Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate (Blog Tour + Extract)

Hi guys! Today we’re celebrating the publication od “Before We Were Yours” by Lisa Wingate – out tomorrow, published by Quercus. This book sounds incredibly intriguing and I can’t wait to read it. In the meantime, I have an extract from chapter 1 for you, and really guys, just have a look how beautifully it’s written! The story itself is about two families, generations apart, that are forever changed by a heartbreaking injustice,  inspired by true story. Enjoy!

 

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CHAPTER 1

Avery Stafford

 

Aiken, South Carolina, Present Day

I take a breath, scoot to the edge of the seat, and straighten

my jacket as the limo rolls to a stop on the boiling-

hot asphalt.

News vans wait along the curb, accentuating the importance

of this morning’s seemingly innocuous meeting.

But not one moment of this day will happen by accident.

These past two months in South Carolina have been all

about making sure the nuances are just right—

shaping the inferences so as to hint but do no more.

Definitive statements are not to be made.

Not yet, anyway.

Not for a long time, if I have my way about it.

I wish I could forget why I’ve come home, but even the

fact that my father isn’t reading his notes or checking the

briefing from Leslie, his über-efficient press secretary, is an

undeniable reminder. There’s no escaping the enemy that

rides silently in the car with us. It’s here in the backseat,

hiding beneath the gray tailored suit that hangs a hint too

loose over my father’s broad shoulders.

Daddy stares out the window, his head leaning to one

side. He has relegated his aides and Leslie to another car.

“You feeling all right?” I reach across to brush a long

blond hair—mine—off the seat so it won’t cling to his trousers

when he gets out. If my mother were here, she’d whip

out a mini lint brush, but she’s home, preparing for our second

event of the day—a family Christmas photo that must

be taken months early . . . just in case Daddy’s prognosis

worsens.

He sits a bit straighter, lifts his head. Static makes his

thick gray hair stick straight out. I want to smooth it down

for him, but I don’t. It would be a breach of protocol.

If my mother is intimately involved in the micro aspects

of our lives, such as fretting over lint and planning for the

family Christmas photo in July, my father is the opposite.

He is distant—an island of staunch maleness in a household

of women. I know he cares deeply about my mother, my

two sisters, and me, but he seldom voices the sentiment out

loud. I also know that I’m his favorite but the one who confuses

him most. He is a product of an era when women

went to college to secure the requisite MRS degree. He’s not

quite sure what to do with a thirty-

year-old daughter who graduated top of her class from Columbia Law and actually

enjoys the gritty world of a U.S. attorney’s office.

Whatever the reason— Perhaps just because the positions of perfectionist daughter and

sweet daughter were already taken in our family—I have always been brainiac daughter.

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Relight My Fire by Joanna Bolouri / Blog Tour

Hi guys! Look who’s back – Joanna Bolouri, together with Phoebe and Oliver! This new novel “Relight My Fire” is so much more than only a laugh, there is a hidden depth to it and I really couldn’t put the book down! The author has pulled me easily into the story and the characters’ hilarious worlds and below you can read how much I adored this book. It was simply brilliant!

 

Relight My Fire by Joanna Bolouri

 

35127351Publisher: Quercus

Publishing Date: 31st May 2018

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

Number of pages: 336

Genre: Women’s Fiction

 Buy the Book: Kindle | Paperback

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Phoebe and Oliver are stuck in a rut.

With a five year old daughter and demanding jobs, it’s not hard to see why the spark has gone.

Not one for giving up, Phoebe creates a sexy wishlist: a jar where they can ask the other for anything they’ve ever wanted in bed – or out of it.

But with distractions aplenty – such as, why do all her past lovers think now is a good time to make a reappearance? And, she may be wrong, but is Oli keeping something from her? – will they be able to relight the fire in the bedroom?

From mix tapes to ‘sex jars’, this is the naughtiest rom com you will ever read. From the bestselling author of The List.

Rating: five-stars

A huge Joanna Bolouri’s fan here  and ahh jeez, guys! What a brilliantly filthy, sexy and equally romantic and hilarious novel “Relight My Fire” was! I enjoyed every single page and really, I didn’t have an idea how much I wanted to know about the characters’ lives after “The List”! So, that has set  the tone of my review a little already, right?It was absolutely brilliant to catch up with Phoebe and Oliver and their bedroom antics in the sequel to “The List”. It tells us what happens five years after the List and while I reluctantly admit that yes, you can read it as a stand – alone, I’d really advise to read the books in the right order – you simply are going to miss on more hilarity in your life if you won’t read the previous novel, and well, I also think it is a great introduction to “Relight My Fire”.

