The Missing Letters of Mrs Bright by Beth Miller

The Missing Letters of Mrs Bright by Beth Miller

 

Publisher: Bookouture 48589660._sy475_

Publishing Date: 9th January 2020

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

Number of pages: 327

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

 Buy the Book:  Kindle | Paperback

 

 

 

Synopsis:

You’ve met Mrs Bright. She’s that nice woman who lives three doors down and always smiles at you in the mornings. She’s planning her thirtieth wedding anniversary with her husband. She wants to travel, read endless books and take beautiful pictures. She’s been waiting for this forever.

For the past twenty-nine years, Kay Bright’s days have had a familiar rhythm: she works in her husband’s stationery shop, cooks for her family, tries to remember to practice yoga, and every other month she writes to her best friend, Ursula, and Ursula replies. Kay could set her calendar by their letters: her heart lifts when the blue airmail envelope, addressed in Ursula’s slanting handwriting, falls gently onto the mat.

Ursula is the only one who knows Kay’s deepest secret, something that happened decades ago that could tear Kay’s life apart today. Ursula has always been the person Kay relies on. Knowing she will hear from Ursula is like being sure the sun will rise tomorrow.

And now Ursula has stopped writing. Three missing letters doesn’t sound like a lot, but Kay gets out her shoebox of notes from her best friend, in case there’s something she overlooked. Ursula seems fine, but the further back she goes, the more Kay begins to question every choice she has made in her life. Which might be why, at ten o’clock one morning, Kay walks out of her yellow front door with a just a rucksack, leaving her wedding ring on the table…

An emotional and heart-warming novel for anyone who knows it’s never too late to look for happiness. Fans of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, A Man Called Ove and The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry will fall in love with this feel-good and moving story that shows you that the best friendships truly last forever.

Rating: four-stars

 

Kay Bright has been married for 29 years. She’s in her early 50s, has two children and is working together with her husband in their family business.
Kay Bright is unhappy.
When her best friend Ursula (called Bear – no idea why, to be honest) moved to Australia 30 years ago, they both promised to write to each other, at least once a month. And they kept their word. However, now, Kay hasn’t heard from Bear for three months in a row and she’s getting worried. She doesn’t want to call – they said that they’re going to use a telephone only when it’s a matter of life and death, so she decides to head to Australia. Which means that she’s going to leave her stagnant life, together with husband, behind. She can’t put into words reasons for her need to leave, but she knows that she can’t live like this any longer, and so she decides to be egoistic this once, and goes. Will she find happiness? Will she find out what’s happening with Ursula? Will her closest ones accept her decisions?

Even though the story is told through mostly Kay and Stella’s points of view, we get to know the other characters as well and we get to see all the different reactions to Kay’s decision to leave her husband of almost thirty years. I liked Kay – she has eventually found the courage to be herself, to start doing things she has always wanted to do but never had a chance to do. Those both subplots, even though revolving around two different women, were actually about the same thing – finding happiness, trying to figure out what they want to do with their lives – and telling them in this way added a lot of depth, I think, the different perspectives of two different generations were absorbing and interesting. However, Stella’s story, or rather her character’s arc, was not my favourite one, not sure why. I know, she was a young person, discovering herself, and there were truly great moments in her subplot, but she as a person, as a character, was simply not clicking with me. Maybe I felt like this towards Stella because, well, she was an adult, right, yet she behaved around her mother like a little girl, not accepting that Kay is allowed to make up her own decisions, even if they seem to be egoistic. Kay has sacrificed everything for her family, and it’s not a wonder that eventually she wanted something back – she wanted her happiness and the feeling of independence back. And Stella didn’t want to give it to her mother, making her feel guilty. And I didn’t like it. Though, of course, her narration has added a breath of fresh air, another perspective to Kay’s story.
There is also, of course, the worry and mystery around Bear, though I relatively quickly guessed what it is, and to be absolutely honest I was not so found of Bear, I didn’t feel I know her well enough to root for her, and while I felt sorry for her it didn’t make a huge impact on me.

In the end, everything was perfectly wrapped up, maybe a bit too tidy? Also, the emotions and feelings, while present on almost every single page and handled with care, were not as deeply captured as I’d like them, they were a bit too two – dimensional. And there were a few moments that felt too forced, not so smooth compared to the rest of the story, or simply things that I could really live without them being put in this book.

