My Sisters and Me by Lisa Dickenson

My Sisters and Me by Lisa Dickenson

 

 

 40875903Publisher: Sphere

Publishing Date: 23rd August 2018

Source:  Received from the publisher, thank you!

Number of pages: 400

Genre: General Fiction (Adult)

 Buy the Book:  Kindle | Paperback

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Three women are making over their childhood home. It’s going to get messy.

When Willow Lake asks her three daughters to help renovate the family home each has a reason to hesitate. The sisters always looked out for each other, but growing up in the Devon town of Maplewood wasn’t easy.

Noelle, the youngest, is perfectly comfortable with who she is – now. Once, though, she wanted to fit in so badly that she walked away from her first love. A first love who still lives in Maplewood . . .

Emmy, the middle sister, has always been quiet and bookish, and the idea of returning to the town that ridiculed her teenage-self fills Emmy with dread.

Outspoken Rae, the eldest, is painfully aware of how much the townspeople hurt her sisters growing up. She couldn’t protect them then, but there’s no way she’ll let history repeat itself.

As the sisters settle back into Maplewood they rekindle old relationships (some more welcome than others) and begin to make peace with the past. After all if they’ve changed over the years, it’s possible the townspeople have too . . . isn’t it?

Rating: four-stars

Rae, Emmy and Noelle are the three Lake sisters, as they are known in their childhood village Maplewood in Devon. They all visit their home rather reluctantly, as the place is full of sad and traumatic memories from their childhood and school years. They, in fact, couldn’t wait to leave Maplewood. Now Rae is married and is an opera singer, Emmy is a robotic engineer and Noelle is an environmental lawyer. However, at the request of their mother Willow, who, after death of the girls’ father started to travel the world, the girls are supposed to take sabbatical from work, come back home and renovate it for rental while Willow is again on the road. To say they’re all a bit wary would be an understatement, considering all the things that had happened in the past, and they are scared to face the village but there is no other option for them. How is it all going to play out?

I have warmed to the three sisters immediately. They were so easy to like and they had the best jobs ever. Noelle was environmental lawyer and I loved her interactions with Big Daddy, Rae was an opera singer (how many opera singers do you know?) and Emmy’s job was one in a million – she had something to do with building robots that she was sending then into space. They were all so passionate about their jobs and you could really see that they’re doing things they love to do. And oh yes, they were kick – ass sisters! It was brilliant they were all so different but no matter what they just stick together. I loved them all. But most of all I think I loved Jared *sigh*, and most importantly, I loved Emmy around Jared – she was then always so relaxed and funny.

Now, guys. I do love a Lisa Dickenson’s book. I’ve been reading and adoring her novels from the very beginning and this is why I went into “My Sisters and Me” with great expectations and actually certainty that this book is – again – going to blow my socks off with its brilliancy, humour and general greatness. And this is why, because of this feeling of certainty, I found myself reading and reading and starting to PANIC. Literally, panic and wondering, what’s happening? For a long time it was a solid 3 stars read for me, while I was sure it’s going to be a 10 out of 5 stars read. I’ve missed more humour, pace and action that I so well know from Lisa’s previous books. Those were actually Jared and Finn that saved the reading for me – they were brilliant characters, full of this Lisa’s hallmark banter and one – liners that the female characters maybe lacked a little this time. Don’t get me wrong, the three sisters were great, strong heroines, they were funny and their bond was genuine and out of this world fantastic, and I simply adored them all and kept everything crossed for them, but still the story felt too flat and too slow for my liking, and there were some things that bothered me all the time, like why the hell the residents of Maplewood hated the girls so much, even though they never did anything wrong and why their parents did nothing in that matter? Yes, Lisa did try to explain those things but somehow it just didn’t sit with me and didn’t convince me – probably because, as I have already mentioned, I ADORED the sisters and couldn’t understand those that didn’t like them as much as I did. so there.

But.

But oh my, does the book make you think and reminisce! Even though I’m a little older than the sisters, their journey back in time was a fantastic trip down memory lane for me as well. I am very 90’s chicka and all the mentions of clothes, music, posters on the wall were like opening a photo album for me. And Bonnie, how could “Mr. Vain” make you confused??? But this novel also brought back some memories that I’d rather, just like the sisters, leave unearthed somewhere deep, deep down, where it’s very dark, and I could really identify with the characters on this level. As always, the dear Lisa Dickenson chooses the best setting ever. This time we’re not travelling abroad but still, Maplewood and the house in the woods where the girls lived were fabulously described. Lisa has brilliantly captured the essence of a small town and its residents, close – knit community, with their prejudices and beliefs. And Lisa’s writing stays the same, it’s light and easy and so captivating, almost addictive, and it had me glued to the pages. You feel together with the characters, their fears, exasperation and happiness, their confusion and desperation. You laugh and cry with them and you just so want for everything to go smooth for them in the end. The descriptions are full of laughter and Lisa knows how to use her words to break the ice.

