The Woolly Hat Knitting Club by Poppy Dolan

The Woolly Hat Knitting Club by Poppy Dolan

 

36199960Publisher: Canelo

Publishing Date: 25th September 2017

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

Number of pages: 260

Genre:  Romance, Women’s Fiction

 Buy the Book: Kindle

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Finding happiness one stitch at a time

When Dee Blackthorn’s brother, JP, breaks both wrists not only is he in need of a helping hand – or two – but the knitting shop he owns can’t function. Sisterly duties take Dee away from her demanding job and she is unceremoniously fired amidst rumours of inappropriate behaviour. Dee is certain that her hot-shot nemesis, Ben, is behind it all but has no proof.

When Dee bumps into an old friend who is new mum to a premature baby she convinces JP to enlist his knitting pals to make lots of tiny woolly hats. Then Ben turns up denying involvement in Dee’s sacking and she ropes him into helping the knitting cause.

But before long Dee’s good intentions backfire and she risks losing her friends, her family and Ben, who’s turned out to be not so bad after all…

A feel-good romantic comedy about learning what life is really all about, The Woolly Hat Knitting Club is perfect for fans of Cathy Bramley, Tilly Tennant and Carole Matthews.

Rating: four-stars

 

Poppy Dolan is back again with her new novel “The Woolly Hat Knitting Club”, and even though knitting is totally not my thing (but I have other talents, really!), it IS Poppy Dolan’s book and I requested it without hesitation – I fell in love with her books some time ago and I am incredibly happy that after a long break she’s back with her second book this year – keep them coming, Poppy!

The story started very promising and engaging, with Dee being very suddenly being fired from her beloved job. Then I think it went a little downhill and slowed down a bit but I was still caught up in the novel and kept my fingers crossed for (almost) everybody. Dee has really gone on a journey of self – developing and finding her priorities, becoming a new person in short. She had a passion, when she did something she put all her heart into it and she loved her family. She didn’t hesitate for a single moment to leave behind her life in London when her younger brother JP breaks both his wrists and needs help. Actually, this is where her new life starts – even if she doesn’t know it yet herself! What we don’t know about JP yet is that he’s a knitter, runs a blog and the crafting gangs out there just love him. Dee doesn’t knit. At all. But she’s still there to help him, especially as after a chance encounter with her school friend Becky Dee realises they can help! So then we follow her, JP and some of their friends (and enemies) bringing the challenge to life.

I admit, I had some problems to get into the book. I mean, all this knitting, the structure and colours of the yarn, descriptions of needles or whatever the right name is, and generally, there was something keeping me back, but fortunately this overwhelming feel – good factor, the positivity and the wonderful message took over and I just simply started to enjoy this book. It was so warm that you just can’t not like it, and I really am not sure what my problem was.

We see Dee changing, seeing there are other things that count in life than work, seeing different perspectives, and I enjoyed watching her realising all those things. I always like such characters that set their priorities right. Actually, all of the characters are really well drawn. They are down to earth, they have their battles and struggles and they really feel realistic. They play their parts well and there is enough personality in all of them to like them and fell for them, even though their futures are a little bit predictable.

“The woolly Hat Knitting Club” was a lovely story about realising the importance of a family and friends with a beautiful message in it, also touching upon issues that are so important but not often talked about such as premature babies. It is thoughtful but also light – hearted and easy to read, fun and poignant and I simply liked it. It was written in a lovely, warm way and actually, it was all I was expecting from this book. Recommended!

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Cocktails and Dreams by A.L. Michael – #BlogTour/Giveaway

Hi guys! Today is my second (!) stop on A.L. Michael’s blog tour celebrating the release of her newest novel, and the first in the series, “Cocktails and Dreams”. Here you can read the brilliant guest post that the lovely author has written for me, and today you can also read my review of the novel. There is also a giveaway, and all you have to do is to enter the Rafflecopter and have some luck!

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Cocktails and Dreams by A.L. Michael

35603653Publisher: Canelo

Publishing Date: 24th July 2017

Series: Martini Club #1

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

Number of pages: 209

Genre:   Women’s Fiction

 Buy the Book: Kindle

 

Synopsis:

A heart-warming novel with characters you’ll love, don’t miss this first in a new series for romance, laugh-out-loud comedy and a feel-good ending. Perfect for fans of Mhairi McFarlane and Lindsey Kelk.

I was seven years old when I realized my mother was not a great person…

Since Savvy was abandoned by her rockstar mother, she has craved a normal life. But after years of financing her boyfriend’s lacklustre career, he leaves her when he hits the bigtime.

Savvy’s friends at the burlesque club where she serves elaborate cocktails encourage her to make bold changes in her life. She soon meets handsome bartender Milo, and begins to plan a future she can be excited about.

But when Savvy’s estranged mother crashes back into her life, her newfound happiness is under threat… will Savvy have the courage to pursue her dreams?

Rating: four-stars

I am not so into cocktails. Heck, I am not so into alcohol, except maybe for a glass or two of Prosecco. So I can hear you asking, duh, what did you want from a book titled “Cocktails and Dreams”? True – but it was again the synopsis and the lovely bright yellow cover that captured my attention and I just wanted to read this story that turned out to be a great journey of discovering your own dreams and following them.
Though, I must admit, when I started reading the book I started to have this very unsettling feeling that this story is going to be much heavier than I thought it’s going to be and while the serious tone stayed, the writing style has loosen it and there were some funny moments as well.

