible attention to details, and this is what makes the book so outstanding – it might be not the quickest read, the pace is rather slow but the sharp observations and dialogues simply make it an addictive and hooking read. And let’s not forget the dry, sarcastic humour – it’s simply brilliantly clever.

Nina Stibbe brought back the 70s and 80s – music, the way people dressed, the cars. The references were there, the characters spoke like people in those times. This story will be so relatable to many because it touches upon growing up and not really knowing what it is you want to do with your life, and it shows that it’s also OK to simply find your ways as you go.

“Reasons to be Cheerful” was a brilliant and – yes! – cheerful read. It made me smile, it made me laugh, it made me cringe with embarrassment and I loved it. It was a witty, brutally honest and bitter – sweat novel, touching and poignant about coming of age, about family, relationships and grief. It’s brilliantly chaotic but this is why I liked it so much, and I loved the writing style – it’s straight to the point, it’s dry and it’s almost reportage – style but it works perfectly and Nina Stibbe is a great story – teller. If you’re in a need for a smile and chuckle and bonkers characters, do not hesitate – Nina Stibbe is the right person and her books sync up to this descriptions perfectly. Highly recommended!

 

Beautiful Bad by Annie Ward

Beautiful Bad by Annie Ward

 

40722212Publisher: Quercus

Publishing Date: 21st March 2019

Source:  Received from the publisher via NetGalley, thank you!

Number of pages: 400

Genre: Mystery & Thrillers

 Buy the Book:  Kindle | Hardcover | Paperback (out on 19.03.2020)

 

Synopsis:

Maddie and Ian’s romance began when he was serving in the British Army and she was a travel writer visiting her best friend Jo in Europe. Now sixteen years later, married with a beautiful son, Charlie, they are living the perfect suburban life in Middle America.

But when an accident leaves Maddie badly scarred, she begins attending therapy, where she gradually reveals her fears about Ian’s PTSD; her concerns for the safety of their young son Charlie; and the couple’s tangled and tumultuous past with Jo.

From the Balkans to England, Iraq to Manhattan, and finally to an ordinary family home in Kansas, the years of love and fear, adventure and suspicion culminate in The Day of the Killing, when a frantic 911 call summons the police to the scene of shocking crime.

But what in this beautiful home has gone so terribly bad?

Perfect for fans of The Woman in the Window and The Wife Between Us.

Rating: two-stars

 

“Beautiful Bad” starts with a frantic 911 call and it was a great opening, what with the bloody crime scene and the overwhelming feeling of tension. It then switches to 10 weeks before the murder and we are introduced to the main character Maddie who’s currently finding herself in the writing therapy after suffering a head injury and not being able to remember what has happened. She was told by her husband Ian that she’s slipped but the police believe that domestic violence was involved. And so we slowly learn how Maddie and Ian got to know each other in 2001 through her best friend Joanna – the narrative follows this relationship, as well as other significant events that happened in Maddie’s life and makes us ask many questions: why did Joanna always try to convince Maddie she shouldn’t get involved with Ian? Has Maddie really slipped or has there been more to this accident? And whose blood is it, on the kitchen floor?

The story is told from several points of view. Maddie is a travel writer specializing in the countries of Eastern Europe. Her best friend Jo is a relief worker – but I simply couldn’t buy this friendship, there were no warm feelings, no honesty, the relationship lacked in substance – and she introduces Maddie to Ian (who, I must be totally honest, am not sure, he was – a bodyguard?). Ian had visited many countries that we’d usually avoid visiting, seen things that we’d never want to see and this all has affected him in great ways – he was dangerous and aggressive and also addicted to alcohol. Nevertheless, there was an immediate spark between Maddie and Ian and when the story takes us to the present times we see that they’re married and have a son Charlie. However, their marriage doesn’t look like a bed of roses and all signs point to domestic violence.