“My Sisters and Me” was full of sunshine, this overwhelming feel – good factor. It featured strong women who were developing all the time, finding their courage to feel good in their own skin, women who loved and were not afraid to say when they were not happy. It was about friendship and family dynamics, about revisiting your childhood and fighting the demons, facing the troubles and staying strong to your beliefs, and I absolutely loved this message. It brilliantly captured this mixture of happy childhood memories and those worse ones, and addressed all the old traumas showing that it’s really not so difficult to face the opponents and old memories. Would I recommend this novel? Hell, yes – just go and treat yourself to this book when it’s out!

My Top Ten Books of 2017

My Top Ten Booksof 2017

Hi guys! Exactly one year ago I was sharing my most favourite reads of 2016 with you, and now it’s time to do the same with the 2017 reads. What is so special about this is the fact that there are the same authors on both lists!

In 2017 I haven’t read as many books as I’d like. The current number is 156 and when some might say wow, I know that I struggled to get to this number – life getting in the way, child growing up and serving as a taxi to bring her to and back from her activities, looking after the dogs, going to work that lately is very stressful… But let’s not whinge, altogether it was not a bad year, and not only in a bookish sense, but let’s focus on books, guys, this is why we’re here, right? I’ve read many brilliant novels, introducing me to characters that are going to stay with me for ever, and I spent thousand of magical hours in my fictional worlds, and here are some of my most favourite ones. They are not in particular order but there is one book that immediately springs to mind and so I just have it to place it at the very top of my list.

A Song for Tomorrow by Alice Peterson

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February releases brought one of my most anticipated books this year. Alice Peterson belongs to my top favourite author but with “A Song for Tomorrow” she has overdone herself – this book is an absolute gem, a book like no other that turned me into a a weepy mess but that was also full of hope. I absolutely loved this book and it’s going to stay with me for ever!

My Sweet Revenge by Jane Fallon

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One novel that made me laugh out loud, that made me cringe, that made me cheer the characters on and also made me feel inspired by the main character was “My Sweet Revenge” by Jane Fallon, a story that I’ll be getting back to many, many times – though I’d love to be able to read it for the first time over and over again. “My Sweet Revenge” was a bittersweet story with strong and solid characters, with laugh out loud moments and many twists and turns, and you really couldn’t be sure what to expect and – and it was the best! – who to trust and which information is true, the author has really messed with her readers! Absolutely brilliant read!

A Not Quite Perfect Family by Claire Sandy

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I am actually a little bit in love with this book. It was fun and quirky, with brilliant characters, and the author tells about things like they are, with no holds barred. She has written about normal family – with all the ups and downs, function and dysfunction, troubles and successes but she has made this family not only special but down – to – earth. They could have their differences but in the end they all stuck together, they supported each other, just like it should be. “A Not Quite Perfect Family” was full of laugh – out – loud moments, but also there were moments that were much, much more poignant. A cringey, embarrassing moments intertwined with deeper, poignant ones and I loved this mix – it was perfect.

The One by John Marrs

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Oh holy moly, guys. This book. THIS BOOK. When I started to reading it, I couldn’t put it down. Literally. This book. THIS BOOK. It was freakingly brilliant. So refreshing, so original, so unpredictable – one of the best novels this year, believe me. This novel was unputdownable. It was exciting and addictive, and as the chapters were so short, I more than often found myself telling only one chapter and coming out for an air few hours later. It is so, so cleverly plotted, full of shocking twists and turns. “The One” was one of the most unpredictable reads you can ever wish for.

Catch Me if You Cannes by Lisa Dickenson

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There can’t be a list without Lisa Dickenson’s book on it!!! “Catch Me if you Cannes” was packed full, as it usually is with Lisa’s stories, of incredible, belly – ache one – liners. There is something magic and addictive to Lisa’s writing. It’s so light and easy to follow, and it leaves you full of sparkles and will to live, really. But it’s not only laugh – out – loud story about the adventures of two best friends, oh no, Lisa, as usually, has added some softer and emotional moments to the plot as well, that just made me love the story much, much more!

Coming Home to the Comfort Food Cafe by Debbie Johnson

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This story is so beautifully written, it’s full of layers, it’s deep and incredibly funny at the same time, and full of unforgettable characters and situations, friendship and the overwhelming feeling of being welcome. It’s bittersweet, and it is very honest and raw but there is also this incredibly uplifting, optimistic side to it. You can feel the love, the friendship and hope and it is great. It made me laugh out loud and cry like a baby, and it evoke all kind of emotions in me. It is Debbie Johnson at her best!