The story introduces us to Savvy, who is a daughter of a very famous pop star, but also they haven’t been in touch for a very long time and Savvy was brought up by her aunt. But now she’s an adult, moreover, an adult dumped by her boyfriend, and it’s time for her to realize what it is she wants to do with her life. Well, there is a thing she’s really good at – making cocktails, as well as her cooking skills and tastes, which leads to her writing reviews of restaurants – but not normal reviews, oh no! There is a special club…

I really liked the descriptions of the Martini Club where Savvy was working her magic with cocktails. Let’s be honest, it is an unusual place for a heroine to work at, no? But it sounded great, and the group of people working there, especially the boss, were brilliantly supporting. Actually, all the characters were very well portrayed, and I especially liked Savvy’s father and the relationship they had. Savvy herself was down – to – earth girl from your neighbourhood. She loved her job in the bar and she loved creating cocktails and some of them sounded really interesting – even though I am not into cocktails, I’d make exception to try them.

The romance in the story was absolutely believable and I liked how it developed – not too quickly, not too slowly, and it just sounded realistic, with the ups and downs and troubles in paradise. The writing style is also a great advantage, it is sharp and quick and I really enjoyed it.

Altogether, “Cocktails and Dreams” was a fast – paced and multi – layered story describing a journey to self – realisation. It tackled many different aspects and issues, of fame, family and secrets. Fast – paced, with interesting characters that blended well into the scenes and events and were jumping off the pages. It is also the first book in the series and I will be for sure reading the next one. In the meantime, I do recommend this book to you.

GIVEAWAY:

This giveaway is to win a cocktail making giftset and an eCopy of the book. UK only!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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The Bluebell Bunting Society by Poppy Dolan

The Bluebell Bunting Society by Poppy Dolan

 

34450248Publisher: Canelo

Publishing Date: 27th March  2017

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

Number of pages: 198

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

 Buy the Book: Kindle

 

Synopsis:

Welcome to Bluebell Hall. Pull up a wonky chair, grab a cream bun and settle into a story about a little village, a determined caretaker – and bunting.

At twenty-nine, Connie isn’t quite where she thought she’d be. When her beloved gran died Connie returned to Hazelhurst, the village she grew up in, and took over her gran’s old job as caretaker at the village hall. It might not be the stuff of dreams, but Connie loves working at Bluebell Hall – the heart of the community fuelled by copious cups of tea.

So when Bluebell Hall is threatened with closure, Connie is determined not to let greedy property developers get their hands on it. She hatches a plan bonkers enough that it just might work. All it takes is a needle and thread, scraps of old material and willing hands.

Can Connie convince the people of Hazelhurst that their village hall is worth saving? And will she save herself in the process…?

A heartwarming novel about friendship, community and being brave enough to fight for what you believe in, The Bluebell Bunting Society is perfect for fans of Milly Johnson, Tilly Tennant and Cathy Bramley.

Rating: 3.5/5

Oh joy! The new Poppy Dolan’s book! Guys, you’ve no idea how much I’ve waited for this novel. I’ve read all Poppy’s previous books and they were all just SO right up to my street – the brilliant writing, my kind of humour, lovely characters and the stories flowing so effortlessly and seamlessly. I can’t believe – or no, I take it back, I CAN believe that it’s already four years since Poppy’s last book, it is really SO long. When I’ve heard the news “The Bluebell Bunting Society” is up for request on NetGalley it has really made my day, even more so when I was accepted to read it – which I almost immediately did, needless to say. Judging the book on its cover and its title you can think that it’s going to be an inviting, warm, funny, light read – and it’s true!
As I have two left hands when it comes to sewing, bunting and so on I always do love a read about people who can do such things. It’s real magic, no, to put together two things and produce a patchwork blanket, right? I can truly understand all the fuss, really.

There are many threads in this story, guys! It is multi – layered, just like a flower, and here unpeeling the layers makes you laugh and the story is sweet. The chapters are short and they really cover many issues, so that the story felt really dynamic. There is some drama, there is a romance, there is a lovely community. However – and I am incredibly sad that there is “however”, because I wanted to love this book so desperately! However, the story felt too flat for me. It was not as sparkly and fresh as Poppy’s previous books. There were moments it dragged too much for my liking and there was nothing that I could say wow, I haven’t read it or I haven’t seen it coming. It’s just Poppy Dolan has already shown me she can much, much more and I have expected much, much more from this book. Somehow, I just couldn’t get into the heart of this story – which probably is my own fault, and it makes me furious with myself.

Connie was lovely! I loved her passion and desperation to keep the Hall going. It was palpable that she has fond memories of it, especially as she has spent her best times there, together with her Grandmother, and she now enjoys her role as Bloom Mistress, preparing a dance or two with her charges. But Connie is torn – there is this side to her that want to satisfy tradition, keep the hall and run it just like her Gran did, and the other side, where Connie is not sure what it is she want to do, if she wants to stay in Hazelhurst for ever or do something different, somewhere else?

The cast of supporting characters is as bunt as the title itself. The author lets them all to have their own say, to shine through the pages. We have Lucy’s best friend Steve and his wife Lucy and they all want to support Lucy in so many ways! The community spirit in this book is brilliantly captured, it was just my favourite kind of a small, lovely village with people who know everything about each other and when it comes to a crisis they stand up for each other and do whatever they can to help. The duo of Dominic and Polly, father and daughter, has added so much poignancy to this story, the emotions there were so raw and so genuine, and Polly was so incredibly talented and creative, it was a real joy to read about her ideas.

Altogether, “The Bluebell Bunting Society” was a cute, warm, inviting read. It is this kind of read when you know what’s going to happen but it doesn’t bother you and it only makes you feel better. The characters are so lovely that you can’t help but fall for them all, and keep your fingers crossed for them. A heart – warming, uplifting read with a feel – good factor – recommended!