A House to Mend a Broken Heart by Alison Sherlock – #BlogTour

Hi guys, me again, with a new blog tour for you today! And guess who are we celebrating right now? Yesss! The lovely Alison Sherlock, who’s finally back with a new release, and really guys, it was worth to wait those three years! “A House to Mend a Broken Heart” is just typical, lovely and inviting story and if you are in a need of some relaxing moments, do not hesitate and read this novel!

A House to Mend a Broken Heart by Alison Sherlock

34813884Publisher: Aria

Publishing Date: 1st July 2017

Series:  Willow Tree Hall #1

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

Number of pages: 348

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

 Buy the Book: Kindle | Paperback

 

Synopsis:

Everyone is hiding from something…

Full of warmth, laughter, tears and heartache. Find out if there is a happy-ever-after at Willow Tree Hall. Perfect for the fans of Milly Johnson and Lucy Diamond.

Willow Tree Hall has seen much better days and has been the proud ancestral home of the Earl and Countess of Cranley for centuries.

With no qualifications and escaping her past Annie Rogers takes the job as housekeeper to widowed Arthur, the charming current Earl of Cranley. After a bad fall puts Arthur in hospital, it’s up to a reluctant heir apparent Sam Harris, to lend a helping hand and try to find a sustainable future for the Estate.

With the house requiring a full renovation Annie suddenly finds herself completely out of her depth with a team of dodgy builders and Sam watching critically from the side-lines.

With Sam running from his past and Annie hiding from hers, just maybe together they can bring Willow Tree Hall back to life.

The start of a beautiful new series focusing on the lives and loves, trial and tribulations of all those who live and work at Willow Tree Hall.

Rating: four-stars

Oh boy, guys, it is already three years since Alison Sherlock has published a new book! Amazing… I’ve read all of Alison’s previous books and loved all of them, so having seen she finally has a new book out was like getting an earlier birthday present – there is always so much warmth to Ms Sherlock’s writing, and the stories are simple but always very uplifting. I really couldn’t wait to start reading “A House to Mend a Broken Heart”.

The stately home Willow Tree Hall was a character itself in this story. I really liked to see all the refreshing changes being done to it, and I loved how much the characters adored the house, how they loved it and couldn’t imagine living somewhere else. Of course, not all of them, and Alison Sherlock has truly well captured the difference between the generations and their argumentation, and really, you could see the reasons of both sides. I could understand that not all young people are interested in inheriting stately home, look after it and its tenants, that they had other ideas for their lives, but I also could understand the older generation who wanted the places to stay in the families. The characters were not too complicated or too complex, but as the whole story was relatively simple it just worked perfectly and there was enough depth and background to them to just fall for them. Annie was lovely and she wore her heart on her sleeve, although there were moments that she seemed so indecisive and doubting in herself and they were annoying, those moments, even though we knew where all those insecurity was coming from.
Sam, well, Sam. To be honest at the very beginning of the book I was dead sure that I know how it’s going to end and who’s going to be Annie’s love interest, but I was wrong. I think that I fell a little bit in love with Sam, especially in the second part of the book where he started to show his real self and turned out to be the perfect guy. But what I liked most in the characters was that they were developing, not staying in place.
I also adored the background characters, well, maybe with the exception of Cassandra, but there is no way you can like Cassandra, she was made by the author to be disliked, but the rest of them, Arthur, Alex or especially Sam Aunt’s Rose, were colourful and vivid, I personally think that there was more life in them as in Annie, but pssst, Annie was also lovely. I really liked how Rose liked to shock Will and Sam with her stories and telling them what she was up to, and her passion to her vintage clothes was shining through the pages.

Annie and Sam’s stories weren’t rushed and they were developing in just the right way, with the right amount of bits being revealed about their backgrounds, letting us understand what made them and what makes them tick. This relationship was slowly developing and growing and I liked it, because it was not too wishy – washy, too sweet, it just felt realistic.

There were moments that felt too far – fetched for my liking, for example with Cassandra, the way she treated people and how quickly her thread has ended, and the way the big music mogul Sam has managed to hire the first builder he set his eyes on to renovate the house, and maybe I’d love to see some more twists and turns, as the story was on a very steady level, but altogether I really enjoyed it. I love Alison Sherlock’s writing style, it is warm and inviting, that was getting better and better with the story progressing, and I didn’t have any problems to feel a part of the story.