The Break by Marian Keyes

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“The Break” was full of dramas, small and huge, and brilliantly captured family bonds. It touches on some more serious and some lighter issues. It is first of all about love, but also about death and grief, health issues, patchwork families and how they work, betrayal, temptations and also your everyday troubles and issues. It’s about overcoming those troubles and staying strong. It’s about choices. It was compelling, emotional, complex and so wise! A book with unforgettable characters that’s going to stay with you for a long time after you’ve finished reading it, with plenty of emotional but also plenty of this incredible Irish charm and humour.

Dancing Over the Hill by Cathy Hopkins

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This book made me laugh so hard and I couldn’t wait to discover what’s going to happen. It is this best kind of book when you want to turn the pages as quickly as possible but on the other hand you don’t want it to end. It was a brilliant, entertaining story about love, family and finding your priorities, relationships and seeing that grass is not always greener on the other side. It had me emotionally involved and just pushed all the right buttons for me.

The Year of Saying Yes by Hannah Doyle

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“The Year of Saying Yes” was a story about learning things about yourself, pushing your boundaries, learning that impossible is nothing. It shows that no matter what we think about ourselves, we’re strong enough to face the challenges – in a brilliant, hilarious, light – hearted way. I really can’t wait to see what Hannah Doyle has in store for us, because this book was a real winner and it is a novel that should be shouted about from the rooftops.

Sister Sister by Sue Fortin

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This book is  pure genius. A bloody good psychological suspense/thriller with a writing style that just draws you in, and you can’t stop reading. “Sister, Sister” is a story of betrayal, lies and secrets, an absorbing and disturbing psychological suspense with greatly developed characters full of secrets and issues, all so significant to this story and they keep you guessing till the end. This is this kind of a book that you say to yourself you’re going to read only one chapter more and come up for a breath few hours later.

Book of the Month : May + Q&A with the Authors

Hi guys! It’s June (already) and it is time to share my favourite May reads with you. It was a great month bookish – wise (OK, and life was also not so bad, except for some not too great news but also some good ones), I rated many of the books with 5*. But – there were two novels that literally took my breath away. Two very different ones, different genres but both of them exceptionally brilliant. Moreover – I have a big, great pleasure to also share Q&As with both Authors, so scroll down and enjoy!

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I already can’t imagine summer and winter without Lisa Dickenson’s books. I love Lisa and I love her novels and one day, when I go to the UK, I want to meet her personally (be warned, Lisa!), so there. May has seen her lovely, gorgeous, summery “Catch Me if You Cannes” being published and even though I’ve read the book some time ago when it was published in the four – part – series I can’t describe how lovely it was to see the story as a whole, beautiful paperback version. Here you can read my review of this brilliant novel and here is also the promised Q&A with the Author.

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  1. Lisa, “Catch Me if You Cannes” is my book of the month (please do act as if you were really surprised!), so let’s talk about the book – who should play the characters should the book be made into a film? (and it should!!!)

Thank you thank you thank yooooooooou!  I’d like to thank my mum, my dad, my husband, my future dog, my Agi, my TV – oh, sorry, I went off on an Oscar speech tangent.  Thank you SO MUCH though for picking Cannes as your book of the month, this is muchas exciting!  Okay, who do I want on my casting couch (oo-er!)…

  1. Jess – our bubbly Marilyn Monroe.  This is a tough one!  Maybe Emilia Clarke, Ellie Kemper or Hayden Panettiere?
  2. Bryony – cool and confident, I’m going to go with Zoe Saldana, Michaela Coel or Zendaya
  3. Leo – lovely Leo… he’s gotta be strong and fit, but also a bit of a loveable goofball.  Hmm… why don’t you choose your perfect Leo, Agi  (OK, here we go. It’s not going to be an actor. Whatever, whenever, however, no matter what  – it must be Enrique Iglesias Bildergebnis für heart emoticonsSo there. You know now my biggest secret 🙂
  1. And if you were to go to the opening night, what would you wear?

Oh, it would have to be some amazing red-carpet-worthy gown reminiscent of old Hollywood.  Maybe the colour of the Cote d’Azur ocean.  I think I’d channel Marilyn Monroe, in honour of Jess!

  1. How much fun was it to write “Catch Me if You Cannes”? (Because I am so sure it was a great fun!)

I loved writing Cannes!  I felt inspired by old classics like Some Like It Hot and new female buddy stories like Bridesmaids.  I liked writing a caper for a change, and the Cannes Film Festival seemed the perfect setting for a couple of misfits to lose themselves in.

  1. You were in Cannes, right? What did you like best there?

The whole atmosphere of the place.  I expected to feel like I wouldn’t fit in (not that that would ever stop me going somewhere!) but actually it was welcoming, beautiful, calm and clean.  The glitziness never felt too exclusive, and this is partly what gave me the idea for Jess and Bryony, who travelled there full of white lies and assumptions…

  1. Are you choosing the lovely places you set your books specifically, so that the research is even more exciting?

I’m a bit of a travel bug, and I fall in love with some places pretty easily.  So what more often occurs is that I go somewhere (or re-go somewhere), find it magical, and then dream up storylines while I’m there.  Or when I’m back home, stuck in the post-holiday blues.

