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Tangled in Dresses

The Tanglewood Wedding Shop Book Cover The Tanglewood Wedding Shop
Lilac Mills
Fiction
Canelo Escape
January 13, 2020
300

Something old, something new, something borrowed, something untrue… Edie has enough on her plate keeping her tyrannical boss happy at Moira’s Wedding Shop. So when society bride Tia begs Edie to design her wedding dress – and keep it a secret from the domineering mother-in-law to be – Edie reluctantly says ‘I will’ to making Tia’s dream come true. If her deception is found out, though, it would mean losing her job… Meanwhile best man James has his eye on Edie and he’s proving ever harder for her to resist. James is upper-crust and Edie’s one unexpected bill away from the breadline – they’re from completely different worlds and there’s no way it can ever work between them… right? A charming, feel-good romance for fans of Daisy James, Holly Martin and Portia MacIntosh.

A wedding shop story with difference.

We are not reading about the shop but the seamstress, who does not own the shop, but makes and designs the gowns – for a pittance due to a mean shop owner.

We have a cute village which emphasises just how remote some of our Welsh ( and Welsh Border) villages can be, lacking the amenities of travel if you don’t have a car, with rare and unreliable buses.

Overall a sweet story within the genre but no real bite and a rather wishy-washy heroine.

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Glamour and ….

American Royals Book Cover American Royals
Katharine McGee
Teens & YA , Women's Fiction
Puffin, Penguin Random House UK
September 3, 2019
368

Romance, glamour, ambition and power . . . meet the Washingtons - the most scandalous royal family ever! HRH Princess Samantha has always been a royal rebel. She's the spare not the heir, so no one minds too much who she dates or how hard she parties. It helps that her sister, Princess Beatrice, is literally perfect. She's demure, sweet and beautiful, and she knows that the crown always comes first - no matter what her heart might really want. But they're not the only ones with their eye on the throne. Daphne Deighton might be 'newly noble' but she won Prince Jefferson's heart once, and she'll do anything to get back into the court's favour - and his bed. If only she knew that her competition was a common nobody - plain little Nina Gonzalez, the daughter of the king's secretary. Together these four young women must navigate the drama, gossip, scheming and sizzling romance of the most glorious court in the world. They'll either be crowned in glory - or end up as shockingly royal disasters.

Overall I liked this alternate history of America and thus the world. 
My one issue was with Daphne's age. She was still 17 at the time of writing. 
Her scheming was that of a teenager true, but the concept of marriage at such a young age- well. My guess is that the ages of the main characters were to appeal to an YA audience.
It would have been nice to have had more history of America in the storyline. What had happened after the war with the British? 
There were odd sentences here and there-eg about slavery & Native Americans, but they only left me wanting more detail.
I'm sure a YA audience will love this new series, after all, so many girls dream about being a: 
a. a princess and 
b. To be in charge- to rule.

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Fairy Children

Little Darlings Book Cover Little Darlings
by Melanie Golding
General Fiction (Adult)
HQ
Pub Date 2 May 2019

THE TWINS ARE CRYING. THE TWINS ARE HUNGRY. LAUREN IS CRYING. LAUREN IS EXHAUSTED. Behind the hospital curtain, someone is waiting . . . A terrifying encounter in the middle of the night leaves Lauren convinced someone is trying to steal her new-born twins. Desperate with fear, she locks herself and her sons in the bathroom until the police arrive. When DS Joanna Harper picks up the list of reported overnight incidents, she expects the usual calls from drunks and wrong numbers. But then a report of an attempted abduction catches her eye. The only thing is that it was flagged as a false alarm just fifteen minutes later. But Harper chooses to investigate anyway. There's nothing on the CCTV, and yet Lauren claims that the woman is still after her children. No one will listen to Lauren – except Harper. And now Harper must ask herself, is Lauren mad, or does she see something no one else can?

The Changelings- My title for this book 
This book taps into the oft repeated stories about fairy changelings. Where the fairies steal a human child & replace them with one of their own. 
Although why the fairies should do this is never explained.
The first time I tried to read this book I found the initial chapters so creepy, I put the book away. This time, I read on.
The story is still creepy but I got hooked. 
I actually lived in Sheffield in 1976, and well remember how dry it was, and now the Rivelin Dams' waters shrunk. I remember The fascination of seeing the drowned villages re-appear and how creepy they looked draped in water weed and crumbling.
This story leaves you with the distinct impression, that there is more to our world than the rational eye can see. Again with the ghost stor.
was the mother suffering from post-partum paranoia? Or was there more?

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Lost?

Little Boy Lost
DCI Anna Tate
JP Carter
General Fiction (Adult) , Mystery & Thrillers
Avon,

Innocence is no protection against evil… One early October afternoon, ten-year-old Jacob Rossi begins the short walk home from school. But he never makes it. Days later, DCI Anna Tate is called to the scene of a burning building, where an awful discovery has been made. A body has been found, and the label in his school blazer reads: J. Rossi. As Anna starts digging, she soon learns that a lot of people had grudges against the boy’s father. But would any of them go so far as to take his son? And is the boy’s abductor closer than she thinks? An absolutely gripping thriller for fans of Cara Hunter’s No Way Out and First Blood by Angela Marsons.

A very disturbing story. very well told and believable after previous London riots.
My husband has always pointed to the regular occurrence of riots in the UK's history, and the fact that social ills were addressed afterwards, as a reason, possibly, that unlike  most of Europe, we still have a monarchy. And have not had a real Revolution.
 I saw a play created from interviews with our last London rioters, and it is clear that a significant portion of our youth feel very disenfranchised. And the increase in knife crime in 2019 emphasises this.
So the social unrest that is The background to this story is a viable a believable extrapolation.
I am not sure if Chloe's back story added a great deal apart from muddling stories up. I would have left it out. Its riot experience was enough.
And the final twist was one I never saw coming. Excellent.

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Who lives next door?

The Neighbours Book Cover The Neighbours
by Nicola Gill
General Fiction (Adult) , Women's Fiction
Avon Books
Pub Date 6 Feb 2020

Meet Ginny, 34, and Cassie, 55. Neighbours, and (very) unlikely friends. Some women have it all. Others are thirty-four and rent a tiny flat alone because they recently found their long-term boyfriend in bed with their boss. Ginny Taylor is certain her life can’t get any worse. But then she meets her downstairs neighbour… Cassie Frost was once a beloved actress, but after a recent mishap she desperately needs a new publicist. And Ginny is a publicist who desperately needs a job – but can she be persuaded to work for the prickly woman who lives below her floorboards? Ginny and Cassie are two very different women, but they have more in common than they’d care to imagine (or admit). And when their worlds collide, they realise that bad neighbours could become good friends… A funny, honest and moving exploration of life, love, friendship and navigating the emotional rollercoaster of your thirties… and beyond. Perfect for fans of Beth O’Leary’s The Flatshare and Ruth Jones’s Never Greener.

This is an interesting book as it defies the commonly promulgated idea that we don't know, or care about, or neighbors in London. My personal experience is that this is not true. 
In London, we live in small communities, towns if you will, where, when you walk out the shop owners know you, the station staff recognise you, and you always bump into, and talk with, a neighbor. True, you need to smile and say 'Hello' first and maybe join in a community activity, of which there will be lots to choose from. 
Not so in  Commuter Land. 
I lived there for 19 years and barely knew nextdoor. 
Here in London I know lots of people & even have had drinks with
the people upstairs.
That said, this is a warm story, almost sentimental, with a young person befriending the grouchy neighbor below stairs, and as such helping her turn
her life around

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