#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!

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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…

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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:

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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

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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.

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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.

The Switch by Beth O’Leary #BookReview @OLearyBeth @QuercusBooks

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Eileen is sick of being 79.
Leena’s tired of life in her twenties.
Maybe it’s time they swapped places…

When overachiever Leena Cotton is ordered to take a two-month sabbatical after blowing a big presentation at work, she escapes to her grandmother Eileen’s house for some overdue rest. Eileen is newly single and about to turn eighty. She’d like a second chance at love, but her tiny Yorkshire village doesn’t offer many eligible gentlemen.

Once Leena learns of Eileen’s romantic predicament, she proposes a solution: a two-month swap. Eileen can live in London and look for love. Meanwhile Leena will look after everything in rural Yorkshire. But with gossiping neighbours and difficult family dynamics to navigate up north, and trendy London flatmates and online dating to contend with in the city, stepping into one another’s shoes proves more difficult than either of them expected.

Leena learns that a long-distance relationship isn’t as romantic as she hoped it would be, and then there is the annoyingly perfect – and distractingly handsome – school teacher, who keeps showing up to outdo her efforts to impress the local villagers. Back in London, Eileen is a huge hit with her new neighbours, but is her perfect match nearer home than she first thought?

amazon uk amazon com

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Have I got the book for you this week! If you’re looking for something uplifting, a read you can really relax into, then you don’t need to search any more, The Switch is the perfect remedy to cure #lockdownloneliness!

I’m not going to lie, I did go into this with high expectations. I loved Beth O’Leary’s debut novel The Flatshare so much, it being one of the biggest surprises of last year for me, so where does this leave this novel? Maybe it’s not as swoonworthy as The Flatshare because a lot of the story’s progress is about developing friendships whereas in the first novel you felt the excitement for a blooming romance (through notes) between two people but I have to say that I was invested in the characters again and I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked it.

The author chose another format and a completely different story to tell in her second novel, not about two strangers of the opposite sex this time, but rather two main characters Eileen and Leena (well actually also Eileen but lucky the author gave her a nickname here) with about 50 years of an age difference and she made the right move to choose a very different relationship.

So, the women in this novel step into each other’s lives while still very much being themselves and I must say I really love these type of tropes (I’m still a fan of The Holiday starring Cameron Diaz) and the novel gave off a little bit of that vibe of the movie. It was refreshing to see 79-year old Eileen dipping her toes into the world of online dating in the bustling city and to see her granddaughter Leena at the same time in the rural countryside trying to take the local neighbourhood committee serious, to get invested there and roll with the slow life, as well as take care of her mum who she hasn’t been in contact with after her sister died.

The story had enough drive on both sides and I was never bored, even if the neighbourhood watches issues were not really crucial to start with, but it’s more about the people instead of the issues of course and getting to know them and the feeling that they are looking out for each other. If I’m really honest I think for once that I liked the part of the older Eileen with her multiple love interests maybe a little bit more – she’s far from a cliché for her age – because it’s always interesting how someone deals with being dropped into a totally different world, although Leena and grumpy next door neighbour Arnold were quite entertaining too and it was so nice to see them both softening up to each other.

The Switch is a story of one closely knitted community and another community that is about to be changed forever. A few of the themes involved in this novel are love and friendship, reconnecting with people, being forgiving, and especially finding yourself again or should I say accepting that you can’t sometimes be the person you were but that you are a new you.

Beth O’Leary has proven with this sequel that she’s definitely here to stay and her name belongs to be mentioned in the lists with Lucy Dillon, Jojo Moyes and so many others. She’s a brilliant author and if you want a novel to give you a warm fuzzy feeling and a satisfactory smile then I definitely recommend both of her novels. I hope we don’t have to wait too long for her third one now :-).

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

My One True North by Milly Johnson #BookReview

 

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Laurie and Pete should never have met.
But fate has pushed them together for a reason.

Six months ago, on the same night, Laurie and Pete both lost their partners.
Struggling to manage the grief, they join the same counselling group – and meet each other.