  1. There are tons of funny situations in your novel – how do you write them? Did they happen to you or are they completely fictional?

Why thank you, darlin’, I do try *hair flick*  There might be nuggets of things that have happened to me in my books, but I usually amp them up a bit.  With Cannes especially I tended to always go with the rule of asking, ‘what’s the worst thing that could happen here…?’ and then making it happen!  But being a romantic comedy it’s never usually literally the worst thing!

  1. Now a thousand dollar question – what is your favourite scene in the book? Only ONE, pretty please 🙂

I like the entire scene at the Hotel Du Cap, where Jess and Bryony are trying to make it from the pier at the back of the hotel and out the front door, and they run into obstacles at every turn.  In my mind it plays out like they’re a golden-era Hollywood slapstick comedy duo, which is how I like to think of the whole book, in a way.

  1. What’s next for Lisa Dickenson?

WELL, Book 5 is nearly there and just gagging for a title to be added to it.  I also have some new storylines up my sleeve, some ideas for crime fiction, and also a secret project which will be taking off REALLY SOON, I hope!

  1. And a bonus question: Nutella with a spoon out of the jar or on toast?

Ooooooooooo, I love Nutella on toast, but there’s something about scoffing it straight from the jar with a spoon.  So my winner is SPOON.

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And now it’s time for my second book. It has totally blown me away, guys. It was unpredictable, surprising, full of twists and turns and it was totally addictive – when I say I couldn’t put it down, I mean it literally. Doesn’t happen often but it was the case with “The One” by John Marrshere is my review of this incredibly fresh and unique book, and here is Q&A with the Author!

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  1. John, I’m so sorry but I have to ask – how did you come up with the idea for “The One”? This book is so unique and full of surprises and I just need to know what inspired you to write this story.

My partner (also called John) and I were planning our New York wedding. While on an escalator on the London Underground, I wondered how much easier it’d be if there was something chemical inside us that matched you with your soul-mate. If you saw them, you’d just know they were made for you, like I felt about John. Four months later, draft one was complete.

 

  1. The novel is told from multiple points of view – how did you keep them all on track?

I kept all five of them on little dog leads in my head, and then when it came time to write them, I’d let them off to run around and see where they ended up. I don’t write methodically. So I skipped from character to character depending on my mood. The hardest part was when it was all complete and deciding on which order to place the characters. I decided to ease people in gently with Mandy in chapter one, then punch them in the stomach with Christopher the serial killer in chapter two.

 

  1. How carefully did you plan the novel in advance? It is so complex, with so many twists and turns – which I loved, BTW – and I wonder, did you have to stick to your plan or did the plot take you by surprise as well?

Once I had the characters in mind, I thought about trying to link them but then decided it would be too convoluted. So I kept them under the umbrella of the DNA test and let them go in their own directions. I ran all my ideas through my partner as he’s a great sounding board for that kind of thing despite the fact he rarely reads a book! Then I just started writing. Sometimes I even surprised myself with plot changes – spoiler alert – for example, with Mandy, it was never the intention for her Match Richard to still be alive. It was only as I wrote about his death that I changed my mind and thought it’d be more interesting to have him still breathing.

 

  1. A writer’s life is certainly not an easy one—from rejections to tough reviews, and so on. How did you get through the bad days?

I don’t have any, I really don’t. I’ve always had a full-time job throughout this process so fortunately, I’ve not had to reply on writing novels to pay the bills. I work as a journalist and as a result, I have a thick skin and can take criticism. My first book, The Wronged Sons, was rejected by 80 different publishers and agents which is why I decided to self-publish and it became a hit, enabling me to continue writing books in my spare time. Of course it’s not great to get bad reviews but it’s part and parcel of the job. People have the right not to like my books just as I have the right not to like every book I read. And I’ll never respond to a bad review, no matter how tempting it can be!

 

  1. What did you want your readers to take away from your story? Was there a hidden message within?

I guess the point of The One was to encourage readers to ask themselves if such a test existed, would they take it? If so, why? What about those who are in a relationship already? In a world that appears to be speeding up rather than slowing down, sometimes we all need to take time out to appreciate what we have, not what we could have.

 

  1. What was your most favourite and least favourite aspect of writing “The One”?

The first draft is always interesting, and the second draft is fun, tinkering with ideas and expanding upon them. The version I hate the most is the final proof. By then, I am so sick of reading the same 104,000 words over and over again. This book was the first time I worked with an editor, Emily Yau at Ebury, who also discovered The One when it was a self-published book called A Thousand Small Explosions. Her suggestions were so, so good and she made the process a pleasure.

 

  1. I think you must have been asked thousand of times already but please bare with me – would YOU take the test? Why yes/why not?