Phoebe is still Phoebe, sassy, quirky and direct. And in relationship with Oliver. As you may remember, they used to have some crazy sex adventures, however, after few years and a daughter, things calmed down a little. Moreover, Phoebe finds that they are in a rut, not only in bed but also in everyday life. So it’s time for something bigger – counselling. But not your usual one, oh no, of course not – after all,  Phoebe and Oliver’s sex live should revive. What does it mean? Even more sex adventures, of course.

But the story didn’t only focus on sex and I liked this fact very, very much. There were more subplots that kept me glued to the pages and made the story even more exciting. It also brings us back some of the old characters and we couldn’t miss Braindead in this book – it wouldn’t be the same without him, I think he deserves his own novel to be honest. But of course also Phoebe and Oliver stayed their own good old selves, maybe a little bit more mature but still free – spirited. I fell for them immediately again, laughed at their musings and wanted for the things to go smoothly for them. It is so normal, their relationship, as well as the fact that after some time things pale a little and this is why, I think, this book was so relatable and believable, and the things they said or did just rang a bell or two.

This novel, as well as “The List”, is written in the diary form and it works perfect. Told mostly from Phoebe’s point of view, it was highly amusing to read in what ways the couple tried to spice things up in their bedroom, and this included not only total abstinence, but also a play list and a “sex jar” with requests… Yes, it is a very, very descriptive book – and I’m not going to say a word more *going red all over again*Oh, OK, I’m going to say more. Because yes, sex is very important in this novel, but deep, deep down at the heart of this story it is all about love, friendship and passion in your relationship. How it is worth to dedicate more time each other again.

“Relight My Fire” was a  brilliant story about feelings. This book really had it all. It made me blush, hell, forget blushing, it made me go all red. It was hilariously funny, it was brutally honest and open, it was great. It made me laugh out loud, it made me cringe with embarrassment, it made me go “awww”, it made me want to face – palm the characters or bang their heads together – and it doesn’t happen often that I fell so strongly for the characters and completely feel a part of their lives. Written in this typical Joanna Bolouri’s writing style, bold and direct, and bringing freshness and over – stepping boundaries, and not everyone would be able to write such a book – I can’t recommend it highly enough!

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A Winter Retreat at the Paris Cheese Shop by Victoria Brownlee

A Winter Retreat at the Paris Cheese Shop by Victoria Brownlee

 

39294807Publisher: Quercus

Publishing Date: 3rd May 2018

Series: The Paris Cheese Shop #1

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

Number of pages: 69

Genre: General Fiction (Adult), Romance

 Buy the Book: Kindle

 

 

Synopsis:

Who needs love when you can eat cheese?

Heartbroken and on the cusp of turning 30, Ella decides to pack her bags and move to Paris, somewhere she had visited when she was a different, more adventurous person.

It’s on the streets of beautiful, romantic City of Light that she finds her heart’s true desire: cheese. For Ella, her local fromagerie becomes a safe haven and she finds herself being drawn back there day after day.

But in a strange city, being friendless and not able to speak the language, has she bitten off more than she can chew?

A heart-warming and joyful romance, for fans of Jenny Colgan, Lucy Diamond and Sophie Kinsella.

Rating: three-stars

“A Winter Retreat at the Paris Cheese Shop” is the first instalment in the four parts “The Paris Cheese Shop” series by a brand new and very promising author Victoria Brownlee. It quickly sets the scene and introduces us to Ella who, like many, many other literature heroines, thinks she’s living a dream with her boyfriend in the sunny Melbourne and lovely apartment, making plans for the future and waiting for THE question to be popped. However, as it often happens, everything suddenly changes. After quickly coming to terms with the new situation, Ella finds herself in Paris, starting her new life there.

It was the cover of this novel that made me click the “request” button – it’s simply gorgeous, I just love the pastel colours. Well, this and the fact that it’s about cheese, and not about another shop selling cupcakes or another bakery – big brownie points for choosing cheese as the snack here!
The characters’ introduction seemed very, very brief and very, very quick, actually everything in this novella happened like a flash. There was not will they/won’t they, should she/shouldn’t she and so on, no, there was the idea and its immediate realisation. I couldn’t help thinking that Ella would do much, much better without Paul, who came across as very selfish and unlikeable. I can’t say much about Ella herself, to be honest, as I just have a feeling that I wasn’t given the chance to get to know her yet. But she seems a nice, determined girl who hasn’t forgotten how to be spontaneous and how to enjoy life.