So yes, altogether the story maybe was a little clichéd and predictable, but you know what? It didn’t bother me so much this time because it just worked – all the elements worked well together. It was an easy, adorable read with likeable characters, a prefect mix of funny and poignant. The ending seemed a little too rushed for my liking and when at the beginning it was so hard and difficult with the house, at the end it seemed as if it was renovating itself but “A House to Mend a Broken Heart” really was a lovely, peaceful story about families, second chances, expectations, hope and love – a brilliant, uplifting mix of romance, drama and fun. Recommended!

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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.

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The Inheritance by Angie Coleman

The Inheritance by Angie Coleman

 

34355334Publisher: Aria

Publishing Date: 1st May  2017

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

Number of pages: 222

Genre: Romance, Women’s Fiction

 Buy the Book: Kindle | Paperback

 

Synopsis:

Twenty-four-year-old Ashley Morgan thinks her future is guaranteed when she takes over the reins of her family business. What could go wrong?

But when her father decides to give the job to Jamie Standley, his right-hand man, Ashley feels cheated and breaks off all ties with her father.

Three years later at the reading of her late father’s Will, she discovers to her horror that Jamie will continue to be director of Morgan & Hall, while she will only receive a small share in the business. But on one condition: that Ashley and Jamie work together and live under the same roof for a whole year…

Once again Ashley feels betrayed and cheated. To her, Jamie is an impostor and she is determined to make him pay. But forced cohabitation can sometimes have unpredictable consequences…

Rating:  one-half-stars

I requested “The Inheritance” by Angie Coleman on NetGalley because a) the cover is cute and I am a sucker for such lovely, sweet covers and b) because even though the synopsis didn’t sound very original, it still was good and promised a few giggles. You can also read on the cover that it’s going to be a feisty, giggle – inducing romance. Guys, I am so, so sorry but this book was nothing like that.

My problems started already at the beginning with the main character Ashley. From the very first word you could see she’s spoiled and childish and she stayed like this for the whole, full of clichés, story. Used to getting everything she wanted in her life, at the first “no” she throws a tantrum bigger than a tsunami, feeling offended with everything and everybody and stops talking to her father, but when he dies three years later she expects she’s going to inherit his apartment and money (because she doesn’t have money and a place to live *haven’t expected this, never. Sigh*). Enter Jamie, a pastry chef and candy maker, who, instead of Ashley, has been chosen to run Ashley’s father’s company (hence Ashley being so offended). Fast forward three years, Ashley’s father is dead, and there is a condition in his will: to inherit apartment, Ashley has to live together with Jamie for twelve months. Jamie will only inherit the company if he works together with Ashley for a year.

Yes, guys. That’s the plot. It is to swallow, and it could be a really funny rom – com. But believe me, the characters are – sadly – even worst than the plot. They were both like fifteen years old teenagers, both moaning about each other, hating each other, Ashley behaving in the worst possible way and stating “you don’t know who you’re messin’ with”, sending messages from Jamie’s mobile, this kind of thing, then the woman from the law firm who were supposed to visit them and see if they work together (huh??? I mean, how???? How can you be sure that they are really going along?), Ashley forbad Jamie to watch TV and basically to use any other room in the apartment than his and Jamie fell into line, but in the meantime cooked for Ashley and tried to persuade her that she’s in love with him. There was NO connection between those two characters, no sparkles, no chemistry, let’s forget about any tension that should somehow indicate there is a teeny tiny sign of a sparkle… I also couldn’t see any history between those two, they got to know each other some time ago but there was nothing indicating they had feelings to each other.

I am truly sad that I feel like that about this book, I wanted to like it so much but I can’t change my feelings. I also decided to write this review because I managed to finish this book – skim reading, that’s it, but I managed. I just couldn’t keep up with the characters, the way they behaved, Ashley knowing everything best in the world, also about who her friends should be meeting, Jamie once giving no damn about Ashley and in the next second following her because she has a date. This romance was so unbelievable and didn’t work, the writing seemed so disconnected and yes, the idea was there, the potential was there but they weren’t delivered. However, please try this story for yourself, you may find yourself falling in love with it.