Ha! Yes, I have been asked it once or twice and the answer is always the same – no! As I addressed in the book, so many people think the grass is greener on the other side and they are always striving for something new, something more exciting than they already have. Invariably, they never get it. I married nine months ago and have found my One. I don’t need to take a test to reassure myself. 

 

  1. What’s next for John Marrs?

The Wronged Sons now has a publisher of its own and is re-released on July 13 with a fresh new edit and title, now called When You Disappeared. My next brand new novel, tentatively called The Good Samaritan – a psychological thriller – is scheduled for release in November this year. And I’m about to start writing book five.

Catch Me if You Cannes by Lisa Dickenson / Blog Tour

Hi guys, hope you are all well on this sunny (finally! FINALLY!!!) Wednesday. And if you’re not, I am just about to give you a reason to feel well again. I am absolutely, very THRILLED to be part of Lisa Dickenson’s blog tour, celebrating the publication of her “Catch Me if You Cannes”. I adore Lisa and her novels, they are all full of things that I am looking for in my reads, and please be warned that this review is going to be full of exclamation marks, the word “absolutely” and “loved”. Put your feet high and enjoy!

And Clara, thank you so, so much!!!

Catch Me if You Cannes by Lisa Dickenson

 

32940978Publisher: Sphere

Publishing Date: 4th May  2017

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

Number of pages: 416

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

 Buy the Book: Kindle | Paperback

 

Synopsis:

WARNING: reading Catch Me If You Cannes may result in embarrassing outbursts of belly-aching laughter on public transport. Romantic, funny and full of Cannes Film Festival magic, it’s perfect for fans of Giovanna Fletcher, Paige Toon and Mhairi McFarlane.

Jess has decided it’s time to get out of her comfort zone and live a little. So when her best friend Bryony, a journalist on a gossip magazine, is sent to cover the Cannes Film Festival, Jess decides to seize the day and go along for the ride. Two weeks of sun, glamour and exclusive entry into celeb-filled parties is just the kind of adventure Jess needs.

Reality soon bites though when Jess and Bryony find they’re staying in a dingy hotel far away from all the action and Bryony’s expenses budget barely covers a glass of local wine. Undeterred, the two women are determined to live like the elite and enjoy one fancy night out to begin their holiday. So what if they have to tell a few white lies along the way? It’s just this once. No harm done . . . right?

Full of hilarious one-liners, sparkling blue seas and plenty of romantic moments, Catch Me If You Cannes is the story of two friends, a few white lies and one very sticky situation . . .

Rating: five-stars

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Lisa Dickenson takes us on holidays – again! After Italy in “You Had Me at Merlot” it’s time for France, and not any France but Cannes itself! I’ve packed my bag already with flip – flops and very roomy sarongs and am readyyyyy! Yes, I would go anytime and anywhere with Lisa and her brilliant sense of humour and colourful, witty storytelling. Just imagine what great holidays would it be!

“Catch Me if You Cannes” introduces us mainly to our two main characters, Jess and Bryony. Bryony works for a tabloid that is fairly at the end of all the tabloids but nevertheless, her boss sends her to Cannes Film Festival to cover as many juicy, sexy, fat scandals as possible and Jess, who lately seems a little low, decides to tag along with her best friend. The girls very quickly find themselves in the middle of action, among the right crowd and well, Jess meets a boy!
OK, they weren’t expecting to stay in this hotel at the outskirts of Cannes where, if you want to see the see, you must do some yoga – like moves, and so when they are taken for other people, they just decide to fib a little, throw in some white lies and see when reality is going to bite again. For now, they are determined to live the celebrity life and enjoy their holidays as much as they Can(nes).

Guys, everything is right with book. Everything!
Characters.
Setting.
Dialogues.
Pace.
EVERYTHING!
Lisa can create the most incredible, warm, realistic characters ever, characters that I have a feeling I used to know when I was a baby, through my childhood, teenage years and half of my adult life. They might be incredibly funny and easy to like people, but there is also incredible depth to all of them, and they all feel like real people, as if you could just stretch a hand and feel them. I fell in love with Jess and Bryony from the start – Jess, who has a cafe back in Cornwall, is right now escaping all the troubles and worries that were preoccupying her, and oh my, there was something in this girl that made me want to hug her hard and never let her go. Bryony seems to be the louder and more feisty of the two friends, larger than life, but there is still such a vulnerability to her, and she’s dreaming of becoming a serious journalist one day, and they compliment each other so great, and it is only Lisa who could capture all those contrasts in the girls so well. I absolutely loved the fact that the girls just went with the flow. Oh well, when being mistaken for being other people, some kind of VIPs, they just went with it, and methinks, why not??? They had the guts for this and I admired them for this and because I would be too scared, it doesn’t mean that they couldn’t spend the holidays of their lives, right?
But also all the other supporting characters are just a real pleasure to read and you can’t help but root for them or want to slap them, or wipe away the smirk off their faces, yes, Celine. Lisa knows when and where to add a new character and she finds uses for all of them, they are all absolutely needed and add tons of fun to the story. Jess, Bryony, Leo, Harvey, Richard and Co., they were so damned and utterly likeable!
I absolutely adored the awkward conversations made by Jess and Leo, they were hilarious, and OH. MY. WORD but they team up together so well! They are so cute, and so shy, and they say the funniest things, and everything between them seems so real and honest, the glances, the brushing against each other , light touching… Absolutely adorable!

