The Other Sister by Elle Croft / Blog Tour

The Other Sister by Elle Croft

 

 

the-other-sisterPublisher: Orion

Publishing Date: 18th October 2018

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

Number of pages: 304

Genre: Mystery & Thrillers

Buy the Book: Kindle | Paperback

 

 

Synopsis:

How far would you go…

Gina Mills is desperate to be a newsreader, but her boss – the director of the struggling Channel Eight, won’t help.

Walking home one night, Gina stumbles upon a dead body, and after calling the police, she makes the split-second decision to report the murder live.

When questioned by the police, Gina can’t remember specific details about her discovery, but these memory gaps are explained away as shock.

…to uncover your family’s deadly secret?

But when Gina finds a second body, it’s clear she’s being targeted. But why?

And how is this connected to the death of Gina’s younger sister so many years ago?

Fans of Friend Request by Laura Marshall, Sweet Little Lies by Caz Frear, The Mistake by KL Slater, The Secret Mother by Shalini Boland and The Angel by Katerina Diamond will love The Other Sister.

Rating: four-stars

Gina Mills dreams of being a newsreader but right now she’s stuck at her PA job at Channel 8. She has reconnected with her brother, Ryan, after many years of radio silence, following the death of their younger sister Cassie. One night Gina walks home and comes across a body of a young woman. Yes, she does what’s required, calls the emergency number, but also logs into Channel 8 Facebook account and reports the murder live online – this must please her boss, right? But this decision is going to change her life in many different ways, and both good and bad attention comes her way. And then she discovers another body… Is it accidental? Or is someone targeting her? Is it connected with the events from her childhood?

The characters in this book are deeply flawed. They’re not likeable – you may feel pity or sorry for them but I don’t think it’s possible to like them. They’re full of dark secrets, they lie and are putting the blame on other people. But they are wonderfully, brilliantly complex and not straightforward, they are challenging and this is how I liked them to be. The story is told from a few points of view, those of Gina, Ryan, their mother Sharon, and also Adam, the police officer investigating the crimes. Our main character Gina is a very colourful one, and she made me feel confused many, many times. I really wasn’t sure if she’s honest, if she’s playing, or if she really has such a bad luck, and I really liked this, her not being straightforward but complicated and complex.  The story jumps between 1996 and the present and the pieces of information are scattered and slowly – but not too slowly – being dosed to us to eventually show us a picture that I’ve never seen coming.

I think I’ve never before came across this method of murder – to be honest, it made me feel such disgust, and even more so when the author, in a very detailed way explained the motives of those murders. Yes, I can probably see that this modus operanti may rise an eyebrow or two but let’s be honest, finally it was something different, something totally unique and unexpected, and it worked for me.
The writing style is captivating, flowing so seamlessly and effortlessly, in a great and compelling way peeling off  layer after layer, slowly putting the puzzle together, until we reach the finale. On the one hand, I wanted more from the ending, on the other it was great end that – please don’t judge me – made me smile under my breath. Sure, this story could be better in some aspects, there were moments it felt too far – fetched and some of the events and things happened just too conventionally but it kept me hooked and this is what counts.

For me personally this book was better than “The Guilty Wife”. It was a real page – turner that I couldn’t put down – well, I’ve read it in about eight hours, continuing deep into the night and all the time repeating “only one chapter more”. It was dark, twisty and unpredictable psychological thriller. The author has managed to pull wool over my eyes to be honest – I was extremely sure that I know who’s the killer and why and I think I don’t have to mention that I was wrong. Very wrong. I somehow guessed the “why” but not the “who”. I adored the way the author has made her plot so complex, throwing suspicions on different characters, once making them vulnerable and scared and in the next moment adding a red herring  that would change my mind about them. There were so many questions: why does someone murder the women? Why is it always Gina finding them? Is it a coincidence? Is she the target of the killer? What’s going to happen??? It was full of tension and suspense, secrets and intrigues and a totally surprising outcome.

I’ve raced through the pages, literally. I was totally engrossed in this compelling and gripping story. It was not only the pace that made me read so quickly, it was the plot, the characters , the changing moods and this feeling of uncertainty, of something bad that was going to happen, of simply wanting to reach the conclusion as quickly as possible. It was twisty, but not in your usual psychological thrillers way, Ms Croft has twisted her plot in the most clever, compelling and original way. It was very dark and also very literal, some of the descriptions may be putting off,  but just close your eyes and read further. “The Other Sister” is a book that’ll make you want more and more, to see more and more, to hear more. You’ll feel disgusted but also, in a teasing, sadistical way it won’t be enough for you. It was so refreshingly original, captivating, addictive and be warned –  it’s going to chew you  and spit you out  and yet you’ll still want more and more. Highly recommended!

