#BookReview: The Mother of All Christmases by Milly Johnson @millyjohnson @simonschusterUK #ChristmasReads

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About the Book

Eve Glace – co-owner of the theme park Winterworld – is having a baby and her due date is a perfectly timed 25th December. And she’s decided that she and her husband Jacques should renew their wedding vows with all the pomp that was missing the first time. But growing problems at Winterworld keep distracting them …

Annie Pandoro and her husband Joe own a small Christmas cracker factory, and are well set up and happy together despite life never blessing them with a much-wanted child. But when Annie finds that the changes happening to her body aren’t typical of the menopause but pregnancy, her joy is uncontainable.

Palma Collins has agreed to act as a surrogate, hoping the money will get her out of the gutter in which she finds herself. But when the couple she is helping split up, is she going to be left carrying a baby she never intended to keep?

Annie, Palma and Eve all meet at the ‘Christmas Pudding Club’, a new directive started by a forward-thinking young doctor to help mums-to-be mingle and share their pregnancy journeys. Will this group help each other to find love, contentment and peace as Christmas approaches?

 

My Thoughts

I’m fully immersed in my Christmas reading now and my most recent festive read was The Mother of All Christmases by Milly Johnson!

This is a lovely novel following three women. Palma has agreed to act as a surrogate for a couple as she desperately needs money. She’s such a sweet young woman and all through the novel I was wanting life to work out for her. Annie runs a Christmas cracker factory with her husband. She’s in her late 40s and is living with the sadness that comes with having been unable to have a child and now seems to be starting the menopause. Eve owns Winterland, a Christmas theme park and finds herself pregnant and planning her vow renewal service for the festive season!

All three women were such great characters and I enjoyed reading about all of them. The peripheral characters were all so brilliant too – I especially loved Iris! Milly Johnson is so good at writing really believable characters, all of the people in this book felt real and that gave it such warmth.

This book isn’t set entirely at Christmas, it’s more the few months leading up to it but it does still feature a reasonable amount of the holiday period and Christmas planning. There are such gorgeous friendships formed in this book that it felt like it really embodied the Christmas spirit and I loved it!

This is a light-hearted read but it has some real heart-felt moments in it too. The sad moments are handled so sensitively and the real Yorkshire spirit that comes from some of the characters helps bring the novel back to being light, without ever dismissing the harder times. This is my new favourite Milly Johnson book, I very much enjoyed it! I definitely recommend this one!

I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. All thoughts are my own.

The Mother of All Christmases is out now and available here.

 

About the Author

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Milly Johnson was born in Barnsley, raised in Barnsley and still lives in Barnsley – although she did study in Exeter for four years and emigrate to Haworth in West Yorkshire in the 1980s. She trained as an actress, teacher, an accountant, a Customer Services and Suggestion Scheme Manager as well as working in a variety of administrative posts for companies dealing with anything from antique furniture to plastic injection moulded poop scoops. Eventually she found a happy existence writing poems and jokes for the greetings card world – helping to kick off the hugely successful Purple Ronnie project – which she still does on a part time basis whilst penning her novels.

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This Week in Books (28 Nov 2018)! What are you reading at the moment? #TWiB

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Today I’m taking in part in This Week in Books, which was started by Lipsyy Lost and Found! If you want to join in you just need to share what you’re reading now, what you’ve read over the last week, and what you hope to read next.

 

I’ve had a rough few days health wise with my asthma badly flaring up and as a result ending up on a course of steroids. Unfortunately I’m still struggling and I’ve had a reaction to the medication which has caused me to only sleep a few hours in total over the last few days. The only upside is the enforced rest has meant lots of reading and listening to audio books so I’ve got through a lot of books over the last week.

 

Now

 

Under the Wig by William Clegg

I downloaded this on a whim recently when I spotted it in the Read Now section on NetGalley. I’m so glad I did because it’s a really interesting look at what it is to be a barrister, and also to work on high-profile cases. I’m really enjoying it.

Once Upon a River by Diane Setterfield

I only started this last night so am only a couple of chapters in but I can tell I’m going to love getting lost in this novel. It’s beautiful and I’m so looking forward to reading more of it in the coming days.

 

Believe Me by JP Delaney

I got a copy of this from NetGalley but struggled to get into it so I bought the audiobook in a recent Audible sale and am enjoying it more now I’m listening to it. It’s not as good as I hoped it would be but it does have me intrigued and I’m keen to see how it’s all going to end.

