Thursday, 7 June 2018

The Little Cafe in Copenhagen - Julie Caplin


Monday, 4 June 2018

The Memory Chamber - Holly Cave


True death is a thing of the past...

Now you can spend the rest of eternity re-living 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...


I do like books with an element of the future world. In this instance the book covers Isobel who is a heaven architect - she creates heavens for dying people so they can relive their best times over and over again after they are dead.

I wasn't sure quite how this concept would be possible, but I was willing to go with it. Unfortunately I was not prepared for Isobel being such a one dimensional character. To begin with I even wondered if she was actually a robot or AI life form - then she ate a banana. Of course in the future maybe AI will be eating food stuffs! She really was a little bit of a prima donna and I had trouble liking the character. 

Then she met Jarek and I felt she got worse - all the principles she seemed to need other people to live up to suddenly went out of the window in her own life,  and I was fearing that so would the book as I was finding it all a little boring.

Fortunately for me the book took a sudden turn of suspense when Jarek's wife was found dead. We were also thrust into some heavy futuristic happenings, as Isobel undertook something that had never been attempted before. The writing was very convincing even though I had no idea if this would ever actually be possible to attempt. I think this is down to the author having a science background which began to show at this point more.  Finally I began to have a little sympathy for Isobel and bond with her character somewhat.

I was then on a race to finish the book because it was one of the best thriller story lines I have read. It was certainly an unusual setting and I was unable to second guess the outcome. Lots more of the science fiction aspect was apparent and I really enjoyed reading the book more from this point onwards. I can see this would make a really good film as it is more of a visual storyline, however the writing was so descriptive, I really felt like I could see exactly what Isobel saw too.

I really wanted to give this book 5 stars but reduced it to 4 as it took so long to get going for me and reel me in. My thanks go to Netgalley and Quercus for a copy of the book for review.

Monday, 28 May 2018

Those Other Women - Nicola Moriarty

Poppy never thought her husband wanted children - especially not with her best friend.
When Poppy arrives home to find her husband and best friend sitting side by side at her kitchen table, she thinks they're planning her a birthday surprise . . .
Little does she know, they're waiting to tell her about their affair. And worse, that they're having a baby.
Now everywhere she goes, mothers are reminding her of their betrayal.
So when Poppy meets a woman who wants to help her fight back, it seems like a good idea.
But how well does she know her?
Is she there to help . . . or does she have an agenda of her own?

I really enjoyed reading this book - so much so I finished it in a few sittings. I thought the characters in this second book by the author were much more developed than in the "Fifth Letter", we even get to read a kind of diary that one of characters is writing, and all I could think was how do you go about writing something this realistic? 
The blurb for the book is really only the tip of the iceberg as to what happens in this book. It explores closed Facebook groups and what goes on in them (moles and all) - and in this instance how it can spill over into real life situations. I thought the author handled it all incredibly well, especially as running alongside it were a couple of other equally intriguing story lines. Basically a tale of he said, she said, what you think you saw and all those other tales of miscommunication and day to day life. We read all the time about people who are braver online to voice an opinion than in real life. Yes, there were some bitchy characters - but then there are in life too!
It was all there in black and white and really how could anyone get it all so wrong? - but as readers, we too were sucked in. When you begin to see the story lines from all sides - you realise you just never know the truth. I wasn't expecting the author to tell the story from different characters viewpoints, so when it happened it made it all that more interesting.
I don't do spoilers so I won't elaborate other than to say there was another storyline covered here that I don't think I've read in this type of book before, it just made the book so much more thought provoking than it already was.
I'm giving this book five out of five stars and my thanks to Penguinrandomhouse for a copy of the book for review.

Friday, 25 May 2018

You Were Made For This - Michelle Sacks


Tuesday, 22 May 2018

The Cottingley Secret - Hazel Gaynor


Friday, 18 May 2018

Time is a Killer - Michael Bussi


It is summer 1989 and fifteen-year-old Clotilde is on holiday with her parents in Corsica. On a twisty mountain road, their car comes off at a curve and plunges into a ravine. Only Clotilde survives.
Twenty-seven years later, she returns to Corsica with her husband and their sulky teenage daughter. Clotilde wants the trip to do two things - to help exorcise her past, and to build a bridge between her and her daughter. But in the very place where she spent that summer all those years ago, she receives a letter. From her mother. As if she were still alive.
As fragments of memory come back, Clotilde begins to question the past. And yet it all seems impossible - she saw the corpses of her mother, her father, her brother. She has lived with their ghosts. But then who sent this letter - and why?


The synopsis of this book really hooked me in, but when I began to read the book I struggled to stay with it. I found it very slow and boring for the most part. It is translated from French and I wondered if something had literally been lost in translation? Most of the sentences did not make sense to me - they read in a abstract way, perhaps it is the authors style? But I did not like it.

The book flips between 1989 and 2016 - although each era is labelled as such, I still felt disorientated at times as to which timeline I was reading about. Probably me - but I also brought forward in my minds eye the teenage Clotilde from 1989 into the present day and could not imagine her as a lawyer in 2016.

What I do like is a mystery and about half way through the book things began to get interesting enough for me to want to know the ending to this book. There were still long descriptive passages, which I did not think added to the story line, but several events kept me reading.

At one point I did think I had half guessed what had happened all those years ago in 1989 - and I was partly right but not for the reasons uncovered in the book. The last quarter of the book did live up to the promise from the synopsis but it was hard work getting to it.

I've always wanted to visit Corsica and I must say this book has made me want to do that even more as the descriptions of the island were one of the best parts of the book.

I am giving this book three out of five stars. My thanks to Netgalley for a copy of the book for review.

Thursday, 10 May 2018

The Little Brooklyn Bakery - Julie Caplin


When Sophie Bennings arrives in New York, love is the last thing on her mind. Still reeling from a painful break up, she throws herself into her work as a food editor on a top-notch magazine.
Columnist Todd McLennan is everything that Sophie wishes she didn’t want. Like the gorgeous bakery below her Brooklyn apartment, he’s as tempting as the sugary cupcakes on daily display. Surely a little of something you fancy can do you good?
As Sophie and Todd get to know one another, a love of food isn’t the only passion they share. In the city that never sleeps, has Sophie finally met the man of her dreams…?


This is pure chick lit and I just loved it. I read it in a couple of sittings and couldn't wait to get back to it. Being set in New York was a winner right off for me, but the writing was so wonderful that I really felt I was there. Thank goodness for Google street view as I found myself looking up some of the locations in the book, including the Brooklyn Public Library - what a building! which I appreciated even more in the book when I had seen it for myself.

To me the dream location would be living in a flat above a friendly bakery such as this one. I just loved all the descriptions of the cakes and makes and the stories of those that made them. I thoroughly enjoyed Sophie moving into her flat and getting to know her way around. Not only does she live in Brooklyn, helps out in a cool bakery - she is a food writer for a magazine - just don't wake me up! I admit I lived vicariously through her in this book.

It is probably the raciest chick lit I have ever read! There are certainly some steamy scenes. 

I'm giving this book 5 out of 5 stars. It's out 25 May 2018 - make sure you get your copy!