When I WakeUp by Jessica Jarlvi / #BlogTour

Hi guys, and happy Monday! I am starting the week with a new blog tour – and this time I am thrilled to be hosting Jessica Javlri’s blog tour celebrating the release of her debut novel “When I Wake Up”. This book is  a mystery/thriller with many other elements, and truly, it is interesting, different read – try it for yourself and tell me what you’ve thought!

When I Wake Up by Jessica Jarvli

34773207Publisher: Aria

Publishing Date: 1st June 2017

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

Number of pages: 272

Genre:  Literature/Fiction (Adult), Mystery & Thriller

 Buy the Book: Kindle | Hardcover (out on 07.09.2017)

 

Synopsis:

A breathtaking, heart-pounding, dark debut, sure to delight fans of The Girl on the Train and Before I Go To Sleep.

‘Why won’t Mummy wake up?’

When Anna, a much-loved teacher and mother of two, is left savagely beaten and in a coma, a police investigation is launched. News of the attack sends shock waves through her family and their small Swedish community. Anna seems to have had no enemies, so who wanted her dead?

As loved-ones wait anxiously by her bedside, her husband Erik is determined to get to the bottom of the attack, and soon begins uncovering his wife’s secret life, and a small town riven with desire, betrayal and jealousy.

As the list of suspects grows longer, it soon becomes clear that only one person can reveal the truth, and she’s lying silent in a hospital bed…

Rating: three-stars

I know that when I’ve read the synopsis to When I Wake Up I thought, wow. What a promising, intriguing book it’s going to be! I really didn’t need a lot of coaxing and agreed not only to read it but also be a part of the blog tour. The older I am, the more I appreciate and enjoy mysteries and thrillers, and this novel really promised something unique and exceptional. Did it live up to my expectations? Well, yes and no.

Anna lives with her husband and her twin boys in a little village. She’s a teacher and she’s actually the main support and bread winner – her husband Erik is a house painter but what he really wants is to be a rock star. I absolutely loved Anna’s passion to her job – she was a great teacher and she truly deeply cared about her students – however, her commitment was one of the things that made her marriage this bit complicated, as Erik felt he and the family are only on second place. But why was Anna so heavily beaten? Did she have enemies?
Here starts a story full of twists and turns. It is told from multiple points of view, jumping between past and present and we are invited to be witnesses to slowly unrolling web of lies, secrets and tragedies. The author casts suspicions on each and every character and it is only at the very end of the story that we see who was the perpetrator. Yes, it has crossed my mind but really, with the tangled web of shadows and misunderstandings I was never sure if I am right. The fact that all the characters’ lives became intertwined at some point made it, however, not more suspicious and tense but this tad unbelievable and far too fetched. The changing points of view were clearly separated and I was never confused where we are and who’s talking.

The characters were not too likeable, but I’ve already learnt that they don’t have to be in this kind of book. They must be convincing, and they rather were. They were complex and all so very different, but still I couldn’t find any depth in them, and perhaps this is why I couldn’t get into the story so much, perhaps this is why I wasn’t so concerned with who has done this to Anna. I am also not sure if I am so really, totally happy with the end – when the attacker was revealed, I wasn’t sure what to think, how to digest it.

The writing style was engaging but it felt somehow flat and it dragged on a little. I am also not sure what the story wanted to be – erotica, or psychological thriller, or mystery, as there are elements of all of this. However, I very much appreciate how the author has managed to complicate the story, how much there was hidden beneath the still waters. It is all about appearances, there were lies and secrets and tons of questions. The story jumps between past and present, which only makes it more compelling and slowly provides us with all the needed information.