Twenty-Six Seconds by Alexandra Zapruder

This is a fascinating read about Abraham Zapruder, the man who filmed the assassination of John F Kennedy. There is so much that I didn’t know about what the Zapruder family went through in the immediate aftermath, and for many, many years after. It’s such a good book and I definitely recommend it.

 

 

Then 

 

Snowy Nights at the Lonely Hearts Hotel by Karen King

This is such a lovely festive read, I really enjoyed it.  I read an ARC so I’ll definitely be reviewing this one soon.

Life to the Limit: My Life in Formula One by Jenson Button

I’ve been wanting to read this book for a while as I was always a fan of Jenson Button in his F1 days. I picked up the audio book in a Black Friday deal on Audible and immediately started listening to it. I very much enjoyed this book, it was a look back over Jenson’s whole career but was also very much a tribute to his late father. I definitely recommend this book to F1 fans.

 

Fukushima Dreams by Zelda Rhiando

This book was sent to me for review and I’m so glad I picked it up to read. It’s a beautiful and moving look at the aftermath of the earthquake and subsequent tsunami in Japan a few years ago. This book left such a mark on me and I feel it will be one I’m thinking of for a long time to come.

The Mother of All Christmases by Milly Johnson

I requested this on NetGalley recently and have been so keen to read it. I really enjoyed it. It wasn’t as Christmassy all the way through as I was hoping but it was still a wonderful read and I loved it.

 

Snowday by B R Maycock

This book gave me real comfort and escape on a bad night with my asthma and I really got swept away in this lovely wintery read. I’ll be reviewing this on my blog very soon so keep an eye out for that.

How Not to be A Boy by Robert Webb

I got this book for Christmas last year and have been so keen to read it. I finally picked it up at the weekend and read it over two days. I really enjoyed this, even more than I thought I would (and I had high hopes for it).

 

The Wicked Boy by Kate Summerscale

I’d forgotten I owned this audiobook but when sorting through my audible books on my phone I spotted it and while it wasn’t on my non-fiction November TBR it seemed fitting to listen to it this month. I found this to be such a fascinating listen and I’m so glad I picked it up.

Cross Her Heart by Sarah Pinborough

I’ve had this on my TBR since it was published earlier this year and I finally picked it up this week. I really enjoyed this one but it wasn’t quite as good as Behind Her Eyes. I do love Sarah Pinborough’s writing though and would recommend this one.

 

The Upstarts by Brad Stone

This was one of my non-fiction November picks and I listened to the audio book. Unfortunately I didn’t enjoy this one as much as I’d hoped, it just didn’t really work for me.

The Christmas Spirit by Susan Buchanan

I really enjoyed this festive read, it was a lovely novella set in the lead up to Christmas. I’ll be reviewing this for the blog tour in December!

 

 

Next

 

Bone Lines by Stephanie Bretherton

I’ve been really intrigued by this book so was delighted to be invited to read and review if for the forthcoming blog tour. I’m hoping to start this book in the coming days.

Attend by West Camel

Orenda Books can do no wrong in my eyes so I’m thrilled to have this book on my TBR for the week ahead. It sounds like such a good book and I know I’m in for a treat!

 

Odette by Jessica Duchen

I was also offered a copy of this book to read and review for the tour next month and I jumped at the chance. I’m fascinated to read this one and it feels like such a perfect read for these colder, darker days.

No One Cancels Christmas by Zara Stoneley

This is my next pick from my pile of festive reads and I’m really looking forward to this one.

 

 


 

What have you been reading this week? I’d love to hear. And if you take part in This Week in Books or WWW Wednesday please feel free to leave your link below and I’ll make sure to visit and comment on your post. 🙂

A huge #BookHaul this week in my Stacking the Shelves (1 April) post!

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Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews, which is all about sharing the books that you’ve acquired in the past week!

 

I have a HUGE book haul to share with you this week as I was lucky enough to win a TBR of Dreams run on twitter last weekend and the books arrived on Monday. I also was sent some gorgeous ARCs this week so it all adds up to a bumper Stacking the Shelves post this week!

 

These are the 1 print & 3 eBooks I bought this week:

Sleep It Off Lady by Jean Rhys

Sleep It Off Lady by Jean Rhys

I’ve been a huge fan of Jean Rhys for many years now but I’ve never sat and read all of this short story collection. My copy got lost a while ago so I finally bought another copy and it will be a real treat to sit and read this collection.