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No One Cancels Christmas by Zara Stoneley

No One Cancels Christmas by Zara Stoneley

 

 

40496936Publisher: HarperImpulse

Publishing Date: 19th October 2018

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

Number of pages: 269

Genre: General Fiction (Adult), Romance

 Buy the Book:  Kindle | Paperback

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

A holiday she’ll remember forever…
It’s the most magical time of the year, and for travel agent Sarah it’s also the busiest! But this year one man threatens to ruin Christmas for Sarah’s customers – Mr Grinch, Will Armstrong.

The Shooting Star Mountain resort is a magical place, and Sarah has fond memories of Christmas here as a little girl – visits to Father Christmas, husky rides in the snow and hot chocolate by a roaring fire. But as the resorts new owner, Will refuses to play snowball or to deck the halls with anything remotely resembling tinsel!

With customers complaining their Christmas is ruined, Sarah decides it’s up to her to convince Scroogey Will just how magical Christmas can be….

But getting Will into the Christmas spirit is hopeless – he is Bah Humbug personified! But as Sarah gets to know him better, she realises that underneath all the gloom is a man struggling with a pain of his own.

With the big day approaching, Sarah realises that the magic and sparkle can wait. This year, she’s going to spend Christmas day with someone special her very own Mr Scrooge…

Rating: four-stars

In “No One Cancels Christmas”, a new festive book by Zara Stoneley that brings back some of the characters from her previous novel “The Wedding Date” but is another stand – alone, we are introduced to Sarah, running her aunt’s travel agency. Following some very bad reviews of one of their resorts, the Shooting Star Mountain in Canada, that promises atmospheric, unforgettable Christmas but, as it turns out, the only thing they offer are cold cabins and no Christmas tree, Sarah decides to fly over to check the situation. Some of Sarah’s most painful, but also most beautiful, memories are connected with this resort. Will she be able to leave her past behind? And to bring back the resort’s high and established reputation?

As always, Zara Stoneley presents us with the most gorgeous descriptions of the characters and the setting. I love Canada and it is my biggest dream to travel there one day, and so I couldn’t be happier to read a book set in there, and even more during Christmas, and the author has done me proud with her vivid descriptions – I could easily picture the landscape covered in snow, the mountains, the snow crunching under your feet and the sun shining.

The characters were all full of live and they were really easy to like – even though it took me some time to get used to Sarah, to be honest. I think she didn’t start in this story too promising, I’m not sure why, I can’t put my fingers on it, she just felt too childish for me, but she’s developed through the novel and I simply adored her enthusiasm and passion, her spontaneity and her bossy ways around the brothers.
Ed has made me feel desperate, though there were tons of charm to him, and yes, I could understand the fascination all the women felt when in his company. His brother Will, the grumpy one, the Grinch, was his total opposite but guys, believe me, you could immediately see that there is so much more to him than meet the eye at first, and I was impatiently waiting to discover what has happened to make him behave like this. He had a great sense of humour, though, our Will, the emails exchange between him and Sarah were absolutely brilliant.
Sarah and Will worked together brilliantly but there wasn’t this sparkle between them that would make me go weak at my knees and all swoony – I am probably spoiled by reading so many books where the chemistry is so well captured – although I am not saying that it wasn’t great. It was, but for me it missed the final touch, and the switch from enemies to lovers happened too sudden for my liking and made it feel a little bit unbelievable.

After Sarah’s friends arrived in Canada the story slowed down for me and wasn’t as entertaining. Yes, there were still some great and hilarious scenes but it started to feel a little too flat and dragging on, especially the blossoming romance. But, having said that, I can assure you that this book was a fantastic, festive read and it brought me tons of joy – it was one of Zara Stoneley’s best stories, to be honest.
It was full of romance that felt even more romantic because of the gorgeous surroundings. The writing style was so, so good, easy to follow, light and inviting, so really, the book has it all – festive mood, gorgeous, wintery landscapes, some lovely huskies and cheeky cat, moody and broody men and brilliant winter Shooting Star Mountain resort in Canada, a quirky and bouncy leading character, was full of hilarious scenes and has a depth – what more would you want? Nothing – exactly! Just grab “No One Cancels Christmas” as soon as it’s out because I am sure you’re guys are all going to love it – it’s full of warmth, hope, snow and humour. Recommended!