This book is really well written, can I say that it’s, I don’t know, so easily readable? It’s chatty, and the pace is just right, flowing well and making it a quick read. The writing style is so vivid, bringing the characters to life, but also the different settings simply came alive through the author’s words.

But altogether, I haven’t expected “The Missing Letters of Mrs Bright” to be so captivating and moving. I really liked the way it was written, interlacing two perspectives, two points of view, giving us a wider view at the same situations and events. It was filled with dry and clever humour and spot – on observations. It dealt with many more topics, going deeper than I expected, which was a rather nice surprise, as it was well worked and coherent. It was a lovely, heart – warming tale about friendship, families, starting anew, second chances, showing us it’s never too late to be brave. Recommended!

No, We Can’t Be Friends by Sophie Ranald

No, We Can’t Be Friends by Sophie Ranald

 

Publisher: Bookouture 48525288._sy475_

Publishing Date: 10th January 2020

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

Number of pages: 295

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

 Buy the Book:  Kindle

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Everyone knows a girl like Sloane. She was always The Single One. She never brought a plus-one to weddings. She was the woman you’d set up with your single cousin. She joined ballroom dancing classes to meet men and was the queen of online dating.

But then she met Myles. Perfect Myles, with denim-blue eyes and a dazzling smile that melted her insides. She’d finally found The One.

Except she didn’t imagine that Myles’s idea of Happy Ever After would include Sloane battling an overflowing laundry basket, buying birthday cards for his family, and ironing his Calvin Klein underpants.

Then Sloane finds out that Myles has a secret.

The fairy tale is well and truly over. Her heart is blown to smithereens. Eating her weight in Ben & Jerry’s and large Meat Feast pizzas can only get Sloane so far before she has to make a decision… Can she learn to love herself more than she loved the love of her life?

No, We Can’t Be Friends is a brilliantly relatable, hilarious and feel-good novel that every woman with a waste-of-space ex HAS to read! If you’re a fan of romantic comedies by Sophie Kinsella and Lindsey Kelk, and TV shows like Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and Jane the Virgin, pick up this laugh-out-loud book – you won’t regret it.

Rating: three-stars

 

Sloane and Myles are married, both happy in their jobs and with their lives. They’re currently renovating a house and trying for a baby. But then something happens, something that makes Sloane wonder if her husband is cheating on her and when it’s confirmed her whole world flips upside down – she didn’t sign for this. She still loves him, and hopes for the best but can she really trust him? Was the whole relationship based on lies? Did Myles love her at all? And what is now with her wish of becoming a mother?

Guys, help me here, pretty please. Is it just me or did I read a different book to everyone else? I feel cheated, to be honest, especially because of the huge promise on the cover that the book is “a totally laugh – out – loud romantic comedy” – erm, what? It is probably everything BUT a totally laugh – out – loud romantic comedy, I haven’t laughed once to be honest. It turned out to be sad, pretty depressing and tedious and I was like, where is the humour? Where is the romance? Hello?????

I didn’t warm to the characters. I hated Sloane and Myles’s toxic relationship, and I absolutely, totally disliked Myles, which is obvious, I think. I couldn’t believe my eyes how he reacted to Sloane’s confronting him, and I couldn’t believe that Sloane was still willing to be with him after everything he said and done. Yes, she wanted to be a mother desperately, and I could understand this, but not at any cost, not with such a character. I felt desperate and frustrated with Sloane at how long it took her to finally open her eyes.
I didn’t feel invested in the characters’ lives, to be honest. There was something in them that made me not care about them. Yes, I sympathized with Sloane but on the other hand I simply wanted to shake her and tell her to see things how they really are. I think I can say she really annoyed me half of the time. I couldn’t get her completely, she was whiny and needy and on the next page she was able to get her act together, just like that. Also, because of the fact that the relationship with Myles wasn’t described to us, I really didn’t know where she was coming from and why she’s having such a hard time to simply show him the door. To be honest I couldn’t understand what Sloane has seen in him, this arrogant and egoistic piece of work. There was given really little info on their past and the relationship lacked in depth.
Fortunately, after she opened her eyes, she was determined to re – build her life, even though it took her a lot of time, but it made me glad.