Synopsis:

Sleep It Off Lady, originally published in late 1976, was famed Dominican author Jean Rhys’ final collection of short stories. The sixteen stories in this collection stretch over an approximate 75-year period, starting from the end of the nineteenth century (November 1899) to the present time of writing (circa 1975).

A Life Between Us by Louise Walters

A Life Between Us by Louise Walters

Quite a few of my favourite bloggers have featured this book recently in the run up to publication so I knew I had to buy a copy as soon as it was released. The synopsis sounds really intriguing and I’m sure this will be a book I very much enjoy. This novel is currently just 99p on Kindle so it’s an absolute bargain!

Synopsis:

Tina Thornton’s twin sister Meg died in a childhood accident, but for almost forty years Tina has secretly blamed herself for her sister’s death. During a visit to her aging Uncle Edward and his sister Lucia, who both harbour dark secrets of their own, Tina makes a discovery that forces her to finally question her memories of the day her sister died.

Who, if anyone, did kill Meg? As Tina finds the courage to face the past, she unravels the tangled family mysteries of her estranged parents, her beautiful French Aunt Simone, the fading, compassionate Uncle Edward, and above all, the cold, bitter Aunt Lucia, whose spectral presence casts a long shadow over them all.

A Life Between Us is a beautifully evocative story of a family torn apart at the seams, which will appeal to readers who enjoy family sagas and modern-day mysteries.

Siren by AnneMarie Neary

Siren by Annemarie Neary

I’ve had this book on my wish list for a while now so when I spotted it in the spring sale for Kindle I snapped it up. I’m really keen to read this one so I’m putting it quite high on my TBR.

Synopsis:

Ireland, 2004

Róisín Burns has spent over twenty-five years living a lie.

Brian Lonergan, a rising politician, has used the time to reinvent himself.

But scandal is brewing around him, and Róisín knows the truth.

Lonergan stole her life as a young girl. And now she wants it back.

But he is still one step ahead …

It Can't Happen Here by Sinclair Lewis

It Can’t Happen Here by Sinclair Lewis

I’m not sure where I first heard about this book but when I saw it was a kindle daily deal this week the title and cover were already familiar to me. I read the synopsis and it seems like one of those books that needs to be read at the moment. I think I’ll need to be in the right mood to read it but I hope I can get to it soon.

Synopsis:

A vain, outlandish, anti-immigrant, fearmongering demagogue runs for President of the United States – and wins. Sinclair Lewis’s chilling 1935 bestseller is the story of Buzz Windrip, ‘Professional Common Man’, who promises poor, angry voters that he will make America proud and prosperous once more, but takes the country down a far darker path. As the new regime slides into authoritarianism, newspaper editor Doremus Jessop can’t believe it will last – but is he right? This cautionary tale of liberal complacency in the face of populist tyranny shows it really can happen here.

 

I also received 7 ARCs:

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I Know My Name by CJ Cooke

I’m a real fan of CJ Cooke – one of her earlier novels, The Guardian Angel’s Journal is a favourite of mine so I was thrilled when she offered up a handful of copies of her forthcoming novel and I was quick enough to get one. It arrived yesterday and I was super excited to spot that it’s a signed copy. I can’t wait to read this book!

Synopsis:

…But what if that’s the only thing you can remember?

Komméno Island, Greece: I don’t know where I am, who I am. Help me.

A woman is washed up on a remote Greek island with no recollection of who she is or how she got there.

Potter’s Lane, Twickenham, London: Eloïse Shelley is officially missing.

Lochlan’s wife has vanished into thin air, leaving their toddler and twelve-week-old baby alone. Her money, car and passport are all in the house, with no signs of foul play. Every clue the police turn up means someone has told a lie…

Does a husband ever truly know his wife? Or a wife know her husband? Why is Eloïse missing? Why did she forget?

The truth is found in these pages…

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Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

I can’t even put into words how excited I was when the publisher of this contacted me to ask if I’d like to review it. I have heard so many great things about this book and have been so keen to read it. I’ll be starting this one very, very soon!

Synopsis:

Eleanor Oliphant has learned how to survive – but not how to live

Eleanor Oliphant leads a simple life. She wears the same clothes to work every day, eats the same meal deal for lunch every day and buys the same two bottles of vodka to drink every weekend.