It was not a bad book, guys, but there was also nothing special in this. Yes, it kept me guessing but to be honest I was not terribly intrigued who has beat Anna, even though there was a small bunch of characters that were also the suspects. In the end, when the perpetrator was revealed, it left me so lukewarm, with not many emotions or feelings. I am not sure why it was like this, why I couldn’t engage completely and properly. The author has tried to diversify the story with some twists and turns but they also didn’t keep me so much on my tenterhooks. Maybe it was because she has also tried to complicate the things so much by connecting all the characters on every possible lever? I really don’t know. Altogether, it was different, interesting mystery. Maybe because it is a debut novel the author has tried too much and overdid, the delivery was not what I have expected, but still I liked some elements of this story and the writing style was really unique and interesting.

FOLLOW THE BLOG TOUR:

when2bi2bwake2bup2b-2bblog2btour2bbanner

The Accidental Honeymoon by Portia MacIntosh / Blog Tour + Guest Post

Hello, hello, and happy Thursday – we have holidays today so really, it couldn’t be better. Well, it could, as our barbecue has just gone kaput and the time I thought I am going to spend with my feet put up high, I’ve just spent in the kitchen. Oh well. Typical.

Today I am a part of a new blog tour and I have a review of The Accidental Honeymoon by Portia MacIntosh – guys, believe me, if you need a bit of cheering up than go and grab yourself a copy. This story is so light – hearted, funny and easy to follow, it was just what the doctor ordered for me at the moment, as June is full of not so nice news and events here. There is also a guest post from Portia – a perfect way to spend your afternoon, no?

tourbanner

The Accidental Honeymoon by Portia MacIntosh

34472959Publisher: HQ Digital

Publishing Date: 16th June 2017

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

Number of pages: 384

Genre:  Romance, Women’s Fiction

Buy the Book:Kindle

 

Synopsis:

What happens in Vegas…
When Georgie discovers that her fiancé has been cheating on her, only a few days before her cousin’s wedding, her whole world explodes. Facing a romantic trip to Vegas alone, she decides to go out and have some fun…

…but Georgie never expected to wake up wed! And even worse, she can’t remember who to. So when gorgeous Jack reveals himself as her husband, she can’t believe her luck – he’ll act as the perfect wedding date!

Even if it is their very accidental honeymoon, surely the newlyweds can keep their emotions in check for just a few days more?

Don’t miss the laugh-out-loud romantic comedy from Portia MacIntosh, author of It’s Not You, It’s Them. Perfect for fans of Rosie Blake, Sophie Kinsella and Lindsey Kelk.

Rating: five-stars

I’ve read The Accidental Honeymoon just at the right moment – when I needed something light – hearted and uplifting, and I know that if you’re in need of those ingredients, Portia MacIntosh is your person in charge. I know that whatever she writes it’s my kind of read and really, I don’t need a lot of coaxing to request her books.

I bought this story as it was written. Probably some of the reviewers will stress that the accidental drunk wedding and then meeting on a plane are this tad unrealistic, but sometimes you just need this little bit of magic showing that impossible is nothing, and so I enjoyed the whole story, from the start to the finish. It was so easy to get over the slightly unrealistic beginning as it was written in such convincing way – Portia MacIntosh really knows how to pull it off.

As usually with Portia MacIntosh, her characters were brilliantly outlined. Georgie was great, however she also came across a little as a doormat, especially when it comes to being with John and the way she allowed her cousin and aunt to boss her around and decide. When Fliss told her to leave her wedding I wanted to shake – but Georgie, not Fliss. Also, her makeover confused me a little – which was Georgie’s true face? The totally Stepford Wife that she had when being with John or the totally opposite, almost slutty appearance – because judging on the descriptions of hair extensions and one number smaller tight dresses it looked like this, and so it was like Georgie has hidden her real face from us. However, she was so warm and lovely and she had her heart on her sleeve, and she had one of the best one – liners and I really, truly fell for her and warmed to her actually from the very beginning. She was very accident – prone and she’ll stay in my memory as the one who often meant well, with the things turning out wrong in the end.
And Jack, mmmm, I think I won’t be disappointed if I accidentally married Jack myself, guys. The tricks he knew, and nonono, I mean the cards and casino tricks, not the other ones, honestly I beg you, what were you thinking about…? Absolutely loved how laid – back he was and how he treated Georgie and that he was always honest with his plans – doesn’t happen often with guys that they are so honest, right? Also, and oh my god, I laughed so much, it was so nice to see how devoted he was to his newly found aunt (I really thought I will NEVER use this word in my review but here it is – it was just LOL).