I can imagine that for some it can be a realistic, relatable story, as it thoroughly describes all the ups and downs (are there ups at all?) of relationship falling apart, of divorce and how hard it can be. But it also may be uplifting and full of hope, showing that in the end there is always a way out, there are people that matter.

The pace was on the slow side, and nothing significant really happened. There was a tiny bit of romance towards the end but it felt too rushed and forced.

If the book was differently advertised I’d probably enjoy it more, knowing what I’m getting into. But I can’t blame my feelings on the synopsis only, it simply didn’t work for me, we didn’t click with the story and the characters. It’s a story of a relationship breaking apart and all the feelings and emotions that are connected to this fact, showing how hard it is to deal with them, when the world around you breaks in thousands little pieces, especially when you were not expecting it. It was telling us a realistic version of love and relationship, and it’s not a bad book, it’s well written, the writing style is chatty and sassy but it just didn’t live up to my expectations. The story strongly focuses on the bad things in life, to be honest. It deals with miscarriages, betrayal, death, loss, grief and disappointment. Not this what I was expecting and not a book that’s going to stay with me for a long time. Sadly.

Make Do and Mend a Broken Heart by Katey Lovell

Make do and Mend a Broken Heart by Katey Lovell

 

Publisher: Quercus 48360470

Publishing Date: 9th January 2020

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

Number of pages: 260

Genre: General Fiction (Adult), Romance

 Buy the Book:  Kindle

 

 

Synopsis:

When you know how, you can make anything from scratch, including a new life after love…
When Leanne and Richard bought a dilapidated old seaside cottage to renovate together as their forever home, their future was full of hope and promise.

But heartbreak was just around the corner: fast forward a few months and Richard is gone. With his death, Leanne finds herself stony broke, faced with an uninhabitable home and lacking even the basic skills to do it up herself.

With the help of the friendly woman who runs the library and the reluctant assistance of the man who works in the local hardware shop, the cottage is lovingly restored. But broken hearts aren’t so easy to fix… are they?

Rating: three-stars

 

Leanne and her husband are about to move in their dream house – but then something really horrible happens and Leanne is suddenly on her own, facing challenges she has no idea she’s strong enough to tackle by herself. The house needs a lot of tender loving care, not to mention tons of work and repairs, and the money is short – what is she supposed to do now? Abandon her dream of her having a house? Give up?

It was really a story about renovations and how they work, so if you’re planning a house move or renovation, you can easily be inspired by some of the ideas in this book.

The beginning took me totally by surprise, this what has happened and resulted in Leanne moving to her dream house alone was so shocking and sad, and I fell for her immediately. She took a lot of time to find herself afresh, and there were many moments that she felt so insecure but it was understandable, and usually such heroine would annoy me but Leanne was written with so much heart and feeling and it was impossible not to feel sympathy for her. I really enjoyed going on this journey with her, seeing her coming out of her comfort zones, and I truly wanted to give her a standing ovation for daring to do things that I – probably – wouldn’t dare by myself. So it turned out that she was brave and strong, even though she had so many weaker moments she didn’t wallow in self – pity, oh no, she still, after having a cry or two, rolled up her sleeves, recovered and continued – to live, hope and … yes, renovate!

I always love a story with a great community in it, and it was like this in the book, however it has also taken the community feeling to another level, a little too overdone. Except for one woman, who in the end of course improved herself, everybody loved each other and supported each other at every turn. I mean, nice, of course, but sometimes less is more? It doesn’t mean, of course, that I didn’t enjoy getting to know the characters, along with Leanne.

Sometimes the narration and the banter felt too woody, too forced, especially some of the dialogues, and there were really tons of descriptions of renovations, tools, sanding, painting and whatever you have to do to make your place beautiful. Some of the things happened very conveniently and altogether, things run very smoothly and are solved quickly and without any really big and life changing twists, and I’d love to see this plot a bit more ambitious.

As much as it is an entertaining story, there is this feeling of sadness and nostalgia to “Make Do and Mend a Broken Heart”, but they’re lovely and lovingly combined with hope and joy. It was a cosy, warm story, perfect for a winter evening in front of the fireplace that make you feel comfortable. It was an easy read, with straight – forward plot, so it’s not going to stay with me for long, nevertheless it was heart-warming and engaging book about community coming together, about friendships, trust and finding yourself.