Eleanor Oliphant is happy. Nothing is missing from her carefully timetabled life. Except, sometimes, everything.

One simple act of kindness is about to shatter the walls Eleanor has built around herself. Now she must learn how to navigate the world that everyone else seems to take for granted – while searching for the courage to face the dark corners she’s avoided all her life.

Change can be good. Change can be bad. But surely any change is better than… fine?

Did You See Melody? by Sophie Hannah

Did You See Melody? by Sophie Hannah

I’ve seen pics of this book on social media over the last week or so and have been so keen to find out more about it. I then spotted it was on NetGalley so requested it and was super excited to get approved the following day. The book’s not out until August so I feel like I should try and wait a little while before reading but I’m not sure I can resist it!

Synopsis:

Pushed to breaking point, Cara Burrows abandons her home and family and escapes to a five-star spa resort she can’t afford. Late at night, exhausted and desperate, she lets herself into her hotel room and is shocked to find it already occupied – by a man and a teenage girl.

A simple mistake on the part of the hotel receptionist – but Cara’s fear intensifies when she works out that the girl she saw alive and well in the hotel room is someone she can’t possibly have seen: the most famous murder victim in the country, Melody Chapa, whose parents are serving life sentences for her murder.

Cara doesn’t know what to trust: everything she’s read and heard about the case, or the evidence of her own eyes. Did she really see Melody? And is she prepared to ask herself that question and answer it honestly if it means risking her own life?

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The Wolf Road by Beth Lewis

This was my surprise book post of the week and I’m very happy to have received it. It sounds like the kind of book I’ll really get engrossed in so I’m keen to read it soon.

Synopsis:

A debut literary thriller from an incredible new voice. What do you do when the man who gave you everything turns out to be a killer? Perfect for fans of STATION ELEVEN by Emily St. John Mandel.

Trapper was my family even though I didn’t know a sure thing about him… Trapper was the kind a’ family you choose for yourself, the kind that gets closer’n blood.

He was what I chose and I chose wrong.

Lost in the harsh forest as a child, Elka was taken in and raised by the man she calls Trapper, the solitary hunter who taught her all she knows. So when Elka sees the Wanted poster in town, her simple existence is shattered. Her Trapper – Kreagar Hallet – is wanted for murder. Even worse, Magistrate Lyon is hot on his trail, and she wants to talk to Elka.

As winter sets in, Elka flees into the vast wilderness, determined to find her real parents. But Lyon is never far behind, and she’s not the only one following Elka’s every move. Soon Elka must confront the darkest memories of her past- and end Trapper’s killing spree for good.

The wild Air by Rebecca Mascull

The wild Air by Rebecca Mascull

I was contacted by the publisher about this book to see if I’d like to read it for the blog tour and I immediately said yes. I’ve read and enjoyed one of Rebecca’s previous novels and this one sounds like something I’ll love. I’m looking forward to starting this one.

Synopsis:

In Edwardian England, aeroplanes are a new, magical invention, while female pilots are rare indeed.

When shy Della Dobbs meets her mother’s aunt, her life changes forever. Great Auntie Betty has come home from Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, across whose windswept dunes the Wright Brothers tested their historic flying machines. Della develops a burning ambition to fly and Betty is determined to help her.

But the Great War is coming and it threatens to destroy everything – and everyone – Della loves.

Uplifting and page-turning, THE WILD AIR is a story about love, loss and following your dreams against all odds.

New Boy by Tracy Chevalier

New Boy by Tracy Chevalier

I was invited to read this one on NetGalley, which felt very serendipitous as I’d earlier read about the book and very much wanted to read it! I don’t think this will be waiting on my TBR for very long.

Synopsis:

‘O felt her presence behind him like a fire at his back.’

Arriving at his fourth school in six years, diplomat’s son Osei Kokote knows he needs an ally if he is to survive his first day – so he’s lucky to hit it off with Dee, the most popular girl in school. But one student can’t stand to witness this budding relationship: Ian decides to destroy the friendship between the black boy and the golden girl. By the end of the day, the school and its key players – teachers and pupils alike – will never be the same again.

The tragedy of Othello is transposed to a 1970s’ suburban Washington schoolyard, where kids fall in and out of love with each other before lunchtime, and practise a casual racism picked up from their parents and teachers. Watching over the shoulders of four 11-year-olds – Osei, Dee, Ian and his reluctant girlfriend Mimi – Tracy Chevalier’s powerful drama of friends torn apart by jealousy, bullying and betrayal will leave you reeling.