Everything in this short story happened very conveniently and run smoothly, there weren’t any twists or surprises. The writing was very easy to follow but I was missing some depth to it and I didn’t warm to it completely but I do hope that in the next parts the missing “something” is going to appear on the pages – because this novella left me wanting to read the next parts to see what’s going to happen.

 

 

The Memory Chamber by Holly Cave / #BlogTour

The Memory Chamber by Holly Cave

 

35561669Publisher: Quercus

Publishing Date: 22nd February 2018

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

Number of pages: 400

Genre: Thriller, Fantasy

 Buy the Book: Kindle | Hardcover

 

 

 

Synopsis:

YOU ARE GOING TO DIE.
YOU CAN PRESERVE A HANDFUL OF SPECIAL MEMORIES FOREVER.
WHICH ONES WOULD YOU CHOOSE?

True death is a thing of the past. Now you can spend the rest of eternity reliving your happiest memories: that first kiss, falling in love, the birth of your children, enjoyed on loop for ever and ever.

Isobel is a Heaven Architect, and she helps dying people create afterlives from these memories. So when she falls for Jarek, one of her terminal – and married – clients, she knows that while she cannot save him, she can create the most beautiful of heavens, just for him.

But when Jarek’s wife is found dead, Isobel uncovers a darker side of the world she works within, and she can trust no one with what she finds…

The Memory Chamber is a thrilling and original story which vaults the reader into a world that is terrifyingly close to our own, where we can avoid everything we fear – even death itself. But can we ever escape the truth?

Rating: three-stars

 

When I’ve read the synopsis to “The Memory Chamber” I was truly intrigued – just imagine, you can create your own custom – made heaven for when you died, made only of memories that are dear to you – absolutely intriguing and unique idea! If you have enough money and you’re not a criminal, you can have your private heaven created – it’s absolutely new and refreshing.   

Isobel is a Heaven Architect and she loves her job. She’s the best at her job. She creates those custom – made heavens for her customers. Isobel spends a lot of time with her dying clients, chasing their memories, creating new ones, only to make sure they have a perfect time after their deaths. And she’s really good at this.  But one day she fells in love with one of her customers – Jarek, married- mutually. It’s going to cause problems, but also there are some changes on the horizon and Isobel starts to doubt in her chosen career, asking herself it’s moral or not anymore.

It turned out that “The Memory Chamber” is not my typical kind of read, that there is an element of almost sci – fi to it, but it was too late, I was already deep into the story, and so I kept reading. It was also one of my problems with this book because it felt as if the story takes place in a very computerised future, but I didn’t have any idea when it is and what has actually happened with the world that the people are being chipped, that they only need to press at their ear to answer a phone call and I was honestly expecting the people to wear clothes made of silver foil and reproduce by touching fingers. I wanted to know what has happened that caused all those changes. 

It didn’t work for me on all levels as much as I thought it’s going to. The idea is brilliant, we’ve agreed on this already, but there are too many holes in the plot and it felt too wafer thin, too superficial. There were twists and turns but I had a feeling they were opened with a kick but their development and delivery felt too flat, as if the idea was missing. There is no build up to the great feelings Isobel has to Jarek and vice versa and it made me feel a little confused. Isobel also changes her mind so very suddenly, without a word of explanation. The characters didn’t leave any impression on me. I couldn’t connect with them, I didn’t know their backgrounds and histories, they felt artificial and like some kinds of robots. Then we have the subplot of the murder. While the author has tried to mess a little with us and do our heads in, the limited number of characters didn’t make it difficult to guess who was really the assassin. This thread, actually really important for this story, neither impressed nor impacted me.

On the other hand, I liked how controversial and difficult topic the author decided upon. She isn’t afraid to deal with the ethical questions, who should be allowed to have such heaven after their death, who has a right to own an artificial heaven at all, who should be allowed in their memories for ever and if they should give the go ahead for being there… It’s really all a bit sci – fi and complicated but after reading the story you’re completely going to see what the whole heaven – idea is about. All the aspects, ethical, moral, religious are explored from every possible angle and there is really not much place for imagination. 

Together with my review copy I’ve received a note with some intriguing questions, and one of them was if, after reading the book, I’d change my memories for my own heaven. No, I wouldn’t! I’m happy to have some brilliant, warm and uplifting memories and I’d love to have them in my heaven. 