My main problem was that I simply couldn’t connect with the characters and the plot. It felt as if the first – and very huge – part of this book was an introduction, and then came the sudden end that, at least for me, wasn’t that surprising. Yes, the writing style was beautiful and lyrical almost and it had me under its spell but I wasn’t hooked to the story itself. The characters were not likeable, and I know, you don’t have to like the characters to enjoy the book, of course you don’t have to, but here it simply didn’t work like that – I still need some kind of emotional depth, foothold, I want to be able to immerse myself in the story and characters’ lives, no matter if they’re likeable or not – and I missed this here.

There was a lot happening in this story but still it felt too superficial to me. I’ve never connected with the characters, haven’t been on the same wavelength with them and I mostly felt impatient with the way the story was built. It touched upon many heavy and difficult issues, and I always appreciate that, of course. There were lies, toxic friendship, secrets and also murder, and the author has presented us with the terrifying accounts of the civil wars in different places of the world as well. There were some twists and turns on the way but they didn’t blow me away – and honestly, the unravelling of all of them and the secrets has been overshadowed with presenting the reader with tons of information that, as it turned out, were simply not necessary. Nevertheless, it was interesting psychological story. It was descriptive, and written in a beautiful writing style, with complex – maybe too complex – plot and full of flawed characters. Even if it didn’t work for me it might be a perfect read for you, so just give it a go.

You Can Take Her Home Now by Anna Jefferson

Out today green

You Can Take Her Home Now by Anna Jefferson

 

44031173Publisher: Orion

Publishing Date: 21st March 2019

Source:  Received from the publisher, thank you!

Number of pages: 352

Genre: General Fiction, Parenting, Humour

 Buy the Book:  Kindle | Paperback (out on 16.05.2019)

 

Synopsis:

Hilariously funny and excruciatingly relatable – perfect for fans of THE UNMUMSY MUM, Louise Pentland and Gill Sims.

Emily is sure she’s getting this baby stuff all wrong. Why does everyone else look like they’re smashing motherhood when she’s barely made it out of her maternity leggings and out of the house?

Her other half tries to say all the right things (can’t he just keep making her toast?). Her mum is brilliant (but on the other side of the country). Her two new mum-friends seem to feel like misfits too – but there’s really just one person she wants to open up to . . . only Emily hasn’t spoken to her for fifteen years.

Lonely but not alone, Emily’s about to discover that when you’re starting a family, what you really need are your friends.

Rating: five-stars

 

Emily has just become a mum. She’s overwhelmed with love to her little daughter Lucy but she’s also full of fear – is she doing all the things right or wrong? Is she a good mum? Is this NORMAL that sometimes she dreams of being single and childless again…? Her boyfriend tries to help as well as he can but oh well, he’s almost all the time at work, right? Of course, Emily’s old friends don’t have children so they don’t know what she’s going through – there is one person who could understand her but they haven’t spoken for fifteen years… Emily sets her mind on making new friends and trying to get this whole parenting malarkey under control – but will she manage? 

I loved Emily – from the very beginning, in the labour ward, she felt like my best friend. We have the same way of thinking, she reacted similarly to me in so many situations, we felt the same – she was actually me after I’ve had my baby. . She told how it really is to feel so low, to be angry without a reason with those that you are supposed to love most, how confusing it is to be so… confused, and that really, nobody can prepare you for this what’s to come when your baby arrives. And this all was written in such a brilliant, light – hearted and uplifting way. Of course, I couldn’t help but fell for Emily, feel her pain and confusion and then you I wanted to cheer her on, to give her a pat on her back and tell her that she’s doing a great job and that I’ve been there, I’ve seen this and thank you for telling this out loud.  

