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No second chances for me

The Second Chance Hotel Book Cover The Second Chance Hotel
Rachel Dove
Fiction
HarperCollins UK
May 29, 2020
384

Welcome to Shady Pines, where the sun is shining, the sea is sparkling, and there’s a cosy chalet waiting to be your home away from home. But will April find the new start she’s looking for?

April Statham had it all – until her husband left her for a blonde ten years her junior. Now she’s thirty-five, single, and starting again. So she does what anyone in her position would do: she impulsively invests her life savings in the chalet park she used to visit as a child, on the beautiful Cornish Coast.

The Shady Pines Chalet Park is… ramshackle. But it has one big advantage – it is as far as physically possible from April’s ex, his new fiancée, and her old life. With gorgeous handyman Cillian O’Leary, April is looking forward to the challenge.

As visitors arrive, April realises that Shady Pines isn’t just a second chance for her, it gives Cillian another shot at happiness too.

But when he moves into the chalet next door, April’s painful past starts to catch up with her, and she struggles to reconcile her feelings for Cillian.

Is April’s new beginning destined to end in failure – or will she find new friends, a new life and new love at her second chance hotel?

I find myself in a quandary as I can't relate to the main character in this book. She is somehow vague. Just as I think I know her, she floats away.

I get the divorce and the running away. But for a person who keeps saying she is broke, she buys a lot of Stuff. 
And Cillian- well - the hot handyman is just too cliched and his temper is problematic. He is so reminiscent of the Gamekeeper that I can't see him any other way. Even his relationships with April and Madge slips away in my reader's mind.
And then 'Hotel'. This is a Chalet Park. No hotel in sight.
And just what hotel job did April do? Again hints but nothing clear.

And then adding... into the mix as an excuse for an inability to conceive, when most medical texts say that properly treated it isn't. Or if hers was so bad that it was, why not a hysterectomy and get rid of the symptoms?

So the storyline slips away from me too.

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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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Weddings in Aspen

A Wedding In December Book Cover A Wedding In December
Sarah Morgan
romance, women's fiction
HQ
31st October 2019

In the snowy perfection of Aspen, the White family gathers for youngest daughter Rosie's whirlwind Christmas wedding.

First to arrive are the bride’s parents, Maggie and Nick. Their daughter’s marriage is a milestone they are determined to celebrate wholeheartedly, but they are hiding a huge secret about their own: they are on the brink of divorce. After living apart for the last six months, the last thing they need is to be trapped together in an irresistibly romantic winter wonderland.

Rosie’s older sister Katie is also dreading the wedding. Worried that impulsive, sweet-hearted Rosie is making a mistake, Katie is determined to save her sister from herself. If only the irritatingly good-looking best man, Jordan, would stop interfering with her plans…

Bride-to-be Rosie loves her fiance but is having serious second thoughts. Except everyone has arrived – how can she tell them she's not sure? As the big day gets closer, and emotions run even higher, this is one White family Christmas none of them will ever forget.

Another wedding story – yes Xmas seems to be the season for it… here with a sister who is a cynic and firmly determined to stop her flaky sister from going through with it. This sister cynic is also an A&E doctor (Emergency Room for US readers), and this really influences her view on life as she so often sees the train wrecks of lives that women have made with hasty marriages and unsuitable husbands who are lovely until the ring is on their finger!

The sister’s romance was a trifle predictable from the very first moment of meeting and rather unexceptional which down-grades the book from 4 to 3.5 stars.

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Up high you go..

Elevator Pitch Book Cover Elevator Pitch
by Linwood Barclay
crime fiction, mystery, thriller,
HQ
Pub Date 05 Sep 2019

It all begins on a Monday, when four people board an elevator in a Manhattan office tower. Each presses a button for their floor, but the elevator proceeds, non-stop, to the top. Once there, it stops for a few seconds, and then plummets. Right to the bottom of the shaft. It appears to be a horrific, random tragedy. But then, on Tuesday, it happens again, in a different Manhattan skyscraper. And when Wednesday brings yet another high-rise catastrophe, one of the most vertical cities in the world – and the nation’s capital of media, finance, and entertainment – is plunged into chaos. Clearly, this is anything but random. This is a cold, calculated bid to terrorize the city. And it’s working. Fearing for their lives, thousands of men and women working in offices across the city refuse leave their homes. Commerce has slowed to a trickle. Emergency calls to the top floors of apartment buildings go unanswered. Who is behind this? What do these deadly acts of sabotage have to do with the fingerless body found on the High Line? Two seasoned New York detectives and a straight-shooting journalist must race against time to find the answers . . . Pulsating with tension, Elevator Pitch is a riveting tale of psychological suspense that is all too plausible . . . and will chill readers to the bone.

This was a great read and I never guessed the villain of the piece! Which is always the start of a good review from me.

It was well written with characters you loved to hate as well as those you felt some empathy for; and enough central characters to confuse you.

There was the Mayor; his son; his two aides; the journalist; her daughter; and two cops to keep you interested. Their actions and interactions and links proved fascinating and often unexpected which keep the story moving along at quite a fast pace.

Ps Saudi Arabia is currently going for the building height record – the Jeddah Tower opening in 2020 will be 3,280 foot high.

Currently, Burjkhalifa in Dubai is the highest at 2.722 feet.

The New York Trade Center for comparison is 1,776 feet.

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Oops – a baby…

What Happens Now? Book Cover What Happens Now?
Sophia Money-Coutts
contemporary fiction, romance,
HQ
Pub Date 22 Aug 2019

‘I was pregnant with the baby of a man I had met once.
What was one normally left with after a first date? A bad case of thrush?’

After eight years together, Lil Bailey thought she’d already found ‘the one’ – that is, until he dumped her for a blonde twenty-something colleague. So she does what any self-respecting singleton would do: swipes right, puts on her best bra and finds herself on a first date with a handsome mountaineer called Max. What’s the worst that can happen?

Well it’s pretty bad actually. First Max ghosts her and then, after weeing on a stick (but mostly her hands), a few weeks later Lil discovers she’s pregnant. She’s single, thirty-one and living in a thimble-sized flat in London, it’s hardly the happily-ever-after she was looking for.

Lil’s ready to do the baby-thing on her own – it can’t be that hard, right? But she should probably tell Max, if she can track him down. Surely he’s not that Max, the highly eligible, headline-grabbing son of Lord and Lady Rushbrooke, currently trekking up a mountain in South Asia? Oh, maybe he wasn’t ignoring Lil after all…

Ah – the story revolves around a bit of an oopsie – what happens when you are taking the pill, but have a really bad stomach upset, and then a one night stand? Oh dear… yes, and what do you do then?

Lil is a primary school teacher whose parents are academics; and Max her one-night stand partner, is an adventurer – a professional climber of extreme mountains, and whose father is a Viscount. Not a lot in common, especially as said father has a 22 bedroom mansion/castle/ baronial home that Max will inherit some day along with lots of acres etc.

I found this a nice chicklit romance with humour and millennial angst over marriage, property and relationships.

A good style and easy reading and one you didn’t really want to finish but yet really want to find out what happens.

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