If I Never Met you by Mhairi McFarlane

If I Never Met You by Mhairi McFarlane

 

Publisher: Harper Collins 41qbp1hsgrl._sx322_bo1204203200_

Publishing Date: 1st January 2020

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

Number of pages: 431

Genre: General Fiction, Romance

 Buy the Book:  Kindle | Paperback (out on 05.03.2020)

 

 

 

Synopsis:

If faking love is this easy… how do you know when it’s real?

When her partner of over a decade suddenly ends things, Laurie is left reeling—not only because they work at the same law firm and she has to see him every day. Her once perfect life is in shambles and the thought of dating again in the age of Tinder is nothing short of horrifying. When news of her ex’s pregnant girlfriend hits the office grapevine, taking the humiliation lying down is not an option. Then a chance encounter in a broken-down elevator with the office playboy opens up a new possibility.

Jamie Carter doesn’t believe in love, but he needs a respectable, steady girlfriend to impress their bosses. Laurie wants a hot new man to give the rumor mill something else to talk about. It’s the perfect proposition: a fauxmance played out on social media, with strategically staged photographs and a specific end date in mind. With the plan hatched, Laurie and Jamie begin to flaunt their new couple status, to the astonishment—and jealousy—of their friends and colleagues. But there’s a fine line between pretending to be in love and actually falling for your charming, handsome fake boyfriend…

Rating: four-stars

 

Laurie Watkinson and Dan Price have been together since university, that is, for 18 years. They love each other, they’re comfortable, they have good jobs as lawyers at the same firm in Manchester and they enjoy their lives. And are even thinking about starting a family. That is, until it turns out, that Laurie is thinking. Dan is over – thinking: he doesn’t want the same things are Laurie wants. He wants out. He dumps her. And immediately starts a relationship with another woman who also immediately fells pregnant of course. To tell that Laurie is devastated would be an understatement.
One day she’s stuck in the lift at work with Jamie Carter, the firm lothario, and they decide to stage a “faux – mance”, as they both can benefit from it. Let’s the fun and games begin, right? Has Laurie supposed that there is much more depth to Jamie than she’s thought? Has she expected that this fake relationship will help her build self esteem and confidence? How it is actually going to end?

The absolute highlight of this story was how the romance aspect was developing, how it underlined the importance of friendship before anything can happen but also, and believe me, yes, we know the formula, we know those arranged and fake office romances are similar, predictable and likely to end in tears, this time the plot simply brilliantly worked in this book. Also, the characters are one of the strongest points here. They’re believable, likeable, and although there were some moments that made me roll my eyes thinking, yeah, for sure, this is going to never happen in real life, like the conversation between Jamie, Dan and Michael, I mean, who would allowed to be talked to like that, I was totally engrossed in their lives, and this is always a good sign. When you get to know Jamie, you quickly learn that he’s not this pretentious, irritating, arrogant Lothario that other think he is. Yes, he is ambitious and hard – working but he truly knows where the priorities are and there is this gorgeous, lovely vulnerable side to him. It was not to be hidden that he respected Laurie, acting like a gentleman, always putting her first, which was a great change after getting to know Dan.
Laurie, even though she’s also ambitious and hard – working, she’s also smart, funny and sharp. It’s so normal that her confidences sky – rocketed downhill after the break – up, and it made her feel even more realistic and genuine, because let’s be honest, who wouldn’t feel like that after ending a relationship that lasted nearly half of your lifetime, right? I loved to see her growing in confidence again, mending her heart, seeing another perspective. They were both so at ease in each other company, I adored their banter.

The beginning was brilliant but then it went a bit confusing for me, and it felt like this until Laurie and Jamie’s deal, as then the story really gained speed and started to fill with McFarlane’s hallmark sarcastic humour – just what I like best. I adored the fact that this time the author’s observations and descriptions of feelings and emotions were spot on. The author has a way with words, even the normal banter between the characters feels fresh, sharp and authentic. She has paced her story really well (well, except for the part right after the beginning until the deal – I know, I know, I’m repeating myself!) and made it unique and refreshing, without making the plot unnecessary complex and complicated. Her characters are realistic and have depth to them, much more that you could expect.