Lisa can so truly vividly describe the settings, and it’s no exception with this story. I could feel the warmth of the sun on my face, see the blue water sparkling and oh my gosh, what I need right now are crepes with Nutella!!! (Well, because there are no crepes in the distance of around 160 km from me, I’ve just settled for Nutella. It did the trick as well). And oh, what with my nosiness, I couldn’t wait to spot a celebrity or two, partying on the biggest yachts in the world! One of the highlights of this book must have been the trip to Monaco (casino! Formel1!, Palace…! I must stop or I’ll start crying with jealousy at all the sights and good weather and money won in casino. I LOVE casinos.), losing glasses and then buying new ones, in the most over – priced shops in the world when you credit card is maxed up totally, and of course all the scenes with Jess and Leo doing their very awkward flirting, and saying all the things you shouldn’t say on a date – but it was all so genuine and honest, and I just wanted to hug them to my respectable bosom, kiss them on their heads and assure them everything is going to be OK.

“Catch Me if you Cannes” was packed full, as it usually is with Lisa’s stories, of incredible, belly – ache one – liners. There is something magic and addictive to Lisa’s writing. It’s so light and easy to follow, and it leaves you full of sparkles and will to live, really. But it’s not only laugh – out – loud story about the adventures of two best friends, oh no, Lisa, as usually, has added some softer and emotional moments to the plot as well, that just made me love the story much, much more, because well, life is not only a bed of roses, right? But let’s be honest, it is the ultimate chick – lit, summer-y read that’s going to leave you with cheesy grins. There is a feel – good factor to it, sunshine, humour and good vibes, everything that you could wish for! It’s funny, it’s flirty, and it’s full of surprises and hilarious situations. It has the best characters ever invented, the greatest friendship and crazy family. Let’s be honest, no matter what Lisa Dickenson writes, she turns it into a real cracker, and I absolutely can’t wait for more from her. Her writing is so warm and addictive, and there is no such thing as too much humour in her books, and moreover, this humour is incredibly clever and with belly – laugh effect. It is also oh so very gentle and lovely, and the characters that Lisa creates are so genuine and feel so realistic. “Catch Me if You Cannes” was a brilliant novel, quick to read and quirky, perfect to settle down in the sun, probably with a glass of mimosa (or two, depends on how fast you drink) and devour it, just devour it, such delicious read it was. – it’s an absolute MUST READ, so please don’t wait, just BUY THE BOOK RIGHT NOW and thank me later for the recommendation.

FOLLOW THE BLOG TOUR:

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My Top 5 Books of 2016

Hi guys, and happy Friday! as much as I can’t believe it we are already at the end of December and New Year is knocking at the doors. I have such mixed feelings about 2016, it was full of lovely moments, worthwile people and situations, things that I’ll never forget, new beginnings, new chances, new friends but it was also full of sad, painfull moments and I feel like saying, get lost 2016! It is time for something new and positive.

In 2016 I read 195 books. Not as many as the previous year but with life getting in the way and time being so precious I am glad that I could read so many books at all! And those were brilliant books, that I adored and gushed about. However, and I am not sure why, probably because I read so much and am picky, not many books have made it to my Hall of Fame – in fact, I am shocked that there are so few but I think that really, I love many books but only few of them have blown me away – the book must really have this something special!  And so, this year, there are only 5 of them – the very special ones, the crème de la crème of all the books that I had a pleasure to read. Here they are!

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 These Days of Ours by Juliet Ashton. What can I say? I truly adored this book, it had everything I need and want from a book. All my family and friends have read this book thanks to my reccomendations and all of them loved it! The way the author captured all the feelings in this story and it touched and moved me, it made my cry and laugh, tit made me talk to the characters and experience everything together with them – a gorgeous, unforgettable book!  Here is my review of this astonishing novel.

Somewhere Inside of Happy by Anna McPartlin. Already in 2015 51aqd3kunvlher novel “The Last Days of Rabbit Hayes” has made it to my top read, and in 2016 Ms McPartlin has – again, and thanks so much for this! – delivered a beautiful, moving novel with a twist. I laughed and I cried when reading it, and I couldn’t stop to admire the incredible writing style and the way the author has written this story, and I can tell you one thing: whatever you do, please read this novel! Here you can read my review of this emotional, exceptional story.