From their sadness, Pete and Laurie find happiness growing and they sense a fresh new beginning.
Except, the more they talk, the more they begin to spot the strange parallels in their stories.
Then Pete discovers a truth that changes everything.

But, as surely as a compass points north, some people cannot be kept apart.

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There’s romance and then there’s ‘Romance’ and My One True North falls in the latter category, the one I absolutely love. Milly Johnson willed me to see Pete and Laurie together very early into the novel because I could see sooooo clear as day they were meant to be together. The story was perfectly paced and it had a very satisfying build up for me, their surprisingly easy connection wasn’t left too long hanging but didn’t come too quick either.

There were a few mysteries and secrets woven into the story that made it even more interesting even if is not so difficult to spot what is going on. The main thread is still about people having lost their loved ones, yet the comments and the situation the characters were in didn’t make me feel utterly sad for either party. Pete and Laurie are missing their partners but they are not stuck in their grief and both want to move forward with their life at the start of the story. It also helped that I already had a sense of the direction the plot developments were going to take so I couldn’t feel too bad about what I thought was coming.

Laurie and Pete meet each other and others too, Maurice, Sharon and Michelle at Molly’s tea club, a small support group that comes together at a tea shop where they chat over cake about the difficulties they are all experiencing. Each person deals with grief but I really appreciate that the author had one character grieve the passing of her dog. It is so underestimated what that does to someone and the important place a pet has as part of the family so I really liked there was attention given to this kind of grief. This lovely bunch of people find friendship and even a few laughs too when they have their meetings, something I hadn’t expected immediately but healing comes in several formats and it made me happy when I saw them dealing with it in such a great way.

I really enjoyed all of the characters in the novel, not only Pete and Laurie are positive and wonderful people (Pete is a firefighter who rescues kittens and dogs in the most touching way, how can you resist him after that?!) but so many others really made this story, from Pete’s father Nigel to Lucy and Griff, his brother and sister in law, to Alan, Laurie’s employer, even Keith Richards and Pong (a goldfish and a cat) had me under their spell.

My One True North is a lovely novel to read, giving hope when you think there might be none to be found again, and truly sends out the message that you can’t waste time and you should be living. It is full of warmth, great friendship and love. It’s contradictory – I do know how it sounds given the subject of the novel – but it really is the truth: if you’re feeling down My One True North will certainly lift up your mood!

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

A Cat Called Cupid by Tilly Tenant #BookReview

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Lara and Theo are meant to be. They just don’t know it yet…

Lara loves her job as a wedding planner. She gets to organise other people’s perfect days and make sure nothing ever goes wrong.

Theo loves his job as a jazz musician, working unpredictable hours and giving other people great nights out.

Lara knows she’s got high standards. But there’s nothing wrong with getting things right… so why has it stopped her finding Mr Right?

Theo knows people think he’s a bit scruffy, a bit too laid back. But there’s nothing wrong with setting your own pace… if only he could find someone who wanted to live life at his speed.

It’s okay, though. Lara gets to come home in the evening and have heart-to-hearts with her greedy grey cat Fluffy. And Theo can come home in the early hours and unwind with his loyal cat Satchmo.

What they don’t know is that it’s the same cat.

And when they find out – standing in the street in their pyjamas, both on the hunt for their lost pet – sparks of the wrong sort will fly…

amazon uk amazon com

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star three and a half / 5_Star_Rating_System_4_stars_1457015877_81_246_96_2

Surprised with my choice of read? I think I surprised myself a little bit too but it all makes perfect sense. I love cats (and dogs too), I love romances where two lost souls find each other when they least expect it, so my interest was raised right away and the cat playing such a big role in the story as a catalyst bringing people together was the big fat bonus that really sold it for me. So while I don’t read romance novels very often I simply couldn’t resist A Cat Called Cupid when I saw it. I can’t believe this is my first novel by this author, even though she has written 30ish books now, but yes… the cat did it!

This novel was very engaging and easy to read. The friendship between Lara and her employee Betsy is warm and sweet enough to make you jealous as well as making you want to work for Lara yourself. I’m not sure I’d have the patience and professionalism Lara has when problems occur on a couple’s wedding day. A big part of the story shows Lara organising weddings (some couples book her only for the day, others ask her to organise everything herself from start to finish) and I quite enjoyed reading about her work.