 

An Island Christmas by Jenny Colgan

An Island Christmas by Jenny Colgan

 

 

39704349Publisher: Sphere

Publishing Date: 18th October 2018

Series: Summer Seaside Kitchen #3 (read my review of Book 1 here and Book 2 here)

Source:  Received from the publisher, thank you!

Number of pages: 400

Genre: General Fiction (Adult)

 Buy the Book:  Kindle | Paperback

 

 

Synopsis:

Christmas on the remote Scottish island of Mure is bleak, stark – and incredibly beautiful.

It’s a time for hunkering down, getting cosy in front of whisky barrel wood fires, and enjoying a dram with the people you love – unless, of course, you’re accidentally pregnant to your ex-boss, and don’t know how to tell him. In what should be the season of peace and goodwill on earth, will Joel think Flora is a bearer of glad tidings?

Meanwhile Saif, the doctor and refugee from war-torn Syria is trying to enjoy his first western Christmas with his sons – but without his missing wife. Can the little family possibly find comfort and joy?

Travel to the beautiful northern edge of the world and join the welcoming community of Mure for an unforgettable Christmas.

Rating: five-stars

Flora lives on Mure and she runs the Seaside Kitchen, the most beloved cafe that offers the most delicious things ever. Her boyfriend Joel, the one who’s American, a high – flying lawyer with quite a few issues from his childhood finally start to open and feel happy. But then something happens – how are they going to cope with it?
Dr Seif and his two boys are still trying to settle into their new family life on the island, and even though the villagers are so welcoming, do they feel like at home? Maybe the school nativity play is going to help? Or not? Will the lovely doctor finally find peace and happiness on Mure?
And Fintan and Colton, who’s terminally ill, and then a very unexpected guest arrive – how are they going to cope with all the things that fate and life thro at them?

The Summer Seaside Kitchen series by Jenny Costello must be one of my favourite series ever and I would love to see more and more of them – and after reading the newest book “An Island Christmas” I see a lot of place and potential for another story. Or two. This book could be read as a stand alone but only just, and I would really heartily recommend reading all the other previous stories – they’re simply gorgeous, you’d miss beautiful stories and to get the characters and what make them tick it’s just better to read them in order.

It was brilliant to be back on Mure, this beautiful and wild island and this being December it showed us also the other face of it – darkness, never ending winds but still there was such a beauty to it, but the author so lovely and lovingly brings it to life and the descriptions of it, and the weather, and how it was like living there were atmospheric, vivid and it was such a great thing to see that the island somehow adjust to the things and events that happen to the characters.

Next to the characters that I know are going to stay with me for ever, I think, they all truly have place in my heart and that I adored to see again, the author introduces us to some new ones. I love how Jenny Colgan creates her characters – they may seem horrible and unpleasant but she still lets them open and blossom and in the end you’re going to love all of them, no matter what. I adored how they all seem rough and as if they don’t give a damn but in fact they all have hearts in the right places, they’re warm and quirky and genuine. I think I have already said it in my reviews of the previous books but the characters are exceptional – realistic, so different to each other, they represent different views and ideas, they have different life goals and this all makes the reading so much more interesting and deep.

Of course, I ended reading in tears. Jenny Colgan has such incredible way with words that they simply touch at your heartstrings and strike in all the right places.
As in the previous books in the series, here the author also touches upon heavier issues, and the way she writes about them, guys, it’s indescribable. She mixes lightness and sadness and seriousness in such a way that you would never expect. It was a special book, in many ways, poignant and cleverly funny, heartbreaking and heart – warming and I literally couldn’t put it down. Full of Christmas and festive mood, wonderful and full of heart characters, and not only the main ones but also the villagers of Mure have made me cry, as they’re simply amazing. It was one great rollercoaster of emotions and it’s really hard to do this book justice with a short review. Just treat yourself to it, you’re going to love it!

Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty

Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty

 

39325227Publisher: Michael Joseph

Publishing Date: 4th October 2018

Source:  Received from the publisher, thank you!