The story truly picked up in the last part, maybe the last 100 pages or so but it felt like reading a different novel then. Before it was slow and about artificial heavens, then it was quick, sometimes too quick, about solving a murder. It was, however, too late for me to change my mind about this story – I wanted to be drawn from the very beginning and it didn’t happen. 

It’s hard to tell what this book was really about – it was neither about friendship, nor love, nor family… However, it was a tale that provides tons of things to reflect on, to mull over, making you think and ask questions about what’s important to you. In fact I really am not sure what to think about it. The science aspect of the story was too much for me and the talk about neurons and other things meant nothing for me. There was so much potential to “The Memory Chamber” but for me it didn’t deliver. It was an interesting, different read, that’s for sure and it’s certainly one of the reasons you should read it for yourself – because maybe it’s the case of it’s not you, book, it’s me.

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Relight My Fire by Joanna Bolouri / #BookNews

Hello again you lovely people. I usually don’t post any book news, or cover reveals etc but there are some authors that I happily and gladly make an exception. And Joanna Bolouri is one of those people. Since her debut novel I’ve been stalking her almost daily to hear news on new releases and I loved all of her books. Here is the proof (ie. my reviews):

The List

I Followed the Rules

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

See?

And now, guys. Please behave. But Joanna Bolouri is soon, very soon, as in May 2018, back! With a brand new novel *drum rolls please*  she’s for sure going to relight my fire!

Relight-My-Fire_Twitter-card_v1 (3)

The Girl Before by JP Delaney / #BlogTour + Guest Post

Hi guys, and happy Saturday. I was supposed to post my entry yesterday and I am so, so sorry for not doing it but I’ve spent unexpected three hours at the doctor with my daughter and I wasn’t able to think about anything other. APOLOGIES! It doesn’t usually happen and I feel really, really bad.

“The Girl Before” by JP Delaney was published in hardcover last year and this year sees the publication of the paperback. I read this book last year and let me tell you this, guys, it was one of the best books – absolutely unique, intriguing and captivating. Today I also have something very special for you – have you ever wondered how the application form to test your suitability look like? Ha, I thought so – me too! Scroll down for the guest post!

The Girl Before by JP Delaney

 

 

untitledPublisher: Quercus

Publishing Date: 25th January 2018

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

Number of pages: 448

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, General Fiction (Adult)

 Buy the Book: Kindle | Hardcover | Paperback

 

Synopsis:

Enter the world of One Folgate Street and discover perfection . . . but can you pay the price?

For all fans of The Girl on the Train and Gone Girl comes this spellbinding Hitchcockian thriller which takes psychological suspense to the next level

Jane stumbles on the rental opportunity of a lifetime: the chance to live in a beautiful ultra-minimalist house designed by an enigmatic architect, on condition she abides by a long list of exacting rules. After moving in, she discovers that a previous tenant, Emma, met a mysterious death there – and starts to wonder if her own story will be a re-run of the girl before. As twist after twist catches the reader off guard, Emma’s past and Jane’s present become inexorably entwined in this tense, page-turning portrayal of psychological obsession.

Following in the footsteps of Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train, The Girl Before is being brought to the big screen. The film is set to be directed by Academy Award-winning director Ron Howard.

Rating: five-stars

When choosing a book to read I often follow my gut feeling, especially when it comes to the authors that I don’t know – although JP Delaney is a pen name for a best – selling author, and when reading “The Girl Before” I was looking for any hallmarks but I didn’t guess the real name – and when spotting this book I just had a feeling that this could be THE read. And well, yes, it turned out that I should trust my gut feeling as the book was totally engrossing and kept me glued to the pages. “The Girl Before” was a provocative, incredibly smart story about controlling and manipulations, making reader to ask who is reliable there and whom shall we trust.

Now. “The Girl Before”. We can start debating who the hell would go and live voluntarily in a house with 200 stipulations including no pets (no way), no children, no cushions, no curtains, no personal things on the floor, no books (hello?). And yet they signed on the dotted line. The house itself is an example of minimalism and the latest and best home technology, adjusting itself to the weather, temperature and probably the mood of the inhabitants. Originally designed by Edward Monkton as his family home but there was an accident on the site when his wife and his young son died. Also, he is the one who, after interviewing the prospective renters, is to decide if they’re going to live there or not. Weird, no? Who in their right mind would go for something like this? I wouldn’t, and I don’t want to go into this debate, but I thought that it is a brilliant and unique idea and premise for a book. For me the book sounded unique, not like others books that I read, and the only thing that didn’t work so good for me was the end, that sounded too Disney-like and somehow didn’t sit with the book. However, this is probably the only thing that I’m going to criticise. There were maybe some things that made me feel uncomfortable, just like building the house on the grave or some scenes with abuse – both human and animal – but nothing that would make me cringe.