Whatever Happened to Vicky Hope’s Back Up Man by Laura Kemp / Blog Tour

Hi guys, and happy Saturday! It is lovely here today, incredibly cold but the snow is here and the sun is shining – just what the real winter should look like! Also, today I am extremely thrilled to be a part of Laura Kemp’s blog tour – her new book “Whatever Happened to Vicky Hope’s Back Up Man” was released on 1st January and the ratings are raving! Next to the review I have a link to a Spotify playlist that Laura Kemp made of songs that she’d like to accompany the book, and there are some great titles there! Laura’s posted this a while ago with a link saying: ‘I’ve just spent a delightful half hour making a playlist all about suburbia and the songs that give me that maudlin feeling of teen angst. It’s collaborative so feel free to add yours to WHATEVER HAPPENED TO VICKY HOPE’S BACK UP MAN?’ – here is the link !

Whatever Happened to Vicky Hope’s Back Up Man by Laura Kemp

 

32183040Publisher: Aria

Publishing Date: 1st January 2017

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

Number of pages: 328

Genre: Romance, Women’s Fiction

 Buy the Book: Kindle | Paperback

 

Synopsis:

A tender, funny and haunting coming-of-age novel which asks if the past can ever be part of your future.

Twenty-one and insecure, Vicky Hope comes up with a plan on the eve of travelling the world with her high flying friend, Kat Lloyd: if she isn’t married by the time she’s thirty, she’ll marry her geeky best mate Mikey Murphy.

Fast-forward eight-and-a-bit years, Vicky, now Vee wakes up on her thirtieth birthday in Brighton, expecting a proposal of marriage from her arty boyfriend Jez. Instead he tells her their relationship is over and she has no choice but to return to her parents’ home.

Devastated and alone in her childhood bedroom, she decides she has nothing to lose and tracks down her two old mates. With shock, she discovers Mikey, now Murphy, is a successful app designer driven by his tragic upbringing. Kat, or Kate, never made it – but she hides a devastating secret, which threatens the happiness of all three.

Rating: 3/5

Having read and enjoyed Laura Kemp’s two previous books I was incredibly happy to see that “What Happened to Vicky Hope’s Back Up Man” is to be released. I love the title! I always thought that the shorter the title the better but lately I am changing my mind, the longer titles are really great, don’t you think? The cover of this novel is also so promising and it has such a happy feeling – and this is what I have expected from the book when I started reading it.

The story follows Vicky, Kat and Mikey, three friends who couldn’t imagine a world without each other. However, fast forward eight years and things look a little different. They’ve lost touch, in fact they split up not as best friends, and now Vicky tries to make amends with her – back then – best pals.

Laura Kemp has greatly described the characters and I think the best parts of the book were when they were forced by the author to made choices, because it makes you, as the reader, think what you’d do in such situation, how you’d behave. All of the three characters told us their own stories, explained what has happened and how their lives went. The most – maybe not hooking but touching – was Kat’s story, in my opinion, and while sometimes it felt too far fetched for me, it was also great to see how she’s been changing and how strong she became at the end of the story. Vicky working in a deli has lightened the story, I enjoyed the moments incredibly, especially as her new boss was lovely, full of humour and he believed in Vicky so much – liked the positivity there.

So, so far so good, right. For me, however, the book didn’t work as well as Ms Kemp’s previous novels. It took me a lot of time to get into the story and to be honest, till the end I wasn’t as engaged in it as I’d like. I had problems to warm to the characters, I had problems with the plot, I had problems with the way the story was organized. For me this novel was full of negativity and poor feelings. Mostly I had a feeling we are going in circles and the flashback chapters made me roll my eyes. The characters felt somehow immature and their problems so forced and so over – exaggerated, it was full of lies and secrets. Maybe my biggest problem with Vicky was the fact that she seemed not to know what to do with her life at all? After her relationship crashed she really didn’t know what she wants, what it is she wants to do with her life. I couldn’t understand the negative feelings between the friends, who they were coming from, and especially Mikey – he was behaving like a child who’s just lost his favourite toy, so moody and full of unnecessary sarcasm. The plot felt under – developed to be honest and it was so often hinted that something wrong happened in the past between the friends that made them go separate ways that I eventually lost hope and interest to see what it was. And I don’t know why, guys, but it took me a lot of time to warm to the characters, and while at the end I’ve started to accept Vicky, no, sorry – Vee *eye roll*, I think it was Kat’s fiancé that I liked most because I’ve never warmed to the others.

