Separation Anxiety by Laura Zigman

Separation Anxiety by Laura Zigman

 

Publisher: Transworld Digital 50544187._sy475_

Publishing Date: 16th April 2020

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

Number of pages: 288

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

 Buy the Book: Kindle | Paperback

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Have you ever wondered if you love your dog better than your spouse?
Or what happened to the last ten years?

Life hasn’t gone according to Judy’s plan. Her career as a children’s book author has taken an embarrassing nose dive. Her teenage son Teddy treats her with a combination of mortification and indifference. Her best friend is dying. And her husband, Gary, has become a pot-addled ‘snackologist’ who she can’t afford to divorce. On top of it all, she has a painfully ironic job writing articles for a self-help website—a poor fit for someone seemingly incapable of helping herself.

Gleefully irreverant and genuinely touching, Separation Anxiety is a novel that celebrates the ‘squeezed generation’; a book filled with heart and humour for anyone fumbling their way towards happiness.

Rating: two-stars

 

“Separation Anxiety” introduces us to Judy, a 50 – years – old mum, stuck in a failing marriage and a failing career – she has written a popular children’s book that was turned into TV series but now has a writer’s block. Her parents died recently and now her best friend is in the end stage of cancer. Her teenage son is growing up and apart. She and her husband are separated but don’t have enough money for the divorce proceedings so they still live together. Gary, her husband, isn’t able to pursue his music creativity because of panic issues. Just another normal family, right? So it shouldn’t surprise you that one day Judy finds a long forgotten baby sling and starts to carry her Sheltie dog Charlotte in it. Everywhere. Because it feels comforting and right and the dog helps her to alleviate her anxiety.

It’s a story about being able to find happiness in life despite feeling like you’re facing the struggles and challenges all the time. Altogether, it was a rather sad tale, even though it promised to be a book “filled with humour” – for me, it missed this mark, and on the whole I think I simply didn’t get the book. I usually am the first to spot the absurdity in life and laugh at this, but there was simply too much absurdity that was too absurd, making the book impossible to enjoy. I couldn’t warm to the characters, I couldn’t comprehend their actions and the things with carrying a dog in the sling around must have been the worst one. And in the end, well, I found myself skipping huge parts of the story.

I wouldn’t say that the book was filled with humour. There was a little of humour, the dry, everyday kind of humour that doesn’t make you roar with laughter but makes you smile a bit and nod your head in agreement and understanding, the kind of “I’ve been there, I’ve seen this”, the one you can relate to, which is a good thing.

The author is a brilliant observes of the little things in life and she truly brought Judy to life. She truthfully and honestly painted all the ups and downs of a marriage, of all the changes that life brings, of coming to terms with grief, children growing up and becoming invisible, or at least what feels like becoming invisible.

The writing style must be one of the strongest points of this book – it’s quirky, entertaining and sharp. It feels real and down – to – earth, it’s honest and emotional and the author is a great story – teller. I think that in different circumstances, with different novel I could truly enjoy Laura Zigman’s books, as she can also with great insight write about heavier issues, adding some lightness to them. But I simply felt too confused with the plot and the characters’ actions to totally enjoy it.

In Five Years by Rebecca Serle

In Five Years by Rebecca Serle

 

Publisher: Atria Books cover172613-medium

Publishing Date: 10th March 2020

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

Number of pages: 266

Genre: General Fiction (Adult), Romance

 Buy the Book:  Kindle | Paperback (out on 01.10.2020)

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Where do you see yourself in five years?

When Type-A Manhattan lawyer Dannie Cohan is asked this question at the most important interview of her career, she has a meticulously crafted answer at the ready. Later, after nailing her interview and accepting her boyfriend’s marriage proposal, Dannie goes to sleep knowing she is right on track to achieve her five-year plan.

But when she wakes up, she’s suddenly in a different apartment, with a different ring on her finger, and beside a very different man. The television news is on in the background, and she can just make out the scrolling date. It’s the same night—December 15—but 2025, five years in the future.