Number of pages: 448

Genre: General Fiction (Adult)

 Buy the Book: Kindle | Hardcover | Paperback (out on 04.04.2019)

 

Synopsis:

One house. Nine strangers. Ten days that will change everything . . .

FROM THE WORLDWIDE #1 BESTSELLING AUTHOR BEHIND EMMY- AND GOLDEN GLOBE-WINNING HBO SERIES BIG LITTLE LIES AND SMASH-HIT NOVEL THE HUSBAND’S SECRET

AS FEATURED ON RADIO 4’S BOOK AT BEDTIME . . .

The retreat at health-and-wellness resort Tranquillum House promises total transformation.

Nine stressed city dwellers are keen to drop their literal and mental baggage, and absorb the meditative ambience while enjoying their hot stone massages.

Miles from anywhere, without cars or phones, they have no way to reach the outside world. Just time to think about themselves, and get to know each other.

Watching over them is the resort’s director, a woman on a mission. But quite a different one from any the guests might have imagined.

For behind the retreat’s glamorous facade lies a dark agenda.

These nine perfect strangers have no idea what’s about to hit them . . .

Rating: four-stars

“Nine Perfect Strangers” follows a group of totally different characters, such as a romance writer, teacher, midwife, retired sportsman and newly lottery winners at their 10 day wellness retreat. All of them check in under different ulterior motives, looking for different answers but all of them hoping to appear brand new people and to transform their lives. However, they do not expect that they are all in great danger… The owner of the health and wellness resort has something very unique in store for them…

All the characters were so incredibly human. Their stories were moving and poignant, and so very close to life. We have a washed up romance novelist Florence Welty, and it’s not only her career that is in jeopardy, but also her boyfriend has disappeared. Ben and Jessica are a young married couple who has tons of money but they don’t seem to be able to enjoy them and their lives. Schoolteacher Napoleon is there with his wife Heather and daughter Zoe, the whole family weighed down by guilt and grief. Tony, a former football star, divorced and lonely as lately he has lost his beloved dog. Carmel has four young daughter, in the course of divorce and losing not only a husband to a younger woman but also her own self – esteem and confidence. Lars is a family lawyer, representing only women. Then there are Yao and Delilah, the resort’s primary staff members, and Masha Dmitrichenko herself – a Russian immigrant who, after her near – death experience decided to change her life completely and started Tranquillum House. So many strangers, together in one house.
The group dynamics, when people with so little in common are thrown together, and then find themselves in extreme circumstances and have to interact with each other, was brilliantly captured and developed. Their actions and reactions might have been surprising, or cringe – worthy but they were genuine, coming from the bottoms of their hearts. The author’s ability to bring all the characters to life, to dissect their feelings, thoughts and emotions is simply extraordinary.

This book was a very slow burner. Very. Actually, it was the last quarter that felt incredibly fast and the tension was unendurable. However, don’t be put off by this. The author can easily and effortlessly take you on the journey and you just sunk slowly into the story and suspense. Yes, for the most of time we get to know the characters, their lives, what makes them tick – it’s a very character – orientated book, but don’t forget it is written by Liane Moriarty, so not only the characters are brilliantly developed but there are many surprises to them – they are like your friends, sometimes neurotic, sometimes snobby or silly but they just feel like friends. I think I can’t say that I had my favourite character – they were all so different, they had flaws and secrets but to be honest I think I even liked Masha, with all her extravagance and craziness – however, I missed the explanation what was hidden under Masha’s decisions. It was unclear to me. Why did she do something like this? Yes, indirectly, as we got to know her background and her story it was probably the factor but directly I haven’t found my answer to this question. What were her motives? But altogether, the characters were all so complex and so refreshingly unique and it was a great joy to get to know them slowly and gradually as the story continued.
As I have already mentioned, the group dynamics are so perfectly captured by the author. To create nine main characters, or even more, as we also have Masha, Yao and Delilah, and make them so distinctive can’t be an easy job. You are quickly going to find yourself completely immersed in their lives and stories, caught up in their attempts to heal and holding your breath at the very unexpected challenges that are coming their way.