The Accidental Honeymoon was an easy, quick and entertaining read, just what I expected from this author. It was lovely, it was charming, it had a great dose of humour and swear words and it just felt so natural and genuine. Nothing was pushed there, or too forced, one thing resulted from the other and I also quickly found myself rooting for the characters. Altogether, it was a read that made me smile and even laugh out loud. I totally enjoyed how Portia MacIntosh took the well established idea of the drunken wedding in Vegas and turned it into something else. There were enough turns in this light – hearted story, there were characters to die for or to slap. It was great to see how Georgie was with her family, the great relationship with her older brother and the way they treated the younger one. So really, give me Portia MacIntosh book any time, you can be sure that will lighten your mood and make you look little differently at the word. I love her stories and I can’t have enough of them, and I highly recommend The Accidental Honeymoon to you!

GUEST POST:

I’m not sure whether or not I knew I wanted to be a writer when I was younger. When I think about it, I was always making things up. I’d tell…let’s not call them lies, let’s call them tall tales. So if an ornament were to get smashed while I was playing with my friends, I’d come up with a story that got everyone in the least trouble possible. If a neighbour overheard me swear and told my parents, well, they were obviously mistaken, because I was obviously saying ‘stick’ or ‘duck’ or ‘plastered’ – all the hot topics 10-year-olds talk about. As a teen, I’d tell little white lies so that my parents didn’t worry about me – well, nothing appeases the worries of an overprotective dad like telling him that your boyfriend is your gay best friend. I’d find ways to get out of PE, excuses for not doing my homework, kind ways to decline the advances of boys in my year that I didn’t like… And funnily enough, I don’t think any of my teachers would have guessed that I’d be a writer when I ‘grew up’. I don’t imagine they had high hopes for me, because what might have seemed like a kid who just didn’t want to do PE was obviously a storyteller in the making. Being one of those kids who left school and never looked back, I don’t imagine any of my teachers know what became of me career wise. It’s probably for the best though…because I feel like this blog post is a pretty clear admission of a whole lot of guilt.

The Summer House by the Sea by Jenny Oliver

The Summer House by the Sea by Jenny Oliver

 

33870917Publisher: HQ

Publishing Date: 18th May 2017

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

Number of pages: 352

Genre: Women’s Fiction, Literature/Fiction (Adult)

 Buy the Book: Kindle | Paperback

 

 

Synopsis:

A brand new summery story about returning to your past and finding a new beginning from bestselling author Jenny Oliver!

Nestled on the Spanish coast, bustling café Estrella features in every one of Ava Brown’s happiest memories. It’s where she tasted her first delectably-chocolatey churros, fell head-over-heels for her first crush – where she has been her happiest. So the chance to spend one last summer in her grandmother’s house, is one Ava can’t refuse.

Once the heart of the sleepy seaside village, the café now feels more ramshackle than rustic. It’s time to bring back the lethally strong sangria and mouth-wateringly delicious tapas – and before Ava knows it, she’s thrown herself into bringing the café back to life – a summer project her grandmother would be proud of!

But once summer is over, can Ava really say goodbye to Spanish seaside life? Or could this be the new beginning Ava didn’t realise she needed…

Rating:  two-stars

So. I’ve requested “The Summerhouse by the Sea” because of few factors. First, I’ve already read several books by Jenny Oliver, and I know she’s the perfect author to turn to when you are a need of a cute story filled with feelings and emotions. Second, I liked the synopsis – it sounds great and intriguing and I was desperately in need of a sunny setting. Third – the cover. It’s gorgeous, so eye – catching, I love those brilliant, pastel colours. I couldn’t wait to eventually start reading it.