Time and time again her path crosses with Theo, the man who tries to snatch her cat Fluffy away from her, claiming it’s his cat and calling him Satchmo. I could easily identify with Lara’s feelings towards her pet and what Fluffy meant to her. She would do anything for that cat and I could only cheer her on to fight for him. Can she win this fight though? The little naughty furrball has a cattitude and likes to play both fields. It is a game of push and pull that ensues between both cat owners but it is the cat himself who ultimately brings a truths between them, even though it wasn’t his intention. Can it hold, who will get sole ownership, and will these enemies turn into lovers, because you’ll wish for it right away when you meet them and they meet each other. You’ll have to read and see :-).

A Cat Called Cupid is a a warm read and perfect escapism. If you’re a cat lover you’ll want to read this purrrrfect novel!

I received a free ecopy of this novel from the publisher Bookouture in exchange for my honest opinion.

The Sight of You by Holly Miller #BookReview @ByHollyMiller @HodderBooks

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Joel is afraid of the future.
Since he was a child he’s been haunted by dreams about the people he loves. Visions of what’s going to happen – the good and the bad. And the only way to prevent them is to never let anyone close to him again.

Callie can’t let go of the past.
Since her best friend died, Callie’s been lost. She knows she needs to be more spontaneous and live a bigger life. She just doesn’t know how to find a way back to the person who used to have those dreams.

Joel and Callie both need a reason to start living for today.
And though they’re not looking for each other, from the moment they meet it feels like the start of something life-changing.

Until Joel has a vision of how it’s going to end . . .

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This is one of those books that take a bit of time to get over them and this one is asking for a couple of days… even though this novel is so bittersweet in the end, I want to keep it alive in my head for a little bit longer. Ever since I read The Man Who Didn’t Call I’ve been searching for a novel to match it, a novel that could make me feel the same way and I had to wait until this one to finally find it, The Sight Of You is the answer to my quest. I felt my throat closing up and a single tear (that’s all I’ll admit to!) might have snaked its way out of the corner of my eye. My suffering was silent, much like how this novel presented its secret. Nothing was overdone or written to be sensational or super dramatic, there was in fact just a quiet kind of sadness that you can feel and read throughout the pages.

I love novels about impossible love stories, but is this one impossible? At times I thought so, other times I felt the exact opposite. There’s so much love though, even if people keep fighting it, if they don’t admit it, if they don’t want to fall in love. What are you going to do? The heart wants what it wants and love hurts, every single time. And then it really begins. Joel has dreams about the people he loves. It’s his best kept secret and has messed up his life since he was about 9 years old. So you can’t blame him for not wanting to fall for Callie. It’s not a big surprise how the story develops, the title is pretty much an omen, but that doesn’t matter because it’s just written with the right amount of dazzle.  

My heart is so full for this novel, and I think I could talk about it for days. It’s very much a head versus heart kind of novel, and one that makes you think too. How would you react? There’s an important lesson here to live your life and I was happy to see both Joel and Callie do just that. A beautiful novel, very highly recommended! Don’t miss out on this heart-breaking tale!

I received a free copy of this novel from the publisher Hodder and Stoughton in exchange for my honest opinion.

How to Make Time for Me by Fiona Perrin #BlogTour #Extract

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Welcome to my stop for How to Make Time for Me by Fiona Perrin. Thanks so much to Aria Fiction for the invitation to join this blog tour! I have an extract to share with you today but first check out how wonderful this novel sounds.

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No-one said being a single mum would be easy…

Everyone knows that being a single mother means having no time to yourself. But for Callie Brown, its more exhausting than most. She’s juggling the needs of three teenage children, two live-in parents, a raffish ex-husband, and a dog who never stops eating.

The last thing Callie needs is anything more on her plate. So when she bumps (quite literally) into a handsome, age-appropriate cyclist, she’s quick to dismiss him from her life. After all, if she doesn’t have time to brush her hair in the morning, she certainly doesn’t have time to fall in love…

Funny, heartwarming and oh-so-true, this is a novel about motherhood, families, and life after divorce, perfect for fans of Sophie Kinsella and Allison Pearson.