But I don’t want to blame the book for my feelings, perhaps it is the case of “it’s not you, it’s me”, and seeing the high ratings and raving reviews it must be it, so don’t let me discourage you to read this novel – just make yourself comfortable and enjoy “What Happened to Vicky Hope’s Back – Up Man” – it was a cute, cosy story about friendship and trust, about making mistakes, forgiving, leaving past behind and looking towards a new and promising future – or making the future promising for yourself, just – sadly – not so for me. However, I am already looking towards Laura Kemp’s new novel as I love her sharp dialogues and her sober way of seeing the world. If you are looking for a tender story, showing how friendship can evolve and change but that when it is a real friendship, it can stay so for your whole life then look no further and buy “What Happened to Vicky Hope’s Back Up Man”.

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Christmas at the Dog & Duck by Jill Steeples

Christmas at the Dog & Duck by Jill Steeples

 

31309400Publisher: Aria

Publishing Date: 22nd September 2016

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

Number of pages: 260

Genre: Women’s Fiction, Romance

 Buy the Book: Kindle

 

Synopsis:

A perfect, feel-good romantic novel to curl up with this Christmas. A story of new beginnings, love and friendship. Perfect for the fans of Jenny Colgan and Lucy Diamond.

Ellie Browne has left behind her high-flying job in London to return to the charming Buckinghamshire village of Little Leyton. Working shifts at The Dog and Duck and running her own doggy-day-care business, Ellie’s looking for a much simpler way of life and a good old fashioned Christmas.

But Little Leyton’s landscape is changing; Johnny Tay, Ellie’s ex, wants to pick up where they left off; sultry property developer Max Golding, has moved into the village and is ruffling feathers; and rumour has it that the pub, which holds a special place in Ellie’s heart, might be sold. Suddenly, life’s looking a whole lot more complicated…

Can Ellie juggle her emotions and commitments in time to celebrate Christmas?

 Rating: 2/5

I haven’t read any Jill Steeples’s books before so I was really happy to start “Christmas at the dog and Duck” – the synopsis sounds so promising, and the gorgeous Christmassy cover caught my eye immediately. However, it is this kind of book that in fact only ends at Christmas, and it felt everything but Christmassy to be honest, which for me personally was not a problem.

So the story follows Ellie, who’s just opened her dog – walking business, and it also centres around The Dog and Duck pub where she also works her shifts. Quickly, I started to have a feeling that I’ve read it before, there was nothing fresh or new that took me by surprise. It was a very predictable read – and the business with the dog walking was done before by Cressida McLaughlin, and dealt with in a much better way in my opinion. Also, there was one thing that bothered me incredibly and I was so short of putting the book away and never picking it up again, and it is the refugees problem. There are so many mixed emotions around this subject and I just think that a chick – lit fiction is not a place to deal with it, and I just had a feeling that the author wanted to score something with it putting it in the book. Moreover, it was mentioned, there was one or two scenes in Calais and what? And nothing. No changes done, nothing significant happened, nobody was saved so why put it in the book at all? I’m sorry if it sounds harsh or if I am offending somebody’s feeling but those are my feelings.

Each character mentioned in the book, even the most background ones, those that entered the scenes for a moment, needed a very long and very detailed introduction including how they look like, what they wear and what they do, and I was asking myself, why? Do we need it? For me it also seemed that the author didn’t really know what she wanted to write about. There are some ideas and some sub – plots and they started and then ended abruptly and a new idea was introduced to us, so we have the charity thing, then suddenly there comes the situation with the pub, then Ellie wants to give up her dog business…

There was also something in this story that annoys me personally so much – when the characters interact, I need them to really talk, to reply to each other immediately. I don’t like it when there is a page or two of inner monologue or weighing up the answers between a question asked and a reply as it really makes me to forget the question, and it was the case here. So many words – and yes, I DO know it is a book and that books consist of words, hello – but words that I could do without.
I’d really love to give this book more stars, as the writing style was really lovely, but taking into consideration that I mostly skim – read it, I just can’t. We just didn’t rub together, me and the book, however I would love to try other books by Ms Steeples.

Friends Like Us by Siân O’Gorman

Friends Like Us

by Siân O’Gorman

 

Publisher: Aria

Publishing Date: 1st July 2016

Source:  Copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley,  thank you!