But. Boy, am I happy that I’ve finished it – and probably only out of stubbornness and because I’ve skim – read the second half. I am so, so sorry but this novel just didn’t work for me. At first I was surprised that it focuses not only on Ava but also on her brother Rory, but of course it doesn’t mean that it was wrong, well, in fact it turned out that Rory’s story was much more interesting than Ava’s. Sorry. The plot was very, like in very, predictable. I couldn’t connect with the characters, there was no depth to them, everything felt so superficial, and there were so many of them. It was as if Ava was just staying on one place, while Rory and Flora were moving and doing something with their lives. The beginning of this story was brilliant – Ava has a near death experience with the number 281 bus and I thought, wow, this is a promising start, but then it just went downhill.

Altogether, it was probably a warm, cosy story about new beginnings but not for me. I wanted so much more. It felt flat, there was no sparkle and it just couldn’t keep my attention. Of course I incredibly appreciate the descriptions of the beautiful setting and the delicious food, all those churros, paella and sangrias, which the author vividly brought to life. However, no matter what, please do try this book for yourself, probably it just didn’t work for me and you can find yourself falling in love with the little village in Spain and all the characters.

Summer with the Country Village Vet by Zara Stoneley

 

Summer with the Country Village Vet by Zara Stoneley

34214939Publisher: HarperImpulse

Publishing Date: 26th May 2017

Series: Love in Langtry Meadows #1

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

Number of pages: 404

Genre: Romance, Women’s Fiction

 Buy the Book: Kindle | Paperback(out on 01.06.2017)

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Fall in love with a brand new cosy romance series from bestselling author Zara Stoneley

When Lucy Jacobs is made redundant from her inner-city teaching job she fears her career is over. Teaching is all Lucy knows and she’s determined to get back in the classroom as fast as she can.

Except the only job on offer is at an idyllic village school in the middle of nowhere – Lucy’s idea of hell. Where are the disadvantaged kids who need saving, where is the challenge?

But as Lucy finds herself welcomed into the warm-hearted community of Langtry Meadows, she begins to realise new challenges await – like frogs in the classroom, a rather difficult donkey, and a very brooding local vet…

Local boy Charlie Davenport has his own issues about living in the close-knit village of Langtry Meadows. His private life is already fuel for the well-meaning gossips and the very last thing he needs is to get close to the new school teacher…no matter how lovely she is.

But as summer days drift away Langtry Meadows weaves its magic, Charlie and Lucy both get the chance to turn over a new leaf and start anew…maybe with each other?

A fun, romantic story to make you smile and long for your own country escape.

Rating: five-stars

There is a popular saying at the beginning of “Summer with the Country Village Vet”: “Never work with children or animals”. Well, I work with both, ha, so this here plus the fact that it is Zara Stoneley that has written this novel, made me feel sure that I am going to love it. This book really has it all – beautiful, idyllic setting, more than likeable characters, funny animals with their antics so realistically written, adorable children with their belly – aching banter and the wonderful atmosphere. This all written with this lovely, warm and inviting Zara Stoneley’s writing style – it is already so recognizable, that I can bet if you were given this book not knowing the author, you’d guess it immediately.