29750478The Little Bookshop of Lonely Hearts by Annie Darling. It was a story that just blew my mind away – it had all that I’m looking for in a book: it was full of warmth, INCREDIBLE humour, fantastic, vivid characters and it had one of the best plots ever, and well, it took place mostly in a bookshop! I still can remember how much warmth and feeling there were on the pages and this feel – good factor, and that it made me feel warm and happy. Here you can read my review of this gorgeous, charming, heart – warming book!

A year without Lisa Dickenson’s book would be a lost year, guys! I’ve no idea what ‘ve been 28798187doing before Lisa started writing books – I just can’t imagine my bookshelf without her gorgeous, heartwarming paperbacks! If you haven’t read You Had Me at Merlot I can only say drop whatever you do and buy it! It was a MUST READ this summer, and not only summer because it’ll brigthen the most grim days. It really deserves a standing ovation, folks, Lisa’s humour is an exceptional one, and you always have a feeling that her characters are your best friends – so no matter what, dear Lisa, please keep the books coming! You Had Me at Merlot  had all what I am looking for in a book and even more and I. FREAKING. LOVED. EVERY. SINGLE. MINUTE.OF. IT. So there. Yes. I loved it. In case you don’t believe me, check my review here pretty please.

29622942And last but not least. It is a book by the author that her debut novel has also found itself on my top reads in 2015 list, and it always warms my heart to see that the second dreaded book is as great as the previous one! Please say hello to A Life Without You by Katie Marsh, a story that I loved with my whole heart. Full of emotions, tricky decisions to be made, brilliant characters and complex plot, written in incredibly beautiful way – and here you can read more why I loved this book so much.

Mistletoe on 34th Street by Lisa Dickenson / Blog Tour

Hi guys! Long time no speak, right? But today I am super thrilled to be back as a part of Lisa dickenson’s blog tour and to review her newest, shiny and gorgeous novel “Mistletoe on 34th Street”! I love Lisa’s books and already I can’t imagine Christmas without her stories, and if you’re still not sure what to buy your friends or family for Christmas, think no longer – buy some copies of this book!

Mistletoe on 34th Street by Lisa Dickenson

 

32183177Publisher: Sphere

Publishing Date: 3rd November 2016

Source:  Copy provided by the publisher in return for an honest review, thank you!

Number of pages: 432

Genre: General Fiction, Women’s Fiction

 Buy the Book: Kindle | Paperback

 

Synopsis:

Olivia has never experienced a snow-covered, ‘traditional’ Christmas before. Having grown up in a family that chose winter sun over decking the halls, she’s not sure what all the fuss is about. So when she and her co-workers are stranded in New York after a work trip, Olivia is perfectly happy spending the holiday season in The Big Apple.

John, Olivia’s friend, on the other hand is so upset and is desperate to get home in time for his big family get-together. Nevertheless, determined to make the best out of the situation he sets out to show Olivia how enchanting Christmas in New York can be. And when she adds handsome New Yorker Elijah into the mix, could the magic of the season finally be working its charm on Olivia? As December 25th draws closer, Olivia suddenly finds herself with a decision to make: who does she really want to kiss under the mistletoe this Christmas?

Full of romance and festive magic, Mistletoe on 34th Street is the funniest and most charming love story you will read this Christmas!

 Rating: 5/5

So guys, it may be a slightly biased review as I just love EVERYTHING from Lisa Dickenson! Period. But no, no worries, I will be gushing, but in a very objective way, I promise! Although, let me just tell you, right at the beginning, that Lisa has just gone and done it again – she has written a brilliant, funny, heart – warming novel that is full of festive spirit and effortlessly transferred me to the streets of New York and made me fell in love with this city all over again, even though I’ve never been to NY, and with the characters as well! She took some simple ingredients, like Christmas, a Christmas Scrooge, gorgeous city, snow, being snowed, flights cancelled and turned them into a hooking, engaging story that made me feel so warm and happy inside. Add to this her famous one – liners, fun and romance and you have your winter winner!

The story follows Olivia, who’s much more used to spending Christmas somewhere where it’s sunny and hot, and not necessary with her family, as they are all travelling freaks and it’s really hard to get them together at one table, in one sitting room. So really it’s not a problem for her when, close to Christmas, she must take over from her boss and fly with her team to a conference in New York. Because well, what could go wrong there, right? She loves her job at the organization that helps young girls to become what they want to be, to encourage them and to believe in themselves, and giving them opportunities and chances (and I truly loved this part of this story! How important was this message from the author, especially in the times that we’re living in, for all the girls out there!) , and there is nobody at home waiting for her, so it’s for sure going to be a great experience!
The novel is told in a form of a countdown to Christmas, so we always know how many days there are still left. Next to Liv, we have a group of her colleagues that flew with her across the pond. There is also Jon, a friend of Liv, and Jon wants to show her New York that she doesn’t know yet! But – there is also Elijah, a guy that she’s met at the airport, and it slowly turns out that three is a crowd… But Jon is desperate to show Olivia what this whole Christmas malarkey is about, but is she going to fall for the charismatic Elijah instead?

