The Key To My Heart by Lia Louis #BookReview

TheKeyToMyHeart def

whats-it-about-2

Can you ever really find the one after ‘the one’?

Some people spend their whole lives trying to find the one. But Natalie had found him – and married him. And then Russ died.

Two years ago, her whole world was shattered. Still now, she feels like she’s trying to piece her broken heart back together, one day at a time.

But then she finds a sheet of music – one that only Russ would know – in the piano stool in St. Pancras station where she’s secretly been playing for the last few months.

For the first time, Natalie realizes that maybe life does still hold a little magic. And with every note she plays, she feels as if she’s unlocking another fragment of her heart…

But will she ever truly find love again after she’d already found forever?

amazon uk amazon com

review-2

5_Star_Rating_System_4_and_a_half_stars_1457015900_81_246_96_2 / 5_Star_Rating_System_5_stars_1457015727_81_246_96_2

When you ask me to list a few romance authors I love reading, Lia Louis is definitely on that list. There are not many authors who can give me a book high but that’s how I feel right now. I absolutely fell for Dear Emmie Blue and The Key to my Heart is a very close second. This novel gave me a bad case of emophilia (it’s a real condition!) but it only concerns fictional characters so far.

The Key To My Heart is about Natalie’s life after having lost her husband two years earlier. People feel she should have moved on by now but Natalie is stuck in a space in her head between the past and the future, she’s struggling to cope alone with some things, some of a practical nature and some more emotional. She doesn’t know for instance what to do with the cottage they bought together and were going to renovate, nor how to tell her friends she’s not ready to date anyone.

I loved the mysterious element in the novel of someone leaving sheet music in the piano seat at the train station. It was very clever how the author wrote this novel so it wasn’t obvious who it was, not even to me. I enjoyed how the music was a lifeline and made her open up. She’s on a quest to find out who left it and why (both were quite surprising!) and while she’s sharing her findings with her friend Shauna who works at the coffee shop Goode’s, Tom The Target and her girlfriends, she’s slowly healing as well and getting her appetite for life back. It was such an original approach and if I ever find a piano in a train station it’ll certainly make me smile from now on.

There’s lots of incredibly wonderful banter in this novel that starts almost as soon as I opened it, so the connection between Natalie and one of the male characters was immediate and the possibility where this could lead was already dreamed up in my head. But she’s not interested in a romance and he’s scared of love and crocodiles so instead they become great friends. His support was great and I saw how she begun to change. Of course there’s also another swoonworthy man that crosses Natalie’s path and he understands her grief better than anyone else, having lost a family member himself. Would he be the one who makes her heart full again? I actually had my heart set a little bit on the first guy but they were both adding to the story and supporting Natalie in a beautiful way.

Lia Louis knows how to struck a chord with her writing. A big part of the novel is about Natalie’s friendship with the people around her and her connection with Tom and Joe, and that alone gave me a warm and good feeling but in the end there’s a very touching and epic scene that totally got to me. She definitely found the key to MY heart.

I feel I can’t do this novel justice with my review so forget all I said and just remember I can’t recommend this novel enough!

I bought a paperback copy of this novel. This is my honest opinion.

Surprise Me by Sophie Kinsella #BookReview

SurpriseMe 01

whats-it-about-2

After being together for ten years, Sylvie and Dan have a comfortable home, fulfilling jobs, beautiful twin girls, and communicate so seamlessly, they finish each other’s sentences. They have a happy marriage and believe they know everything there is to know about each other. Until it’s casually mentioned to them that they could be together for another sixty-eight years… and panic sets in.

They quickly decide to create little surprises for each other, to keep their relationship fresh and fun. But in their pursuit of Project Surprise Me – anything from unexpected gifts to restaurant dates to photo shoots – mishaps arise with disastrous and comical results.

Gradually, the surprises turn to shocking discoveries. And when a scandal from the past is uncovered, they begin to wonder if they ever really knew each other after all. . .

amazon uk amazon com

review-2

5_Star_Rating_System_4_stars_1457015877_81_246_96_2

This is my first Sophie Kinsella novel, can you believe it? I did see Confessions of A Shopaholic with Isla Fisher on tv and I happened to watch it again not so long ago. I quite enjoyed myself and that is why I finally picked up my copy of Surprise Me.