What I also liked was the fact that the author didn’t focus so much on Lucy – she was there, of course, and she was adorable, but it was actually a book about Emily. Even though she had a feeling that everybody around her asks her only about Lucy, that every single sentence starts with Lucy and not with her, it was a story about Emily, and I loved it. And the book had a plot! Yes! It was not only about the early parenthood but there were also some twists and turns and unpleasant surprises on the way, and this worked perfectly well together. It touched upon family dynamics, relationships and friendship in a great, down to earth way. And it made me laugh out loud. And I mean, really. So loud that my daughter was asking me what am I reading and can I read it to her too – of course I did! And she laughed as well. How can you not laugh when Emily accidentally high – fived the doctor for example? Or wanted to hurt her boyfriend with a paper – cut on his forehead? Brilliant, simply brilliant things, small things but so accurate and so sharply written, and with my kind of humour. 

This lovely, charming novel perfectly slots into the trend of books about parenthood. You could roll your eyes and say, not another book about a new mum, but believe me, guys, “You Can Take Her Home Now” is absolutely refreshing, hilarious and yes, of course, also brutally honest but it’s a read with a difference as well.


Altogether “You Can Take Her Home Now” was a perfectly relatable book and no matter if you’re a parent or not, you should simply read it! As a mum, I could easily relate to Emily, as a non – parent you will easily enjoy the humour and hilariousness of some of the events and the brilliant, chatty writing style. The story shows that you can’t do a bad job as a parent, so really, don’t worry too much, and if you’re too deep in the dark, dark hole don’t be afraid to admit it. I can whole – heartedly recommend this true – to – life and overwhelmingly feel – good story to you. 

 

Absolutely Smashing It by Kathryn Wallace

Absolutely Smashing It by Kathryn Wallace

 

41uiiujq7vl._sx309_bo1204203200_Publisher: Sphere

Publishing Date: 7th March 2019

Source:  Received from the publisher, thank you!

Number of pages: 320

Genre: General Fiction, Parenting, Humour

 Buy the Book:  Kindle | Hardcover | Paperback (out on 09.01.2020)

 

Synopsis:

***Unmissable, hilarious and kind, this is the first novel from Kathryn Wallace, who blogs as I Know, I Need to Stop Talking***

“SAM! AVA! Get downstairs, NOW. Have you done your TEETH? HAIR? SHOES? Come on, come on, come on, we’re going to be bastarding late again. No, I haven’t seen Lego Optimus Prime, and nor do I give a shit about his whereabouts. Sam, will you stop winding your sister up and take this model of the Shard that I painstakingly sat up and created for you last night so that I wouldn’t be in trouble with your teacher. I mean, so that you wouldn’t be in trouble with your teacher. No, it doesn’t smell of ‘dirty wine’. Well, maybe it does a little bit. Look, Sam, I haven’t got time to argue. Just hold your nose and get in the car, okay? AVA! TEETH! HAIR! SHOES!”

Gemma is only just holding it together – she’s a single parent, she’s turning 40 and her seven-year-old daughter has drawn a cruelly accurate picture which locates Gemma’s boobs somewhere around her knees. So when her new next-door neighbour, Becky, suggests that Gemma should start dating again, it takes a lot of self-control not to laugh in her face.

But Becky is very persuasive and before long Gemma finds herself juggling a full-time job, the increasingly insane demands of the school mums’ Facebook group and the tricky etiquette of a new dating world. Not only that, but Gemma has to manage her attraction to her daughter’s teacher, Tom, who has swapped his life in the City for teaching thirty six to seven year olds spelling, grammar, basic fractions – and why it’s not ok to call your classmate a stinky poo-bum…

It’s going to be a long year – and one in which Gemma and Becky will learn a really crucial lesson: that in the end, being a good parent is just about being good enough.