The story alternates between Emma (Then) and Jane (Now), and the chapters were short and dynamic and it also made the story flow and reading much quicker. It was also the writing that makes this book so outstanding. It is sparse, but it is incredibly hooking and just beautiful – we can say just like the house! It just feels like the house, to be honest, white and with no barriers or unnecessary things and beautiful in its frugality. The way the stories of Emma and Jane mirrored made me feel a little claustrophobic and insecure, to be honest, it brought a lot of tension and changed my perspective more than once.
I loved how the story was divided between the two points of view. Both of them were in the first person but I’ve never had a problem to see who’s speaking. Duh, the chapters did have titles with the name of the characters! I also liked the way both stories were interwoven and how quickly and effortlessly they picked up when the other has just finished. Really, as the chapters flip back and forth the similarities between the women and their lives started to feel suspicious and somehow creepy, and it was obvious that eventually I’ll start to suspect Edward as well.

I think the characters there are not created to be liked by the readers. Their decisions didn’t help to warm to them, and it is not that I had problems with the characters but I did think that both the women, Emma and Jane, were incredibly naive. There were thousands of warning bells that they chose to ignore and the way they meekly agreed to be controlled by both house and Edward was remarkable and odd. I mean, allowing a man to control your diet and exercise? No, thank you. It was even more surprising that they were like lambs because they were both relatively troubled women and they should know better.
The house on One Folgate was like a living and breathing character itself, to be honest. I really started to believe that the house is trying to destroy the ones it doesn’t approve of, that it controls the lives. It was truly extraordinary how the author managed to create this special, claustrophobic atmosphere of this place.

It is not a book that is destined to make you scared or look over your shoulder. It is a book that is destined to make you feel tension and suspense, keep you in the dark and play with your mind. It is a slow burner, this novel, but with this kind of book it shouldn’t be different – well, you can’t expect the biggest twist to be explained on the first pages, right. No, you’re expecting it to grow slowly in tension, to change tracks, to pull wool over your eyes, and “The Girl Before” just does it. However, as the circle of suspects was very limited in the novel, the end didn’t come as such a BIG surprise, although the last quarter of the story truly meddled with my mind and made me change my opinion about some characters.

Because of the slow pace it takes some time for the book to really pick up, and it happens when Jane discovers that someone died in the house before, and it also takes time for Emma to start to feel afraid. However, even with it taking time, for me it was engaging, interesting and unusual read. The way the story developed was very masterfully and skilfully plotted and organized and I absolutely admired this feeling of dread that the author smuggled onto the pages.

This is a story about secrets, lies and appearances that can often be deceiving. It is one huge rollercoaster ride full of ups and downs and there was something very special in it and I didn’t want to put it down. It is an engrossing mystery, even if the characters are not too likeable – but they don’t have to be in this kind of story. It is good enough that they are multi – layered, they are very complex and I think that no matter what, we never know if they’re telling the truth or if they’re hiding something. It was a thought – provoking, addictive and a clever read, multi – layered with many surprises and I highly recommend “The Girl Before” to you.

GUEST POST

On applying to live at One Folgate Street:

The Girl Before is a book about a house, One Folgate Street. I’ve always loved books with houses at their core, from Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca to Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Remains of the Day. This particular house is unusual because it’s been built by a minimalist architect, and in order to rent it you have to sign up to over 200 rules – everything from ‘no curtains’ to ‘no pets’ – and complete a questionnaire designed to test your suitability.

The first question in the application is ‘Please make a list of every possession you consider essential to your life’, which may be fair enough for a minimalist house.But as the questions go on they get more and more unusual and penetrating – things like: “Would you sacrifice yourself to save ten innocent strangers?’ and ‘What about a thousand innocent strangers?’

Many of the questions are drawn from clinical tools designed to measure things like obsessive perfectionism and moral relativism. You can take the questionnaire yourself, and see how your answers compare with other readers’ – go to

http://www.thegirlbeforebook.com/

and click on ‘Continue Application’ (you’ll need to enter an email address.)