Purchase

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Author

Fiona Perrin author

Fiona Perrin was a journalist and copywriter before building a career as a sales and marketing director in industry. Having always written, she completed the Curtis Brown Creative Writing course before writing The Story After Us. Fiona grew up in Cornwall, hung out for a long time in London and then Hertfordshire, and now writes as often as possible from her study overlooking the sea at the end of The Lizard peninsula.

Connect

Twitter : @fionaperrin
fB : @fionajperrinauthor

Extract

‘But then I got together with Ralph and he already had Wilf and we were together until a couple of years back,’ I carried on eventually. ‘Ralph had a breakdown and became an alcoholic. He’s all right now though.’

‘You’ve been through a lot,’ Maura mused. ‘And you took on his boy?’ Her questions were gentle and distracting. She stood still now at the end of the bed and looked as if she really gave a fuck about my complicated family set-up.

‘I love him,’ I told her, and she just nodded.

‘Bet you’ve got olds to look out for too.’

I thought of Mum and Dad, who lived down the road, and stopped crying. ‘Just two extra children in their seventies. My mum is practically deaf now, poor her, and they’re both a bit strange.’ At least no in-laws that I was responsible for. That was a bonus. And Ralph no longer turned up on my doorstep broke/pissed/useless since he’d got better and married Petra. Somehow, she’d managed to keep him sober – a fact that she was very fond of passively aggressively pointing out to me, as if I still had feelings for her husband. I didn’t, I promise. And frankly, although I didn’t want him to return to his worst periods, she’d made him quite odd and boring now, like a robot in their beige home. I shook my head and concentrated on Maura.

‘What about you?’

‘I’ve got three kids, two grandchildren and three old ones,’ she said. I nodded – shit, thank God, no grandkids yet. But then she added, ‘In my house.’ She paused dramatically.  ‘Sometimes some of them go back to their own places.’ She joined in with my laughing, which dried up the tears.

‘It’s all the bloody washing,’ Maura carried on. She shushed with her finger and looked around her at the curtain, mock-worried about if anyone could hear her. ‘I’m not supposed to swear in front of patients, but you try putting up with this shit. The only good thing about it is getting out of that house.’ That old female joke – I come to work to have a rest. Maura carried on. ‘All that, “do you know where my rugby socks are”, and, “can I have a twenty to go out and get wankered?” And that’s from my husband.’ She winked once more but she’d set me off again – this time more tears with my laughing.

Maura did nothing to silence me, but she stepped forward to rub my shoulders again.

‘You let it out,’ was all she said. ‘Mrs Invisible? They didn’t have her in the superheroes movies.’

‘I’m no superhero,’ I said.

‘Sometimes it feels like you have to be, though, doesn’t it?’ Maura said. She sat down on the end of the bed. ‘Where do you work, hun?’

I told her about my unbelievably pointless job running the HR team of a small car-leasing company. Well, pointless apart from it being necessary as I was economically responsible for three teenagers, a dog and, quite often, my parents.

‘Here’s to having it all,’ whispered Maura. ‘What do you think of that, Mrs Invisible? Now, haven’t you got a new man?’ She then clearly remembered that she’d been on a course on how to be more liberal because she hastily added, ‘Or a woman? Or…’

‘No man,’ I said. ‘There just doesn’t seem to be any time.’ I knew this was an excuse. But now, faced with a choice of lying on the sofa guiltily reading Grazia or doing all the plucking, waxing and trying to remember how to flirt that went with going on a date, I’d choose the couch and celebrity gossip every time.

‘You must go out? Gorgeous woman like you.’ I smiled politely at the compliment. Not gorgeous. Not any more, although I was dimly aware of a time when I’d been attractive enough to have a steady stream of lovers and lover applicants. God, it felt so long ago.

Now I was a pale shadow of that confident, fun person.