Sylvie and Dan have been together 10 years, married for 7 years. They are THAT couple, the perfect one, they literally finish each other’s sentences and are in a great place at the start of the novel. Then they hear from the doctor that they’re in excellent health and are expected to be together for another 68 years; they have to recover a little bit from that announcement. Sylvie and Dan make a plan to surprise each other to help keep their relationship fresh and exciting but nothing goes to plan. I enjoyed the little surprises they threw for each other, they’re good fun and most are things that are easily considered when you’re a couple (surprise breakfast in bed for instance). But then halfway through the novel Sylvie hears Dan having a hushed conversation that unsettles her and he reaches out to some old friends among which an ex-girlfriend. There might be a surprise coming up she doesn’t want to discover. She thought her marriage was solid but Dan is absent-minded, taut and he always has to work. Can they get back to the way they were?

Surprise Me was easy to read, it’s not too taxing so perfect reading material while you have some time off and are enjoying the sun. The characters, especially Sylvie, and many of the situations she finds herself in were quite relatable. The second half and the ‘secret’ that Dan keeps from Sylvie was more serious than I expected but a great twist in the story too, it’s something that brings on a change for the couple on its own and the biggest surprise she’ll have all things considered.

A great book that certainly surprised me. I’ll be looking out for more books by Sophie Kinsella.

I received a free paperback copy of this novel a few years ago in a giveaway. This is my honest opinion.

Puzzle Girl by Rachael Featherstone #BookReview @WRITERachael @AccentPress

PuzzleGirl def

whats-it-about-2

Love is a riddle waiting to be solved…

Clued-up career girl Cassy Brookes has life under control until one disastrous morning changes everything. When she finds herself stuck in a doctor’s surgery, a cryptic message left in a crossword magazine sends her on a search to find the mysterious puzzle-man behind it. Cassy is soon torn between tracking down her elusive dream guy, and outwitting her nightmare workmate, the devious Martin. Facing a puzzling love-life, will she ever be able to fit the pieces together and discover the truth behind this enigmatic man?

amazon uk amazon com

review-2

5_Star_Rating_System_4_stars_1457015877_81_246_96_2 / 5_Star_Rating_System_4_and_a_half_stars_1457015900_81_246_96_2

Puzzle Girl was a pleasant surprise, in the best way possible. I don’t know why I was hesitant to pick this one up but I think the lovely cover made me think it would be too light of a read for me (sorry cover designer) but I was so wrong, I had a really good time in Cassy’s presence.

I love novels where there’s written interaction between characters and they often score high for me (think The Flatshare or Dear Emmie Blue) but this one had an additional bonus of the ‘mystery man’ with whom Cassy makes these written exchanges, and I quite possibly liked this even more.

It was so much fun to see all of the excuses she had to come up with to gain access again and again to the puzzle book at the Threadneedle Walk-in Centre. Just imagining seeing the reaction of Janet, the receptionist of the clinic every time Cassy showed up again made me chuckle every single time. There were a few stories in the sidelines too that were also quite entertaining which involved her bestie Dan (a blend between Joey and Chandler of Friends) who decides to move in with her, Cassy’s attempts to make a good impression with her boss and their potential new client MediaTech and her strife with work colleague Martin. I had to give it to her, whatever is thrown at Cassy she never gives up, it made me love her even a little bit more.

Cassy works as an Account Director at a digital marketing company named Holeywells and even though her job is one of the focal points of the novel where much goes wrong, and as interesting as it sounds being a marketing strategist I was happy that I was never bored by actually having to listen to an entire pitch. The competition between Cassy and Martin and her feelings of animosity whenever he does something that puts her into a bad light were a great part of the story. There were times it reminded me of another novel that I loved this year and I was happy to find some similarities.

Maybe the outcome didn’t surprise me much but it didn’t really bother me, the story had enough drive that I never felt there wasn’t something else to discover. Cassy certainly discovers a lot about herself by the end of the novel and I do love a character having some introspection. And in the end all I wanted was for puzzle-girl to finally meet her dream puzzle-man 🙂.

I underestimated how much I would enjoy Puzzle Girl when I started it. If you’re looking for a fun summer romance in an office setting this is the perfect novel to escape into.

I received a free paperback copy of this novel in a giveaway (I can’t remember who from but I received four paperbacks a few years ago). This is my honest opinion.