Rating: five-stars

 

Gemma is a single parent, after her husband (Nick the Dick) decided to go on an adventure of his life (with his secretary), juggling a full – time job and all the usual things you have to juggle in your everyday life. She’s turning forty soon, her boobs are somewhere around her knees on her daughter’s picture and of course she didn’t know she should read at least one hour with her children during the Christmas break… Then Becky moves next – door and they hit it off immediately. She tries to persuade Gemma to start dating again and she’s very persuasive – and so they make a pact that before Gemma turns 40 she will finally have sex and for Becky to land a perfect job.
It’s going to be a long, long year for both Gemma and Becky, what with disastrous dates, job interviews, school, homework and dogs…

I loved Gemma from the very beginning, she was just my kind of girl. Honest, genuine, without beating around the bush, telling things how they really are. She didn’t always manage to make all the things right, she often forgot things and this is why I wanted to high – five her, as she so reminded me of myself. I am also not perfect. I liked her friendship with Becky, who was like a breath of fresh air, albeit very quick and loud breath, also telling the truth direct into your face, no matter if you wanted to hear it or not.
I absolutely, totally loved Gemma’s dates and I am really, really sad that there were only a few of them put in the story. They were hilarious and I could probably read a whole new book only about Gemma’s adventurous meetings.
I also liked that the author didn’t only concentrate on Gemma but also took Becky under scrutiny as well and her struggles to find a job. You could think, Becky, so privileged, with nothing to worry about, successful husband at her side, a total liability of a dog as well, and I really, really applauded her desire to find herself a job. There comes a moment when you simply can’t stand sitting at home and you need to feel like a competent human being again. Becky’s adventures with finding the right place were not only hilarious but also – let’s admit it – sad and awfully relatable, but they only made the book more valuable and real. And I can of course remember taking my daughter to two interviews – however both times I’ve got the job so perhaps she’s brought me luck, but also both of those jobs were to work with children so maybe she was like a bonus point?

I really liked the writing style. It was so light and relatable, and the author has such a great way with words, and her writing is absolutely addictive. It has made me laugh out loud, nodding my head with understanding, roll my eyes and shake my head with disbelief. I must admit, my daughter was thanks god a very brave toddler and small child in comparison to so many others, nevertheless so many situations just rang a bell and it felt so personal. Though I must say that it’s getting serious now as she’s just started school and the whole school runs start to resemble those described by the author – cliques and ignoring each other is just normal. Hallelujah for ma daughter going to school by bus, really – I’m done, those few times that I had to go to school and meet some other parents.
The end of this story was, however, just too fairy tale – ish for me, to be honest. I like a happy end, but this one just too happy in my eyes, and I know, the characters have been struggling through the whole book and sure, they all deserved their own piece of happiness eventually but I’m just saying. As the whole story was so down to earth and so scarily relatable, the end seemed simply too soppy.

It was a hilarious, brutally honest and relatable story that I absolutely and whole – heartedly enjoyed. Personally I can read those funny stories about the challenges of parenthood and #FML moments over and over again, simply because they show me that I. Am. Not. Alone in all this parenthood malarkey, that there are others going through exactly the same things. Brilliantly funny but not too overdone, it was a perfect read for me. Highly recommended!

She Lies in Wait by Gytha Lodge / Blog Tour

She Lies in Wait by Gytha Lodge

 

40232703Publisher: Michael Joseph

Publishing Date: 21st March 2019

Series: DCI Jonah Sheens #1

Source:  Received from the publisher, thank you!

Number of pages: 384

Genre: Mystery & Thrillers

 Buy the Book: Kindle | Hardcover | Paperback (out on 10.01.20)

 

Synopsis:

Get ready for the biggest crime debut of 2019…

Six friends. One killer. Who do you trust?

“A dark, deep, terrific thriller and a scorching portrait of friendship and its betrayal” Nicci French

On a hot July night in 1983, six school friends go camping in the forest. Bright and brilliant, they are destined for great things, and young Aurora Jackson is dazzled to be allowed to tag along.

Thirty years later, a body is discovered. DCI Sheens is called to the scene, but he already knows what’s waiting for him: Aurora Jackson, found at long last.

But that’s not all. The friends have all maintained their innocence, but the body is found in a hideaway only the six of them knew about.