I loved our main character Lucy’s passion to her job – the same as Charlie’s, to be honest. They were the right people in the right places. Lucy, just like most of Zara Stoneley’s heroines, was just my kind of a girl. She was a great teacher, she loved her job and she thought about her students and not the bureaucracy. She was clever, witty but she had her own demons and skeletons in the closet and this all made her character so beautifully complex and adorable. There is this brilliantly interwoven subplot of Lucy’s childhood, so we get a chance to learn where all her insecurities are coming from – I really liked that she finally started to ask questions. However, she didn’t let the insecurities to overwhelm her and on the outside she was a sunny, lovely girl that everybody loved and nobody could say “no” to her. Really. You’ll see for yourself when you read the book.
And let’s not forget Charlie, the moody and broody village vet. Oh my, he was GREAT! I’ve no idea how Zara Stoneley does it but with every new book her male characters are even more gorgeous, with a swoon – factor. Absolutely devoted to his job and also with past demons that suddenly start to surface… To be honest, there were moments that I wanted to bang his head on the wall, not too much of course, but that he stopped brooding and behaving the way he behaved towards Lucy because he made her feel so confused, and better don’t mess with me when you confuse Lucy, because Lucy is too nice to be messed with. So there. But apart from that Charlie was perfect, guys, but not perfect in this boring way, no, he was adorable, gorgeous and had a distance to himself and all the pets’ female owners.
I also adored the banter between Lucy and Charlie and the way they were around each other – it was so, so realistic! The will they/won’t they was brilliantly solved, you really couldn’t be sure what’s going to happen, as there were so many obstacles in their way, and even though there were moments that I SO wanted to bang their heads together, especially Charlie’s, I still could fully understand their reluctance and uncertainty.
But not only the main characters were brilliant, Zara Stoneley writes them all so well. The whole Langtry Meadow community, starting with the school staff, the nurse in Charlie’s surgery, the village busy body, knowing all and everything Elsie Harrington – they were all larger than life, warm, quirky and so true and genuine.

There wouldn’t be Zara Stoneley’s book without some gorgeous, mischievous animals. Next to newts we have all the animals that Charlie looks after in his surgery (the chihuahua. The chihuahua!) and also the bunch Lucy is baby – sitting. I absolutely loved the fact that each and every one animal that Lucy was baby – sitting was given a scene or two. We have Gertie the Goose who is very attached to very pink wellies, we have a pony Mischief, a pig that likes to be taken on walks, and many, many others. Again, they were written with so much heart and understanding, it was a real joy to read about them. Those animals have more than once stolen the show, really, but this all had such an authentic feeling to it. As much as they say “never work with children or animals”, we could advice some authors please don’t write about animals and children because it’s not as easy as we could think, but Zara Stoneley has mastered it, and both animals and children feel so authentic and genuine in this book.

I absolutely liked that everything was so neatly wrapped up in the end, that all things were explained, that Lucy had this huge talk with her mum and that she started to feel better after that. It was a fast – paced story and there was all the time something happening and I more than often found myself thinking, only one page more, and then, hours later, realised it’s time to bring the little one to bed.

I love all Zara Stoneley’s books, she really can do no wrong and I hope she’ll keep them coming and coming. There is always such a feel – good factor to them all, they so effortlessly transport you to the fiction world of the characters’ and you immediately want to move to the place where the book is set. It was the same with Langtry Meadows – I immediately fell in love with this place, with all the villagers and the author has so easily brought this place to life – with May Pole dancing, with the pub and cosy cottages, village greens and the cosy school. “Summer with the Country Village Vet” was so heart – warming and it was so easy to fall in love with the place and all the characters. I loved all the challenges they were facing, some of them very normal ones, such as what kind of animal are the children going to bring in their pockets to school, or more difficult ones, such like coming to terms with a difficult past, finding peace and letting the demons go. I had no problems to immediately feel a part of the Langtry Meadow community, they were all so easy to fall in love with. This story was a real breath of fresh air, it was as colourful as cover of this book but with a depth and some emotional moments.

But what is best is that this book is the first one in the series! I can’t wait to visit Langtry Meadows again as soon as possible!

Kiss Me At Willoughby Close by Kate Hewitt / Blog Tour + Giveaway

kiss-willoughby-close-for-jenny2_orig

Kiss Me at Willoughby Close by Kate Hewitt

 

34609812Publisher: Tule Publishing

Publishing Date: 25th May  2017

Series: Willoughby Close #4 (find my review of part 1 here , part 2 here and part 3 here)

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

Number of pages: 206

Genre: Romance, General Fiction (Adult)

 Buy the Book: Kindle | Paperback

Synopsis:

Welcome to Willoughby Close… a charming cluster of cozy cottages, each with a story to tell and a happy ending to deliver…

After her husband unexpectedly dies, Ava moves to Willoughby Close, trying to keep her chin up and herself to herself as she’s always done—not answering questions, not making friends, and not seeing much of a future. Her marriage was far from perfect, but it offered her a much-needed security that has now been ripped away. She’s not sure what to do now that she’s thirty-five, widowed, penniless… and unexpectedly pregnant with her late husband’s child.