“Nine Perfect Strangers” was entertaining and thought – provoking, refreshing and unique. Though I must admit that I’m having troubles to fit this book into any particular genre – it is a mix of a few of them, as you have a mystery, a bit of romance, suspense together with drama and funny moments. It was unpredictable and surprising, the way the story went, and altogether the slow burning, the slowly revealing layer after layer piecing everything together kept me on my tenterhooks. It was full of fun, much heavier issues and also what the hell moments and Liane Moriarty’s writing style and the way she created the story is simply superb. A story about love and hate, loss and gain, shame, guilt, addiction and insecurity that I highly recommend.

Love and Lies at the Village Christmas Shop by Portia MacIntosh

Love and Lies at the Village Christmas Shop by Portia MacIntosh

 

 

51ox8tjo2ol-_sx311_bo1204203200_Publisher: HQ Digital

Publishing Date: 8th October 2018

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

Number of pages: 208

Genre: General Fiction (Adult), Women’s Fiction, Romance

 Buy the Book:  Kindle | Paperback

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Blast the Michael Bublé, wrap your hands around a cinnamon latte and enjoy this warm, hilarious Christmas novel!

Ivy loves Christmas. As owner of Christmas Every Day, the year-round festive store, you’d expect nothing less!

The only thing missing in Ivy’s life is a dash of romance – something her twin sister Holly will not let her forget…

When her mother passed away, Ivy vowed to take over the running of her mother’s store and keep the Christmas spirit alive in the idyllic seaside town of Marram Bay.

But all this changes when an enigmatic businessman moves to the town, threatening to bulldoze her beloved shop to make way for holiday complex.

Can Ivy save her shop before Christmas? Could there be a different side to the newest resident of Marram Bay that would make all her Christmas wishes come true?

The brand new laugh-out-loud romantic comedy from bestseller Portia Macintosh. Perfect for fans of Zara Stoneley and Tilly Tennant.

Rating: four-stars

 

 Ivy and Holly are two very different twins – while Holly hates Christmas, Ivy lives and breaths Christmas. Their mum has started a Christmas shop that is open all year round and after her death Ivy takes it over – and she couldn’t be happier to work there. However, the shop is now in danger, as the owner of the building is selling up and moving away. Smooth operator Seb enters the scenes here – he wants to buy the place, demolish the shop and build something else there. Moreover, he’s very charming and it looks like the whole Marram Bay is under his spell. Ivy tries everything to raise the money to keep her shop – but can she save it? 

I thought we’re going to hear more from the characters from the first book in the series but except for one or two scenes including Lily and Prue there was nothing more – this book totally focuses on brand new characters that I immediately grew fond of. I loved Ivy – she was probably one of my most favourite characters ever, such laid – back and relaxed and full of the greatest one – liners, and so, so realistic and real! I really felt as if I can reach out with my hand and touch her.  

An open all year round Christmas shop – isn’t it a brilliant idea? And it was only the first festive thing in this novel. We then have twins Holly and Ivy, all the festive food you can think about, decorating trees, Christmas Festivals, Santa shenanigans … and yet it was not too festive overwhelming, thanks god, however a brilliant start to all the festive books slowly coming my way, tadah. It was full of brilliant, incredibly funny scenes and the tasting the Christmas Cake will probably stay with me forever, as well as the kissing booth and golden retriever, to name only a few.  

Portia MacIntosh has a talent to create characters that are full of life and that rarely give up but are also realistic, and it was the same this time as well. Ivy, living and breathing Christmas, was so optimistic and so bouncy and it was impossible not to like her. I absolutely loved the way she was thinking and how fair she was, she wanted to save her shop but she was also willing to take another look and see other options – however, I also loved the fire in her and that, even though she’s seen those other options, she always came up with brilliant ideas to help her keep her mum’s heritage. She was smart and funny and not taking herself too seriously. Her sister Holly was an absolute opposite of Ivy re: Christmas but as likeable as Ivy. The one and only Gaz and his never – ending attempts to chat up a girl and on the other hand such a lovely Santa. And Seb with his Lamborghini and plans, such enthusiastic and down – to – earth – all of them, as well as the supporting characters, were absolutely fantabulous and incredibly easy to like, even if they were planning on demolishing some beloved shops or trying to sabotage those plans. 

There was of course a hidden depth to it, and it had some very poignant moments, but on the whole it was a funny, entertaining novel. The banter between the characters was so natural and easy, the writing style was light – hearted and I was hooked from the very first page till the end. It was heart – warming and oh so romantic without being too saccharine. A lovely story about families, relationships, chances and finding what it really is what you want from life. It was not too complicated and a little predictable but full of other perks that made me appreciate it so much. Don’t be surprised when you’ll feel like curling up in front of your fire – place with a cup of hot chocolate and looking to put your Christmas lights on when reading “Love and Lies at the Village Christmas Shop”! Truly recommended.