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Reconciliation for the Dead by Paul E. Hardisty

I’m taking part in the blog tour for this book in May so am looking forward to reading the book before then. I’ve not read any of Paul Hardisty’s other books but I’m intrigued to see what this one is like.

Synopsis:

Fresh from events in Yemen and Cyprus, vigilante justice-seeker Claymore Straker returns to South Africa, seeking absolution for the sins of his past. Over four days, he testifies to Desmond Tutu’s newly established Truth and Reconciliation Commission, recounting the shattering events that led to his dishonourable discharge and exile, fifteen years earlier. It was 1980. The height of the Cold War. Clay is a young paratrooper in the South African Army, fighting in Angola against the Communist insurgency that threatens to topple the White Apartheid regime. On a patrol deep inside Angola, Clay, and his best friend, Eben Barstow, find themselves enmeshed in a tangled conspiracy that threatens everything they have been taught to believe about war, and the sacrifices that they, and their brothers in arms, are expected to make. Witness and unwitting accomplice to an act of shocking brutality, Clay changes allegiance and finds himself labelled a deserter and accused of high treason, setting him on a journey into the dark, twisted heart of institutionalised hatred, from which no one will emerge unscathed. Exploring true events from one of the most hateful chapters in South African history, Reconciliation for the Dead is a shocking, explosive and gripping thriller from one finest writers in contemporary crime fiction.

I also won a TBR of Dreams giveaway on twitter this week, which included NINE fabulous books.

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A Song for Tomorrow by Alice Peterson

I was super excited to win a copy of this as it was on my wish list and I’ve been so looking forward to reading it. I then read an article about Alice Martineau who inspired this novel so I’m intrigued to read it. I’m hoping to start reading this over the next week or so.

Synopsis:

Tom fell in love with Alice the moment he saw her. He realises that being with her will not be easy, but she is a force of nature, a burst of sunlight in his otherwise ordinary world.

Some people might look at Alice and think she has everything, but Alice knows she is not like other women. Her life is complicated, unpredictable, difficult. Alice does not like pity. All she wants to do, has ever wanted to do, is sing.

Alice has been told not to follow her dreams. But when fate has already dealt a tough hand, it’s time to stop listening to everyone else and only follow their hearts.

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Summer at Skylark Farm by Heidi Swain

This sounds like a lovely, light-hearted summer read and one I think will be perfect when I’m in need of a pick-me-up.

Synopsis:

For everyone dreaming of escaping to the country, fall in love this summer at Skylark Farm…

Amber is a city girl at heart. So when her boyfriend Jake Somerville suggests they move to the countryside to help out at his family farm, she doesn’t quite know how to react. But work has been hectic and she needs a break so she decides to grasp the opportunity and make the best of it.

Dreaming of organic orchards, paddling in streams and frolicking in fields, Amber packs up her things and moves to Skylark Farm. But life is not quite how she imagined – it’s cold and dirty and the farm buildings are dilapidated and crumbling.

But Amber is determined to make the best of it and throws herself into farm life. But can she really fit in here? And can she and Jake stay together when they are so different?

A story of love in the countryside from the author of the bestselling The Cherry Tree Café. Perfect for Escape to the Country dreamers, Cath Kidston fans and Country Living addicts!

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How Not to Fall in Love by Catherine Bennetto

I love the sound of this book from the synopsis, I think it’ll be another book to keep for when I need a feel-good read.

Synopsis:

Life is 10% planning, 10% design and 80% totally winging it…

Join Emma as she guides you through How Not to become accidentally knocked up at the age of 27, How Not to unceremoniously dump the father of your child, and then How Not to lose the job that (even though you hate it) is the only thing between you and being homeless…

Hilarious and heart-warming, How Not to Fall in Love, Actually will make you laugh, make you cry, and will reassure you that perhaps your life is not that bad, actually…

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A Year at the Star and Sixpence by Holly Hepburn

I actually read the first novella in this collected series at Christmas last year and wanted to read the rest of the novellas but hadn’t yet got around to it. So I was really happy to find this book in my giveaway win as I can now revisit the first part and then find out what happens in the rest of the novel.