Number of pages: 348

Genre: Women’s Fiction, Romance

 Buy the Book: Kindle

 

 Synopsis:

Is it ever too late to take charge and live your life on your terms?

Life for school friends, Melissa, Steph and Eilis, hasn’t quite worked out the way they once imagined it might.

Melissa may be professionally successful but inside she’s a mess of insecurities.
Steph is lonely and lost, balancing the fragile threads of family life and walking on eggshells around her philandering husband and angry teenage daughter.

Finally, Eilis, a hardworking A&E doctor, utterly exhausted by the daily pressures of work and going through the motions with her long-term partner Rob.

It’s crunch time for all the friends…

A light-hearted and emotional novel about family, friendship and coming to terms with your past. Perfect for fans of Marian Keyes and Amanda Prowse.

Rating: 2.5/5

 

I requested „Friends Like Us” when requesting other book from the publisher Aria – the title, the cover of this book and the synopsis have caught my eye and I thought, why not? I like stories about friends reuniting and love to follow their different life stories so I was sure that nothing can go wrong with this book.

So „Friends Like Us” concentrates on the lives of three women who have lost contact and now, under the pretext of organizing the reunion, they start to see each other again, and in this time their lives change extremely. There are big challenges for them, many changes and they start to learn to support each other again and lean on each other again. Though, to be absolutely honest, somehow I didn’t feel this strong bond that was supposed to exist between them. Melissa, Steph and Eilis must deal with infidelity, illness, death, problems at work, tricky teenagers and in between of course some of them meet gorgeous strangers, some of them discover that old love never dies, some of them change from being a doormat into a confident women.

Sadly, it was not a book that I can say I haven’t read before – I missed originality and freshness, and I had a feeling that I’ve read many such stories before. Add to this the fact that in my opinion the author focused on many things that were not at all relevant to the plot, that were not significant, making the book drag on incredibly. Probably, if I read this book not as a reviewer reading hundreds of books a year only a „normal” reader, I’d enjoy it much more, as there was actually nothing wrong with it, for me it only lacked in originality and I spent more time on skipping paragraphs than actually reading and the plot just didn’t drawn me in, as well as I didn’t feel a real connection to the characters. The plot and the events were also tad too predictable – you could feel in what direction each of the subplots is going to continue. I was all the time waiting for something to happen, for something to surprise me but unfortunately, it was all „I’ve been there, I’ve seen it all”. Also, mostly, the story dragged on but somewhere at the end some of the events sped up very sharply, which confused me very much and left me with a feeling that I missed something. Also, the friends met again because of the reunion and I was expecting the story to revolve around the organization of it, about maybe revealing some secrets from the past, but it turned out that it’s going to go in a very different direction. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing but then why to emphasize the reunion so much? Also, the characters felt too clichéd for my liking and the way they acted and reacted was too obvious and too predictable.

I wanted to love this book and I wanted to rate it much higher, unfortunately it wasn’t able to keep my attention and, as I have already mentioned it before, I quickly started to skim reading it, without a feeling that I’m missing something. However, the writing was really nice and I am sure this story will find its fans. For me it was sadly too predictable and too clichéd and I missed the surprise effect. But if you are looking for a light, not demanding read then be sure to check „Friends Like Us”.

The Late Blossoming of Frankie Green by Laura Kemp

The Late Blossoming of Frankie Green

by Laura Kemp

 

Publisher: Aria

Publishing Date: 1st June 2016

Source:  Copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley, thank you!.

Number of pages: 368

Genre: Romance, Women’s Fiction

 Buy the Book: Kindle

 

 Synopsis:

A laugh-out-loud, feel good, romantic comedy, which will take you on an enlightening emotional rollercoaster. Perfect for the fans of Sophie Kinsella and Jane Costello.

Frankie Green’s happy ever after is put on hold when her childhood sweetheart husband complains things are boring in bed.

When he asks for some space, she sets out to win him back by getting herself a sex education.

Little does she know that her hilarious, tender and embarrassing journey of enlightenment is going to change everything…

A story full of humour, heartache and happiness, of friendship, coming of age and overcoming insecurity.

Rating: 4/5

 

„The Late Blossoming of Frankie Green” is Laura Kemp’s third release, and the second book by this author that I’ve read. Actually, as soon as I’ve heard about this book, seen the cover and read the synopsis I knew that I need to read it – it sounds so daring, unique and different, and provocative as well, and when I spotted that the title is available on NetGalley, I quickly clicked „request” and waited, hoping to be approved.