Only Child by Rhiannon Navin (re – post)

Only Child by Rhiannon Navin

 

4124wlfzosl-_sx326_bo1204203200_Publisher: Pan

Publishing Date: 4th October 2018

Source:  Received from the publisher, thank you!

Number of pages: 384

Genre: General Fiction (Adult)

 Buy the Book:  Kindle | Paperback

 

 

 

Synopsis:

“Perfect for fans of Room… a heartbreaking but important novel.” —Real Simple

Readers of Jodi Picoult and Liane Moriarty will also like this tenderhearted debut about healing and family, narrated by an unforgettable six-year-old boy who reminds us that sometimes the littlest bodies hold the biggest hearts and the quietest voices speak the loudest.

Squeezed into a coat closet with his classmates and teacher, first grader Zach Taylor can hear gunshots ringing through the halls of his school. A gunman has entered the building, taking nineteen lives and irrevocably changing the very fabric of this close-knit community. While Zach’s mother pursues a quest for justice against the shooter’s parents, holding them responsible for their son’s actions, Zach retreats into his super-secret hideout and loses himself in a world of books and art. Armed with his newfound understanding, and with the optimism and stubbornness only a child could have, Zach sets out on a captivating journey towards healing and forgiveness, determined to help the adults in his life rediscover the universal truths of love and compassion needed to pull them through their darkest hours.

 

Rating: five-stars

 

“Only Child” is Rhiannon Navin’s debut novel and it a powerhouse of a book. It’s very easy to fell immediately in love with the main character Zach, with his innocence and the way he sees the world. And it is for sure not another school shooting story – there is much more to it and I hope it’s going to open people’s eyes.

This powerful novel deals with the aftermath of a school shooting. Told from the point of view of a six – year – old Zach Taylor who survived it, hidden in the class cupboard with other classmates by their teacher Miss Russell. The shooter killed 19 people and when Zach is reunited with his parents, Melissa and Jim, they find that his older brother Andy is nowhere to be found. Later it turns out that he is one of the victims of the shooter, the son of the school security guard, Charles Ranalez.

“Only Child” is a second book in a very short time that I’ve read told from a child’s point of view. The other one was a 4 – year – old girl and here we have a six – year – old Zach, and while his view of the world is innocent and realistic, just like this of a schoolboy, there was one thing that bothered me, as sometimes the narration was much too adult for him. If I wrote a book from a child’s perspective than I think I should keep the narration adequate to his age. However, Zach’s character is of course believable, his actions and reactions appropriate for his age. He really shows the adults what’s important, he teaches them the lesson that they desperately need. He was honest and innocent and telling things how they were.

The story of Zach was heart – breaking. His emotions and feelings were so brilliantly described and there was nothing more I wanted than to slap his mother, hard, really hard. I mean, I can’t put myself in her shoes, and I don’t want to, I understand she has lost one son but there was still Zach to think about. I just couldn’t watch how alone and lonely he felt. And you know what… Andy was a great kid, that’s for sure, he was excellent at sports but he was also suffering from ODD which means that he had very bad tempers and tantrums, and was not his fault, of course, and compared to the quiet, good as gold Zach, that you also quickly gets an impression was afraid of his big brother, well, you just fell for Zach, and the way his mother blanked him after Andy’s death felt so unfair, and I think you can’t help the feeling of … I don’t know what, not relief, but the feeling that perhaps it’s better for Zach that his brother is gone. Awful, I know, and not true of course, but I somehow felt like this – it just wasn’t easy to like Andy and I felt guilty with those feelings.

While Jim retreats into work he still finds time for Zach, and their interactions were beautiful. Melissa, on the other hand, wants a revenge and she does everything that the parents of the shooter will get punished for the act that their son has done. Little Zach is caught in between. They forget that he also has feelings, that he also has to mourn his brother, that he sees what’s happening at home. They are so preoccupied with their own feelings and emotions that they don’t see that Zach sees everything, their anger, unfairness and hypocrisy.

“Only Child” is a moving, powerful story about building bridges and finding way after the tragic loss . It is wonderfully and emotionally written, with really well drawn characters and you can’t help but fell for them, and you understand all the emotions of confusion and anger. Realistic and very sensitive, it is one of the saddest books but it is also uplifting. A very important read that I highly recommend!

