Books/book review/Romance/net galley/Tea and Cake
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Books and Coffee – great!

Little Book Cafe: Amy's Story Book Cover Little Book Cafe: Amy's Story
Little Book Cafe
Georgia Hill
women's fiction romance
harper impulse
19 Oct 2018

Escape to the seaside for a new three-part series for fans of The Canal Boat Cafe and Willow Cottage

Amy, the manager of The Little Book Café, is a hopeless romantic who had her heart broken, but quietly refuses to give up on love.

With her friends Tash and Emma, not to mention their shared love of books and delicious cake from the café next door, Amy might just find the courage to fall for a real life romance this time…

Amy's Story is the final instalment of The Little Book Cafe series so wrap up warm this Autumn and treasure this wonderful book.

This cafe is actually next door to the bookshop even though you can purchase coffee and cakes inside the bookshop. I found this rather confusing as I could not decide where the coffee came from.. but as the premises were jointly owned..

This book is set in a fictional south coast UK town which is all too nice and neat for reality – where these towns are struggling and not so nice any more – but some of the economic difficulties were mentioned as were the lack of anything for youngsters to do – which led them to petty vandalism.

 A cosy book that lacked any ‘bite’ with a very ‘soft’ style. Very much in older style of traditional romances which include a Cinderella hiding from the world in baggy clothes etc with a weight problem – she thinks. And a rescuer.

Sweet but could have been better.

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What happens when the kids leave home

The Mum Who Got Her Life Back Book Cover The Mum Who Got Her Life Back
Fiona Gibson
contemporary fiction, romance, humour, women's literature
Avon
01 Mar 2019

When her 18-year-old twins leave for university, single mum Nadia’s life changes in ways she never expected: her Glasgow flat feels suddenly huge, laundry doesn’t take up half her week, and she no longer has to buy ‘the Big Milk’. After almost two decades of putting everyone else first, Nadia is finally taking care of herself. And with a budding romance with new boyfriend Jack, She’s never felt more alive. That is, until her son Alfie drops out of university, and Nadia finds her empty nest is empty no more. With a heartbroken teenager to contend with, Nadia has to ask herself: is it ever possible for a mother to get her own life back? And can Jack and Nadia’s relationship survive having a sulky teenager around?

A story for all empty nesters and parents of kids who have left home – or have they? As so many people are now finding, kids that left, come bouncing back, just when you least expect them (and at very inopportune times) and really don’t need them back. They disrupt this nice life you have (finally) managed to create for yourself – even a nice new romance. They become needy toddlers again as life has been unfair to them and because you feel guilty because you didn’t miss them as much as you expected, you cater to their whims – even to the point where your new life begins to unravel.
Or least this is what happens according to this book.
Personally, if our kids had behaved the way her son did with his clothes and loo and messes they would have had a sharp word or two despite everything. Do Mums really get walked over nowadays as is portrayed here? And they don’t teach their sons to cook? Who was this woman and why did she allow her kids to treat her like a limp door mat? This rang untrue to me. So though I generally enjoyed the book the story was not as realistic as it could have been.
Overall, this works as a romance between single parents trying to find a new life for themselves and juggling the demands of work and family, but…

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The Sea is no-one’s friend

Cold Bones Book Cover Cold Bones
DS McAvoy #8
David Mark
police procedurals, murder, mystery, thriller
Mulholland Books
January 24, 2019
368

It's the coldest winter in Hull for years. When McAvoy is told by a concerned stranger that an elderly woman hasn't been seen for a few days, he goes to check on her - only to find her in the bath, encased in ice: the heating off; the windows open; the whole house frozen over. It could be a macabre accident, but when McAvoy finds a series of cryptic messages, he senses murder. Someone watched her die. As he starts to uncover the victim's story and her connections to a lost fishing trawler, his boss Trish is half a world away, investigating a mysterious death in Iceland. Hull and Iceland have traditionally been united by fishing -in this case, they are linked by a secret concealed for half a century, and a series of brutal killings that have never been connected. Until now - when the secrets of the dead have returned to prey on the living.

This is a haunting story that disturbs the emotions and emphasises the problems that a toxic masculine culture brings upon a community. Where fists are tools of the trade and used with abandon.

It is a tale of revenge and punishment in a fishing town, by fishermen and their relatives, that is carried to extremes by a belief in the righteousness of violence being the answer.

At times I found the story confusing, especially the opening scenes, as the various characters take their parts and lie with abandon.

But take heart any reader, all is explained in the end – and the very culture that spawned this way of dealing with life is now much more rare as certainly the fishing industry in Hull, and towns like it, is diminished, on a larger scale of boats (and thus less of a tight grouping of men), and more automated.

I might have understood a little better if I had read previous novels in the series.

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Taken for an unusual reason

The Taken Girls Book Cover The Taken Girls
GD Sanders
Thrillers, Crime, British Detective, Police Procedural
Avon; Digital original edition
(21 Feb. 2019)

Someone is watching them…

When a missing teenage girl reappears unharmed but pregnant, the case falls to DI Edina Ogborne, the newest recruit of Canterbury Police. But Ed’s already got her hands full with a team who don’t want her, an ex who won’t quit, and terrible guilt over a secret from her past.

As Ed investigates the case, she discovers Canterbury has seen this crime not once, but several times before. And when Ed and her detectives encounter missing historic police files, falsified school records, and Ed’s new lover as a prime suspect, it becomes clear that the system has been corrupted.

Can Ed find the kidnapper behind these depraved crimes before he strikes again? Or has time already run out?

This is a solid police procedural with the frustrations of modern policing and the requirements for solid evidence well portrayed. Not to mention the fact that the senior officers want good press coverage even when what you have is more speculative than fact and contradicts the above …
I found this new DI (a debut novel) to be a believable character – and fallible too, and was intrigued by the perpetrator and motives.
This is a series I think that will develop well and I look forward to reading more.

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Not so godly as it would seem

Orphanage of the Gods Book Cover Orphanage of the Gods
Helena Coggan
sci-fi, horror
Hodder & Stoughton
September 19, 2019
416

 In the glass city of Amareth, on a hill above a river, is an orphanage patrolled by soldiers with guns. Inside are the children left behind by the long-ago war in which humans all but wiped out their gods. Until they grow up, no one will know which are human, and which are not. Children who reveal hidden powers vanish from their beds. The Guardsmen discover every god, in the end. No one has ever escaped - until now. One day Hero, a seventeen-year-old half-god, breaks out of the orphanage and flees north with her brother Joshua. But the murderous Guard are on their tail, and they have something Hero wants desperately: her sister Kestrel, held captive in a towering stone prison in the northern sea. To survive and rescue Kestrel, Hero must outwit more than just the Guard. Lying in wait for them are a ragged band of gods-in-hiding, who promise help in exchange for eternal loyalty. Hero does not want to trust them - but as winter draws in and even Joshua begins to turn against her, her world starts to feel impossibly dangerous . . . ************ Praise for Helena Coggan's 'The Catalyst' 'This year's Divergent' - Sun 'A phenomenal achievement . . . assured, frightening, action-packed' - Observer 'A pulsing, labyrinthine, emotionally visceral plot' - Metro

I tried very hard to read this book as it seemed like a great concept and storyline. However, in my opinion, the actual writing style and complicated plot lines that confused me, made it a difficult read. I abandoned it about 50% of the way through as I felt it was not worth trying to complete.

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