The story started in a brilliant, funny way and I so hoped it’s going to continue like this, but unfortunately soon, very soon, as in the first chapters, it changed the tone a little and went on like this. And by „like this” I mean that the author has concentrated on the smallest details, such like describing how each of the characters looked like, mentioning the last freckle on their noses, for example, and also the story, instead of gaining speed, was held on a very steady level. I also thought that the book is going to follow Frankie and Frankie only, so it came as a little surprise that it also concentrates on Frankie’s friends, Em and Letty. I don’t mean it was bad or that it didn’t suit the story, it just surprised me as the blurb mentions only Frankie.

Our Frankie. She’s your normal woman, a neighbour, a girl who loves her husband to bits. She thinks that everything runs smoothly in her marriage. That is, until one day she’s surprised by her husband Jason expressing some sexual desires and stating that Frankie is not at all experienced in bed, and that he needs more excitement, and that he needs a break. Because Frankie is not experienced in bed, let me repeat this. And also because their life is very predictable – shortly, he needs to see if there are other options, to explore the world a little. But mostly because of a once in a week sex in a missionary position only. Oh guys, to say that Frankie didn’t see it coming would be an understatement! It hurt ME to see how shocked she was, how she didn’t expect it, how she was sure that their quiet life is this what they both need. But well, if Jason really means it… Frankie doesn’t transform into a vamp or nymphomaniac on the spot, oh no, but she decides on a very courageous step and takes a sex – teacher. She’s desperate to get Jason back – well, yes, she is afraid to come out of her shell – but she’s determined and won’t hesitate to change. I must say, I liked Frankie, and I admired to what extent she’s willing to go only to get her husband back. If he’s worth it? Well, this is the other thing. If she’ll get him back at all? This you must read for yourself.
And so our Frankie embarks on a sexual journey, and the list of things she wanted to learn differentiate between spanking, role playing, erotica and some other interesting things, and when she and her teacher eventually got to their lesson, it was both hilarious and touching, and it felt so genuine when the author wrote about their feelings at those moments, and she also brilliantly captured how difficult it was for both of them.

Frankie’s best friends are Em and Letty, and their stories are also very significant for the book. Those two have their own demons to overcome, their lives have thrown a curveball or two at them and they have their own challenges. In their own ways those two women also found themselves afresh, they developed and blossomed and found what it is that they want to do and how they want to do it. The story is told from the three friends’ points of view and we are taken on a journey where we learn about the women’s lives and everything they are doing. There is lots happening in all of their lives, However, in comparison to Frankie’s story, their stories felt a little too bland and too clichéd for my liking and I had a feeling that after delivering the climax in every single one of the three stories, the plot then came to a stop and there weren’t any big surprises for us.

As much as the three women are the main characters in the story, it was Floyd, Em’s brother and Frankie’s sex – teacher who easily enchanted me. He was funny, down – to – earth, easy – going and you could see he feels comfortable in his own skin, and of course him volunteering to be Frankie’s sex – teacher had a hidden agenda, which I, personally, found incredibly sweet.

This story in a lovely way shows how the main character slowly but steadily started to come out of her shell and comfort zones, and I don’t only mean her sex – life here. It was great to see how she grows in confidence and how she realises what she really wants from life. I loved to see how Frankie starts to see herself, how she starts to appreciate herself and love the person that she is, and not the person that her husband Jason wanted her to be. Also, the other characters were neatly formed, and they also changed throughout the story, which made me rooting for them.

It’s a bit flirty, sexy, different and open and written in a very fluent way. While the two sub – plots about Frankie’s friends are a little predictable, Frankie’s story is unique, quirky and absorbing and on the whole I really enjoyed it. Frankie was really broadening her horizons and I liked how the author described her journey, with all her emotions, dilemmas, feelings – because it was not so easy for Frankie to open herself, as I can easily guess, and even though the idea of having a sex – tutor didn’t come easily to her, she nevertheless took the bull by the horns, to overcome her reservations. So if you are looking for a book with interesting, unusual plot, well – developed characters and about discovering yourself, look no further and try „The Late Blossoming of Frankie Green” by Laura Kemp.