Jace Tucker is the over-the-top sexy caretaker of Willoughby Manor, and he can see beneath Ava’s glamor girl act to the hurt she’s been hiding for so long. She has secrets for a reason—and so does he. The last thing she needs right now is a fling with a man who hides a past as regrettable as her own.

But with a baby to think about, and neighbors determined to be her friends, Ava finds herself starting to change and even more alarmingly, beginning to hope. Can Willoughby Close work its everyday magic on a woman like her? And when the past comes calling for both her and Jace, will they have to answer for their previous mistakes?

Rating:  three-stars

“Kiss Me at Willoughby Close” is the fourth part in the series and it introduces us to Ava – of course, we’ve already got a chance to cursorily get to know her in the previous part and – as usually – the first impression was not too optimistic and encouraging, but the author has already got us used to the fact that at first the new characters seem to be not likeable and then explaining their circumstances, which usually make us change our mind about them – and it was the same here with Ava – she’s starting afresh, Willoughby Close is her second chance. I’d say you can read this novel as a stand alone, of course, but I think that there is now too much insider info to really get into the heart of the story without reading the previous parts, and I would recommend reading the stories in the right order.

Each part of Willoughby Close focuses on a new character, however “Kiss Me at Willoughby Close” introduces us not only to Ava, but also brings us much, much more of the mysterious caretaker Jace and gives us a lot of insight into Lady Stokeley’s life – which I found really brilliant, as I think that adding all of them, as well as Alice later on, made the story this little bit more interesting. I think that dedicating this novel only to Ava would make it too one – dimensional, so it was really a great move from the author – highly appreciated 🙂

Ava moves to Willoughby Close after just having lost her husband. He was much older than her and she admits that she was more of a trophy wife but that she married him being aware of this fact. She has experienced a lot in her life and she just wanted to live comfortably, without any troubles and problems any more. However, after his death, she realised that she was nothing more to her husband as the trophy wife, and she learns it in a very painful way, seeing that he has left her the same amount of money in his will as he left to their cleaner – ten thousand pounds.

As much as I liked Ava, it was Jace’s story that stole the show in my opinion. This time we really get to know him and his background, what happened in the past and why he ended up in Willoughby Close. While it was not life – changing, it added some pepper and the way Ava reacted to this story made her this lit bit more human, so it was a win – win situation really.
There were not many twists and turns in this book, and I often found myself skim – reading. It was a little on the flat side, but it was still a story that is easy to enjoy. It was about being open and about second chances, about not judging and always seeing two sides of the story. There is a convincing romance, troubles in paradise and Kate Hewitt has a real way with words, having created a lovely fictional community that I have no problems to picture. Already looking forward to the next part in the series.

GIVEAWAY!

The giveaway is for:

1st prize: £10 Amazon giftcard
2nd prize: paperback copy of Find Me at Willoughby Close

a Rafflecopter giveaway

FOLLOW THE BLOG TOUR:

daqs2brxyaa1hpr

Ella’s Ice – Cream Summer by Sue Watson

Ella’s Ice – Cream Summer by Sue Watson

34595538Publisher: Bookouture

Publishing Date: 11th May 2017

Series: The Ice – Cream Cafe #1

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

Number of pages: 334

Genre: Romance, Women’s Fiction

 Buy the Book: Kindle | Paperback

 

Synopsis:

Ella’s life just hit rock-bottom, but can a summer by the sea mend her broken heart? When life gives you lemons… make ice-cream!