Christmas Cakes and Mistletoe Nights by Carole Matthews

Christmas Cakes and Mistletoe Nights by Carole Matthews

 

51dth1dom8l-_sx316_bo1204203200_Publisher: Sphere

Publishing Date: 4th October 2018

Source:  Received from the publisher, thank you!

Number of pages: 400

Genre: Women’s Fiction

 Buy the Book:  Kindle | Paperback

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Indulge in this wonderful, cake-filled novel of romance and friendship. Christmas Cakes and Mistletoe Nights is Sunday Times bestselling Carole Matthews doing what she does best!

Fay and Danny are madly in love and it’s all Fay’s ever dreamed of. But she left everything – including the delightful cake shop she used to run – to be with Danny on his cosy canal boat The Dreamcatcher. And as she soon finds out, making delicious cakes on the water isn’t always smooth sailing!

Then Fay gets a call from her friends, a call that sends her back to her friends and the Cake Shop in the Garden. It will be hard being away from Danny but their relationship is strong enough to survive . . . isn’t it?

Fay soon falls happily back in love with her passion for baking – especially now she’s on dry land again! – and starts to wonder if she ever should have left. With Christmas around the corner, Fay is determined that her friends will have a very merry time, but does that mean even more time away from Danny? Can Fay really get everything she ever wanted in Christmas Cakes & Mistletoe Nights.

Rating: four-stars

 

Fay and Danny, deeply in love, are enjoying their nomadic life on the canal boat but when they get a call from Lija that Stan is not good, Fay rushes home to look after him, and also to help Lija, who’s now running the Cake Shop. Of course Fay’s sister Edie also makes an appearance – what is she planning this time? And there are, again, troubles coming The Cake Shop way and the characters are facing really difficult times.

when I’ve read the book for the first time I was surprised that it continues Fay and Danny’s adventures – it being a Carole Matthews’ book I didn’t take the trouble to read a synopsis, as with many other auto – buy authors, and already knowing it’s going to be a fabulous, festive read – but it was great to be back with Fay Merryweather and Danny Wilde and all their friends and relatives. I adored seeing them together, the sparkle was still there and you could see those two are made for each other, that they found each other. Fay, as before, puts everyone before herself but I noticed – with satisfaction – that she’s also grown a backbone, that she’s able to stand her ground and I felt like giving her a standing ovation and shouting you go, girl! There was also a new character Rainbow, helping in the cafe, and she was as colourful as her name. I think she added tons of humour and warmth to the story and while sometimes I couldn’t stand her blabbering, I appreciated the way she has lightened the atmosphere up. Lija and her foul mouth had made me smile more than once, I loved her directness! Altogether, the characters were – as usually – brilliantly and beautifully written, they had a great depth to themselves, they had personalities and the way they acted and reacted was realistic and so close to life. Their lives were not bed of roses and probably this is what makes them so close to your heart – that they struggle, that not everything is handed to them on a plate, just like in a normal life. Lija’s one – liners and sharp comments were an absolute highlights, and Rainbow, being Rainbow, so bubbly, bright and always happy just gave the book this little element of so much needed relax. Because the story touches upon so many heavy and difficult issues, guys – however, it’s not depressing or too overwhelming, or no, not to worry – and the author writes about them with so much intuition and understanding.

The title may be a little misleading, as the story only brushes a little on Christmas but the plot is so full of other things and happenings that I didn’t even feel disappointment – and so the book can be read with no regards to a season. As already mentioned, this newest release is a follow – up to “The Cake Shop in the Garden” and I think it could be read as a stand alone – just. I’d rather advise to read the books in the right order because even though “Christmas Cakes and Mistletoe Nights” gives us a brief re – telling of what’s happened before, it’s really brief and to fully enjoy the book you should really start with the “Cake Shop”.

Altogether, it was a lovely, heart – warming story about friendship, friends pulling together, family bonds and love. Of course there wouldn’t be a Cake Shop without some great cakes, and the descriptions of Lija and Fay’s incredible creations were gorgeous and so vivid, and I can bet anything they’ll make your mouth water – they did it with me. The story was so comforting, just like your favourite reading place and a hot chocolate. It was warm and uplifting and so true to life and genuine. Highly recommended!