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne #BookReview

TheHatingGame def

whats-it-about-2

Nemesis (n.)

1) An opponent or rival whom a person cannot best or overcome.
2) A person’s undoing
3) Joshua Templeman

Lucy Hutton has always been certain that the nice girl can get the corner office. She’s charming and accommodating and prides herself on being loved by everyone at Bexley & Gamin. Everyone except for coldly efficient, impeccably attired, physically intimidating Joshua Templeman. And the feeling is mutual.

Trapped in a shared office together 40 (OK, 50 or 60) hours a week, they’ve become entrenched in an addictive, ridiculous never-ending game of one-upmanship. There’s the Staring Game. The Mirror Game. The HR Game. Lucy can’t let Joshua beat her at anything—especially when a huge new promotion goes up for the taking.

If Lucy wins this game, she’ll be Joshua’s boss. If she loses, she’ll resign. So why is she suddenly having steamy dreams about Joshua, and dressing for work like she’s got a hot date? After a perfectly innocent elevator ride ends with an earth-shattering kiss, Lucy starts to wonder whether she’s got Joshua Templeman all wrong.

Maybe Lucy Hutton doesn’t hate Joshua Templeman. And maybe, he doesn’t hate her either. Or maybe this is just another game.

amazon uk amazon com

review-2

5_Star_Rating_System_5_stars_1457015727_81_246_96_2

OH MY, this novel is HOT HOT HOT. This also proves I haven’t lost it somewhere along the way, I’m still a hopeless romantic. The Hating Game is a fairy tale come true and gosh maybe it’s the dark and lonely days but I needed this. Enemies to lovers first, then in second place friends to lovers, they’re the best kind of love to read about if you ask me.

The animosity between Lucy and Joshua was brilliant and believable and it seemed to have started when Lucy and Joshua met as executive assistants on their first work day after the publishing companies Gamin and Bexley merged. She said hello to him with a smile, he didn’t say anything back, he certainly didn’t smile. It’s been a cold war ever since. The two of them play a lot of games during the day, designed to make the other one either laugh or cry. Joshua is pretty good at doing neither. He’s an unlikeable character but not one you ever really despise. Lucy wants to strangle him on a daily basis though.

Everything changes when Lucy goes on a date with Danny from IT, a date she never intended to have but then she can’t lose face when Joshua doesn’t even believe she has a date. That same day Joshua gives her the kiss of all kisses in the elevator because he was testing something out. Huh? Now she can’t stop thinking about this and neither will any reader. The elevator scene and the entire teambuilding day made me swoon so much and I it got my hopes up right there that they would end up together. How that was going to happen when the promotion was only going to one of them I didn’t figure out though. Would this be the kink in the cable? What would happen after they had played the Or Something game?

I loooved the games they played, the slow burn between the two of them and how much the tension was building. The big moment was put off for sooo long! Maybe some readers might find the characters a little too cliché (Josh has ‘the body’ and a spotless house, he’s also very much the bad guy; Lucy is loveable, quirky and cute) but it didn’t bother me for a minute. This is Romance with a capital R, I can hardly believe this was a debut.

I decided to finally pick this one up because I saw Jonetta of Blue Mood Cafe was going to watch the movie they made of this novel and although I really want to see this I wanted to read the novel first. I do wonder if the chemistry will be as big on screen as in the novel. I don’t want to say the novel is better beforehand but the way I experienced it… Well we’ll see when I get the chance.

I bought an ecopy of this novel. This is my honest opinion.

Eight Perfect Hours by Lia Louis #BookReview

EightPerfectHoursDef

whats-it-about-2

On a snowy evening in March, thirty-something Noelle Butterby is on her way back from an event at her old college when disaster strikes. With a blizzard closing off roads, she finds herself stranded, alone in her car, without food, drink, or a working charger for her phone.

All seems lost until Sam Attwood, a handsome American stranger also trapped in a nearby car, knocks on her window and offers assistance. What follows is eight perfect hours together, until morning arrives and the roads finally clear. The two strangers part, positive they’ll never see each other again but fate, it seems, has a different plan. As the two keep serendipitously bumping into one another, they begin to realize that perhaps there truly is no such thing as coincidence.

amazon uk amazon com

review-2

5_Star_Rating_System_4_and_a_half_stars_1457015900_81_246_96_2

I absolutely loved reading Dear Emmie Blue last year so I’m relieved to find the author’s new novel Eight Perfect Hours such a wholesome and delightful read.