Synopsis:

A Year at the Star and Sixpence is Holly Hepburn’s four Star and Sixpence novellas collected together as a novel for the first time. 
When sisters Nessie and Sam inherit a little pub in a beautiful country village they jump at the chance to escape their messy lives and start afresh. But when they arrive at the Star and Sixpence, it’s not quite what they imagined – it’s pretty much derelict, ruined by debts, and it’s going to be a huge job to get it up and running again. But they are determined to make the best of this new life and they set about making the pub the heart of the village once again. Their first year at the Star and Sixpence won’t be easy, though nothing worth doing ever is.
But when the sisters’ past comes back to haunt them, they start to think that the fresh start they needed is very far away indeed…

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All the Stars in the Heavens by Adriana Trigiani

I read a couple of Adriana Trigiani’s novels years ago and really enjoyed them but I haven’t picked one up since. I’d heard of this book and thought it sounded great but hadn’t picked a copy up as yet, so I was pleased to win a copy. I love the era that this book is set in so I think it’ll be making its way to the top of my TBR very soon.

Synopsis:

Clark Gable, Loretta Young, Spencer Tracy, David Niven, Carole Lombard lead a magnificent cast of characters, real and imagined, in Adriana Trigiani’s new novel set in the rich landscape of 1930s’ Los Angeles. In this spectacular saga as radiant, thrilling and beguiling as Hollywood itself, Trigiani takes us back to the golden age of movie-making and into the complex and glamorous world of a young actress hungry for fame, success – and love. With meticulous, beautiful detail, she paints a rich landscape, where European and American artisans flocked to pursue the ultimate dream: to tell stories on the silver screen.

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These Days of Ours by Juliet Ashton

This sounds like a gorgeous read and one I’m really keen to get to soon. I think this may be the book I read after the Alice Peterson novel!

Synopsis:

A novel about love. Raw important love. Small, beautiful love. And what happens when the person you love cannot be yours… Perfect for fans of Rowan Coleman, Jane Green and David Nicholls.

Kate and Becca are cousins and best friends. They have grown up together and shared all the most important milestones in their lives: childhood birthday parties, eighteenth birthdays, and now a wedding day as they each marry their childhood sweethearts, Charlie and Julian.

Kate has always loved Charlie – they were meant to be. Then she discovers that life never turns out quite how you expect it to. And love doesn’t always follow the journey it should.

But best friends are forever, and true love will find a way, won’t it…?

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The Love of a Lifetime by Melissa Hill

I’ve loved the three previous novels I’ve read by Melissa Hill so I have high hopes for this one. I’m really looking forward to reading this as soon as I can.

Synopsis:

Hollywood movies are Beth’s passion. She hopes her life will always be filled with ‘movie moments’, where things like serendipity and fate happen every day. Her boyfriend Danny has always been the embodiment of her perfect Hollywood hero – though after seven years together the initial silver-screen romance has settled into something more predictable.

And then, one morning at work, Beth receives an anonymous delivery of a take-out coffee cup with a cryptic message suggesting a meeting at Tiffany’s. From there, she is given a series of clues directing her to some of NYC’s most popular landmarks – a treasure hunt using unique rom-com-related prompts perfect for a movie-lover like Beth to decipher. And Beth is forced to wonder: has Danny realised their relationship needs a boost – or could it be that charming new work colleague Ryan, with his intense gaze, flirtatious smile and almost encyclopaedic movie knowledge, wants to sweep her off her feet? And how would she feel about taking a chance on a new leading man in her life?

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The Queen of Wishful Thinking by Milly Johnson

I’ve read a few reviews of this on blogs over the last week or two and it sounded like such a lovely, warm-hearted read. I was so happy to find I’d won a hardback copy in the giveaway and am definitely going to be reading this soon.

Synopsis:

When Lewis Harley has a health scare in his early forties, he takes it as a wake-up call. So he and his  wife Charlotte leave behind life in the fast lane and Lewis opens the antique shop he has dreamed of. Bonnie Brookland was brought up in the antiques trade and now works for the man who bought out her father’s business, but she isn’t happy there. So when she walks into Lew’s shop, she knows this is the place for her.

As Bonnie and Lew start to work together, they soon realise that there is more to their relationship than either thought. But Bonnie is trapped in an unhappy marriage, and Lew and Charlotte have more problems than they care to admit. Each has secrets in their past which are about to be uncovered. Can they find the happiness they both deserve?