Life hasn’t always been easy for single mum Ella, but she has just hit an all-time low; she’s jobless, loveless, very nearly homeless and, to make matters worse, now the owner of a pocket-sized pooch with a better wardrobe than her.

Packing her bags (and a bigger one for the dog), Ella sets off for the seaside town of Appledore in Devon to re-live the magical summers of her youth and claim her portion of the family ice-cream business: a clapped-out ice-cream van and a complicated mess of secrets.

There she meets gorgeous and free-spirited solicitor, Ben, who sees things differently: with a little bit of TLC he has a plan to get the van – and Ella – back up and running in no time.

Ella’s Ice-Cream Summer is a heart-warming and hilarious romance that will scoop you off your feet and prove it’s never too late for a fresh start. The ideal holiday read for fans of Lucy Diamond, Abby Clements and Debbie Johnson.

Rating: three-stars

I’ve read all of Sue Watson’s latest releases and loved them all to the moon and back – they are all so realistic, with the right dose of the finest humour and wonderful heroines, heroes to swoon about and usually full of incredibly delicious sounding recipes. Ms Watson’s newest release, “Ella’s Ice – Cream Summer”, has been promising all of the above mentioned and as soon as I spotted the book on NetGalley, I pressed the right button and literally saw it whizzing to my kindle. I love the cover of this novel, guys, I just love it – I personally am not the greatest fan of ice – creams, but seeing this cover motivated me to make my own unicorn ice – cream. My daughter was on cloud nine.

But. Back to the book. Theoretically, it has it all what made me fell in love with Sue Watson’s novels: there is a mature heroine who has experienced something and more in her life and who’s about to start a new chapter in her life. She’s lost her job, her two children are off on their own adventures somewhere in the world, she’s been dumped with a lovely dog that she has to dress every day and who has more dresses and jewellery than Ella herself, her mother is right now living with her and has turned out to be a social media expert and she’s about to lose her house. But nothing is lost yet, as with the death of her beloved aunt she’s to receive something in her will – maybe it’s the ice – cream cafe?

This time however I didn’t enjoy this story as much as I was expecting to. I had a feeling the plot is very chaotic, it’s not neat, the things were suddenly happening but there was no connection between them, it was as if they didn’t belong to the story and more than often I found myself feeling very confused, not knowing what to do with a particular situation, how to handle it, wondering what does it have to do with the story. The beginning of the book was good – quick and straight to the point, and I adored it. But then Ella went to Devon and the story went downhill for me. Firstly, it slowed down very much. Secondly, there was almost nothing happening. Then the never – ending remarks of Ella’s mother, mentioning that something happened in the past but she’s not going to tell what it was started to make me feel annoyed and losing hope that we will get an answer any time soon, so I’ve stopped waiting for this. It was actually the only twist in this story, having it explained, and as I haven’t been waiting for it to happen, it took me by surprise exactly at the same moment as Ella. Having known what happened in the past explained a lot and you could start to understand why there was such a feud in the family and where all the wrong feelings were coming from. There were also many time spent on thinking about things instead of doing them.

The characters are, as always, really well developed. What I liked in Ella so much was the fact that she has finally decided to put herself first, after years of being your typical mum and daughter (OK, maybe not first. She did take Delilah after all 🙂 ), took a chance when it was given to her and followed the motto of “no risk, no fun”. And she had her fun, as well as problems, but she dealt with them all in a great way. Also, the background characters were all lovely.

I loved the descriptions of ice – creams, of course, and I do believe Sue Watson that researching this book was the best thing that could ever happen to an author 🙂 Reading about them made my mouth watering, and I am the one who’s not so into ice – cream at all, so just imagine those delicious descriptions and different flavours. Also, there are some great moments in this story, of course, some funny moments and some heart – breaking ones as well. Ella’s mother, with the exception of being so annoying with mentioning the secret and then stubbornly refusing to tell her daughter what the secret is (you know, it was like with children starting to say something and then deciding that they’re not going to tell you what it was they meant), was a real star of this story, with her no – nonsense life approach and being so fit around social medias.