When Noelle meets Sam you can feel that it is the perfect set up for a wonderful romance. They spend 8 hours together on a highway where they talk and laugh and share stories, and I could almost hear the lovey-dovey singing birds approaching but.. NOTHING HAPPENS. A few days later Noelle runs into her ex-boyfriend Ed in town. They were together for 12 years and every time she sees Ed it is so easy, so familiar, yet a little voice in her head does remind her that he left her for a job offer in Portland.

I really enjoyed reading about Noelle and how she tries to navigate her way trough life. She’s there for her mother who has anxiety and her best friend who suffers from postnatal depression, she even tries her best to help this grumpy old man who has to move out of his apartment, but maybe she needs someone to be there for her too? Ed slips back into her life and Noelle can’t just forget the 12 years they spent together but mountaineer Sam pops up on unexpected moments too and every time she sees him she feels that he really hears what she is saying, she feels something special and she gets the feeling it is fate that brings them together. Could she be right?

I expected this novel to be high on romance from the beginning but the author start-stopped my heart more times than were good for me, so I’m almost inclined to say that romance is involved but underneath what appears to be romance the story gives a life lesson about embracing life. From the very first pages the tragedy of losing her best friend are manifest but there’s a lot of growth for Noelle while she’s trying to find the right path for her and maybe fate will give an unmistakable signal that it is ok to start living and that she doesn’t have to feel guilty that she’s still alive and her best friend Daisy isn’t.

If you enjoyed The Switch by Beth O’Leary, this is definitely the novel for you. I had a few perfect hours of reading this heartwarming novel.

I received a free ecopy of this novel from the publisher via Netgalley. This is my honest opinion.

The Car Share by Zoe Brisby #BookReview

TheCarShare def

whats-it-about-2

A ninety-year-old woman with Alzheimer’s and a heartbroken young man end up sharing a ride to Brussels that changes their lives forever.

When Alex pulls up to meet “Max”, he expects everything but a ninety-year-old lady who has her heart set on getting to Brussels by carpool.

As for ‘Max’, who is actually called Maxine, she could not be more ill at ease when settling into the seat next to this young man with bloodshot eyes. God help her if he turned out to be a drug addict who hasn’t slept in days!

When it becomes clear that Maxine is suffering from Alzheimer’s and wants to take matters in her own hands while she still can, and that Alex battles severe depression, a wonderful friendship starts to form between the unlikely pair. Before long, their travel plans take an unexpected turn…

amazon uk amazon com

review-2

star three and a half / 5_Star_Rating_System_4_stars_1457015877_81_246_96_2

I don’t pick up a lot of feel-good books but the fact that Max and Alex were to travel to Brussels (Belgium) for some reason got my attention and honestly, I wanted to read a novel with good vibes. The Car Share didn’t let me down, I really had much fun reading this quirky story with wonderful uplifting rays of positivity

Max and Alex’s first encounter already gave a little taster how much fun there would follow in the rest of the novel. They were as surprised as someone walking in on their husband lying in bed with someone else (minus the anger it would go with) when they discovered who their travel partner was going to be but even though they would have preferred someone else, other options weren’t really available so they were well and truly stuck with each other. I found the time they traveled taking quite long but I wasn’t complaining because there was plenty to keep me entertained along the way. Soon enough they have the police on their backs and they’re forced to travel incognito to outrun the nationwide manhunt. Alex, 25 years old is actually the one with the ‘old soul’ in the novel and Maxine is the one who acts like she’s mentally the youngest. Is it believable that a nonagenarian is as quick, agile and energetic as shown here? I’m not that sure, but then everything in this novel is quite over the top. Honestly, I did love that Maxine is not your ordinary heroine, and the fact that she still feels so much younger (she plays down her age whenever she has the chance) made me almost forget sometimes what age category she really was in. Max really stole the show for me and I loved how witty she was and how she tried to lift Alex out of his depression with the things she commanded Alex to do.

In fact they are both trying to change the other one’s mind for their set plans before the end of the car ride and I loved how they cared for one another. For all the hilariousness throughout the novel, the ending had me holding my heart and it became surprisingly emotional for such a funny story. Max and Alex are definitely characters that’ll grow on you and will be kept in your heart. A wonderful tale of an unlikely friendship that will change their lives. Exactly the sort of read I needed!