It was a funny (even though this time the humour didn’t resonate with me right from the beginning and on all levels), light and witty book, also filled with insightful thoughts. Although at the beginning I couldn’t connect with Laurie, I’m not sure why, it was somehow hard to keep track with her but it quickly changed and I started to love her, her being so smart, seeing under the surface, seeing things that other didn’t want to see. It was a lovely, heart-warming and entertaining read – if you get through the most confusing first part. It touches upon some tricky issues, such like dysfunctional families, love, hate, betrayal, hope and loss and the author deals with them all in a skilful, gentle way, not forgetting to balance the most heavier parts with humour. What I really liked is the fact that the book is not too sugary, you know, it’s not heart – ripping but also not only sweet, charming and beds of roses kind. Highly recommended!

The Cornish Villahe School – Christmas Wishes by Kitty Wilson

The Cornish Village School – Christmas Wishes by Kitty Wilson

 

Publisher: Canelo 47167328

Publishing Date: 9th September 2019

Series: Cornish Village School #4

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

Number of pages: 254

Genre: General Fiction, Romance

 Buy the Book:  Kindle

 

 

Synopsis:

It’s the most wonderful time of the year in Penmenna…

Teaching assistant Alice has sworn off men, which is fine because with Christmas coming she’s super busy organising the school Nativity. This should be a blast with the help of best friend and village vicar, Dan – if she can just ignore those more-than-just-a-friend feelings she’s developed for him…

Dan is more than happy to help Alice – his secret crush – but not only is his beloved Granny Annie about to be made homeless, the church choir has disintegrated and he’s battling some dark demons from his past.

With meddling grannies and PTA wars thrown in the mix, can Alice and Dan overcome their past hurts to move forward? Will they be spending Christmas together as friends… or something more?

A festive feel-good romance perfect for fans of Tilly Tennant and Holly Martin.

Rating: four-stars

 

Alice is a teaching assistant in Penmenna village school and this year she’s given the job of organising the class four nativity play. Determined to make it the best one, or at least better than the one from last year with the earth giving birth, she loops her best friend Dan, who is a village vicar, to help her. Actually, Alice would love to be more than friends with Dan, however she’s so unsure of herself, she can’t see why any man would be interested in her, and there were some bad experienced for her in the past and Dan, well, Dan has some reasons as well to hide his feelings.

One of the biggest strength of the book are for sure the characters. The cast is simply brilliant, living and breathing, with flaws and troubles. Dan was a perfect vicar, so very un – vicar like, which only made him even better. His background was really heart – breaking and you could really understand all his commitment issues. But Marion Markshot must have been the best character ever, oh my god, so fierce and so vulnerable, I loved her and her ways, and I really wouldn’t like to have her as a fiend. And really, you can say whatever you want, that she was cruel, self – obsessed, whatever, but oh my, I so fell for her! Because no matter what, the characters felt human and true to life, finding themselves in a position of having to go on, to get on with things, just like we are. And Alice, the lovely, kind and full of energy Alice, so unsure of herself, not realising how great she is – she was a fantastic leading character.

What I also adored is that the series centres around school and teaching. And even though I’m now working in kindergarten and not at school, once a teacher, always a teacher and I like stories set at school, especially such lovely ones. I loved Alice around her pupils and I loved her approach to the organization of the Nativity Christmas Play, she’s truly the right person in the right place, her love to her job shines through the pages.

I adored this book, I really did, but what annoyed me a bit was the fact that you actually knew, from the very beginning, how it’s going to end (I know, I know, everybody hates this sentence) and it simply felt too long, no matter how entertaining, to come to the final conclusion. I mean, there were almost no obstacles, no challenges and the will they/will they/oh yes they will was too long. It just felt, I don’t know, too wordy, as if it has lost its track from time to time.

But altogether, it was a hilariously funny and also wise and heart – warming read with incredibly vivid and lively characters with intelligent and sharp sense of humour. I have only read the third instalment in the series before – sadly, it’s a huge mistake, really, because the books are so, so entertaining! “Christmas Wishes” is full of mishaps, family, friendship and love, beautifully balancing humour with poignant scenes. The banter, and there is a lot of banter in this book, is humorous, witty, sharp and quick and there is a huge amount of lovely romance, of letting go of the past and moving forward, and it is already filled with festive spirit. Hugely recommended!

Snowflakes at the Little Christmas Tree Farm by Jaimie Admans

Snowflakes at the Little Christmas Tree Farm by Jaimie Admans

 

Publisher: HQ Digital 44799648

Publishing Date: 9th October 2019

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

Number of pages: 384

Genre: General Fiction, Romance

 Buy the Book:  Kindle | Paperback

 

 

 

Synopsis:

All she wants for Christmas…

Leah Griffiths has woken up after a few too many glasses of Prosecco with a hangover – and discovers she’s accidentally bought a little Christmas tree farm in Scotland!