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Orange Blossom Days by Patricia Scanlan

I haven’t read a Patricia Scanlan book for about fifteen years now but I have fond memories of enjoying escaping into one of her books. I’m looking forward to reading this new one for nostalgia’s sake.

Synopsis:

In a beautiful southern Spanish town, where the sea sparkles and orange blossoms scent the air, the gates of a brand new apartment complex, La Joya de Andalucía, glide open to welcome the new owners. 

Anna and Austen MacDonald, an Irish couple, are preparing to enjoy their retirement to the full. But the demands of family cause problems they have never foreseen and shake their marriage to the core.

Sally-Ann Connolly Cooper, a feisty Texan mother of two young teenagers, is reeling from her husband’s infidelity. La Joya becomes a place of solace for Sally-Ann, in more ways than one.

Eduardo Sanchez, a haughty Madrileño, has set out with single-minded determination to become El Presidente of the complex’s management committee. But pride comes before a fall.

Jutta Sauer Perez, a sophisticated German who aspires to own her very own apartment in La Joya, works hard to reach her goal. Then the unthinkable happens.

As their lives entwine and friendships and enmities develop, it becomes apparent that La Joya is not quite the haven they all expect it to be…


 

So, that’s all of my new books from the past week. Have you bought any new books recently? Tell me all in the comments below, or if you have a stacking the shelves post on your blog feel free to post the link below too.:)

My weekly wrap up post will be on my blog tomorrow so please look out for that.

WWW Wednesday (25 May)

WWW pic

WWW Wednesday is a meme hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words. It’s open for anyone to join in and is a great way to share what you’ve been reading! All you have to do is answer three questions and share a link to your blog in the comments section of Sam’s blog.

The three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?

What did you recently finish reading?

What do you think you’ll read next?

A similar meme is run by Lipsyy Lost and Found where bloggers share This Week in Books #TWiB.


What I’m reading now:

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All is Not Forgotten by Wendy Walker

I’ve only read the first few chapters of this but it’s compulsive reading and had I not been ill yesterday I’d have finished it in one go. It’s such a fascinating idea for a novel.

Synopsis:

You can erase the memory. But you cannot erase the crime.

Jenny’s wounds have healed.
An experimental treatment has removed the memory of a horrific and degrading attack.
She is moving on with her life.

That was the plan. Except it’s not working out.
Something has gone. The light in the eyes. And something was left behind. A scar. On her lower back. Which she can’t stop touching.
And she’s getting worse.
Not to mention the fact that her father is obsessed with finding her attacker and her mother is in toxic denial.

It may be that the only way to uncover what’s wrong is to help Jenny recover her memory. But even if it can be done, pulling at the threads of her suppressed experience will unravel much more than the truth about her attack.

SockPuppet by Matthew Blakstad

Sockpuppet by Matthew Blackstad

This is a really good read, a very modern tale and very interesting. I’m enjoying it.

Synopsis:

Twitter. Facebook. Whatsapp. Google Maps. Every day you share everything about yourself – where you go, what you eat, what you buy, what you think – online. Sometimes you do it on purpose. Usually you do it without even realizing it. At the end of the day, everything from your shoe-size to your credit limit is out there. Your greatest joys, your darkest moments. Your deepest secrets.

If someone wants to know everything about you, all they have to do is look.

But what happens when someone starts spilling state secrets? For politician Bethany Leherer and programmer Danielle Farr, that’s not just an interesting thought-experiment. An online celebrity called sic_girl has started telling the world too much about Bethany and Dani, from their jobs and lives to their most intimate secrets. There’s just one problem: sic_girl doesn’t exist. She’s an construct, a program used to test code. Now Dani and Bethany must race against the clock to find out who’s controlling sic_girl and why… before she destroys the privacy of everyone in the UK.

Where Did I Go by Polly Williamson

Where Did I Go? by Polly Williamson

This is a really interesting read. Polly Williamson has been so open and honest about what it’s like to recover from a brain injury. It’s a moving read.

Synopsis:

“8 December 2011: I went to a small horse competition in the morning. That much I do remember. After that absolutely nothing …”

Polly Williamson’s life changed the day a dramatic incident with a young horse left her with a horrific head injury. She was a horse trainer and former Junior European Champion eventer. She was a wife and mother to two young boys. The accident severed her connection to this former life. It stole away her ability to care for her children and left her struggling to rediscover who she was.