After a very intense, shocking hour, Dannie wakes again, at the brink of midnight, back in 2020. She can’t shake what has happened. It certainly felt much more than merely a dream, but she isn’t the kind of person who believes in visions. That nonsense is only charming coming from free-spirited types, like her lifelong best friend, Bella. Determined to ignore the odd experience, she files it away in the back of her mind.

That is, until four-and-a-half years later, when by chance Dannie meets the very same man from her long-ago vision.

Brimming with joy and heartbreak, In Five Years is an unforgettable love story that reminds us of the power of loyalty, friendship, and the unpredictable nature of destiny.

Rating: two-stars

 

Dannie is a planner, the kind of person that has everything mapped out and she knows where she’ll find herself in five years, has clear plans for her future. She lives with her boyfriend and she knows he’s going to propose soon – they work together brilliantly, both ambitious and hard – working. After the proposal, when Dannie falls asleep, she has one of the weirdest dreams – she wakes up five years later, in a completely different apartment, with a completely different engagement ring, with a completely different man at her side… And then she wakes up… But the dream doesn’t leave her.
Fast forward 4 years and we are close to the date that Dannie has dreamed about. And then she meets the man from her dream – but there is no way they could end together. Or is there?

I actually thought that the book is more about Bella than Dannie, to be honest, or at least it felt like this. And to be totally honest, so between us, I think I didn’t get the story. I mean, why? Why having this strange dream that didn’t feel like a dream at all, and I couldn’t find any foothold, was it supposed to be a romance? What was this dream, actually? A premonition? Fantasy? Predicting the future? This open end left me so confused, this whole built – up led to actually nothing, but well, maybe it’s not bad because if it led to something it would be even more confusing, as there was no chemistry between the two characters, they actually didn’t know each other that well, and yes, simply – why?

Even though I didn’t feel any connection to the characters – simply, we somehow didn’t have anything in common, and I couldn’t relate to any of them – they were well developed, full of flaws, irritating.

The switch from Dannie to Bella took me by surprise, but this is when it becomes really clear that this book is about the power of true friendship. Bella and Dannie’s friendship was real, genuine and emotional and felt authentic. They were there for each other, and I think it was especially Dannie that was a great support for Bella – in all times, not only when something happened.

It was different to what I was thinking, so if you are looking for time – travel or magic in this book, you won’t find it. You won’t find a romance here, as well. It is a story about finding yourself, staying true to yourself and life choices. It touches upon many issues, one heavier than the other, actually, and it’s for sure not a funny, light – hearted read that I thought it’s going to be.

 

HAVE A LOOK AT OTHER REVIEWS:

Blog Tour Visual 2

When Polly Met Olly by Zoe May

When Polly Met Olly by Zoe May

 

Publisher: HQ Digital 41835337._sy475_

Publishing Date: 7th January 2019

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

Number of pages: 269

Genre: General Fiction (Adult), Romance

 Buy the Book:  Kindle | Paperback

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Polly and Olly were never supposed to meet…
Polly might spend her days searching for eligible matches for her elite list of clients at her New York dating agency, but her own love life is starting to go up in smoke.

Even worse, she can’t stop thinking about the very person she’s meant to be setting her latest client up with… surely it can’t get any worse!

But then Polly bumps into oh-so-handsome Olly, who heads up a rival agency, and realizes that perhaps all really is fair in love and dating war…

Rating: two-stars

 

Polly has just landed herself a job at a match – making agency, and while she finds she’s good at it, her own love life leaves a lot to be desired. While it’s all fun, living vicariously through her clients, she’s hoping for a great break as a photographer, and she even took first steps in this direction, taking photos for a cook – book. Then her boss Derek sends her undercover to another agency that seems to be taking their clients away. And this is when Polly meets Olly… when the line between being professional and taking things personally starts blurring…

I am not sure why but I didn’t connect with the book completely. There were too many things that felt too forced or too many that were added in, what felt like, an after – thought that didn’t bring much to the plot. It was as if the author has tried too much to write a light – hearted but also complex story. Don’t get me wrong, it was not a bad read, it had tons of potential and I really appreciate what the author tried to do with the story but it lacked in delivery. The romance was almost not there, and it made me feel confused for the whole time because the title is “When Polly Met Olly”, and they met, and then what? And then nothing. Zoe May tried, I think, to pull wool over our eyes, pointing us in some different directions, making us wonder who is the perfect match for Polly, but maybe she should really focus on the real romance, because there were too little sparkles.