I received a free copy of this novel from the publisher Hodder & Stoughton via Netgalley. This is still my honest opinion.

Three’s A Crowd by Simon Booker #BookReview

ThreesACrowd def

whats-it-about-2

Out-of-work actor Harriet is recuperating from a crash-and-burn affair with Damian – aka ‘Cockweasel’ – and making ends meet as a barista when she meets two rather lovely men. Tom is a regular at the café, and seems like such a nice guy. Smooth-talking DJ Richard is older, but in great shape – a real silver fox.

Deciding to take a chance on both of them, Harriet doesn’t realise at first that she is actually dating father and son. Tom and Richard aren’t on speaking terms, and don’t share a last name – so how was she to know? By the time everyone finds out, both Tom and Richard are truly madly deeply in love with Harriet, and she’s faced with an impossible choice.

But as the battle for her affections intensifies, ‘Cockweasel’ makes an unexpected reappearance and begs her to give him another chance…

amazon uk

review-2

5_Star_Rating_System_4_stars_1457015877_81_246_96_2

Some will argue with me that you can enjoy a rom-com at any given time of the year but for me this is the best season to add some extra sweetness and love into my life and Three’s A Crowd certainly puts the sugar in my tea. I think I resist it most of the time but at the end of the year I can’t seem to get enough of it.

When I saw Simon Booker, the author, during a live Zoom session where several new books were announced for 2021 by publisher Simon & Schuster, I enjoyed his little quips and when he told us about his new book Three’s A Crowd, I knew it would contain that same type of humour and I wanted to read it as soon as I could. The book’s publication date is set for 24 August so you could say I really couldn’t wait to read it.

It all starts when Harriet meets Richard in the run-up for The Voice of London competition (to become the person who tells you to ‘Mind The Gap’) and she meets Tom in the coffee shop where she works as a barrista. Father and son don’t know of each other because they haven’t spoken to each other in a long time. The reason for the radio silence between them and their difficult relationship throughout Tom’s childhood was a mystery on its own and the revelations about the root of their astrangement certainly came as a big surprise and was definitely one of the best twists in this novel.

I know a lot of readers don’t really like a love triangle trope and although I don’t really mind as long as it doesn’t happen to me, you can rest assured Three’s A Crowd has a much lighter and funnier outlook on the whole love triangle trope. For one the whole ‘affair’ with the two men doesn’t go too deep and doesn’t get too complicated, on the contrary, it plays out on the same level field so that made it fun and I didn’t have to take sides to support whoever wasn’t winning. Tom and Richard were both interesting men with a good nature and with Harriet’s age right in the middle of them she could do well with both of them.

Three’s A Crowd has a little bit of everything, drama, mystery, love and well, the bottom line is that it is just fun to read. The story was engaging from the start and it was cute to see both men falling for Harriet and trying to be a perfect gentleman at every moment, being patient because they were playing the long game, patience thus being the key word.

A little word about the other characters who make Three’s A Crowd a very worthy read then. Age is just a number, Three’s A Crowd proves it! Gorgeous George, Richard’s father, is to put it quite frank an 80 year old gigolo trying to swindle his latest love interest Imelda for money by spinning her a story about an African gold mine… George is here and there and everywhere, except with his son who has cut him out of his life… And then there is one of the youngest of mind, Nan (Nancy), Harriet’s grandmother who is such a fun character to have come across and her advice to her granddaughter is priceless. It’s not really what you expect from a grandmother but I loved her one-liners!

3% in: “Like Nan says – try everything once except incest, folk dancing and bin juice.”

6% in: “… she listened to me wanging on about Cockweasel, took out her teeth then said, ‘The best way to get over a bloke is to get under a bloke.’ I like her style.”

The story kept me well entertained, it is certainly much more than a love story and quite enjoyable to read even if you’re not big on romance, and I’m satisfied with the way the story ended although I didn’t anticipate who she would choose/not choose. There were quite a few unexpected twists throughout the story and I did like that all the different storylines with the other characters, Nancy and Gorgeous George were thought out and were wrapped up nicely as well. It wouldn’t surprise me if I’d see this novel on screen at some point. I’d certainly watch it because it’s perfect rom-com material!

