Chances by Ruth Saberton

Chances by Ruth Saberton

 

33304532Publisher: Notting Hill Press

Publishing Date: 18th December 2016

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

Number of pages: 172

Genre: General Fiction, Teen & Young Adult

 Buy the Book: Kindle

 

Synopsis:

Sometimes in life you have to take chances…

City girl Amber Evans is determined to get herself thrown out of her latest foster home in the countryside. Growing up on a tough estate has taught her not to trust anyone or anything and horse mad Amber knows her passion for riding can never be more than a dream.

But rural life is far from quiet especially when you’re living next door to Britain’s hottest international three day event star, Drake Owen. When Amber finds herself catapulted into a world full of glamour and rivalry she’s determined to prove she belongs there too.

No matter how dangerous it may be or who is out to stop her…

Rating: 5/5

Ruth Saberton has wanted to write a book about horses for a long time already, and boy, am I glad that she found time to do just this! “Chances” is the perfect novel for all the horse freaks, and not only, out there, and you can really see that Ruth knows what she writes about – she has brilliantly captured not only the human characters but also all the animal ones. It is a book a little different to what Ruth got me used to, it is more on the serious side and yes, I love her sense of humour and I like the lighter novels that I’ve read before but I also appreciate the fact that she wanted to try her hand in something more serious.

I caught myself thinking that I am a little like Amber – no, not as rebel as she was, but as sensitive as her, and I could totally relate to her imagining what the animals could feel, to having a big heart and understanding them – I’m exactly the same. She was so conflicted inside, our Amber, and Ruth Saberton has wonderfully put all those feelings into words, and I think being able to do just this deserves a standing ovation! I fell for Amber, immediately. Sure, there were moments that I also wanted to slap her or bang her head on the wall but oh well, she’s a teenager, so it was understandable she was behaving this way. But mostly I just kept my fingers crossed for her and I so wanted that she finds her happiness. The relationship between her and Chances was absolutely, heart – breakingly beautiful, and as I had a pleasure to see such friendships personally, it was even more palpable and understandable to me.

All the other characters in the book were incredibly well written and Ruth Saberton gave them this depth that made them so close to life and realistic. They were full of warmth or anger and they were so easy to like or dislike. I adored Amber’s foster family in Cornwall, the way they were there for each other, how they loved and supported each other, and I loved how Harry, after initial problems, was there for Amber and what he did for her. I admired how grown up he felt, how clever he was and the way he negotiated with Amber, or just spoke with her, was just the right to get to her. It couldn’t be easy to be Amber and mostly people just gave up on her and it was lovely and touching to see how Kate and her children fought for her.

Ruth Saberton’s writing is getting stronger and stronger. It felt mature but it also didn’t lose the lightness. In the previous books the author concentrated very much on descriptions and as much as I loved them they often kept me away from the main plot. However this time, even though there ARE descriptions, they don’t obscure this what really is important in this story, and for me personally it’s the next brownie point!
Even though the book is aimed at younger readers, I totally enjoyed it. It was mature and there was a lesson or two in it, but you as a reader didn’t feel patronized, not at all. Yes, there were moments that everything went so smoothly and you knew it would be impossible in real life, but there were also moments full of tension and sadness and you didn’t know in which direction the story is going to go. There is so much more to it than it only being your another horse/pony book and I liked how very well balanced it was, there was just enough about the horses and eventing themselves and yes, I am also a horse-y person, so the professional talk was just as normal for me, but I think that it’s not too much or too overwhelming for those who don’t talk like this on everyday basis :), and then there was the other side of the book, about bullying, social services, mental health and trying to help. A lovely, touching story about finding new beginnings, about loyalty, friendship and families, and before I could say Jack Robinson I was on the last page. I would love to see more from all the characters and Chances, this beautiful chestnut Arab from the cover, that was so full of spirit and fire – a horse that you can’t break, only work with. Beautiful story tugging at all the right heart – strings, I highly recommend it!

Katy Carter Keeps a Secret by Ruth Saberton

Katy Carter Keeps a Secret

by Ruth Saberton

 

Publisher: Notting Hill Press

Publishing Date: 18th June 2016

Source:  Copy provided by the author,  thank you!.

Number of pages: 273

Genre: Women’s Literature, Contemporary

 Buy the Book: Kindle

 

Synopsis:

There are some things a girl has to keep to herself…

Hopeless romantic Katy Carter still dreams of becoming bestselling novelist. A ghost writer by trade, Katy knows she’s no Booker Prize winner but has fun penning sizzling scenes and hot heroes for celebrity novels. Writing aside, Katy no longer fantasises about a hero of her own – she’s found him in teacher boyfriend, Ollie. After five years together their own happy ever after is just around the corner – if she can only rescue the couple’s ailing finances.