At first she’s horrified, but perhaps it’s the perfect way to forget all about her cheating ex.

And when she meets grumpy (but ridiculously gorgeous) pumpkin farmer Noel underneath the mistletoe, Leah begins to believe that at Christmas time, anything can happen…

Rating:  four-stars

 

The morning after finding her boyfriend/boss in a compromising position, Leah Griffiths wakes up not only with a huge hangover after downing few bottles of Prosecco, but also as a new owner of a Christmas Tree Farm in Scotland that she’s just won on an internet auction. And paid for it. £50,000, all the money left after selling her parents’ house when they died.
But hey, the farm looks lovely on the pictures, right? As she has no job in London anymore, her parents are dead and she has only one best friend, there is nothing stopping her back, and really, how hard could running a Tree Farm be?
Well, it turns out it can be hard, especially as the farm has been empty for four years, most of the trees are dead/unsellable, and the grumpy neighbour Noel knows lots about trees but he doesn’t believe that Leah will stay at the farm after realising how much work it needs, and after seeing that the house has no windows and only half roof left. And it’s very cold and raining all the time.
But Noel doesn’t know Leah and her determination. But will the determination be enough to start over? Will Leah stay at the farm?

I really don’t remember when I laughed so much when reading a book. Right now I’m even not afraid to make a drunken impulse buy, honestly, even if it’s of abandoned Christmas Tree Farm in Scotland – I could keep horses there! It was a read full of laughs, giggles, embarrassing but also poignant moments, brilliantly capturing the cheer of a small town and its community.

Jaimie Admans writes in a way that made me immediately fell in love with all the characters and the setting. Leah was a brilliant leading heroine, full of humour and best one – liners, often jumping to conclusions but also optimistic and never giving up. Well, how many of us would stay after realizing they have bought an abandoned and run – down Christmas Tree Farm, right? Not Leah – she was stubborn and determined and had some of the best ideas how to revitalize the farm and to keep it going, not forgetting about the community! We get to know her at a very low point, and she’s also lost so much when her parents died, so she really knows what suffering and grief mean, and she has moments when she feels so desperate and lonely, but she’s also so funny and so human and I was really rooting for her, wanting her to have her own happy ending.
Our lovely Leah is surrounded and supported by a great group of characters, charming, friendly and immediately likeable, brilliantly written and amusing. Some of their antics at the market were peculiar but please, do let me focus tightly on Noel. And let me swoon about Noel. Noel should have his own book – even though he had a Chihuahua and not a rottweiler, he was perfect. Noel, the usual broody and moody neighbour, the pumpkin farmer from the adjacent land, sexy, handsome, irresistible… you get the picture. With a soft side to him as well, I loved how he was around another people, his mum and dog, always willing to help but not too overwhelmingly helpful, you know what I mean? A softie but still a real man, give me him any time pretty please. Oh, be still you stupid heart, really.
The interactions and banter between him and Leah were the most brilliant parts of the book, and they were mostly my favourite scenes, so actually almost the whole book. The way the author has pushed them together felt obvious, yes, but also natural and genuine and the chemistry between them was sparklingly funny and believable.

The author has for sure researched how much work running a Christmas tree farm involves and learnt her lesson about trimming a tree or whatever it is you have to do with them. I’ve never realised it, I mean, you go, you choose and then buy the most beautiful Christmas tree, right, but I’ve never given a thought to what is needed to grow this perfect specimen. She dedicates a lot of pages to the actual work involved in farming, and it’s rich in details and information but it doesn’t slow down the action, oh no, it rather propels it forward, is rich in details but never too dull.

It is a fast – paced, seamlessly written, chatty and engaging read that yes, you know how it’s going to end, and yes, you know there are going to be obstacles on the way, but still it is a great fun to read. Jaimie Admans’s writing style is easy – going and easy to get along with and chatty and her descriptions are vivid and colourful. This novel was a lovely, romantic, atmospheric and full of snow read, right for the Christmas season. The idea of the plot was great and refreshing and there was this lovely message in it, that when you want something badly to succeed, simply go for it, just go out there and get it – it may not be the easiest thing sometimes but everything is possible. Warm, cosy and comfortable, an engrossing and hilarious festive journey about second chances and fresh starts, but also about grief, betrayal and hope, and you very quickly will fall under its spell. Hugely recommended!