I received a free copy of this novel from the publisher Simon & Schuster UK via Netgalley. This is still my honest opinion.

Stand By Me by S.D. Robertson #BookReview

StandByMe def

whats-it-about-2

Lisa and Elliot have been best friends ever since the day they met as children. Popular, bright and sporty, Lisa was Elliot’s biggest supporter when the school bullies made his life a misery, and for that, he will always be grateful.

Twenty years later, life has pulled the pair apart and Lisa is struggling. Her marriage is floundering, her teenage kids are being secretive, and she’s so tired she can’t think straight. So when Elliot knocks on the door, looking much better than she remembers, she can’t help but be delighted to see her old friend again.

With Elliot back in their lives, Lisa’s family problems begin to improve – he’s like the fairy godmother she never had. As their bond deepens, she realises how much she’s missed him, and prays that this is one friendship that will last a lifetime. But sometimes, life has other ideas…

amazon uk amazon com

review-2

5_Star_Rating_System_4_stars_1457015877_81_246_96_2

In these (corona) times where we are confined to spend much time alone in our homes, I felt a need to wrap myself into a warm blanket of (fictional) friendship and if you need a friend too and want your heart filled then you must meet Elliot and Lisa because you’re going to wish for a friend like these two after you meet with them.

I’m very lucky to have received a wonderful copy of Stand By Me from an even more wonderful blogfriend and if you want to read an extract about the time Elliot and Lisa had to say goodbye when Elliot moved to Australia you can read it on her blog here. It’s definitely a scene that gives your heart a little squeeze but you don’t have to worry that you’ll be sobbing your heart out from start to finish, the heart of the story is a happy one that celebrates friendship and shows the meaning of a true friend, someone who literally stands by you when you need him or her the most.

The story flashes between present and past and the flashbacks convey just how great a young Lisa is for defending Elliot and being his best friend. And whereas it was Lisa who came to the rescue when they were young, it is now Elliot who is turning things around. Lisa doesn’t know he’s there to come to her rescue this time. She tries very hard to help everyone in her little family but sometimes a little help from someone else can go a long way.

Her husband, a deputy head at a school, was accused by a pupil of attacking him and since then he’s not himself anymore, taking up drinking more and more and putting a real strain on their marriage. He’s not the only one with a problem though, their children Chloe and Ben also have a very real secret, something they are struggling with and are facing all alone and it is Elliot who will help them come to terms with it as he’s always just showing up at the right time at the right place. It seems he has a sixth sense and dare I say magic skills because it looks like he knows things. It’s almost like he’s a godsend, an angel, or is he?

I knew from the beginning it was going to be ‘one of those stories’ but I didn’t really mind, it worked well here. I did think there was a lot of build-up towards the end about repaying for the past and I expected something else, something big and ominous to still happen to one of the members of Lisa’s family but I was completely wrong about that, I guess I made it worse in my own head :-). In the end it was a bittersweet ending but I couldn’t help but smile anyway. Stand By Me was a really heartwarming story of a friendship forming a bond for life. All this with a few extra sprinkles of love and a little magic. Exactly what I needed!

#CoverReveal: A Sky Full of Stars by Dani Atkins @HoZ_Books @AtkinsDani

Book Cover reveal

It’s a real pleasure to be involved in the cover reveal for A Sky Full of Stars by Dani Atkins. You don’t have to take my word for it but it’s such a gorgeous cover, I absolutely love it!

whats-it-about-2

He’d have done everything differently, if he’d known. He’d have held her tighter, kissed her longer. He’d have refused to let her go.

When Lisa married Alex, she gave his life meaning. She was a professional astronomer: a stargazer. And when she gazed at Alex, she saw that behind his tough exterior was a man she could love.

Alex, Lisa and their young son Connor made a happy little universe. But then Lisa dies in a train crash, and their universe is destroyed. Alex is shattered by loss, and overwhelmed by the difficulties of being a single father to a six-year-old boy. How can he and Connor carry on without Lisa lighting up their lives?