The writing style, even though was not as rounded as I’d like it to be, was easy and brisk and Zoe May has a distinctive voice. The banter between characters was friendly and unassuming.

The story is told from Polly’s point of view, and while she was a very chatty narrator, I think I’d love to hear the other perspectives as well – I think the characters really have had something to tell, and I’d love to know their insights as well. Mostly we were presented with Polly’s monologues, and sometimes the author focused too much on one thing and we were reading about one thought for four pages, and then in the next four pages thousand other things happened.

Altogether, it is a nice, quirky story ticking all the boxes for a chick – lit. The setting was lovely, the secondary characters were jumping off the pages and there were some twists in it. It is easy – going and light read with a promising premise. It touches upon friendship and trust but also it shows how easy it is to have your self – confidence broken. Unfortunately, we didn’t click, me and the book.

Marriage on Madison Avenue by Lauren Layne

Marriage on Madison Avenue by Lauren Layne

 

Publisher: Headline Eternal 517kkavtrrl._sx324_bo1204203200_

Publishing Date: 28th January 2020

Series: Central Park Pact #3

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

Number of pages: 288

Genre: Romance

 Buy the Book:  Kindle | Paperback

 

 

 

Synopsis:

A heartfelt and laugh-out-loud romantic comedy that’s perfect for fans of Sally Thorne and Christina Lauren. From the author of the New York Times bestselling Stiletto and Oxford series, Marriage of Madison Avenue is the third in a sizzling new series following the unlikely friendship of three Upper East Side women as they struggle to achieve their dreams and find true love and happiness in the city that never sleeps.

Can guys and girls ever be just friends? According to Audrey Tate and Clarke West, absolutely. After all, they’ve been best friends since childhood without a single romantic entanglement. Clarke is the charming playboy Audrey can always count on and, knowing that the ever-loyal Audrey will never not play along with his strategy for dodging his matchmaking mother, announces he’s already engaged…to Audrey.

But what starts out as a playful game between two best friends turns into something infinitely more complicated, as just-for-show kisses begin to stir up forbidden feelings. As the faux wedding date looms closer, Audrey and Clarke realize that they can never go back to the way things were, but deep down, do they really want to?

Filled with charm and heart and plenty of heart and wit, this entertaining series will hook you from the very first page. Look out for the other two titles, Passion on Park Avenue and Love on Lexington Avenue

Want more fun, fresh, flirty and very sexy rom-com? Check out Lauren’s Oxford series and don’t miss her warm, witty and sexy Wedding Belles series and the I Do, I Don’t series, as well as the romantic standalones in the Love, Unexpectedly series.

Rating: two-stars

 

Claire Hayes discovered that her husband has been having numerous affairs, and now, after his funeral (no, she didn’t kill him!) she becomes friends with two of the “other” women, Naomi and Audrey. They have a pact to never let the other one to fall for a womanizer again.
Fast forward 18 months and both Claire and Naomi are in happy relationship. But Audrey has fallen again for a wrong man. And then somebody writes about it on social media. To avoid scandal, Audrey and her best friend Clarke decide to fake engagement. Can it work between best friends?