*** Don’t forget to check the rest of book tour ***

How to Make Time for Me Blog tour poster 2

Follow Aria

Website: http://www.ariafiction.com
Twitter: @aria_fiction
Facebook: @ariafiction
Instagram: @ariafiction

The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang #BookReview

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It’s high time for Stella Lane to settle down and find a husband – or so her mother tells her. This is no easy task for a wealthy, successful woman like Stella, who also happens to have Asperger’s. Analyzing data is easy; handling the awkwardness of one-on-one dates is hard. To overcome her lack of dating experience, Stella decides to hire a male escort to teach her how to be a good girlfriend.

Faced with mounting bills, Michael decides to use his good looks and charm to make extra cash on the side. He has a very firm no repeat customer policy, but he’s tempted to bend that rule when Stella approaches him with an unconventional proposal.

The more time they spend together, the harder Michael falls for this disarming woman with a beautiful mind, and Stella discovers that love defies logic.

amazon uk amazon com

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This is one of those novels that I’ve seen everywhere and heard so much of that I was compelled to find out for myself what it was all about. I read some of the reviews beforehand but I either have a very selective memory or they didn’t really share what a good portion of the book was about. Okay, it could be that readers found it pretty evident that a novel about a gigolo is a novel involving sex, and it is, but I definitely didn’t realise how much bedsport would be involved. Either way, it sure wasn’t this that interested me in the novel. I love attraction and teasing but once they start to show off and there’s too much action and not enough steam, then I’m out. So yes in the end this made me cut off a star, I’m sorry not sorry.

What really made me want to read The Kiss Quotiënt was when I heard it was a novel about a woman with autism who hadn’t had a meaningful relationship yet nor any happy moments in bed. I wanted to get to know her. It was her autism that fascinated me and I wondered how she would look at the world from her perspective.

At the start of the novel Stella’s mother is urging her to find a partner and make work of her first grandchild. Enter male escort Michael who’s of course the most divine creature and loveliest lad on earth and who’ll help her to get her next date back wanting more.

I liked that the roles were reversed and even enjoyed knowing where the story was going. It’s not very surprising but I didn’t mind at all as I wanted a romantic story. What did stick out as a sore thumb however was that her autism was highlighted in her interactions with her parents, and with Michael’s family and friends, but between them there’s never any issue safe for an occasional unintended blip, meaning before he knows she has autism. Once he does, everything runs peachy perfect. A little too perfect for me though that a complete stranger understands her so well that her autism seems to almost disappear and it’s just a normal love story. I just don’t think it’s as simple as that.

I have to keep in mind though that this is not a psychological study and want it to be more than it is, it is a love story between two unlikely characters who happen to develop feelings for one another and the writer did make it an entertaining story. I loved the warm family feeling of Michael’s side, I loved the professions the characters were attributed and how they seem so perfect for them, Stella is an econometrist and Michael works in his family’s drycleaner and tailor’s shop, and even though the story isn’t really exceptional, it’s still sweet and lovely and I’m sure lots of readers will swoon over Michael. A perfect novel for some summery escapism.

I won a copy of this novel via a blogger’s giveaway. This is my honest opinion.

Living My Best Life by Claire Frost #BookReview

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Bell never thought she’d be facing her 40th birthday single. Recently dumped by her boyfriend of ten years, Bell is struggling to move on with her life – and surrender the fleecy pyjamas she’s been living in since January. Sick of being bombarded by #blessed on social media and feeling like her life doesn’t live up to everyone else’s, she decides it’s time for a change; time to find out who she really is, not who she thinks she should be.

Enter Millie, a successful online influencer posting under the handle @mi_bestlife. But as a single mum trying to make ends meet and stay ahead of the younger generation snapping at her heels, her Instagram feed is far more #BestLiethan #BestLife. With the internet trolls continuing to bring her down and an ex who cares more about playing football than seeing their son, Millie begins to wish her life was more like her filters.

It isn’t until Millie and Bell’s paths cross that the two women begin to realise what they’re missing. Will Bell finally learn to live life for herself? And will Millie see that she needs to start living for the moment and not for the likes?