But with Ollie becoming increasingly career minded and teaching at a very strict school, Katy’s racy writing soon causes difficulties. When she secretly signs a contract with steamy publisher Throb, tensions mount. A surprise trip across the pond brings things to a head, sparking a chain of events which set Katy on a collision course with family, friends and, most of all, her one true hero…

Rating: 5/5

 

Ruth Saberton is one of my favourite authors. I haven’t read all of her books, as I have a feeling that she writes quicker than I read, but each new release from her is for me a special treat and I know that I am for a few hours of utter joy. Even though it is already five years since I read „Katy Carter Wants a Hero”, starting to read a sequel to this book was like connecting with long – lost friend. I felt immediately at home and it was a great joy to see all those lovely characters again.

Katy hasn’t changed, not at all, and I don’t know if it’s good or not so :) A secondary school teacher, she now is a supply teacher. She used to dream of being a bestselling author, and she still dreams of it, though her dream has actually came true, as she has ghost – written books for a very popular WAG and the books sell like crazy, though it was not exactly what Katy meant, right? She used to secretly scribble down a historic blockbuster while teaching, and now she secretly scribbles down an erotica (also while teaching). Oh Katy… :) But one thing hasn’t changed – she wanted to have her own romantic hero and she has him in the person of the lovely Ollie!

„Katy Carter Keeps a Secret” is a fun and light read, just like I have expected it to be! It is told from Katy’s point of view, just like the previous book, and her voice is brilliant – funny, engaging and so easy to follow, and even though there were moments that she frustrated me oh so much, I nevertheless kept my fingers crossed for her. Katy stayed her old self, likeable, prone to accident and funny. Sure, I sometimes rolled my eyes at her antics, at the way she herself complicated her own life and I wanted to wag my finger at her and tell her to grow up, as she really sometimes behaved a little too childish, but altogether, she made for a great character. She reminds me a little of Becky Bloomwood, especially when she so positively hopes that all the bad things will just go away, with burying her head in the sand but nevertheless, she’s so authentic in all the things she does, so genuine and honest that it’s impossible not to like Katy, there is so much warmth in her. There is this something in Katy that makes you laugh with her, cringe with her, roll your eyes at her, shake your head at her, and cheer her on.
The great contrast to Katy is Ollie. I think he didn’t want to be the spoilsport and killjoy but someone needed to be the responsible one in this relationship, right? I can remember that I liked Ollie very much in the first book and to be honest this feeling didn’t change, even with Katy trying to convince me that Ollie is up to something bad. He is so, so patient, if I were Ollie I’d probably not come back home one day, but he loved Katy so much that he was willing to overlook her antics once or twice too often. Because there were many antics, oh my word, Katy really first did and then thought, or only did, without thinking, but you know what, she was truly charming in all this. And she meant only well!
And oh wow, Pinchy the lobster is also back! As well as the lovely red setter Sasha, and you know how much I like animal characters in the books. And Ruth Saberton also didn’t forget about Freddie and Gabriel, who also make their appearance from time to time, and who also play a great role in the last chapters. And thanks to hose two young men we have travelled to New York as well!

I could go on and on about Katy, really, but as she was also the main person causing all the events, I may let slip something and I don’t want it, I don’t want to spoil the reading for you. And there are tons of things happening in the book, one more hilarious than the other, and I raced through the book with a big grin on my face. Katy puts herself in many embarrassing situations together with her best friend Maddy, or the WAG she’d ghost – written books for, and the embarrassing situations also include Ollie’s parents and his work colleagues. There is really plenty – PLENTY! – and I couldn’t wait to turn the page to see what’s going to hit me this time. The twists and turns were brilliant and they kept me entertained, and Katy writing an erotica book together with Maddy and Nicky – it was a priceless experience.

„Katy Carter Keeps a Secret” is a lovely, warm and twisty read, and even though I mostly guessed what’s going to happen, I didn’t have any problem with it and I was just looking forward to seeing how it’s all going to unravel. The ending was everything I wanted it to be but nevertheless, I would love to see another book about Katy and Ollie and their adventures, they are such a great couple. No matter if you are new to Ruth Saberton or if you are a devoted fan, it is a great book that is going to brighten your day and that I highly recommend!

Match Me if You Can by Michele Gorman

Match Me if you Can by Michele Gorman

28244131

 Publisher: Avon

Publishing Date: 14th January 2016

Source:  Copy provided by the publisher, thank you!