This book is being sold as “romance”, though after reading the description it sounded more as a rom – com to me. However, it should be advertised as a YA, me thinks. It absolutely didn’t convince me, I felt like reading a book for a teenager, and I am, well, a bit older than that. There was little that kept my attention and in the end I found myself skim – reading without a feeling that I’m missing something, as every single page was almost the same, the will they/won’t they between the characters, the main heroine all the time changing her mind. Also, this fake engagement DID not work for me. I think it would, but it didn’t. It was too… yes, fake, unbelievable. There was no chemistry and the characters themselves didn’t seem to believe that something is happening at all. They were calling themselves best friends and they could not communicate with each other. Gah.

I didn’t realise it is a third book in the series and for a long, long time – never, actually – I couldn’t get what was so special in Audrey and why would anybody be interested in writing about her. I still don’t know it. I couldn’t connect with her, she was under – developed, pretentious, spoiled and self – centred. I much better preferred her friends Naomi and Clare, they were much mature and funny.
Clarke was so perfect that he felt absolutely unbelievable und unrealistic. Not only incredibly handsome but also oh so gorgeously understanding, caring and affectionate. Not a single negative thing about him. Meh.

Altogether, the whole plot seemed too far – fetched and overdone, with things either impossible to happen at all or happening too conveniently. It was all pink and bed of roses and the problems the characters had seemed so trivial. It seemed that the author went through the motions when writing this story, ticking all the boxes that belong to such a story. Simply, it was not a read for me, though if you are looking for a soft, light and heart in the eyes kind of read, just give it a go.

Adults by Emma Jane Unsworth

Adults by Emma Jane Unsworth

 

Publisher: Borough Press 45835845

Publishing Date: 30th January 2020

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

Number of pages: 400

Genre: General Fiction (Adult)

 Buy the Book: Kindle | Hardcover

| Paperback (out on 18.02.2021)

 

 

Synopsis:

Jenny McLaine is an adult. Supposedly. At thirty-five she owns her own house, writes for a cool magazine and has hilarious friends just a message away.

But the thing is:

• She can’t actually afford her house since her criminally sexy ex-boyfriend Art left,

• her best friend Kelly is clearly trying to break up with her,

• she’s so frazzled trying to keep up with everything you can practically hear her nerves jangling,

• she spends all day online-stalking women with beautiful lives as her career goes down the drain.

And now her mother has appeared on her doorstep, unbidden, to save the day…

Is Jenny ready to grow up and save herself this time?

Deliciously candid and gloriously heartfelt, ADULTS is the story of one woman learning how to fall back in love with her life. It will remind you that when the world throws you a curve ball (or nine), it may take friendship, gin & tonics or even your mother to bring you back…

Rating: two-stars

 

Jenny McLaine is in her mid thirties and, on the surface, lives a successful life as a columnist for an online magazine and even owns her own home. However, her career is not a career anymore, her photographer boyfriend breaks up with her and replaces her with – please God it can’t be true! – with her biggest Instagram obsession, her best friend Kelly doesn’t want to be her friend anymore. And her psychic mother comes to stay with her. Please send help.

Based on the premise, I was expecting this book to be a humorous and sarcastic view at adulthood. However, what I got, was a novel that was impossible to get into, with a heroine that was on no account relatable nor likeable. I don’t know, maybe I’m too old for this already but Jenny McLaine and her unhappiness with everything, her seeing problems where there weren’t any just made me annoyed with the book and with her. I wanted to DNF this novel more than once however I kept reading hoping that something is going to happen, something that will make me change my mind and like the book. Nope. For me it was neither realistic, nor humorous, nor relatable. If this is what adulthood really looks like then I must be living on different planet.

It was a very character driven read. Jenny, as a main character, was anxious and insecure and all the time wanted to be in the centre of attention. Nothing interested her, neither people, friends nor family, but social media, where she followed people with, as it seemed, perfect lives, incriminating in the feeling of failing at her own life even more and more – it was like a vicious circle, she was all the time obsessing about likes, receptions of posts, her ex. She was annoying and irritating and her realisation that she needs to grow up came too late for me to change my feelings towards her and the book.