I loved Liv! Oh my word, how much I loved her! Her and her passion, she was the right person at the right place, it’s not a wonder that she’s made the conference a success for her company. She didn’t have problems to make contacts with other people. Yes, she was this Scrooge that I’ve mentioned before, but well, she didn’t actually know a traditional Christmas, so in fact she didn’t know what she’s missing, right, she only needed someone to show her what a real Christmas is about. She was so smart and had such a shiny, bouncy personality and, as with all Lisa Dickenson’s characters, I’d love Olivia to be my own best friend.

And the romance in this book. Oh heck. You know how it sometimes is when you feel you know much better than the characters themselves that they belong together, right, and it makes you feel so, so desperate that you can’t do nothing for them to eventually realise it!!! I wanted to bang some heads together and wanted to send some others far, far away, not to be seen again, because I knew, I JUST KNEW that those two should stay together, and Liv being so stubborn and anti – Christmas, which also made her so anti – relationship, made me go crazy! Aaaargh, guys…! Really…!

The characters really felt as if they were your best friends – I didn’t have a single problem to feel just like a part of their world. They all had their own stories and secrets and the fact that the upcoming Christmas might not have been spent with their beloved ones didn’t make it easier for them, but I loved how in the end they turned into a great group of supporting each other people, even the biggest malcontents.

Yes, I was a little afraid at the beginning, as you know, New York is such a cliché setting for Christmas, right? Though I shouldn’t have worried, not at all, as Lisa Dickenson has pulled it off as well, showing us the beauty of the city through the eyes of a person who is discovering it at the same time as we are, and showing us the magic of it. The places that the author has chosen to show us truly showed off Christmas in New York at its best, and what was great was the fact that yes, we go to see the Rockefeller ice rink but there are also some places that only a real insider has idea about. It also made me long to visit this city, and Lisa has already promised to organise the plane tickets, tadah!

This book is full of humour – the highest level of humour, that is going to make you laugh – out – loud and is clever – funny moments, awkward situations, embarrassing scenes and tender moments. I fell head over heals in love with this story, period – starting with the gorgeous, sparkly cover and through with the lovely plot with warm characters, and it is really a must read this winter!

So again, this book is a real winner for Lisa Dickenson’s fans – it has all the things that made me love Lisa’s writings and story – telling so much. It also made me feel so light – hearted and allowed me to forget about all the worries and troubles. It drawn me in from the very beginning and kept me hooked till the last page. It is also this kind of book that you want to read and read for ever and never to end. This time Ms Dickenson has also added some much more emotional moments to the story, but they only made it even better. There is the magic of Christmas in the book, the overwhelming feeling of wanting to spend the time with your close ones and really, I wanted nothing more than put on my Christmas jumper, turn the lights on my Christmas tree (which of course is not yet here, as it was October when I read this book) and sing ho – ho – ho. A perfect Christmas present, I’ll make sure to wrap some copies of the book for my friends and family and put them under the Christmas tree. And let’s not forget humour in this story, you know how sometimes the authors try too much and it all feel so forced? So heavy? Well, this time, as of course Lisa Dickenson has got me used to, the humour is completely unforced, I think this one – liners and cooking up the awkward situations just come so easily and naturally to Lisa, like breathing for example. Actually, writing itself seems to come to Lisa so naturally, and she’s already on my auto – buy list! So really, “Mistletoe on 34th Street” makes you feel so fresh and so optimistic and it makes you want to cuddle to your beloved ones. It also made me feel careless and reminded me that even I can go out in the night and make a snow angel, or two. A real Christmassy gem of a book!

FOLLOW THE BRILLIANT BLOG TOUR!

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Book of the Month: June

Hi there guys! So here we are, already in July, even if it doesn’t feel like this – this day last year it was one of the hottest days in Germany, with over 40°, and what we have right now? Rainy, windy days, we were only once in the open swimming pool this year, can’t believe it! But whatever, with a right book it doesn’t matter what the weather looks like, no? And here is my Book of the Month June, of you haven’t read it I can only say drop whatever you do and buy it! It is a MUST READ this summer, and not only summer because it’ll brigthen the most grim days. So ladies and gentlemen, standing ovation to…

Yes! Exactly! „You Had Me at Merlot” by the one and only Lisa Dickenson! It was such an easy choice this time – this book has all what I am looking for in a book and even more and I. FREAKING. LOVED. EVERY. SINGLE. MINUTE.OF. IT. So there. Yes. I loved it. In case you don’t believe me, check my review here pretty please.