Altogether, even if I didn’t enjoy it as much as I hoped – but still liked it, guys, so please don’t take me wrong! – “Ella’s Ice – Cream Summer” was an emotional rollercoaster ride and a great start to the series – I’ll be for sure reading the next book! There is something to make you laugh and something to make you cry, the perfect mix of feelings and emotions, with an extra bonus of Sue Watson’s wonderful writing style.

The Other Us by Fiona Harper

The Other Us by Fiona Harper

 

33233986Publisher: HQ

Publishing Date: 4th May  2017

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

Number of pages: 384

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

 Buy the Book: Kindle | Paperback

 

Synopsis:

If you could turn back time, would you choose a different life?

Forty-something Maggie is facing some hard truths. Her only child has flown the nest for university and, without her daughter in the house, she’s realising her life, and her marriage to Dan, is more than a little stale.

When she spots an announcement on Facebook about a uni reunion, she can’t help wondering what happened to Jude Hanson. The same night Dan proposed, Jude asked Maggie to run away with him, and she starts to wonder how different her life might have been if she’d broken Dan’s heart and taken Jude up on his offer.

Wondering turns into fantasising, and then one morning fantasising turns into reality. Maggie wakes up and discovers she’s back in 1992 and twenty-one again. Is she brave enough to choose the future she really wants, and if she is, will the grass be any greener on the other side of the fence?

Two men. Two very different possible futures. But is there only once chance at happiness?

Perfect for fans of One Day, The Versions of Us and Miss You.

Rating: three-stars

Sometimes you see a book and you have a feeling that it is calling to you  “please, read me!”I had such feeling with “The Other Us” by Fiona Harper, even without reading the synopsis I just knew I want to read this book, period, so I was incredibly happy to be accepted for it on NetGalley.

Maggie is forty – six and she’s not happy with her marriage. she starts wondering what would have happened if she, instead of marrying Dan, stayed with her university flame Jude – would her life be better? Would she be happier? I think it is the thing that happens to most of us, we sometimes wonder what if – but we don’t get the answer. However, Maggie did – one day she wakes up to discover she’s in her twenties again and she has a chance to see how her life would look like if she agreed to stay with Jude. So what follows are alternate stories of Maggie’s life with Dan and Jude and we see the consequences of the many different decisions she makes.

There were some things that just didn’t ring a bell for me, that just didn’t work. Firstly, I really don’t understand why Maggie has suddenly started “jumping” between three timelines. It happened oh just because, for no reason,  and she calmly faced the fact and accepted it very quickly and it was nothing unusual for her. Such thing would scare the hell out of me if it happened to me. Then I had a big problem with Maggie herself. She has never seemed to be happy with things – never! She was disappointed with everything and she always found something, in all those three lives, to be unhappy about. She just didn’t know what she wants and it bothered me incredibly. I had a feeling she’s self – obsessed, everything was “I”, “me”, about her – yes, I do know it was written from her point of view but there came a moment that I just couldn’t hear any more of her whingeing. Thirdly, this book is so wordy! There are so many inner – monologues, reflections, what ifs, wondering, with little dialogues, and so it felt too dragging, too flat, too long, as if nothing, except for Maggie “jumping” (as she says so herself) was happening. I also didn’t see anything in particular she could learn from this “jumping”, the periods of times she skipped and the moments she found herself arriving were not so significant and were very random, there was no plan to them.

The good thing is that I never felt confused with the times changing and Maggie jumping. I also liked the fact that the book is ambitious, asking questions and making you wonder about your own life and happiness. “The Other Us” is a story about love, full of emotions and second chances and learning what is important. I’m sure it is a great, thought – provoking book but – sadly – it didn’t work for me the way I hoped it would. Nevertheless, please try it for yourself, you may find yourself falling in love with it.