Nevertheless, the book had some strong points, for example in exploring mother – daughter relationship and pointing at the damage that social addition may cause. It sounds very authentic and the author has captured well the feelings of desperation and addiction to social media that can change the whole attitude to life and relationships. The writing is very modern and sophisticated, but sometimes it felt that the author tried too much and especially the humour felt much too forced. I wanted to enjoy this book but, sadly, it didn’t work for me.

Rewind by Catherine Ryan Howard

Rewind by Catherine Ryan Howard

 

Publisher: Corvus 43812429._sy475_

Publishing Date: 22nd August 2019

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

Number of pages: 336

Genre: General Fiction (Adult), Mystery & Thrillers

 Buy the Book: Kindle | Hardcover

 

 

 

Synopsis:

From the bestselling, multiple prize-shortlisted novelist Catherine Ryan Howard comes an explosive story about a twisted voyeur and a terrible crime…

PLAY
Andrew, the manager of Shanamore Holiday Cottages, watches his only guest via a hidden camera in her room. One night the unthinkable happens: a shadowy figure emerges onscreen, kills her and destroys the camera. But who is the murderer? How did they know about the camera? And how will Andrew live with himself?

PAUSE
Natalie wishes she’d stayed at home as soon as she arrives in the wintry isolation of Shanamore. There’s something creepy about the manager. She wants to leave, but she can’t – not until she’s found what she’s looking for…

REWIND
This is an explosive story about a murder caught on camera. You’ve already missed the start. To get the full picture you must rewind the tape and play it through to the end, no matter how shocking…

Rating: two-stars

 

Audrey is a reporter desperate for a “real” story – and when one day something happens, she’s frantic to cover it, no matter what. A famous instagrammer, Natalie O’Connor, has disappeared and nobody knows where she is, not her friends, not her husband. However, all that she did is left a note that nobody has found and rented a cottage to clear her mind. She doesn’t know that in the bedroom she’s staying in, the manager of the Shanamore Holiday Cottages has installed a hidden camera. One night Andrew watches as a person appears in the cottage, stabs the person sleeping in bed and then destroys the camera. Who was this and how did they know about the camera? Do they know Andrew’s other secret as well?

So I was very intrigued by this book, however the more I read, the more confused I felt. The chapters were labelled Rewind, Pause and Fast Forward and while at the beginning I paid attention to them, in reality they’ve made me feel even more confused and so I stopped paying attention to them as they’ve never helped me to understand what actually happens in Rewind, or Pause, Play or Fast Forward and the read was therefore difficult for me and I wasn’t able to stay focused. Moreover, the characters weren’t well developed and because of the lack of sequence I didn’t feel any connection to them. They didn’t feel likeable, their actions felt too forced and the only likeable character was probably Natalie, though she also felt too weak.

There was potential, there was idea but for me there was no execution and the structure of the book simply didn’t work for me.

It was a creepy, dark, depressing and unsettling psychological thriller about woman’s quest to be with a man she fell in love with, about obsession and the influence of social media, with a compelling mystery and with some twists along the way, throwing suspicions at different characters.

The Last House Guest by Megan Miranda

The Last House Guest by Megan Miranda

 

43090369._sy475_Publisher: Corvus

Publishing Date: 20th June 2019

Source:  Received from the publisher via Pigeon Hole, thank you!

Number of pages: 352

Genre: Mystery & Thriller

 Buy the Book:  Kindle | PHardcover

| Paperback

 

Synopsis:

Her best friend is dead.
Now everyone thinks she’s a killer.

Littleport, Maine is like two separate towns: a vacation paradise for wealthy holidaymakers and a simple harbour community for the residents who serve them. Friendships between locals and visitors are unheard of – but that’s just what happened with Avery Greer and Sadie Loman.

Each summer for a decade the girls are inseparable – until Sadie is found dead. When the police rule the death a suicide, Avery can’t help but feel there are those in the community, including a local detective and Sadie’s brother Parker, who blame her. Someone knows more than they’re saying, and Avery is intent on clearing her name before she’s branded a killer.