It seems the killer has always lurked very close to home…

Rating: four-stars

 

“She Lies in Wait” has a brilliant synopsis. In July 1983, six teenagers go camping in the woods, but only 5 come back. The 14 – year – old Aurora is missing – her sleeping bag is empty and cold. What has happened? Where has she gone? Who last saw her? Is she alive?
Thirty years later, remains are found in the same wood. Soon it’s confirmed that it’s Aurora Jackson. DCI Sheens and his murder squad re – open the case and start investigation. It soon becomes clear that all members of the group that went camping are hiding truth and that there was much more happening as they first told. Was one of them the killer? Or was there someone else involved?

The story is told in alternating time – lines and the events take place on 23rd July 1983 – it’s my birthday. We slowly experience what happened during the camping trip and 30 years later, with the investigation being open again after the remains of Aurora have been found, watching Jonah and his team investigating. And it was not an easy task, what with the disappearance happening so many years earlier. The past tells us what has happened on this day and introduces us more to Aurora’s character – a very compelling one.

I know that some of the bloggers say that they knew almost immediately what the mystery is but I, well, I didn’t know. Yes, that’s me, the worst and slowest logical thinker in the world, I think I wouldn’t make a great inspector. Honestly, till the very end, when the reveal came and face palmed me I didn’t know who it was – and it’s great, really, that the book kept me in darkness for so long.

I liked this book, really liked, but I wanted it to engage me more, as I’ve never felt a part of this story, and I also couldn’t connect with the characters. Actually, all the time one of the friends was mentioned I wasn’t sure who it was and to whom they belonged – especially the male characters, those two that their names began with “B”, I really didn’t know which one of them is the athlete and who’s the politician. And then a Daniel? Was he one of the “Bs”? I am really not sure what has happened here, why I had those problems, can’t explain them – it’s probably one of the things. And I also missed the tension a bit – the book was not as dark and full of surprising twists as I’d hoped it could be – on the other hand, now I’m writing this, it didn’t have to be tense and dark, so everything is okay here. But the writing was very good, the writing style is the one that immediately draws you in and makes you intrigued, it was flowing and seamless, and I was glued to the pages, so that’s a good sign, right?

The characters seemed unengaged, not interested in what has happened with Aurora, and maybe because of the relatively huge number of them we weren’t given the opportunity to really get to know them, deep, and to find their motives. It looks like each person is protecting the other, not telling truth, trying to hide things and forgetting that it’s about murder. On the other hand, DCI Sheens and his squad were interesting characters, and I really liked their work ethics. They also perfectly complemented each other.

“She Lies in Wait” was a slow burner, a methodical and well build and plotted book. It was thoroughly planned and I had a feeling that every detail in this story was very well considered and that nothing unnecessary wasn’t put into this stale. You shan’t expect many “wow” – moments in this story but on the other hand the way it was written, its slow tempo, the hard core police procedures was addictive and I simply enjoyed it very much. It is a clever, multi – layered book and I desperately wanted to uncover every single layer, heck, it doesn’t happen often guys but I wanted to have a look at the last page to see whodunit – I resisted, of course, but the more thrilling it was to discover the truth. Recommended!

 

FOLLOW THE BLOG TOUR:

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One Summer’s Night byKiley Dunbar / Blog Tour

One Summer’s Night by Kiley Dunbar

 

43721993Publisher: Hera Books

Publishing Date: 6th March 2019

Source:  Received from the publisher via NetGalley, thank you!

Number of pages: 374

Genre: Romance

 Buy the Book:  Kindle

 

Synopsis:

The path of true love never did run smooth…did it?

Kelsey Anderson is stuck in a rut so big, she’ll need a 4-wheel drive to get out. She’s just been made redundant from her dead-end job, and boyfriend Fran is so busy climbing up the career ladder that he’s forgotten how to have fun. She needs to change her life – and fast.

Stumbling across an advert for tour guides in Stratford-Upon-Avon seems like the perfect way to bring the sunshine back. In an impulsive move, she moves from her small Scottish village to Shakespeare’s birthplace, armed only with a suitcase and her battered copy of Shakespeare’s Sonnets.