Surviving a near fatal brain injury brings a person face to face with the very basis of their identity. Some will be lucky and pick up their former lives with barely a missed step. Others will have everything that holds them to who they were stripped away by brain damage.

Polly has had her world shattered and seen the fragments of her identity laid bare. Where did I go? is her powerful record of her efforts to pick up the pieces and put her life back together again.

My Favourite Manson Girl by Alison Umminger

My Favourite Manson Girl by Alison Umminger

I’ve almost finished reading this and have enjoyed it. It’s not what I thought it was going to be but it’s a good read.

Synopsis:

Anna has had a miserable year. Everything feels wrong with her life. And rather than stay and face the mess, she steals a credit card and books herself a seat on the first flight out of town to Los Angeles, to crash with her sister. But soon after she lands, cold reality soon dawns on her: Hollywood isn’t the escape she needs. She is trapped in a town full of lost souls and wannabes, with no friends, no cash and no return ticket.

When she’s offered a job researching the murderous Manson girls for a dubious film, she reluctantly accepts – she needs the money. But soon enough, among the fake smiles and glitter-fuelled parties, things turn from strange, to dark, to dangerous . . .

This is not going to be the summer Anna had in mind.


What I recently finished reading:

The Treachery of Trains by Sylvia Ashby

The Treachery of Trains by Sylvia Ashby

I very much enjoyed this novel. I’ve already reviewed it (you can read my review here) and I interviewed the author (which you can read here). I highly recommend this book though, it’s so good.

Synopsis:

Sky has made an abominable mistake at work. Something so awful she doesn’t dare stay in the HR office of XIM Technics for fear of being lynched by her colleagues.

So she gets on a train…

What happens when it hasn’t been your day, your week, your month, or even your year?

Sky Candy is about to find out.

 

This Secret We're Keeping by Rebecca Done

This Secret We’re Keeping by Rebecca Done

This is an interesting novel that left me with a lot to think about. I’ve reviewed this already and you can read my review here.

Synopsis:

A pupil and a teacher. Is it ever right to break the rules?
Jessica Hart has never forgotten Matthew Landley.
After all, he was her first love when she was fifteen years old. But he was also her school maths teacher, and their forbidden affair ended in scandal with his arrest and imprisonment.
Now, seventeen years later, Matthew returns to Norfolk, with a new identity and a long-term girlfriend and a young daughter, who know nothing of what happened before. Yet when he runs into Jessica, neither of them can ignore the emotional ties that bind them together.
With so many secrets to keep hidden, how long can Jessica and Matthew avoid the dark mistakes of their past imploding in the present?
From debut author Rebecca Done, This Secret We’re Keeping is a powerful and provocative novel about the ties which can keep us together – or tear us apart.

The Barn on Half Moon Hill by Milly Johnson

The Barn on Half Moon Hill by Milly Johnson

This is a really sweet novella that I very much enjoyed. It’s been sold for a really good cause so I absolutely recommend you buy a copy.

Synopsis:

Cariad Williams has been writing to Franco Mezzaluna since they were kids. But he has never written back. And now he has become a famous film star. What’s more, he is due to visit Winterworld, the Christmas theme park where Cariad works. The only problem is that she has boasted to her friends that he is her boyfriend and now everyone will find out about her lie…
An exclusive short story from Milly Johnson to raise funds for the Care for Claire charity.

 


What I plan on reading next:

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Nina is Not O.K. by Shappi Khorsandi

I’ve been looking forward to starting this novel ever since it arrived so am definitely going to try and read it this week.

Synopsis:

Nina does not have a drinking problem. She likes a drink, sure. But what 17-year-old doesn’t?

Nina’s mum isn’t so sure. But she’s busy with her new husband and five year old Katie. And Nina’s almost an adult after all.

And if Nina sometimes wakes up with little memory of what happened the night before , then her friends are all too happy to fill in the blanks. Nina’s drunken exploits are the stuff of college legend.

But then one dark Sunday morning, even her friends can’t help piece together Saturday night. All Nina feels is a deep sense of shame, that something very bad has happened to her…

A dark, funny – sometimes shocking – coming of age novel from one of the UK’s leading comedians. NINA IS NOT O.K. will appeal to fans of Caitlin Moran and Lena Dunham.


 

What are you reading at the moment? Have you finished any good books recently? Any books you’re looking forward to reading soon? Please feel free to join in with this meme and share your link below, or if you don’t have a blog please share in the comments below.