Rating: two-stars

 

Avery’s and Sadie’s friendship seems impossible to be real: Avery comes from one of middle class families living in the resort town of Littleport in Maine, while Sadie is one of “the Lomans'”, who basically own everything in Littleport and are being treated like royals. Their relationship stayed strong until one day, during the Plus – One Party, Sadie has been found dead. The police believe that she has committed suicide, but Avery can’t believe that her carefree, strong – willed and confident best friend could do such a thing. A year later, Avery starts to ask more questions, to dig more into Sadie’s death and she begins to uncover secrets that someone doesn’t want to see the light of the day. Is Avery’s life in danger as well?

I must admit, I’ve heard brilliant things about Megan Miranda, though haven’t been lucky enough to read her previous books, so when the opportunity to read “The Last House Guest” came my way, I didn’t hesitate. I was hoping for a mind – blowing read and I am really, really sad to tell you that this book didn’t work for me. I can’t even blame reading it in staves on Pigeon Hole this time, because I found myself putting the book down somewhere during reading – it simply wasn’t this what I was expecting. The book started well, with something really bad happening and so we were thrown into the heart of the story, and now it was all in the hands of execution. The more pages I turned, the more my interest seemed to leave me.

The story felt flat and repetitive, there wasn’t anything significant, shocking, surprising, the characters were uninspired and I had a feeling that author’s heart wasn’t in her writing. There was no tension in the mystery and coming back to the characters, well, I’ve missed qualities in them that make the characters special and interesting and let’s be honest, I simply didn’t care about them and what can happen to them, I didn’t buy the whole poor but reformed bad girl Avery.

The part I liked most was the setting, a very picturesque town along the coast of Maine, and the scenic beauty of the town, that is not only a fishing/boating place to live for the middle class but also a holiday resort for the other half, was beautifully captured and brought vividly to life.

So I am extremely sad to say that I needed much more from this book. It simply lacked in tension and suspense, relatable characters and depth. The idea was there but it somehow felt incomplete, as if the potential hasn’t been made use of. The quite few and surprising reveals at the end were not bad but they simply came too late to save the book for me. But I am still looking forward to reading the author’s previous and future novels.

Beautiful Bad by Annie Ward

Beautiful Bad by Annie Ward

 

40722212Publisher: Quercus

Publishing Date: 21st March 2019

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

Number of pages: 400

Genre: Mystery & Thrillers

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

 

Synopsis:

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

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

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

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

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

Rating: two-stars

 

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

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

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

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

Only One Woman by Christina Jones and Jane Risdon

Only One Woman by Christina Jones & Jane Risdon

 

29006048Publisher: Accent Press

Publishing Date: 23rd November 2017

Source:  Received from publisher in return for an honest review, thank you!

Number of pages: 492

Genre:  Women’s Fiction

 Buy the Book: Kindle | Paperback

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Two women, one love story.

June 1968. Renza falls head over heels for heartthrob guitarist Scott. But after a romantic summer together they are torn apart when Renza’s family moves away.

December 1968. On the night she believes to be her last, Stella meets Scott at a local dance. He’s the most beautiful boy she’s ever seen and if this one night is all they have, she’ll take it.

As the final colourful year of the sixties dawns, the question is: can there be only one woman for Scott?

 
Rating: two-stars

I’ve been waiting for ages for another Christina Jones’s book so when the announcement on Twitter went that “Only One Woman” is going to be released, I couldn’t hide my excitement. This book is also a co – operation with Jane Risdon, and lately I’ve read a brilliant book written by two authors, so was hoping for another captivating read with a difference.

But honestly, I wanted to just put my kindle away and mark this book as DNF much too many times, and this right at the beginning. The only thing that kept me reading was the fact that I was supposed to review it for the blog tour, and also hope that it’s going to turn out into something much better. Unfortunately, any of those things happened and in the end I found myself skim reading and waiting impatiently for the words “The End”. I’m sorry if it sounds harsh but those are my feelings and I can’t change them. It was a repetitive and lifeless story, slow paced and with underdeveloped characters. One of the reasons that I didn’t like it was mother of one of the main characters – I hated this woman. She treated her daughter like a slave and decided about everything – literally everything.