Gone by Leona Deakin / Blog Tour

Gone by Leona Deakin

 

Publisher: Black Swan 46801795._sy475_

Publishing Date: 12th December 2019

Series: Dr. Bloom #1

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

Number of pages: 372

Genre: General Fiction, Mystery & Thrillers

 Buy the Book:  Kindle | Paperback

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Four strangers are missing. Left at their last-known locations are birthday cards that read:

YOUR GIFT IS THE GAME.
DARE TO PLAY?

The police aren’t worried – it’s just a game. But the families are frantic. As psychologist and private detective Dr Augusta Bloom delves into the lives of the missing people, she finds something that binds them all.

And that something makes them very dangerous indeed.

As more disappearances are reported and new birthday cards uncovered, Dr Bloom races to unravel the mystery and find the missing people.

But what if, this time, they are the ones she should fear?

Rating: four-stars

 

People go missing – all on their birthdays after receiving intriguing birthday cards daring them to play. Psychologist Augusta Bloom and her colleague Marcus Jameson (ex Secret Service) get involve in the case, as at least one person missing is known to them – a family friend’s mother has vanished, following the pattern with the card. The more they investigate, the more complex the case becomes and as they start to dig really deep not only is the case starting to be dangerous to them personally, but they learn much more about the people missing and the results of their investigations are shocking. People that disappeared seem to have left out of their own will, leaving behind families and friends – who does it? Why?

One is sure – I have never (really, never) done a test on Facebook or somewhere else in the internet, how clever am I without knowing that I’m clever, no? I have no idea how it really works, and if it is like in this novel, that when you do such tests other people may benefit from it – but if it really is like this then I am truly in shock. I must be born in the wrong times then.

I wouldn’t say that the book is a slow – burner, however the beginning is somehow difficult and a little confusing, and I wasn’t sure what to feel. But no worries there, guys. Even if I wouldn’t determine the pace of this book as quick, there are many twists and turns and questions that you desperately want to know answers to, so there is really not a moment that feels flat. Yes, some things feel too far – fetched and yes, I rolled my eyes once or twice but nevertheless it is a tense and captivating novel. Despite the confusing start, I was quickly drawn into the story, it has really grown under my skin, with the interesting plot and thought – provoking relevant ideas about how we use social media.
There are also many characters and almost each time I had to consider who it is, to whom they belong and what’s their problem, and it was a bit confusing as well, as till the end, except for the few main characters, I had problems with them and each time the point of view changes, it took me a moment or two to recognize the person.

The main characters felt a bit too one – dimensional for my liking, however they were interesting enough, their background was also very entertaining. Augusta and Marcus worked together brilliantly and they complemented each other, the banter and dynamics between them was natural and genuine. What’s more, they might have been main characters, but also a huge part of focus was directed on the missing people and their stories, and it added tons of meaning to the story – I desperately wanted to know who those people are and why they went missing and what their problem is. I racked my brains at what it is that actually happened with the missing characters but I loved the way Augusta and Marcus were leading us to the end, to the final revelations. I had a feeling that we’re exactly at the same level with them, that we know the same things, we’re not a step behind or ahead of them and I think I guessed who, why and what at the same moment as Augusta. Looking back, there were enough hints and I probably should have guessed a bit earlier, but it only shows that a) my detective skills don’t exist and b) the author writes in a clever, misdirecting way, which is a huge bonus point.

The writing style is chatty and engaging, down to earth and easy to follow and the plot was so imaginative, different and fascinating, and it was really refreshing to read this book, even if it was full of psychology – however, I am personally fascinated with psychology, and secondly, the author is an expert in this area and explains the medical language in an approaching and comprehensible way. Hats off to the author for being able to explain the psychological jargon in such a fascinating way that never feels dry nor patronizing.
“Gone” was a scary, thought – provoking and thrilling rollercoaster ride full of intrigue and suspense and some of the best parts were the psychological insights of the game and the way the author has got into her characters’ heads. It also touched upon social media and reading this book will make you think twice the next time you’ll want to fill something on Facebook. Truly recommended!

 

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