Kelsey quickly falls in love with the place, her job as a tourist guide allowing her to explore every inch of the picture-perfect town, from cosy cafes to the picturesque banks of the river.

But it’s not just the town that captures her heart, as she finds herself torn between the actors Will and Jonathan who both vie for her affections.

But will beautiful Peony, the lead actress at the Oklahoma theatre company where Jonathan is playing Oberon in A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream, play a role in keeping Kelsey and Jonathan apart?

Or will flirtatious, charming Will, the fellow tour guide who has set his sights on Kelsey, keep the star-crossed lovers from finding their happy ending?

A gorgeously uplifting, feel good romance that will captivate readers of Holly Martin, Cathy Bramley and Milly Johnson.

my-review

 

Kelsey Anderson finds herself in a rut. She’s just lost her job in a camera shop that she truly loved, her long – term relationship with Francis seems to be going downhill and she really doesn’t know what it is she wants to do with her life. She loves taking pictures, she loves Shakespeare and her fondest memory is this of her last holiday as a family in Stratford – Upon – Avon when her dad was still alive. So when she notices an offer to work as a tour guide in Shakespeare’s birthplace what has she got to loose? It’s only for a summer and maybe after this time they will be able to solve their problems with Francis? Her family and her best friend Mirren encourage her to make this move, Francis is not so thrilled… But as it’s only a temporary position, she decides to go.

I absolutely loved the idea of Kelsey working as a tour – guide. I still can’t forget Molly Hopkins’s Evie Dexter’s series, and it’s years since I’ve read them, and they were a real hit, and I hoped for something very similar with “One Summer’s Night”. I really liked the few rounds of sight – seeing that we got, the interaction with the tourist and the way they were organized and I’d love to read more about them. There were hilarious tourists, some embarrassing situations and the eclectic group of the tourist guides – a lovely idea that felt a little too underdeveloped in comparison to Kelsey’s love life and the many things Shakespeare. The author has really well captured the “Olde English” feeling of the place and vividly and scintillatingly described all the places, bringing them to life.

Kelsey was the main character and she was lovely and full of warmth, though I had a feeling that mentally she’s much younger than her age. I liked her relationship with her family but I wanted more maturity there to be honest, and it felt as if she was sheltered from everything her whole life. Yes, of course, she had her own amount of grief in her young life and my heart went for her but the amount of her sobbing in the book was overwhelming. However, she was a good – hearted person, too easily jumping to conclusions and too quickly withdrawing when there was something happening in her life that didn’t go according to plan, and she would be even better a character with a little dose of self – belief, as she was counting on other people’s help too often. She was just a normal girl but it was probably this normality that made her feel so real and likeable – stuck in a rut, not sure what to do with her life and how to do it, uncertain, her dreams of photography long forgotten, her relationship rather stagnant but better such relationship than none, right? But there was still life in the girl, and even though she’s full of fear, she decides to take the opportunity of the tour guide job. Often questioning herself and her abilities but always finding strength in the end to stay upbeat, to find the courage and it was nice to see her eventually finding her feet and making up her mind, making decision.
The other characters were a group of eclectic, colourful people, perhaps too cartoonish sometimes but still likeable and entertaining.

I enjoyed the writing style, it is very vivid and eloquent, and chatty and also somehow poetic and lyrical – an unusual combination but it works wonders here. I could feel the heat of the midsummer, so vivid was it described, and the descriptions of the town were beautiful – it was a lovely escapism. However, eventually, the whole story started to feel too one – dimensional, too flat and honestly a bit too predictable, too clichéd, too neat. I had a feeling when reading it that I’ve been there and I’ve seen it all.

“One Summer’s Night” covered swelteringly hot summer in Stratford – Upon – Avon, romance, affairs, a great amount of confusion and jumping to conclusions so if you’re looking for an easy, predictable romance with straightforward characters, it’s a book for you. It was a warm, feel – good and uplifting read with some unforgettable moments and gorgeous descriptions.

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