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I was immediately interested in this novel when I read the title and I was even more convinced I was going to relate to the characters really well when I read the blurb. Bell and Millie are a bit older than usual – Bell’s next birthday is going to be the big 4-0 and Millie is in her early thirties – and I was happy to find they were fun but also responsible, mature women who happened to fall more into my age range. Bell and Millie are also both single, independent women with some emotional/relationship baggage already and some of it will certainly be recognizable to readers who are single after a long relationship and/or have had a break-up and are now a single parent. They are such normal and warm characters that I’d also love to have a Bell and a Millie and Wolf in my life myself after finishing my read. As much as I liked Bell and Millie though, it was little Wolfie who was definitely my favorite one, he just steals your heart away with his adorableness.

As I said, the title alone was enough to pique my interest. I might have expected it to be focusing on the lying more because I’m kind of used to it when reading my thrillers that people are pretending and putting on a mask, usually ending up being caught in a lie they can’t get out of it anymore. The people in this novel are smarter though, there’s no malicious intent and they are good characters, and lucky for them they have a friend who has their back and isn’t afraid to speak their mind. Overall it just really is a feel good book. There is of course some drama but it’s minor and if you need a novel to give you some pep, that is light-hearted and upbeat then this one’s a great choice.

Living My Best Li(f)e is a novel about warm friendships and a feeling of togetherness and community spirit, people working together towards a mutual goal. A few of the other characters in the novel seemed great too but I didn’t feel I really got to know them as well as I wanted, especially Ben and Suze would have been interesting to see more from. The storyline was rather predictable and I did miss some extra twists here and there to make it really stand out but I enjoyed the messages I could read between the linesI’ll let you discover them for yourself but I think one of them is pretty obvious in regards to social media. This novel contains a beautiful message to be more truthful to yourself as well as to others. It’s time to be happy with life as it is and not camouflage it to make it seem better just to get a few more likes. 

I received a free copy of this novel from Books and The City in exchange for my honest opinion.

The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary #BookReview

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Tiffy and Leon share a flat
Tiffy and Leon share a bed
Tiffy and Leon have never met…

Tiffy Moore needs a cheap flat, and fast. Leon Twomey works nights and needs cash. Their friends think they’re crazy, but it’s the perfect solution: Leon occupies the one-bed flat while Tiffy’s at work in the day, and she has the run of the place the rest of the time.

But with obsessive ex-boyfriends, demanding clients at work, wrongly imprisoned brothers and, of course, the fact that they still haven’t met yet, they’re about to discover that if you want the perfect home you need to throw the rulebook out the window…

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I really don’t read these kind of novels often enough, I forgot how much fun they are! The Flatshare is a perfect novel to lift your mood and I couldn’t think of a better timing.

The main characters are Leon, Leon’s brother Richie and Tiffy. Leon is an introvert and might come across a bit awkward at first. At least I had to get a little used to him and his use of stocky sentences but I either got used to it or he changed gradually while I wasn’t aware because that all fell away at some point and I can’t even pinpoint where it happened exactly. As for Tiffy, she’s the opposite really of Leon, extraverted, full of energy, sociable and she has a bit of a special taste in clothes and furniture. Her idea of decorating a place is a lava lamp and a bean bag :-).

Their agreement to live together without ever being in the apartment at the same time was original and I was impressed how well it was organised, it really works and they never meet. How to get them to interact then? Well the author opened up their communication with a single little post-it note. Soon enough I was reading their exchanges like they were sparring in a game of ping-pong and the further along the more they share with each other and the more personal it gets. I loved how they were their true selves in the notes, how they open up to each other. They are attentive and interested, they get to know each other really well and so was I, falling for both characters a little more as I went along. What I really wanted then was for them to finally meet and then preferably to fall deeply in love at first sight. The anticipation of that moment of meeting one another was excruciating! It was bound to happen but how and when? Well I won’t say much about it but the moment was golden! Oh my lord, their moment made me grin from ear to ear.

I felt it was all quite romantic even if the messages didn’t even contain romance, I just quite enjoyed the old-fashioned way of writing to each other and I felt their connection. Leon and Tiffy were also both very likeable characters that I enjoyed reading about. I’m not going to talk about the one person who made my toes curl or the hurdles they also faced in the novel, because overall it’s a feel-good novel that will put a smile on your face.

I received a free copy of this novel from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for my honest opinion.