Then Alex meets four strangers. Two men and two women, who never met Lisa, but whose lives changed profoundly because she died. As Alex hears their stories, he begins to realise the world may not be as cruel and senseless as it seems. Perhaps, after all, the future is written in the stars…

Line

So … Are you ready to take a look? Well here it is

Cover A Sky Full of Stars

Doesn’t it look amazing?! If you can’t wait any longer you can pre-order A Sky Full of Stars right now:

amazon uk

The novel is out on February 4th in hardback and e-book and on August 5, 2021 in paperback.

Author

Dani Atkins is an award-winning novelist. Her 2013 debut Fractured has been translated into sixteen languages and has sold more than half a million copies since first publication in the UK. Dani is the author of four other bestselling novels, one of which, This Love, won the Romantic Novel of the Year Award in 2018. Dani lives in a small village in Hertfordshire with her husband, one Siamese cat and a very soppy Border Collie.

Connect

Twitter: @AtkinsDani
Facebook: @DaniAtkinsAuthor

The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman #BookReview

TheBookishLifeOfNinaHill def

whats-it-about-2

The only child of a single mother, Nina has her life just as she wants it: a job in a bookstore, a kick-butt trivia team, a world-class planner and a cat named Phil. If she sometimes suspects there might be more to life than reading, she just shrugs and picks up a new book.

When the father Nina never knew existed suddenly dies, leaving behind innumerable sisters, brothers, nieces, and nephews, Nina is horrified. They all live close by! They’re all—or mostly all—excited to meet her! She’ll have to Speak. To. Strangers. It’s a disaster! And as if that wasn’t enough, Tom, her trivia nemesis, has turned out to be cute, funny, and deeply interested in getting to know her. Doesn’t he realize what a terrible idea that is?

Nina considers her options.

1. Completely change her name and appearance. (Too drastic, plus she likes her hair.)
2. Flee to a deserted island. (Hard pass, see: coffee).
3. Hide in a corner of her apartment and rock back and forth. (Already doing it.)

It’s time for Nina to come out of her comfortable shell, but she isn’t convinced real life could ever live up to fiction. It’s going to take a brand-new family, a persistent suitor, and the combined effects of ice cream and trivia to make her turn her own fresh page.

amazon uk amazon com

review-2

star three and a half

After last week’s thriller I really needed a book to help relax and loosen my tendons and muscles and The Bookish Life of Nina Hill was the perfect cure. If you’re looking for a novel with a quirky character then Nina definitely fits the bill. It might come as a shock because I read that lots of readers found many similarities in Nina but I didn’t identify with Nina as much as I had expected and I still don’t know if we would be friends exactly.

Nina is a strong, independent woman, whip smart and she really has her opinions. She lives by her calendar (the days were printed between the chapters and I really enjoyed these little extras) and she’s pretty rigid in her timings (ok we might have that in common), and lives with her cat named Phil (ok yes that too only mine doesn’t comment on my behaviour; I haven’t decided yet if that’s a good or bad thing), but for an introvert she does have a pretty full social life, she certainly doesn’t have social anxiety. She leads several book clubs at the bookstore she works, she has trivia night every week and movie nights on her agenda, gym class and there’s also reading time of course. How can a girl still fit in a date with a cute guy with all of that going on?

One day her life is turned upside down when she finds out that the father she never knew died and that he was quite rich. He knew about her though and he left her something in his will and gave her a large extended family as a bonus. Nina isn’t really looking for either and likes her life as it is but it’ll soon turn out that she won’t have a real choice in the matter… some of them look her up and it turns out they do have some things in common. At the same time the boy from a rival trivia team catches her eye and it seems that he might have noticed her too. Can she juggle all of that and let her quiet life become so much more chaotic?

I really enjoyed reading about the new family members and I thought she had much more in common with each of them than with her love interest, who was a lovely boy with lots of patience, but I didn’t really feel the chemistry, especially when she doesn’t find ‘time’ in her schedule to meet him and is still convinced that her future lover needs to read books to be a match. She knows so much and yet she knows nothing at all. Half of us would be single if that were true, right? The love angle was more of a sideplot for me and the focus of the novel was mostly on the new family and the intruiging will, with little sideplots involving the bookshop she worked at and the boy who knows more about sports than her.

The Bookish Life of Nina Hill is a charming book, easy to read and light-hearted. I enjoyed seeing Nina getting her head out of the books and adapting to the new situations. A great holiday novel if you’re still looking for one!

I bought a copy of this novel at my local bookstore. This is my honest opinion.