I couldn’t believe how naive Renza was, and it doesn’t matter if it is the swinging 60’s or 2017, naive is naive and I just wanted to shake her and tell her to get a grip. To be honest, I am much more Team Stella. Also, the very sexy and luscious Scott was not my cup of tea, he was playing with the feelings and emotions of the girls all the time, and actually why was it Stella that should feel so bad and not Scott for being a two – timing, calculated person?

Sure, this story was a one great roller – coaster of emotions and feelings for all characters involved but they just didn’t sound true and genuine to me. However, this book, in a great way, gives an insight into the lives of two different girls, or young women, in the 1960s. There were many descriptions of clothes, and especially music, actually the whole book was like a one, long lyric. I wasn’t born in 1960’s but all the cultural references, the names of the groups and songs ring a bell, how couldn’t they, those are cult bands and songs, and it was great to read about them. The atmosphere and the vibe of those times is brilliantly captured, and I also think the differences in lives and the family dynamics as well, and I’m really very sorry that it just didn’t work for me.

Persuading Austen by Brigid Coady

Persuading Austen by Brigid Coady

35546268Publisher: HQ Digital

Publishing Date: 18th July 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:

It is a truth universally acknowledged that working with an ex is a terrible idea…
Annie Elliot never expected her life to turn out this way: living with her dad, working as an accountant – surely the least glamorous job in Hollywood?! – and dodging her family’s constant bickering.

Landing a job as a producer on a new adaptation of Pride and Prejudice seems like the piece of luck she’s been waiting for. Until the cast is announced, and Annie discovers that the actor playing Mr Darcy is Austen Wentworth: the man she’s spent nearly a decade trying to forget.

Not only is Austen her ex – but while Annie’s life has stalled, Austen is Hollywood’s hottest property…and has just been voted World’s Sexiest Man.

With nowhere to hide, there’s just one question. Now the one who got away has come back, should Annie stand by her pride? Or give into Austen’s powers of persuasion?

Rating: two-stars

Oh my word, guys! Excitement pure alert! When I’ve spotted that Brigid Coady is back with her new release I really couldn’t hide my joy – I adored Brigid’s previous book, “No One Wants to be Miss Havisham”, it was one of the funniest reads two years ago and all this time I was waiting for a new book from this author. As soon as it whizzed to my kindle, I started to read it, no need to mention that I was full of hope and expectations.

But. Guys. And I am so, so sorry. I’ll make it short and painful – unfortunately. I was disappointed. Why? Well, because of the main character, Annie Elliot. Firstly, the name Annie just doesn’t sit with me, which of course is not the authors’ fault, but writing “Annie” in almost every single sentence didn’t help. Secondly, I think I have never before come across such a pushover character, and I really started to fully dislike her. Every second page she was patronised by her sisters and father in the worst possible way. The way especially Imogen and their father talked to her was on the lowest level and yet Annie never spoke back, she just allowed them to use her – hell, she was providing for them, she paid all the bills, she organized their jobs and they were all the time unhappy, spent her money and spoke to her as if she was the last dirt, as if she was worthless, not respecting her at all. I wanted to shake her so much but eventually I gave up on Annie. When she decided to finally take those matters in her hands it was already much, much too late, for me the book was destroyed. Then on the other remaining pages Annie was reminiscing about her relationship with Austen and why it was, in advance, doomed to failure. It was a never – ending, long whinge, this narration.

This might have been a try on creating a modern version of Jane Austen’s “Persuasion”, with the Elliots being the theatrical dynasty, but for me it failed completely. I’m really, really sorry for this because I’ve been expecting so much from this story. Fortunately the author’s brilliant, light and approachable writing style is still the same, so at least this saved the day for me a little. I hope though that the next book by the lovely Brigid Coady will be again my cup of tea.