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The Wardrobe Mistress by Natalie Meg Evans / #BlogTour

Hi guys, and happy Friday! Yesterday I came back from my (well deserved, even if I say so myself) holidays and today I am already back to blogging with my stop on Matalie Meg Evans’s blog tour. I love good historical fiction and this author is really at the top of my favourite authors list, and really, I can only recommend her novels! Here is my review of her newest release, “The Wardrobe Mistress”.

The Wardrobe Mistress by Natalie Meg Evans

 

35652772Publisher: Quercus

Publishing Date: 10th August 2017

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

Number of pages: 448

Genre:   Historical Fiction, Literature/Fiction (Adult)

 Buy the Book: Kindle | Paperback

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

From the award-winning author of The Dress Thief comes a love story set in the glittering world of London theatre. Perfect for fans of Lucinda Riley and Kathleen Tessaro.

War has been over more than a year but rationing and shortages persist. The worst winter in two-hundred years is just around the corner. London desperately needs an injection of cheer and colour, and the glamorous Farren Theatre Company intends to provide it.

Young war widow, Vanessa Kingcourt, has just been hired as wardrobe mistress at the notorious old theatre the Farren in London. Working backstage at the Farren is a lifelong ambition, and she’s looking to re-find the sense of purpose that war work gave her. But when Vanessa becomes romantically entangled with the Farren’s married owner – the enigmatic Alistair Redenhall – Vanessa’s career, and her very happiness, are put on the line.

Rating: three-stars

Natalie Meg Evans is on the top list of my favourite historical fiction authors, so I was incredibly excited to see she’s about to publish her fourth novel, “The Wardrobe Mistress”. The book went with me on my holidays and I was incredibly excited to start reading it – I adored Ms Evans’s books in the past, and this one was also sounding very promising.

The author sticks with her favourite historical period as the story takes us to the post – war London. The book consists of four parts and follows the story of Vanessa Kingcourt. It also ventures to a world of theatre, and as I love stories about theatres, I truly had high expectations here. So Vanessa – she was a wireless operator during the war, and now she wants to reconnect with her family, and especially her father who has left the family on his daughter’s sixth birthday. But life, as usual, has other ideas and there is no reconnection to be. However, there is the other meeting, with a captain Alastair Redenhall, that takes Vanessa on a very different, adventurous journey. Alastair has inherited a theatre from his godfather, and he truly never has expected such inheritance – well, he was a captain, and taking on a theatre was a totally new role for him.

But oh boy. This book gave me a headache. There was a mystery, but it was tangled in many other events and characters and it just felt very slow and I sometimes had a feeling that very little is happening and it took my whole willpower to continue reading – fortunately, as then, later on, the pace gained some tempo. There were twists and turns that I would never have expected to come but somehow, and it annoys me very, very much as I can’t put my finger on why, I just couldn’t connect with the story and it didn’t wow me as much as I hoped it would. I also couldn’t warm to the characters – maybe because there were so many of them, and really, I had a feeling that the plot jumps between them and situations and I just couldn’t find myself captured, just couldn’t get into the depth of the book. The characters felt too one – dimensional to me and I think that Fern was one of the most outstanding in this novel – she was clever and even though she was playing games, those were intelligent games. Alistair was blowing hot and cold and yes, I get it, he was a sea man thrown suddenly and unexpectedly into totally different entourage and eventually, in the end, I started to warm to him. Vanessa was a great leading character and here I had no problems to like her from the very beginning. She had a mind of her own and, as it usually happens, she was way ahead of her times in the way she was thinking. She has never gave up, and I really appreciated her for this. But altogether, for me, I couldn’t start to trust them completely, there was something holding me back, and I was asking myself if their motivations are honest.

As I have already mentioned, there were some twists and turns in this story, but it was all happening so very slowly, to finally come to a dramatic end. But somehow all the good things just happened too late and couldn’t save the book for me. However, the author, as always, has perfectly chosen the setting and the descriptions of the theatre, of how the costumes, the plays were prepared, were brilliant, full of details and very, very vivid.

Altogether, I am very sad to say that “The Wardrobe Mistress” was not my favourite read by Natalie Meg Evans, I think that her previous books are better, faster and more captivating, however I am not saying that this novel is bad! Oh no, it has its moments, and the writing style is beautiful, full of vividness and I am sure that it’s going to steal pieces of the author’s fans’ hearts. I am already looking forward to Ms Evans next book.

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