Genre:  Women’s Fiction, Contemporary

 Buy the Book: Kindle | Paperback

 

 Synopsis:

Three friends upcycle their exes through London’s most popular boyfriend recycling website, but haven’t bargained on the consequences of the exchanges they make.

Perfect for fans of Sophie Kinsella and Lindsey Kelk.

Meet best friends Catherine, Rachel and Sarah. Yet to find Mr Right, they’ve been settling for Mr Right Now. But when Catherine, London’s finest matchmaker, gets the girls to join her dating site where they can recycle their ex-boyfriends, they soon realise that anything could happen.

Rachel’s office romance James was a big fat mistake and she’s more than happy to upcycle him… Or is she? Homebody Sarah hasn’t had a date in years but when her transformation finds men falling at her newly-pedicured feet, will her popularity be worth the sacrifices she’s making? And Catherine falls asleep more often on her desk than on a man, so when she builds the perfect partner who ticks all her boxes, surely it’s a recipe for love . . . not disaster?

There’s someone for everyone, right? These best friends are about to find out for themselves . .

 Rating: 4/5

 

The first thing that drew my attention was the title of this book – Match Me if You Can – it’s fantastic, I personally love it and it really stands out from the crowd. Then the premise – it’s brilliant, just brilliant, and I don’t think I have ever came across such concept before. I mean, recycling exes – how clever and unique is this?

But in fact the story itself has not much to do with recycling exes. I was expecting a very different story, full of awkward, embarrassing, funny situations regarding this recycling, I was hoping for dates, dates, dates like you wouldn’t believe, but I got something totally different. Michele sticks to her proven and safe concept of three friends living together under one roof, living their own lives. Catherine is the one with the dating business that she started with her ex – husband, Richard. She’s happy with the arrangements, as Richard lets her have a carte blanche, but the situation changes when he sells his shares to his fiancé Magda – a VERY young fiancé, let’s add. Catherine, by the ways of expanding business a little, is also giving a one – to – one tutorials with some special clients, clients who can’t find The One. Then we have Rachel, a young architect who’s working together with her ex on their first project. And by working together I of course mean that they must compete against each other! Who is going to win this project and probably get a promotion? And meet Sarah, whose mum passed away few years ago, leaving Sarah and her brother in charge of their younger sister, Sissy. Sarah doesn’t have time to think about herself and she’s putting all others before herself.
Out of all those three women I think it was Sarah that I fell mostly for. It was incredibly touching to see how she looks after her younger sister, how seriously she takes this responsibility. In all those everyday problems she forgets about herself and she feels the most comfortable in a tracksuit and without any make – up, and she doesn’t even bother to start thinking about finding a boyfriend. I liked her most out of the three friends – I have a feeling that even though there was a lot about Catherine, I still don’t know her too well, and Rachel was the most immature and shallow. Nevertheless, I really appreciate that all the three girls were so different, as it made the story this bit better, and they really complemented each other.

But back to recycling. To be in a chance to join RecycLove, you must sign with your ex – so yes, it’s a website with a twist, ha! The former couple must answer questions about each other, rating them from 1 to 4, which is not visible to the public, and they write each other recommendation, which is visible. And this is what I missed so, so much, because there are only two couples doing this evaluation and the rest of the book concentrates on the girls’ private lives. So yes, more than about dating and slashing the exes right and left, this is a story about learning something new, about discovering who you truly are and what you really want from life, about finding the right balance between work and private life.

This book is written in the typical Michele’s way – first she introduces all the characters to us, and then slowly and continuously takes us deeper and deeper. Each of the chapter is then told from one of the characters’ point of view, my favourite way BTW, as we then know what all of them are thinking. And, in fact, we have three stories bundled into one book – and as much as I’d SO like to have a book about dating, and only dating, I really appreciate what Ms Gorman has done with her characters, how she allowed us to follow them on their journey through their lives, dealing with obstacles and searching for happiness.

What I also like in Michele’s latest releases is the fact that her heroines are normal woman with same everyday problems as all of us, and that all of them are intelligent and ambitious and they’re not scared to change their lives to achieve what they want – which doesn’t mean that they’re going through life blasting their ways out. No, but still they manage to achieve something.

So Match Me if You Can, even though it was not this what I was expecting, was a fast – paced novel filled with vivid, realistic characters, full of friendship, hope and strong women supporting each other. Every word here sounds honest and genuine, and I couldn’t help thinking that this could happen in real life as well, oh heck, it’s for sure happening right now somewhere around the world, and Michele has created a great story. She has also managed to brilliantly balance humour with much more important issues, such as caring for a family member with disability, cancer and… yes, that having a group of reliable builders is also important :) I am a little disappointed it didn’t turn out the way I was hoping for it, but altogether I think it is the best Michele’s novel yet.